Pet Peeve of the Week: You Are 'Honoured', Not 'Humbled'!

This one came back to the top of my list after Adele's acceptance speech at the Grammy's a few weeks ago, and then again after watching the Oscar's last night. This faux pas seems to be gaining steam over the past few years. My theory is that it started out as a very purposeful misuse of the word, but as it has been misused more often in very public settings, others have accidentally or ignorantly followed suit.

When you win a major award such as a Grammy, Oscar, Super Bowl MVP award, or Nobel Prize, you are not 'humbled'. You are 'honoured'. The Atlanta Falcons were humbled when they blew a 28-3 third quarter lead in this year's Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. Jean Van de Welde was humbled on the 18th hole of Carnoustie in the final round of the 1999 Open Championship when he shot a triple-bogey when he knew all he needed was a double-bogey to clinch the title. 

Let's start with the definition of 'humbled':

humbled past participle, past tense of hum·ble (Verb)
  1. Lower (someone) in dignity or importance: “I knew he had humbled himself to ask for my help”.
  2. Decisively defeat (another team or competitor, typically one that was previously thought to be superior).

Matthew Hutson at The Atlantic seems to agree with the first part of the my theory, anyway:

Winning an award is about the least humbling thing in the world, and yet when people receive an Oscar or some other illustrious honor, they often say they feel “humbled.” Really, what winners feel is immense pride—and immense fear of being seen as prideful—and so they cover for it by saying they feel the exact opposite, humility. No one wants to come across as cocky.

I believe that is how it started. It was originally done to cover up how proud someone was of themselves. Now, I believe that a lot of people don't know the difference anymore because of all the misuse. Much like many people don't know the difference between ironically and coincidentally due to their ever-compounding misuse. I'm not sure which is worse: doing it on purpose, or not knowing the difference. 

This same topic was covered a few times on one of my favourite podcasts, Hello Internet, dating back to episode 14. I'm totally with Brady on this one. 

Next time you receive some great compliment, win an award, or are generally recognized for some achievement, remember, you should be honoured. 


Tesla Unveils Model 3

This really is a must watch. 

Elon Musk:

Why does Tesla exist? Why are we making electric cars? Why does it matter? Because it's very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport. [...] This is really important for the future of the world. 



Apple, The FBI, and Security

I'm late to the party again, but here's a great summary of this case by Ben Thompson over at his site, Stratechery. He lays out all the angles clearly and in plain language. 


Tim Cook's Full ABC Interview on Showdown with FBI

I'm very late in posting this, but better late than never. This is pretty much must-watch TV for anyone who cares about privacy and security. Most people I've talked to are misinformed or severely under-informed about what this case really means. Do yourself a favour and watch this interview. You'll be much better informed on this precedent-setting case.


Automakers Still Have A Lot to Learn from Tesla

Chris Ziegler, writing for The Verge:

Meanwhile, let's take a look at Tesla's track record. Every Model S and X on the road today runs the same software version, delivered over the air. It started installing the necessary hardware to enable Autopilot a solid year before the feature was actually enabled. Model S vehicles built before that are out of luck, yes, but you have to start somewhere.
But a car from virtually any other automaker is a time capsule. Ford has been pretty good about upgrading Sync on production cars, but that's strictly infotainment — you won't likely get a new instrument cluster UI in your 2016 Ford Fusion, unless there's some sort of weird recall. You won't get a new regenerative braking algorithm pushed to your Chevy Volt as it sits in your garage overnight. Generally speaking, your car will not be made better over time.

I love my Model S, and I can attest to the ongoing improvements. I've received several OTA software updates that improve things like rain-sensing wiper algorithms, maps and routing logic, and even a pretty major UI refresh shortly after I bought the car. It is very much like an iPhone or Android phone that gains new features over time—for free. My car was purchased used, and was built before Autopilot was a thing, but I'm not complaining. In the 4+ months that I've owned it, I've received several improvements, and definitely feel as though I own a better car now than when I bought it.


Everything You Need to Know About Apple Pay in Canada

Daniel Bader over at Mobile Syrup has a nice little FAQ about Apple Pay in Canada. 

The long and the short of it is you need an Amex card, and an iPhone 6/6 Plus or newer, or an iPad Air 2/mini 3 or newer. The big retailers that accept Apple Pay so far include McDonald's, Tim Horton's, Petro-Canada, and Esso. 

Benefits include:

First, Apple Pay is built into the operating system, so there’s no need to open a separate app as you do with a supported banking app, or a third-party solution like UGO Wallet or SureTap Wallet. Apple Pay also natively supports the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint API, obviating the need to enter a separate PIN code.
Apple is also the first mobile payments provider to use a confluence of security protocols, such as unique device and transaction identification, as well as tokenization, which randomizes the associated credit card’s primary account number (PAN) so that in the event of a data breach or theft, the actual credentials are scrambled.
Second, when compared to a plastic credit card’s in-store $100 tap-to-pay limit, Canadians using American Express are only subject to the limits of the merchant’s card machine, or their own card’s credit limit, which is usually much higher.

I got mine set up in about 2 minutes last night. It was easy. But, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. 


The Tesla Model X Launch Event

I'm very late on this one too, but it's definitely worth a watch. Below is a YouTube embed, and here is the link to the official video on Vimeo


How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars

I'm way overdue on linking to this one, as I previously promised. I finished reading it at least a month ago, but I've been rather absent from my site. So here goes. 

This one is Part 3 of a four-part series from Tim Urban's site, Wait But Why. The first two parts were about Elon Musk, and Tesla. The third one, about SpaceX, is a doozy. Unlike my previous posts, I'm not even going to try to pick out the best parts. This post is absolutely epic. It's truly entertaining, informative, and really, really long. But it's so worth it. If you're not up for a long read, I recommend listening to the audio version that Urban posted on SoundCloud. It's a tidy 40,000 words, or 3 hours and 43 minutes long. 

Set aside some time to either read it, or listen to it. So great. 


Tesla's Model X Crossover Will Be Hitting Streets on September 29th

Looks pretty sweet. Although I'm not totally sure I'm sold on the Falcon Wing rear doors. I'll have to see them in person. 


Apple's iPhone 6S Announcement: What to Expect

The folks over at The Verge have everything you need to know about what Apple is likely (or unlikely) to announce on Wednesday. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the new iPhones with better cameras, better aluminum bodies, and the newest Apple TV. 


How Tesla Will Change the World

As a follow up to my earlier post, this is part two of Tim Urban's four-part series on Musk and his companies. So far, this might be my favourite article that I've ever read. I'm really loving Urban's writing style, and of course, the subject matter is right up my alley.

I don't know how to say this without it sounding like hyperbole, but this is a life-changing article for me. Reading an objective take on what we're doing to our planet and all the reasons and motivations behind why we can't and won't change our bad habits is really eye-opening. We all kind of know what we're doing, but almost none of us is doing anything to change the disastrous course we are on. Elon Musk and Tesla are working on that problem. I just hope it's not too late.

Urban starts off by explaining how energy works, as he's building up to talking about electric vehicles vs. gas-burning ones. First, he explains what a joule is:

Almost all of the energy used by the Earth’s living things got to us in the first place from the sun. The sun’s energy is what makes the wind blow and the rain fall and it’s what powers the Earth’s living things—the biosphere.
The joule is a common unit of energy—defined as the amount of energy it takes to apply a force of one newton through a distance of one meter. While the sun’s joules can provide any animal with heat and light, the joules that power all of us from the inside enter the biosphere in the first place when the sun gives them to plants.
That’s how food is invented—plants know how to take the sun’s joules and turn them into food.
At that point, all hell breaks loose as everyone starts murdering everyone else so they can steal their joules.

He progresses from burning wood, to coal (for the steam engine), and then to fossil fuels. I love this section:

The problem is that unlike wood, most of the coal in Britain wasn’t just sitting conveniently on land—it was underground. When the Industrial Revolution got going, the British started digging—they were gonna need a lot of coal. As the revolution spread through Europe and to North America, Europeans and Americans started digging too—they also were gonna need a lot of coal.
As everyone dug, they started finding other things too. They found pockets of burnable air we call natural gas and underground lakes of thick, black burnable liquid we call crude oil. It turns out that this whole time, humans had been walking around with a vast untapped treasure of tightly packed, burnable joules right underneath them. It was like a dog digging in the woods to bury a bone and uncovering an underground cave full of pulled pork.
And what does a dog do who finds a cave of pulled pork? Does he pause to think cautiously about how to proceed or consider consequences for his health? No—he eats the shit out of it. Mindlessly, at full speed.

Urban eventually works his way to Tesla and electric vehicles. He did many weeks of research for this article, and after all that work, here's his take on the future of cars:

I didn’t feel strongly about this topic before I spent a lot of recent time learning about it—and now that I have, I kind of think the only way someone could feel positive about a gas car future is if they’re misinformed, personally financially interested in gas cars, hopelessly old-fashioned, drunk with politics, or kind of just being a dick? Right? They would have to be one of those five things to be super pro-gas car—right?
The battle going on isn’t about gas cars vs. electric cars. That one’s already decided. This is a war about time. Oil companies will try to slow things down, and they may succeed—but they’re not winning this one. I just don’t see how they could. A company that makes lantern fuel can stay strong for a while by shielding the public from understanding what a light bulb is, but eventually, people will figure it out and lanterns will be out of business, bringing the lantern fuel company down with it. Greasy hoods are old, noisy acceleration is old, overheating engines are old, oil changes are old, and it won’t be long before everyone realizes that. A fun field trip in 2050 will be taking your grandkid to see an old 20th-century gas station and explaining how it worked. Driving a gas car is like littering on a camping trail, smoking on an airplane, and throwing a big stack of paper in the trash, and it’s just a matter of time until public disgust catches up to it.

He certainly has a way with words. I strongly, strongly recommend that everyone give this article a read, and pay full attention. It's informative, entertaining, and covers a very serious topic that does and will affect everyone on earth. My next car will be an electric vehicle, and most likely a Tesla. 


Elon Musk: The World's Raddest Man

This first post of a four-part series by Tim Urban, writing on his site Wait But Why. The series will cover Elon Musk and his companies. It's easily one of my new favourite sites, and I'll be linking to all four parts of the series, as they come out (3 are out already). 

One of my favourite quotes from the article:

Chris Anderson, who runs TED Talks, calls Musk “the world’s most remarkable living entrepreneur.” Others know him as “the real life Iron Man,” and not for no reason—Jon Favreau actually sent Robert Downey, Jr. to spend time with Musk in the SpaceX factory prior to filming the first Iron Man movie so he could model his character off of Musk. He’s even been on The Simpsons.

It's kinda long, but well worth it. Elon Musk is seriously working his ass off to change the world—for the better. Everyone should sit up and take notice.


Tesla's Model X Will Launch in September

I'm a huge Tesla fan, and I'm interested to learn more about the Model X. But, I have a feeling that I'm still going to like the Model S more.