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Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

The smartwatch era has done nothing so much as renew my interest in real watches, which have their own type of special intelligence, albeit laid out in intricate arrays of gears and springs rather than written in silicon. Few watchmakers express this intelligence site so wonderfully as Nomos Glashütte, the German manufactory that produces exquisite timepieces with house made movements in distinct, signature cases.

Nomos’ Metro neomatik is especially representative of the brand, with a relatively new movement for the company, which manages to offer a self-finding rotor in an incredibly thin mechanical package, meaning you never have to charge or worry about replacing batteries, but still get a very low profile on the wrist. It’s also very small in diameter relative to most contemporary watches, with a 35mm diameter that also adds to its understated appeal.

Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

The white silver-plated face features small, 60 second markers at the hours, and a subset dial with inlaid textured concentric circles shows the seconds. The minute markers are tiny blue-hued dots and the brand mark is set just above the hour and minute hands. Overall, the dial feels modern thanks to its choice of solid, minimal sans-serif font and a general preference for white space over decoration.

While the Metro neomatik features a small overall diameter as mentioned, I found that it actually wears larger than the numbers would lead you to believe. The very thin bezel and the classic, retro-style lugs lend to this effect, as does the relatively thin 17mm Horween leather band. The diminutive, knurled crown on the right side of the face also gives prominence to the face, and the closeness of the hour markers to the outer edge of the face also help give it a larger look than you might expect. Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

The silvered dial has a slightly off-white look in most lighting, with delicate and sophisticated flecking you can see as you turn it under direct light. It’s a very appealing finish that really sets off the fine detailing in the hour and minute markers, and the slight, natural sunburst effect on the second sundial made possible by its textured circles. It’s definitely a watch that you have to get close to to appreciate in full, but even at a distance these add up to a very fine looking watch indeed

On the Metro neomatik’s reverse, there’s a sapphire crystal display back, which reveals the DUW 3001 in-house caliber created by Nomos. The movement itself is only 3.2 mm tall, which is why the Metro can achieve an 8.06mm overall thickness, including case and front and back sapphire glass. Detailing on the movement, including the finish on the rotor and the rest of the visible surfaces, as well as the tempered blue screws, make the work that goes into the hand-built custom motor easy to appreciate.

Nomos Glashütte’s Metro Neomatik is modern, slim and sophisticated watch

Nomos Glashütte is a watch maker for a very specific type of appreciator, and the Metro neomatik might be one of its most representative offerings in terms of speaking to that audience.

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A win for Apple in Beijing as court overturns iPhone patent ruling

A win for Apple in Beijing as court overturns iPhone patent ruling

Apple has bigger fish frying in the world of

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Stories are the new News Feed

If the camera is the new keyboard, then the future of social media will look more like a slideshow than a Word document. So while Snapchat invented Stories, we’ll have to get used to using them everywhere. 

We can still praise Snapchat, or be pissed at Facebook for changing the apps we use every day, but we have to accept that this our reality now.

Facebook popularized the algorithmically-sorted feed. Tinder popularized yes/no swipes with two-sided consent to connect. Blogger, blogs. Google, PageRank. ICQ, instant messaging. Many of the products we use today are based on broad concepts pioneered elsewhere. The first apps to borrow/steal/copy/”be inspired by” might end up being called clones.

Yet eventually we stop assigning ownership to the originator and shame to followers, and start examining the intricacies of how a mechanic is uniquely implemented.  

Stories are the new News Feed

Snap Inc’s diagram of how Stories works

Facebook hasn’t been shy about this perspective. When Instagram Stories launched , CEO Kevin Systrom told me “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format , and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

A few months late when Messenger Day launched, Facebook’s VP of messaging  David Marcus mirrored this sentiment, saying “ I think the Stories format is definitely a format, the same way the feed is a format.  In different contexts as a format, it just makes sense. In my book, it’s totally cool to look at what’s working out there and try to adapt it to the platform you have.”

Systrom was more forthcoming with giving Snap credit while Marcus seemed to purposefully avoid mentioning the competitor by name in our interview. But both are aggressively pushing these photo/video slideshows in their own products, while WhatsApp added the format in a separate tab and Facebook continues to expand the test of its own Stories feature .  

Stories are the new News Feed

Instagram Stories

The world’s most popular social media company wouldn’t rapidly pivot its four top products towards Stories if   it didn’t see the format as the inevitable future of sharing. It’s essentially communicating that ‘We either get on board or we get passed by’.

When Facebook launched the News Feed in 2006, it was designed for desktop. It was great at letting you type out text statuses on your keyboard, and copy and paste links to other websites, because stuck at home on a computer, there was nothing else interesting to share. With its wide margins, it could splay out text and link blurbs horizontally so they were easy to skim as you scrolled. Photos were more cumbersome, requiring you to shoot on a digital camera and upload them to your computer before sharing them to Facebook.  

That was fine before we all had smartphones. But now both Facebook and Snap are moving towards visual communication . Evan Spiegel wrote in Snap’s IPO letter to investors that “In the way that the flashing cursor became the starting point for most products on desktop computers,

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Technology is killing jobs, and only technology can save them

Technology is killing jobs, and only technology can save them

In the recent presidential election, automation and robotics got a slight reprieve from the accusations that it has been the key driver in job losses in the United States. During the campaign, the conversation shifted, thanks largely to then-candidate Trump’s masterful scapegoating of Mexico and China, while calling out trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as clear and present threats to U.S. manufacturing.

Indeed, the administration continues to downplay automation as a factor in the U.S. economy, because that explanation runs against the political policies it hopes to enact under the guise of improving the conditions of America’s workforce. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dismissed the prospects of artificial intelligence and automation eroding the workforce. In an interview with Axios , Mnuchin said:

“it’s not even on our radar screen…. 50-100 more years” away. “I’m not worried at all” about robots displacing humans in the near future, he said, adding: “In fact I’m optimistic.”

But even as some politicians look to divert attention from the issue, public focus returned to the evils of automation. The New York Times ran a story titled “ The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation,” while the Associated Press explained “Why robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses.”  You get the picture. Technology is killing manufacturing jobs.

And there’s truth in all of these reports. Robotics and automation have been linked to lost manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and even the most pro-technology industry analysts would have a hard time disputing it. But that simple fact raises some complicated questions.

Are we living in historically unprecedented times for job loss? Or is this part of a cycle that predates even the Industrial Revolution? Is it possible to retrain our workforce for these changes? Or will the gap between educated and non-educated workers only continue to grow?

This exceedingly complex issue has no simple solution, and any attempt by politicians to villainize or sensationalize matters will only serve to further its negative impact. Industry and government alike need to take a long, hard look at the effect of automation on industries as a means of maintaining the United States’ role in manufacturing and innovation, while stemming domestic job loss.

Job loss

A number of representatives of pro-automation companies and advocacy groups I spoke with used words like “scaremongering” to describe a spate of recent reports that have raised alarm around the role of robotics in job loss. But when pressed, those same organizations will ultimately acknowledge that automation has been a driver of factory job loss in the U.S., at least in the short term.

It’s pretty simple arithmetic, and something we’ve witnessed time and again. A much-cited Ball State University study suggests that automation has already proven a major driver of job loss this millennium. The paper notes that the decade between 2000 to 2010 marked the U.S.’s largest decline in manufacturing jobs in its history.

Those numbers are supported in part, by statistics from the Bureau of

...

Technology is killing jobs, and only technology can save them

Technology is killing jobs, and only technology can save them

In the recent presidential election, automation and robotics got a slight reprieve from the accusations that it has been the key driver in job losses in the United States. During the campaign, the conversation shifted, thanks largely to then-candidate Trump’s masterful scapegoating of Mexico and China, while calling out trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership as clear and present threats to U.S. manufacturing.

Indeed, the administration continues to downplay automation as a factor in the U.S. economy, because that explanation runs against the political policies it hopes to enact under the guise of improving the conditions of America’s workforce. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dismissed the prospects of artificial intelligence and automation eroding the workforce. In an interview with Axios , Mnuchin said:

“it’s not even on our radar screen…. 50-100 more years” away. “I’m not worried at all” about robots displacing humans in the near future, he said, adding: “In fact I’m optimistic.”

But even as some politicians look to divert attention from the issue, public focus returned to the evils of automation. The New York Times ran a story titled “ The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation,” while the Associated Press explained “Why robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses.”  You get the picture. Technology is killing manufacturing jobs.

And there’s truth in all of these reports. Robotics and automation have been linked to lost manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and even the most pro-technology industry analysts would have a hard time disputing it. But that simple fact raises some complicated questions.

Are we living in historically unprecedented times for job loss? Or is this part of a cycle that predates even the Industrial Revolution? Is it possible to retrain our workforce for these changes? Or will the gap between educated and non-educated workers only continue to grow?

This exceedingly complex issue has no simple solution, and any attempt by politicians to villainize or sensationalize matters will only serve to further its negative impact. Industry and government alike need to take a long, hard look at the effect of automation on industries as a means of maintaining the United States’ role in manufacturing and innovation, while stemming domestic job loss.

Job loss

A number of representatives of pro-automation companies and advocacy groups I spoke with used words like “scaremongering” to describe a spate of recent reports that have raised alarm around the role of robotics in job loss. But when pressed, those same organizations will ultimately acknowledge that automation has been a driver of factory job loss in the U.S., at least in the short term.

It’s pretty simple arithmetic, and something we’ve witnessed time and again. A much-cited Ball State University study suggests that automation has already proven a major driver of job loss this millennium. The paper notes that the decade between 2000 to 2010 marked the U.S.’s largest decline in manufacturing jobs in its history.

Those numbers are supported in part, by statistics from the Bureau of

...