Every time I read an article or book about UML “Use Cases” I cringe a little bit. Every author says something like “Jacobson left the definition of a Use Case too open,” and then they try to work through some elaborate scheme of what a Use Case means to them. IMHO, the best use case definition was created in the early 1980s, long before Jacobson mentioned the term.

The best UML “Use Case” definition

Here’s the best Use Case definition I know:

“The big war brewing in UX is for the voice UX.” ~ Vocal IQ (via this Forbes article)

There’s also this quote from the Vocal IQ website: “The consumer demand for a self-learning multi-domain conversational voice system where consumers can freely talk about movies, restaurants, music, hotel bookings and the meaning of life, is huge and undeniable. The first one to meet that demand will rule the smartphone and wearables market for the next decade.”

Time Will Come looks like an interesting Android watch face design.

I saw Ender’s Game at the movie theater and thought it was a good movie, but given its dark nature I never expected to watch it again. But after buying a new television — my previous tv was smaller than my iMac, and so old that it didn’t have any HDMI or USB connections — I saw the movie marked down to $5, and it now has the distinction of being the first movie I watched on the new tv. Kudos to Asa Butterfield (probably 15 years of age at the time the movie was made), he pretty much carries the entire movie, with a little help from Harrison Ford and a few others.

As a review goes, Ender’s Game is a very smart movie, it’s well-acted, and the special effects are excellent. I give it an “A” if you can deal with the subject matter, and still give it a “B” if you can’t. If you think about the content you’ll find that it raises all sorts of interesting questions about the future and society, not to mention the military.

If you know where to look, you too can find this 12,005’ altitude sign in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), in the Estes Park, Colorado area.

I just found this page on O’Reilly’s website about their “Head First” book series. I’ve been reading a book lately named A Mind for Numbers, which is a book about learning, and the O’Reilly Head First page basically summarizes what’s in that book.

This is a very good short talk on how to meditate by Zen Master Bon Yeon:

It can be important to know that when you read a story about a Zen monk gaining enlightenment, that enlightenment may be for just an instant, not a lifetime. This 90-second video explains this.

I’m currently reading The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, and as I read the section on “now” that begins at page 47, I was reminded of how I recently wasted my own time and energy.

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” ~ Epictetus

(I learned of this quote while watching the movie Serendipity last night.)

Wow. According to this chart of performance benchmarks, Apple’s A9 ARM processor is 57% faster than its own A8 chip in single-core performance, increasing from a value of 1,605 to 2,522. (Without digging into it I don’t know what the “unit” is in these numbers. I only know that they are Geekbench values.) Single-core performance is usually the important metric for most applications, and that’s a huge gain.

I bought an HTC/Google Nexus 9 back in January — which is pretty speedy these days thanks to Android 5.1.x — and the new A9 chip is 29% faster than the Nexus 9 in single-core performance.

Without doing some research I don’t know when we’ll learn how many shares of their stock Apple, Inc. (AAPL) bought back during this last fiscal quarter, but it looks like they will have bought back about one billion shares of their stock since 2013. (The last data point on this graph from ycharts.com was July 10, 2015.)

The current buyback amount is roughly 13.9% of the shares that were outstanding in 2013, so even if the company performance was flat, AAPL should have risen by that amount during this time. So, no surprise, their EPS has risen quite a bit, as shown on AAPL’s EPS history on ycharts.com. (Be careful to compare Q1-2013 to Q1-2105, Q2-2013 to Q2-2105, etc., on that graph. When you do that you’ll see how their EPS has risen.)

During this time, AAPL’s adjusted stock price has nearly doubled, from a low around $57 in 2013 to a value of about $114 right now. (Whether or not the stock has doubled depends on which date you choose to look at in 2013.)

This is a song called Letters From The Sky, by a band named Civil Twilight. I learned of the song from the underrated 2011 movie I Am Number Four. (Regarding the song, the side profile of the singer looks a little like my nephew.)

“It’s the best thing for the product.” ~ How an argument about a product at Apple is often settled. (From the book Inside Apple)

“Don’t cut corners. People will feel it.” (from the book Inside Apple)

Fairbanks, Alaska, September 25, 2015. Snow. (It’s about 50 degrees warmer here in the Boulder, Colorado area.)

(I found this image on Sourdough Jack’s Twitter page.)

I’ve noticed several people lately that inflict stress on themselves in such a way that I now refer to this syndrome as self-inflicted stress. My thinking is that these people — for some unknown reason — want or need stress in their lives, so they manufacture it.

As one example, a friend wrote me a “sky is falling” email about situations related to her relatives. My first thought was “These problems have nothing to do with you, why are you stressing about them?”, and — knowing the situations she was writing about — my second thought was, “Nothing has changed since yesterday (or even five days ago), why are you so wound up today?”

As another example, one of my nieces got married recently, and in the days leading up to the wedding I observed several people who are only loosely connected to the wedding itself taking on the stress of the wedding as though they were getting married themselves. Personally I tried to enjoy the moment(s); I haven’t been around a wedding in a long time and I wanted to enjoy it, so I thought how unusual it was that these people would bring/invite stress onto themselves.

Note: At the last moment I was asked to be the videographer for the wedding. Way back when I was married, my wedding pictures were messed up by a relative who my wife’s family had asked to be our photographer, so this was an unpleasant thought for me; I didn’t want my niece to think of me as I think of him. But I took the job — and then the video camera they gave me quickly died. The wedding ceremony was about to conclude, so thinking fast, I took out my phone and began recording the end of the ceremony on it. Then it filled up and I grabbed someone else’s phone, and recorded the rest of the wedding and reception on it. I certainly had stress at this time, but at least it was the stress of trying to do a good job.

I’m not 100% sure what the right term is for this phenomenon, but a term like “self-inflicted stress” or “manufactured stress” seems 98% appropriate.

“I’m like a neurotic shark. If I stop worrying, I’ll die.” ~ Richard Lewis on the tv series Anything But Love

I just started reading the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Mr. Harris worked at ABC News when he suddenly had a panic attack on television in front of more than five million viewers. This is the story about how that incident led to him discovering meditation, and how meditation helped him become “10% happier.”

One of my nieces got marries recently, and I created this “cartoonized” image from a wedding photo using Gimp. It probably took about ten steps in this case, but I had to significantly reduce the light coming in the large window behind them; pump up the color a lot; apply several “artistic” filters to it (Van Gogh and Oilify, several times each); and then kept applying different levels of the “cartoon” effect. I didn’t really want a cartoon image, but I couldn’t get the Oilify image to look the way I wanted in the time allotted, so I applied the Cartoon filter, and I was happier with it.