Mar
02
2014
1

Apple’s Tim Cook’s tiresome Greenie hypocrisy.

(Via Instapundit) Two things about this story:

At a shareholders meeting on Friday, CEO Tim Cook angrily defended Apple’s environmentally-friendly practices against a request from the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) to drop those practices if they ever became unprofitable.

NCPPR put forward a shareholder’s proposal asking Apple to disclose how much it spends on sustainability programs. If those costs detracted from Apple’s bottom line, the NCPPR demanded that Apple discontinue the programs and commit only to projects that are explicitly profitable. Cook apparently became angry at the group’s request.

…reportedly, Cook said “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”  We’ll get to that in a second, but first off: (more…)

Jul
11
2013
6

More on Apple and the Mighty Anti-Trust Hammer of Maximum Fun.

The entire post by BeldarBlog analyzing the law decision behind Apple’s antitrust spanking is well worth perusing in full, so do so. But here’s a taste.

[Apple CEO Steve] Jobs was bragging in public about the price-fixing conspiracy that his company had organized and executed to fix ebook prices. The reason the publishers were threatening to withhold their books from Amazon altogether was because that was the key term in the conspiracy that Apple was proposing. Unless Amazon agreed to knuckle under to the “agency pricing” model that Apple wanted (because it would eliminate retail price competition in ebooks, to Apple’s benefit, and let Apple compete with Amazon on the basis of hardware, never price) — Amazon wouldn’t be able to sell ebooks at any price.

———–

This whole fact pattern would never make a good exam question in an antitrust course in law school. It’s way too easy. There’s an arsenal of smoking guns. It’s like no one at Apple ever heard of the Sherman Act.

(more…)

Jul
10
2013
9

Hey, did you notice how Kindle ebook prices suddenly dropped a couple of bucks?

Yeah, it was very sweet: Amazon.com apparently got together with the major publishers and they all agreed that the smartest thing to do about this entire electronic publishing thing was to admit that e-books were simply cheaper than dead-tree versions and that pricing should reflect that, because it’s the reader that they’re all here to serve and yes, I’m just bullshitting you; the publishers all settled out of court because the Mighty Antitrust Hammer of Maximum Fun was descending upon all of their heads.  But not Apple!  Apple decided to stay and fight it out.

Silly, silly Apple. (more…)

May
15
2013
6

Use Buycott on *your* sweatshop smartphone to identify corporate malefactors!

Wait.  What?

[Buycott] itself is the work of one Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, who has devoted the last 16 months to Buycott. “It’s been completely bootstrapped up to this point,” he said. Martinez and another friend have pitched in to promote the app.

Pardo’s handiwork is available for download on iPhone or Android, making its debut in iTunes and Google Play in early May. You can scan the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries.

So, basically, you can find out via this app that some company likes to invest in cheap energy or improved crop yields.  You will not find out via this app that the typical user of Buycott is quite hypocritically happy to use an electronic device made in a Chinese sweatshop – but then, we already knew that. (more…)

Feb
26
2013
10

Good afternoon, Apple Computers.

I just wanted to tell you something: once you sell me one of your computers, you do not have the right to tell me what I will do with it.  I understand that your standard customer may be happy enough to allow you to choose FOR them, but I come from a more, ah, self-confident tradition. I don’t need your patronizing – and, quite frankly, provincial – attitude getting in the way of my work. And if I say that your iPads are computers that have been artificially chained down to fit a curiously stunted intellectual ‘vision,’ then they are motherfucking computers and I SHALL break my own one to my will.

Which I have done.

Have a nice day.

Moe Lane

Written by in: Not-politics | Tags:
Nov
18
2011
5

Tell me about it.

Something like this has been every damned problem that I’ve ever had with the iPad:

…except that there’s often one piece of ‘advice’ that either: is in fluent Applese; assumes that you have an Apple computer; or sneers at you for even wanting to fix that problem in the first place.

On the other hand, the iPod is working out pretty well so far.

Written by in: Not-politics | Tags:
Aug
24
2011
2

Steve Jobs retiring. Or switching career tracks. Or something.

No, I’m not jumping up and down in joy: it’s probably medical in nature.  Besides, he’s now chairman (Tim Cook is CEO), so it could also just be a reorganization.

But I still want Flash on the iPad2*, and the ability to use a variety of cameras in iMovie for the iPad2.  Frankly, the iPhone is virtually useless for guerrilla video.  And, while I’m on the subject of iPads: may I point out that the question “Can I get an USB hub for this thing?” should not result in a blank look and a scratching of the head?  – Well, I’m going to point it out anyway.

Moe Lane (more…)

Jul
30
2011
2

PSA for Apple Store employees.

When a harried-looking man carrying a whining and crying young boy stops you and tells you that he needs an USB hub that can connect to an iPad2, do not ask him what an USB hub is.  When he explains to you what one is, do not ask him why anybody would need one of those*.  When he explains to you why, and you tell him that you have no idea what you could sell him, the act of the man then turning around and walking out of the store is an indication that there will be no sale today.

Do not follow him.

I hope that this feedback helps!

Moe Lane

*Because I’d like to download video camera movies… well, hell, I’d just like to download video camera movies, period – which is apparently something that Apple doesn’t want me to do, ever.  But assuming that I ever can, it’d be nice to do it without simultaneously draining battery power, yes?

May
28
2011
4

Apple starts getting scareware.

You know, it’s amazing how even a brief acquaintance with Apple’s customer service* can make the schadenfreude all the tastier:

One of the most pervasive and costly types of infection is now hitting Mac computers, signalling the end of an age of innocence for Apple customers, who until now have been spared many common cybersecurity problems.

Apple didn’t really handle the problem well, either: they apparently seem to be thinking that this was an one-time thing, instead of being the harbinger of The Time Of The Suck that Microsoft has already had to deal with.  Well, they’ll learn – and in the meantime, I’m going to make sure that all of my account information with this company uses a debit card; which will be annoying, but not as much as somebody hacking Apple and running up ten grand on my household’s credit card.

I suggest that the rest of you do the same.

Moe Lane

*It took me an hour and three different people to find out that Apple does not have a clue about what is the iPad equivalent to Powergramo (allowing me to record Skype calls and turn them into mp3s).  I don’t mind – too much – that something like that is only available on real computers; I do mind that Apple doesn’t seem to take demands on my time as seriously as I do, considering that they want to sell me stuff.

[UPDATE]: The person who emailed me this has passed along where he got it from.

May
05
2011
4

iPad2/Skype recording bleg.

I’m in the process of configuring the iPad2 for work use, and I’ve run into a snag: I can download Skype for it, no problem – but I use Powergramo to record Skype calls for interviews, and it doesn’t seem to have a Apple version (yes, yes, I know: I will be typing variants of this statement for as long as I have an iPad2).  What should I be looking for that will do the same job? – I need something that records both ends of a Skype call, with separate audio tracks for each person on the call.

And what do iPad2 people use for audio editing, since they’re apparently not allowed to have Audacity?

Apr
22
2010
--

Gizmodo pushback on iPhone conspiracy theories.

It’s entertaining enough to read the reasons why, no, it’s not really Apple’s style to do a deliberate leak of a gadget that will apparently be out in June anyway and will cause the usual mutliple orga… ah, ‘excite a lot of interest.’  But it’s this paragraph which I think addresses the real reason for the furious theorizing:

Presuming this was a leak is limp thinking. Worse, it hands back the control of the story to Apple because some are more comfortable believing Apple’s machinations are infallible than that they’re a company made up of human beings who try to control the news cycle—and that even the best laid plan can fall apart because of a single human mistake.

Yup.  Don’t get me wrong; I have an old iPod.  I like it. It plays music for long car rides.  But I don’t have an emotional involvement in the company that made it.

Moe Lane

Dec
03
2009
1

Apple ready to *make* you pay attention to ads.

Heeeeeeere’s the situation:

In an application filed last year and made public last month by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is seeking a patent for technology that displays advertising on almost anything that has a screen of some kind: computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices and other consumer electronics.

[snip]

Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn’t simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message.

…and heeeeeeere’s the problem:

It’s amazing how many of these vendors fail to understand Chekhov’s first law of narrative: “A gun on the mantelpiece in act one is bound to go off by act three.” That is, if you design a device that is intended to attack its user — by shutting her out of her own files and processes against her wishes and without her consent — someone will figure out how to use that device to attack its user.

Well, one of the problems. The other major one is that forcing people to maintain constant awareness of what their computer is doing is a very stupid idea.  Particularly if you’re producing for a niche customer base in the first place.  You know how people hate pop-up ads?  This is worse.  Particularly if the company does something really dumb, like integrate this kind of technology into their new iPods.  Fastest way to lose dominance of that particular market that I can think of.

Moe Lane

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