The following items are in the Observation category.

A documentary

For the past few months, I’ve been helping a couple of talented filmmakers with a new project. I’ve been making introductions, reminding busy people to find some time for an interview, and that kind of thing. Today, the result was made public and it’s better than I ever imagined. I think this project that looks […]


We witnessed something amazing yesterday: a WWDC keynote that will be remembered for a long time. And not for the reason you might expect. As developers, it’s easy to focus on the fantastic software that was announced: a UI refresh that’s getting a thumbs up from designers and developers alike, great new user-facing features in […]


I recently appeared with John Gruber on The Talk Show. During the episode, the following exchange took place: @gruber: “How do you pronounce the ‘at’ symbol?” @chockenberry: “At” @gruber: “Right” Another @thetalkshow gem. — Jim Lipsey (@Jim_Lipsey) March 24, 2014 When it comes to naming characters, the Unicode standard is the bible. And code point U+0040 is named […]

Wearing Apple

Tim Cook has openly stated that Apple is working on “new product” categories. Many people, customers and competitors alike, assume that means some kind of wearable computing device. And of course that means it has to be some kind of “smartwatch”, right? I don’t think so. The Market First, let’s look at the market for […]

Font Points and the Web

When sizing fonts with CSS, there’s a rule of thumb that states: 1em = 12pt = 16px = 100% There are even handy tools that help you calculate sizes based on this rule. But this rule of thumb leaves out a very important piece of information. And without that information, you could be left wondering […]


Let’s talk about cars for a second. If you’re driving a car manufactured in the past five years, it’s likely it has anti-lock brakes. A standard feature at this point in time, but who came up with it first? Mercedes-Benz first introduced it on the S-Class line back in 1978. It was a revolutionary technology […]


I get the feeling that the gray rings are significant. — Craig Hockenberry (@chockenberry) September 3, 2013 It looks like my hunch about the iPhone invite was right: new phones are likely to have “silver rings” that are fingerprint sensors embedded into the home button. So what does this mean? Most people assume that it’s […]

Cheap as in Computing

There’s a good case for an iPhone that costs less. But with this lower cost, developers fear that device specifications will suffer: If Apple really wants to compete with Android in the cheap device market, they’re gonna need to start selling iPhones with iOS 4 again. — Nick Arnott (@noir) August 14, 2013 As someone […]

AMBER Alert Usability

If you live in the State of California, you got an AMBER Alert last night just before 11 PM. If you have an iOS device, you saw something like this on your lock screen: Or like this in Notification Center: And if you’re like most people, you had no idea what it meant. Considering it’s […]

The Origin of Tweet

Last week, one of my colleagues informed me that the word “tweet” was now included in the Oxford English Dictionary (see “Quiet announcement” at the end of the page.) The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED. This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a […]