Things Are More Modern-er Than Before…It’s Computers!

After Apple’s most recent earnings call, the company’s stock fell and pundits began another round predictions about its immanent demise.

In response to the hyperbole and Chicken Little-ism, Sloan Schang wrote funny piece at The Bygone Bureau imagining what Jerry Seinfeld would have said if he was CFO of Apple. It ends with:

OK, I need to wrap this up. But first, raise your hand if you use a computer. That’s what I thought. Have you tried doing anything without a computer lately? It’s impossible. You want money from the bank? ATM computer. You want gas for your car? Pump computer. You looking for a news story explaining why your shares dropped 5% even though our gross margin was over 40%? Computer computer. You want to find out what you can do to shrink that eye pod? WebMD. Anyway I guess what I’m saying is, we’re in the right business, people.

Apple aside, that hits the hidden role of tech in the mundane right on the head.

A Modest Proposal for Fanboys

Omar Gallaga at CNN dreams the impossible dream for Apple vs. Samsung: A Peace Treaty.

WHEREAS, the respective Parties, the Apple Fanboys also known as “Apple Fanbois,” “Fanb0yz,” “iPhoners” or simply “The Mac Faithful,” among many other names and the Samsung Fanboys also known as “Apple H4terz,” “Galaxians” or “Androiders” seek a lasting peace, both online and off, and…

WHEREAS, online forums, queues for new products and technology blogs have become polluted with smack talk, useless feature comparisons and Photoshopped ads meant to deride and belittle each others device preference, and… Apple vs. Samsung: Tale of two countries The Number: Samsung the new Apple?

WHEREAS both sets of Parties recognize that a competitive market is both critical and necessary for continued technological innovation to benefit all, especially early adopters…NOW, THEREFORE, the Parties agree to abide by the agreements herein, enumerated in the terms of the articles set forth below:…

Pretty humorous—which is really the only way to react to the absurd behavior out there.

via Shawn King at The Loop.

Apple’s Evolutionary Newton Turns Twenty

When I started my doctoral studies in 1995, I had a great computer, but it wasn’t a laptop. I really wanted something simple that I could take with me to the library and take notes on journal articles. So I bought a Newton and a keyboard. It synced to my Mac. It had a version of AppleWorks, so I could move rtf files back and forth. The screen was big enough that I could write with it. Lots of people in the computer industry mocked it, but it worked perfectly for me. I still remember the amazed look my friend Trevor’s face when it transformed his writing in to text, and then made his little drawing of a bird into a pict.


Gruber on EFF

The incisive, insightful John Gruber on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s manifesto:

The piece is supposed to be a criticism of Apple’s platform design and policies, but really, what they’re doing is criticizing users for enjoying it.

On “Crystal Prisons”, Rights, and the Reality of Competing Values

A couple of days ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released a manifesto on the future of computing, claiming that companies that offer closed computing systems (like Apple and Microsoft) are violating mobile user’s fundamental rights.  I use the term rights here because they use it at the end of the piece in the section “toward a bill of rights for mobile computer owners” and employ phrases like “deprived of liberty.”  The basic thrust of the argument is that all computing devices should be open, meaning that users should be able to add or modify the software and hardware in any way they see fit.  The piece is not long, and is worthwhile reading.

It has generated some pretty thoughtful critical responses within the Apple-using blogosphere.  I won’t go so far as Peter Cohen at the Loop and title this post “The EFF can suck it“, but I do think the EFF’s material is both poorly framed and poorly argued. As is probably the case with all manifestos, they ignore a host of reasonable principles and perspectives in order to try to motivate the masses.


Apple and Foxconn Commit Some Cash

How much and in what percentage is unclear, but according to John Ruwitch at Reuters:

Apple Inc and its key supplier Foxconn Technology Group will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the Chinese factories that assemble iPhones and iPads, Foxconn’s top executive said on Thursday.

Good start, this.  Unfortunate, though, that it is not being covered more in the popular press.  Clearly, the public is not interested any longer.  That means that any hope that there ever was—even a small amount—of pressure being exerted on other tech companies to improve their labor practices has evaporated.

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