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Home Renovation: Progress So Far

Permalink - Posted on 2015-09-29 20:05

Well, for the last few hold outs reading this blog, I suppose it comes as absolutely no shock that I’ve spectacularly failed to provide updates on my new home renovation project. So here’s a quick run down on the last four months.

Since the house I bought had been a rental there was quite a bit of cosmetic work required before I moved in. Basically every room had some sort of drywall damage. Additionally, ceiling fans had been added to every room — and I hate ceiling fans. So the last four months has been taken up with patching drywall and painting. I also took the opportunity to properly paint the kitchen cabinets. Some living room furniture later and I’m now moved in. There is still plenty to do; including an eventual complete renovation of the kitchen and bathrooms and new flooring. Updates will be posted when I feel like it. A gallery of in-progress pictures is linked below.

a fireplace in the process of being painted


Home Renovation: The Before Pictures

Permalink - Posted on 2015-05-23 17:08

Now for a series of completely self-indulgent posts.

As some who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know, I recently purchased a house. Said house is a three bedroom two bath midcentury ranch house in Tempe Arizona. Since the house was built in 1960—and has been used as a rental for at least the last nine years—saying that it needs some work is a massive understatement. This series of posts will document the work I’m doing on it. The picture below links to a Flickr album of the “before” pictures. I’ll post updates as work is done.

a house with trees in front of it


Beef Stroganoff

Permalink - Posted on 2015-01-16 03:29

Just posted my Beef Stroganoff recipe.


Quick Recipe Updates

Permalink - Posted on 2015-01-11 21:43

I’ve added a few recipes from this Christmas:

Also, I’ve begun adding links to quickly import recipes into Paprika (iOS, MacOS)


We’re Failing the Users

Permalink - Posted on 2014-10-10 17:11

I’ve expressed this opinion before, but some recent experiences and discussions have only served to reinforce my opinion: The technology industry, as a whole, has utterly failed the average user when it comes to security. It doesn’t matter how many improved security features Apple, Google, Microsoft, and company add to their products. It doesn’t matter how many earnest blog posts are written extolling the virtues of strong passphrases, password non-reuse, and two factor authentication. It doesn’t matter how many wonderful password manager applications are written. The bottom line is, for the average user, “security” is a complete mystery and an utter pain in the ass.

Take, for example, a situation I encountered a few weeks ago. A teenage family member received her first iPhone and it fell to me, as the “tech guy” to set it up for her. The first hurdle we met was setting up the iPhone’s passcode1. I initially did the responsible thing and suggested turning off “Simple Passcode” and, at a minimum entering a numeric passcode greater than four numbers. Of course that was met with a blank expression slowly transforming to one of utter horror. I took a deep breath, surrendered to the inevitable, and told her to go ahead and use the four digit code she used on her last phone.

Next we proceeded to setting up a new AppleID/iCloud account. As you can guess the password ended up being the bare minimum that met Apple’s (lax) standards and was—no surprise—almost identical to her existing Google password. By the time we reached the point of deciding between two factor authentication or secret questions I was so demoralized that the best I could do was to try to ensure the questions and answers weren’t trivially obtainable from her Facebook page.

So, what’s to be done? That’s the billion dollar question, and it’s one for which I certainly don’t have an answer. As far as I can see, no one else does either. That’s why I say that we in the technology industry have collectively failed on this issue. The danger is real, it’s only getting worse, and I don’t think anyone is close to a solution yet.


  1. This was an iPhone 5, so no TouchID. 


A New Low In Tech “Journalism”

Permalink - Posted on 2014-09-26 19:38

I take my self-imposed semi-retirement from the world of technology blogging pretty seriously. So it takes a fairly egregious example of ass-hatery to drive me back to the keyboard. sadly just such an example was delivered yesterday afternoon when Bloomberg.com posted a masterpiece of faecal effluvia titled “Apple’s IPhone[sic] Software Snafu Has Links to Flawed Maps” authored by Adam Satariano and Tim Higgins (link omitted for obvious reasons).

To recap, this week Apple released a software update for iOS 8 intended to resolve a few bugs. Most pressing of those bugs was one that caused Apple to pull all HealthKit enabled apps from that App Store after the initial launch of iOS 8. As anyone with an internet connection knows, this 8.0.1 update itself contained a serious bug that disabled cellular communications and TouchID on some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. Understand that I am in no way attempting to mitigate the effects of this mistake, or to act as an apologist for Apple. This was a serious fuck up and it shouldn’t have happened. Although it should be noted that Apple’s response was to immediately pull the offending update, post a recovery procedure online, and post a new iOS update that resolved both the original set of bugs as well as restored cellular and TouchID functionality within a day. As responses go, I don’t think you could ask for better.

Which brings us to the Bloomberg story and the focus of my ire. To summarize the story briefly; the authors, on the word of the ever-popular “people familiar with the matter”, took it upon themselves to reveal the name of a “mid-level manager overseeing quality assurance for Apple’s iOS mobile-software group” and assign him the blame for the bug. Additionally the authors attempt to tie this individual to an earlier Apple software “fiasco”, the less-than-stellar roll out of Apple’s native iOS mapping solution. The rest of the article is irrelevant to my comments here.

Of course this being the Internet, several supposedly “respectable” tech sites have parroted the report, with varying degrees of obfuscation of the individual’s identity. For the sake of shaming the guilty, a list of some of the more prominent offenders as of the time of publishing is listed here:

  • 9to5 Mac, written by Mike Beasley
  • AppleInsider, written by that paragon of journalistic integrity AppleInsider Staff
  • MacDailyNews, written by apparently a ghost since there’s no byline.
  • BGR, written by Chris Smith

In addition to this sorry lot there are the usual collection of shitty “content aggregation” blogs looking to make a quick page-view buck.

Let me state this as clearly as I possibly can. Outing a mid-level manager and exposing him or her to public scorn over this issue is one of the most vile, petty, and unethical acts that I have seen perpetrated by a member of the technology press—and remember that I spent almost 4 years specifically exposing myself to the shittiest the tech web has to offer for you fuckers’ amusement. Satariano, Higgins, their editor at Bloomberg and anyone else who repeats this story are the lowest of the low. Look at the list of offending sites and note who (currently) isn’t there. When you somehow manage to find yourself on the wrong side of an ethical issue that Gizmodo is (currently) getting right you have really fucked up.

I want to be clear. This isn’t an issue of, “we don’t know all the facts”. I don’t give a singular fuck if the cause of the iOS 8.0.1 cock-up was a single individual deciding that he or she was done with this world and just slamming his or her head against their keyboard until a random iOS build was crapped out into the world. There is simply no justification for publicly shaming a non-public Apple employee for this. Exactly two people at Apple bear public responsibility for this issue: Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and CEO Tim Cook. As far as I’m concerned, they have done exactly what they needed to do publicly: fix it, apologize, and move on. Of course Apple should, and no doubt will, investigate this issue to determine the breakdown in process that allowed such a major bug to make it into a public release. However, that is Apple’s business and exactly none of ours. As someone who is an actual Quality Assurance Engineer (albeit not in software exactly), I’ve watched this exact scenario happen on more than one occasion. Software is produced by people and people are, at best, imperfect. What matters is correcting the process.

Unfortunately the sort of thinking that leads to vile character-assassination attempts such as Satariano and Higgins’ piece is become all to common online. It’s a destructive confluence of call-out culture, Internet Outrage™, entitlement, and page-view whoring. Sadly I expect to see this sort of thing repeated in the future. The sick need to feed the page-view monster with the faeces generated by the Internet Outrage Machine™ combined with our new-found sense of entitlement to know the intimate details of anything that we set our sights on (cf. the whole celebrity nude thing) all but guarantees that this will happen again. My only consolation is that relatively few tech sites have run with this non-story.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a properly compassionate take on this issue from iMore and Nick Arnott. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you write about this issue.


Shazam! Why iPhone Integration With Shazam Really Is A Big Deal

Permalink - Posted on 2014-04-21 14:46

Another interesting piece from Tech.pinons looking at the rumored integration of Shazam into iOS 8.

I’ve stated this a few times now but it bears repeating: the most interesting thing happening now in technology is the proliferation and miniaturization of connected sensors. This is the shit that will literally change our lives in the next decade—and yet most tech pundits can only focus on televisions and watches. It’s sad really.


Old Timey Radio Podcasts

Permalink - Posted on 2014-02-11 19:14

Some time ago I decided to stop listening to tech podcasts for reasons which are both irrelevant and well-known to most people. Instead I’ve spent my commutes with old radio dramas from a variety of sources. They have the advantage of generally being under thirty minutes in length and being utterly devoid of technology product rumors. Additionally, they often have some damn fine stories to boot. It occurred to me that some of my readers might be interested in this so I’ve decided to share some of my sources.

One of the most comprehensive sources for radio dramas is Relic Radio. They have mysteries, science fiction, comedies, horror stories, westerns, and war stories. You can find all their podcasts on iTunes.

A show that is a particular favorite of mine is Suspense!. There are a few different podcasts collecting this show, but here is the iTunes link for the one I subscribe to.

Last but not least. Welcome to Nightvale is a newer—and highly popular—podcast drama that takes the form of a community radio show set in a community unlike any other. You can find them here on iTunes.

There you go. Just a few things to listen to that don’t involve self-absorbed bloggers talking about what products Apple should make. You can thank me later.


Grandpa’s iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-23 21:39

I fucking love stories like this. It’s easy for those of us in the upper echelons of computer nerdery to sneer at things like people using iPads as cameras—lords know I’ve been guilty of that myself—but the simple truth is that the iPad continues to provide a gateway into a world that they would otherwise never experience.


How Internet of Everything will Impact Healthcare Insurers

Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-17 16:03

Another insightful piece from Techpinions regarding the “Internet of Everything”, the proliferation of sensors in our daily lives, and the implications thereof. Again, it amazes me that so few people are talking about this. This shit is possibly the most interesting thing in tech today, and yet all the punditocracy natters on about are fucking smart watches.


Thoughts on Google’s Acquisition of Nest

Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-14 15:24

I don’t currently own a Nest product and now that Nest has been purchased by Google I almost certainly will never own a Nest product. Here are my reasons for coming to that conclusion.1

  1. Google has a bad track record of maintaining products: There really isn’t a lot to say here. The record of Google’s long-term maintenance of acquired products is a charnel house of badly maintained and abandoned software and services. While this isn’t a huge problem with software and services, it is a huge issue to me when we’re talking about an expensive piece of hardware that sits at the core of my home’s climate control system.

  2. This purchase is almost certainly not about the product itself: My buddy John Welch made an interesting point on App.net. There is a very good chance that this purchase is more about Nest’s portfolio of patents relating to learning hardware than it is about cornering the thermostat market. Additionally, bringing Tony Fadell into the fold gives Google something that it desperately needs: someone who actually has a clue about consumer hardware design.

  3. Google’s consumer support is atrocious: Well, Google’s enterprise support ain’t no great shakes either but let’s focus on what’s important. Everyone reading this blog has heard stories of Google’s horrific “look it up on the web / here’s a Google Group if your lucky” method of “support”. While that model is (barely) acceptable in the world of software and services it is absolutely untenable in the world of consumer hardware. This is even worse when you consider that the Nest thermostat is a device meant to connect to a system that most consumers have absolutely no experience with and, if installed improperly can theoretically destroy a system that costs thousands of dollars to replace.

    From what I’ve seen Nest has done an admirable job of making the process of tying a Nest thermostat into an existing HVAC system as consumer friendly as possible, but I’ve also read numerous tales of woe from tech luminaries unable to get a Nest thermostat to work with their system. This shit ain’t simple2

  4. I just don’t trust Google: I’ve listed this last, because the previous three points are actually sufficient for me remove Nest devices from consideration but honestly if the previous issues didn’t exist, this would be enough. I simply don’t trust Google to not put it’s all-consuming desire for data above my privacy. In some instances this isn’t an issue to me but when applied to a device that sits in my house tracking my coming and going it crosses the creepy line.


  1. Note that tribal loyalty to Apple is not among these reasons. 

  2. I have a fairly extensive, if not precisely licensed, level of experience with home electrical systems. This stuff is more complicated than the average tech pundit knows. 


Thoughts on Apple’s TV ad “Your Verse”

Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-13 18:50

Dalrymple says pretty much everything I wanted to say about the Apple’s new poetry-infused iPad ad and the reactions to it.

The only thing I would add is this: It amazes and depresses me to see the number of people lauded for their supposed insight into Apple that are incapable (or unwilling) to see what Apple is attempting to accomplish with their recent run of advertising.


The Last Days of the Internet of Everything

Permalink - Posted on 2014-01-10 16:24

Ben Barjarin at Techpinions wrote an excellent article today about the Internet of Things and the proliferation of products sporting embeded sensors seen at this years Consumer Electronics Show. To my mind, the key passage is this:

What these examples show us is the true inevitability that sensors and microchips will be integrated into every day objects we use and provide us with valuable data without having to stick a separate object on us all the time to get that data. What is important to me is the data. And when everything I own which is electronic, and even a great many of things which are not, have sensors and microchips in them I no longer need to worry about wearing a separate object to gather this data.

When you look at it this way it is easy to do the math. How many beds are sold every year? How many golf clubs? How many Tennis rackets? How many soccer balls? How many basket balls? How many pairs of shoes? How many sets of clothes? How many home appliances? You get the picture.

Now, as wonderful as this future may seem few seem to address a critical part of this story. How will this data be managed, accessed, shared, and more importantly secured. What I suggest in this big picture view of the IOE industry is that it brings up massive challenges that will catch many off guard over the next few years. Security and data management being a big one. But also network capacity, spectrum, and a host of other infrastructure issues which are not ready to support the embedded Internet of everything.

One of my greatest frustrations with the majority of tech comentary these days is its blindness to the vast potential—and equally vast dangers—of ubiquitous connectivity and embeded sensors. Instead we get billions of pixels spilled babbling about watches that can show text messages. It’s sad really.


The meaning of really cheap Android

Permalink - Posted on 2013-11-21 16:26

Benedict Evans makes an important point that is getting lost in the “Android has blah blah market share, Apple doooomed” derpery that passes for “analysis” these days. The availability of cheap chipsets and a free operating system is ushering in a world where everything from doorknobs to bulldozers are becoming smart and internet connected. This is science fiction level cool; and yet all the pundits and analysis care about is a fucking horse race.


Will The Real iPad Please Stand Up

Permalink - Posted on 2013-11-02 17:45

The iPad Air is now on sale and making its way into the hands of the blogoratti and the Retina iPad mini will be arriving later this month. Unfortunately this fact heralds the oncoming blitz of self-indulgent tech bloggers smugly proclaiming either the iPad Air or the Retina mini to be the “real” iPad.

This is fucking stupid.

I know that the default narrative in tech punditry is that there can only be one of any given thing in a category but that is a stupid narrative and it needs to stop. Proudly proclaiming that the “real” iPad has arrived, as many did after the announcement of the iPad mini last year only makes you look like an idiot. Playing the same game this year with the iPad Air is just fucktarded.

After the initial iPad announcement in 2010 I wrote a post explaining my rationale for purchasing an iPad. In that post I posited that the iPad shouldn’t be looked at as a laptop replacement, but as a laptop alternative. The relevance of that concept as applied to the iPad Air vs. iPad mini debate is that the “correct” choice for any given person is going to be determined by their existing ecosystem of devices.

For example, prior to the iPad my computing setup consisted of an iMac and an iPhone. The original iPad filled my need for a highly functional portable computer that didn’t force me to replicate my existing OS X environment. That need will now be met by the iPad Air.

The contrary example would be someone who already was using a laptop; perhaps in conjunction with a desktop machine, perhaps not. For that person the original iPad would not have made as much sense and the iPad mini would have been a more likely purchase. Now that the iPad mini is in every respect other than size identical to it’s larger sibling that decision makes even more sense.

In both cases the choice of which iPad is the “real” iPad is based on personal needs. The pundits proclaiming one iPad “realer” than the other are simply projecting their particular situation onto the general public…again


The New Rules Of Tech Journalism

Permalink - Posted on 2013-10-31 18:14

Things have gotten out of hand. Tech writers are given far too much freedom to perpetuate inaccuracies and falsehoods, as well as a generous helping of incompetence these days. That’s why it’s time to put a bit of structure in place for those publications that don’t understand good work from bad work.

Sage words from Harry C. Marks.


Editorial Workflows: New Post

Permalink - Posted on 2013-09-09 23:48

In my previous post about Editorial workflows I demonstrated some simple workflows that didn’t rely on any Python scripting. In this post I’d like to follow up with one of the more complicated Python-based workflows that I’m using for The Angry Drunk.

Since my first post last week there have been a few interesting developments in the world of Editorial. First, just a few hours after I published my post, Federico Viticci announced that he was expanding his Siracusa-class review of Editorial into an eBook. I haven’t had a chance to explore the book yet but if the review is anything to go by, the book should be well worth the price.

Second, the developer of Editorial, Ole Zorn announced a searchable workflow archive.. This is awesome news for those of us interested in developing workflows.

Now on to the workflow.

The workflow I’m going to discuss there is Create New Post. This workflow creates a new Markdown document at the root of Editorial’s local storage with a title and headers based on user input.

This workflow, in its unaltered form, is probably useless to anyone but me. However it could easily be adapted to work with any blogging system that is powered by specifically formatted text files. This workflow is inspired by, and heavily influenced by Gabe Weatherhead’s Create New Time Stamped Files workflows. Here’s how it works:

First the user is prompted to select from a list of post types. The selection is converted to lowercase and saved to a variable postType. Then the user is prompted for a post title, which is saved to the postTitle variable. Next comes a conditional block. If the postType variable is link the user is prompted for a linked-list URL. Of course this is also saved to a variable. Finally the user is prompted to chose a post status from a list, which is converted to lower case and saved to the postStatus variable.

Next a Python script is run.

#coding: utf-8
import workflow
import editor
import datetime

#gather variables
post_title = workflow.get_variable('postTitle')
post_type = workflow.get_variable('postType')
post_eurl = workflow.get_variable('eurl')
post_status = workflow.get_variable('postStatus')

#generate filename
file_name = datetime.datetime.now().strftime('%Y-%m-%d')+'-'+post_title.lower().replace(' ','-')+'.md'

#generate post title and date
post_title_case = post_title.title()
post_date = datetime.datetime.now().strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M')

#generate post metadata
if post_type == 'link':
    post_header = 'Title: '+post_title_case+'\nAuthor: The Angry Drunk\nDate: '+post_date+'\nPostType: '+post_type+'\neurl: '+post_eurl+'\nStatus: '+post_status+'\n\n\n'
else:
    post_header = 'Title: '+post_title_case+'\nAuthor: The Angry Drunk\nDate: '+post_date+'\nPostType: '+post_type+'\nStatus: '+post_status+'\n\n\n'

#generate a file with the generated file name and content
editor.set_file_contents(file_name,post_header)

#return the filename to the workflow.
workflow.set_output(file_name)

The script begins by importing the workflow, editor, and datetime python modules. workflow and editor contain functionality for integration with Editorial workflows and the editor itself. datetime is self-explanatory.

The script then gathers the variables from the workflow via workflow.get_variable() and assigns them to internal variables. Then the script takes the post title, appends the current date, replaces all spaces with dashes and adds “.md” to the end. This code doesn’t check that the resulting filename is valid on a given OS but it will do for most simple titles.

Next the script uses the post title and today’s date to generate the Post Title and Post Date fields used in my Pelican setup. At this point an if/else block generates the header text, including an external link if the post type is “link”.

Then the script uses the editor.set_file_contents() statement to create a file at the root of the local storage1 with the specified filename and contents. The file name is also exported to the output of the action for the next step in the workflow.

Finally, the workflow opens the file that was just created. I enabled the “pause” setting on this action because without it, the workflow often was trying to open the file before it was completely created. The pause setting avoids that issue.


  1. I could write the file directly to Dropbox storage, but that precludes the workflow from functioning while offline. 


iPhone 5S, 5C Leaks: Getting Parts On Alibaba Doesn’t Make You Connected To Apple

Permalink - Posted on 2013-09-09 08:01

I hate Apple product rumors.

I particularly hate the “Look, here is some random piece of metal that was totaly leaked from an Apple factory” bullshit that has formed the backbone of the Apple product rumor machine of late. Thankfully Joshua Schnell at Macgasm posted an awesome take-down of this bullshit this morning. He unveils what most of us in the reality-based media have suspected for some time: Most of this shit is OEM and knock-off parts.


Editorial Workflows: Links, Images & Footnotes

Permalink - Posted on 2013-09-06 01:41

For the past week or so I’ve been playing with the new darling of the iOS text editor world, Editorial. I won’t try to explain Editorial or review it. If you want to know more you should read the canonical review of the app from Frederico Viticci at Macstories.net.

What I, along with pretty much everyone else, have found the most intriguing about Editorial is its powerful Workflows automation system, including the ability to run Python code. In the spirit of giving back I’m going to share a few of the workflows that I’ve built to assist in posting to The Angry Drunk. First up are a trio of workflows that don’t require any Python code.

Disclaimer time: I’m sure that there are ways to accomplish these tasks more efficiently, feel free to prove your superiority in the comments.

The first workflow is Insert Markdown Link. This workflow basically does what it says on the box. When invoked it will prompt the user for the anchor text, the reference id and the link URL, which will be auto-filled with the current contents of the clipboard. Let’s walk through how that works.

The first conditional block is one that I am adding to all my workflows that act on an open document. It checks the filename of the current document and if it’s empty, stops the workflow.

The next six actions display a text-entry dialog asking for the anchor text, reference id, and URL. As mentioned before, the URL text-entry box is pre-populated with the contents of the clipboard — presumably you will have copied a URL from some other location. I could have added some fancy logic to check the clipboard and not prompt for the URL if one is present, but this is quick, easy, and simple. After each bit of text is captured it is saved to a variable.

The next four actions generate the Markdown code for a reference link. [anchorText][referenceText] and [referenceText]: url. Each of these is saved to a variable.

The rest of the workflow places the generated text in the appropriate locations. First the selected text is replaced with the first bit of generated text (for the purposes of this workflow “selected text” can also mean just the caret position if nothing is selected). Next a variable is set that captures the current selection/position. Then the caret is moved to the end of the document and the second bit of text is inserted. Finally the caret is moved back to the position captured before. Easy, peasy.

The next workflow in Insert Markdown Image. Again, this workflow does just what it says. Here’s how:

This workflow also opens with a block to check if an actual document is open. Then, like the Insert Markdown Link workflow, this workflow prompts the user for three bits of text: the image name, the image URL, and any alt text. Also like the link workflow the image URL prompt is pre-populated with the contents of the clipboard. Again the text is saved to a set of variables.

Next is a conditional block that checks if the altText variable is empty. If it is, text in the form ![imageName](imageURL) is generated and inserted at the current caret position. If there is alt text, then the generated text takes the form [imageName](imageURL "altText"). That’s it.

The final workflow is the creatively1 named Insert Footnote. My blogging system, [Pelican][pelican] will generate Daring Fireball style footnotes using the code [^index] \ [^index]: footnote text so this workflow will generate notes in that style.

The workflow starts out with our standard check for an open document.

Next a variable is set with the current time-stamp, to the second. Feel free to edit that to work with whatever scheme you may use. Since I’m displaying footnotes on my main page, the indexes need to be unique. Time to the second meets that requirement, even if it is unwieldy.

Then the user is prompted for the footnote text. This will look something like this:

footnote

Next the same trick used in the Insert Markdown Link workflow replaces the current selection with the footnote index code, moves the caret to the end of the document, inserts the footnote text code and moves the caret back to the original location. Bang, you gots a footnote.

All three of these workflows were used while writing this post — as well as a few that I’ll detail in the next few posts.

Have fun.


  1. Hey look at me writing a footnote… 


Some thoughts on the Rolling Stone Tsaranaev cover

Permalink - Posted on 2013-07-18 15:21

Warning! Political content ahead

My good friend Peter Cohen has some thoughts on the outcry over Rolling Stone’s cover featuring the Boston Bombing terrorist Dzhokhar Tsaranaev.

The whole point of the cover is to demonstrate the paradox of the Boston Marathon bombings – that this wasn’t carried out by some swarthy “evildoer” in an Afghanistan cave wearing a turban – this was done by a kid that could just as easily be your neighbor, your boyfriend, or your college roommate.

We’ve watched our constitutional freedoms dissolve since 9/11 in a miasma of panicked, ill-thought-out responses to a largely invisible enemy. Here’s another opportunity for us to show we’re better than them, and, as usual, we’re fumbling the fucking ball.

I couldn’t agree more.

It saddens me to see the Internet Outrage Machine™ being ramped up in service of the goals of terrorism. By reacting to a fucking picture of a terrorist by cowering and calling for boycotts we’re effectively doing the work of the terrorists for them.


Good On You Macgasm

Permalink - Posted on 2013-07-17 20:01

Joshua Schnell at Macgasm has announced that they will no longer be covering Apple rumors.

…I can’t really stomach writing the same story year after year. You can pretty much take an entire years worth of iPhone rumors, and rewrite them again the following year by changing iPhone 5 to iPhone 6. I’m not even joking, it happens a lot.

This is welcome news. The entire Apple product rumor ecosystem is a toxic cesspool that hasn’t generated anything other than page-views in years and it’s high time that “respectable” Apple news outlets stopped pandering to it. Hopefully more sites will follow this example so we can return to those heady days when people writing about Apple put some actual effort into it instead of acting as stenographers for Digitimes.


Layered Glass, The Nothing UI

Permalink - Posted on 2013-07-10 16:05

There’s been tons of commentary about the visual design of iOS 7. Most of it has been stupid, a few bits very good. I think this take is one of the best.


WWDC 2013: Can’t Innovate My Ass

Permalink - Posted on 2013-06-24 17:44

One of the more dramatic reveals during the 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWC) Keynote presentation was the unveiling of the newly designed Mac Pro. To review some history: the Mac Pro, in its current incarnation, is a workstation-class desktop computer initially released in August 2006. The latest revision to the Mac Pro line was released in June 2012. In terms of the Macintosh product line, the Mac Pro traces its linage directly back to the Macintosh II.1 While the specifics of this type of computer have necessarily evolved over the years, there are a few key items that have always been considered essential to the definition:

  • Desktop” or “Workstation” class CPU
  • The ability to install large amounts of RAM
  • Fast and plentiful options for external connectivity
  • Available options for added internal storage
  • Available options for internal expansion via slots.
  • Connectivity for external displays

For people of a certain vintage—myself included—this is the very definition of a “computer”. It’s also a definition that Apple has turned on its head.

Of the points listed above, I’d argue that there are really only three that are unique to the Mac Pro among the Apple product line. Those would be the high-end CPU and the internal storage and expansion slots. Every other Apple computer2, from the lowliest MacBook Air to the 27 inch iMac share the other points to a greater or lesser extent. It is interesting, then, that Apple has deleted two of those “Mac Pro only” features from the new Mac Pro: specifically the ability to add additional internal storage and expansion cards.

I’d argue that Apple has taken this route because they have the ability, possibly unique among major PC vendors, to ask what is the actual job a product is intended to do.

I’d like to take a brief aside to point out that I’m not necessarily arguing that Apple is making the right choices with the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro has yet to be released to the market, and will succeed or fail on its merits. What I want to focus on is the culture within Apple that allows the experiment to even be performed.

I think it’s safe to say that, when faced with the task of producing a next-generation workstation computer, any other computer manufacturer in the market today would have taken a familiar path. Slap in the latest Intel processor, give it a shit-ton of internal RAM slots, HD expansion bays and PCIe slots, bolt on a few of the current industry standard expansion ports (as well as a full complement of every port used in the last fifteen years—who knows, someone may want to use their $5000 workstation with a PS/2 mouse and a VGA monitor) and call it a day.

What Apple has done with the Mac Pro is go back to the drawing board and ask, what does a “workstation” do, and how can it best get that job done.

As I wrote above, the current generation of Mac Pro, along with the Dell workstation I used as an example, trace their design linage back to the dawn of personal computing. Things have changed vastly since then. Now, instead of “massive storage” meaning a shit-ton of spinning disks crammed into the chassis, professionals are using Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. Instead of “expansion” meaning a motherboard the size of a pizza box to accommodate an array of expansion slots, “expansion” is being handled by fast busses such as Thunderbolt 2. Instead of performance being solely determined by the clock-speed of the CPU, high-end computing applications often utilize parallelization to leverage massively parallel GPUs.

Apple obviously looked at those trends and engineered a product to leverage the new realities of computing. Will the Mac Pro succeed? Only time and the market will tell. What the very existence of the new Mac Pro tells us is that Apple is not done looking at products and questioning the assumptions behind them—and that is what real innovation is.


  1. Of course, outside of the Macintosh product line the lineage continues even farther back. 

  2. I’m explicity excusing iOS devices here, so don’t start with me. 


App.net Invitations

Permalink - Posted on 2013-06-19 14:33

The good people at App.net have graciously provided me a link so that readers here can sign up for the services’ free tier.

For those who don’t know. App.net is an open service that provides a backbone for developers to build amazingly cool services and applications. Some of the sorts of things people are building on App.net include file-sharing and storage, location check-ins, group messaging and, of course, Twitter-like social netorking. The Free tier allows you to follow up to 40 people, gives you 500 MB of App.Net storage and allows you to upload files 10 MB or less. Free accounts can be upgraded to full accounts for $36 a year or $5 a month.

I’m finding myself posting more to App.net every day, so if you want to keep the angry drunkenness flowing, give App.net a try.

Click here to sign up for App.net


WWDC 2013: Apple’s Signature

Permalink - Posted on 2013-06-17 16:43

A week ago today Tim Cook and other Apple executives delivered the Keynote address to the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). You can read extensive coverage of the event at any number of tech blogs, but a quick list of the announcements includes OS X Mavericks, updated MacBook Airs, iWork for iCloud, iTunes Radio, a re-imagined Mac Pro, and iOS 7. Having had a week to digest the information it’s now time to reflect on what they mean for Apple. In future posts I’ll go into specific thoughts on the individual product announcements but for now I want to focus on the overall tone of the Keynote and the future of Apple.

One comment that I’ve seen bandied about that I absolutely agree with is that last Monday’s event marks the first Apple event of the truly post-Steve Jobs era. It’s true that there have been several Apple announcements since Steve’s retirement and passing, but I really feel that this Keynote is the first one that was wholly conceived by an Apple under Tim Cook’s regime — and it was awesome.

If there is one word that could be used to characterize the performances given by Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Craig Federighi on stage it would have to be “relaxed”. Instead of the focused intensity of a Jobsian event we had executive cracking-wise about “green felt” and “innovation my ass”. This was a presentation delivered not by an authoritarian leader, but by a collaborative team. I’m heartened to see Tim Cook realize that his strengths are not Steve’s. Much has been made of the changes that Tim Cook has made in the last year to Apple’s product management structure. I think it’s obvious from Monday’s event that a Cookian structure of collaborators can work just as well, if not better, than a collection of independent fiefdoms.

There was another thing Apple unveiled on Monday, not a product explicitly announced at the Keynote, but something that I think is crucial to understanding Apple and its corporate vision. It takes the form of a set of videos, one that was shown before the keynote and a television commercial that has been running in heavy rotation. You can view the videos on the page that Apple has created for them here. I believe that, together, these videos lay out Apple’s vision of the future. The text of the advertisement is as follows:

This is it.
This is what matters.
The experience of a product.
How it makes someone feel.
When you start by imagining
What that might be like,
You step back.
You think.

Who will this help?
Will it make life better?
Does this deserve to exist?
If you are busy making everything,
How can you perfect anything?

We don’t believe in coincidence.
Or dumb luck.
There are a thousand “no’s”
For every “yes”.
We spend a lot of time
On a few great things.
Until every idea we touch
Enhances each life it touches.

We’re engineers and artists.
Craftsmen and inventors.
We sign our work.
You may rarely look at it.
But you’ll always feel it.
This is our signature.
And it means everything.

Designed by Apple in California.

I can sense already the response from the more cynical in the audience: “overblown bullshit” and “hippy claptrap” but I think this perfectly captures the spirit of Apple. It addresses the constant calls from the Wall Street analysts and ADHD-addled gadget bloggers for Apple to move into every possible market and sector. It explains why Apple’s executive team takes such umbrage at shoddy knock-offs. More than anything, though, I think it lays out, in as explicitly a way as is possible, the “vision” foolish writers claimed Tim Cook failed to articulate in his D11 appearance:

We spend a lot of time
On a few great things.
Until every idea we touch
Enhances each life it touches.

In my opinion this has been, from the return of Steve Jobs at least, the singular goal of Apple. Not to make all the moneys, not to dominate markets, not to impress bloggers but simply to make products that enhance our lives.

I know that the neo-Luddites and hipster cynics will scoff at that statement. My response to them is simply “fuck you”. With the iPhone a large number of people now carry in their pockets a device with more computing power than the vast majority of humanity has ever experienced. A device that puts the sum total of human knowledge and culture at, literally, our fingertips. A device that enables communication and collaboration across the world.

I look at my mother, 71 years old, who has never used a computer in her life. She now uses her iPad habitually to access information. The iPad has empowered her more than any single device created in the last fifty years, and it has done that job so seamlessly that she barely even notices.

This is Steve Jobs’ vision, it’s Tim Cook’s vision, it’s Apple’s vision and the signature is their promise to keep trying to live up to that vision.


The Real Problem with iOS Concept Videos

Permalink - Posted on 2013-05-14 16:00

My pal Harry C. Marks writing for Macgasm recently wrote an interesting post examining the way design nerds are missing the point of iOS concept videos titled This Week in “Nerds Ruin Everything”: iOS Concepts.

It’s a well written post that cuts to the core of why designers produce things like operating system concept videos and product mock-ups:

These designs, regardless of how realistic they may be when compared with Apple’s design guidelines, are less about expectations and more about building résumés. To waste pixels and time deconstructing how un-Apple like they are misses the point entirely.

Harry’s dead right that the point of concept videos and product mock-ups is not to predict the future direction that Apple, or any company, might take their products. It’s to show what the designers themselves are capable of. Anyone judging the video or mock-up itself is missing the point in the worst way possible.

On the other hand, there is one group using these concept videos and mockup who absolutely need to be called on their bullshit. That is the gadget blogs who use these proposals as more grist for the shitty-rumor-pageviews-mill. Cases in point:

Let’s start with this shitty article from the Huffington Post UK, iOS 7 Concept Video: Is This The Future Of The iPhone? (VIDEO). I don’t know Huffington Post, could some random video that you cribbed from TUAW be the “future” of the iPhone. Wait, I do know, and the answer is fuck you.

The next example in out shit-parade comes from Tom’s Hardware (The Authority on Tech) who feels that Concept Video iOS 7 Hints at Possibilties. This turd features a staple of the current crop of shitty commentary about Apple interfaces, the retarded slam at Scott Forstall:

With the recent departure of Scott Forstall (former Senior VP of iOS Software Dev), Apple have subsequently replaced him with Jony Ive. With this change in management many people are hoping to see some major changes in the UI of iOS. Previous versions of Apple’s mobile operation system have all had their ups and downs, but with a consistent cry from the public to change the notifications system and user interface.

Yeah, that dick Forstall. I mean what did he ever do for Apple1. I have a wake-up call for the author of this crap: “People” aren’t hoping for major changes. “The public” isn’t crying out for changes to the user interface. The only people clamoring for those things are change-obsessed gadget geeks—and they aren’t people.

Moving on, TUAW takes hyperbole up another notch with iOS 7 concept video shows intriguing possibilities. Ooooh, I’m intrigued. Wait, no I’m not. What’s the opposite of “intrigued”, “outrigued? Is that a word? Fuck you, it is now.

The Next Web likes itself some overblown language with the headline A stunning concept of what Apple’s iOS 7 could (and perhaps should) be like [Video]. This particular piece is based on the Simply Zesty concept that Harry writes about in his article. Now, I grant you that the video itself is a decent enough bit of work (bearing in mind its true purpose) but the design proposed shows a complete lack of understanding of Apple and Apple’s design aesthetic. That’s fine when you’re showing a design as an example of your skills. It’s completely fucking unacceptable when you are a major tech blog proposing that this design is something that Apple (perhaps) should adopt.

I could go on — seriously I have another 5 tabs open in my browser right now with similar bullshit — but there’s really no need to. This is the problem with design concept videos. It’s not that they exist. They exist for good reasons and, when viewed in that context, can be useful. It’s when the shit-bags in the gadget press use them as yet another arrow in their quiver of rumor-mongering bullshit that they become annoying.


  1. Well, other than bring the iPhone from a concept to the most dominate smartphone is history. But other than that he was useless. 


Announcing Recipes

Permalink - Posted on 2013-05-13 19:13

One of the non-tech things that I like writing about most on this site is cooking. Amusingly enough, the most frequently viewed posts on the site have consistently been my various recipe posts. Given that, I’ve decided to collect my recipes into a centralized location. There is now a new item in the site’s menu that leads to a list of my recipes. These aren’t anything special, just some things I’ve had work out well for me.

Enjoy!


Nerds Ruin Everything

Permalink - Posted on 2013-05-08 16:40

It pains me to write this post. Not just because people I know and generally respect are going to see themselves reflected in the statements I’m about to make and will inevitably take offence at them — but also because merely broaching some of the topics I’m discussing here will trigger the very behavior I’m complaining about just as surely as saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror or mentioning Mike Daisey on Twitter will summon them from the depths of Hades. Nonetheless, the time for silence is over.

Nerds ruin everything.

There, I said it: nerds ruin everything. From science fiction, to technology, to food, to personal grooming — once the nerds arrive in force, things go to shit.

What I’m talking about here is a very specific characteristic of nerdhood: the compulsion to not only over-analyse and pick apart any aspect of human existence to the point that there isn’t a single iota of joy left in the thing but to righteously and arrogantly proclaim that their personal preference vis-à-vis that topic is the one and only correct opinion.

Case in point, and the final example that drove me to the keyboard: Recently on App.net there was a “debate” — running for at least two days — over fucking peanut butter. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t welcome a robust discussion about nut butters. I actually quite enjoy people sharing their opinions about things. Often during such discussions I’ll learn about something that I never knew about — this is a good thing. What isn’t so good is the inevitable declaration from some nerd that their preference is the only valid one, and everyone else is an uneducated Philistine. One could argue that the App.net discussion was all in good fun — and for some parts of it I’d agree with you. Unfortunately the nerd obsession with holding the One True Opinon™ comes through in many of the responses.

Sadly this shit isn’t limited to App.net nut butter debates. It permeates the very fabric of online discussion.

I don’t think regular readers of mine will have any problem recognizing this behavior in discussions about technology. CLI vs. GUI, Mac vs. PC, iPhone vs. Android, Google vs. Apple. This shit happens so often in the tech world that my Angry Mac Bastards cohorts and I coined a word to describe the mindset: Highlanderism. It’s rarely enough for a technology, product, or company to merely do well. It must utterly dominate any and all competitors. Similarly, the average technology nerd is all but incapable of accepting that someone might make a different choice than them. Apple users are “fanbois” who only care about looks and don’t use their tech for “real” applications. Android users are “freetards” who just want something cheap and can’t appreciate the divine products that sprung, Athena-like, from Steve Jobs’ forehead et cetera, et fucking cetera.

In my experience, though, the absolute worst offenders when it comes to this shit are food nerds, or “foodies” as they are sometimes called. Take this Serious Eats article about making the “best” grilled cheese sandwich. Now bear in mind we’re talking about grilled fucking cheese here. Any definition of “best” will be highly subjective but that’s not what I want to point out here. What I want to highlight is the utter fucktardery of some of the comments. Take this gem from commentor JRWStormy:

This is why, regardless of the fact that I love a lot of what goes on here, I’ll never take Serious Eats, um, seriously. You can’t call yourself a food blog, and a “serious” food blog at that, when you’re such fanboys of “pasteurized processed cheese food.” It comes up all the time at A Hamburger Today, and now there’s a Food Lab post (by a Beard Award nominee, no less) advocating for the use of fake “cheese.” If the government requires them to put the word “food” on the label so you’ll know it’s food, it’s not food.

Oh Lordy! How could these heathens recommend “fake cheese”. Ignoring the fact that processed cheese, while possibly not up to one’s delicately honed foodie tastes, is by no means “fake” the original article—in the next fucking paragraph—goes on to recommend Gruyère, Compté, Fontina, Taleggio, Brie, or any young cheddar. But no, a cheese that doesn’t live up to some random twat on the internet’s refined tastes was mentioned…HEATHENS!!

I could go on. It would be trivial to find uncounted examples of this shit in forums, blog posts, and social media discussions by the thousands; but what’s the point. I despair of changing this behavior, but I’ll try with this advice:

Nerds, you who feel so passionately about the trivial shit that most of the world gives no fuck about, hear me. Understand that other people may hold different opinions than you without it reflecting on your choices. Understand that people’s preferences are shaped by many factors. If someone prefers cheap supermarket peanut butter (laden with “bad stuff” though it may be) or chooses to make a sandwich with Kraft Singles that does not make them a horrible person. Maybe they like the taste of Jif because it calls to mind the simpler times of childhood when the very last thing on their mind was the ingredients list on their PB&J. Maybe they like a good old grilled Kraft Single sandwich because it reminds them of the lunches their now-departed father made them as a kid. Who fucking knows, and more importantly it ain’t yours to fucking judge.


Using Forecast.io With GeekTool

Permalink - Posted on 2013-04-16 01:38

Lately I’ve been feeling the itch to get back to honing my coding and scripting skills. The problem, for me, has always been that I have a very difficult time focusing on learning a language or toolset without a specific application to motivate me. To that end I decided recently that I would very much like to use Forecast.io’s public API to drive my GeekTool weather display.

For those who don’t know Forecast.io offers a public API with pretty generous terms for this sort of usage. Basically you get 1000 free API calls a day. That’s more than enough to update the weather every two minutes or so.

So, without further ado, here is my (extremely) quick and dirty Python script to pull down the local current weather conditions and display the summary and current temperature. I have GeekTool set to run this every 120 seconds. Fair warning, this script is amateur work to the point of silliness. I’m positive there are better ways to do pretty much all of it.

#! /usr/bin/python
# coding=utf-8
import json
import urllib
json_data=urllib.urlopen("https://api.forecast.io/<APIKEYGOESHERE>/<COORDINATESGOHERE>?exclude=minutely,hourly,daily,alerts,flags")
data=json.load(json_data)
strSummary=str(data["currently"]["summary"])
strTemp=str(round(data["currently"]["temperature"],1))
end="°F"
output=strSummary+', '+strTemp+end
print(output)

There you go. Comments are welcome, but dickishness will be met with extreme violence.


Dropbox as a Content Repository

Permalink - Posted on 2013-04-04 20:35

In my previous post regarding the technical changes that I made when rebooting the blog here I mentioned that the one aspect of the new setup that I considered to be novel enough to merit a separate post was using Dropbox as a universal content repository to allow me to administer the site from anywhere with Dropbox access. This is that post.

First some background. When I initially began to scope out switching The Angry Drunk to a static blogging engine, one of my hard criteria was the ability to author content and manage posting from my home Mac, my work PC, my iPad, and even my iPhone. The nice thing about most static engines is that they accommodate that requirement by avoiding control panels, web apps, and databases and simply working from a directory or directory of text files.

My initial thought was that I would use some sort of file-transfer software, such as that built into Panic’s Diet Coda to handle the file transfer and use the ssh abilities of the app or Panic’s Prompt to handle the command line stuff. That system would have worked, but it would have been annoyingly clumsy.

Fortunately, while reading the many useful articles that Gabe Weatherhead has written about his transition to Pelican I came across a link to a post detailing how to setup Dropbox on a remote host. I’ll forego going through the Dropbox installation and setup — as the post does a better job of that than I could. Of course, if anyone has any specific questions feel free to hit me up.

One I had installed Dropbox I ran into my first issue. During the setup I naturally attached the server to my normal Dropbox account. About 30 seconds after hitting enter I realized what a mistake that was. The last thing I want is my entire Dropbox directory mirrored on the paltry two gigabytes I’m paying my hosting provider for. I quickly canceled the transfer, deleted the Dropbox directory and had myself a think.

While it is possible to control what directories are synced to a particular host via Dropbox, configuring that on the command line was more effort than I was willing to put into this. What I ended up doing was signing up for a new Dropbox account that will be used solely for this site. I then deleted all the crap that Dropbox adds by default and created a single pelican directory there. I then shared that directory with my personal account so it now shows up in every place I have Dropbox.

Inside the Dropbox-hosted pelican directory I placed all of Pelican’s support files as well as the content directory that Pelican looks for. The structure looks like this:

pelican
|--configuration
|   |--pelicanconf.py
|   |--pelicanconf-pub.py
|   |--publish.sh
|--content
|   |--annex
|   |--blurbs
|   |--extra
|   |--images
|   |--links
|   |--pages
|   |--post
|   |--tools
|--logs
|   |--pelican.log
|--themes
    |--tad

The configuration directory contains Pelican’s configuration file(s) and a small shell script that manages rebuilding the site. The content directory contains the raw Markdown files that build the content.

The content is segregated into directories based on the post type (posts, pages, blurbs, annex posts, and linked-list items). The images directory contains image and video files. The extra directory contains web-server support files such as .htaccess and robots.txt. The tools directory contains my mint and Fever° installations.

The logs directory contains a logfile that I’ll explain in a bit.

Lastly, the themes directory contains the templates and CSS that make up the site’s custom theme.

Because this is all contained in my Dropbox directory, and because everything in here other than media assets is a plain-text file, I can edit these files, and thus the site, anywhere that I have a text editor and Dropbox.

The final bit of this whole system, and the part that I’m somewhat proud of is the publish.sh file and the two Pelican configuration files. The reason there are two configuration files is that one has content and output paths that make sense on my local iMac, while the other has paths that make sense on the web server. I have a publish.sh script on my iMac that calls the first local-config file while the server-side script calls the remote-config file. This way I can build the site to my local machine for testing, or the remote host for publishing —using the same content and theme files— by choosing which script to run.

For reference, here is what publish.sh looks like:

#!/bin/bash
echo "begin sitebuild - publish" >> /home/dlines13/pelican/logs/pelican.log
date >> /home/dlines13/pelican/logs/pelican.log
/usr/local/bin/pelican /home/dlines13/pelican/content -s /home/dlines13/pelican/configuration/pelicanconf-pub.py >> /home/dlines13/pelican/logs/pelican.log 2>&1
date >> /home/dlines13/pelican/logs/pelican.log
echo "end sitebuild - publish" >> /home/dlines13/pelican/logs/pelican.log

Going through the script line by line the script writes a header to the pelican.log file, writes the date and time to the log file, runs Pelican calling the “publish” configuration file and writing any messages to the log file, writes the date to the log and finally writes a footer to the log.

In addition to manually running publish.sh my web server also has a cron job to run the script every 30 minutes.

So my workflow goes like this:

  1. Write a post in whatever text editor is at hand
  2. Save it to the appropriate folder in Dropbox
  3. SSH into my host and run publish.sh or
  4. At a minimum wait up to 30 minutes for the cron job to run the script.

There you go.


Macworld/iWorld Rescheduled to Late March

Permalink - Posted on 2013-04-01 16:46

This seems like the sort of lame-shit joke that a tech blog would make on April 1st; but apparently it’s legit.

This is probably a good move on IDG’s part. I can speak from personal experience when I say that attending the conference in late-January / early-February has been a pain in the ass. For example, here are the factors that I have had to overcome to attend past shows:

  • My company resets all vacation time on January 1st, and I don’t accrue enough to cover all of Macworld by late January.
  • Because my company resets vacation time at the start of the year, I usually take a large chunk of time in late December. It’s a bit awkward to ask for the better part of a week off a mere month later.
  • January 31st is the end of my company’s fiscal year. That means we’re usually rushing to complete our courseware releases that week to meet our End-of-Year goals.

March 27—-March 29 will be vastly more convenient for me, and I imagine for many others as well.


The Angry Drunk 3.0 - Technical Changes

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-27 17:28

As mentioned earlier, in relaunching the site I decided it was time for some major architectural changes. Previously The Angry Drunk was a self-hosted WordPress blog. As of now it is a self-hosted static blog powered by the Pelican static blogging platform.

I’ve been asked why I moved to a static platform. Honestly it had nothing to do with page-load speeds, or database loads, or possible Fireballing (like that will ever happen again). Properly configured and maintained, a WordPress blog can be just as secure and speedy as a static blog. The problem is the word “maintained”. Keeping a WordPress blog properly updated is constant work. I intimated in earlier posts that just writing here has become a chore—imagine how much of a chore it was to keep WordPress updated for a blog I had no interest in.

So why Pelican? Honestly, no real reason. I’ve been auditioning static blogging engines for some time, and they’re all about the same. Pelican’s internals were easy enough to work with and its templating system is a breeze. My major deciding factor was the excellent articles that Gabe Weatherhead has written about his migration from WordPress to Pelican at the Macdrifter blog.

This is the point where I’m supposed to write-up my journey from database hell to Markdown bliss…sorry, ain’t gonna happen. If you’re interested I highly suggest reading Gabe’s articles. Just do a search on his site for “pelican” and read there. If anyone has any specific questions I’d be happy to answer them in the comments or via email or Twitter. One part of my setup that I will write up in detail is how I’m using Dropbox as a universal content repository so I can manage this joint from anywhere with Dropbox access—but that will come later.

Now to comment on some specific changes:

  • The theme has been updated slightly. Call it “flat design” call it “minimalist” whatever.
  • Site search is now being handled by DuckDuckGo. Since the URL scheme hasn’t changed, things should just work. If they don’t let me know.
  • I’ve left the Disqus comments enabled. It was honestly more work to remove them.

There you have it. The Angry Drunk 3.0 is now live.


The Angry Drunk 3.0

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-27 16:00

Welcome to The Angry Drunk 3.0, the third major revision of this site. As any of the few remaining readers here know, the posting frequency here has fallen off drastically in the last few months. There are few reasons for this—which I won’t dive into too deeply here—but the upshot is a complete revamp of the site; including a new architecture and, hopefully, a new focus. The majority of my reasons for pulling back from tech blogging can actually be summed up in an earlier post. To quote myself:

The simple truth is, the thought of writing another “take-down” of some other blogger’s dumb-shit opinion now leaves me sick to my stomach. The fact is, those of us who tried to shout down the rising tide of fucktardery were about as successful as King Cnut’s attempt to command the waves. The rumormongers and financial bloggers and gadget obsessed hipsters won. Oh well, c’est la vie.

My stance on this hasn’t changed. As far as I’m concerned, the tech blogosphere has collapsed into a largely worthless echo-chamber filled with idiotic babble about Apple’s share price and moronic product rumors. As a result I’m officially re-launching The Angry Drunk in the way I first intended to run it almost six years ago. I’ll expand on my intended content changes below and the technical changes in a later post.

I suppose the easiest way to explain my intended vision for the content here is to start by explaining what The Angry Drunk will not be. The Angry Drunk is not:

  • yet another lame clone of Daring Fireball or The Loop. I don’t want this taken the wrong way. I have a great deal of respect for John Gruber and Jim Dalrymple. I also think that there are many other people out there writing smart, insightful things about tech. There’s also a massive echo-chamber that repeats the same trite “analysis” and bandies about links to said “analysis”. Maybe these sites are in it for the Google juice, maybe they just took a look at Daring Fireball and decided that that’s how things are to be done. Either way, it adds little to the discourse and I refuse to be a party to it any longer.

    That isn’t to say that I’m never going to post a “linked-list” style item again. Or never comment on someone else’s analysis. It does mean that I will strive to link to content that hasn’t already taken a turn though the echo-chamber and refrain from commentary where I can’t add anything of significance.

  • exclusively focused on technology and Apple. I’ve always tried to keep The Angry Drunk from becoming an “Apple” blog—what with the political, food and other miscellaneous posts. In keeping with the above point I’m going to be making an extra effort to write about the things that interest me and hopefully will interest my readers.

  • an exercise in self-indulgence. I know. By merely existing this blog is an exercise in self-indulgence. To be brutally honest; if the majority of blogs—tech or otherwise—were to disappear from the face of the planet no one would be worse off.

    What I’m referring to here is the recent emergence of a certain class of bloggers who seem to think that they’re the second coming of David Foster Wallace. We get it, you have deep, profound things to say about the state of artisanal Peruvian footwear. That doesn’t mean that every shimmering golden phrase that slides so effortlessly from your buckling-spring keyboard is inspired by Calliope herself. If the blogosphere in its entirety were to take itself far less seriously the state of discourse would improve immensely.

  • not a text version of Angry Mac Bastards. I realize there’s a certain irony to this statement given that it was my ranting here that introduced me to my AMB partners in crime. These days, however, I just don’t have the rage in me to duplicate my podcast fury here. I will certainly continue to call out stupid shit here as well; but don’t expect there to be a huge amount of overlap.

So, what does all that mean? The bottom line is I’m going to try to write about the things that interest me—in a way that I hope will be interesting for people to read. I don’t intend on offering memberships, or accepting sponsorships, or serving advertisements. This is intentional. The Angry Drunk 3.0 is returning to being my personal blog. The writing here will be—first and foremost—for me. If that is of interest to you, good. If not, there are plenty of other bloggers in the sea.

More on the technical changes in a bit.


200 Weeks in Hell

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-26 14:45

I suppose it bears noting that Angry Mac Bastards, the world’s most beloved podcast about idiotic tech media and unicorn fetish porn has managed to hobble its way into our 200th episode. Thanks to John, Peter and all our guests over the years for making that happen. And a hearty fuck you to the shit-sipping tech media that have made it necessary.


Feedburnin’

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-22 19:48

Since it seems to be the thing to do this week, I’d like to take the time to point out that the canonical feed URL for The Angry Drunk is http://www.theangrydrunk.com/feed/ If you’re using the old Feedburner URL and want to switch, feel free. I’m not rushing to disable Feedburner any time soon. On the other hand, I’m doing zero work to maintain the Feedburner feed, so if it dies I’m not fixing it.


You know better, this is inexcusable

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-20 16:11

I love it when people say the shit I want to say, thus sparing me the effort. Case in point, my Angry Mac Bastards co-host John C. Welch demolishing this fucktarded “Kevin Lynch is a bozo” meme that has sprung up among some of the usual suspects™ in recent days.

Look, if you want to criticize Lynch for some of the dumb-ass things he’s said, fine. I certainly have. But to dismiss the man as a “bozo” for doing his job by not going with the iPhone über alles narrative when he worked for a company who’s most prominent product was threatened by the iPhone is jackassery of the highest order. Fuck, let the man unpack his shit first.


Google Reader & Free Services

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-14 19:58

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few hours you’re probably aware that Google has announced that they are killing Google Reader effectively July 1st. This inevitably led to tidal wave of The Usual Suspects™ parroting the hoary cliché “that’s what you get for using a free service.” While it is unquestionably true that the users of free services have little to no recourse when a company decides that maintaining a service is no longer contributing to their bottom line, the sentiment is also sort of stupid.

The implication of “don’t use free services” is that paid services are somehow better. I wonder what sort of candy-land universe these pundits live in where paid-for services are never discontinued. Perhaps they should ask the former users of the (paid) email app Sparrow how that works.

The real takeaway from the shut-down of Google Reader is not that free services suck—-or that paid services are magically better—-it’s that users should always have a backup plan for products and services that they find essential. The takeaway for developers of products that rely on 3rd party services is that they should never become complacent. They should always have a plan for maintaining their product after a 3rd party service goes tits up. That applies to all services: Google, Apple, Dropbox—-even everyone’s darling App.net.


Shortsighted

Permalink - Posted on 2013-03-04 18:00

It’s commonly accepted that “techie” types exist in a constant state of enthusiasm for the future — incessantly seeking out the next cool technology. I disagree with that notion. I believe that most “techie” types actually exists in a sort of punctuated equilibrium. To be sure, that frenzy over the next new shiny tech gizmo certainly exists; but often it is separated by large stretches where the tech luminaries espouse a sort of short-sighted anti-innovation conservatism that would make Ned Ludd proud.

Take, for example, some of the responses to Google’s “Glass” project.

I want to state at the start that I’m not arguing that Glass is a great product; or that all the negative responses to it are invalid. Readers of this blog shouldn’t be surprised to read that I’m actually very skeptical of Glass as a product. While I’m keenly interested in wearable computing, the thought of Google being the company to take the lead in that area is terrifying. Jokes about Glass pumping advertising into users eye-holes are all too prophetic. That said, there has been a sadly disappointing trend in some of the negative responses to dismiss Google Glass — and Heads Up Display (HUD) style wearable computing in general — as variously “uncool”, “worthless”, “stupid”, and “harmful”.

I’m not going to link to or debate specific articles. What I want to discuss are some of the over-arching themes that I’ve seen. Specifically:

  • HUDs are bad because they are distracting.
  • HUDs prevent people from being “in the moment”.
  • HUDs promote “over sharing”.
  • Ubiquitous access to information makes people “dumber”.
  • HUDs make you look like a greasy nerd.

The “distraction” argument is one that I actually will concede is a real danger of HUD-based wearable computing. No one but a complete loon (or perhaps Sergey Brin) would argue that projecting graphics into a person’s visual field on an ongoing basis doesn’t create the potential for dangerous distraction. But really this is a matter of degree. Certainly obscured vision is dangerous; but so are many other things related to our current technological lifestyles: impaired hearing from wearing ear-buds, talking on a cell phone while driving/walking, looking at a cell-phone while driving/walking, the list goes on. Hell, I bet that primitive screw-heads looked at the first pocket-watch and said, “Holy shit, someone’s going to be looking at that and fall down a well!” As functioning humans we deal with distracting things on an ongoing basis. If the past is any indicator of the future people who wish to remain among the living will figure out how to use HUD-based computers without driving off a cliff.

The “in the moment” argument and the “over sharing” argument are actually pretty similar. They usually go something like: “Hey nerd, why are you taking a video of that awesome rainbow when you could be enjoying it” and “Great, just what we need, more nerds sharing pictures of their breakfast”. As with the “distraction” argument, the simplest way to dismiss these arguments is to look as the present and past. We’ve all seen the social-media addict at some event spending more time tweeting about it than enjoying it. Or the inane parade of Instagram photos of people’s food. Not being engaged in one’s surroundings, or overly sharing are people problems —- not technological problems. In fact, HUD-based computing should actually allow people to be more engaged in their lives…even as they obsessively share them.

The “tech makes us dumb” argument is so old that I’m sure someone used it on Johannes Gutenberg. Every advance in access to information that I’ve experienced in my lifetime — widespread computer adoption, the proliferation of cable television, the Internet, smartphones — has been met by a contingent of people claiming that increased access to information will somehow turn our brains to a pasty sludge. This is rank nonsense. Increased access to information can only make us better as a society. Sure, some people are lazy shits who can’t think for themselves; but making them work harder for information won’t make them smarter — they’ll just stop looking.

The argument that Google Glass makes you look like a dork is simultaneously true and utterly dumb. Sure, Glass looks retarded now but so did the first Bluetooth headsets. The point is that society’s perceptions change. Yes, the first batch of nerds walking around in HUDs will be laughingstocks, but eventually HUDs will be seen as just another accessory.

I believe that there is a clear progression in computing. The overall path has been smaller, faster, more connected, and more ubiquitous1. I also believe that wearable computing, in particular HUD-based computing, is the next logical step in that progression. It’s somewhat sad to see writers who pride themselves on their technical savvy dismiss the concept out of hand — but it’s actually not that unexpected.


  1. Some of my thoughts on “ubiquitous” computing can be found here 


Give Glass a chance: Google has a vision of a wearable future

Permalink - Posted on 2013-02-25 19:40

Decent commentary from John Moltz regarding Google Glass. I have more to say about this — but that’s for later.


We’re Doomed as a Society

Permalink - Posted on 2012-11-09 15:35

This morning a link popped up in my RSS stream from Boing Boing pointing out a new line of artisanal crap from Williams-Sonoma named Agrarian1 featuring garden supplies marketed to worthless hipster shit-bags with more money that sense.

Among the overpriced pre-fabricated chicken coops2 I found this lovely piece of crap. For those too lazy to click the link, the item is question is a $200.00, hand-crafted, copper-headed shovel. I’m just not drunk enough to fathom the rational that would lead someone to click the Add to Basket button. I imagine it goes something like this:

I really need a spade to till my nine square-foot urban “garden” but I can’t possibly be seen using something as proletariat as this3. I know, I’ll hie myself over to the Williams-Sonoma website and see if there is a product that speaks to a connoisseur authentic hand-crafted artisanal artifacts.”

Ultimately, what truly enrages me about shit like this isn’t that some company has managed to figure out how to fleece hipster twats. Good on them for taking those moron’s hard-earned4 money. What enrages me is that, for all their talk of “sustainable living” and “natural food” and whatever other bullshit buzzwords the kids are flinging about these days, I would bet dollars to donuts that not a single one of these shovels sold will ever be used. Oh sure, the kiddies will turn a few spadefuls of earth to say they’ve used this thing but after that it will be hung in a nice prominent place in their impeccably arranged—-and seldom used—-garden shed. And as for actual sustainability, I’ll go with the cheap-ass steel shovel linked above. I have working spades that were old when I inherited them from my father 25 years ago.

There’s a word for people who value the appearance of a skill over the real skill itself. We call those people dilettantes. Anyone who would buy something from Williams-Sonoma’s Agrarian collection is a fucking dilettante; nothing more, nothing less. My only consolation is that they’ll be the first free-range artisanal Soylent Green© I’ll eat when things go all ThunderDome.


  1. I assume you’re intended to pronounce the word with as much dramatic flair as possible. Agraariiaan 

  2. The last thing I need is yet another hipster twat in my neighborhood deciding to keep chickens. 

  3. $14.97 at The Home Depot. More Saving More Doing™ 

  4. By their parents 


The frictionless experience

Permalink - Posted on 2012-11-07 18:30

Jason Becker for The Techblock regarding the “frictionless” experience of using software across Apple’s hardware product lines:

Apple’s true advantage is when applications are available across all three platforms, offering a device-optimized and consistent experience no matter what I am using.

This is something I wrote about back when iCloud was first announced. At the time I referred to it as “ubiquitous computing.” Jason makes the astute point that the true strength of Apple’s ecosystem is software that provides a consistent experience across the Mac, iPad, iPhone & iPod products.

I know everyone slags on iCloud, but I can’t express the pleasure I feel every time I save a spreadsheet in Numbers on my iMac, open it and work on it a bit at my office on my iPad, and check a figure on my iPhone in a store. That ubiquity of data and consistency of experience is what keeps me on the platform.

via The Loop


EXCLUSIVE: iPad Mini Review

Permalink - Posted on 2012-10-31 02:53

Fuck if I know. Does Apple look stupid enough to give me a review unit?


YOUR IPAD IS NOT OBSOLETE

Permalink - Posted on 2012-10-24 17:14

Dave Caolo wins the Drunky in the category of “Best Post Exhorting Whiny Nerds to Shut Up About The Obsolete iPads” — mainly for referencing The Obsolete Man


Prognosticatin’ Time

Permalink - Posted on 2012-10-22 20:23

With another Apple event a mere twenty-four hours away, it’s time to slap on my prognostication turban and astound and amaze my three remaining readers by predicting the response to Apple’s announcement — whatever the fuck it happens to be.

  • Within minutes The Usual Suspects will flood Twitter and the blogosphere with self-congratulatory (and self-masturbatory) posts crowing how well-informed they were in predicting whatever the fuck Tim Cook pulls out of his ass. These posts will conveniently ignore any predictions that don’t come to pass. Careful analysis of these “predictions” will show that they are all nothing more than a rehash of John Gruber’s musings, Wall Street Journal articles and Dalrymplean “yeps”.
  • Blogs that cater to the jackass Wall Street contingent will drum up some acephalic lackwit of an “analyst” to claim that whatever Apple announced / didn’t announce shows a lack of “innovation” most likely do to a failure on Tim Cook’s part to ritualistically fellate the rotting corpse of Steve Jobs currently stored on level B-5 at 1 Infinite Loop.
  • The gadget bloggers will throw conniption fits that whatever their pet technology wasn’t included in the announced product(s). These fuckwits will ignore the fact that there isn’t any actual market for whatever buzzword is getting them hard and throbby this week. They will threaten to flounce off to Microsoft / Android / whatever, but we all know they’ll be waiting in line outside and Apple Store on release day.
  • I will weep softly for the future of humanity while drinking myself into a coma1.

  1. To be fair, that happens pretty much every night. 


Perfection

Permalink - Posted on 2012-10-16 15:14

My buddy Harry Marks done managed to get himself published over at TheLoop. It’s a good article. Go forth and read it.


Waiting for the magic

Permalink - Posted on 2012-10-05 18:25

Moltz nails it.


A Passing Thought

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-26 18:33

Since the iO6 release much has been made of Passbook and how unsatisfactory the experience is out of the box. I admit that I too puzzled over how to get the system working, and still have yet to find a participating store that I actually frequent. One of the suggestions that I’ve seen bandied about the Twitter and the blogosphere is that Apple should have included support for “Apple Store stuff” in the initial app. Some suggestions are Apple gift cards, discounts on iPhone accessories and even iPhone 5 pre-order redemption slips. I’ll admit that I initially though that was a good idea—-until I though about it more thoroughly.

Look at the iOS Apple Store app. Do you see any “rewards cards”, the ability to use it as a gift card, or anything at all that would allow it to interact with an Apple Store POS terminal at all? No, you don’t. The the very model that the Apple Store app promotes — buy though the app, go to a store, pick up your item and walk out without interacting with an employee — is the very opposite of the model that Passbook promotes. In fact, Apple’s whole retail experience is designed to avoid the things that Passbook wants to make more efficient.


iPhone 5 Review

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-24 17:49

I like it.


Harry C. Marks on the Boring iPhone 5

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-17 16:34

Harry C. Marks on the overwhelmingly idiotic response to the iPhone 5 by the tech press:

The iPhone is boring only to the rumor mongers who published every blurry picture of a motherboard they could get their hands on and the simps who think a feature checklist determines a gadget’s merit. However, isn’t it hypocritical that the gadget blogs that drowned their readers with post after post containing every little unconfirmed detail leading up to the iPhone 5 announcement are now the same gadget blogs lamenting how boring it all is because “we’ve seen it all”?

Harry goes on to repeat something that I’ve been banging on for a while now. The infiltration of the gadget blogs into “mainstream” tech reporting has been, second only to the rise of the page-view economy, the worst thing to happen to tech reporting ever.

The life blood of the gadget blog is change. A product that has reached a steady state—as I’d argue the iPhone and smartphones in general have—is death to them. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the press needs to parrot that ADHD addled viewpoint.


Not relevant

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-14 20:59

Yep.


Taste Our Pleasures

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-07 18:49

Shitbag bloggers who write horrible “Apple’s new product fails to titillate and arouse” posts like this turd remind me of characters from Hellraiser—sitting around desperately jabbing barbed hooks into their junk in a vain attempt to feel something, anything.

via that rich fucker Gruber


Ribs, beans & potato salad

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-04 01:07

Ribs

via Instagram


Affordable health care saved my life

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-03 22:09

My friend Peter Cohen writes about how ObamaRomneyCare quite literally saved his life.


Meat meets smoke

Permalink - Posted on 2012-09-03 20:15


Twitter Won’t Miss You When You’re Gone

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-28 19:45

Everyone and their cousin has been linking to this post by my pal Harry C. Marks—and with good reason. It’s a well thought out critique of Twitter’s current direction. I do, however, have to disagree with one point. Harry writes:

So, we’ll wait. We’ll watch the walls go up and moats get filled with the bacteria-laden waters of trending topics and promoted tweets. We’ll see our third-party houses burned and dissenting developers banished as King Dick and his roundtable of jesters try to play off the changes as “growth” and “maturity”. In reality, it’s about creating a new kingdom where the thinkers and inquirers are considered dangerous and must be pushed out.

While it’s true that Twitter’s response to the hue and cry of the Great and the Good will be essentially “fuck you” it won’t be because Twitter wants to push those users out. In reality, Twitter (or more accurately the venture capitalists who are calling the shots at Twitter) gives not one shit about the users who are the most incensed by these changes. As Harry himself points out earlier in his post, the people he’s referring to were never relevant to Twitter’s plans for monetization.

Let’s be honest, the blognoscenti can claim that they would accept ads in their timelines, if Twitter would just leave their precious third-party developers alone, all the live-long-day. Unfortunately the cold hard reality of ad-blockers, website “readability” tools and fevered blog posts decrying advertising say otherwise. The vast majority of these users were never going to spend a dime on any advertisement they saw on Twitter—and Twitter knows this.

And as for the claims that the Great Exodus of the Nerds will somehow ripple outward into the greater Twitter ecosystem—I’ll believe that when I see it. As I wrote previously the real danger to Twitter isn’t the loss of a John Gruber1, it’s the loss of a Justin Bieber2.

Unfortunately for Twitter, I see nothing in their recent behavior that indicates that they wouldn’t do something to alienate the Beebs either.


  1. 216,153 followers. 

  2. 27,190,719 followers. 


On today’s version of “Complete Load of Bollocks”…

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-24 17:52

Nerd dicks should be hidden from human memory, preferably with a RuPal-level tuck. Fuck power users.

Indeed.


A Few Thoughts On Twitter’s Fucktarded Strategy.

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-17 15:36

So, I’ve had a few thoughts rattling around since Twitter announced their idiotic new API restrictions1. I was going to post this as a series of tweets, but the conceit was more attractive in my head than on the page.

As I see it, the real mistake Twitter is making here has less to do with the bruised egos of the nerderatti and much more to do with the fact that they haven’t locked down the engagement of the “average” users anywhere near as much as they seem to think they have. My sense is that the vast mass of Twitter users actually engage very shallowly with the service. By this I mean that these users’ Twitter experience mainly consists of occasionally posting a tweet when they remember to and following celebrities, similarly loosely engaged friends and a few news sources. It ultimately doesn’t matter whether these uses “leave” Twitter or not, as they were never engaged enough to become a solid audience in our new, ad-supported, future.

As an aside, I know there are a few other non-nerd, high-engagement Twitter constituencies. Two that spring to mind are political and news junkies. My prediction is the politicos will decamp to Facebook and the comments areas of the various high-profile political blogs from whence they came. As for the newsies, a smart person looking to “disrupt” something would be looking at a micro-blog platform aimed at the news outlets.

The very real danger that Twitter faces as they trundle down this road of idiocy is becoming a ghetto of unused accounts, spam/scammers, self-promoters and z-list celebrities. Honestly, the company being served a golden opportunity here is not App.net, but rather Facebook — which is ironic since the ghetto I just described was modeled on MySpace. If Facebook could figure out how to do asynchronous following/sharing in a non-sucky way and opened a decent API to 3rd parties they could really clean up.

As for App.net. I wish them all the success in the world — I honestly do. Unfortunately, I just don’t see them “replacing” Twitter in the sense that some of their more fevered boosters seem to. Bullshit arguments about class and race aside, the price tag is going to be a real barrier to entry for “the masses”. Not that I’m saying the service is expensive — even at the current $50.00 price tag2. But bear in mind that many people throw a fit over a $1.99 one time charge for an iOS app. I understand App.net’s rational, but any price for a service that essentially mimics a “free” one is going to kill mass adoption.

And perhaps that’s fine. There is certainly a strong sense of “escape from the unwashed masses” coming from many of App.net’s supporters. Maybe the service can thrive as a refuge for the nerds. Certainly Apple has proven that pure market-share is not the end-all & be-all when it comes to success.

Ultimately, Twitter stands at a crossroads. While the changes announced yesterday won’t do a thing to discourage the great mass of users to abandon the service they do signal that Twitter has decided to persue revenue at any cost. Losing John Gruber ultimately won’t harm Twitter but imagine a future change that scares off Oprah. If that should happen — well, last one out turn off the lights.


  1. Google it, they won’t be hard to find. 

  2. $50.00 a year is, of course, less than $5.00 a month. Cups of coffee and all that. 


The Internet Hates Progressive Insurance… But Should It?

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-15 21:36

An extremely well written post —- by a lawyer, who doesn’t care for Progressive —- explaining the very complicated realities that are utterly ignored by the Internet Outrage Machine™

via John C. Welch who ironically found this via a link I posted earlier.


‘Tis the Season—or—Enough’s Enough.

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-15 19:07

Within the last 24 hours two friends and fellow “tech bloggers” John C. Welch and Harry Marks have written posts contemplating new directions for their respective blogs. Both have, in their own way, grown weary of swimming in the rumor and vitriol filled waters that now epitomize tech blogging and Apple blogging in particular.

I have to say, I agree one hundred fucking percent. The few remaining readers here can’t have failed to notice the drastic reduction in posts over the last year. The simple truth is, the thought of writing another “take-down” of some other bloggers dumb-shit opinion now leaves me sick to my stomach. The fact is, those of us who tried to shout down the rising tide of fucktardery were about as successful as King Cnut’s attempt to command the waves. The rumormongers and financial bloggers and gadget obsessed hipsters won. Oh well, c’est la vie.

So, what does that mean for The Angry Drunk? Pretty much nothing. This has always been, and will always be my personal blog. I don’t regret my foray into pseudo-Gruberian punditry, but I wash my hands of it. I may still write up a “take-down” of an especially egregious bit of twattery from time to time but for the most part I’ll leave that to people with more time and less booze on their hands. I might increase my political writing - something I’ve wanted to do for some time. Whatever I do, The Angry Drunk will remain my personal soap-box.

At any rate, I figured the last hold-outs here deserved to know what was up.


But Internet Outrage is So Much More Fun

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-15 15:09

Recently the Intartubes have been chock-a-block with righteous outrage over the horrific, positively evil way that Progressive Insurance handled the truly unfortunate case of a woman killed by an under-insured driver in an auto accident. I have no particular fondness for Progressive (although I should disclaim that I do business with them), but I do have a particular hatred for the Internet Outrage machine™ so I’ve been a bit critical of the whole “Progressive is the evilest company evah!” meme being bandied about. My Occam’s Razor-loving mind tells me that, surely, there must be something more to this story than we’re hearing from either the victim’s family or Progressive.

Well, it turns out there well may be. Via a comment on one of the plethora of threads about this situation on BoingBoing, we have this law firm’s page on how uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage works in Maryland (where the accident took place). The key part:

The nuances of how uninsured motorist coverage works is difficult for many personal injury victims to get their minds around because it is counterintuitive. The nutshell is this: if the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or has low levels of coverage, your own insurance company will step in and basically take the place of the insurance company for the at-fault driver, including paying any settlement or judgment but also defending the case against your personal injury claim.

While I may not be some fancy-talkin’ city lawyer, but “…defending the case against your personal injury claim” would seem to exactly describe the events that took place here.

Look, like I wrote above, I have no particular love for Progressive. They could have put this to rest at the start by writing a bigger check on the uninsured motorist claim. And there’s no fucking doubt that Progressive’s public response to this mess was fucktarded. But as far as I can see their actual legal actions in this situation consisted of nothing more than what they are required to do by law. It sucks, but then again so does pretty much everything else involving insurance in this country.

The point is: the Internet Outrage Machine™ needs to die in a fucking fire. Try doing a bit of research and critical thinking before you mash that retweet button you loons. Of course now I’ll be flamed as a shill for Big Insurance. Oh well, such is life.


How To Be a Tech Blogger

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-10 14:48

Ezra Butler at the Kernel offers fourteen tips guaranteed to make you a success as a tech blogger:

As a blogger, you must be willing to ask the hard questions. Or, you know, regurgitate what a dozen other pundits have said before you with your own spin and a different headline. (See the Guardian‘s Charles Arthur for a masterclass in recycled garbage.)

Every bit of this is so true it makes my balls tingle. Go forth and read immediately.

via Curious Rat


REISINGER!!!

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-08 02:16


My New Productivity System

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-07 14:57

Harry C. Marks at Curious Rat brings the funny with his take on “productivity porn”:

By reading these blogs, you’ll be introduced to concepts like “inboxes” and “to-do lists” and “folders.” The people who write for these websites obviously know what they’re doing because instead of getting actual work done, they’ve written hundreds of thousands of words on how reading productivity blogs doesn’t count as getting work done. That’s what books call “reverse psychology.”

I agree with Harry, there is nothing I find more boring than techno-hipsters yammering about their gods damned “productivity” systems. Here’s a “lifehack” for you. Just do what needs doing you hipster fucks!


Hacks

Permalink - Posted on 2012-08-01 16:05

Would be nice if the tech press understood the difference between a cloud vendor being “hacked” and it’s employees having shitty passwords.

— Darby Lines (@Angry_Drunk) August 1, 2012


Sounds Familiar

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-31 16:36

Ta-Nehisi Coates writing for the Atlantic regarding the Jonah Lehrer scandal and the difference between being a good journalist and being an “oracle”:

…we now live in a world where counter-intuitive bullshitting is valorized, where the pose of argument is more important than the actual pursuit of truth, where clever answers take precedence over profound questions. We have no patience for mystery. We want the deciphering of gods. We want oracles. And we want them right now.

Fuck me but doesn’t that sound like some of the very jackholes that are featured here and on Ye Olde Angry Mac Bastards podcast?


Mountain Lion Facts

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-27 14:25

A collection of little known facts about Mac OS X Mountain Lion via The Joy of Tech. A sample:

Mountain Lion is such a predator, all they found of Windows was Steve Ballmer’s shoe in a pile of scat.


Double Standards

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-24 20:06

Harry C. Marks on pirating software vs. pirating movies, books and music:

  1. If you’re a software developer trying to make money, locking things down means you get paid and you don’t have to live out of dumpsters for the rest of your life.

  2. If you make movies, TV shows, or music, piracy is okay because we’re the ones getting dicked over by a locked-down system designed to put food on the tables of content creators.

Yup, that seems to be the consensus.


A Militant Peace

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-20 16:50

While reading this year’s edition of The World’s Best Science Fiction last night I ran across an interesting story, “A Militant Peace” by David Klecha and Tobias S. Buckell, pondering the idea of how we respond to violence. The story is told in the context of a futuristic “humanitarian” invasion of North Korea—-but I find it’s resonating with me after today’s tragedy and particularly in response to some of the more fucktarded commentary about the shootings. At any rate, the story is available to read at Clarkesworld. Give it a read.


Holy Fuck This Asshole Needs to be Impeached!

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-18 16:54

Warning! Political content ahead!

Actually, I don’t know if Arizona law allows for the impeachment of a county sheriff but fuck me if withered old carpetbagger Joe Arpaio doesn’t need to be removed from office with extreme prejudice.

If you follow Arizona politics at all you probably know that Dime Bag Joe went full retardbirther a few months back in yet another attempt to rile up his base of honkey assholes and distract from the impending onslaught of lawsuits and Federal investigations. Well, after an exhaustive investigation by José’s Keystome Cops “Cold Case Posse” (lavishly paid for by my tax dollars) surprise, surprise Ol’ Man Arpaio has revealed that he has conclusive “proof” that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. Said “proof” being on par with the feces-smeared ramblings of the residents of a lunatic asylum.

In any sane world this pathetic excuse for a “lawman” would be laughed out of office and ridden out of town on a rail. Sadly, due to the preponderance of carpetbagger honkeys with their $200 Dan Post “cowboy” boots, lily-white Stetson hats and an obsessive need to yank their withered cocks to John Wayne movies while fantasizing about living in the “real” West it’s almost a forgone conclusion that this worthless shit will be re-elected. I’m no fan of Fox News, but for the love of Satan will you shitbags just give this angry old fuck a show so he’ll leave us in peace?


The Future Of Apple’s Dock Connector

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-12 19:51

Oddly non-shitty writing from Cult of Mac’s John Brownlee about the mythical smaller Apple Dock Connector and why Apple can’t just go to USB you friggin’ morons.


The Tech Blogosphere Is Killing Itself

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-12 19:34

It must be theme day on the ol’ Intartubes. Davy Buntinx also has some insightful thoughts about the tech blogosphere that will almost certainly be waved away by the great and the good as mere pish and or tosh.


Of love and fear in the blogosphere

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-12 19:18

Johan E. Johansson has some very cogent points to make about yesterday’s “credibilitygate”1 and, I think, tangentially to my response to the blogosphere’s response to the Tweetbot Mac alpha. Go and read this.


  1. If the fucktards at Jizzmodo can make up “-gates” so can I. 


Oh The Fucking Irony

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-11 19:20

Earlier today I linked to a post by Anthony Kay talking about how the hyperbolic credulity of the tech (by which I mean “Mac”) blogger circle-jerk destroys whatever credibility they have.

In an amazing stroke of irony that almost makes me reconsider my rejection of a gentle and loving God Tapbots, the makers of the awesomest iOS Twitter apps1, today announced the public alpha of the long-awaited Mac version. Now to be fair, Tapbots is completely up front about what you’ll be getting into by using this alpha. In a section of the announcement titled “So what can I expect from this alpha?” they list:

  • Bugs! Lots of them.
  • Missing features.
  • Disturbing graphics and performance issues.
  • No support.
  • No Notification Center or iCloud support (in the alpha/beta).

Wow, sounds like a treat.

Of course that didn’t stop the usual suspects™ from immediately (and I mean within minutes) proclaiming Tweetbot Mac Alpha to be the bestest thing evah! Ultimately leading to this post by my pal Harry C. Marks highlighting a “review” of the product, posted less than an hour after the alpha announcement2 — which is utterly hilarious when you consider Kay’s veiled reference to the phrase “gained a spot on my home screen”.

The Gods of Irony, they be bountiful masters this day.


  1. Not being sarcastic here, I love Tweetbot. 

  2. I know, the “reviewer” had access to a pre-public alpha. I don’t give a fuck. 


Credibility

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-11 14:56

Anthony Kay comments on how the never-ending tech blogger circle jerk harms their credibility. I couldn’t agree more.

via The Loop.


Business Insider Knows Neither Jack nor Shit

Permalink - Posted on 2012-07-02 15:46

Making an early play for “Shittastic Linkbait Headline of the Week”, Seth Fiegerman at Business Insider delivers this greasy turd: “Apple Has Finally Shut Down Its Failed Cloud Storage Service”.1

The article itself is a pointless recitation of the fact that, herp derp, Apple did exactly what it said it would do in the MobileMe to iCloud transition. But fuck me, could the headline be any more inflammatory?


  1. Link omitted because I’m not playing these assholes’ games. 


Game of Thrones Attack Ads

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-20 14:54

Mother Jones imagines what politics in Westeros would be like if they had super-PACs. These are actually rather amusing.

via Boing Boing


Minimalism

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-15 14:40

awesome


On iOS 6 bugs, compatibility, and App Store reviews (or, please don’t be a jerk)

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-14 21:48

Rene Ritchie at iMore regarding people bitching about bugs in the iOS 6 Developer Preview:

Either way, if you chose to install the private iOS 6, you voluntarily gave up your right to complain about problems on the public App Store. You proclaimed yourself a developer and a geek of the highest order. You strapped on your beta balls.

Fuckin’ A. This also goes for bloggers who point out every little problem in the Dev Preview. It’s a beta. If you find something that’s broken, do something useful with that developer account and file a fucking radar.


WWDC 2012 Predictions - The Results

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-12 15:56

Whelp, the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference Keynote has come and gone. Now it’s time to assess my predictions. As a reminder, only things announced as part of the keynote count:

Software

  • iOS 6 announced & previewed - 90% - Yup
  • …featuring Apple powered mapping system - 75% - Yup
  • …featuring a public API for Siri - 50% - Nope
  • …featuring significant changes to the UI (Springboard, Multitasking, etc) - 10% - Nope
  • …featuring end-user access to the file system - 1% - Nope
  • …developer preview available by day’s end - 90% - Yup
  • OS X Mountain Lion demoed - 90% - Yup
  • …featuring significant changes from the current Developer Preview - 10% - Nope
  • …new Developer Preview available by day’s end - 90% - Yup
  • …Gold Master available by day’s end - 25% - Nope
  • …available for purchase immediately - 1% - Nope
  • Apple TVOS mentioned at all - 10% - Suck it BGR
  • SDK available to developers - 15% - Bwahahaha
  • TV “App Store” announced - 15% - hahahaha
  • Any other Apple software announced (iLife, iWork, Aperture, FCPX, etc) - 0% - I’m going with “Yes” since Retina versions of Aperture and PCPX were mentioned on stage.

Hardware

  • New iPhone announced - Fuck you - Seriously, did people actually think this?
  • New iPods announced - Are you high? - No
  • Apple HDTV announced - sigh 2.71828% - Somewhere Gene Munster sheds a lonely little tear.
  • Mac Pro updated - 75% - Nope. Remember, I said on stage announcements only.
  • MacBook Pro updated - 40% - Yep
  • …with RETINA display - 90% - and how
  • …with Retsina display - I wish
  • MacBook Air updated - 40% - Bumpity bump bump
  • …with RETINA display - 90% - Nope
  • iMac updated - 10% - Nope
  • …with RET…oh fuck we get it, high DPI is the shiznit - Nope
  • Mac Mini updated - 10% - Nope
  • …with RETINA display - wait, what?
  • iPad announced - I hate you people - Dumbasses
  • Airport Extreme, Airport Express, Time Capsule, iPod Socks etc. announced - Sure, at this point why not - nope

Overall I’d give myself a solid “B“. My biggest miss was thinking the Mac Pro was more likely to get an on-stage mention than the MacBook Pros.


Expectations

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-08 15:46

Matt Alexander, writing for The Loop, gets real about the Apple press and reasonable expectations. Nothing I haven’t said before—but it all bears repeating.

link


WWDC 2012 Predictions

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-07 15:51

As Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference draws nigh we’ve seen a veritable explosion of rumors regarding what Apple will announce during the keynote presentation. Of course rumors always run rampant before an Apple event, but this year the sheer volume of crap that the rumormongers expect Tim Cook to announce has long ago left the ream of the sane and entered into a new and disturbing land of fantasy.

In order to help make sense of this insanity I’m compiling a list of WWDC predictions and my estimation of their likelihood. Note that I’m only counting things announced *during the keynote itself* press releases and website updates don’t count.

Software

  • iOS 6 announced & previewed - 90%
  • …featuring Apple powered mapping system - 75%
  • …featuring a public API for Siri - 50%
  • …featuring significant changes to the UI (Springboard, Multitasking, etc) - 10%
  • …featuring end-user access to the file system - 1%
  • …developer preview available by day’s end - 90%
  • OS X Mountain Lion demoed - 90%
  • …featuring significant changes from the current Developer Preview - 10%
  • …new Developer Preview available by day’s end - 90%
  • …Gold Master available by day’s end - 25%
  • …available for purchase immediately - 1%
  • Apple TVOS mentioned at all - 10%
  • SDK available to developers - 15%
  • TV “App Store” announced - 15%
  • Any other Apple software announced (iLife, iWork, Aperture, FCPX, etc) - 0%

Hardware

  • New iPhone announced - Fuck you
  • New iPods announced - Are you high?
  • Apple HDTV announced - sigh 2.71828%
  • Mac Pro updated - 75%
  • MacBook Pro updated - 40%
  • …with RETINA display - 90%
  • …with Retsina display - I wish
  • MacBook Air updated - 40%
  • …with RETINA display - 90%
  • iMac updated - 10%
  • …with RET…oh fuck we get it, high DPI is the shiznit
  • Mac Mini updated - 10%
  • …with RETINA display - wait, what?
  • iPad announced - I hate you people
  • Airport Extreme, Airport Express, Time Capsule, iPod Socks etc. announced - Sure, at this point why not

There you have it people: my official list. We’ll tally the results after the big show. The great thing this year is, the rumormongers have gone so completely off their nuts that you could predict the resurrection of Steve Jobs and sound sane in comparison.

Later bitches!

post edited to include the Retina display jokes I forgot to make


Apple Television, AirPlay and Why the iPad Is the New TV Apps Platform

Permalink - Posted on 2012-06-04 17:48

Jeremy Allaire, writing for All Things D about Apple’s possible future plans for the “television” market, makes some very astute points that largely parallel what regular readers here and listeners to Ye Olde Angry Mac Bastards Podcaste have heard me say in the past.

I do have one quibble with Allaire’s analysis though. He writes:

Second, Apple will also release a TV monitor product as well with identical capabilities as the updated Apple TV add-on device, but in a design and form factor that presents the Apple brand effectively. Why would they do this when it is such an established market with such long replacement cycles? In short, because they can, and it will be gorgeous and include the latest innovations in display technology, and will sell at a premium price that ensures a reasonable gross margin for Apple.

In an essay that displays an unprecedented amount of clear thinking regarding the entertainment industry and Apple’s relationship with it—this stands out like a turd in a punch-bowl.

The last time Apple built shit “because they could” we all had long hair, were wearing flannel shirts and were bemoaning the loss of Kurt Cobain. Modern Apple *never* introduces a product just because they can. Apple enters a market because they feel they can bring something to it that no one else can. So far no one can tell me what an Apple HDTV would bring to the market that the $99 hockey-puck AppleTV can’t.


A Brief Word Regarding Gizmodo’s Continued Lack of Class

Permalink - Posted on 2012-05-30 15:29

I love it when someone else does my job for me—which TheMacAdvocate does handily in regards to Jesus “human snot-bubble” Diaz and his latest shitty bit of intellectual flotsam:

I’d recommend that Jesus Diaz lose his job, but that recommendation could apply to any one of at least a dozen pieces he’s written. It also assumes that the scumbag Gawker network produces anything that isn’t a stone’s throw away from this afterbirth.

Yerp.

via Chad Olson on the Twitters.


The 7-inch iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2012-05-25 16:37

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop regarding pundits who think Apple must produce a 7” iPad in order to stave off competition from the Kindle Fire:

There are a couple of things to consider with this argument. First, people that use that as the basis for the release of a 7-inch iPad are full of shit.

Gods bless you — you hairy bastard.


Sites That Trade in Apple Rumors Are Nothing More Than Gossip Rags

Permalink - Posted on 2012-05-23 15:34

Harry McCracken, while commenting on serial Apple product rumor shit-stirrer Digitime’s response to his earlier analysis of their shitty track record, makes a point that I’ve been trying to articulate for some time:

In a strange way, Digitimes also reminds me of the Dear Abby and Ann Landers of 1990s pseudonymous tech rumormongering, InfoWorld’s Robert X. Cringely and PC Week’s Spencer Katt. (Spencer Katt seems to have gone to the great litterbox in the sky, but yes, I know that there are still no less than two writers still plying the Cringely trade. Both of them are among the numerous Cringelys employed by InfoWorld when it was a dead-tree publication; neither of them, however, is a gossip columnist of the sort that Cringely once was.)

Back in the day, Cringely and Katt cheerfully repeated gossip they’d heard and didn’t deny that it was gossip. Here, for instance, is a Cringely — not either of the two current ones — in 1997, blithely reporting that sources at Sun say Apple will move the Mac to Intel processors. It didn’t happen — well, not for another eight years — but that was okay, since the tidbit began and ended in as a one-paragraph Cringely item. No other news source would have dreamed of putting the rumor on its front page based on Cringely’s word.

McCracken gets straight to the heart of my complaints about the current state of the Apple rumor mill.

Once upon a time speculating on Apple’s future plans and products was a fun little diversion for those of us who followed the company. In the end, though, we didn’t take the rumors any more seriously than we would stories about Bat Boy. Somewhere along the line that changed. Now even the most ludicrous Apple product rumors are bandied about with utter credulity as “reports” by a tech press that is increasingly desperate for page-views.

The thing is, when these rumors are treated with the same gravity as actual sourced reporting it causes demonstrable harm, both to Apple and to Apple’s customers. Apple is harmed, obviously, by the insane backlash from the blogoratti when a newly announced Apple product doesn’t live up to each and every bullshit rumor published about it (the iPhone 4S being the canonical example). Apple’s customers are harmed when they make purchasing decisions on “reports” based on nothing more than pure speculation and the wisdom of the Mystic Orient™.

Ultimately what I and many of my fellow travelers are advocating for isn’t the eradication of Apple product rumors. We’re simply asking that sites that do report rumor and speculation properly frame those stories as such. Speculating about new Apple products can be fun. Arguing over who has divined the exact pixel count of the next iPhone’s screen is a tedious bore.


This Isn’t Fun Anymore

Permalink - Posted on 2012-05-23 14:55

Harry C. Marks on the ever-annoying Apple rumor mill:

I’m tired of this and I know I’m not the only one. I don’t care what everyone is saying the screen size is going to be — they don’t know and neither do their rarely-accurate sources. What I do know is that Apple isn’t going to disappoint. It hasn’t with the past five iPhones and it won’t with the sixth.

Now please shut up.

This! A million times this. Coincidentally I was talking about this last night as we were recording the latest Angry Mac Bastards podcast. I’ve reached the point where I greet each new Apple product rumor with black, soul-crushing depression.


Taxing My Patience

Permalink - Posted on 2012-05-01 16:26

Apparently The New York Times has decided to run with the Tellarite1 inspired strategy of increasing traffic to articles about general corporate behavior by focusing on Apple. Thus we have How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes; a startling exposé on how Apple—and Apple alone—uses armies of ninja accountants and shadowy off-shore lairs to evade the taxes it rightfully owes to state and municipal governments.

Oh wait, the voices in my head are telling me that this article is actually just a report on the practices that pretty much every large corporation uses to “evade” taxation. Of course there’s no sizzle in a headline like “The U.S. Corporate Tax Code is Bollocks” So The Times needed to go in [another direction][geekculture].

But it’s really not The Times’ malfeasance that has me annoyed. What annoys me the most is one particular response to those who would point out that what Apple is doing is a) common and b) perfectly legal. It’s one of the same responses that was trotted out when (sane) people pointed out that pretty much all consumer electronics products are produced in China; mostly under conditions that make Apple’s Foxconn factories seem like a dream. The response goes something like this:

But is Apple not special‽ Should we not hold them to a higher standard than all others‽ Do they not have a greater responsibility to sacrifice on behalf of my middle-class entitled guilt‽

While there was some room for debate on those questions in regards to The Passion of Mike Daisey, there is little room to debate here. No, Apple is not under some moral obligation to avoid legal means of reducing their taxation rates. In fact, as a publicly held corporation Apple has a legal responsibility to maximize shareholder return. A duty that includes tactics such as reducing taxation expenses.

Before I continue let’s get something completely clear. I am no pro corporate, anti-taxation advocate. I am a huge fan of taxes. I think they are the entry-fee for living in a civilized society and, if anything, I’d prefer to see Apple — and the rest of corporate America taxed at rates that would probably cause Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to piss blood.

Nonetheless I cannot find fault with Apple for doing all that it can within the existing legal framework to pay as little as possible in taxes; any more than I would find fault with a factory worker for taking advantage of every possible tax exemption and deduction on their personal income tax. It is not the individual’s responsibility — whether they be corporation or pipe-fitter — to make up for the deficiencies in local, state and Federal tax codes.

This is where I find fault with the common responses to articles like this one. In their sad attempt to gin up page—-views by inciting the Apple haters and loyalists they ignore the actual problem. In this case, I’m sure we’ll see at least one call for a boycott of Apple products and a pointless Change.org petition calling for Apple to mend its evil ways. What I’m certain we won’t see is a rational discussion of corporate tax policy.

I’ll conclude with this: If you read The New York Times article and found yourself outraged at Apple, take a step back and realize that being angry at Apple does nothing here. Instead focus that anger toward electing representatives — at all levels of government — who are not beholden to corporate interests. That’s where the real change will come from.

*Note: I don’t intend for this to become a general debate about tax policy — corporate or otherwise. Comments that insist on doing so will be treated…harshly.*


  1. This is a reference to ZDNet’s David Gewirtz, who is famous for this tactic. Pageviews will not be granted. [geekculture]: http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1684.html 


Quasar windowed app system for iPad misses the point of focussed computing

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-30 16:34

Craig Grannell writing about the Quasar app for jailbroken iPads that adds a “windowed” user interface:

A lot of people consider iOS to be some kind of retrograde step—a return to the bad old days of computing before we could run a whole bunch of apps at the same time. Me, I’m increasingly thinking the more ‘modern’ take of desktop computing was a mis-step. People aren’t programmed to cope well with multitasking; studies have shown that when we are distracted from a task it can then take tens of minutes to get fully back into the task at hand. To that end, any system that can help me concentrate and work better is a boon, not a hindrance, and so even if Apple went mental and allowed Quasar into the proper App Store, I’d still give it a miss.

I wrote a bit about this back when Apple revealed OS X Lion and I couldn’t agree more. A large percentage of computer users—perhaps even the majority of computer users just don’t work in the way that geeks and power-users think they should.


Why Zack Whittaker Switched from an iPhone Back to a BlackBerry

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-16 15:51

Harry C. Marks generously provides the copy-editing service that ZDNet so desperately needs:

Please re-read your work, or better yet, pass it off to an editor for review. There are numerous grammatical mistakes and sentence structure is poor at best. I haven’t even gotten to reviewing the actual content of the piece, though I assume it’s about as well thought-out as your use of semicolons.

In the “ragging on shitty tech blogger” community it’s generally considered bad form to harp on grammar and spelling but holy shit Zach is an abysmal writer. What boggles my mind, though, is this: It’s obvious that the jackholes running ZDNet have no interest in screening their stable of shitty writers for the ability to formulate a logical argument. After all, there’s plenty of page-views to be had in the ill-thought-out screeds that Violet Blue, Zach and the Tellarite crap out on a regular basis. However, you would think they would have some interest — even if only to maintain the façade of being a professional organization — in making sure that their acephalic morons can conform to the most basic rules of English grammar.


Pollo Asado is served

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-16 01:04

Pollo Asado

via Instagram


Almost there

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-16 00:19


Chicken meets its fate

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-15 23:34

Chicken

via Instagram


Are People Finally Getting Bored with the Tech-Blog Circle Jerk?

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-11 14:53

Dan Mitchell writing for SF Weekly:

At this point, I have to believe that all the people in the Pando Daily-TechCrunch-Uncrunched-whatever micro-universe have consciously incorporated their onanistic little circle jerk into their collective business model. You can almost picture it just that way: Michael Arrington, Sarah Lacy, MG Siegler, Paul Carr and whomever else, sitting in a circle, each gazing into a mirror as they handle each other’s nethers —- sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively. Then they post the whole thing online and watch the clicks pile up.

Betteridge’s Law tempting headline aside, this is a wonderfully written look at the moral cesspool that is the TechCrunch/PandoDaily/CrunchFund axis. What I like best is that it doesn’t focus exclusively on these chumps’ horrific conflicts of interest. I mean, who doesn’t like a good grift. Instead it highlights the exact thing I despise about these people —- the overwhelming narcissism.

via Glenn Fleishman on the Twitters


Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon, Disbarred

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-10 16:37

Warning! Political content ahead

From the Phoenix New Times:

Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney, was disbarred today by the three-member disciplinary panel of the Arizona State Supreme Court.

So was his former deputy, Lisa Aubuchon.

Former deputy county attorney Rachel Alexander’s law license was suspended for six months and one day.

The disciplinary panel dismissed a few charges, but found “clear and convincing evidence” that Thomas and Aubuchon had abused their prosecutorial powers while trying to prosecute County Supervisors Mary Rose Wilcox and Don Stapley, Judge Gary Donahoe and others. The panel found that Thomas and Aubuchon launched unethical attacks on their political enemies.

For those who don’t follow Arizona politics, Andy Thomas basically acted as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s right-hand-man. I’m fucking ecstatic to see this jackass and his lackey Aubuchon get disbarred.


War On Work — Not So Much

Permalink - Posted on 2012-04-04 15:21

Chuq Von Rospach, who is unquestionably a smart guy, takes issue with the recent article in Mother Jones by Mac McClelland exposing the back-breaking and dehumanizing conditions in an unnamed 3rd party logistics warehouse. Reading Chuq’s comments I honestly have to question if he read the actual article rather than the summary at The Verge that he links to.

Chuq assumes, as does The Verge that McClelland is specifically referring to an Amazon fulfillment center:

The Mother Jones piece seems to be trying to demonize Amazon in a quiet way for how hard they work their warehouse people.

However, McClelland specifically states that she isn’t trying to demonize one specific company. She writes:

…I’d smudge identifying details of people and the company itself. Anyway, to do otherwise might give people the impression that these conditions apply only to one warehouse or one company. Which they don’t.

But that is really a minor quibble. It’s almost certain that, even if the warehouse McClelland worked in wasn’t contracting to Amazon, Amazon uses similar companies. My real issue with Chuq’s analysis is that is interprets the Mother Jones article as some sort of “war on work.” Chuq writes:

Are we as first worlders getting to the point where hard physical work is somehow evil? Maybe we need to get out from behind keyboards more often, then. Sit down and talk to your plumber, next time you hire them to root out a clogged sewer. Or your gardener, next time they come in to mow and blow your lawn. Or when you go to a restaurant, sit where you can watch the kitchen and see just how hard the wait staff and line cooks work — for a lot less money than they deserve. And don’t be stingy on the tip…

I’m really kind of confused by the Mother Jones piece. It seems to be demonizing — work. have there been abuses at some of Amazon’s warehouse facilities? yes. Well, guess what. abusive bosses exist. they exist in high tech as well, but here in Silicon valley, when you keep a sleeping bag under your desk, it is a badge of honor to some (hint: the company is still taking advantage of you).

There is no doubt that many — far too many — so-called “white-collar” workers look down on physical labor with disdain. That is a real problem and one that I agree needs to be stamped out. However, that absolutely not the take-away that I got from McClelland’s report. When I read passages such as:

They need you to work as fast as possible to push out as much as they can as fast as they can. So they’re gonna give you goals, and then you know what? If you make those goals, they’re gonna increase the goals. But they’ll be yelling at you all the time. It’s like the military. They have to break you down so they can turn you into what they want you to be. So they’re going to tell you, ‘You’re not good enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough,’ to make you work harder. Don’t say, ‘This is the best I can do.’ Say, ‘I’ll try,’ even if you know you can’t do it. Because if you say, ‘This is the best I can do,’ they’ll let you go.

…and…

In the center of the room, a video plays loudly and continuously on a big screen. Even more than you are hurting the company, a voice-over intones as animated people do things like accidentally oversleep, you are hurting yourself when you are late because you will be penalized on a point system, and when you get too many points, you’re fired—unless you’re late at any point during your first week, in which case you are instantly fired. Also because when you’re late or sick you miss the opportunity to maximize your overtime pay. And working more than eight hours is mandatory.

…and…

Well, what if I do start crying?” I ask the woman who warns me to keep it together no matter how awfully I’m treated. “Are they really going to fire me for that?”

Yes,” she says. “There’s 16 other people who want your job. Why would they keep a person who gets emotional, especially in this economy?”

…and…

Inside Amalgamated, an employee’s first day is training day. Though we’re not paid to be here until 6, we have been informed that we need to arrive at 5. If we don’t show up in time to stand around while they sort out who we are and where they’ve put our ID badges, we could miss the beginning of training, which would mean termination.

…and…

The programs for our scanners are designed with the assumption that we disposable employees don’t know what we’re doing. Find a Rob Zombie Voodoo Doll in the blue section of the Rockies sector in the third bin of the A-level in row Z42, my scanner tells me. But if I punch into my scanner that it’s not there, I have to prove it by scanning every single other item in the bin, though I swear on my life there’s no Rob Zombie Voodoo Doll in this pile of 30 individually wrapped and bar-coded batteries that take me quite a while to beep one by one. It could be five minutes before I can move on to, and make it to, and find, my next item. That lapse is supposed to be mere seconds.

…and…

It’s brave of these women to keep their phones in the break room, where theft is so high—they can’t keep them in their cars if they want to use them during the day, because we aren’t supposed to leave the premises without permission, and they can’t take them onto the warehouse floor, because “nothing but the clothes on your backs” is allowed on the warehouse floor (anything on your person that Amalgamated sells can be confiscated—”And what does Amalgamated sell?” they asked us in training. “Everything!”)

…and…

Temporary staffers aren’t legally entitled to decent health care because they are just short-term “contractors” no matter how long they keep the same job. They aren’t entitled to raises, either, and they don’t get vacation and they’d have a hell of a time unionizing and they don’t have the privilege of knowing if they’ll have work on a particular day or for how long they’ll have a job. And that is how you slash prices and deliver products superfast and offer free shipping and still post profits in the millions or billions.

I don’t hear the whine of the privileged — afraid of a little physical labor. I hear a complete disregard for human dignity which, had the company been named “Apple” and the reporter been a bloated, self-absorbed stage actor, would have resulted in howls of slacktivist rage and at least one online petition. No, this is a portrait of an industry that treats human beings like automatons because it has realized that in this economy human beings are cheaper and more easily replaced than robots.


Perfect illustration in a 1941 shaving cream ad

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-30 16:34

Doctorow may be all gaga over the illustration, but I’m digging on the ad copy:

If you are the kind of person who really has a “shaving problem” — Brother, you had better see a psychoanalyst.

Hells yeah! Fuck your fancy creams and 19-blade razors.


Analysis: iPad battery allegations unwarranted

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-27 01:02

Not to take away from Lex’s fine reporting — but it fucking infuriates me that this article, and others like it from the sanity based media, need to be written. Anyone with the slightest understanding of how modern battery technology works knew that this story was bullshit — unfortunately that doesn’t seem to include some chump with a multi-meter and an overly inflated sense of his own competency and the blogtards desperate to find the next Apple “-gate”.


The White Savior Industrial Complex

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-21 21:50

Teju Cole in The Atlantic:

But I disagree with the approach taken by Invisible Children in particular, and by the White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

Teju is writing about the Kony 2012 idiocy but I think it could just as easily be applied to another issue that is probably closer to my iPhone/iPad loving readers’ hearts.

via Boing Boing


Apple and its underwhelmed audience

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-14 20:24

Jon Dick for The Techblock:

Today, exactly a week after Apple unveiled its latest iPad, a quick Google search turns up loads of articles that disparage the new tablet for its so-what factor. Apple took the easy route, they say. It turned its back on innovation and offered up a tablet that resembles its predecessor everywhere it counts.

Except it didn’t and they’re full of shit.

Jon goes on to make a point that I brought up while recording the Angry Mac Bastard podcast Tuesday night:

It doesn’t matter to those sitting in judgement that such a pace is unsustainable, that no company, no matter how innovative or full of brilliant minds, could come up with something totally new on a consistent basis. And even if it could, it would be raked over the coals for it. And rightly so. Because consumers would never have a chance to get their heads around a novel product before another one dropped in their laps.

Apple would actually be doing a disservice to the average consumer if they changed their products at the rate that the blogoratti would have them. Tech nerds may not understand the value of a consistent experience, but real people do.


Understanding the aim of Apple TV

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-13 16:03

Chris Breen for Macworld:

To those teeth gnashers unhappy with anything other than an iPad, TiVo, Mac, and Xbox rolled into an Apple-branded HDTV, allow me to suggest that you’ve grabbed the wrong end of the stick. In the grand scheme of things, the Apple TV is neither source nor destination.

It’s a portal.

This! A thousand fucking times this. Apple’s long-term strategy for the living-room isn’t about an overpriced piece of pretty glass pumping photons into out eye-holes. It’s about allowing every HDTV in the world to display all content available via the Mac or iOS — whether that’s done via Apple TV apps like Netflix or via AirPlay. Think “ecosystem” instead of “device”.

via Harry C. Marks


Curator’s Code — Someone Take Away These Hipsters Unicode Character Reference

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-12 17:35

Baal’s Balls this is some stupid, over-thought-out, idiocy.

Squigly arrow thingy The New York Times random character that kind of looks like badger’s anus The Loop


Bedside table - front view

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-11 21:49


Bedside table - top view

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-11 21:49

Table

via Instagram


True Names

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-08 17:41

So, based on the Apple press corps’ reaction to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and the iPad we can draw a conclusion: Many tech journalists — much like mud-dwelling Dark Ages peasants — think that names have mystical powers.

Noted


The Joy of iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-07 15:24

Om Malik gets it:

Apple, clearly, is not for everyone. But for me that moment of joy experienced by my mother is enough of a reason why there will be no other computer company. Apple’s competitors will do their own thing. Some, like Samsung, will do spectacularly well. But for me, Apple finds ways to delight people, pushing technology into the background.

The pundits and bloggers who don’t get this — the ones who will, in a few short hours, declare the death of Apple because the iPad 3/HD/2012r2 didn’t live up to the fucktarded hype generated by the rumor mill have no clue what it is Apple is attempting to accomplish.

via John C. Welch.


Arpaio’s Obama investigator also selling Obama theory book

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-05 20:34

Warning! Political content ahead.

From the Associated Press via the Arizona Capitol Times:

The lead investigator in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate is selling his report as a book.

I’m shocked, shocked I say, to learn that these jack-holes are trying to turn a profit off this.


I use my iPad like an iPad, not like a PC

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-05 20:05

Jim Dalrymple gets it right:

I use my iPad like an iPad. When I pick up my iPad I don’t think that I’m missing out because I’m not using my Mac. I chose the iPad because it fit the task I’m doing at the time.

I’ve been saying this since I first got my iPad. The iPad isn’t a PC replacement, it’s a PC alternative.


Sheriff Joe’s Birther Squad Concludes Obama’s Birth Certificate Is A “Forgery And Fraud”

Permalink - Posted on 2012-03-01 22:26

Warning! Political content ahead.

Jesus shit-shagging Christ the extremes to which withered, racist, shit-monger, carpetbagger1 Joe Arpaio will go to keep his prune-like face in the press boggle the fucking mind.

Alex Seitz-Wald for ThinkProgress Justice:

In a lengthy and delirious press conference that relied on a mix of pseudo-science and innuendo, Arpaio and his dower band of volunteer investigators rolled out a series of films that depict documents being Xeroxed and scanned into Adobe software to supposedly show that someone forged Obama’s birth certificate. “This is serious. This is very serious,” the investigator said. The probe was apparently also aided by serial fabulist Jerome Corsi, of the birther-obsessed website WorldNetDaily.

For the love of Satan why won’t Fox News offer this jackass a talk show so he’ll bugger off and leave us the fuck alone.


  1. I get pissed off when people use this douche as an example of “racist Arizonans” The twat’s from Springfield Massachusetts. 


Jesus Diaz Reviews Mountain Lion

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-27 21:21

Harry C. Marks saves me the bother:

Jesus Diaz can justify and rationalize his horrible, grammar-raping, cliché-ridden writing all he wants. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s about as useful and mentally-stimulating as a fourth Jackass movie.


Bedside tables. Trimmed & legs attached.

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-26 21:02

Table

via Instagram


Dealing with Crap apps in the catalog

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-23 16:58

Chuq Von Rospach on the recent hand-wringing from the punditocracy over so-called “crap” apps in various Apple app stores:

What caught my eye were phrases being thrown about like “Apple’s missed opportunities to prevent disaster were such simple and quick fixes”, which, once I stopped laughing, made me want to cry in sympathy.

It’s not simple. It’s not quick. If it was, Apple would be doing it.

It’s always a treat to see someone who actually knows what the hell he’s talking about weigh in on these issues.


Bedside tables phase one

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-21 21:12


First Thoughts on Mountain Lion

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-16 16:39

Harry C. Marks at Curious Rat says pretty much what I would about Apple’s Mountain Lion announcement. This bit in particular stands out:

There will be those who scoff and say Apple is simplifying OS X even more and that power users won’t like it. Those people aren’t seeing the big picture. Power users are the ones who bounce from iPhone to iPad to Mac every day and want feature-cohesion among those devices. Mountain Lion is bringing that to them.

Some people will look at Mountain Lion and see the “death of computing”. I look at it and see the closest thing yet to the computing experience that I’ve wanted since getting my first Macintosh over two decades ago.


Apple Rumors: Separating the Probable from the Impossible

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-15 15:20

Steve Wildstrom writing for Tech.pinions does a mostly fantastic job of explaining how to separate the wheat from the chaff in the Apple product rumor world. I do take exception to one bit though. Steve writes:

>Apple has a long history of feeding product leaks to The Wall Street Journal.

People have been making this claim for years with absolutely no evidence. While some journalists and pundits may have very good sources within Apple, I’ve never seen a shred of credible evidence that Apple intentionally leaks product details pre-launch.


Pot, Kettle, Black

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-13 17:50

Note: Links to the articles referenced in this post are omitted because I’m fucking sick and tired of feeding the link-bait monster.

Recently freshly-minted venture capitalist and occasional spewer of words M.G. Siegler crapped out a post on his ParisLemon blog decrying the shitty state of today’s technology journalism. Well, you would think that was what he was nattering about had you seen a link to his essay on any of the various blogs that have linked to it.

In reality Siegler, a partner in Michael “King of All New Media Douchebags” Arrington’s CrunchFund, takes Nick Bilton to task for Bilton’s column in the New York Times castigating the startup Path for misusing user data. Or rather, Siegler defers the actual taking—-to—-task to the aforementioned King of All New Media Douchebags himself. Of course, we’re expected to belive that Arrington and Siegler’s beneficence toward Path is prompted only by their deeply held sense of fair play and not, as a more cynical observer might think, because Path is funded by CrunchFund.

The real irony in this idiocy though is when you compare the ever so measured and rational stance we’re expected to take regarding the CrunchFund funded Path and Arrington’s hysterical claims at his former TechCrunch digs that Last.fm was funneling user data to the RIAA. I guess measured and rational is only a worthwhile goal when you have a stake in it.

Further note: I’m not taking any stand on the ethics of what Path did or their response to the allegations. Attempts to direct any discussion in that direction will be handled with extreme prejudice.


Why Didn’t Apple Advertise During the Super Bowl?

Permalink - Posted on 2012-02-06 16:34

Lance Ulanoff for Mashable, linksterbaiting for all he’s worth:

In case you haven’t noticed, Apple’s iPad’s second birthday came and went without the introduction of the eagerly anticipated third generation of the landmark tablet. There is an iPad 3 in the works. Everyone knows it and numerous leaks all but prove it. We even have some ideas about the specs; a faster A6 processor and a high-rez retina display with edge-to-edge screen coverage. It may also be thinner and lighter or perhaps there will be multiple versions, including a 7-inch iPad.

Still, for all we think we know, Apple was not ready to tell us anything about it during the Super Bowl.

Here’s a more distressing fact. It has been more than a year since Apple released significant new hardware. Obviously, I’m aware of the iPhone 4S, which launched just a day before Jobs died. It’s a wonderful phone, and who doesn’t love Siri (some, too much)? But it’s essentially an iPhone 4 update and not a wholly new gadget.

facepalm


Macworld | iWorld 2012

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-31 17:10

Another Macworld has come and gone. More correctly, the first Macworld | iWorld has come and gone and now it’s time to sit back, reflect, and process our feelings.

I make the point that this as the first Macworld | iWorld because that is actually important. A lot of the commentary, both positive and negative, has underestimated the impact of that fact. While it has a rich history in the form of Macworld Conference & Expo, the radical shifts in the technology market in recent years have necessitated that Macworld | iWorld forge new ground.

The first, and most obvious change is the name itself. I know that many people in the Apple blogosphere dislike the name. The truth is that I’m not certain how I feel about the name. What I do know is this, with more than half of Apple’s revenue being generated by non-Mac devices, expecting the show to remain simply “Macworld” is foolish. Like it or not, iOS is part of the Apple ecosphere now and ignoring it is a recipe for disaster. A the same time, abandoning the Macworld name is also a non starter. I don’t envy the folks at IDG the challenge of coming up with a name that properly encompasses the evolving nature of the community. I know that I couldn’t have done any better.

The second major change this year was separating the former MacIT “track” into essentially its own conference, MacIT. I didn’t really pay much attention to the MacIT portion of the conference as the material is generally irrelevant to my work but the presenters and vendors that I did speak with seemed to be in agreement that moving the more IT focused products off the main Expo floor allowed them to focus on their enterprise customers instead of having to repeatedly explain to confused customers what their products are for.

On the “user conference” side of the house, the major changes were the addition of a Midway featuring music and art exhibitions and the changes in pricing for the Tech Talks.

The Midway was a fun, and very welcome addition to the show. The “user” portion of past shows has consisted basically of roaming the show floor and the formal conference presentations. The Midway was a pleasant way to sample some of the amazing things being done in the visual and musical arts using Mac and iOS devices without someone hawking a product at you or sitting through a 90 minute lecture.

Likewise, the changes in pricing for the Tech Talks was extremely welcome. At past shows, the User Conference content could run as much as $300 for the full conference or $100 for a single day. This year access to all the Tech Talk content was available for a mere $125 dollars, with even more in-depth training available for an additional fee. The Tech Talks that I attended were of the same high quality as presentations that I’ve seen at Macworld in years past.

There has been much noise this year over attendance figures for the show. IDG will release numbers today which will do exactly fuck-all to change anyone’s opinion. Those that have clambered aboard the Macworld is doomed bandwagon will either view the numbers as proof of their assertions or as unreliable and to be dismissed. All I know is that every time I toured the floor, from the opening minutes on Thursday to the end of the day on Saturday the floor traffic was consistently steady. Also, the vendors I spoke with were all very pleased with the amount of traffic they were getting at their booths.

In the end, my position hasn’t changed since I first wrote about this before attending my first expo three years ago. IDG is not a charity. If and when the day comes that IDG is no longer making money from the show the show will be canceled. People attempting to expose IDG’s deep dark secret of flagging attendance numbers are more pointless than a fucking sphere.

All that said, was Macworld | iWorld perfect? Of course not. To give an example that struck close to home, the inclusion of podcasts in the general Tech Talks curricula and locating us in the same presentation rooms tended to suck the energy out of the shows. This is something that a few of us have brought up with IDG and are working on improving for next year.

The bottom line is this: in my opinion IDG did a wonderful job with Macworld | iWorld, but there is always room for improvement. As I told Paul Kent, General Manager of Macworld, when we spoke on the crowded show floor Saturday afternoon; the first two years following Apple’s withdrawal from Macworld Expo were an inevitable transition period. This year it really felt as if Macworld | iWorld was hitting its stride and is poised for great things to come. I’m glad to be along for the ride.


Nvidia latest to claim Android and iOS will be a repeat of the PC and Mac market

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-25 15:28

Craig Grannell:

I find the argument that there has to be—or even that there will be—one dominant player in the mobile market without foundation. If we look back through the history of technology, and even examine the present, the PC/Mac market was an aberration. You don’t have people arguing that only one company will become dominant in TVs, cars, sound systems, and so on.

I’ve made this argument before myself. Trying to use the history of the PC/Mac market as a model for *any* other market is stupid and doomed to failure.


A writer’s EULA

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-24 00:03

Daniel Steinberg on the hideous and draconian iBooks Author EULA:

On the other hand, the work is my own. I’ve been told by a publisher that they want a second edition of one of my books. Their conditions on me are that I drop this series of ebooks I’m working on because it might compete with the title. When I said no they responded that that’s ok they’ll just get someone else to revise my book.

My book.

It’s not really mine. Even though the copyright is in my name, that turns out not to mean very much.

So am I bothered by the iBooks Author EULA? No. But maybe that’s because I’ve been signing contracts with traditional publishers for so long.

It’s always fun to see how the tone changes once the blogoratti stop braying and the professionals speak up.

via Daring Fireball


Fuck Me — Actual Journalism?

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-23 18:41

Everyone and their cousin has linked to or blogged about this article in The New York Times about the rise of foreign manufacturing but I think it’s still worthy of pointing out. It’s a rare treat to read an article on this topic that doesn’t appear to be written by complete fucktards. By all means, use Apple as an example of the issue — but don’t pretend that some hyperbolic screed in ZDNet blaming all ills on Apple or some jackass online petition is going to change shit.

But real change takes work, and working is hard.


The Answer Is in the Name

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-20 03:31

Today Apple held their much-anticipated education announcement at the Guggenheim museum in New York. As you are probably aware, Apple announced three new products during the event: iBooks 2, iTunesU.app and iBooks Author. I’m not going to go into any deep analysis of the event. It’s been so long since I was even vaguely involved with the education market that I really can’t muster up any deep insight into Apple’s initiatives. As usual, though, the reaction to Apple’s announcements by the blogoratti does provide a rich and fertile ground of annoying stupidity which we can harvest.

One emerging theme annoys me in particular: the idea that Apple is exerting Draconian control over how you can sell content produced with iBooks Author.

The story goes like this. When you attempt to export your work from iBooks Author a dialog appears stating:

Note: Books can only be sold through the iBookstore. To publish your book on the iBookstore, choose File > Publish.

This is reinforced by language within the end-user license agreement (EULA) that reads:

IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you charge a fee for any book or other work you generate using this software (a “Work”), you may only sell or distribute such Work through Apple (e.g., through the iBookstore) and such distribution will be subject to a separate agreement with Apple.

This, of course has raised the hackles of the punditocracy. The restriction is being called “unprecedented”, “audacious” and DRACONIAN. John Gruber even goes so far as to call it “…Apple at it’s worst.” People are shouting, “How dare Apple tell me what I can and can’t do with software I bought1? No one else does this.”

The thing is, I’m fairly certain that those people didn’t see the same announcement that I did.

I’m going back over the live-blogs of the event, and looking on Apple’s iBooks Author product page and for the life of me I can’t find where Apple is positioning this product as a generic ePub editor. In fact, from what I gather from people who have done the research, the iBookstore format, while based on ePub, diverges pretty strongly from the standard.

The bottom line is, the answer is in the name—iBooks Author, not ePub Author, or Pages 2012. As much as people would like to think that iBooks Author is a general purpose book publishing tool, Apple clearly thinks otherwise.

I can sympathise with the frustration. I’ve been noodling on an article with the thesis that Apple needs to step up and provide both a professional level ePub authoring tool as well as a professional grade application for producing better Newsstand apps. But iBooks Author is obviously not that particular hippogriff. I honestly don’t find it unreasonable for Apple to expect that paid content produced within it’s free tool (designed and marketed as a tool to work with one specific storefront) should be sold via official channels. Hell, I’m actually amazed that Apple is putting no restrictions on unpaid content. You can export ibooks format files and scatter them to the four winds for all they care. Just as long as you don’t get any dosh for them.

Once again, the tech press and pundits would do much better if they would actually pay attention to what Apple announces instead of the announcement that they make up in their heads.


  1. iBooks Author is free. 


Drink With the Bastards

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-18 15:31

I mentioned before that the Angry Mac Bastards would be performing live at Macworld | iWorld again this year (details here). In addition I’m happy to announce the inaugural Angry Mac Bastards Drinkathon. If your going to be in town on Thursday, January 26th we’d love to get you shit-faced.


Reflecting on Change

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-16 17:08

Alex Brooks:

The site I want to read doesn’t churn out the same news and rumours that thousands of other sites have, the site I want to read doesn’t post fanatical rumours from idiotic sources. To make matters worse this churn effect often comes with a form of chinese whispers, led mainly by eccentric, traffic seeking asshole bloggers who are unable to distinguish fact and fiction, unable to pick up the phone to a public relations team to check a detail or more unbelievably spend the time to produce something thoughtful.

It’s nice to see yet another tech blogger see the light. It really doesn’t take much to rise above the morass of rumor-mongery and link bait. All it takes is a little integrity.

via The Loop


Really?

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-11 16:16

Really BGR? Are you shit-bags so desperate for fucking table scraps that you’re going to actually run with Jeremy Horwitz’s bullshit claims that he’s seen an iPad 3? Congratulations fuckwits, that swishing you hear is the sound of what tiny bit of credibility you had left flushing down the toilet.

Boy Genius indeed.


We take for granted what has already been invented. (The impact of the original iPhone.)

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-10 14:56

Craig Grannell:

But we forget. Multitouch is obvious. Pinch-zoom is obvious. Slide-to-unlock is obvious. The manner in which Apple designed its iPhone, its iPad, and even iOS itself? Obvious. Then why didn’t anyone else do this stuff first? Why did it take Apple’s iPhone to kickstart a smartphone and tablet revolution? If the slew of cloners out there all argue Apple didn’t really invent anything new, why didn’t they have iPhone- and iPad-like devices in the market before Apple? Why did Google’s Android rather rapidly shift from being a BlackBerry to an iPhone if the iPhone was so obvious?

Exactly. Sometimes we forget how much the world of consumer technology has changed over a very short period of time — and many people conveniently forget exactly how much of that change was driven by Apple.


AMB at Macworld | iWorld

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-06 16:16

For the third year running Angry Mac Bastards will be doing our schtick live at Macworld | iWorld. If you’re coming to the show, stop by and say hello. We promise to be only mildly abusive.


Arpaio running again for Maricopa County sheriff

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-05 19:06

Fuck.


The “No Comments” Circle-Jerk

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-05 14:52

It’s once again the season when the hipsteratti regale us poor plebes with the glories of not allowing comments on their precious blogs.

I get it, not allowing comments make you feel all hip and edgy — but for the love of sweet Minotaur Jesus stop crowing about it like you just discovered the fucking secret of N.I.M.H.


On moderating expectations for Apple’s 2012

Permalink - Posted on 2012-01-03 15:29

Ok kiddies, I’m back from my two week long ethanol-induced coma — and I figure we’ll get the year started on a positive note. To that end, kudos to Chris Rawson at TUAW for speaking sense in a great deconstruction of Tim Bajarin’s idiotic bit of unicorn fetish porn. The bottom line:

Where’s the disruptive product, the wave of the future, the thing that makes us feel like Star Trek’s universe has come 300 years early? If it exists at all, it’s probably deep within Apple’s labs, in prototype form, and a hell of a lot more exciting than anything on Bajarin’s list — or mine.

Bingo.


10 steps to better blogging

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-23 19:45

Dan Frommer with some very good advice for people who write on the Intartubes. I can’t claim that I always meet these goals with The Angry Drunk, but I sure as shit try.


Consistency

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-19 22:20

John Martellaro today regarding the inevitability of Apple producing a 7 inch tablet in response to the Kindle Fire:

It’s just plain rare for a company to sit back and excuse itself out of a market and potential earnings.

John six days ago regarding the future of the Mac Pro:

The Mac Pro will be discontinued. Apple is all into the consumer market, and there’s just no future for this aging, heavy, awkward Macintosh. But that’s not to say the Mac mini can’t gain a lot of CPU oomph. I’m expecting the Mac mini to grow a little and get a lot more powerful.

Is it too much to ask for a little consistency?

Note: This is essentially a repost of the comment I made at the four misanthropes of the apocalypse in response to a much more thorough drubbing of this foolishness.


It’s not ‘Apple TV’ any more, it’s ‘Siri TV’ … ugh …

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-16 14:57

Fuck me blind, I’m linking to a ZDNet article. Nonetheless, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes agrees with what all the sane people are saying:

The problem with all these Apple TV rumors is that no one can come up with a single compelling reason why Apple should go into the business of making TVs. Sure, it’s easy to pull together technologies like Siri and ARM-based CPUs, then do some hand-waving and come to the conclusion that Apple must be working on TVs but all this ignores the fact that Apple already sells a product that will connect to any TV that happens to have an HDMI connector called the AppleTV. What’s more, that product, even at $99, isn’t exactly setting the world alight.

Bingo.

That “unicorn and saddle” metaphor seems awfully familiar though.


Definition of an “Apple fanboy” and those that use the term

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-12 15:05

LOL.


Saddling the Unicorn

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-09 02:44

It seems the “Apple HDTV” has reached the point in the life-cycle of an idiotic Apple product rumor where the blogtards really go off the rails and begin to spout “specifications” for the unicorn du jour. First we had the grandpappy of this misbegotten idea, Gene Munster, [spouting off at some conference][cnet] that he knew the price of the unicorn. Next some lackwit analyst declared that he knew what [sizes the unicorn would come in][appleinsider]. Unfortunately this stage of the rumor cycle is unavoidable. It’s also one of the most infuriating stages; mainly because of the mind-fuckingly stupid shit that these magoos come up with.

Which leads us to today’s unfortunately titled post from John Martellaro at the Mac Observer titled [The Operational Details of the Apple HDTV][macobserver].

To be fair to John, and to simultaneously condemn him to the deepest pits of Tartarus, the content of his post is not actually a statement of what he “knows” the unicorn to be like the above-mentioned claims. Instead the post is entry 2,753,916 in the PostType “Gee Whiz Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful if Apple Did This…” John begins:

A lot has been written about the viability of an Apple branded HDTV and how it must fail in the market. But most of that analysis is based on the idea that Apple’s offerings would be no better than any off the shelf equivalents from the current manufacturers. What if Apple’s HDTV worked differently?

No John, those of us arguing that an Apple HDTV is a stupid idea aren’t doing so because we think that Apple’s mythical offering would be “no better than any off the shelf equivalents from the current manufacturers.” We’re arguing that it’s a stupid idea because: a) the thing that needs “fixing” in the TV experience isn’t the thing pumping the photons into our eye holes and b) to date no one has offered a compelling argument why whatever magical shit they’re asking for can’t be accomplished via Apple’s existing $99 Apple TV.

I don’t want to waste precious drinking time disassembling John’s entire Christmas list but one item in particular jumped out at me. John is predicting (speculating, wishing — at this point I have no idea what purpose these kinds of articles serve) that the mythical Apple HDTV will sport a higher resolution than existing sets.

Currently, makers of HDTVs try to minimize cost by making the resolution exactly the same as the HDTV standard: 1920h x 1080v. There’s a vast industry that cranks out panels of exactly that size. What if Apple were to go to, say, Sharp, and ask for special panels, say, 2200 x 1200? Because Apple would expect sales to be modest for starters, such an offbeat display would be expensive to make and pricey, but Apple customers are accustomed to that. Moreover, Sharp wouldn’t mind because the low volume, high profit display wouldn’t compete with their own offerings at the start.

Ugh. No John, the HDTV makers don’t make screens with a resolution of 1920x10801 in order to “minimize cost.” They do it because that’s the fucking specification. If manufactures didn’t use a resolution that matches the spec. we’d be stuck in the wonderful world of scaling and all the suck that entails2.

So, having said that, what does John propose the Apple HDTV do with all those extra pixels?

What would this achieve? The high definition video section would then be in a window of the larger display. Now we’re beginning to think like a Mac user. What doors would open?

Additional information could be displayed around the outside. Alerts, weather information, or even the corresponding data drawn from the IMDB. After all, from my reading, I’m not the only person who watches TV and movies with the IMDB page open on the iPad in my lap.

In a multi-tasking, social world, that extra space outside the high definition TV window is golden.

Oh fuck me.

There is so much wrong with this concept that it’s giving me indigestion.

First, as I’ve repeated until I’m blue in the face, real people buy television sets in different sizes for reasons that have fuck all to do with the way the average techie thinks. Sure, “bigger is better”, except when it’s not. Here’s a personal example. A few months ago I bought two HDTVs for my house, a 37 inch model and 42 inch model. Both sets cost essentially the same amount of money. Given that, why didn’t I buy two of the 42” sets? Simple, they were going different places. The 37” unit is in my office. A bigger screen would simply not fit there. The 42” set is in the living room where there is more room.

With John’s mythical Apple HDTV I would be faced with the dilemma of either trying to cram a larger set into my office in order to maintain the same physical content size — or accepting an effective downgrade in picture size as a trade-off for some of that ol’ timey Apple Magic.

The second bit of lunacy here is the idea of using the extra space for widgets.

MOTHER FUCKING WIDGETS

This here is precisely why I say that the punditards pontificating about how Apple needs to “fix” television have no fucking clue how the other 99% actually use the fucking thing. The last thing most people want when sitting down to watch the boob tube is a bunch of googaws shitting up the sides of the screen and distracting from the content. Most people are unhappy with the crap the networks already litter the screen with. Fuck, imagine trying to watch a game on ESPN on one of these monstrosities. It would be like a Russian Nesting Doll of pointless shit surrounding the action. Fuck, if you want a secondary screen to pull info up on while you’re watching shit, [Apple’s got you covered hombre][apple].

These sort of articles really only do two things: serve as wish-fulfillment fantasy for nerds and demonstrate that the blogoratti have no fucking clue how average people use technology.


  1. he forgot one there. Poor 1280x720 always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Then there’s the whole matter of non-square pixels. 

  2. I’m aware that all decent HDTVs do have a scaler built in, but the math is far simpler for the few standard resolutions covered by the existing specifications. [apple]: http://www.apple.com/ipad/ [appleinsider]: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/12/05/apple_television_rumored_to_come_in_3_sizes_including_32_and_55.html [cnet]: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57334627-17/apple-tv-sets-will-be-mighty-pricey-analyst-says/ [macobserver]: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the_operational_details_of_the_apple_hdtv/ 


Understanding Apple’s endgame

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-06 19:59

Spot on comment by Jim Dalrymple at The Loop:

If Apple enters a market, I think it knows the product is different enough from the beginning that others will follow.

Apple is not motivated by the same things that drive other companies. Market share and profits are a result of making great products. To do that, you can only have that one singular focus.

This isn’t any sort of new concept, but it’s one that far too many magoos in the Apple commentary and analysis game seem utterly incapable of understanding.


Siri doesn’t hates abortions, it just hates you

Permalink - Posted on 2011-12-01 21:21

Peter Cohen for The Loop:

In what is surely the most ridiculous, manufactured controversy in — well, at least 15 minutes — Apple has been accused of having a pro-life stance because Siri, the voice-based assistant built in to the iPhone 4S, is unable to locate nearby abortion clinics upon request. I won’t be linking to any of the relevant links, because they’re not worth your time, and I don’t want to give them traffic.

Regardless of my personal and professional relationships with Jim and Peter, this is why I love The Loop. They actually understand what the job of journalism is about. No bullshit “he said / she said” false equivalence. The failure to apply critical thinking to a story is the greatest failure of modern so-called “journalism”.


Viva Telecommuting

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-29 17:16

My brother in arms Peter Cohen on the push back against telecommuting:

I’m perfectly willing to compromise on pay and a cushy workplace if it means I’m able to stay home and work at my pace in my environment. But expect me to work for coolie wages and drive to the office every day? You must be joking.

I couldn’t agree more.

A few companies ago I spent three years working from home after the local office closed. Those were the three most productive years of my career. In that time we rebuilt a Quality Assurance department from the ground up, including developing new QA and Customer Satisfaction capture, evaluation and reporting systems from whole cloth.

My current company, however, refuses to allow telecommuting even though I have a 25 mile one-way commute, I’m the sole person in my office in my department and the rest of my team is on another continent. It’s fucking insane.


Michael Arrington Wants You to Work in a Digital Sweatshop

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-29 16:49

I guess it’s time for yet another “generation” of tech workers to wake up to the fact that the bosses are lying. We aren’t special snowflakes whose precious skills are transforming the world. In reality we’re just as much cogs in the machine as the Chinese saps assembling our iPhones.

I remember when I had that epiphany. It was in 1999 at the height of that tech boom when my boss flipped out because I had the audacity to leave when my shift was over.

I told the crack-addled prick, “You pay me by the hour, I work by the hour. Take your bean-bag-chairs, foozeball tables and subdued lighting and shove it up your ass.”

Life is too short and too special to waste making some other asshole rich.


The 5 Best Toys of All Time

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-29 15:24

Jonathan Liu at Wired’s GeekDad blog breaks down the 5 greatest toys of all time. And by all time, for once, they don’t actually mean “since 2002”.

The downside is that now we’re sure to see a Doctor Who branded “Geek (hipster) Approved”™ Box for sale at ThinkGeek by Christmas.


Violet Blue on the Kindle Fire

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-28 18:08

My learned colleague Harry Marks on noted imbecile Violet Blue’s opinion of the iPad vs. Kindle Fire as presented as part of one of ZDNet’s idiotic “Great Debates”:

Question for Violet Blue: Have you actually used a Kindle Fire, or done some basic research? Hell, a quick Google search would’ve nullified most of your arguments in the time it probably took you to write this tripe.

I would suggest a slightly different possibility. In its never-ending quest to slake its unquenchable thirst for page-views ZDNet has contrived yet another pointless “debate” about two products that compete with each other only in the febrile imaginations of delusional tech “journalists”. As to why Violet has taken the position she has — well, Steve Jobs was mean to her once…


Occupy My Nutsack!

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-22 19:22

Warning: No actual political content ahead.

Woah there hippy…slow down…read past the headline…this post isn’t quite what you think it is. You see, I’m pretty much in agreement with the Occupy movement. Unfortunately there is a dark, insidious, and frankly evil thing that has come out of the Occupy movement that needs to be squashed like the fucking cockroach it is. I’m referring to the sudden fetish of shit-bag “journalists” and lame-ass “hacktivists” to slap the word “occupy” in front of every gods damned thing that happens to annoy them.

Case in point, two recent “movements” Occupy Flash and Occupy HTML (links both courtesy of Daring Fireball). Look, I don’t care what your position is on Flash or HTML “purity” (hint, Flash sucks crusty hobo dick). Something that all right-thinking people can agree on is that neither one of them needs to be fucking “occupied”.

Come on people, we lost the war over “-gate”. Now we have to endure shitty headline after shitty headline about “Glassgate” and “Antennagate” and “My-Chalupa-Didn’t-Have-Enough-Fucking-Meat-In-It-Fucking-Gate”. It’s time we said enough is enough. Let’s take a stand and let these shit-birds know that we’re not going to take this lazy bullshit anymore!

What do we want? Creative thinking!

When do we want it? Last fucking week!


Fuck You Google

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-15 18:57

Yesterday Google posted an article on their blog with the wonderfully Orwellian title Greater choice for wireless access point owners. Addressing the persistent concerns over Google’s practice of gathering data on publicly accessible WiFi routers in order to bolster their location database Google has proposed a solution. Of course this being Google it’s an opt-out solution that 99% of the consumers purchasing a router will never know about. Worse yet, the “solution” is positively insulting to those who do know about it:

We’re introducing a method that lets you opt out of having your wireless access point included in the Google Location Server. To opt out, visit your access point’s settings and change the wireless network name (or SSID) so that it ends with “_nomap.” For example, if your SSID is “Network,” you’d need to change it to “Network_nomap.”

That’s right, in order to protect the privacy of our personal networks Google wants us to modify the network name to conform to their arbitrary standards. I think that tonight I’ll be changing my network’s SSID to “Fuck you Google you arrogant assholes”.


Legitimatin’

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-15 15:31

I’m somewhat amused by the members of the chattering class who’ve insisted from the outset that Apple’s primary, if not only, motivation for iTunes Match was extract $25 from people to “legitimize” their ill-gotten music collections who have now gone on to write reviews of iTunes Match showcasing their vast collection of non-iTunes Store media. So what you’re saying is…


Journalism is about trust and respect

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-09 21:16

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop writing about his philosophy as a journalist:

I believe that for me to be successful, my readers have to trust that what I write and post is honest. If I gain their trust, they will come back. If I’m constantly proven wrong, they won’t.

If only more so-called “journalists” believed this.


Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

Permalink - Posted on 2011-11-09 14:40

Warning: Political Content Ahead

Booyah! My friends over in Mesa actually did the right thing and booted out the fascist piece of human garbage Russell Pearce. Combine that with Democrat Greg Stanton defeating Tea Party friendly Wes Gullet in the Phoenix mayoral election and this is a decent day for Arizona politics. Combine that with the wins in Mississippi, Ohio, Maine and elsewhere and it’s a pretty good day for sanity overall.


Batterygate

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-31 15:00

Once again Harry Marks brings the pain so I don’t have to. Responding to the terminally atrocious Zack Whittaker at ZDNet and his pathetic attempt to whip up a new Apple “-gate” Harry writes:

Forget the linkbaiting, I’d be happy if you just accepted your innate flaws in forming cohesive thoughts, logical arguments and properly constructed sentences.

Truer words have never been spoken. I’ve come to the conclusion that Zack is absolutely the worst fucking writer in ZDNet’s stable of shit-bags — and I’m including the Tellarite in that assessment. Any self-respecting journalistic outfit would have shit-canned his ass long ago. Fuck, the very least they should do is buy him copies of “Logic for Fuctards” and “Grammar for Simpletons”.


Um…Ok?

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-28 19:38

In his latest piece, Apps Are the New Channels Gruber ponders the idea of standalone apps replacing television channels as a distribution model. Referring to apps like the HBO Go iPad app (which I love, by the way) he writes:

Why not the same thing for TV sized displays? Imagine watching a baseball game on a TV where ESPN is a smart app, not a dumb channel. When you’re watching a game, you could tell the TV to show you the career statistics for the current batter. You could ask the HBO app which other movies this actress has been in. Point is: it’d be better for both viewers and the networks if a TV “channel” were an interactive app rather than a mere single stream of video.

Ok take that as a given, but it still doesn’t answer my question about the supposed Apple HDTV: How does Apple producing and marketing a HDTV meet that goal, as well as the needs of the majority of Apple’s customers, in any way that is demonstrably better than the existing AppleTV product? Keep in mind that I will only accept answers to that question that take into account the issues regarding additional content types I enumerated previously.

This is my whole problem with the growing chorus of people claiming that Apple will, nay must produce an HDTV. Every time I ask what the rationale behind such a device I get nothing back but wild-eyed speculation of all the cool shit Apple could do with a television; backed by people constantly chanting “DISRUPTION” like some sort of TechCrunch obsessed Dalek.

I get it, “television” sucks. The problem is that “television” isn’t some neatly packaged product like “personal digital media player” or “smartphone” or “tablet shaped personal computing device whose market we’re essentially inventing from whole cloth.”

Television” is a vast, amorphous entity consisting of channel based programing streams, pre-packaged standalone media entities, gaming and personal content display to name just a few things. “Television” is also a market that has, in one form or another, existed for half a century.

Compounding this, the television itself is merely the endpoint of all this content, and arguably the component least responsible for the current state of affairs. Arguing that replacing the television addresses the problems with “television” makes as much sense as saying that the answer to my congested morning commute is to replace my truck.

All that said, there is one thing I want to make clear. Now that we’re getting to the point where the claim chowder will be served I want to explain that I am not arguing that Apple won’t attempt to produce this thing. It is not the place of mortal drunkard to know the mind of Tim Cook. For the record, my claim is this: If Apple does produce an Apple HDTV that is anything like what the current spate of rumors has suggested, it will not succeed in the market in the long run.

There, put that in your chowder pots and simmer it.


My Thoughts on the Steve Jobs Biography

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-27 15:51

Haven’t read it.

Ain’t gonna read it.

Don’t fucking care.


Pardon the Fucking Mess

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-26 16:05

I need a drink

If you’ve visited the site or looked at the RSS feed during the last twenty-four hours there’s a good chance that you saw one of a menagerie of errors. Sorry about that. This post will try to explain what the hell was going on as well as point out some changes to the way the site works.

Tuesday, prompted by a question from Chad Olson I decided to revamp how my “linked list” functioned.

Up until today, my linked list was implemented such that there were no links to my commentary on the linked item. For a while that was not a problem, but as I’ve increased the amount of list items that I’m posting that limitation has posed some problems. Yesterday I decided to correct that.

Bad fucking idea.

The plugin that I chose to implement a more “Daring Fireball-esque” linked list requires manually modifying my WordPress theme. Unfortunately the theme that I use here is vastly more complicated that the default WordPress theme that the plugin’s instructions were based on. Also, my PHP skills are abysmal at best. Several hours — and several hundred PHP errors — later I had managed to hack the theme files to put the linked list shit where I wanted it.

At this point it occurred to me that the mobile version of the site (served up by the WPTouch Pro plugin) uses its own template. So back to BBEdit I went. Fortunately the code for the mobile template is much more straightforward, so that part went quickly.

Once these changes were made I noticed that the linked list items in my RSS feed were corrupt. Whether it is the plugin, my theme or some conflict between the two linked list items were being presented in the RSS feed with extraneous data that caused the XML parsing to fail. Another hour in BBedit and the plugin was hacked to remove the extra crap.

Lastly, when I got into the office today and pulled the site up on my shit-box Windows XP laptop I discovered that, of course, the glyph-based linkage that I had set up failed to render in any browser other than Safari. “Fuck it,” I says, and ten minutes later everything has been made text based. It’s not like everything in the Mac blogosphere has to ape Daring Fireball.

The upshot is, going forward all “linked list” items will have a permalink back to this site at the bottom labeled “DrunkLink.” Huzzah!

now where’s the whiskey?


On an Apple TV and also the Apple TV

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-25 16:41

A rare bit of sane commentary amongst the current unicorn-mongery about the supposed “Apple HDTV” from Craig Grannell.

Another point that the techno-utopians are missing is this: What about all the content that doesn’t fit into the iTunes model of distribution?

  • Local programming
  • Live sports that don’t happen to be MLB, NHL or NFL
  • Live news/info programming such as CNN/MSNBC/Fox
  • Vintage/Rare/Cult content that the studios will likely never provide in a non-disc format
  • Console gaming (sorry the iPad is *not* a replacement for the PS3/Xbox/Wii)

All of this content will require players/set-top-boxes that eliminate the “simplicity” that everyone spouts as the raison d’étre for the Apple HDTV in the first place. When you look at the content that the majority of people consume, and not just the habits of the small sample of hipster techno-utopians yapping about this, it’s clear that this market is far more complicated than the blogoratti seems to believe.


Shooting Ourselves in the Dick

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-18 02:01

Warning: Political Content Ahead

It pisses me the fuck off. Whenever there is the slightest chance for an actual populist movement to arise in this country and have a hope in hell of connecting with the masses the bastions of “liberal” ideological purity rear up and do their fucking best to drive people away from it. Case in point, this idiotic piece of drivel from Greg Laden.

For those who don’t know him, Laden is “…an anthropologist and science communicator who can never decide which is more important: nuance or context.” Greg is also a fucking ignoramus who is fundamentally incapable of admitting when he is wrong. In the afore-linked post on Laden’s blog, hosted on freethoughtblogs.com Laden takes exception at a photo of a woman attending one of the OccupyINSERTCITYHERE events. I can’t find any attribution information on the picture on Laden’s blog so I’m not going to re-post it here — but the picture (which, in the interests of nuance, Laden has titled “fuckedupwhitelady.jpg”) depicts a woman of indeterminate age and means, holding an infant and a sign. The sign reads:

  • Not a hippy
  • Not a freak
  • Not an anarchist
  • Not a mob
  • Not a punk
  • Not vague
  • Not a left-wing nutjob

Just a mom here for a better world for my kids

Now, most rational people would read that and see it for what it almost certainly is — a rebuke of the assholes in the mainstream media who have done everything in their power to dismiss the Occupy / 99% movement as nothing more than the vague wining of a mob of left-wing hippy anarchist punk freaks. But Laden, oh mighty communicator of science, sees though this devil-woman’s ruse. The asshat writeth:

The sign indicates that you are complaining about the world you made, presumptive middle class straight white lady with the presumably genderonormative hat on her baby. And you seen to openly disdain all those who have been telling you this all along (and thus by the exclusionary list you’ve given me I’m guessing as to whom you are). I’m glad if you’ve suddenly decided to become aware and enlightened. But judging just from this sign, you still need to get a clue.

Mon Dieu what amazing powers of intuition Laden has. To discern all that from a simple photo. Of course, Laden claims that he can make such bold claims based on the few insignificant things that the woman claims not to be. I’ve just tried about a dozen ways of writing exactly how stupid and exclusionary that claim is but my fingers cramp every time I attempt it.

What really infuriates me about this piece of shit though is not Laden’s woeful attempt at mentalism, nor is it the way that he and his army of sycophants refuse to even consider the possibility that they’re mistaken. No, what sends me into a boiling rage is Laden and company’s presumption to dictate the proper membership of the Occupy / 99% movement.

Let’s be generous and assume for a moment that Laden is absolutely correct in his assumptions. Let’s go with this woman being the very picture of so-called middle-America. She’s an SUV driving, Wal-Mart shopping, faggot hating, Midwesterner. Fuck, let’s even say she’s a Mormon.

So the fuck what?

Last time I checked, the ethos of the 99% movement was contained in its fucking name. It’s the 99% of us being crushed under the boot-heel of the 1% that control our financial system. It’s not the 99%-as-long-as-you-conform-to-our-oh-so-liberal-criteria. As much as I personally dislike the hypothetical woman I made up in the previous paragraph, I would welcome her with open arms into the 99% movement if it could help her see that the real enemy isn’t the fags, darkies and godless but the assholes hoarding the money.

So I’m sorry Greg, you don’t get to set the criteria here. You can take your offense at someone choosing to participate who doesn’t self-identify in the way that you want her to and shove it up your fucking ass. You’re a pox on liberalism and a wretched moron to boot.


Rumor Accounting

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-10 17:26

Shawn King for Stupid Apple Rumors:

Wouldn’t it be better if if your favorite site were more accurate? If they published fewer rumors from fewer suspect sources? If we could trust what they say more? Stupid Apple Rumors’ goal isn’t to have rumors go away - we like rumors as much as the next person — but to have the rumors, and the sites who publish, waste less of our valuable time with ridiculous stories from ridiculous sources. Our goal is to track, document and report on the rumors and the sites that publish them in the hopes that those sites will take notice and make a concerted effort to get better at their jobs - thereby providing even greater value to you their readerships and advertisers.

Honestly, the only thing that surprises me about this analysis is that the shit-bag rumormongers did as well as they did.


iPhone 4S pre-orders top 1 million in 24 hours

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-10 15:07

Jim Dalrymple reporting for The Loop:

Apple’s iPhone 4S has broken the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 set by the iPhone 4. According to Apple, the iPhone 4S has been pre-ordered over one million times in just 24 hours.

What a fucking disappointment.


Tech Press Gets It Wrong on iPhone 4S

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-07 21:28

Anyone who has listened to the latest episode of the Angry Mac Bastards podcast should be aware that I was somewhat annoyed to say the least at the general reaction of the tech press to the iPhone 4S announcement. John Kheit, writing for The Mac Observer, echoes my feelings — with a bit less volume, but far more panache:

Ultimately the tech press is bunch of cowardly posers that lick their collective fingers to see where the public breeze is blowing and end up jabbing it directly up into the technorati hipsters’ collective posterior as a gauge of merit.

Preach it!


The Macalope on the Jackasses Using Steve Jobs Death For Profit & Trolling

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-07 15:23

Normally I’d post something like this as a link list item, but since it’s behind the Macworld Insider1 pay wall I’ll link it here.

In the post the Macalope tears into three shit-bags seeking to either capitalize on Sve Jobs’ death or to antagonize people, presumably for page-views: David Srere—shittiest “brand expert” ever, Hamiton Nolan—from the tabloid shit-rag Gawker and everyone’s favorite fundamentalist asshole Fred Phelps.

Writeth the horned one:

It is a sad fact of life that there are inveterate jerks who will take the death of a man (however flawed) like Steve Jobs, and try to use it for personal gain, or just as a self-righteous and hate-filled attack on the values of those who cared about him.

Well said my mythical brother-from-another-species, well said. And with that we have the last I’m going to say—in this forum—about the shit smears trolling a man’s death. Fuck the lot of ‘em.


  1. If you’re not a Macworld Insider subscriber, I really recommend it. Access to the Macalope Daily is worth the cost alone. 


Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-06 14:58

And so it goes. I don’t have any deeply personal stories of how Steve affected my life. I didn’t know the man other than through his work — and I’m sure that Steve lived out his life blissfully unaware of my existence. And that’s how it should be.

What I did share with Steve was a vision. It’s the vision that lies at the heart of every Apple product that Steve had a hand in — that technology should serve to empower people to do and create the things they love. That vision is what drew me to my first Macintosh computer and it ultimately secured me as a life-long Apple customer. I try, every day to incorporate that vision into the things I do.

For that vision, and for the drive to carry it out Steve Jobs will always have my thanks and respect.

— Created on my iPad


The Topolsky Spin

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-05 15:58

I wrote this on Twitter a little while ago, but I’m putting it here for posterity:

The Topolsky Spin

— The act of claiming that your shitty rumormongery was correct, even in the face of reality proving you false. The most common variant is to claim that Apple (it’s always about Apple) was totally going to announce the product that you predicted, but they changed plans at the last minute.


iPhone 4S: The “S” Stands for “Stupidity”

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-04 20:05

Via Harry Marks:

I’m guessing a lot of complaints are coming from the name alone — iPhone 4S - because apparently, in order for it to truly be the next-generation iPhone, it has to have a “5” at the end of it.

Coincidentally, “5” is also the collective IQ of the pundits I quoted above.

Consider this a quick aperitif until I write up my own angry thoughts about today’s idiocy. I will say this now though, the level of whiny entitletardism from the pundits this time was absolutely shameful.


Predictimacatin’

Permalink - Posted on 2011-10-03 21:41

I have one and only one prediction for tomorrow —- riots. I predict riots on the streets of Cupertino.


On Today’s Amazon Announcement

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-28 15:11

I was worried that I was going to have to write something about Amazon’s slew of announcements. Thank Satan for Harry Marks at Curious Rat. His thoughts largely echo mine. The key point:

Amazon is clear about its intentions - it doesn’t want to get into tablet computing, it wants its devices to be hubs for media and Amazon’s own services. Stream movies, read books and listen to music all on your Amazon Kindle Fire using Amazon’s services. If you’re only interested in reading, pick up a new eInk Kindle while you’re also buying a DVD — they’re so cheap, Kindles really are impulse buys now.


Apple announces iPhone 5 event for Oct. 4

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-27 15:32

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop

Apple on Tuesday officially announced its iPhone 5 launch event. According to the invitation received by The Loop, the event will be held on October 4 at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. campus. The event will begin at 10:00 am PT.

Let the cavalcade of idiocy begin!


A Simple Suggestion…

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-26 19:58

…for people who intend to comment on posts they encounter via “linked lists” such as the ones at Daring Fireball, The Loop or even The Angry Drunk:

Try actually fucking reading the article that you’re about to comment on before spewing your opinions into the aether.

Thank you for your co-operation—The Management.


Chad Olson Gets It.

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-26 15:36

It’s always fun to read someone who understands how Apple works eviscerating some idiot who doesn’t.


It’s the Content Providers, Silly.

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-20 21:59

I hate to pick on Lex Friedman over at Macworld as he’s generally a smart guy, but in his opinion piece on the recent Netflix changes he misses the point in a way that is all too common. In bemoaning the customer unfriendliness of Netflix transmogrifying itself into separate streaming and disc-mailing websites Lex states:

There is no customer benefit to these two sites not talking to each other. None. The Netflix/Qwikster split will only makes things worse for Netflix’s customers.

I agree, splitting the current Netflix service into two sites is a pain in the ass for consumers, but when I see comments like that I see a gaping blind spot in the collective vision of the tech press and punditocracy. Namely the role that the content providers play in shaping the policies of their distribution “partners.”

Consider this list of similar questions / complaints that have been voiced through the years:

  • Why does Apple use DRM for iTunes music files?
  • Why do the various non-U.S. Apple media stores have such shitty selections?
  • Why do I have to wait 28 days after a DVD release before a movie shows up in Netflix/Redbox?
  • Why did Netflix raise their prices?
  • Why was the Apple TV rental selection so shitty that no one used it?

The answers to these questions, and I believe the driving force behind the Netflix changes all involve one group: the content providers. The tech press sometimes seems to think that distributors like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, etc. just pull this content magically out of their asses. They ignore the fact that there are powerful movie studios and record labels that are obsessed with maintaining control over their product distribution and are scared shitless over digital distribution. How soon we forget that a major Netflix content provider, Starz, recently told Netflix to piss up a rope and took their ball home.

While the Netflix changes are certainly annoying, and the messaging was less than stellar, we need to make sure to remember where the blame ultimately lies — with the content providers. Until they decide to get with the program content distributors like Netflix and Apple will always be at their mercy and customers will continue to suffer.

Nonetheless, “Qwikster” is a stupid fucking name.


ps: This is a pretty good article on why Netflix’s streaming business is fundamentally different from their disc-mailing business, and why it’s very possible that they’re being forced into this.


Bob Mansfield’s Draconian Hulk-Hands?

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-14 08:22

Now that lazy tech writers can no longer blame Steve Jobs for every Apple decision that they dislike they’re going to have to come up with some alternatives. As a public service I’m going to start tracking what the hacks come up with. So far I’ve seen:

  • Tim Cook—naturally.
  • Cupertino”—Yes you talentless fucks, the entire city of Cupertino has conspired to prevent you from displaying the calendars list in iCal.

Come on you twats, let’s get creative!


Tradition

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-12 18:42

Curry and
Beer

Celebrating my arrival in Dublin with a traditional meal of curry and Indian beer.


Misuse

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-09 15:14

Harry C. Marks commenting on two recent articles discussing how to use RSS:

Guess what? I’m a grown man who doesn’t need to be told what’s good for me, what’s bad for me or whether I’m “misusing” something that never came with an owner’s manual in the first place. If Marco can’t be bothered to catch up on 50 blog posts at a time, fine for him. If Jacqui Cheng would rather do without RSS altogether, great.

A-fucking-men. I hate the compulsion that some techies have to tell people how they should use free form tools like RSS, Twitter and email. And double-plus amen about David Allen and Getting Things Done.

I’ve reached the point where I immediately ignore any productivity tool that mentions GTD. It’s an almost sure guarantee that the developer and user base will be more obsessed over the purity of your task list than how the tool works.


Editorial Independence

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-06 19:24

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Jackass.


Feeling the Crunch

Permalink - Posted on 2011-09-06 15:17

Change is afoot at The Worlds Largest Technology Tabloid, and it’s making the natives restless. Now, full disclosure (a hilarious phrase when used in the context of TechCrunch), I despise TechCrunch. As much as I’m loath to see people put out of work, I would like nothing more than to see TechCrunch consigned to the dust-bin of history.

Here’s the funny thing though. In each of these pathetic whine-fests about how big bad corporate media just doesn’t understand the special snowflake that is TechCrunch we’re implicitly asked to accept one unreasonable argument. We’re asked to accept that — even though Mike Arrington is a demonstrably unethical jackass — the site that he founded is incapable of unethical behavior. I’m sorry kids, that shit won’t fly.


On the Infinite Shittiness of 9to5 Mac

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-30 19:00

I’m hardly the first person to weigh in on this, but I thought that I’d point out this delightful little story from Stephen Hackett at forkbombr.net. The long and short of it is that Stephen called out douchemonger extraordinaire Seth Weintraub, along with his pathetic little ass—-minion Mark Gurman over their horrifically tasteless coverage of Steve Jobs’ health. Seth, in a move that is sure to make Mike Arrington proud, registered forkbombr.com and proceeded to redirect it to a variety of sites. As of the writing of this post it currently points to a page displaying the message “do onto others”.

Anyone who listens to the Angry Mac Bastards podcast knows my option of Weintraub and 9to5 Mac. They’re basically the first link in the chain of feces that inevitably leads a shitty Apple rumor into the mainstream. In biological terms, they’re the shit-eating vermin at the bottom of the Apple rumor ecosystem.

Seth, if you’re out there, I dearly welcome you registering thenagrydrunk.net. It’s amazing how little someone cares when he doesn’t rely on CPM advertising.


The Macalope Weekly: Comfort food

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-27 20:14

In my last post I refered to an article by the Macalope that was behind the Macworld Insider paywall. The Macalope’s (free) weekly column is now up with that content.


What the Literal Fuck (Steve Jobs Resignation Edition)

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-26 15:42

I was debating joining my mythical compatriot the Macalope1 and adding my own frothing rage over this [vilely offensive pile of syphilitic jackal dung][te] when I made the mistake of meandering down into the comments. I was not surprised to find the usual collection of “hur dur Apple is so evil” bullshit, but what really caught my eye was a magnificent example of the art of utter what-the-fuckery by some jackass with the handle of “joblot”.

I’ll spare your sanity (and my bandwidth) and not reproduce the entire 750 word screed Instead let’s savor some choice bits o’ crazy. The whackaloon begins:

Reality is not about effort but about not applying effort when you lack the realisation of what that effort is truly meant for. Divinity exists but not when you lack reality, the absoluteness of the truth. Regardless of how one might deploy one’s weaponry, when you are not the principle, you will not be able to perceive whatever depth/sensibility that principle affords. The recognition of Divinity is a gift from The Divine for being “of divinity” [and not “for divinity”] whereas those of effort will never, ever, recognise Divinity…

Savor, savor the crazy. It should be noted that what I’ve quoted is only about half of the first paragraph. I refuse to actually analyse that shit, but Great Caesar’s Ghost this loon has a hard-on for “Divinity”, which confuses the fuck out of me since this article was ostensibly about what a shitty person Steve Jobs is. I must be insufficiently enlightened. Moving on:

The resignation by Jobs was an opportunity for benevolence but it merely became the straw that’ll break the camel’s back. Regardless, his time is limited, of course, but still the malingering is there, meaning the “Chairmanship” and “My Baby” bit. That means the end is nigh because what used to be within effort is now without. The liver is where one’s creativity/activity is centred, being located on the “right side” of the body [whereas the heart sits on the “left side”].

Ok? The freak then devotes a paragraph to glorifying the wonders of Chinese medicine and denouncing the evil ways of imperialistic Westerners…whatever hippy. Moving on:

Replacing one’s liver is more than a physical death sentence, death, in totality, being that which lacks the living. The liver is a gateway to the unseen dimensions, it is where one’s Attention resides. When the liver is overwhelmed, one’s Attention takes an enforced imprisonment/R&R. Witness an alcoholic drunkard, for example…

Fuck you

…To have the liver problem transcending onto the left/pancreas is the same as being drunk, but not through alcohol but via something entirely different. The left and right energies are like an electrical power grid where energy is channelled to balance the whole…

Sigh, more stupid “ancient Chinese secret” bullshit. I’m getting bored. Kwai Chang Kane finishes up:

Should re-birth be a reality, will, say, an “American” be reborn as one? You sure? Do not judge “Apple” for its complexity, judge it and other Infinitisers for their simplicity - their destructiveness.

Ok, I give up. This has to be a joke right? Please?!


  1. It’s behind the Macworld Insider paywall but, if you can, you really should read the [Macalope’s][] takedown of this horrible article. [Macalope’s]: http://www.macworld.com/article/161969/2011/08/macalope_zero_to_classless.html [te]: http://news.techeye.net/business/whats-next-for-apple-now-jobs-has-gone#ixzz1W30Vk1F9 


Thanks Steve

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-25 15:09

It seems unlikely that anyone reading this would be unaware of the news, but Steve Jobs announced his resignation as Apple’s CEO yesterday afternoon. The glaring idiocy is already spewing forth from the fucktards in the pundit class, but I’ll save my vitriol for a later point. If nothing else I’m sure me and the two other jackasses will rant about it on the next Angry Mac Bastards Old Timey Revival Hour.

For the time being, however, I’d just like to thank Mr. Jobs for the amazing work he has done at Apple. On behalf of everyone who just wants their computers and gadgets to get the fuck out of their way and let them get shit done; we appreciate how Apple, under Jobs’ leadership, has made computing suck a little bit less.


Sweet Zoroaster, What’s With This Week?

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-19 15:21

Great googly—-moogly this week has been one hell of a ride. What with Google announcing plans to buy Motorola Mobility, and now with HP announcing that they’re exiting the PC business and killing off their WebOS hardware. While I can’t say I’ll shed a tear for the PC hardware, I am a bit saddened by the apparent death of WebOS. For one thing, I honestly believe that there should be a decent competitor to iOS in the market. In my mind WebOS was the best suited to take that role. Secondly, I have always had a soft spot for the erstwhile Palm OS. I was an early adopter of Palm handhelds, and I used a Palm device until the day I bought my first iPhone.

I’m going to have to dig out my old Tungsten T3 and have a drink with it.


PSA: This is why non-developers shouldn’t run iOS betas

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-16 15:41

I’ve given the kids over at TUAW plenty of crap over the years, especially concerning coverage of pre-release Apple operating systems, so good on Chris Rawson for making a point that I’m constantly hammering on. Unless you are a developer or an advanced user who knows exactly what the fuck they are doing — do the world a favor and don’t install Apple beta OSes.


Oh for the Love of Satan!

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-15 22:03

This is an obscenely bad idea.


And Then That Happened

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-15 15:26

Jesus tap-dancing Christ, I go off on a four-day bender and come back to find that Google has up and bought Motorola. What in Satan’s name is this world coming to. Most of the punditocracy seems to think that this is a play for Moto’s patent portfolio. I’m not of the mood to put much thought into the whole thing, so I’ll just link to Nilay Patel’s analysis of the patent implications. Now, excuse me while I go break the news to my old Moto RAZR.


Corporate Stupid

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-10 15:29

In order to combat the fact that my co-workers are thieving scum, signs have been placed on the two refrigerators in our microscopic break room. Instead of saying something sensical, such as “Stop stealing shit you thieving assholes,” they read:

Stop.

Do not take items that you did not purchase.

This confuses me. Am I not allowed to take the home-cooked meal that I brought. Alternately, can I just take whatever I want and leave some money behind. Sometimes it’s better to just say what you mean.


On OS X and iOS Merging By 2012 with A6 Chips

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-03 16:58

Chad Olson saves me some time and dissects the latest analcyst idiocy.


Feh

Permalink - Posted on 2011-08-02 00:23

I find it hard to brag about being right about something Apple already confirmed, but hey iCloud.com Beta is live. Web apps, gotta love ‘em.


On Apple Buying Barnes and Noble

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-29 16:11

Somehow I missed this lunacy about Apple buying Barnes and Noble. Fortunately Chad Olson took up the slack.


An Abstract Argument

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-26 22:14

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has finally arrived, bringing with it some of the most significant changes in the Mac user interface since OS X debuted a decade ago. Predictably the response from a large segment of the tech punditocracy has been fear, loathing and nerd rage.

Ever since Steve Jobs gave a brief preview of Lion at a special event in October 2010 there have been pundits claiming that the new interface features represented the “iOSification” of the Mac. Harry Marks does a good job of addressing that claim on his blog so I will refrain from getting into that debate here. I do, though, want to address a point that I feel is getting missed by those bemoaning the changes in Lion.

The Map Is Not The Country

There is one extremely important fact that is universally ignored when people discuss how we should interact with computers. In fact, our ability to ignore this fact is the very reason why computers are useable by people in general. The fact is, unless you are a member of an extremely small group of people, you have never “directly” interacted with your computer. The very purpose of an operating system is to provide an interface that allows the raw mathematics and quantum mechanics that drive a computer to be accessed by a human being. A consequence of this fact is at all computer interfaces are abstractions of the real processes involved.

It amuses me when technology pundits draw a line in the sand and proclaim some arbitrary level of abstraction to be “reality” and every different form of abstraction is either a hack or a toy interface. Tell me, is this abstraction

dlines@Sol-Invictus: /Applications \$ ls -la
total 16
drwxrwxr-x+ 133 root admin 4522 Jul 24 12:28 .
drwxr-xr-x@ 35 root wheel 1258 Jul 21 20:13 ..
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root admin 6148 Jul 21 20:36 .DS\_Store
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 0 Jun 13 11:46 .localized
drwxr-xr-x 4 dlines dlines 136 Jul 21 21:26 1Password.app
drwxr-xr-x+ 3 root wheel 102 Jun 16 17:34 Address Book.app

really any more real than this one?

appfolder

Or this one?

launchpad

All three of these are merely different ways of depicting a set of files. But the abstraction doesn’t end there. What is a file? Is it some sort of real entity? No, it is just another abstract way of describing a set of ones and zeros. The truth is that computing involves abstractions at all levels. There are certainly valid reasons for preferring one representation or level of abstraction to another, but “reality” isn’t one of them.

The Computer Fades Away

There is a phrase that is often used when people describe the first time they use an iPad. “The computer fades away.” What people mean by that is, when using the iPad, the entire experience is focused on the task or content at hand.

For example, I’m currently writing this post in the iPad app Writing Kit. I’m typing directly on the screen, there are no other windows around the content, there are no windows at all. In effect, my iPad has become my writing tool.

Contrast this with the experience on the Mac. On the Mac I would be typing on a separate keyboard, watching the text appear in a BBEdit window strewn among all the other crap on my screen.

Another, possibly even better example is browsing the web on the iPad. When using Safari on the iPad, not only does the rest of the OS fade away, but even the browser interface itself for the most part disappears. With the exception of the toolbar at the top of the screen, when browsing the web the iPad effectively *becomes* the web page.

What do this have to do with Lion you ask. Simply this: I believe that, from the very inception of the Macintosh, Apple has followed two related trajectories. First, to increasingly abstract away the “computer.” Second, to remove levels of abstraction between the user and the content. Let’s look at some examples of the new interface features in Lion and how they fit in with this narrative.

Launchpad

Launchpad is a new feature in Lion that provides a fullscreen application launcher to the operating system. There really isn’t anything complicated about using Launchpad. One invokes it, locates the application, clicks the icon and away we go. What makes Launchpad different from the previous system is that Launchpad’s organization is completely divorced from how applications are organized in the Finder.

While Launchpad does initially represent folders within the Applications folder, folders created within Launchpad are “virtual.” Therefore one could conceivably create a “Writing” folder that contained Pages, BBEdit and Microsoft even though applications are not grouped in the Finder. This allows one to abstract the function of the application from other organizational concerns — grouping the Microsoft Office applications together for instance.

This represents an example of the first trajectory. By adding a layer of abstraction Apple increases the conceptual distance between the user and the mechanics of the computer.

Natural Scrolling

An example of the second trajectory, removing layers of abstraction between the user and the content, is the introduction of “natural scrolling.” If you listen to some of the howling from the blaghosphere you might get the impression that Lion now uses some sort of Bizzaro World scrolling system where down is up and left is cheese. The truth is somewhat less insidious than that.

With “natural scrolling” enabled (it is by default) and when using a multi-touch enabled pointing device such as a Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or built-in trackpad the scrolling direction is “reversed” from the previous norm. For example, to scroll “down” in a document you move your finger(s) upwards on the Magic Mouse or trackpad.

Many have dismissed this behavior as merely aping the behavior in iOS. I disagree with that assessment. It’s important to look at the other modes of scrolling content in Lion to understand that what Apple is really doing here, both with Lion and iOS is making the behavior better correspond to the metaphor being employed.

Previous to Lion Apple used two related interface metaphors to describe how scrolling content works depending on the interface device being used. Put briefly they are:

  • Keyboard: The keyboard arrow keys move a cursor (visible or not) through the content. The content scrolls as appropriate to keep the cursor on-screen. When the cursor reaches the edge of the viewport, the content moves within the viewport to bring the next line of content on-screen.
  • Mouse: A virtual representation of the viewport — sometimes called a scroll-thumb — is moved, either by dragging it or by using a set of on-screen arrow buttons, to show different sections of content. As an aside, John Gruber linked to a very interesting bit from Larry Tesler regarding how the decision about how scrolling would work on the original Mac was made.

With Lion Apple has introduced a new metaphor to the desktop borrowed from iOS. In the new metaphor, the viewport is a fixed window. Content is manipulated within this viewport by direct manipulation via a multi-touch device. To reinforce this metaphor Apple has removed the scroll bar and made the scroll-thumb invisible by default. The result of this new metaphor is to remove a layer of abstraction between the user and manipulating content.

A brief aside on “doing it wrong”

I’ve seen several people, once they have converted to the new scroll, make statements to the effect that we’ve been scrolling the wrong way all along. I disagree with that notion. I think that each interface metaphor that Apple has employed, and still employs, makes perfect sense in context. When I use the down arrow key to move the cursor past the bottom of the viewport I expect the next lower line of content to be revealed — anything else would be weird. Similarly, as Tesler comments on in the link above, the mouse-based scrolling behavior was based on solid research. What was “wrong” as Tesler also aludes to was extending the mouse metaphor to the scroll wheel.

Embracing the New, Maintaining the Old

Intelligent people can have different opinions about the changes in Lion. Some are bound to hate them. Some might think that they were implemented badly. Some, like me, may embrace them. One of the great things about OS X is that it does have multiple levels of abstraction and interface paradigms. In the course of writing this piece I used interfaces ranging from the command line, to the “classic” Finder, to the new iOSified stuff in Lion. Those that hate the new interface elements in Lion can, for the most part, configure it to behave as previous versions did.

Admittedly, almost all the above is merely my speculation. Perhaps Apple really does pull interface ideas out of their asses. Maybe this is all a draconian plot to rob us of our scrolling freedoms. Somehow, though, I don’t think so. I really think that Apple is working towards a goal of empowering the average user by removing the computer from the experience and bringing them closer to their content while leaving the tools in place for the nerds to do their thing. If that’s not the experience you’re looking for, well there’s always Linux.


Why Google cares if you use your real name

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-26 21:02

I give Dave Winer plenty of crap when he’s wrong, so it’s only fair to point out when he’s absolutely right. The sooner people stop thinking Google is their buddy, the better off we’ll all be.


Prognostication

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-25 16:58

The hammer has finally dropped and 3rd party eReader applications are being updated to comply with Apple’s current rules on In App Purchases. A better man than myself would refrain from pointing out that this is exactly how I predicted things would go down. Good thing for me I’m an asshole.


Storm’s a’Comin

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-19 01:00

Storm's a
Comin'


Paul Thurrott is a Fucking Lunatic

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-18 18:27

Apparently the New York Times has some horrible anti-Microsoft bias —- and if there is someone who knows about irrational biases it’s Paul Thurrott. I’d properly deconstruct this lunacy, but I shat myself laughing about it. Thanks Paul, you fucking lunatic, you owe me a pair of pants.


Why I Believe Tablets are PCs

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-14 18:01

Brilliant commentary by Harry Marks.


Wettin’ Their Beaks

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-13 22:00

If it wasn’t blindingly obvious before, it should be by now that the mafioso scumbags behind Lodsys really think that they deserve a cut of every shekel that trades hands on the Internet. Hopefully the independent developers out there will clue in to the fact that Apple can’t save them from this, and negotiating with these cock-suckers will only guarantee that they demand a bigger cut down the road.

It’s time to organize and fight back.


Jason Perlow and Bruce Byfield: A Debate On Open Source

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-13 18:43

A great summary of what has become a tedious debate by Harry Marks at Curious Rat. Coincidentally John, Kelly Guimont (sitting in for Peter) and I discussed this very issue last night while recording the next Angry Mac Bastards podcast. The tech punditocracy needs to pull their heads out of their collective asses and realize that there are far more people who just want to use technology than there are people who want to spend their lives fucking with it.


SOURCES!!

Permalink - Posted on 2011-07-07 20:49

Via the infallible Josh Topolsky:

Our sources are saying that not only will there be a newly designed iPhone coming in the fall, but there is going to be a new entry into the iPad family as well. As hard as it might be to believe, the new tablet is said to sport a double resolution screen (2048 x 1536), and will be dubbed the “iPad HD.” The idea behind the product is apparently that it will be a “pro” device aimed at a higher end market — folks who work in video and photo production possibly — and will be introduced alongside something like an iPad version of Final Cut or Aperture. This product is specifically said to not be the iPad 3, rather a complimentary piece of the iPad 2 line. Think MacBook and MacBook Pro.

My gosh he must be right! Apple is known far and wide for their devotion to the “Pro” market


The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Permalink - Posted on 2011-06-28 19:01

Warning! Political content ahead

This story didn’t get much press yesterday—probably because the nerdlingers were too a’flutter over the Supreme Court decision forbidding California from banning the sale of “violent” videogames to minors—but there was actually a second, and far more important SCOTUS decision handed down yesterday.

In an utterly unsurprising, but still insanely infuriating, 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down part of Arizona’s public campaign finance law. Crooks and Liars has a good write-up of the decision, but the gist of it is that the part of the law that provided additional public funds to candidates who are being massively outspent by corporate funding was deemed unconstitutional.

Again, it’s completely unsurprising that the “logic” used by the Robert’s led majority was that public funds infringe on the “free speech” of corporations. I honestly would not be shocked to see these fuck-heads declare that corporations can just flat-out buy elected officials at auction.

Of course it comes as no surprise to discover the two major players in this case: the Institute for Justice and The Goldwater Institute are heavily financed by the Koch Brothers and the Walton Foundation (Wal-Mart).

At this point, I think the only sane thing for a person to do is register themselves as a corporation too. Apparently our natural existence is no match for the legal fiction.


On iCloud Streaming

Permalink - Posted on 2011-06-27 16:01

Harry C Marks at Curious Rat makes some good points rebutting the silly idea that iTunes in ‘da Cloud lacks a streaming option as some sort of concession to AT&T & Verizon capped data plans. (The thought that Apple gives the tiniest shit about AT&T or Verizon has me chortling).

My take is that Apple sees streaming audio the same way that they see web hosted data (which does not mean web apps as some bloggers learned last week). The entire premise behind iCloud is that your data lives everywhere simultaneously — web, iPhone, desktop — there is no one preferred device. A streaming solution would break that model.


Chicken Little, Wrong Yet Again

Permalink - Posted on 2011-06-24 17:21

Well, looky here, Apple has published an updated MobileMe to iCloud transition document. Of note:

Will I be able to access iCloud services on the web?

Yes. Web access to iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Find My iPhone will be available at icloud.com this fall.

How can this be? We were assured by none other than the infallible Joshua Topolsky himself that Apple had foolishly chosen to abandon web-access. I mean, good gods an unnamed “Apple PR” person confirmed it. And if you can’t trust some random fuck at Apple who isn’t even willing to go on record, well then I don’t know what this world is coming to.

At any rate, enjoy your web apps.


Verizon Killing Unlimited Data Plans in July

Permalink - Posted on 2011-06-21 16:28

Remember, back before the iPhone came to Verizon when all the punditards were nattering on about how glorious things would be if they could just get rid of the evil AT&T. I’m fairly certain that “unlimited data” was one of those wonderful unicorn jizz features that they cited.

How’s that working out?


On Cloud Nine

Permalink - Posted on 2011-06-07 20:48

On Monday Steve Jobs and a host of Apple executives delivered the highly anticipated keynote address to the 2011 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. There are plenty of recaps of the announcements available and I have no interest in running though the bullet points here. If, by some miracle you’re unaware of what was announced, this slide show from Macworld should fill you in.

What I want to comment on specifically is the iCloud announcement. I believe that, despite the stupid name, iCloud will prove to be as groundbreaking as anything else announced at the Keynote. I also suspect that iCloud will ultimately be one of the most important announcements that Apple has ever made.

The Pre-History of Connected Devices

Long long ago I purchased my first hand-held computing device, a Palm III, billed by Palm as the Palm III Connected Organizer. Sadly, the promise of being “connected” fell far short of the delivery. In reality, “connected” simply meant that the device would “sync” (if you were lucky) Contacts, Calendar, and To-Do items with a lackluster suite of desktop applications via a convoluted and buggy conduit system. Over the years, as newer Palm devices were released, the desktop software improved (at least on the Mac). In addition the conduit system improved and was opened to third-party applications. Overall though the experience never stopped sucking and, as a result, most people who I knew using Palm PDA’s tended to treat them as standalone devices.

Near the height of Palm’s dominance of the PDA market and coinciding with the rise of BlueTooth enabled proto-smartphones such as the Sony Ericsson T610 Apple released a clever bit of software named iSync. At the pinnacle of iSync’s functionality it consolidated the synchronization of Apple’s Address Book and iCal applications with various BlueTooth enabled mobile phones, provided non-media data transfers to Apple iPods, enabled data synchronization between computers and provided a platform for third-parties such as Palm to provide synchronization for their devices.

Over the years much of iSync’s functionality was subsumed into the Mac OS or iTunes, or made superfluous by the waning of BlueTooth as a prefered method of synchronization, or made pointless by the effective death of Palm in the PDA market. Today iSync remains as a part of Mac OS X Snow Leopard as a vestigial shell that is used almost exclusively as a means to reset the Sync Services database, itself an almost unused component of the system. Nonetheless the concept of iSync (and of its successor Sync Services) remains brilliant. Provide a single interface (and in Sync Services a single data store) that provides synchronization to all of a users connected devices.

The Phone That Changed The Game

The day that Apple introduced the iPhone was the day that iSync (and its Sync Services successor) were effectively killed. People like myself, who saw the iPhone as an important step on the road to the holy grail of ubiquitous computing looked at the device and asked, “why the fuck doesn’t this thing work with iSync?” One common theory was that all iPhone synchronization had been moved into iTunes because iTunes provided a ready-made platform on Windows. While I have no doubts that might have been a factor in the decision, I suspect that it wasn’t the whole story.

My suspicion is that, early in the development of the iPhone, Apple recognized that mobile access to data was the next big thing in personal computing. Realizing this, I think that Apple looked at Sync Services / iSync and realized that its architecture was hopelessly rooted in the concept of the Mac as the central hub connecting mobile devices. It was time for something different.

A Brief Digression On Ubiquitous Computing

I’ve used the phrase “ubiquitous computing” a few times in previous sections, so it’s probably a good idea to explain what I mean there. What I’m referring to is the idea that, at any given time, a user will not only have access to a computing device but that device will have access to the entirety of that user’s data. There are many differing ways to implement such a system. In the version that I refer to as the “holy grail of ubiquitous computing” that access happens with minimal user interaction, is done seamlessly and preferably happens via OS supplied APIs.

A Botched First Step

During the 2008 Worldwide Developer Conference Apple announced MobileMe, a revamp and rebranding of their existing .Mac offering. MobileMe’s launch was possibly one of the most embarrassing that Apple ever experienced. Between server melt-downs, billing issues and just plain shittiness MobileMe remained the butt of jokes for the entirety of its existence. Putting aside MobileMe’s launch issues though, I think that it’s obvious that it was a tentative first step towards Apple’s vision of ubiquitous computing.

One of the core features of MobileMe, going all the way back to its original incarnation as iTools was IMAP email. IMAP is the prototypical “data in the cloud” service. Email lives on the server and clients access that data remotely. With MobileMe Apple upped the ante by including support for so-called “push email” where the messages are pushed to the client rather than the user needing to initiate a download. Beginning with MobileMe Apple extended the “push” metaphor to its calendar and contact list offerings as well. For MobileMe subscribers, calendar entries entered in iCal and contacts entered in Address Book are automatically uploaded to the MobileMe servers and then pushed to other registered clients. This happens automagically in the background — when it works.

iCloud Cometh

NOTE: While the bulk of the preceding was based on historical fact, at this point I will begin to indulge in pure speculation. I’m basing all of this on what was publicly announced during the keynote.

There is an amusing story about the MobileMe launch that I will paraphrase here. After MobileMe’s horrific launch Steve Jobs called the team together and asked a simple question, “What is this thing supposed to do?” After a few attempts one person in the room managed to crap out an answer that Steve found acceptable, to which he responded, “Then why the fuck doesn’t it do that?”

None of the versions of that story that I’ve heard have specified exactly what the answer was to Steve’s question, but I think that It’s obvious that it was something pretty similar to what Apple announced on Monday. To quote from the description on Apple’s website:

iCloud is so much more than a hard drive in the sky. Its the effortless way to access just about everything on all your devices. iCloud stores your content so its always accessible from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It gives you instant access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required. iCloud does it all for you.

Perhaps it’s just my wishful thinking, but that sounds a whole lot like the description of ubiquitous computing that I gave before. It sure as he’ll sounds like more than the silly music locker service that the press seems fascinated with. Much remains to be seen, and the Devil is always in the details, but the New APIs available to apps with iCloud finally offer the hope of a system integrated over—-the—-air sync solution.

During the run-up to the WWDC Keynote one of the items leaked was iCloud’s icon (see the iCloud product page linked above). Some people jokingly commented that it looks just like the iSync icon, but with the “sync” graphic replaced with a “cloud.” I have a suspicion that there is nothing coincidental about that. When I look at what we currently know about iCloud I don’t see a mere replacement for MobileMe. I see a fulfillment of the promise that was made with iSync. A simple service to consolidate the data on all of our (Apple branded of course) devices. I also suspect that it was no accident that all the marketing material, and even the structure of the Keynote itself put iCloud as a peer of MacOS and iOS. I think that iCloud represents a huge component of Apple’s strategy for not just mobile computing, but consumer computing in general.

I still think the name is stupid though.


!!KCUF

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-31 20:37

So it seems that Gruber has updated his post to clarify his stance, including a link to Professor Bob Park of The University of Maryland and the What’s New blog.

I’m glad to see that John’s not blindly parroting the idiocy of the WHO report, but it’s still infuriating to see a bogus issue like this mentioned on the same page as an actual public health issue like cigarette smoking.

That said, here is an article from Glenn Fleishman (who knows more about wireless networking than most of us put together) explaining the realities of this situation.


FUCK!!

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-31 18:09

Fuck me, I just read what might be the stupidest comment of all time. From the usually sane John Gruber commenting on the idiotic announcement from the World Health Organization categorizing cell phone “radiation” as “possibly cancer causing”:

I think it’s quite possible that this issue could be the single greatest long-term threat to Apple. I’d hate to see today’s handset makers turn into yesterday’s tobacco companies.

Let’s look at the difference between “yesterday’s tobacco companies” and “today’s handset makers”. The link between tobacco consumption and cancer had:

  • Massive amounts of evidence gathered by respected independent scientists supporting the link.
  • A clear set of causative mechanisms.
  • A campaign funded by the tobacco industry to deny the independent science.

What does the cell phone cancer “link” have going for it?

  • A massive amount of research by respected independent scientists showing no identifiable link.
  • A tiny amount of evidence supporting a possible link that, at best, could be classified as inconclusive.
  • No causative mechanism that has yet been advanced that doesn’t defy the laws of physics and biology.
  • A political organization bowing to pressure from hysterical anti-science elements within various European governments.

Yeah, Apple and Philip Morris — can’t tell ‘em apart without a microscope.


Fuck the Whole Lot of You

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-26 20:38

I’m watching the constant blather regarding Mac Defender and Mac malware in general with an ever-rising sense of utter disgust. From John Gruber’s brief to the point of inscrutable Wolf!, to Ed Bott’s increasingly masturbatory series of posts the blog buzz is all about “malware” and with a few exceptions it’s all pretty much bullshit. The problem is that the entire conversation around secure computing has been — again with some exceptions — completely poisoned by years of worthless crap from pundits, press and vendors alike.

So, who’s to blame for the sorry state of commentary about computer security? Let’s start with the vendors. For years Microsoft and Apple have, to greater or lesser extents, attempted to produce an operating system that is “immune” to the ravages of malware. In doing so, they (along with so-called computer “experts”) have deluded the masses into thinking that such a thing is even possible. It’s an unavoidable fact that no computer operating system can ever be made immune from malware as long as human beings are interacting with them.

Take, for example, the new bogeyman on the block: Mac Defender. Mac Defender exploits nothing more than Apple’s ill-thought-out default option to open “safe” files after downloading and (ironically) the average user’s terror at the thought of viruses. Mac Defender is based purely on social engineering, and there is no amount of operating system security that can work around that. Further, Apple and Microsoft have both conditioned their users to blithely click though warnings and nonchalantly enter their admin passwords at the slightest provocation. Until all operating system vendors begin to focus on keeping their users safe rather than on making the OS secure attacks like this will only increase.

Also worthy of our ire are the pundits and so-called experts who for years have treated malware attacks as a way of counting coup in the Great Operating System Wars. Every MacMac who grinned smugly at the epic cluster-fuck of malware for Windows XP, every jackass Windows pundit rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of the glorious day when the Apple “fanboys” would get their comeuppance, every chortling neck-beard who tediously explains that “trojans aren’t viruses” and that malware which only erases a user’s files doesn’t matter.

On the behalf of the average computer users of the world I say this: Fuck the whole lot of you.

Hopefully the press, pundits and vendors will pull their collective heads out of their asses and begin to have a rational discussion about how to keep users safe from modern security threats. Until that day we’ll continue to be subjected to a non-stop barrage of shitty articles and smug assholes. And actual users will continue to suffer.

I’ll close with two quasi-random comments that epitomize the bullshit. First, from the Macworld article linked above:

When you say, ” … Windows 7 is actually more secure than OS X … “, that’s a pretty bold statement considering there’s no sources or evidence shown in the article to back that up. If Mac OS X had worse security than Windows 7 then we’d surely see more than a few viruses spreading wildly on Mac OS X after over a decade.

Marketshare is too low, you say as a so-called security expert? Sorry, that doesn’t fly. Mac OS 9 had over 40 viruses in the wild when Apple had far less marketshare. So that destroys your marketshare incentive myth right there. There was incentive to make viruses for the Mac when it had much less marketshare than it has today. Mac OS 9 had an inferior architecture to Mac OS X for security. Very much like how Windows has an inferior architecture to Mac OS X for security.

Gee… maybe it has something to do with UNIX underpinnings in OS X? Research is your friend.

To blindly state that Windows 7 is “actually” more secure than OS X isn’t factual and is simply spewing link-bait instead of practicing decent journalism. Sad.

Meanwhile, for jeebus sake there is THISMS Removal Tool” that can hijack your Windows computer without ANY interaction whatsoever. Read about that and then see if your “bold”, link-bait is anything but laughable.

And here’s a gem from one of Ed Bott’s crap-bags:

I pity the dumb Mac users who don’t know anything about keeping your computer safe. But, as it has always been said, a computer is only as secure as the user. And most Mac users I have talked to think attacks on Macs are impossible. Even Apple stores don’t recommend putting anti-virus on your Mac because it isn’t required. Oh how that will be changing so soon.

Seriously, fuck the whole lot of you.


Mac Defender: Pay attention but don’t panic

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-25 20:56

Rich Mogull on macworld.com speaks sanity about Mac Defender and thegeneral state of Mac security.


Boom

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-23 19:30

As I suspected they would, Apple just stepped up and told the douchebags at Lodsys to suck a gigantic sack of cock. Realistically, it’s not like Apple could have responded in any other way. Apple has obviously bet big on collecting its cut of In App Purchases and anything that threatened that revenue was going to get the ol’ horse head in bed routine.

More to the point, Lodsys was advancing a novel new patent-troll business model that I like to think of as the La Cosa Nostra theory of patent trolling. Basically Lodsys wanted to wet their beaks at every point at which money changes hands. Apple slapped that bullshit down with a fierceness:

Through its threatened infringement claims against users of Apple’s licensed technology, Lodsys is invoking patent law to control the post-sale use of these licensed products and methods. Because Lodsys’s threats are based on the purchase or use of Apple products and services licensed under the Agreement, and because those Apple products and services, under the reading articulated in your letters, entirely or substantially embody each of Lodsys’s patents, Lodsys’s threatened claims are barred by the doctrines of patent exhaustion and first sale. As the Supreme Court has made clear, “[t]he authorized sale of an article that substantially embodies a patent exhausts the patent holder’s rights and prevents the patent holder from invoking patent law to control postsale use of the article.” Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., Inc., 553 U.S. 617 (2008).

Now, does any of this solve the problems plaguing software patents? Of course not. Nor does it magically protect independent developers accused of infringing on patents that Apple doesn’t happen to have a pre-existing license. But at least it shows that Apple is willing to go to bat for developers who committed no offense but to follow Apple’s rules.

I suspect now that the narrative will move to the speed of Apple’s response. Claims will be made that Apple took too long, or that they only made this move due to boycotts, or pissy letters from the EFF, or due to threats of Craig Hockenberry’s fleshy palm (my personal choice). Let me counter those comments with five words:

Seven. Mother. Fucking. Business. Days.

In the world of legal responses that’s a fucking split second.

At any rate, now we can move on to the next Apple outrage. I’m betting on long lines for the crappers at WWDC.


Missing the Point

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-18 15:33

First off I want to say that I hold Mike Lee in the utmost respect and bear him absolutely no ill will. That said, I think his call for developers to “boycott” Apple’s iOS In App Purchase API both misses the point and doesn’t go far enough.

In his post Mike states:

What I propose is this: for every API that is infected by parasites, we cut off the branch and boycott the API. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to be able to use an API without being sued, the same way it’s not unreasonable to expect to use an API without getting spam.

On the one hand I absolutely understand where Mike is coming from with this — with the caveat that it’s a bit naive to expect Apple Legal to have a public response to this issue after only three business days — and in another situation I might be in complete agreement. On the other hand, I think that focusing on the In App Purchase API misses a bigger point.

If we take a look at what the douchenozzles at Lodsys claim their patents cover, it’s fairly obvious that the current scuffle over In App Purchases is the tip of a much larger iceberg. Lodsys claims that their patents cover:

  • providing online help, customer support, and tutorials
  • conducting online subscription renewals
  • providing for online purchasing of consumable supplies
  • surveying users for their impressions of their products and services
  • assisting customers to customize their products and services
  • displaying interactive online advertisements
  • collecting information on how users actually use their products and services
  • selling upgrades or complimentary products
  • maintaining products by providing users notice of available updates and assisting in the installation of those updates.

Read that list. Now read it again. Lodsys is basically claiming ownership of every method monetizing the Internet other than “a method of showing titties to horny teenagers.”

If we insist on Apple focusing its energy on the current ox being gored we run the chance of failing to avert the bigger disaster. Should Apple act swiftly to protect developers who have committed no crime other than to utilize an API promoted by Apple? Absolutely. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees. App developers will not be safe from Lodsys until their egregiously over-broad patents are invalidated.

While a boycott on the In App Purchase API might be emotionally satisfying, what we really need is a call for every company with an interest in the Internet: Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. to band together to have Lodsys and their patents stricken from the planet.

Note: Neither Mike’s boycott or my counter-proposal addresses the desperate need for patent reform. That’s a seperate, and much larger debate.


Derp

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-13 09:10

I wonder how many of the “hur dur the iPad can’t be a post-PC device if you have to activate it via a PC” crowd, such as the Tellarite will eat their words when Apple unveils OTA activation as a part of iOS 5? In other words, making blanket pronouncements about a hardware device based on its current operating system is idiocy of the highest order.


I Want to Punch AppleInsider In Its Collective Junk

Permalink - Posted on 2011-05-05 15:19

Also, “analcyst” Shaw Wu needs to be stopped by any means necessary.

From this worthless pile of dung:

According to one analyst’s check with sources along Apple’s supply chain, Apple plans to refresh the rest of its Mac lineup, which would include the MacBook, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and MacBook Air, “in upcoming months.”

Sweet Jesus, really? Apple’s going to update their existing lineup.

OMFGWTFBBQ111!!!ONEONE

This is fucking unprecedented. When was the last time Apple updated an existing product. Stop. The. Fucking. Presses.

I seriously hate these people.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/05/04/supply_chain_sources_say_all_remaining_macs_to_receive_update_in_coming_months.html


Like It or Not, the PlayBook Must Be Compared to the iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-22 14:38

Harry Marks on some weapons-grade stupidity from Wayne rash at eWeek. Honestly, given that it is eWeek, I’m surprised the article wasn’t “10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Compare the PlayBook to the iPad.”


The Ever-Increasing Hyperbolic Idiocy of the Apple Press

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-20 15:09

So, we’re supposed to be shocked and appalled that an operating system that includes features with names such as “CoreLocation” and “Background Location Updates” keeps track of your location. I oft-times wonder if the people writing this crap even bother to attempt to think shit through before they jab the “post” button.


Dinner is Served

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-11 01:32

Dinner is
served


Pork Tenderloin on the Grill

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-11 00:22

Pork tenderloin on the
grill


Business Idea

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-05 17:40

I would love to see something that I’m calling a “prediction escrow service.” Basically it would work like this. You would register for an account. Then you could log predictions with the service, at which point they would be “locked” with a date-stamp. At any point after that you would be able to “unlock” your predictions and share them with a URL. The benefit of the service would that you could prove that you made a prediction at a specific point in the past.

The obvious use case would be technology punditry, but I’m sure other uses are possible.


The Macalope Weekly Special Edition: Fools of the Year

Permalink - Posted on 2011-04-01 15:18

In lieu of doing any actual work myself on this darkest of days, here is the Macalope’s roundup of the best (worst?) of the Apple media’s lunacy during the last year. Enjoy!


Marco Arment on Apple’s Boring Hardware Updates

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-31 17:02

Here is an insightful post by Marco Arment regarding Apple’s hardware update strategy and the next revision of the iPhone in particular. I don’t completely agree with Marco’s conclusions—-mainly because I think that people are being to hasty to equate “no iPhone announced at WWDC” with “no iPhone until Fall”—-but otherwise I think he’s on to something.

The iPhone is getting pretty close to hardware maturity, while iOS is ripe for a host of event-worthy updates. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Apple release an updated iPhone with minimal hardware updates (A5 processor, more RAM, more storage) running iOS 4 either via a small event or a press release shortly before or after WWDC with the promise of an upgrade to iOS 5 whenever that’s ready.


OMG CONFIRMED!!!

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-28 19:51

It seems that, more and more, the Apple focused tech media has become inundated by coverage based on rumormongery. Of course, it’s understandable why this is happening. The simple fact of the matter is that advertising generates the revenue in this busines, and making money through advertising means maximizing page-views. Sadly, in our ever prurient tech press, nothing brings in the eyeballs like speculating on what Apple is going to do next.

The problem isn’t so much that rumor-based stories have become so prevalent. As explained in the above paragraph, that is to be expected. Additionally, here has always been a place for well crafted speculation in the Apple media. The problem, in my opinion, is how the less professional amongst the page—-view whores have created a small industry out of taking speculation and rumor and amplifying it into a frothing mass of insanity.

Case in point, the recent news and speculation regarding Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference and whether or not Apple will announce a new iPhone at the event.

On Monday Apple announced the dates for this year’s WWDC. The announcement can be viewed here. The tagline for the event is “Join us for a preview of the future of iOS and Mac OS X.”Following the announcement my pal Jim Dalrymple at The Loop posted an article claiming that the WWDC Keynote would not involve the announcement of new iPhone, iPad or Mac hardware.

Now, I want to be clear here. I have no reason to doubt Jim on this issue. There are probably less than five Apple pundits who’s sources and analysis I trust implicitly, and Jim is one of them. If Jim says that his sources are telling him that this year’s WWDC Keynote is going to be hardware free, then I have no doubt that this will be the case.

Note, though, what Jim isn’t saying. He isn’t saying that there won’t be an announcement of the next iPhone sometime before WWDC. Nor is he saying that Apple won’t hold a separate event the week after WWDC (and don’t ink for a moment that Apple is incapable of doing something like that). All that we know, to the extent that we trust Jim’s sources is that the announcement won’t be during the WWDC Keynote. To be clear, I’m not saying that either of those scenarios is likely, just that they are conceivably possible based on the information we have now.

Of course, that won’t stop the impending deluge of idiotic speculation based on the small bit of rumor—and understand that, sources not withstanding, this is a rumor until it’s either confirmed by Apple or the Keynote ends. Even within the comments to the post on The Loop the speculation has begun that this “delay” is due to Apple waiting until they can include the mythical Near Field Communication unicorn, or because they’re waiting for AT&T’s 4g LTE rollout to achieve sufficient density (ignoring that that won’t happen until mid-2012), or because of the quake in Japan.

Expect the next few days to be chock-full of worthless articles with headlines shouting “REPORT,” and “CONFIRMED” all based on nothing more than Jim’s report and a typically information-free Apple press release. All of them will be utter shit.

But hey, the page-views must flow.


Color

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-24 18:05

You say there’s another app for hipster nerds to share pictures of themselves doing hipster nerd shit?

yay.


Spring

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-15 18:42

75

It’s criminal to be locked up in a cubicle on a day like this.


iPad Calculus 2: Smart Cover Boogaloo

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-14 10:30

A little over a year ago, right after Apple announced the original iPad but before it was shipping, I wrote an article laying out my thoughts regarding my potential use cases for the newly revealed product. It’s somewhat gratifying that, one year later, I can look back on that post and say that I was completely correct in my predictions. Now I find myself facing the same calculations to determine if I can justify the expense of upgrading to the iPad 2.

For the three people who have been living on the moon for the last two weeks, the salient differences between the original iPad and the iPad 2 are:

  • Faster processor
  • Upgraded graphics processor
  • Significantly thinner and lighter
  • More RAM
  • The addition of front and rear facing cameras

Items that remain the same include:

  • Physical screen dimensions
  • Screen resolution

As I commented immediately after the event, short of a sudden windfall of cash, I don’t see myself buying an iPad 2. However, I highly recommend one to anyone who thinks that they want to see what all this “tablet” fuss is about. Meanwhile, I’m finding it fascinating to watch Apple continue to evolve this platform. I think that Apple is really discovering what these devices can do at the same time that we are, and that is pretty fucking amazing.


Fuck You Brian X Chen

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-10 17:07

Seriously, fuck you.

The things that are wrong with this piece of odious yak vomit from Brian X Chen on Wired.com are Legion, but one thing in particular makes me want to punch Chen in the giblets. After writing about how Steve Jobs featured Garageband and iMovie for the iPad during the recent iPad 2 event, Chen writes:

Historically, iMovie and GarageBand have been popular on the Mac because of their affordability and ease of use. With these two apps, Apple pioneered tools for Joe Schmo to create music and movies—skills that were previously exclusive to professional musicians and moviemakers with expensive hardware and software.

As a professional Final Cut Pro videomaker myself, I was personally frustrated that Apple kept making it easier and easier for anyone to replicate my technical skills with much simpler tools.

Indeed, how dare Apple be so crass as to provide tools for “Joe Schmos” to express their creative sides. Why, if this trend continues people might fail to fall to ground in prostration before the awe and majesty of Brian X Chen, Professional Final Cut Pro Videomaker.

It’s actually difficult to compose coherent sentences to insult this insufferable cunt. The level of rank arrogance leaves me capable of doing nothing more than screaming in rage (stay tuned for the next Angry Mac Bastards podcast).

I could go on. Chen certainly does in an idiotic, and frankly tired, screed about how the iPad is teh suck because it doesn’t have any apps for writing code. Let us weep for the poor lost generation who will never learn to write shitty text editors. On the other hand, they might become musicians and thus have a chance of seeing a nipple close up. You win some, you lose some. The truth is, I’m far to hung-over to bother deconstructing Chen’s actual argument. The fact that Chen is so lacking in self awareness to publish the paragraphs quoted above renders his opinions of no more worth to me than a fart on the wind.

I will close with one final thought though. In the dim mists of pre-history, I too have received monetary compensation for editing video. So I can speak with some small level of authority on this point. Brian, if iMovie allowed any schmuck with an iMac to replicate your technical skills you are, in fact, a shitty fucking editor. Tools don’t make the artist you arrogant twat.

Update: While I was composing this, Chen updated the article to sound like less of a cunt, typical New Media Douchebag.


Obligatory iPad 2 Commentary

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-04 15:42

As anyone with a functioning pulse knows, Apple revealed the iPad 2 on Wednesday of this week. I won’t reiterate the stats and features, there’s plenty of places on the web where you can find them.

Overall I think that the iPad 2 is a solid update that met with most of my expectations based on the more credible rumors. It definitely advances the platform and handily answers the challenges posed by the current crop of competitors. That said, barring a sudden infusion of cash, I won’t be buying one. None of the iPad 2’s added features, including it’s wafer thinness make it worth another 800 quatloos to me. Nonetheless, I expect the iPad 2 to sell in record numbers.


My One & Only Prediction for Today’s iPad 2 Event

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-02 15:02

By the end of the event, I’m going to want to kill someone.


A Quick Note on NDAs and Ethical Behavior

Permalink - Posted on 2011-03-01 15:19

My Angry Mac Bastards cohort John C. Welch makes the case as plainly as humanly possible. Adhering to the terms of Apple’s Lion Developer Preview NDA is something we do for one simple reason: because we agreed to it. In contrast, behold the rambling half-baked justification for breaking the NDA—-put forth by TUAW.

Here’s my advice to all the “journalists” out there. If you’re going to break the NDAs that you agree to, nut up and just admit that you’re doing it to drive your hit-count. Pretending that you’re doing the world some great service by posting a video of a preview version of a fucking operating system is bullshit.

My advice to everyone else is even simpler. Think long and hard about doing business with people who are so cavalier about breaking their legal agreements. Who knows where they will draw the line.


An Open Letter to the Apple News Community on Steve Jobs’ Health, Professional Boundaries and Not Being Douchebags

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-17 14:50

I couldn’t say it better myself. Although I could certainly use more profanity.


Angry Mac Bastards Live at Macworld (video)

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-10 21:49


The Incredibly Credulous Tech Press

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-10 17:48

Yesterday I speculated that it would take less than 24 hours for this speculation from Apple pundit extraordinaire John Gruber to be accepted as gospel truth by the tech press. Apparently I need to re-calibrate my already abysmal expectation of the media; because no more than 3 hours after making that prediction I walked into my local bar and was inundated with panicky fear that the next iPad was being delayed until Fall. Keep in mind that I’m talking about normal people here, people who think that “Gruber” is the bad guy from Die Hard.

As I sat punching myself in the liver and ruminating on the situation, an analogy came to me. I found myself thinking of the Ricky Gervais movie The Invention of Lying.

In the world of The Invention of Lying, no one has ever made a false statement. It’s important to understand what’s meant by that. The brilliance of the conceit is that intent never comes into play. Not only do people in the movie’s world never intentionally lie, they also never guess or speculate. They always state the exact truth as they know it. The result of this fact is that once one man gains the ability to make false statements he gains the ability to completely alter the subjective reality of the rest of the populace. If Gervais says he’s a black, German, Eskimo who invented the bicycle, then people accept that new reality unquestioningly.

I mention this because I’ve become convinced that a good number of the tech press are actually from the movie’s universe. Any comment, no matter how ludicrous, is accepted by the tech press with complete credulity. Furthermore, one the tech press absorbs some random speculation into their minds they cling to it in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary. Case in point, Steve Jobs infamous gaffe during the Antennagate idiocy, “you’re holding it wrong.” Blogger after blogger, journalist after journalist, pundit after pundit has repeated that quote. The problem is, Steve Jobs never wrote that.

Now understand that I’m not making a claim that Gruber’s speculation is wrong. There are some very good logical arguments to be made supporting it. For example, see John’s followup article, or Jim Dalrymple’s article at The Loop. What I am saying is that the press who have reported this story as anything other than the musings of an above-average Apple pundit are fucking idiots.

I’ve ranted about this shit before. I know that it’s probably too much to expect the majority of the tech press to act like actual journalists, but is it really too much to ask them to not report admitted speculation as if it was an Apple press release?


Grubnostication

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-09 21:57

I give it less than 24 hours before the tech press treats it as gospel that the iPad 3 will ship this fall.


Quick Initial Thoughts on The Daily

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-04 16:06

Having played with The Daily for a day or two now, here are my initial thoughts:

  • Brilliant concept
  • The app is slow and crashy
  • No archives is a deal-breaker
  • The content, while obviously well done, is of almost no interest to me

Bottom line: I probably will not use The Daily, but I’m very interested in seeing where other media companies go with this format (and the accompanying subscription model).


Cold

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-03 02:17

Cold


Tonight’s AMB Rage-fuel.

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-02 00:48

Beer

Huge thanks to Angry Mac Bastards listener Jason Leaeno for the suds.


Of In-App Purchases and Inept Analysis

Permalink - Posted on 2011-02-01 21:17

The big news of the day, which has the Apple echo-chamber’s collective panties in a twist is the news that Sony’s eReader app for iOS was rejected by Apple. The reason for the rejection, as relayed to the media by Sony was, “from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple.”

We don’t know exactly how Sony was handling in-app purchases. The predominant speculation is that Sony was using some sort of link to their web-store similar in fashion to the current Kindle app on iOS (although, as Christina Warren of Mashable has pointed out, there is no way to actually purchase a book via Sony’s web front-end ).

Attempting to clarify the situation, Apple reached out to the media. Quoting The Loop:

We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson, Trudy Muller, told The Loop. “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”

The Apple media has, for the most part, chosen to interpret this statement to mean that any app that accesses content available from an outside store will be required to offer the same content via in-app purchase or face expulsion from the App Store. I believe that analysis is flawed.

Before laying out my logic, let me state that I have no special knowledge here. I’m working off of the exact same set of fact that the rest of the media is, but I’ve come to a much different conclusion.

The crux of my interpretation of Apple’s statement hinges on this phrase from the Apple statement, “…if an app offers…” My interpretation of that phrase is that Apple is requiring apps that contain, within the app, a link to a non-Apple storefront or payment system also support in-app purchase for the same content. Note that the statement says nothing about apps that merely read content that might have been purchased from a non-Apple store. Think about it. By the logic that the majority of the blogosphere has adopted, any app that accesses outside content may fall afoul of the guidelines, since any content might be monetized.

My suspicion is that, assuming Sony wasn’t doing something utterly stupid link including an embedded store, the problematic action here is including a link to a storefront. By that logic, all Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Zinio and company have to do is to remove the link and let people find their web stores on their own.

Reinforcing my belief that this is the correct interpretation is the fact that all of the statements from Apple regarding this issue, and all of the previous chatter about publisher’s conflicts with Apple regarding subscription services that I have heard has referred to purchasing or subscribing within the app.

Until we see some actual action here, something like the Kindle app being pulled from the app store, I think it’s premature to assume that Apple is willing to abandon iPad sales to rabid Amazon customers over the paltry sum that they’d get in eBook revenue.


Behold the Unbreakable iPhone Case.

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-30 05:23

Case

Fuck you Falco.


“V” is a Very, Very Bad Show

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-19 18:15

and now for something completely different…

I’m going to take a bit of a departure from my usual ranting about the tech media and politics today to express my utter and complete rage at the monumental cluster-fuck that is the current television series “V.” There will undoubtedly be spoilers in this rant, so deal with that.

For those who are unaware, ABC is currently airing a reboot of the classic 1980’s science-fiction mini-series “V.” In the original version Earth is visited by a race of extra-terrestrials claiming to offer humanity the hand of friendship. In reality, these “Visitors” are actually a race of Nazi lizard people armed with laser guns, big shoulder-pads and even bigger hair, whose true objective is to steal our water and eat us—not necessarily in that order. The Visitors are opposed by, and eventually defeated by a plucky gang of resistance fighters led by a photo-journalist, a science chick and Michael Fucking Ironside, with an assist by Freddy Kruger. In retrospect, the snakeheads never had a chance.

The original “V” miniseries was a simple parable about how average people acquiesce to an oppressive regime. The message is hammered home via the character of Abraham, a Holocaust survivor who teaches the youngin’s the proper way vandalize a Visitor propaganda poster, specifically by painting it with the titular V—”for victory.”

If the new “V” series has any similar message, it is buried under the fact that it is a massive, steaming pile of syphilitic gorilla shit.

The new series shares the premise that Earth is visited by extra-terrestrials who claim they’ve come to help us out. These aliens, who in this series actually call themselves “Vs” for no intelligible reason, are also lizards in disguise who have apparently been fucking about on Earth for at least sixty years. These Vs are not here to steal our water and our tasty, tasty man-flesh though. As far as can be discerned from the show so far, these Vs are here to breed with us. This begs the question: why bother with all the secrecy. I know plenty of neckbeards who would happily give up the juice to Morena Baccarin, Laura Vandervoort, or Rekha Sharma as long as they keep the skin-suit on. Hell, I know plenty who’d throw a bone in Jane Badler if given the chance.

Opposing the alien sex-fiends is the most incompetent band of freedom fighters assembled since the filming of Ernest Joins the Taliban. The team consists of Father Preachy McNon-Violence, The Most Incompetent FBI Agent in the World, The Mercenary with the Vaguely Australian Accent, The Lizard-Man who Turned Traitor for Love and The Most Clueless Media Personality Since Tucker Carlson. Seriously, I wouldn’t task these chumps with liberating a Snickers bar from the office vending machine.

Up until the last two episodes of V, the show was merely bad. I can tolerate crap like the fact that Elizabeth Mitchell’s Breasts (I honestly have no idea what the character’s name is) has actually killed or incarcerated more potential allies in the war against lizard sex than she’s recruited. What I cannot tolerate is a show that actively and literally insults my intelligence.

I’m referring here to the emerging story-line concerning Anna the Lizard Queen’s quest to find the Human Soul.

To be clear, I am not so atheist that I reject any notion of spirituality or religion in my Science Fiction. In fact, I was extremely annoyed at some of the whiners who flipped out at the finale of “Battlestar Galactica” because of the presence of an apparently god-like entity. What is offensive is the ham-handed and idiotic way in which “V” has approached the matter.

During last night’s episode The Blandest Traitor Ever, Joshua devises a device which will use superior V technology to “strip away all that is physically human to reveal the human soul.” Which will somehow allow Morena Baccarin’s neck-bones to defeat humanity, because flying saucers, lasers and her daughter’s magnificent tits are apparently not doing the trick. Yes, the Vs, who possess unlimited energy and FTL drives are seeking to prove the 21 Grams TheoryFOR VICTORY!

It is at this point where I have to bid this abomination of a show good day.

The only possible way for this fucktardery to redeem itself would be for the finale to consist of a crack team composed of Richard Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Phil Plait and Chris Hitchens explaining that Anna’s defeat was inevitable, because she is a superstitious idiot who squandered her species’ resources attempting to eradicate something that doesn’t exist.

A lesbian love scene between Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell would also be acceptable.


New Water Feature

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-15 18:41

Fountain

New fountain for the Sonoran Garden


…For Certain Values of Open

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-13 18:39

And, of course, VP8 is patented: if Google is correct that those patents don’t infringe any of MPEG-LA’s, that just means that we have to rely on Google’s assurance that they will never change the terms they’re licensing patents under.

Bingo! What all the nitwit freetards refuse to get though their thick skulls is this: VP8 is only “free” because Google says it is.


Join The Angry Mac Bastards At Macworld Expo

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-12 17:57

Join us, and see how many times John can say “asinine” in forty-five minutes.


Arizona state parks system would run better privatized, study says

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-12 15:37

Sometimes people ask why the Arizona government is seemingly hell-bent on driving this state into bankruptcy. Well, right here is part of the reason. These rapacious fucks worship on the altar of privatization. The more government services that they destroy, the more that they can shuffle off to their corporate buddies.


Re: Upgrade Pricing

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-07 16:25

Watts Martin at Coyote Tracks responds to my article on upgrade pricing. He makes a good point, and I don’t necessarily disagree. What’s certain is that the App Store is going to change how many developers do business. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.


The Death of Upgrade Pricing [Mac App Store]

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-07 03:32

Thursday Apple officially launched the Mac App Store and immediately every Mac in existence ceased to function. Ok, that’s not true, although some of the more chicken-little-esque prognostications from the punditards prior to the launch would have suggested that would have been the case. Actually, response has been mostly positive. After I have a chance to play with the App Store more I might write up a more comprehensive analysis. For now, though, I want to explore some thoughts that occurred to me after seeing some of the responses to the App Store.

Paid Upgrades: The Bell Tolls For Thee

There have been some valid criticisms of the Mac App Store; one of which that jumps out at me is the complaint that, like the iOS App Store, there is no ability to offer paid upgrades to installed applications. This criticism has been made by both users and developers, and I’m not ready to dismiss it entirely. Perhaps upgrade pricing is integral to the success of the App Store, perhaps not. What I am proposing is, with the introduction of the Mac App Store, Apple is introducing a new pricing model where upgrade pricing is a’ pining for the fjords.

My contention is that instead of the upgrade pricing model where a user purchases an application for a certain price and is then entitled to a certain number of major upgrades at a reduced price Apple is pushing toward a model where all major upgrades are priced at the same amount as the original purchase. The easiest way to see this in action is to look at Apple’s own retail pricing for some of it’s most popular software. iLife, iWork and Mac OS X itself are all offered solely as “full” versions. There is no “upgrade” pricing available.

Of course, many developers and users will balk at this, but if done properly this model can be made to sum up in the same way as the upgrade pricing model. Consider this simple theoretical example:

Bob’s Nifty App 1.0 is currently priced at $39.99. Bob release a new version BNA 2.0 also priced at $39.99, but he offers discount pricing to the owners of version 1 at $19.99. Total cost over two versions: 60 clams. Now let’s look at this scenario in a Mac App Store world. Bob submits BNA 2.0 to the App Store priced $29.99. Wheee, it’s a race to the bottom! A year later he released BNA 3.0 in the App Store for the same $29.99. OMGWTF?!?! That’s a huge rip off! Or not. What is the total cost over two versions? 60 simoleans.

Now, I know that this calculus won’t won’t work for some developers, but I do think we will see many developers moving to this model in the future.

Of course, there is one class of user that will completely balk at this model: the cockroaches who think that purchasing one version of an application entitles them to free upgrades until the heat death of the Universe. But you know what? Fuck them.

There you have it, my vision of the App Store pricing future.

Flame away!


How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-06 15:25

Not that this will change the minds of anti-science whackaloons like Jenny McCarthy.


Social Security 101

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-05 20:44

Required reading.


A Simple Question for the Hacks at ZDNet

Permalink - Posted on 2011-01-05 15:08

Ignoring, for the moment, the question of why a tech blog needs a “government” beat explain to me how thisworthless tripe even vaguely qualifies as “government.” You cant, can you, you worthless link-baiting shit weasels.


Happy New Year

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-31 21:46

Just a quick post wishing all the readers a happy New Year. Hopefully 2011 will be better than the cluster-fuck that was 2010.


Sure, American Companies Are Still Hiring — Overseas

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-29 19:02

WARNING! Political content ahead.

Utterly unsurprising news that supposedly American corporations are taking their money and using it to create jobs in India. When are we going to stop buying into the bullshit myth that giving corporations money creates jobs?


Christmas Buffet

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-25 20:02

Lunch

Lunch is served


Ho Ho Ho bitches

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-25 02:03

Ho Ho Ho


Solitude

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-23 14:45


Dave Winer on Gender Relations

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-22 20:47

I honestly don’t know what it is about New Media Douchebags that compels them to comment on shit that they have no business pontificating about (ok, I lie. I know exactly what compels them). Nonetheless, they seem incapable of refraining. Today I noticed that one of my favorite know-nothing loudmouths, Dave “Get Off My Lawn” Winer, decided to bless us with his powerful wisdom regarding the accusations of rape being leveled against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I’m not of a mind to debate the ethics of WikiLeaks, and I’m certainly not qualified to discuss matters of Swedish jurisprudence. If reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is any indicator, Swedish law is fundamentally weird. However, Dave’s disjointed and facile comments need addressing.

We begin with one of the standard New Media Douchebag calls to action:

On Twitter I see random messages making broad statements about men re the rape charges against Julian Assange. I think we’re going into dangerous territory, and there’s a good chance we’re being manipulated, and before it goes too far, I want to try to moderate it, and talk about what we know and what we don’t know.

Oh thank Jove that we have Dave Winer to show us the light. I’d hate to veer into “dangerous territory.” Dave proceeds with a list of barely connected comments, so for expediency’s sake I’ll address them one by one.

As far as I know there aren’t any charges against Julian Assange, in Sweden or elsewhere.

Well thanks for clearing that up for us Dave. I’m sure of you just send a message to the British courts they’ll get this sorted out with a quickness. Now, as for me, I’m far too lazy to go looking up if Mr. Assange has actually been charged with a crime in Sweden. What I do know, however, is that the Swedish government issued an arrest warrant for him. Good enough for me.

What I’ve read in the Guardian about the charges sound to me like he might not be a very nice person. But where I come from, that is not a crime — nor is it in Sweden, which seems like a fair country.

Hermes’ toe-jam Dave! Are there charges or not‽ But Dave’s right about one thing, being a prick isn’t a crime. Which is a good thing for me I guess.

Rape is awful. But I think it’s almost as awful to falsely accuse someone of rape, because that’s going to radically change an innocent person’s life, for the worse. And it’s so easy to do, it’s one person’s word against another’s.

Urgh, here we go. If there’s one thing that Dave is chock-a-block full of, it’s white male privilege and moral equivalency. Yes Dave, it’s horrible when someone is falsely accused of rape. You know what’s infinitely worse though, SOMEONE BEING RAPED!!!

Some people use these issues as a way of saying sexist things about men. General statements that indict a whole gender, or a big chunk of one (like “men in tech,” for example). I’m sure they don’t think every man is guilty, and if you stop them and say that, they claim that isn’t what they’re saying. But if you simply flip the genders, and make broad sweeping negative statements about women, I guess they wouldn’t have any trouble seeing the sexism.

Ah, one of my favorite gambits. Make the generalization that “some people” are making generalizations about a group in order to invalidate the actual specific accusations. Of course, since Dave didn’t bother to actually cite any of these so called generalizations, there ain’t much else to say here.

I agree with and support feminism. The line I won’t cross is condemning men in the cause of feminism. Nor would I support it the other way. If you want to speak up for your gender, or my gender — great! But not if you’re going to go negative on the other guys.

I support feminism, now get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.” Ok, it’s not that bad, but pretty fucking close. This right here is the classic cry of rich white male privilege: “I’m all for you having the same opportunities as me, but let’s not talk about the historical and cultural baggage that makes that nigh impossible.” Again though, Dave can’t be arsed to provide any examples of women making sweeping man-hating generalizations, so it’s a bit difficult to know what he’s on about here.

One rule I try to remember: We create each other. My mother was a woman. So was yours. Your father was a man. Mine too. We learned their values, like it or not. I am who I am not solely because I am a man, but also because I am my mother’s son, and my grandmothers’ grandson. And the student of all the women teachers I had (most of them were women). And I am also the product of every relationship I’ve had. It’s a big mixed bag of genders that form whole people. If you want to find the cause of something, it’s never as simple as one gender doing it to the other.

This twaddle isn’t even worth my time.

Let’s be smart. What do you think the chances are that the charges against Assange, coming in the middle of a political shitstorm, from a country whose Prime Minister is closely tied to the US government, are exactly what they seem to be? Suppose it were men making charges against a woman, in similar circumstances? Would your bullshit detector be a little more alarmed? It shouldn’t be, if you’re not being sexist.

Diablo! Dave’s prose here is so tortured (peep that double-negative at the end yo) that it’s almost impossible to parse this. I suppose he’s playing the conspiracy card. Sadly, I’ve seen this meme played out far too often in the nerd commentary on this matter; sometimes going so far as to accuse Mr. Assange’s accusers of being CIA plants.

Look, the bottom line is this. Is Julian Assange being targeted for, let’s call it “enhanced prosecution,” due to his activities with WikiLeaks? Probably. But that happens all the time. To go from there into conspiracyville is gratuitous.

Let’s seek balance. I’m not going to stand up and say the charges are bullshit. But I’m not going to say they’re not. In the US, the country I come from, the standard is “innocent until proven guilty.” It doesn’t say “except if you’re a man charged with rape.” I like that standard a lot. Why don’t we stay there until there’s a verdict?

So tell us then Dave, if you’re not going to stand up and take a side on this, then why did you subject the world to this ill-thought-out insult to gender relations. Oh, that’s right, you’re a New Media Douchebag and expecting you to keep your yap shut on an issue that is vaguely related to technology is like expecting a chimp not to fling its own poo.

One more thing. This all should be kept separate from the work that WikiLeaks is doing. Please.

Then the point of you writing this was what again? Thought so.

Updated to add a link to a very thorough of the “conspiracy” claims regarding Assange’s arrest here.


Oh, Christmas Tree

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-20 14:59

Tree


Sharks Wary of Drunk Serbs

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-17 17:14

Beware drunken Serbs.


Bipartisanship Vs. Democracy: The Third Way Fallacy

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-15 17:53

WARNING! Political content ahead.

Excellent piece by Richard Eskow explaining that what Washington insiders call “centrism” does not reflect the actual positions of a majority of Americans.


Why I Love the Irish

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-10 19:48

Dig this angry mick laying out the reasons why Ireland’s economy is buggered. Especially the part where he points out that the U.S. is next. “Wankin’ bankers,” indeed.


Point and Shoot Mac? Not so Fast

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-02 19:37

Over at The Mac Observer Ted Landau wrote up some well reasoned, and mercifully non-hyperbolic, speculation about the future of the Mac under the headline The Point—-and—-Shoot Mac. Fortunately for me (and unfortunately for those who like seeing me go into a frothing rage) the article is clearly presented as speculation, well thought out, sensible, and ultimately wrong.

In his column, Ted draws an analogy based on the camera market. Ted postulates that the desktop Mac as we know it is analogous to the (Digital) Single Reflex Lens camera, while iOS based devices are akin to “point-and-shoot” cameras. Ted then speculates that, in the future, Apple will split the current line-up of MacOS devices into two branches. One based on Mac OS X and one based on iOS. He describes these new devices thusly:

What will these iOS-based Macs be like? For hardware, given Steve Jobs’ recent critique of vertically-oriented touchscreens, I suspect they will bear a greater resemblance to today’s MacBook Air than to the iPad. This would also help Apple to maintain a clear dividing line between the market for Macs vs. iPads. For software, however, these Macs will be very much an unambiguous iOS device. There will be apps specific to the Mac (just as the iPad can now run apps that won’t run on an iPhone), but these Macs will otherwise be a full-fledged member of the iOS team.

I actually think that the analogy to the camera market is actually a very good one. In fact it might be the best analogy between the personal computing market and another that I’ve encountered. Nonetheless I have a different prediction for he future of the “desktop” (by which I also mean laptops) Mac market.

What Makes a DSLR

I’m not going to go into the details of the technical differences between point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs. If you’re unfamiliar with such, this article by Shawn King for The Loop is a good place to start. Instead I want to focus on a few specific points.

To the mind of the average consumer, the difference between your average point-and-shoot camera and a DSLR is simple: DSLR’s cost more and make better pictures (we’ll ignore the fact that that statement is not always accurate for now). In terms of the technology involved, the difference between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot basically come down to these three points:

  • DSLRs generally have a bigger, therefore better sensor.
  • DSLRs use interchangeable lenses, giving the photographer the ability to use the “correct” lens for a given situation (“correct” being subjective in the world of photography).
  • DSLRs generally allow more “manual” control of their settings, again allowing the photographer to fine-tune the picture capture parameters much better than a computer algorithm can.

The first two points I think can really best be applied to the intrinsic hardware differences between current iOS devices and current Mac OS devices. It seems unlikely that any improvements in computing technology won’t be even more dramatic when you are not designing a device that fits in a pocket. It’s the last point that seems most applicable to the operating systems in question, and it’s the point I want to focus on.

Auto Mode and Operating Systems

While there are some point-and-shoot cameras that present the user with the full range of manual controls present in a DSLR, the intrinsic limitations of their hardware make the efficacy of those manual controls questionable. On the other hand, almost every current DSLR has an “Auto” mode that is just as easy to use as that of their point-and-shoot brethren. The advantage that the DSLR in Auto mode has over the point-and-shoot is the vastly better hardware.

My speculation is that we will never (as defined in the time-frame of the computing market) see an “iOS Mac.” Instead, as we’ve seen from the limited OS X 10.7 demo, more and more of the “Auto” features of iOS will be offered in the Mac OS, while still maintaing the full range of manual controls currently there.

Of course, this is all speculation. Maybe I’m right, maybe Ted’s right, maybe Skynet will make this all moot.


Here We Go Again

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-01 19:13

WARNING: Political content ahead!

Local politics too no less—skip this one if that ain’t your bag.

This actually took even less time than I anticipated, but is it in any way shape or form surprising? Today Jan Brewer, the daffy bint that Arizona swept into office as Governor, revealed her master-plan for fixing the State’s economy. Of course, as anyone with half a brain cell could have predicted, it consists of—-wait for it—-cuts to the State’s education budget and tax cuts for corporations. But hey, at least we’ll be putting all those smelly wetbacks in their place!

The “best” part of this bag of rotting weasel shit:

Under current law, these firms pay Arizona taxes based 50 percent on sales within the state, 25 percent on the value of their property and 25 percent on the amount of their payroll.

Lawmakers agreed several years ago to let corporations elect an alternate method based 80 percent on sales. That benefits manufacturers of things ranging from computer chips to missiles whose customers are elsewhere.

Brewer’s plan would up that to 100 percent. So a company with no sales in Arizona would owe nothing in state corporate income taxes.

Let that one rattle around in your noggin for a bit. If a company has offices here in this desert hell-hole but doesn’t sell shit here, they pay nothing in corporate tax. Of course, the kleptocratic response will be that this will “lure” business here and create jobs.

Yeah, look how well that’s working out for us.


The World to Aza Dotzler: Shut it Hippy!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-12-01 14:48

I’d rant about Aza Dotzler’s whiny cuntistry, but Mozilla is effectively irrelevant in the market at this point, so why bother.

— Darby Lines (@Angry_Drunk) December 1, 2010


Weapons Grade Delusional

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-30 22:36

@erifneerg haha John would definitely lose… @thurrott is factual; @gruber is just biased.

— Jose Cruz (@jocrz) November 30, 2010


PC World shows desperation in anti-Apple article

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-30 19:49

Jim Dalrymple, or perhaps his mighty beard, does a wonderful job flaying the twats at PC World for yet another idiotic linkbait article.


Mini Pumpkin Pies

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-25 19:01

Pie


Why Most of the Tech Media Should be Launched Into the Sun

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-16 15:29

In the run-up to today’s massive Apple announcement (it’s just the Beatles in iTunes) I noticed the following pair of headlines on AppleInsider’s homepage.

AI Homepage

links to the actual posts here and here.

Of course, it should be obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together that these reports are mutually exclusive. That never stopped the hacks at AI though. Bonus points for figuring out which post is by Prince McDildo without checking.


Angry Drunk Versus the Sales Guy

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-12 16:31

My contribution to the wonderful world of badly animated computer generated comedy. Dialog not particularly safe for work.

Here’s a YouTube link for all you Gruber worshippers who’ve completely disabled Flash.


The Delusional Android Fan

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-10 22:15

Every word is true.


“Glassgate” is Still Bullshit

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-09 17:15

So, let’s see here. We have another bullshit “report” from Cunt of Mac backed entirely by anonymous sources versus one person actually willing to put his name to a statement saying that it’s all bullshit. Yeah…it’s still bullshit.


Evan Bayh Can Suck My Liberal Dick

Permalink - Posted on 2010-11-03 17:42

From this worthless piece of fecal effluvia:

And we were too deferential to our most zealous supporters. During election season, Congress sought to placate those on the extreme left and motivate the base—but that meant that our final efforts before the election focused on trying to allow gays in the military, change our immigration system and repeal the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. These are legitimate issues but unlikely to resonate with moderate swing voters in a season of economic discontent.

Bold fucking words given that you’re retiring you ball-less douche.


IT Director at Career Day

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-31 19:54

My brother from another mother, John Welch, explains the realities of working in IT.


Dave Winer Buys a MacBook Air

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-29 15:19

And, of course, he doesn’t fucking get it.

Addressing his idiotic complaints by the numbers:

There are tradeoffs

No shit.

The screen is seriously small. No Ethernet

No shit, that’s the point. WiFi is Ethernet, you mean “No wired Ethernet”

If I’m seriously expected to think of this as a netbook, I really resent that it costs almost $1000 more than the last netbook I bought.

It’s not a netbook you fucking lunatic, it’s a MacBook — says so on the label.

That netbook cost a lot less, but did a lot more. Longer battery life. Larger disk capacity. Three USB’s not two. Ethernet. SD card slot. I know why we need all those things. All of them. Why does Apple think it can ship so much less and charge so much more and not force product comparisons? They’re depending on the Reality Distortion Field keeping from people from being even slightly pragmatic in reviewing this product.

First, bullshit. Second, you knew the specs before you bought it. Third, the only fuckwit comparing the Air to your shitty netbook is you. Fourth, the “Reality Distortion Field” meme was old five years ago — stop using it.

Haven’t decided whether I should leave this guy hooked up to Dropbox. It’s synching unbelievably slowly, over my fast FIOS connection. It says it’ll be done in 59 days. Let’s see where it is tomorrow morning.

How is it that people let you anywhere near computers?

I’m going to DC on Saturday, overnight. I will take the Air. Should I also take my iPad? (Probably will. But to be fair if I travelled with my 13-inch MacBook Pro, I would have brought the iPad as well.)

What does that have to do with anything?

I’m thinking about returning it. Not sure if this is going to fit into my workflow.

Just return it you whiny fuck.

iTunes still sucks.

You’re still a cranky old dip-shit.

  1. The thing that really ticks me off is this — why not, for all the extra money and missing basic features, push the envelope. That’s what I used to like about Apple. They built in networking into every Mac in the 80s. It was something extra that the other guys didn’t do, all to build a market. How about putting a Wimax modem in there. Make it a better netbook, instead of just taking features out and jacking up the price.

Jesus fucking Christ in a toboggan, have you even looked at this thing? If it’s not “pushing the envelope” then what the fuck is. Oh wait, you answered that…adding a modem for a still-born wireless protocol.

Seriously Dave, your whiny New Media Douchebag Borderline Personality bullshit has become tired and depressing. And your idiotic claims that Apple somehow “tricks” you into buying crap that you don’t need just proves that you’re an idiot with no impulse control. Please go fuck off to somewhere where the rest of civilized society doesn’t have to hear your bitching.

P.S. The strawman “Apple Fanboys” you’re so fond of citing have a message for you. Go eat a bag of dick.

This post was originally posted to Dave Winer’s Crazy Train. Your one-stop-shop for all things annoying and douchey.


An Anthropomorphized White iPhone 4 Is Confronted Regarding Its Inability to Be Shipped

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-28 15:09

Dick.


Steve Jobs Isn’t Big Brother, and the Mac Remains Open

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-26 16:09

On the Angry Mac Bastards podcast we beat on Cult of Mac pretty heavily. But this is a fine take-down of the asinine proposition that the Mac App Store is one more step on the road to Apple’s Draconian Control. Kudos to Pete Mortensen. I couldn’t have said it better myself (but I could have used far more profanity).


Back to Mac Event Musings

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-21 21:18

Wednesday Apple held a special event where they unveiled an update to the iLife suite of applications, a redesigned MacBook Air and offered a sneak peak at the next major version of the Mac OS: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Additionally, Apple discussed the state of the Mac, and where it fits within their overall business strategy. I’m not going to go into any great depth of analysis here. Greater minds than mine (and quite a few lesser) will dissect every syllable uttered and pixel displayed during the event. I do, however, want to offer a few observations on the event and the announcements that were made.

The State of the Mac

The first part of the event consisted of Tim Cook discussing sales figures and market share for the Mac (by which I mean all devices that run Mac OS X). The bottom line is that, prognostications of doom from the puntitocracy not withstanding, the Mac is doing just fine. I think that the biggest number that jumped out at me from the presentation was the fact that Mac now commands 20.7% of the U.S. consumer market. This is a market-share number that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

iLife 11

Apple announced and demoed three of the applications in the iLife suite, iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband. I stopped using iPhoto in favor of Aperture a few months ago; so, while I appreciate the new features, they don’t do much for me personally. Similarly, I don’t really use Garageband for anything other than podcast production (my plans on using Garageband Lessons have been put on hold due to my hand injury) so I don’t have any particular feelings about it. I do, however, use iMovie and I think that the updates there are fantastic. I’m predicting that the new Trailers feature is going to be a huge hit; which brings me to something to rant about.

I was amused, but not at all surprised, by the derision that some commenters on Twitter laid on the Trailers feature. It is just another example of how the tech punditocracy is utterly out of touch with actual consumers. Trust me, Youtube will be drowning in crappy trailers within a fortnight.

iDVD and iWeb were, unsurprisingly, not featured. If you can’t hear the funeral bells knelling for video-on-optical-disks then you’re insane. And as for iWeb, the less said about that steaming heap the better.

Overall, the iLife update looks solid, and at $49 the price is hardly onerous.

MacBook Air

Also as predicted, Apple announced not one, but two new models of the MacBook Air. The primary distinction between the two new models is their size, with the larger sporting a 13.3 inch screen and the smaller rocking a diminutive 11.6 inch screen.

Some pundits are at a loss to understand how the MacBook Air fits between the iPad and the MacBook/MacBook Pro lines. I personally don’t see the problem. As I wrote in my earlier piece debating the iPad, I don’t see the iPad as a laptop replacement so much as it is a laptop alternative. Seven months of using the iPad hasn’t changed that opinion. The market served by the MacBook Air is people who need the portability of the iPad, but for whatever reason need the full power of Mac OS X. At a thousand clams for the entry model, I suspect that these will sell like hotcakes.

The truly interesting thing about the MacBook Air, though, isn’t the actual products unveiled at the event. No, the truly interesting thing is the technology that made them possible. As I said to a friend at a bar the night after the announcement: imagine the tech inside of the MacBook Air, except inside of the current 13, 15 or 17 inch Unibody MacBook Pros. Particularly, imagine that once the cost of solid state memory reduces by a few factors.

This is where Apple really shows its brilliance. Any company can recognize the advantages of solid state storage over spinning magnetic disks; and most companies stop there and just offer a machine with an SSD (Solid State Disk) as an alternative to the usual 2.5 inch hard drive. Apple has the vision to take things one step farther and ask, why does the solid state storage have to stay in the same physical form factor as spinning disks.

FaceTime For Mac

In another less-than-surprising move Apple announced FaceTime for Mac, available immediately as a public beta. The only interesting thing about this announcement was that FaceTime is not integrated with iChat as many suspected it would be. I have a few theories about that.

One theory is that ultimately Apple will integrate FaceTime with iChat, but didn’t want to confuse users by having an iChat 6 beta available while iChat 5 is still shipping. This seems unlikely to me given that when iChat gained it’s initial video capabilities with iChat AV in 2003 it was offered as a beta alongside the shipping version of iChat.

Another possibility is that FaceTime will never be integrated with iChat. When you think about it, other than the surface similarities, iChat and FaceTime are quite different beasts. iChat runs over the AIM network, including access to Mac and Windows AIM users. iChat also allows video chat between multiple users via the iChat Theater feature. By contrast FaceTime is a (currently) proprietary Apple technology that allows only one-to-one communication. Adding FaceTime to iChat as a secondary video chat option seems un-elegant. On the other hand, having two separate Apple branded video chat solutions seems equally un-elegant. This one will be interesting.

Lion

Finally we come to what Steve Jobs referred to as the entree of the event — a sneak peek at the next major version of the Mac OS: 10.7 a.k.a. “Lion.” Prefacing the demonstration, Steve revealed the meaning of the event’s title. “Back to Mac.” Unlike what many, myself included, supposed; “Back to Mac” did not refer to redirecting focus back to the Mac. Although, to be fair, the overall tone of the event completely supported the idea that the Mac is alive and well and in no danger of being abandoned.

What “Back to Mac” did refer to was taking technology and concepts that were originated or incubated in iOS on the iPhone and iPad and bringing them “back to the Mac.” This meme was reiterated during the MacBook Air unveiling. Many of the technologies that make the Air possible were developed for the iPad. None of this should come as any sort of surprise to anyone with a functional pre-frontal cortex. To think that Apple wouldn’t leverage successful technologies from iOS in Mac OS where appropriate is idiocy of the highest caliber. Steve and his cohorts previewed a few of the key new features, and I’ll go through them one-by-one. Once I’ve enumerated the new features, I’ll take a look at the absolutely batshit insane reactions to them.

The Features

The first new feature discussed was multi-touch gestures. Steve actually spent most of the time here disabusing people of the retarded notion that “Minority Report” style multi-touch interactions on a desktop or laptop computer are in any way a good idea. Instead Apple will take the rational approach of enabling multi-touch via peripheral devices such as the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (note to self, buy Magic Trackpad).

Steve then announced the Mac App Store. That’s right, all the joy and wonder of the iOS App Store, now in a desktop package. Steve pointed out the advantages to developers (discoverability) and to users (simplified installs and application management. Steve was clear to point out that the Mac App Store was not going to be the sole delivery mechanism for developers as it is on iOS.

Next up was Launchpad, a.k.a. and iOS style home screen for the Mac. This is implemented as an overlay on the desktop containing applications and folders. Personally, I have been looking for something like this for years; so I’m pretty happy about it. For those who don’t dig on it, nothing during the demo indicated that the traditional methods of application management and access have been removed.

Fullscreen applications are coming to the desktop in the form of a system-wide API. I can see the utility of this, if implemented well. Again, there is nothing forcing users to run applications full screen.

The last new feature demonstrated was Mission Control. Simply put, Mission Control is the next phase in the evolution of Expose and Spaces.

The Reaction

From the very second that the words “Mac App Store” left Steve Jobs’ mouth there was a ripple in the fabric of the crazyverse that made Obi Wan’s migraine after the destruction of Alderan seem like a fucking hangnail. Suddenly every paranoiac’s worst nightmare had been confirmed. Apple was killing the Mac OS. Soon we would all be locked into a Draconian nightmare world where the only software that a user can run is that which has been approved by His Dark Majesty himself. Even Steve’s hollow assurances that the App Store would only be one of the ways a user could install software were ignored by the valiant prognosticators who knew, who knew, that if Apple could eventually lock the Mac OS into a faint shell of its former glory they would by necessity do so.

The situation only became more dire with each additional iOS inspired feature. “What if I don’t want to use multi-touch or Launchpad or Mission Control,” the defenders of freedom cried. “Sure, right now those features may be optional. But we all know, as the night follows the day, that Steve Jobs desires nothing less than complete control Mac users. Eventually we will all become his mock-turtleneck wearing minions.”

Ok, my depiction of the reaction on Twitter and other sundry outlets might be a tad overly dramatic, but not by much. I had planned on deconstructing some of the crazy-train, but at over 1600 words this thing is dragging on. I concede that, as it stands, there are some serious issues with the Mac App Store; but as long as the store is not the sole method to obtain Mac OS applications (and there are some very good reasons why I doubt that that will change) I don’t see it as a dire issue.

At any rate, I think that Apple presented a very solid set up updates to iLife and the MacBook Air. I’m also very much looking forward to seeing the laziest of cats come next summer. In short, tone down the crazy, and let’s see how this all plays out.


More Tea Party Hilarity

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-17 19:28

More Tea Party hypocrisy from Matt Taibbi


Bash on Dash

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-14 17:37

John Welch, my Angry Mac Bastards cohort, does a fine job of deconstructing Anil Dash’s latest pile of drivel regarding cyberbullying. John covers most of the points that I would have made, albeit with less use of the phrase “ignominious snot-muffin” than I would have, but there is one point that he didn’t expand on as much as I think is needed.

In his pavlovian rush to defend all things “social media,” Anil misses one huge way in which “cyberbullying” is far worse than the good old fashioned Bullying 1.0 that we all grew up knowing and loathing. This is both ironic and utterly expected given that the thing that I’m talking about is the engine that drives Anil’s precious social media. Specifically I’m referring to the amplification effect that social media provides.

Back in the good old days, a bully could ruin a victim’s reputation at, at most, the municipal level. Even that required a campaign of such monumental effort that it rarely happened. Now, however, with the click of a button I can set up a blog, Facebook page, Flickr group and forum all dedicated to, say, promoting the idea that Anil Dash molests emus. The twisted beauty of this is, given human nature, I could have thousands of people anonymously attacking Anil within days.

Of course, I would never do that. Just like I would never use accusations of racism to dismiss criticism of my posts.


Phase 1.5 of the “Apple Scandal” Lifecycle Begins

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-13 00:13

There is an interim phase in the lifecycle of an invented Apple scandal. Once the hacks in the blogosphere begin amplifying and distorting the original bullshit story, a (usually) heretofore unheard of company surfaces with “hard” data that somehow purports to reinforce the “Apple has a design flaw” meme. In this case the company is SquareTrade. And what’s SquareTrade’s stake in this? They sell accidental damage warranties—-surprise, surprise.

The key part, though, of phase 1.5 is that it allows publications that knew better than to report on the bullshit unsourced allegations that began the cycle to get in on the action and maintain a veneer of respectability.


Let the Train-wreck Begin!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-09 03:04

Shot


Fucking Hacks

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-08 14:31

A running tally of the cunts who are running with Ryan Block’s utterly unfounded “glassgate” bullshit:

Amplification and Distortion

Engadget (somewhat critical)

Appleinsider (blind repetition)

Jizzmodo (blind repetition)

Cunt of Mac (somewhat critical)

CNN (blind repetition)

Consumerist (somewhat critical)

iLounge (blind repetition)

cnet (blind repetition) - Thanks commenter Scott

PC World (blind repetition)

ZDNet (hyperbolic vitriol from the Tellarite)

Forbes (blind repetition)

Leo Laporte (credulous buffoon)

Macrumors (lying through statistics)

Jumping in on the “Statistics” Bandwagon

Appleinsider (doubling down on the statistics lies)

Macworld (If someone uses a graph it must be true)

Ars Technica (If someone uses a graph it must be true)

Update: Now with an assessment of the credulity of the reporting


One for the Bucket-List, I Witness a “Scandal” Being Born

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-07 22:28

Today I had the privilege of witnessing something rarely glimpsed in the wild. An event so rare it’s akin to seeing a snow leopard (the cat, not the operating system) perform a back-flip. For the first time in my career I was present at the exact moment that a New Media Douchebag attempted to start another lame Apple “scandal.”

Apparently I’m on the mailing list for the gdgt newsletter. For those unaware, gdgt is the site that Peter Rojas and Ryan Block (formerly of Engadget) started. As stated on their about page, gdgt’s mission is:

gdgt is all about providing you with useful, contextual information — both from here and around the web — to help you get more out of the products you already own, as well as help you discover that next great device to add to your collection. We hope that gdgt will be the last personal technology destination you’ll need, and the place to call home for you and your gadgets.

Thursday I received an email from said list containing an essay with the precious little title: With Antennagate over, is Glassgate next for the iPhone 4? Fortunately the essay was also posted to the gdgt website, so follow the link and you too can read it there.

Now, before we begin I want to be completely up front here. I absolutely loathe Ryan Block. I think he’s a pretentious little tool. I seriously debated even drawing attention to this shitty screed. In the end I decided that, on the off chance that the rest of the blogtards run with this, it needs to be documented. Having said that, let’s look at the essay.

Ryan begins with a typically fantastical recounting of “Antennagate” and how Apple bamboozled all of us chumps.

Whether or not you’ve experienced the iPhone 4’s famed death grip, or even believe it’s a real phenomenon (and based on extensive personal experience I can assure you that it is), the whole Antennagate scandal undoubtedly left a deep scratch on the iPhone’s squeaky-clean sheen. As we all now know, the story ended with a semi-contrite Steve explaining how all cellphones have “weak spots” and that iPhone 4 customers upset with their device’s wireless performance would be entitled to a free iPhone case. The offer has since expired, but it had the desired effect: people pretty quickly shut up about the issue, and Apple got back to the business of selling a LOT of iPhones.

I take exception with Ryan’s portrayal of the episode, but whatever — haters gotta hate. Ryan quickly moves on to paint a new, ominous picture of a scandal brewing deep in the heart of Cupertino:

But there’s another issue brewing behind the scenes that’s sent Apple’s iPhone engineering team back into the bunker for preemptive damage control. If you’ve been into an Apple Store (or visited Apple’s site) recently, you might have caught a hint while browsing iPhone 4 cases (or lack thereof). Although Apple has just this week reestablished a wide variety of cases for sale, as of only a couple of days ago the only iPhone 4 case Apple even so much as mentioned on its site was its own first-party Bumper — and still conspicuously absent from its lineup are slide-on cases. As it turns out, was by no means a cynical ploy to maximize profits.

What could this horrible secret be that Apple is trying to conceal by not offering every single cheap-ass Chinese iPhone case in the world for sale? After another three paragraphs of pointless babble about the iPhone case market Ryan reveals all:

According to my sources both inside and outside Apple, after Antennagate the iPhone engineering team identified another potential design flaw that appears to have sent them into a quiet lockdown, and has them working behind the scenes in what’s been described to me as something of a quiet panic to preempt any further tarnishing the iPhone brand. Apple has apparently found that non-bumper style cases — specifically those that slide onto the iPhone 4, which are occasionally prone to particulate matter getting caught between the rear of the phone and the case — can cause unexpected scratching that could quickly develop into full-on cracking or even much larger fracturing of the entire rear pane of glass. To put it another way: Apple is afraid you might buy a standard slide-on iPhone case, put it on your phone, and then discover the next time you take it off that the entire back of your device has been shattered by no fault of your own. So before things escalated out of control and they had “Glassgate” on their hands, Apple swiftly moved to block sales of nearly all third-party iPhone 4 cases from its stores (which it just this week reversed, but only online — physical retail stores still aren’t yet stocking cases). Internally, I’ve heard the iPhone team has grown to be very concerned by this issue with slide-on cases, and has created a lab and large new test program specifically to investigate this further. (If the bumper seemed like kind of an odd concept for a case when it was announced, now its design, which doesn’t come in direct medial contact with either of the iPhone 4’s glass surfaces, seems to make a lot more sense.)

I’m going to go on record with my assessment of Ryan’s story: Absolute fabrication. Note that Ryan cites not one single actual person with an iPhone 4 that has been damaged in this manner. For all that the DeathGrip bullshit was blown out of proportion by idiots in the media, at least there were actual examples of the phenomenon happening. All we get here are the ubiquitous anonymous “sources,” which is blogger code for “pulled out of my fucking ass.”

More to the point, I cannot imagine any conceivable way that a “slip on” case would be more prone to the accumulation crud that snap-on cases. Perhaps if someone is slipping the damn thing on and off constantly it might be more likely to get scratched, but I posit that doing that would scratch the fuck out of any device.

I could go on, but it’s not worth it. This story is utter bullshit. If the rest of the New Media Douchebags echo it; it will still be bullshit. Nonetheless, I’m privileged to have finally witnessed the genesis of an invented Apple scandal. Cross that one off the bucket-list!


Storms

Permalink - Posted on 2010-10-05 20:32

Storm

Storms approaching The Nether Pit of Hellish Despair.


Revolutions in New Media Douchebaggery

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-29 22:05

There was an example of narcissistic New Media Douchebag fuckwittery this week that actually forced me to pause, take a break to record this weeks Angry Mac Bastards podcast, and come back to the festering pit of stupid just so that my blood pressure didn’t spike so high that my eyeballs popped out of their sockets. And what, you might ask, was the dim-witted doltishness that caused such a reaction? Well, ‘twas the infuriatingly self-absorbed response by Anil Dash to Malcom Gladwell’s recent article in The New Yorker titled “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.”

Before you read the rest of my rant, or the inanity from Dash, I highly suggest you read Gladwell’s article. In brief, his argument is that, protestations of the New Media Douchebags not withstanding, “social networks” have not affected—and are incapable of affecting—real social and political change. Gladwell postulates, with no small amount of actual research cited, that this is because the activism required by true revolutionary movements require “strong-tie” relationships, whereas social networks mainly serve to create “weak-tie” relationships that encourage “easy” activism.

Gladwell offers an example of each type of activism. The “revolutionary” type is exemplified by the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960 to protest the store’s segregation policy. The example given for the “easy” form of activism is the case of Sameer Bhatia, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s life was saved by a bone marrow transplant from a donor located via a Facebook campaign. The best quote to sum up Gladwell’s distinction between the two types of activism is the one that Dash provides:

The evangelists of social media don’t understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend and that signing up for a donor registry in Silicon Valley today is activism in the same sense as sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960.

Dash, to his credit, doesn’t attempt to dispute this thesis, although he idiotically frames Gladwell’s argument as a strawman. He states:

I don’t come to refute Gladwell’s strawman argument. His point is that today’s social networks are fundamentally unable to drive the sort of social change that fueled upheavals like the civil rights movement. I agree; As I said last year, Facebook often enables politics of the sort that convinces college kids that changing their middle name on a website is a form of activism. And the idea that the uprisings in Iran were driven by Twitter or any other social media is clearly refuted by realities such as Hossein “Hoder” Derakhshan, the father of the Iranian blogosphere, being sentenced to nineteen years in prison. The traditional method sit-in and picket-in-the-streets form of protest is clearly a failure online.

First off, Anil you fucking ignoramus, look up what a “strawman” argument is. When Gladwell quotes actual people making the argument that he is refuting, it isn’t a fucking strawman. But that’s thin gruel compared to the real feast of fucking stupid that Anil is about to serve up. In some imbecilic attempt to try to equate rampant theft with civil disobedience Anil writes:

We have had an enormous and concerted act of social disobedience play out over the past half-decade, where millions have decided that the present regime of intellectual property law and corporate control over the way we communicate is no longer tenable. So, every day, with the click of a button, people from all walks of life are ignoring the law and protesting in public, simply by uploading content to YouTube or Facebook or anywhere else.

Henry David Thoreau would be so proud. Or not. See, Anil, being a cheap asshole is not some act of nobility. Real practitioners of civil disobedience accept the consequences of their actions. When have any one of you thieving cock-suckers been able to say the same. I suppose that in Dash’s world the prick that cut me off driving to work this morning was some noble crusader, protesting the hideous injustice of aggressive driving laws—or he might just have been an asshole.

Not content to merely be a thieving asshole, Anil proceeds to inform us that he has found the true revolutionaries of the social networks. The real inheritors of the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement:

The “Maker” Movement

Yes, as in the hipster douchebags who cobble together random bits of crap and somehow presume that they’re doing something that hasn’t been done for thousands of years before them.

And if we put the making movement in the context of other social and political movements, it’s had amazing success. In city after city, year after year, tens of thousands of people pay money to show up and learn about taking control of their media, learning, consumption and communications. In contrast to groups like the Tea Party, the crowd at Maker Faire is diverse, includes children and adults of all ages, and never finds itself in conflict with other groups based on identity or politics.

That’s right Anil, it is all candy and unicorn semen — because it’s a fucking hobby you ass-tart.

I wish that I owned a time machine. If I did I would take Anil Dash and plunk his arrogant, self-entitled ass down in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960. Let’s see how his social media savvy and his Maker savoir faire contend with being a person of color in the 1960’s deep South. I’d like to see this smugly narcissistic asshole try to explain to Martin Luther King how Burning Man is just like the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

On the other hand, I’d settle for him just shutting the fuck up.

Update:

Gods damn it, I forgot to link to the dipshit’s post.


Tea & Crackers

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-29 19:31

I love Matt Taibbi. Seriously, I would host his man-larvae in my birthing pouch.

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them.


What New Media Douchebags Know About Economics…

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-28 19:26

…collectively couldn’t fill a thimble. Witness a recent dose of insipidity from Seth Godin, who is some sort of marketing guru or some such twaddle. Seth makes the argument that we are currently experiencing two recessions. One, the cyclical economic one that all sane people mean when they say “recession,” and one that is nothing less than the death of the Industrial Era.

Of course, right off the bat we have the standard New Media Douchebag idiocy of redefining terms as they go along in order to support whatever cockamamie idea that they’re pedaling this week. “Recession” has a meaning, and while actual economists may argue over the specific metrics that define a “recession,” we don’t get to re-define it to mean what would be better termed the complete destruction of the middle-class.”

Godin opens up with some quasi-economic babble larded with barely-understood jargon:

This is the recession of the industrial age, the receding wave of bounty that workers and businesses got as a result of rising productivity but imperfect market communication.

In short: if you’re local, we need to buy from you. If you work in town, we need to hire you. If you can do a craft, we can’t replace you with a machine.

No longer.

The lowest price for any good worth pricing is now available to anyone, anywhere. Which makes the market for boring stuff a lot more perfect than it used to be.

Barring a clear and concise statement of his fucking thesis, I’ll assume that Godin is playing on the hoary old argument that the shift in industrial manufacturing from the “West” to developing nations such as China and Mexico is an inevitable consequence of the march of civilization. To which I respond: why?

We can have valid debate as to the desirability of ceding our manufacturing capability to other nations and whether governments should attempt to prevent such, but let’s not pretend that some Randoid fantasy land where it’s inevitable and desirable for Capital to race to the cheapest possible solutions in all cases is the only possible state.

Seth continues:

Since the ‘factory’ work we did is now being mechanized, outsourced or eliminated, it’s hard to pay extra for it. And since buyers have so many choices (and much more perfect information about pricing and availability) it’s hard to charge extra.

Thus, middle class jobs that existed because companies had no choice are now gone.

Ugh. The first paragraph is techno-lolbertarian babble. The second, however is despicable New Media Douchebag elitism. How DARE those tedious middle-class people, those blue-collar workers, those farmers, those grey-flannel suits think that they can continue to perform the work that actually created the society that Seth now enjoys. Why, I doubt that any of them have managed to write 12 books that most of the world has never heard of, let alone become a successful blogger. The nerve of them.

Then, of course, we come to the crux of the matter. Seth’s prescription for the tired masses. The solution for those poor saps who thought that they could build a career actually producing things before the corporations realized that they could just have some slave-laborer in a third-world sweatshop do the work for pennies on the dollar. Well, as usuall with these sort of articles, the solution is somewhat slippery.

The networked revolution is creating huge profits, significant opportunities and a lot of change. What it’s not doing is providing millions of brain-dead, corner office, follow-the-manual middle class jobs. And it’s not going to.

Fast, smart and flexible are embraced by the network. Linchpin behavior. People and companies we can’t live without (because if I can live without you, I’m sure going to try if the alternative is to save money).

Yes! be “smart” “fast” and “flexible.” Work the “network” like some gap-toothed street whore.

What does any of that actually mean you ask. Fuck if I know, but I’m sure Seth and his ilk will be willing to tell you. Just purchase their next book from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or wherever New Media Douchebag fuckwittery is sold.


AOL Buys Techcrunch

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-28 16:59

And the world spins on, blithely oblivious.


Pictures From My Dublin Trip

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-24 02:54

Dublin 2010

Some pictures from around Herbert Park (and a random pub) from my latest trip to the corporate mothership.


Winer Doesn’t Get it: Net Neutrality Edition

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-23 16:13

Yeah, it’s a Dave Winer festival around here lately. What can I say, the crazy old fucker keeps handing me easy material. Today’s gem is Ol’ Man Winer’s first ever post on net neutrality, coincidentally titled: My first piece on “net neutrality”

In the post Dave demonstrates, yet again, that he hasn’t the foggiest notion what he’s talking about. To wit:

I really don’t understand the issue. But then today I received a press release in email saying that a lot of music stars, along with moveon.org, are making a stand in favor of net neutrality. How are they doing it? By posting messages on Twitter and Facebook.

Wait a minute!

That’s fucked up.

Here they are taking a stand against corporate ownership of public media, and they use corporate media to express this point of view. No that’s not how you do it. Wrong. Hypocritical. Clueless.

Jesus fuck Dave, do you really think that “net neutrality” somehow means no “corporate ownership of public media”? Are you really so fucking out of touch with reality that you don’t know what net neutrality is about. For the love of Satan, even the lolbertarian chumps who edit Wikipedia get this one basically right (although next week the article may define network neutrality as a type of Belgian cheese):

Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates no restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed.

or the love of all that’s unholy Dave, pull your head out of your ass.


The Medium Isn’t the Message

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-22 20:52

Cross posted from Dave Winer’s Crazy Train.

For someone who claims to have invented one of the core messaging protocols of the modern web, Dave sure is consistently horrible at understanding the difference between the network and the messages that travel over the network. Dave seems to think that Twitter is some sort of model of The News Network of the Future! (insert reverb here). I, on the other hand, think that Twitter is the world’s greatest collection of dick jokes, porn-star tweets, and pictures of Adrienne Curry.

On the other hand, maybe we’re both wrong and Twitter is just a network that allows people to asynchronously subscribe to other peoples’ streams of 140 character limited content.


Douche Hat

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-16 08:41

Douceh Hat


Reboot RSS Straight Up Your Ass

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-14 21:02

This rant is a bit short as I’m currently off in my company’s Dublin office. Sadly, even drinking with my Mick cousins must take back seat to beating on New Media Douchebags.

If there is one thing that New Media Douchebags love to do more than everything else it’s rebooting shit. Why should government and industry leaders pay attention to actual experts when they have the never ending cesspool of wisdom from the likes of Anil Dash, Robert Scoble and Dave Winer to pull from? And if you’re Dave “get off my lawn, and by lawn I mean RSS” Winer, then you absolutely want to “reboot” RSS. Thus we have a post from last Monday on Scripting News titled How to reboot RSS.

The Dave Winer Crazy Train starts off immediately with the first paragraph:

I was not able to influence the VCs who started the RSS companies — famous companies like Newsgator and Feedburner, and not-so-famous ones. Like most VCs they thought they understood better, so they went their own way and most of their companies flopped.

OH THOSE FOOLS! Ignore the sagacity of the mighty Dave Winer and your company will fail! Or, it could be that, barring advertisement, it’s fucking hard to monetize Internet services in an environment where every overly-entitled twat expects that everything delivered over a TCP/IP connection must be magically free. Dave continues:

The people in the tech press never listened either — at the beginning it was CNET, and these days its TechCrunch. I keep saying the same thing over and over, the Google Reader approach is wrong, it isn’t giving you what’s new — and that’s all that matters in news.

You heard it from Dave mother-fuckers. If it ain’t delivered instantly, it ain’t “news.” Of course Dave typically ignores that what most people define as “news” would better be called “journalism” or at worst “infotainment.” Sure, we expect “the News” to be delivered in a timely manner, and we’ll gravitate towards services that prioritize speed over accuracy; but nonetheless, merely being “new” is insufficient.

So what does Ol’ Man Dave suggest will be the replacement for the “doomed” Google Reader model. Twitter, of course. You see, to New Media Douchebags like Dave the ideal model of information dissemination is one where everything is filtered though “influencers” aka New Media Douchebags.

Whatever Dave, the world passed you by. Fucking deal with it.


Chilled

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-13 18:47

Chilled


After a long nap I’ve found someplace I can leach wifi from.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-13 18:28

Bar


Airport Bar

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-12 22:11

Bar


Talking Out of Both Sides of Your Ass

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-10 16:52

I usually leave the commentary on Adobe to my Angry Mac Bastards cohort John Welch, but this gem was too good to give up. I’ve commented before in various venues that my issue with Adobe has little to do with shit like Flash performance, but rather the rampaging idiocy that comes out of Adobe’s Flash marketing team. Specifically, of course, I’m referring to master twit John “I Shift More Goalposts Than a Football Stadium Construction Engineer” Dowdell.

Case in point, let’s take a look at a recent entry on John’s blog: “Same Markup” makes sense. The overall thesis of the post matters little for our analysis today. As far as I can tell it’s some twaddle about how talking about “HTML5” is “divisive and “blah blah fragmentation.” But let’s pull some quotes:

Why is this important? Because every instance of willful fragmentation increases content development costs, increases content support costs, and increases content maintenance costs.

and:

Adobe’s about bridging the different silos. But even if you don’t use the Adobe work, you shouldn’t have to pay a “developers tax” to reach different devices.

Ignoring the rich creamy irony of a company that sells a suite of products for near a grand talking about “developers tax,” the message that Dowdell obviously wants us to take away here is that Adobe is the great unifier; the bridger of divides.

Now let’s look at the immediately preceding blog post: Evaluating device choices. Again, the overall post itself doesn’t matter—for the record it’s basically a load of apologia for why Flash Player 10.1 on Android isn’t the Alpha and Omega that Adobe claimed it would be — but let’s pull some quotes:

One of the tricky incentives is that nearly every manufacturer wants to highlight the world’s creative SWF content-they want Flash. This leads to differences between various Player 10.1 and Flash Lite offerings-between devices which have worked with Adobe for mutual optimization and those which haven’t even between Adobe runtimes and non-Adobe SWF renderers (whether JavaScript or native code or third-party ports).

and:

Flash Lite or Player 10.1? Up to you. Each is a different era, will do different things. There have been a billion or two devices shipped with Flash Lite through the world, and they’ll continue to play a role for some time to come. You may want your own high-end most-current device, but it’s really vital to know how your potential audience may experience things too. If you’re developing creative work for real world audiences, then experiencing their experience is vital. Up to you.

and:

Will it all be totally groovy? Groovier than without, but the World Wide Web’s graphics & video haven’t always anticipated being displayed on itty-bitty screens (or great-big screens either, for that matter). It will take a few years before the Web is equally happy on all types of displays. High-resolution video files will particularly strain a connection. Set your expectation against prior reality, not idealized reality. It’s a big step forward.

and finally:

Player vs AIR: The Adobe Flash Player works within browsers, and there’s a lot of existing web content, whether that’s one-third, two-thirds, whatever. AIR is applications, where the interface logic and data remain on your personal machine. Whether the app code itself is “in the cloud” or “on the desktop” is your own choice, and most people find both are necessary. First AIR/mobile deliveries are expected to appear on Android later this year. Do what makes sense for you now.

Why, if I didn’t know better (because Adobe is the great uniter) I’d say that sounded like a fragmented situation.

This is my beef with Adobe’s messaging about Flash, and Dowdell in particular. They seem to exist in some sort of quantum existential flux where they will say whatever they need to in the moment to promote Flash, even if it contradicts what they said mere moments before.


PZ is Wrong About the Qur’an Burning

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-09 17:52

WARNING: Political Content Ahead!**

I sadly have to disagree with PZ over at Pharyngula regarding the controversy surrounding some bumpkin’s plan to burn a copy of the Qur’an. In a post today PZ essentially argues that the only appropriate to the threatened book roasting is a hearty, “whatever.”

On the one hand, PZ is right that the Qur’an is just a book, imbued with no more mystical powers than a copy of The Da Vinci Code. In a rational world no one would be upset if some hillbilly lit a copy up in some feebled-minded protest against “radical Islam.” On the other hand, this isn’t a rational world. And the fuckwit planning this little book burning isn’t doing it as some sort of high-minded demonstration of the ultimate unimportance of religious symbols. No, Terry Jones is doing this as a calculated affront to a community.

If, instead of a Christian religious leader burning the sacred text of a different religion, this was a member of the Klu Klux Klan burning a cross on an African-American’s lawn would we respond by saying “Hey man, it’s just a piece of wood. No worries”? No, we wouldn’t. The fact that it is a religious object being destroyed is secondary to the true message in the act. Which is to anger and intimidate people who follow the Islamic religion. Sure, in a perfect world we’d all be happy little atheists and wouldn’t have to worry about religious differences. But in reality we’re not. And in the real world have a duty to stand up to those who would attack others without cause. No matter whether that attack comes in the form of burning a book, burning a building, or burning a person.


My Reaction to Apple Revealing the App Store Review Guidelines

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-09 16:18

Whatever.


Woman gets transplants years after brother’s donation

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-08 19:18

Despite the typically goofy local newspaper headline this is an interesting story of a woman who’s family became organ donation advocates after the death her brother, and who herself became a recipient years later. As an aside, I strongly urge people to become organ donors. It’s the one act of charity that literally costs you nothing.


“New York” Steaks On the Grill

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-07 00:56

Steaks


The iOS Fetish

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-02 19:21

Like I wrote yesterday, I’m not particularly interested in doing any sort of roundup of the announcements from Apple’s yearly Music Event held yesterday, September 1st. However, there are a few things that popped out at me that I’d like to explore. Initially I was going to do some claim chowdah analysis and break down exactly how wrong Engadget was about the supposed iTV, but there really isn’t anything new to be said there. Anyway, Joel Topolsky is already spinning the announcements to say that Apple is so totally going to make those changes, but things changed at the last minute. Whatever douche, keep spinning.

What is interesting to me, and touches on the idiocy around the AppleTV, is the way that iOS was almost fetishized by the tech press during the announcement.

What I’m talking about is the fact that, at least amongst the pundits and analysts that I follow on Twitter, every product announcement, with the obvious exception of the iPod Touch, was met with a single question, “does it run iOS?” To which I reply, “who cares?”

It seems to me that the tech punditsphere has imbued the iOS with some sort of mythic splendor, mainly revolving around equally-mythical “apps.” When Steve Jobs debuted the new iPod Nano, with its multitouch screen, the cries began. “Does it run iOS? Does it have apps?” Things became even more fevered when Steve demonstrated the iPod Nano in the newly coined “jiggle mode.” “Oh my Lord,” the techies breathlessly exclaimed, “it is iOS! Huzzah, calloo and callay!” The introduction of the new AppleTV (not iTV you lackwits) was met with a similar refrain. “Is it running iOS? It doesn’t look like it’s running iOS? OMG are there APPS!!!”

The hilarity in all this was the fact that most pundits were basing their determinations of iOSosity on nothing more than the user interface being demoed. The iPod Nano looks like it’s running iOS, and it very well may be, but it also may be running a variant of the same proprietary operating system that all non-Touch iPods have run. The AppleTV may well be running iOS, in fact I propose that it should be running iOS given the proven benefits for low power devices that that OS brings to the table, but the interface was essentially the same as that of the previous iteration’s Tiger based OS. The bottom line is that the interface for these products has precious little to do with the underlying OS. A fact that constantly escapes the technorati.

Which brings us to the “app” question. It’s obvious that a good deal of the fetishization of iOS is because of the immense wealth of applications available for it. But name one app currently in the iPhone/iPad app store that would translate to either the iPod Nano or the AppleTV. I’m not saying that there isn’t a potential for applications on either platform. There are many talented developers out there who can imagine lots of things that I can’t. But as it stands right now “apps” for either device make no sense.

Given that, other than as a technical curiosity, what does it matter if the iPod Nano or AppleTV are running iOS, MacOS, or something utterly different? The answer is that it doesn’t matter. As long as the OS meets the needs of the device, who cares.


Ping Pong

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-02 15:28

Fuck it, let’s see how this goes. If you want to follow my utterly banal taste in music have at it. My Ping profile is here.


Apple Special Event Predictions - The Results

Permalink - Posted on 2010-09-02 01:07

Last week I tallied up my predictions on the predictions being made for the annual Apple September Music event by the rumorsphere. Now that the event is come and gone it’s time to grade my performance, and the performance of the rumormongers in general. Before I begin though, I think I need to clarify what I’m up to with these rumor predictions posts. First of all, the items that I list are not my predictions. They are the predictions being bandied about by the punditsphere. Secondly, the percentage values that I assign are completely pulled from my ass, often for comedic effect. That said, let’s see how we did.

  • New iPod Touch announced: 99% - Was there any doubt here.
    • Has a front-facing camera with FaceTime integration: 65% - Yup
    • Rear-facing camera: 45% - Yup
    • Retina Display: 80% - Yup
  • iPod Nano updated: 80% - Not as certain of a lock, but I would have been surprised if they didn’t.
    • More storage: 50% - Not mentioned
    • Still picture camera: 40% - Nope, in fact the video camera went bye-bye too.
  • New AppleTV: 70% - Yup
    • Runs iOS: 50% - Not mentioned
    • Named iTV: 30% - Nope
    • Runs “apps”: 30% - Nope
    • Has an “app store”: 30% - Nope
  • iTunes TV Show Rentals: 10% -Honestly, this one took me by surprise. I’m not surprised that only two networks are onboard for launch.
  • iTunes IN THE CLOUD!!!: 5% - Hahaha, this one will never die.
  • Any mention of the iPhone other than to crow about sales numbers: 10% - Hard to make a call on this one, if you count the iOS 4.1 talk then it’s a yes.
    • A redesigned iPhone that corrects the DeathGrippe™: .1% - Nope (morons)
    • An announcement of the iPhone 5: .00001% - Seriously, are you people retarded.
    • iPhone on Verizon: Oh ain’t you precious. - Of course not
  • Any mention of the iPad other than to crow about sales numbers: 5% - Same as with the iPhone, if you count the iOS then this is a yes.
    • iPad updates: 1% - iPad updates are going to be a yearly event in late January, bet on it.
    • iPad Nano/iPod Touch Maximo: .01% - Seriously, these chumps are delusional.

I’m not going to do any sort of roundup of the event, other’s have done that better than I can. My biggest take-away though was just how little the rumor mongers got right on this. I’ll probably talk more about that soon.


Reasonable Doubt: Innocence Project Co-Founder Peter Neufeld on Being Wrong

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-30 18:34

This is simultaneously terrifying and infuriating; and an absolute must read for anyone under the delusion that “…if he was arrested he must be guilty.”


Dave You Ignorant Slut

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-30 16:01

Sometimes the New Media Douchebag circus is too good for the freak-show and needs to be in the main ring. Case in point, today’s twaddle from Dave “Cranky-Pants” Winer, Dear Apple, re your boycott of Flash. Ooh, goody, goody gumdrops. It’s criticism in epistle form; my favorite thing.

Let’s break this mofo down, starting with the title. Did you know that Apple is boycotting Flash? I didn’t. I mean, I have to run third-party software just to keep that crap from inundating my desktop computing experience, so Apple doesn’t seem to be doing much to block it there. Perhaps Dave is referring to Apple’s decision to not allow any third party runtime environments in iOS. As an aside, Steve Ballmer must shed a tiny, greasy little tear every time someone gets histrionic over Apple “boycotting” Flash without mentioning Silverlight. At any rate, moving on.

As an iPad user I can tell you without a doubt, it isn’t working.

Well Dave, as an iPad user I can tell you that you’re a fuckwit. Neener neener.

I see new Flash content several times every day when I catch up on the news with my iPad. This isn’t stuff that’s going away, it’s new stuff that creative people are publishing. New stuff, not legacy stuff.

Dear gods! What sick, vile, depraved pornography is Dave into that it hasn’t already been made iOS friendly.Seriously though, in the absence of anything approximating an example, Occam’s razor decrees that Dave is simply making shit up.

In other words, they know we can’t see it on the iPad and they went ahead anyway.

Again Dave, who is this mysterious “they” that you speak of? Would it kill you to provide even one fucking example. But really, so the fuck what? So there are people who made large investments in an Adobe workflow who are still using it. Stop. The. Fucking. Presses. You know what Dave, I’m willing to bet that there are still people out there producing shit in RealMedia format, that doesn’t mean that anyone needs to support it.

But let’s take Dave’s logic and turn it on its ear a bit. Theoretically there is all this wondrous Flash content out there, and yet Apple went ahead anyway and told Adobe to piss up a rope. Boy, oh boy did that kill the platform. Hell, reports are just now coming in that the wait time for an iPad is down to a mere 24 hours. Jeez is Steve Jobs an idiot.

Sorry.

Blow me.


Apple Special Event Predictions

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-26 17:38

For those who are unaware, Apple is holding a special event on September 1st, just like they do every September. Not being one to be left out of the fun, here’s my take on the chances of various rumors coming to pass.

  • New iPod Touch announced: 99%
    • Has a front-facing camera with FaceTime integration: 65%
    • Rear-facing camera: 45%
    • Retina Display: 80%
  • iPod Nano updated: 80%
    • More storage: 50%
    • Still picture camera: 40%
  • New AppleTV: 70%
    • Runs iOS: 50%
    • Named iTV: 30%
    • Runs “apps”: 30%
    • Has an “app store”: 30%
  • iTunes TV Show Rentals: 10%
  • iTunes IN THE CLOUD!!!: 5%
  • Any mention of the iPhone other than to crow about sales numbers: 10%
    • A redesigned iPhone that corrects the DeathGrippe™: .1%
    • An announcement of the iPhone 5: .00001%
    • iPhone on Verizon: Oh ain’t you precious.
  • Any mention of the iPad other than to crow about sales numbers: 5%
    • iPad updates: 1%
    • iPad Nano/iPod Touch Maximo: .01%

As always, these numbers are based on my extensive discussions with my exclusive Apple sources, namely the leprechaun who lives in Jony Ive’s pocket and the genii who granted Scott Forstall the Evil Eye. Everyone feel free to make your own predictions in the comments.


Crazy Uncle Dave (Re)Invents Comments

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-23 18:38

Cross posted from Dave Winer’s Crazy Train

So, let’s get this straight. Uncle Dave doesn’t like the rough-and-tumble nature of blog commentary (a reasonable position to take, I hate you pricks too), but he’s too narcissistic do without the fawning admiration of strangers. What’s a New Media Douchebag to do? Well, if you’re Dave Winer, you come up with…this. Please, for the love of fuck, someone implement this so I can properly laugh at it.

On another note, this bit amused and enraged me:

I’m almost 100 percent sure that scripting.com was the first blog to have comments. And I’m equally sure that it was the first to have its comments flame out. The flameout was a good thing, although it didn’t feel like it at the time, because it created the first wave of blogs. And when their comments flamed out, there were subsequent waves of new blogs.

Dave, you arrogant fuck, people have been commenting on other people’s writing since some Kraut asshole scribbled “Erster Beitrag” under Martin Luther’s Theses. Can there be anything on the intartubes that you won’t claim to have invented.


Of Muslims, Mosques and Morons

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-21 18:10

WARNING: Political content ahead!

Sometimes I wonder if the leadership of the Democratic Party isn’t infested with Republican moles (cue the cries from the false-equivalency brigade that all politicians are horrible). If not, then they certainly epitomize the words of wisdom offered by the venerable Dark Helmet, “Evil will always win, because Good is stupid.”

Take, for instance, the overall reaction to the reports of a new poll showing that one in five of the inbred hicks that make up the populous of this nation believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. The Democratic leadership, as usual, is flailing about trying to maintain some sort of worthless air of sophistication, when the only sane response should be the following; preferably delivered by Obama during prime time from the Oval Office:

My fellow Americans. Recently a poll was conducted in which it was determined that one-fifth of you believe me to be a Muslim. I come to you tonight to set the record straight.

First of all, my religious beliefs, or lack thereof, are a personal matter and have no bearing on the governance of this great nation. In their great wisdom the Founding Fathers of this nation enshrined in the very first amendment to the Constitution of the United States the notion that every person has the undisputed right to practice the religion of their choice, or to not practice religion at all. This freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of our society, and fundamentally separates us from the religious ideologues such as the ones who masterminded and perpetrated the vile acts of terrorism that shook this country on September 11th 2001.

Having said that, I will affirm that I am a Christian, not because there is a special virtue in that fact but to highlight the falsehoods that are being spread by members of the media such as Fox News and partisan members of the Republican Party. For too long the media has been allowed to shamelessly promote patent untruths offered by members of the Republican Party regarding myself, members of my administration and legislation that we are attempting to implement. The very same First Amendment that guarantees us all the right to choose our own religious beliefs also guarantees us the right to freedom of expression, but it does not guarantee that lies will go unchallenged.

Earlier I spoke of the horrible tragedy of 9/11. Right now there is debate underway regarding the site of that tragedy and the question of if a Muslim community center should be allowed to be located near that site. The very fact that we are having that debate, along with the fact that the question of my religion is even considered germane aptly demonstrate how the media and members of the Republican Party have used a baseless fear of Islam to manipulate public opinion. Islam, like any other religion, has both ideologues and idealists, demagogues and dreamers. That the Cordoba House should generate any more controversy than a Jewish or Catholic community center is shameful. In the words of Ted Olson, who lost is wife to this very act of terrorism, “We don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith.”

Well, I can dream can’t I.


Die Zombie Scum

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-20 19:48

7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly)

Seriously, zombies are overrated and the people in zombie movies are fucktards. Now I eagerly await the pro-zombie zealots or as I like to call them, Google users.


Because Sometimes I Get Bored

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-19 19:28

Dave Winer’s Crazy Train. I brave the weird so that you don’t have to,


America Needs a War on Stupid

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-19 18:17

Sign me up.

via my main man, John Welch.


Stop…

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-19 13:25

Stop

…in the name of corporate training!


Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-17 15:00

Via Pharyngula. Techno-utopianism always makes me cranky.


Monochrome

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-16 17:27

The brown and yellow was getting on my nerves.


The Empathic Civilization

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-16 16:07

Another nifty animation from The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce—this one illustrating a talk by Jeremy Rifkin, author of the Empathic Civilization. I haven’t read this yet, but I just added it to my iBooks queue.


Neutronium Soul

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-13 21:53

God damn I have a soul-crushing job,” the fucktard next to me announced to no one in particular.

I pried my gaze up from the foamy depths of my pint and turned to him.

You wait tables at a Sizzler.” I replied. “I spend my days listening to The Least Interesting Man in the World explain how not to grab your secretary’s tits. Soul-crushing? Mother-fucker, my soul is neutonium.”


Mexican States Ordered to Honor Gay Marriages

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-11 19:33

Yet another reason for the honkeys to fear the brown invasion. Also, when Mexico is doing better on Gay Rights…well that’s just fucked.


Obligatory Google Wave Post

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-06 16:27

So, yeah, Google put the kibosh on Wave this week and now we must endure the inevitable tsunami (Ha! A “wave” joke) of post-mortems from the tech press. See, there’s an unwritten rule in the punditsphere that says that the volume of babble produced when a product fails is directly proportional to the amount of hype from the tech press when the product was announced.

And, good lords, was Wave hyped. It seems that every pundit, reporter and New Media Douchebag couldn’t wait to tell us mortals how Wave was going to change the very face of communication itself. I remember the glorious day when I finally received my Wave invite. I tremulously clicked the link, looked at Wave’s revolutionary new interface and exclaimed, “eh, whatever.”

See, the problem with Wave, a problem that is endemic to Google products is that it was conceived, designed and implemented by and for Google engineers. Sometimes that works for Google; the best example of that is probably Gmail. Other times that tactic fails spectacularly as it did with Wave.

The other issue plaguing Wave is that Google never developed a narrative for it. At no point was it ever clear to me what problem Wave was going to solve for me. Contrast that with Apple’s new FaceTime feature in the iPhone 4. During the run-up to the announcement of the iPhone 4, and even after Steve announced FaceTime I was dismissive of the concept of cell phone based video chat, until I saw the new iPhone 4 television advertisements featuring FaceTime.

Unlike Google, Apple excels at creating a narrative for their products. Thus we have commercials that portray simple, compelling narratives about FaceTime that tell us fuck-all about the technology involved, but about the people using it. In the sage words of Don Draper, it’s not a wheel, it’s a carousel.

None of the above is meant to disparage Google, by the way. Different companies have different strengths, and to expect every company to excel in exactly the same way is just another form of Highlanderism. The tech press and punditocracy needs to realize, though, that Google is a company by and for engineers. As long as that is the case, popular misfires like Wave will always happen.


CA Prop. 8 Overturned

Permalink - Posted on 2010-08-04 21:01

Congratulations to the sane people of California.

As a general note to others on the Left, this is how you get a bad law changed: through the ballot box and the courtroom—-not by hyperbolic vitriol from overindulged celebrities.


Christina Warren on the iMac vs. Mac Pro Decision

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-28 20:46

Christina concludes that the 27” iMac is still one of the best computers you can buy. I think that the ever-decreasing gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro indicates that Apple no longer views the Mac Pro as a “consumer” machine. In Apple’s view, the iMac is the consumer desktop and the Mac Pro is a professional workstation. I don’t think that they worry about one cannibalizing sales of the other at all.


Suck it Honkeys

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-28 17:58

WARNING: Political Content Ahead!

MSNBC (amongst others) is reporting that, pretty much as expected, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has issued an injunction blocking the most heinous and constitutionally bogus provisions of Arizona SB 1070. While this is good news from the perspective of justice, we need to be clear on a few things. First, this is only a temporary injunction until the final court decisions are made.

Secondly, don’t think for a second that this is any sort of blow to the racist crackers who populate the Arizona Republican Party. While the honkey—-on—-the—-street will be understandably upset by this injunction (and the ultimate decision finding that most of this turd fails to pass constitutional muster) the actual players in the AZ GOP are probably jizzing themselves dry at this news. Expect the Arizona airwaves to be saturated in the coming days with campaign advertisements from Brewer, McCain, Hayworth, Arpaio and the rest of these scumbags decrying “Obama” and the rest of the evil Washington insiders for preventing Arizonans from practicing their lilly—-white—-god—-given right to hunt darkies.

As for myself, I do agree with the AZ GOP on one thing. It’s a shame that this state has been invaded by foreigners, we should probably send them back from whence they came.


Glenn Fleishman on the DMCA Jailbreaking Exemption

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-27 21:36

One of the most comprehensive, accurate and most of all, sane write-ups about the ruling by the Librarian of Congress exempting jailbreaking from the “circumvention” provisions of the DMCA. If you’re going to read one article about this, make it this one.


Gin Time: Tonic Water Tasting

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-27 02:07

In an effort to pep up my gin and tonics I’ve decided to sample some “premium” tonic waters. There’s really no point in shelling out for top-shelf hooch if you’re going to mix it with swill. Tonight was Fentiman’s Tonic Water (warning, hideous website ahoy).

tonic

The verdict: A fuck-sight better than Canada Dry or Schweppes.


Winer’s Line in the Sand

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-26 19:38

Taking a page from the playbook of John “mother of all tools” Dowdell, Dave Winer has declared that he will no longer tolerate off-topic discussion and mindless Apple fanboyism on his precious blog. Of course, in Dave’s world “off-topic” means “doesn’t agree with my sage wisdom” and “mindless Apple fanboyism” means “in any way approving of Apple.”

Look Dave, we get it, people disagreeing with you irritates you. I mean, good gods people, don’t you know who this is? This is Dave Winer. The “proto-blogger!” Having your narcissistic and ill-thought-out bullshit pointed out to you must be agonizing. I’d suggest dispensing with comments entirely, but then how would you get your fix of sycophantic cock-sucking? A man can’t live by his achievements alone for fuck’s sake!


Flighty Whitey

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-23 15:36

If you haven’t heard the news, Apple has delayed the white iPhone yet again; this time to “later this year” which, as we all know is Apple-talk for December 31’st.

All joking aside, if the media is looking for a story to play up the “Apple is run by incompetent designtards” there you go. Announcing a product and not being able to ship it for upwards of six months is pathetic. Where’s my press conference mother-fuckers?

I’m going to buy a Droid X out of spite.


How to Tell a Journalist From a Blogger

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-22 07:02

And, for completeness sake, the piece that led me to the last link. Read this and pay attention blogtards—you in particular Jizzmodo.

For the record, I’m in no way, shape or form a journalist—just an asshole with a blog.


Not All Bloggers Are Journalists

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-22 06:50

An extremely insightful piece on the historic and current role of the Fourth Estate.

The money quote:

In fact, I have to apologize on behalf of my entire profession for how you have been treated by a few bloggers, whom I’ll have the tact to not name here. There are bloggers who know and care nothing about real journalism, who see this profession as an opportunity for short-term gain at anyone’s expense, who find no joy in it and who dream only of fame in the now and a lucrative exit thereafter. These people are not journalists; they are self-serving scum. And they’ve royally fucked up how a lot of people see my profession.

This right here is why there is a “media” category on this blog, and a large part of why I participate in the Angry Mac Bastards.

H/T to Shawn King for pointing to the article that led to this one.


Dunning-Kruger and the New Media Douchebag

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-20 03:55

I haven’t taken New Media Douchebag Anil Dash to task here yet, but I ran across a blog post by Anil that I couldn’t pass up. Not necessarily because the article was particularly bad (although it is) but because it’s emblematic of something that I see constantly amongst the New Media Douchebag collective. In fact, this trait may well be one of the core defining aspects of the quintessential New Media Douchebag. Specifically, it’s the utter and complete inability of the New Media Douchebag to realize that they are pontificating about a subject that the are woefully ill-prepared to discuss.

We’ve seen this time and again. It seems that New Media Douchebags are willing to play pundit on any subject ranging from economics, to politics, to race relations — usually with hilariously horrific results. I’ve thought long and hard on this phenomenon, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it results from a unique combination of the innate narcissism that fuels the average New Media Douchebag coupled with a specific form of the Dunning-Kruger effect. For the unaware, the Dunning-Kruger effect is the state where a person doesn’t possess the skill-set to make a good decision, and also doesn’t possess the ability to recognize that they lack that skill. Basically, the more incompetent someone is, the more likely they are to believe that they are more competent than the average person.

I say that New Media Douchebags exhibit a specific form of the Dunning-Kruger effect because I don’t think that the standard definition applies here. In most cases New Media Douchebags have been somewhat successful at something in their careers. Whether it be the invention of XML, the mass adoption of RSS, or whatever the fuck Scoble’s claim to fame is; most New Media Douchebags have done something right at least once in their life.

Unfortunately, in the case of New Media Douchebags, it seems that this singular success combines with their innate narcissism to cause them to think that they are equally astute in all areas of thought. Perhaps it’s the binary folly that many engineers and software developers are prone to. Whatever the reason, it has led to a spate of fucktards who have had one good idea in their life feeling confident dispensing advice in areas far outside their core competency.

Which leads us, inexorably, to Anil Dash’s blog post that triggered this one. In The “Yes, And…” Culture Anil attempts to solve the world’s problems with the magic of improvisational theater.

Let’s start off with the first few paragraphs of Mr. Dash’s missive:

In improvisational theater and comedy, one of the first rules of participation is allowing co-creation. Basically, instead of saying “No, wait!” you respond to your collaborators with “Yes, and…” to continue the conversation and start to create something great together.

That principle of collaborative and cumulative creation is a fundamental aspect of modern culture in general. Remixing, rebooting, remaking and re-imagining culture require a “Yes, and…” aesthetic. When a moment of online inspiration blossoms into a full-fledged meme, communities from 4Chan to YouTube are demonstrating their embrace of improvisational culture.

But this doesn’t just apply to goofy web memes. This could be an interesting, even important aspect of how society and policy evolve as well.

Here we go, right off the bat we have the inappropriate application of a specific discipline to the world in general. And as a bonus it’s chock-a-block full of hipster douchebag condescension. “You see, in improvisational theater we…” Blah, I can hear the italics from here. But let’s wait and see the specific examples that Anil has in mind:

Take, for example, the recent Citizens United case at the Supreme Court. The ruling states, in effect, that companies can now spend an unlimited amount of their funds on political campaign ads for various candidates. People who prefer humans to corporations are, naturally, concerned about the pending completion of the corporate takeover of elections.

Yes, let’s look at Citizens United an egregious case of the Supreme Court giving away the rights of real people in favor of fictitious corporate “persons.” What does Anil suggest we do to reclaim our rights as citizens? Does he suggest that we speak out in protest. Does he suggest that we join the various movements in the United States aimed at revoking “corporate personhood.”

Oh hell no. We who would roll back the excesses of the Roberts Court are getting “…into the usual long, expensive, unproductive cultural-battle-masquerading-as-political-battle that makes so many of us get turned off by politics.” Well forgive fucking me Anil. I’m sorry that my desire to protect our rights is “turning you off.”

So, what does Anil propose?

What could it look like in a “Yes, and….” culture, though? What if, while acknowledging that spending is not speech, we decide to forgo trying to roll back the law, and instead roll it forward? Yes, corporations can buy political advertisements, but what if any employee of the corporation could submit the content of the advertisement? The last video in before a TV station’s programming deadline would be the one that went on the air, privileging those who are nimble with media, instead of just corporate officers.

Lords of Kobol is Anil serious? Yes, we the people will overpower the financial might of the corporation by being the advertising version of eBay snipers! Like most nerds, Anil seems completely oblivious to the fact that mathematical laws have poor record of mapping to human behavior. A=B and B=C therefore A=C may work in a proof. But when the equation is megacorp = person and Joe Fucktard = person the answer sure as fuck isn’t megacorp = Joe Fucktard.

Does Anil seriously believe that any corporation that was going to bother financing a political advertisement would take the slightest chance that some random cunt like me would get a chance at the microphone. It’s ludicrous.

Moreover, Anil displays the usual Silly Valley narcissistic callousness toward the average worker. Anil may be able to say whatever he wants with impunity, but some of us work in places where the price of agitation is a quick trip to the bread line.

But Anil doesn’t stop there.

Or if we struggle with Arizona’s new law which allows police to detain suspected undocumented immigrants, instead of merely fighting to repeal the policy, we should extend it. Any legal resident or citizen of the United States who is wrongly detained by the police should get a free gun, perhaps one of those confiscated by the police. In that way, when we abridge the Fourth Amendment rights of someone, we make it up to them by supporting their Second Amendment rights. You want to protect the rights of Americans? Yes, and… we do too.

God’s balls! Even if you assume that Anil is being facetious here these are still some of the stupidest words committed to digital storage.

The bottom line is that Anil Dash displays an utter and complete lack of understanding of the issues that he’s babbling about. His solutions are facile at best, and dangerous at the worst. The most obnoxious thing is that there are people who think that this clod is insightful.


Why Steve Jobs is (Legitimately) Pissed at the Media

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-16 20:16

I wasn’t present at Friday’s special iPhone 4 Press Conference held by Apple at their Cupertino Campus, but I followed the excellent live coverage from Jason Snell at Macworld. Ignoring the specifics of the announcements (spoiler: there is no fucking recall you fucktards), one thing jumped out at me: Steve Jobs was palpably angry with the media.

In the process of providing actual hard data regarding the impact of the antenna issues (hint, not fucking much) Steve called out no less than three separate organizations for their shoddy coverage. First, of course, was the douche collective over at Jizzmodo. The less said about those felonious fuckwits the better, so I’ll leave it at that. In addition, during the Q&A portion of the event, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall denied anonymously sourced reports by BusinessWeek and the New York Times regarding the issue calling them “bullshit” and patently false” respectively.

In addition to those specific examples Steve had some choice comments about the press in general. Here’s Jason Snell’s report of what Steve Said:

In search of eyeballs for websites, people don’t care what they leave in their wake. So I look at this whole thing and say, wow. Apple’s been around for 34 years. Haven’t we earned the credibility and trust from some of the press to give us a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, of our motivations, the fact that we’re confident and will solve these problems. I think we have that trust from our users, but I didn’t see that in the press. This thing was blown so far out of proportion. But I’m not going to say we’re not at fault. We didn’t educate enough.

Now to be clear here, unlike some others in the Twitterverse I don’t think that Steve is asking for a free pass from the press here. I think that he’s expressing his dismay over how the press, in the complete absence of any actual hard evidence, blew this issue completely out of proportion to the point where a camera-hog Senator felt compelled to get in on the action.

And let’s be clear here. This story was blown out of proportion. Does the iPhone 4 have a spot that, when blocked, causes signal attenuation? Yes, as do all modern smartphones. Is this situation acerbated by the fact that the iPhone 4’s antenna is placed outside of the casing? Yes, but that decision demonstrably improves reception in the vast majority of situations. The bottom line is, this was a “debacle” almost entirely created by the press.

As I was driving to get lunch after the press conference it came to me why I so identify with Steve Jobs’ reaction: I’ve been in the same position.

More than once in my career I’ve been in a situation where something has gone wrong, sometimes catastrophically wrong. During situations like that, when every available hand is on deck trying to fix the problem, the most enraging thing in the world is a chorus of people who have no data, no real understanding of the issue, or even an understanding of the principles involved with the issue demanding answers NOW!

That’s the role that the press has taken during this debacle. Unquestioningly repeating the claims of anyone who was willing to make a comment, speculating about technical issues that they were patently unqualified to comment on, and demanding that Apple act NOW NOW NOW to resolve the issue. And speaking of just horrible reporting; the less said of Consumer Reports embarrassing flip-flopping the better.

In a situation like this there comes a time when someone has to stand up and say “enough.” Again, I’ve been there. I’ve had to stand in the middle of an engineering bullpen and tell the CEO of my company that every minute I spend answering panicked emails and attending blamestorming conference calls was a minute that I wasn’t spending fixing the fucking problem.

That’s basically what Steve Jobs did on Friday. He got up on stage, explained that this issue wasn’t as bad as it was being made out to be, told the people that mattered how it would be resolved, and told the harpies to shut the fuck up. I’m glad he finally got pissed off enough to do it.


Ian Betteridge is a Smart Guy

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-16 16:05

Insightful commentary from Ian on the myth that “programing” is the only valid form of creativity. I couldn’t agree more.


Be Happy or Else

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-14 19:00

I’ve recommended Barbara Ehrenreich’s critique of “positive thinking” Bright-sided in various venues before. I heartily recommend that everyone read the book. As a teaser, here is a short animation of a lecture by Ms. Ehrenreich based on the book. It’s funny, and absolutely true.

h/t to Pharyngula


Emails From Steve

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-09 01:42

Looking to get into the fun (and apparently lucrative) game of shopping around emails from Steve Jobs, I went ahead and sent him a note. Imagine my utter shock and amazement when he answered. Here is a copy of our exchange:

Darby,

Glad to hear it. By the way, love the podcast, Angry Mac Bastards is required listening here at 1 Infinite Loop. Oh, and stop complaining about your white iPhone 4. A little bird tells me that you’ll be getting a surprise soon. Think unicorn ivory with a mermaid skin bumper.

Sent from my unicorn ivory iPhone

Steve,

I’m loving your new “fuck the haters” attitude. “You’re holding it wrong” indeed.

What, you say you don’t believe me. You say that I’m making this up. Well, here is incontrovertible proof. Behold the iron-clad evidence that is EMAIL HEADERS:

headers

Now, of course that isn’t real. In fact it’s a fairly half-assed fake, but then again I only spent about ten minutes working on it. The point is, whenever some moron attempts to claim that EMAIL HEADERS prove their bullshit story; they should be lit on fire and thrown out of a window. Email is the easiest thing in the universe to fake. Or did you really think that your grandmother thinks that you need (ahem) male enhancement.


Everyone in the pool

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-06 00:42

Brats

Like me, the brats enjoy a good soak in beer.

Burn

The burnination.


Libation

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-05 02:09

Libation


The Real Reason for AZ SB 1070

Permalink - Posted on 2010-07-01 19:11

Warning! Political content ahead

I’ve been saying all along that AZ SB 1070 was never about actually dealing with undocumented immigration, or even racism for racism’s sake. Instead it’s nothing more than a transparent ploy by the GOP to rally the racists in Arizona for the next election. Here’s some proof to back up my thesis.

Barry Wong is a Republican running for Arizona’s Corporation Commission. For those outside of Arizona (or who are merely ignorant) the Corporation Commission is a body that, amongst other things, regulates the rates that Arizona’s public utilities can charge (the irony being that AZ’s “public” utilities are mostly for-profit private corporations). Barry has come up with the delightfully ironic idea of forcing the utilities to check the residency status of their customers. Think Progress quotes the New York Daily News:

One Arizona politician has made a vow to make illegal immigrants powerless—literally. Republican Barry Wong, a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, an elected body that decides public utility issues, says he would require the utilities to check the immigration status of customers, he told the Arizona Republic.

I’m sure there will be criticism about human-rights violations,” said Wong, who held a temporary spot on the five-person Commission in 2006. “Is power or natural gas or any type of utility we regulate, is that a right that people have? It is not a right. It is a service.” Cutting electricity, water, natural gas, even telephone lines at the homes of illegal immigrants, he said, would lower costs for the rest of the state’s customers. He believes the population spike caused by illegal immigrants forces the state to build new power plants and then raise rates for customers.

Of course, anyone with half a brain can sniff out the bullshit here. Arizona’s public utilities are hardly charities. Any filthy illegal wetback who has the electricity turned on is, ipso facto paying the fucking electrical bill. If they weren’t the electric company would shut off the gods damned lights off.

No, this is just a way to rally out the honkeys to vote another pro-corporate GOP tool onto the commission that regulates corporations in Arizona. And what would Barry do if he were on the commission? Well, from his campaign website:

Demanding Diverse and Reliable Energy—including Nuclear

Gee whiz Barry, wouldn’t that require building the very power plants that you were just bitching about?

Unrelated, but additional irony:

From Barry’s website:

Barry Wong is an American-born son of Chinese immigrant parents.

Memo from the crackers of Arizona, you’re next you Jackie Chan looking mother fucker.


Cartoon: The 24 Types of Libertarian

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-30 14:58

I think that I’ve done battle with all of these jokers.


AMB Rage Fuel 6/29

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-29 23:50

Gin

Gin and mother-fucking tonic baby


Alan Grayson Channels President Eisenhower

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-26 20:58

Warning: Political content ahead!

Representative Alan Grayson translates President Eisenhower’s “Chance For Freedom” speech for today’s realities.

h/t to Crooks and Liars.


Wednesday Whackaloon: Dave Winer

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-23 17:26

It’s been a while since I bagged on the crankiest man in technology, Dave Winer, but he posted something recently that called out for abuse. In a blog post titled Why Angry Birds is so much fun Dave attempts to figure out why the iPad/iPhone game Angry Birds is so much fun. Of course, being a socially maladapted freak, he gets it wrong in a spectacularly horrendous fashion.

For those who are unaware, Angry Birds is an addictive game wherein you use a slingshot to fling birds at forts constructed by pigs. OK, that description sounded retarded, but just look it up in the App Store, you’ll love it. Dave, in his quest to understand the appeal of the game makes the following observation:

I know it sounds mean, but it’s probably the same kind of pleasure you get from breaking up your little sister’s doll tea party. Or your brother’s sand castle at the beach.

Right here Dave misses the point. Yes, the destructive aspect of the game adds to it’s appeal, but if that were the only reason why we like the game then people would just sit on level one blowing shit up. What makes Angry Birds so compelling, especially to those of us with the traditional “geek” mindset, is that it is a “puzzle” game. The obscenely addictive component of the game is attempting to destroy all of the pigs using the most elegant solution. That Dave Winer misses this, while not surprising, is highly ironic.

But it’s not the above lack of understanding on Dave’s part that raises this post to true whackaloon standards, it’s what comes next. The rusty cogs of Dave’s mind lurched forward into another thought:

Another thought hit me. When the elaborate pig forts topple it kind of looks like the Twin Towers coming down on 9/11. And the birds, well they’re a lot like a suicide bombers. Well, actually they are totally like suicide bombers.

They’re so damned angry at the pigs that they don’t mind killing themselves.

Whuzzat! If this were a podcast I’d be legally bound to insert a sound effect of a needle scratching or a car colliding with a tree. Yes, Dave Winer thinks that part of the appeal of Angry Birds is that it’s a 9/11 simulator. The mind boggles. That Dave, who currently resides in New York City mind you, would think that this is an appropriate comparison to make proves that he has no concept of how actual human beings function. He might actually have toppled Stallman as King of All Spergelords. On the other hand, no one has video of Dave Winer eating his foot-pickings, so Stallman’s reign is probably secure.


Sexual Harassment Training…you’re doing it *sexy* baby.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-23 17:05

Letch


AMB Rage Fuel 6/22/2010

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-22 23:43

Guiness


iPhone 3G iOS 4 Upgrade Aftermath

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-22 20:44

Yesterday, like a good lemming I updated my iPhone 3G to the newly released and re-named iOS 4. For whatever odd reason it seems that you people are interested in my opinion on such things—-which frankly is more than a little disturbing—-so here are my random thoughts on the update process itself, as well as running a nearly 2 year old phone with Apple’s newest operating system. Note that this will not be anything approximating a full review of iOS 4. If you want something like that I highly suggest that you read the excellent review from Ars Technica.

The Update Process

First some notes on the update process itself. I’m happy to report that, unlike many who were upgrading an iPhone 3G, my upgrade went relatively quickly. All told it was probably an hour start-to-finish, but that doesn’t count time spent sitting idle waiting for my input while I buggered off for dinner. That said, the iPhone upgrade process as managed though iTunes is fucking interminable. I’m not yet one of those people who call for the splitting of iTunes into multiple seperate applications, but I’m getting there.

During the entire process, which consists of numerous distinct steps such as downloading the update, backing up the iPhone, installing the update and restoring the iPhone the user is presented with a seemingly endless string of modal dialog boxes that prevent iTunes from being used for anything else. Additionally annoying is the stream of alert beeps that are triggered whenever you attempt to switch to iTunes to monitor its progress then switch away to get something done.

I do understand the reason for locking iTunes during the upgrade process. When you are screwing around with things like a cell phone’s firmware and baseband software, interruptions can be catastrophic. With that in mind, a much better solution would be for iTunes to spawn a separate application devoted to the update itself. This is how the Mac OS already handles it’s Software Update mechanism, and it’s a much better model.

iOS 4

So, what’s new in iOS 4? Well, if you’re using an iPhone 3G, precious little and quite a bit depending on what you were looking for. It has to be understood that the iPhone 3G is the absolute oldest iPhone that iOS 4 is supported on, and thus can utilize the least amount of new feature. The interesting part is which features the 3G can leverage, and which it cannot.

What doesn’t work

It should come as no surprise that some of the most talked about features of iOS 4 such as multitasking and bluetooth keyboard support are not supported. What honestly surprised me is that setting a desktop picture is also not supported. Apparently a Jizzmodo reader emailed Steve Jobs about this (I’m following my no links to Jizzmodo policy here) and was informed that the feature was no included because it adversely impacted performance. It would appear that the speculation by Dennis in a comment to my bitching about this yesterday might well be correct.

What works

Again, I’m not going to do a full review of the OS here; these are just some of my observations on what I’ve seen in a day of playing around.

The first new feature that interested me is Folders. You can get a better description of how folders work in the Ars review, but my verdict is: “where have you been all my life.” After a few minutes of pokery-jiggery I’ve consolidated my home screen from eight badly maintained screens to three screens. There would be only one screen, but I want to keep games and the apps I don’t use in their own ghettos.

The next feature that jumped out at me is the unified Inbox in Mobile Mail. To be honest, I don’t like it. I have three accounts set up in Mobile Mail: Mobile Me, my domain emails and my work Exchange server. While I’m quite happy to co-mingle my personal and domain emails, I have no desire to see my work email unless I specifically choose to. For me, a system of smart folders such as exist in the MacOS Mail application would be a better fit. For now I’ll be sticking with separate inboxes. What I do like about the new Mobile Mail is message threading. The bulk of my email is mailing lists, so this will come in very handy.

The Calendar app now allows you to pick and choose multiple calendars for display, which is a welcome addition. I have several calendars on my desktop Mac that, while Mobile Me insists on syncing them, I have no desire to see on my iPhone.

The Photos app now supports Places and Faces imported from iPhoto. Huzzah, I guess. I’ve never seen the utility of the iPhone as a picture viewer. Additionally, the Camera app supports digital zoom. Yay.

The last feature that I wanted to comment on isn’t actually a feature of iOS 4, it’s an application that requires the update, namely iBooks. I used to use my iPhone as my primary eReader via the Kindle and Barnes and Noble applications. Since embracing the iPad lifestyle I can’t see using the iPhone as my primary reader again, but it is great for situations where I can’t bring the iPad (work crapper, I’m looking at you). The fact that iBooks on both devices can sync bookmarks is gravy.

Performance and Overall Impression

There have been many complaints on the intartubes that iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G performs badly. To be honest, I’m not seeing a huge degradation in performance, but my iPhone has been dragging for some time. For a user who intends to continue using an iPhone 3G for some time, I would seriously consider whether any performance loss is worth the limited new features. On the other hand, if you are only using the iPhone until you can upgrade your hardware (LET ME ORDER MY WHITE iPHONE YOU PRICKS!) then I say upgrade away.


Stuperintentent of Public Instruction

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-22 16:07

WARNING: Political content ahead.

Like they say, all politics are local, so here is a wonderful slice of Arizona politics via Think Progress. The long and short of it is that the Republican candidate for Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction John “who needs to actually fund education” Huppenthal was, himself, schooled when a high school student confronted him about his abysmal record regarding funding education.

Like a typical GOP tool, when faced with the truth Huppenthal ran off in a huff and declared that he was being “punked” by Democratic dirty tricks. I suppose that this just demonstrates that Arizona doesn’t just hate the beaners. It hates an educated populous too.


Dick Move

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-22 02:21

The iOS 4 update is out, and I’ve applied it to my iPhone 3G. Turns out that separate desktop and lock-screen wallpaper isn’t supported on that device. I guess the 3G just doesn’t have the moxie to display a jpeg. But hey, I did get a digital zoom for the woeful camera, so there’s that.


Herb Crusted Lamb 2

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-14 01:30

Lamb


Grilled Veggies 2

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-14 01:29

Veggies


Herb Crusted Lamb

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-14 01:09

Lamb


Grilled Veggies

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-14 01:06

Veggies


Boycott This!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-11 17:49

**WARNING: Political Content Ahead!**

This is a difficult post to write. On the one hand, I vehemently oppose Arizona Senate Bill 1070; the so-called “immigration law.” The law is nothing more than a patently transparent attempt by the right-wing to whip up support amongst the racists here in order to make gains in this year’s elections. It’s the Southern Strategy for a new century. On the other hand, I’m bemused by the spate of groups who have taken it upon themselves to punish Arizona by boycotting or canceling events here. Take, for example, the recent decision by Hall and Oates to cancel their Arizona dates as part of a “Sound Strike“.

What irks me about these calls to boycott has nothing to do with any sort of loyalty to this gods-forsaken state. Nor do I base my criticism in the standard right-wing canard that entertainers should not voice their political opinions. What angers me is the rank hypocrisy of many who have jumped to denounce us white devils here in the desert.

Hypocrisy, you say, whatever can you mean by that?

What I mean is this: Two years ago the voters of California approved a vile and bigoted measure known as Proposition 8, which stripped the right to marry from homosexuals. As an aside I’ll note that, unlike Prop 8, AZ SB 1070 was not approved by the people of Arizona, it was the product of our State Legislature. When CA Prop. 8 passed there was a great outcry from the Left; there were even calls for boycotts. So, I suppose that us honkeys in Arizona should take comfort in the fact that California is being punished along with Arizona by these artists of conscience.

Oh wait, they’re not.

Take, for instance the participants in the Sound Strike linked above. Many of them, including those lords of magnificent hair Hall and Oates, are playing events in the queer-hating state of California. Where is your social conscience now boys? Or do you just like beaners more than faggots?

Or, could it be that it’s just more convenient to boycott Arizona. California is where the money’s at, after all. How much really is skipping a date in Arizona going to impact your pocket book? Besides, it’s like a thousand fucking degrees here right now.

Let me reiterate, and make this as crystal-clear as I can. I do not support AZ SB 1070. As an actual resident of this state, I will do everything in my power to see it’s ultimate repeal or invalidation via the courts. Bigotry; be it racism, sexism, homophobia or any other form is intolerable. However, these boycotts serve no other purpose than to act as painless way for the entitled and elite to feign social consciousness.

Activism, when performed only when convenient, is worthless. The hypocrisy on display by those calling for boycotts of Arizona, while turning a blind eye to the bigotry of the people of California, does nothing more than inflame the passions of the right-wing in Arizona. I expect that the Arizona Republican Party will be sending Hall and Oates a nice fruit basket thanking them for the support.


Drink

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-10 03:31

Drink


AMB Hooch 6/8/2010

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-09 04:05

Libation

Tonight’s libation.


American Drink

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-07 21:55

americandrink.net

Fuck. Yes.


WWDC 2010 Roundup

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-07 20:40

Well, there you have it. The WWDC 2010 Keynote has come and gone. The big news, of course, was the new iPhone 4. Additionally Steve Jobs talked about the newly renamed iOS 4 and minor updates to iBooks on the iPad. I’m not going to bother running down the features of the new OS, Apple covered that during the special event earlier this year. Nor am I going to go through a detailed list of the specs of the new iPhone. You can get a good run-down of that at Ars Technica. What I do want to talk about are my impressions of some of the announcements, and in particular, the reactions to them.

iPad and iBooks

There’s not much to say here. Steve did the usual song and dance about how popular the iPad is, and introduced some new features in iBooks including PDF viewing. There really isn’t much that I can say about the iPad. After a month of using mine it really is as transformative as Apple makes it out to be and the sales stats show that people get that. I can only imagine with great relish the anguish that that fact causes in all the iPad naysayers. Welcome to the new flesh mother-fuckers.

The App Store.

As I said in Twitter during the Keynote: pay attention bitches because Steve is being crystal clear here. Steve stated that Apple supports two platforms (actually, I’m surprised that few people noted that he omitted the platforms that MacOS X supports). The two platforms that Steve was referring to are HTML5 and the App Store. Steve made it blazingly fucking clear that Apple considers the App Store their own playground. Like it or not, that’s the way it is. And, based on sales, the proletariat seems to like it. Oh how that must chafe.

Farmville

Steve segued neatly from talking about the App Store to talking about apps, featuring a demo of Farmville by Zynga, which was immediately met with groans and derisive comments online. This shows, yet again, how much the tech press and many developers are utterly out of touch with, and contemptuous of the average consumer electronics customer. For those who blessedly don’t know, Zynga is the developer of such time-wasting Facebook games as Pirates, Mafia Wars and the Keynote-featured Farmville. What do these games do? Precious fucking little, but the masses seem to enjoy them. In fact, one of the most common reasons to include Flash on the iOS devices amongst people I talk to are these games. Now, I think that these games are worthless wastes of time, but the difference is that I can acknowledge that I’m not a mainstream customer. The presence of Zynga on the iOS platform will be huge.

The iPhone

Jesus, where to fucking begin. Seriously, just go read the Ars report on the dam thing. Suffice it to say that the new iPhone is an amazing piece of kit. I’ll be buying one as soon as I can. Now on to some specific thoughts.

Jizzmodo

Of course, the white elephant in the room was Jizzmodo’s leak of the iPhone 4 prototype earlier this year. As much fun as it was reading Jizzmodo’s idiotic “Metaliveblog” where they re-created the experience of stealing an iPhone by stealing coverage of the iPhone announcement, overall their performance was just sad. What really jumped out at me was just how little those ass-clowns managed to reveal about the new iPhone. Even taking into account the fact that they couldn’t access the operating system, the things that they missed: screen technology, camera technology, the fact that the metal sidewalls are part of the RF antenna system, just go to show how utterly incompetent those hacks are.

Cameras

I’m glad that Steve Jobs took the opportunity to point out that the race to cram as many photo-sensors into the tiniest chip size is a fools errand, and does nothing to deliver what consumers actually want, which is the ability to take better pictures. On the other hand, I’m utterly ambivalent to the whole front-facing camera FaceTime video-chat thing. Perhaps I’m wrong. Honestly I’d be tickled if I was, since the theme of this post is that the punditocracy doesn’t have the foggiest clue what real consumers want or need. I’d enjoy the irony.

iMovie

Speaking of cameras. Apple just shot the Flip (and related hand-held HD video cameras) in the junk. I know that I’ll still carry my Canon SD960 IS with me, at least at first, but I don’t know for how long. I’m actually sanguine about that though, as it will give me the excuse to move up to the Olympus E-PL1 for my fancy-pants camera. What I would like to see, and there is no technical reason why it can’t happen, is a combination of iMovie on the iPad and a iPad Camera Kit that supports the iPhone 4. Now that would be my dream rig.

Pricing

I’m somewhat disappointed that the iPhone 4 is available in the same storage configurations as the iPhone 3GS (16 & 32 GB). Coming from a 16GB iPhone 3G I was hoping to jump to 32GB and save a c-note. On the other hand, I’ve still never used more than 12 GB of my current storage, and won’t even use that much now that I have an iPad. Also, It is obvious that Apple put a premium on cramming as much battery into the iPhone 4 as they could. It seems like a good trade-off for now.

Parting Thoughts

Since I wasn’t at the Keynote, I’ll have to quote Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng quoting Steve Jobs

Apple is not just a technology company: it’s more than that. It’s the marriage of that plus the humanities that distinguishes Apple. It’s the hardware and software working together, coming up with A4 chips that work with the software and give us incredible battery lives. It’s not just a front facing camera, it’s a front facing camera and 18 months’ worth of work to come up with software that you’ll never even notice when you want to place a video call. A complete solution so all of us don’t have to be system integrators.

This, more than anything else is what the vast majority of the tech press just doesn’t get about Apple. Apple isn’t going to act like Google, or Microsoft, or Dell because the way that those companies do business is antithetical to what Apple is. And, ultimately, there is nothing wrong with that. “Highlanderism” (it tickles me that that term has gained traction) is stupid. The world smart-phone market is sufficiently large that Apple, Android, RIM and whoever else is in play can all happily survive by catering to the needs of their users, not the other guys. If you don’t like the iPhone, stop your weeping and buy and Android phone. There’s more than enough choice out there for all of us, and the choices just got that much better.


Grilling Time: Beef Fajitas

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-04 02:59

Since my last food post was moderately well received, I figure I’ll continue with them. This last Monday I decided to go with an old standby, Beef Fajitas. I’m sure this recipe will manage to offend some drunken Texan, but fuck them. This is how I like it.

A quick word about the choice of dead cow that I used. Traditionally fajitas would be made with skirt steak. My local megalomart, however, never stocks skirt steak, so I need to improvise. Fortunately they do keep a good stock of a relatively unknown cut called flat iron steak. Check that shit out yo’, a cut of meat developed by Science! I love flat iron steak for fajitas, if that makes me wrong, fuck you Texas.

Marinade:

3 Tbsps. ground ancho chile

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. ground cumin

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsps. red wine vinegar

1/2 cup lime juice

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. black pepper

Mix that shit up, yo.

The Meat

3-4 pounds of flat iron or skirt steak

The Fixins

1 large red onion, sliced

2 large bell peppers, sliced

Mix up your marinade and pour about half over the steak. I like to put mine in a zip-lock bag and force out the extra air. Do whatever blows your skirt (steak) up. Let the meat marinate for 2-3 hours. Now you want to fire up your grill, gas or coal I don’t give a damn, and get that fucker hot. Like, surface of the sun hot. While the grill is getting thermolated, cook your veggies. I did mine in my new toy, a grill basket.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 01

Once the peppers and onions have a good head start, slap on the meat.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 03

My steak took about 7-8 minutes per side to get it’s done on. We’re all adults here, so I’m going to assume that you can figure out when a steak is done; if not, buy a fucking thermometer. While the meat and fixings were cooking I took the remaining half of my marinade and made a tasty sauce with it since the vegetables were feeling left out. Bring your marinade up to a boil, then add a four and water slurry until the sauce is slightly thickened. Don’t get too ambitious here, a little slurry goes a long way.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 02

The meat after the flip:

Memorial Day Fajitas - 07

Once everything is cooked, take the meat off and let it rest for ten minutes or so. Meanwhile toss the peppers and onions in sauce to taste.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 09

Once the meat is done with it’s nap, slice that fucker up. Remember to cut across the grain for maximum tenderosity.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 10

Serve with corn tortillas, warmed on the grill; sour cream and home-made guacamole. I also had my ubiquitous chile roasted corn.

Memorial Day Fajitas - 11

Yum, yum mother-fucker.


Fajitas

Permalink - Posted on 2010-06-01 00:35

Fajita


Apple, Set My iCal Free!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-27 20:56

Here’s an insightful post from Ted Landau over at The Mac Observer. Something that Ted briefly mentions, but doesn’t delve into is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think that Apple has reached the point with OS X where it will need to conceptually decouple the included applications such as Mail and iCal from the rest of the operating system. Both applications are in dire need of updating, and arguably require a more rapid update schedule than the system as a whole. Maybe we’ll get that at WWDC, right after Uncle Fester’s monkey dance.


American Capitalism 6.0

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-18 17:38

Very interesting article on Salon.com by Michael Lind detailing the history of American Capitalism and where we go from here.


Sunday Grilling: Pollo Asado al Carbon

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-17 01:38

I’m going to try something different for a change. I’m going to document some of my Sunday grilling experiments. Tonight’s experiment was a Puerto Penasco style Pollo Asado al Carbon. For the uninitiated, pollo asado is roasted chicken, and the al carbon means that it is grilled. I adapted a recipe from here. My variations were mainly to increase the marinade to account for roasting two chickens and to provide an ass-load of marinade to baste with during roasting, and to replace the orange juice with lemon juice.

Marinade:

6 Tbsps. ancho chilie powder

4 tsp. dried oregano

4 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

As many garlic cloves as you can handle, minced.

12 Tbsps. cider or wine vinegar

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup lime juice

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. It isn’t rocket surgery.

Birds:

2 large roasting or frying chickens (duh)

Clean up the fowl. You can part them out, but it’s more fun to roast the whole damned things. Use kitchen shears to remove the spine, flip those bastards over and snap their breastbones so they lay flat. Find something to contain your little salmonella factories and douse them with about half of the marinade. Let those fuckers rest (in the fridge moron) for an hour or so.

Now it’s time for the grillification. The key to this operation is indirect heat. If your all purist and shit and using charcoal, then you’ll want to get your coals started, then shove those fuckers out of the center. Now me, I’m a propane man myself, so I just fired the two outer burners on my grill up and set them on medium-low. Your aiming at a temperature of 325-350. That’s in Fahrenheit, because fuck you Celcius loving bastards.

Slap your birds down on the grill, breasts up, in the spot where there fire ain’t. At this point my babies looked like this:

Raw chickens on the grill

You may notice the foil pouch next to the bird. Since propane does lack in the smoke area, I often like to stick a pouch of mesquite chips on the grill to add to the flavor. It’s not a requirement.

At this point there ain’t much else to do but to open a cold one and kick back. You’ll want to baste the birds ever ten minutes or so to ensure that a tasty crust develops. Here are the birds after about an hour:

Chicken after one hour

All told it took about 2 hours for the breast meat to reach 180, at which point it was eatin’ time. Some recipes call for flipping the chickens over to sear the breast, but I found that I didn’t need to.

Chicken has finished cooking

I served my birds with chile-roasted corn and home made cole slaw. Yum yum mother-fuckers.

Plated chicken


Glen Beck’s Nazi Tourette’s

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-14 16:29

[The Daily Show With Jon Stewart][] Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
[Back in Black - Glenn Beck’s Nazi Tourette’s][]
[www.thedailyshow.com][]

[Daily Show Full Episodes][] [Political Humor][] [Tea Party][]

I do so love Lewis Black.


One Week With the iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-10 09:44

I’ve been using my iPad for a little over a week now, so it’s time for some impressions. Before reading onward, it might be a good idea to read a previous post of mine where I laid out my potential use cases for an iPad. Much has been written concerning the pros and cons of the various iPad configurations. Ultimately I ended up pre-ordering a 32 GB WiFi+3G model.

I chose 32 GB as a compromise between the low end and high end models. In regards to storage, I have far too much media to ever hope that a mobile device would be sufficient to handle it, and I already carry a 16 GB iPhone 3G with 8 GB dedicated to music. Instead I created a 2 GB smart playlist based on my iPhone playlist to sync to the iPad.

I ultimately chose to wait for a 3G model in order to maximize flexibility. Given the very reasonable pricing of the AT&T data plans, it just makes sense to purchase the 3G models if you can afford it (not that I can afford any of this)

So, the burning question is: what do I think of e iPad now that I’ve had a chance to use it? I’m not going to give an in-depth review, as that has been done to death. Instead I want to comment on a few areas that have stood out to me.

The first area that I’d like to comment on is iBooks. As I mentioned in the afore-linked post, reading on the iPad is something that I was extremely interested in. After a week of reading on the iPad I have to conclude that, as an e-reader, the iPad is a qualified success.

To provide some background I was an early adopter of e-reading. I have an extensive library of ebooks, mainly from Barnes and Noble and their subsidiary Fictionwise. I have read those e-books using software running on Palm PDAs, Mac OS and the iPhone. The iPad trumps all those devices.

I decided, even before I received my iPad, that I wanted to avoid using multiple different e-reader applications on the iPad. Happily I have been successful in that goal. My e-book library initially contained approximately 400 titles already available in DRM-free EPUB format. The remaining 150 or so titles were in various different DRM encumbered variants of the MobiPocket and Fictionwise/Barnes & Noble eReader formats. A bit of judicious googling will reveal simple methods of removing the DRM from those formats. (Note: The legality of removing DRM may vary based on location. This is not a recommendation to do so.) Once that is done they may be converted into EPUB with the truly horrifying open-source program Calibre. Once in non-DRMed EPUB format, transferring to iBooks on the iPad is as simple as dragging the EPUB files into the Library in iTunes and configuring the appropriate sync setting.

I do have to agree with those that claim that the iPad is not a perfect replacement for dedicated e-readers. No one in their right mind would claim that the iPad’s LCD screen is better for reading text than the e-ink screens in the Kindle or Nook. However, I’d like to see someone play Plants vs. Zombies on a Kindle.

That takes us to an area that I had honestly not even considered when debating whether to purchase an iPad: gaming. I’m not much into gaming to begin with, but I’ve always carried a few games on my iPhone in order to pass the time. On the iPad, though, gaming truly shines. The larger screen makes even pixel-doubled games more enjoyable to play than on the iPhone.

Another task that I’m enjoying on the iPad is watching video. Shows that I’ve purchased through iTunes, YouTube and Netflix have all worked flawlessly.

Finally, I’d like to comment on the final task that I anticipated using the iPad for, blogging. I suppose that the best commentary on this topic is the fact that this post has been primarily written on the iPad using the Blogpress app. It ain’t perfect, but it’s doable. Hopefully Automatic will update their Wordpress app to be actually usable (seriously, no copy and paste?). Or, ven better would be MarsEdit for the iPad. One can only hope.

At any rate, there you have it. My rambling thoughts after one week of iPad ownership. Maybe I’ll revisit this in a few months when the powdered unicorn horn in the case wears off.

Pre-publishing update:

I (wisely) chose to check this post in Wordpress’ web editor before the final publish. The formatting as sent by Blogpress was horrible. Seriously, someone needs to make a decent blogging tool for the iPad.


Eatin’ time.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-10 01:38

Eats


Mother’s Day mayhem: Grilled pork tenderloin & grilled vegetables.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-10 00:47

Pork


Adobe’s Messed Up Metaphors

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-05 19:50

I ran across this article on TechCrunch by M.G. Seigler regarding a recent statement made by Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch. Regarding, what else, the iPhone and Apple’s refusal to allow applications built using Flash on the platform. Kevin’s full remarks are available here, but here is the part that M.G. focuses on, and that I want to address:

But look at the iPhone helicopter we just saw—why should I only be able to use an iPhone for that? Why can’t you do that with any phone? If you look at what’s going on now, it’s like railroads in the 1800’s. People were using different gauged rails. Your cars would literally not run on those rails. That’s counter to the web. The “rails” now are companies forcing people to write for a particular OS, which has a high cost to switch

M.G. does an adequate job of demonstrating why Lynch is wrong by delving into the history of the U.S. railroad system and by looking at the Japanese model, but he makes the mistake of accepting the metaphor in the first place.

Lynch is crafting a metaphor where the development environment used to produce smart-phone applications is equivalent to the gauge of the rail that trains run on. This metaphor is utterly wrong. If we are going to compare the smart-phone market to the railway system, then the equivalent of the rail gauge would be the infrastructure that the phones operate on. It just so happens that that infrastructure is standardized. It’s the cellular networks that the phones operate on (sort of, ignore CDMA vs. GSM for the moment) and the Internet that data is delivered to the phones over.

Again, keeping to Lynch’s metaphor, the equivalent of the framework used to develop applications for the phones would be something like the manufacturer of the seats in the rail cars. Apple would rather that it’s rail cars be appointed in fine custom seating, instead of cheap self-assembled Ikea chairs. As an iPhone user, I prefer the former.

The real issue here, though, isn’t the specifics of Lynch’s argument. It’s the fact that Adobe constantly makes these sorts of metaphorical mistakes. The sad thing is that they ultimately do nothing but weaken their argument. Steve Jobs himself stated exactly what Adobe needs to do to “win” in his letter about Flash: demonstrate Flash running excellently on an actual shipping product. It won’t change Apple’s mind, but then at least the market can intelligently decide.


Reasoned Commentary

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-05 17:43

From the Christian Science Monitor.

It’s nice to see someone “get it” in regards to the JizzmodoPhone saga.

H/T to John Gruber.


The results.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-03 01:17

Steak


Malliard reaction for the win

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-03 00:30

Maliard


New York Strips & Grilled Vegetables

Permalink - Posted on 2010-05-03 00:21

Steak


That’s right bitches.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-30 20:41

iPad


Ode to the Incompetent

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-22 17:42

I love infomercials that use this meme. “Oh lordy, performing this simple everyday task is so hard!”


Atomic iPhone

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-21 19:22

Amidst the generic sense of rage that the whole JizzmodoPhone debacle has engendered in me, I find myself amused by one thing. I find it hilarious that a large chunk of the tech media now uncritically accepts that the phone that Jizzmodo has in it’s possession is completely, and without any possibility of change, the phone that Apple will introduce this summer.

Let’s analyze this assumption in detail. First, let’s go ahead and assume that this phone isn’t some sort of nefarious Apple PR stunt (because it isn’t you rubes), and let’s further assume that it is a prototype of a future Apple iPhone. Why is it, other than sheer ignorance, that people assume that this phone, in it’s exact condition, is the next generation iPhone?

Of course, the answer is actually fairly simple. Most “tech journalists” have about as much understanding of actual technology as my cocker spaniel. For the uninitiated, there are three general areas that would need to be prototyped for a new iPhone: the electronics, the operating system and the remaining hardware. In a normal manufacturing process all three of these items would be prototyped separately with a very small number of final prototypes representing the synthesis all the parts. For all we know, the only thing in the JizzmodoPhone that will see the light of day later this year is the mute switch.

Sadly, nothing that I write will stem the tide of asinine commentary that the JizzmodoPhone will bring over the next few months, but fortunately I have the Angry Mac Bastards podcast to let me call the speculators ignominious twats. I look forward to it.


Fuck Jizzmodo

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-20 15:13

I’m not going to go into specifics about what happened, or the timeline of events. If you follow Mac news you know what I’m talking about, if you don’t then here is a quick rundown. Jizzmodo (I hereby refuse to ever type Gizmodo again) posted a story with details and pictures of a purported prototype next-generation iPhone. It was then revealed that Jizzmodo paid an unnamed party who had stolen (yes, stolen) the phone from an Apple engineer for the device. Jizzmodo then felt compelled to publicly humiliate the poor bastard who had the phone stolen from him.

Jizzmodo’s behavior in this matter has been reprehensible, and throughout has been laden with the douchebag attitude that they seem to think passes for wit. And let’s be absolutely clear here. This isn’t an “Apple’s tyrannical secrecy” issue here. It could be any company’s product and I would feel the same way about the shit-smears at Jizz. Because, in the end, it’s not about the leak. I mean, whoop-ti-fucking-do, we now have “confirmation” of a feature set that anyone with a halfway functioning pre-frontal cortex could have predicted. And if you think that the case is something that Jonny Ive would put his name to your exceptionally delusional. It’s about the fact that the cum-guzzlers at Jizzmodo couldn’t be content to just publish the information, they were compelled to try to destroy a man’s career, and possibly life, in the process; laughing all the while like the emotionally arrested pieces of filth that they are.

Honestly, the words necessary to heap the appropriate amount of scorn on these fine examples of pond-scum fail me. At least with Arrington and the jackasses at TechCrunch there is some slight attempt at being more than the National Enquirer of tech journalism. Ultimately, all I can say is this: Fuck you Jizzmodo. Fuck you Nick Denton, Jason Chen, Jesus Diaz, and Brian Lam. You and your narcissistic sociopathy are fine examples of the worst that humanity has to offer. I’m not one to invoke higher powers, but if there is any justice in the world, the day will come when I see you broke, unemployed and sucking off the elderly for crack money. It might actually be an improvement for you.

There, now I feel better.

P.S.I wholly support Craig Hockenberry’s response to this issue. In the end, the only way to hurt these shits is to hit them in the page view.


Rumors

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-19 16:13

I remember the days when sites that posted unsubstantiated rumors about Apple products were a source of humor at best, and heaped with scorn and derision at the worst. I also remember when Apple would sue them into oblivion. I miss those days.


DRACONIAN CONTROL

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-14 14:48

We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

—- Tim Cook, Apple COO

Whenever you feel the need to ask why Apple does shit like fuck-banning Flash or Flash based apps, or whenever you want to know why Apple doesn’t produce a particular model of computer, reflect upon the above quote from Tim Cook. This couldn’t be more obvious if Apple wrote it in 360 pt. red type on their home page.

Update

Ardala


Thoughts on iPhone OS 4.0

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-12 17:18

As most people reading this site know, Apple held an event last Thursday to announce iPhone OS 4.0 and preview some of it’s features. Now that I’ve had some time to digest the announcement I’ll relay my thoughts. Keeping in mind that the message being delivered last Thursday was meant as much for developers as it was for end users; I thought that, overall, iPhone OS 4.0 looks like a solid release. Much like OS 3.0 before it, iPhone OS 4.0 contains few, if any, groundbreaking new interface metaphors or user features. Most of the new features will really only make their mark in the form of the applications that make use of them, but they will have a large impact on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad experience.

During the event Apple introduced seven “tent-pole” features, Multitasking, Folders, Enhanced Mail, iBooks, Enhanced Enterprise Support, Game Center and iAds. I’ll run though each feature and give my thoughts on it.

Multitasking

People have been whining about this from day one. It’s probably the single most cited “criticism” of the iDevices. The marketing for the Motorola Droid hammers on it. The iDevices, so they say, cannot multitask. Of course that statement always was utter bullshit. The iPhone has been able to multitask from day one. What the iPhone didn’t do before was allow arbitrary 3rd party applications to run in the background in the same way that desktop applications can.

What has been missing from the calls for Apple to allow arbitrary background applications is any sort of reason why Apple should allow that. Every justification that I’ve read has used examples that, while they make sense on a desktop operating system, make no sense at all for a windowless single-task-focused device like an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Fortunately Apple ignored the idiots and took their time in delivering multitasking to the iPhone OS. Instead of allowing apps to waste resources running in the background where the user has no way of interacting with them Apple has introduced a new set of APIs to allow apps to freeze their state when the user shifts to a new app and to hand off processes to a handful of APIs designed to handle the most common “background” needs.

Sadly, I failed to document this, but I have long suspected that this was the path that Apple would take with multitasking in the iPhone OS. From the standpoint of an end user, I think that this is precisely how multitasking should have been handled. Contrary to popular conception, humans aren’t actually very good at multitasking. What we’re good at is serially unitasking with extremely fast context switching. I know, that’s an extreme simplification, but it’s close enough to reality for our purposes. The new multitasking model introduced with iPhone OS 4.0 fits neatly in that model, and can be expanded in the future to handle additional “background” tasks.

Folders

With the vast number of available apps in the App Store, app management has essentially become untenable. Folders is Apple’s answer to that problem. Stated simply, a “folder” in iPhone OS 4.0 is an icon on the iDevice home screen that itself holds up to 12 app icons. There’s nothing fancy here, but those of us with large app collections will welcome the feature.

Enhanced Mail

Enhancements to Mail in iPhone OS 4.0 include the ability for 3rd party apps to open attachments, threading and a unified Inbox. Yay, I suppose. These all sound nice, but I believe that there is a fundamental limitation to how email can be handled on an iPhone/iPod Touch sized screen. I’ll revisit my opinion when I see the changes in action.

iBooks for iPhone

I’m not sure why this needed to be rolled out with an OS update, but it was inevitable. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until MacOS X 10.7 LOLCat to see iBooks on the desktop.

Game Center

Oddly, this feature is not listed on Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 preview page. Basically this is a set of social networking tools akin to the existing OpenFeint or Plus+ networks. I don’t do much gaming on my iPhone, and I really don’t like the social network gaming stuff, so I don’t have much to offer here. I’ll let people more in touch with the iDevice gaming markets comment here.

Enhanced Enterprise Support

This is another area where I’m just not qualified to comment. I will say, though, that it’s abundantly clear that Apple definitely want’s to see the iDevices embedded in every aspect of a user’s existence. Pundits claiming that the iDevices are just for “grandparents” just don’t get it.

iAd

Probably the least-well-received tent-pole was iAd; and Apple built and managed framework for mobile advertising on the iDevices. More than at any other point in Thursday’s announcement it was here where Apple made it utterly clear that the honeymoon with Google is over. Apple’s response to Google moving into their territory with Android and ChromeOS was blunt and to the point. Apple has every intention of owning ad revenue in the iDevice ecosystem.

Of course there was the inevitable howling from cheap cunts regarding iAd. To them I have only one response: fuck you, you cheap fuckers. You had a choice to pay app developers what their time was worth, but you insisted on “free.” Well, enjoy your emotion-laden cinematic advertisements you skin-flints.

The Rest

There were a few additional items that bear commentary but didn’t fall under Apple’s big circus tent.

The first is the issue of hardware support. The “full” compatibility list is present on the iPhone OS 4.0 preview page linked above (I put “full” in quotes because it’s actually delightfully vague), but the bottom line is pretty simple. If you have an iPhone 3g, 3Gs, 2nd generation or 3rd generation iPod Touch then iPhone OS 4.0 will install. The actual features that you will have access to depend on the particular hardware with the current generation devices supporting “almost everything” and the level of support dropping as you move farther into the past.

One interesting note is Steve’s comment that the iPhone 3Gs and 3rd generation iPod Touch would support “almost everything.” That implies that there are features that they won’t support. And that implies, to me at least, that there will almost certainly be a 4th generation iPhone announced in the same time-frame that iPhone OS 4.0 become available; which would be consistent with historical releases.

The other issue that has been raised is the fact that Apple is removing support for the first generation iPhone and iPod Touch hardware. Some have indicated that this is a bad move for Apple. My response is yet another “fuck you.” People seem to forget that, prior to the iPhone, you were lucky to get simple bug fixes for a cell phone or PDA, let alone two major operating system releases. Apple must eventually abandon support for older hardware in order to move forward.

Of course, no commentary on Thurday’s announcement would be complete without a comment on the related issues of the changes to the iPhone Developer Agreement Secion 3.3.1 and how it relates to development using non-Apple tools. This change has generated an ungodly amount of noise, including some extremely ill-advised comments from Adobe employees. Instead of adding my blather to the mix, I’ll just say that I agree with this almost entirely.

Well, there you have it kiddos. All in all, I’m looking forward iPhone OS 4.0.


Dave Winer Is Terminally Confused

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-06 20:45

While I grind out the soul crushing weeks until I can actually have my iPad I’ve been waiting for that one special iPad article that would unleash my creative rage. The blog post with that certain something that would push it above the general morass of inanity that we’ll be screaming about on Ye Olde Angry Mac Bastards podcast this week. Thank Satan for that cranky old fuckwit Dave Winer for stepping up to the plate for me. The headline is: Is iPad a game-changer?

Of course, with that headline you know you’re in for a world of stupid. First we have the classic troll method of presenting your thesis in the form of the negative response to the question you’ve posed. Of course Dave Winer doesn’t think that the iPad is a game changer, only a drooling fool would ever expect that. Also, side note to Dave: “is the iPad a game changer?” Fuck man, articles aren’t just the things that you pretend to read Playboy for! Second, who gives a monkey’s fuck if the iPad is a “game-changer”? What the fuck is a “game-changer” anyway. Try evaluating the iPad based on something other than straw-man arguments for a change you hoary old prick.

Moving on to the good stuff, Dave subjects us to six paragraphs of reminiscing about the 1988 U.S. Presidential election, a failed IBM computer launch and the film The Prestige before finally getting to the point. Dave begins by critiquing the iPad as a writing tool:

Like everyone else who got one, I am trying to figure out how to make it my own. I keep hitting frustrating limits. I want to use it to write. Impossible, I’ve discovered. None of my writing tools are there. Not just the ones I use to enter keystrokes into the computer, and edit and revise them, but also the tools I use for finding information I want to reference in my stories. For example, when I wrote this piece, I paraphrased the quote from Bowie, expecting that later, when I’m revising it, I’ll be able to get the exact words either by looking it up on the web, or by playing the movie on my computer and transcribing the words. Both are of course possible on the iPad, assuming the movie is already on board, but the looking-things-up part can be really awkward, at least for me, now. Maybe I’ll learn the elegant way to do it.

You heard it from Dave Winer first folks. The iPad is impossible to use to write. If only, IF ONLY I had purchased a WiFi only model so I could be writing this on an iPad. Let’s dissect Dave’s points though. “None of my writing tools are there.” Now, I am fully willing to accept the fact that whatever workflow that Dave uses to vomit his asinine commentary onto the web is not replicated on the iPad. I’d be fucking surprised if it was. But let’s dig deeper still. “Not just the ones I use to enter keystrokes into the computer…” says Dave. What in the ever-christing-fuck does Dave Winer use to write with, fucking clay tablets and a stylus. I know what I use—a fucking keyboard—and the iPad has keyboards in spades. If the on-screen keyboard doesn’t tickle your nuts, pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard.

Moving on, Dave bemoans the fact that he can’t use the iPad to locate information for use in his textual feces tossing; such as an exact quote from the movie that he was nattering on about before. Again I have to ask: how in the Nine Circles of Hell does Dave Winer function in the 21st Century? Here’s how you do research on the iPad you gormless twat, you use the fucking internet! It took me typing exactly five words and pressing enter to locate the quote that Dave was looking for. What the fuck is Dave expecting an iGenie to pop out of the damned screen and deliver information from on-high?

I was going to keep demolishing Dave’s points, but I can’t. I’ve shot my load on this one. One fucking paragraph contains more stupid than I can deal with in one day. It continually astounds me that anyone is willing to listen to a single opinion of Dave Winer’s that doesn’t involve what flavor of oatmeal to eat or the relative merits of various brands of adult diapers. Seriously, for the love of all that’s unholy, someone put this decrepit old bastard in a home before he hurts himself, or worse yet gives me an aneurysm.


Humorless Tools.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-05 15:14

Mental Health Groups Not So Crazy About Burger King Ad. Also, they have no sense of humor. Fuck it, now I want a Whopper.


Six Signs That The iPad Review You’re Reading is Crap

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-05 15:11

The following is a list of signs that the iPad review that you’re reading was written by a tool, or an ignoramus, possibly both. I’m not referring to any specific reviews, but to general trends of asshattery. Disclaimer: I do not yet have an iPad to perform my own critical analysis. Mine is still waiting in FCC approval limbo.

  1. Any reference to Apple’s Draconian Control©. Really, we get it you fucking freetards, Apple is the new big bad evil empire. Go buy a fucking Android device along with the rest of the dirt eaters.

  2. Complaints that the iPad screen is a “smudge magnet.” Piss off you greasy-fingered fuck. Name me one glass surfaced display that doesn’t gather smudges like Richard Stallman gathers toe-jam. Wash your hands and quit your bitchin’.

  3. Complaints that the iPad is “heavy for an eReader.” Hey lackwit, show me where Apple is marketing the iPad as an “eReader.” You know what the iPad is light for? It’s light for a fucking laptop alternative. Do some curls and build up the strength in your arms you pansies.

  4. Complaints about “glare.” I’m almost sympathetic to the people who complain about glare when using Apple laptops or iMacs. I get it, sometimes the best position for removing glare with those displays is untenable. But with the iPad I have no sympathy. Finding a non-glare-inducing reading angle is a simple matter of flexing those delicate wrists. As an aside, I love watching people wildly flailing about to “prove” that the iPad (and related displays) are “unusable.” They remind me of commercials where they “prove” that WonderGizmo2000© is better than than the competition by having some actress flail about like Katherine Hepburn on methamphetamine while trying to perform some simple household chore.

  5. Complaints that the iPad lacks features that were never announced in the first place. Review the product Apple built you tools, not the one that you invented in your head. Also, THERE IS NO CAMERA. THE CAMERA IS A LIE.

  6. Complaints about the egregious price of iPad apps. Die in a fire you cheap fucks.

There you have it. Six signs that the iPad review that you’re reading is shit. Forewarned is foreskinned.


Watts Martin on “Open”

Permalink - Posted on 2010-04-01 15:27

I’m too hungover to write today, so instead I’ll pimp this piece by Watts Martin on the nerd-holy-grail of “open.” Watts nicely summarizes my opinion on the matter.


Definitions

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-25 19:18

Warning! Political content ahead!

terrorism

ter-ror-ism

-noun

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

Example

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to close Gitmo after all.

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.


Bookmark This

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-23 19:37

Warning political content ahead:

This is brilliant. I’m going to bookmark it and send it as a reply every time one of my idiot right-wing “friends” sends me any GOP propaganda.


WTF?

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-19 15:04

PeTA and some meat packers are fighting over Sex.com. At least the carnivores have a sense of humor; we all know that the PeTArds have none.


The Holy Grail of Dumbassery

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-16 21:12

Sweet merciful Allah! This post (and the related comments) on Prince McDildo’s Roughly Drafted site is the perfect storm of dipshittery. It’s got it all: conspiracy, technical inaccuracy, religious fundamentalism, global climate change denial and creationism. It’s like a rift opened between our universe and a universe of pure stupid.


Kontra on Apple, Google and “Choice”

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-16 16:12

Very intelligent commentary from Kontra at Counternotions regarding Tim Bray’s comments about Apple, Google and “choice.” The bottom line is, if you think that Google is somehow a bastion of “open” computing you are either ignorant, delusional or a hypocrite.


Nerd Wankery

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-15 15:34

Huzzah! Yet another self-important nerd has decided to abandon the evil empire of Apple, what with their Draconian Control and all, for the mystical utopia of Google. Meanwhile, no one in the real world even knows who the hell Tim Bray is. Rock on you crazy diamond.


Poor Scoble

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-15 15:21

Apparently he isn’t getting enough SXSW love. I can only say: Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!


iPad

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-12 16:28

To answer the inevitable question, yes, I pre-ordered an iPad. Specifically the 32GB WIFI+3G model. My wallet hates you Steve Jobs!


Control

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-09 17:18

Not to say that this sort of thing couldn’t happen to Apple, but this illustrates part of the reason why companies like Apple want DRACONIAN CONTROLof their products.


Occams Razor is Rusty

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-08 19:33

It’s no stunning revelation to regular readers that I think that there is an appalling lack of critical thinking skills amongst the so-called “experts” who make up the tech press. With very few exceptions the default process for the tech media seems to be to run stories without the slightest hint of investigation, verification, or even independent thought. Case in point, a story that began making the rounds last week about Apple exerting it’s DRACONIAN CONTROL to remove all WiFi “sniffer” applications. A typically craptacular example of the “reporting” surrounding the issue can be found in this article at the Cult of Mac blog. To quote:

Apple sent a note to the developer of WiFi-Where on Wednesday saying their app has been removed because it uses “a private framework to access wifi information.” What this private framework is, neither Apple nor the developer explain.

The problem is the second sentence. Apple, of course isn’t explaining what the “private framework” is, because Apple hasn’t offered any fucking comment on this situation. Nor should they. Apple rejects hundreds of applications a week. They owe explanations to the developers, but not to random bloggers and journalists. More importantly though, Apple did explain why they shit-canned the apps. They “use private frameworks.” Now, remember that all of this communication is being relayed though the developers themselves, but it should be blindingly obvious to anyone styling themselves “experts” in iPhone related matters that “private framework” means the same thing as non-public APIs. Regardless of the idiocy being promulgated by fools like Erica Sadun, using non-public APIs in iPhone applications is specifically forbidden by the iPhone Developer Agreement. Nothing that Apple is doing here is in the least bit “suspicious.”

If this sort of fuzzy thinking was relegated to just the usual link-bait bloggers it would be one thing. The problem is that this meme has been co-opted by other reporters and pundits who should damn well know better. I’m not talking about legitimate debates over whether Apple’s control of the App Store is overly restrictive. I”m talking about otherwise intelligent people who are willfully ignoring the difference between Apple enforcing (albeit belatedly) one of the few hard-and-fast rules that the App Store has and them arbitrarily banning tittie apps. It’s honestly infuriating.

During one of the early Angry Mac Bastards podcasts, my man Peter Cohen screamed the following phrase. “OCCAM’S FUCKING RAZOR QUINCY, HAVE YOU HEARD OF IT?” I desperately need to extract that clip and start spamming it to the people perpetuating the conspiracy theory model of Apple’s business practices. Seriously you lack-wits, the simplest explanation really is usually the right one. Sadly that means that I have to go with the theory that the majority of the tech media are just criminally incompetent, rather than my preferred theory that they are part of a Reptilliod advanced mission to drive the rest of us insane, but so be it.


Denying iPhone Apps…For Science!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-04 22:21

Satan’s balls I hate TechCrunch; they truly are the ultimate bottom feeder of the tech industry. One of my favorite tricks that Mike Arrington and his carnival of imbeciles like to pull is the “highlight yet another App Store denial” routine. Today’s example from Roi Carthy, though, is a doozy. The headline reads: Tawkon Measures The Radiation Spewing From Your iPhone. No Wonder Apple Doesn’t Approve It.

The idiocy is summed in the first paragraph.

Here we go again … Apple App Store Fail No. 5102928. A few weeks ago stealth Israeli startup Tawkon gave me a sneak-peak developer build of what I believe is the most important app on my iPhone. What does it do? It analyzes the cellular radiation your iPhone emits at any given moment, at any given location, whether in standby mode, or within a call.

First of all, I’m declaring a fucking fatwa against the use of the word “fail.” You’re (presumably) not a giggling school-girl, stop fucking writing like one. But more to the point, let’s be clear about what this application does. This piece of crap measures the signal strength of the iPhone’s cellular radio, then does some alchemy to determine the level of “EM radiation” you’re being exposed to.

Now, why would you care to know about that. Well simple, there is a huge profit to be made from the whackaloon belief that the electromagnetic radiation output by modern electronic devices is somehow harmful to the human body. I’m going to say this once, so hopefully no one comes here trying to debate this point, if you think that electromagnetic radiation (of the kind produced by cell phones) causes cancer then you are either ignorant, or a loon. Electromagnetic radiation at the frequencies and power levels output by a cell phone are physically incapable of doing damage to the human body.

I honestly don’t care what justification Apple uses to block crap like this. Paranoiac ludditism like this has no place on the iPhone. Fucking deal with it.

As an aside, in doing some Binging (fuck you Google) before writing this, I found a nice random write-up about the issue. Read and be educated.


Don Tennant, King of Shit

Permalink - Posted on 2010-03-01 21:19

Every once in a while a particularly worthless turd of an article pushes itself past the general morass of crap that passes for tech “journalism” these days to befoul our collective consciousness. Recently an article by Don Tennant from ITBusinessEdge had the distinction of joining those ranks. In the article, Why I Regret Buying an iPhone, Tennant makes the case against the iPhone.

I can already sense my readers tuning out. And why not? Articles bashing the iPhone/iPad/iWhatever are a dime a dozen these days. Hell, even august bodies like CNET resort to that age-old tactic when they need a little link loving. But stay with me gentle reader, this smear of feces is not the usual link-bait Apple bashing. This is a turd of a whole different stench. No, in this piece of fuckwittery Don lays out the moral argument against Apple.

Wait, I sense your puzzlement. A moral argument against Apple. Is this going to be another freetard screed against DRM or the App Store? Nope, Don couldn’t even pick a position as quasi-defensible as those. Instead Don takes Apple to task for enslaving the people of China. Dig it:

I have an iPhone, but if I had it to do over again, I would never have bought one.

It works just fine; I haven’t experienced the problems with AT&T that a lot of iPhone owners complain about, and I like a lot of the apps. But at the time I bought it, I wasn’t fully aware of Apple’s blatant, unapologetic contempt for its employees, its suppliers, the media and its customers. Now that I’ve been educated, I’m sorry I ever bought one of Steve Jobs’ products.

See, in the fantasy world that Don lives in, it’s not the reprehensible Chinese government who’s to blame for child labor, or Reuters employees being roughed up, or the poor fucker at Foxconn who offed himself. No, it can’t be the excesses off a government who has taken the worst aspects of totalitarianism and rampant capitalism that’s to blame. It must be Apple.

Of course it never occurs to Don Tennant, this self important cunt, that every other fucking consumer electronics company utilizes these same suppliers. No, his moral outrage and foppish hair are reserved solely for that minion of Satan himself, Steve Jobs.

It’s people like this who make me wish I could kick a fuckwit in the prunes via the internet. At the very least there should be a blacklist set up so that worthless morons like Don Tennant can never use a Chinese built item again.

Congratulations Don Tennant, you are officially the biggest mound of shit in the tank.


Joe Wilcox: Lunatic

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-26 20:11

We feature the work of Joe Wilcox at Betanews fairly frequently on Ye Olde Angry Mac Bastards podcast, mainly because he’s a raving lunatic, but the festering turd that he published yesterday forced me to take direct action. The headline reads Apple should ban freebees from the iPad App Store and that essentially sums up the article. Joe argues that, in order to distinguish the iPad from the iPod Touch and the iPhone, Apple should set a policy that no free applications can be offered via the iPad App Store.

Apple shouldn’t treat iPad like iPhone or iPod touch. The iPad App Store should be stocked full of premium content, meaning no freebees. It’s the right way to help establish iPad as a premium product, as something special like the Macintosh. Unfortunately, Apple has little incentive to take this right approach benefiting its developers (because they make more money), customers (because they get better quality apps) and the iPad brand (because it comes be to viewed as a more premium product).

Ok, excuse me for a second while I go stick my cock in a light socket. I need to reboot my brain. … All right I’m back. What in the everlasting fuck is wrong with Joe? Where to begin with this crapfest. First, how the fuck does “premium” equate to “paid” you gormless twat? There are many free applications in the App Store that are of exceedingly high quality. Second, where does this “iPad App Store” codswallop come from. Of course no one knows exactly what the iTunes App store will look like after the iPad is released, but it’s a damn good bet that iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad applications will be offered as part of a single store just as they are now. Moving on:

Apple’s business is about selling hardware, using software and services as differentiators. Sure, Apple sold its 10 billionth song at iTunes yesterday, but the company’s business isn’t about selling content. The content is a means to selling more high-margin hardware. From that perspective, paid apps only marginally benefit Apple. Free is better, because there can be more applications, which is good for building out the App Store/iPhone OS device platform.

This paragraph is so bizarre I can’t actually parse it. First it seems to be arguing against the very position that Joe staked out in the previous paragraph. Secondly, how does “free” mean that there will be more applications. Since it’s the developers who decide to build applications for the iDevices, the reverse would seem to be the case. I is confused. Joe babbles on for a few more paragraphs about iDevice sales numbers before presenting the meat of his thesis.

If three-quarters of the apps are paid ones already, why not 100 percent on iPad? Sure some people will balk, but, hell, they’re the early adopters paying somewhere between $499 and $829 for iPad. What should they expect? It’s a new product category for Apple and one where competitors have repeatedly failed. If Apple is going to try and breakthrough with tablets, why not freshen the approach: Make the product even more chic by making it more exclusive — even at $499. Paid apps, and only paid apps, is one way to do it.

All I can say here is that Joe Wilcox has about as much understanding of consumer psychology as Robbie The Robot, perhaps less. Allowing only paid applications on the iPad won’t make it “chic,” it will make it the worst product failure since The Angry Drunk’s Whiskey and Sex Toy Kit for Toddlers. Joe continues to rehash this same point for a few paragraphs until he delivers this zinger:

Apple’s risk is low, from my perspective, although company execs might balk at any strategy that could hurt early iPad sales. The people who are going to buy have already decided to do so. According to a report released today by AdMob, 16 percent of iPhone users and 24 percent of iPod touch users plan to buy an iPad within six months.

Apple’s risk is low”. For the love of Satan someone please get me a supply of whatever drugs Joe is taking. Apple’s risk is the howls of rage from both developers and consumers, Not to mention the tech media. Apple’s risk is the complete and utter flop of the iPad when the “competition” trumpets the “fact” that you can’t get free applications for it. Sweet Mephistopheles we had a day long debate on Twitter yesterday about how to get users to pay anything for iPad applications; now you want to enforce no free apps. Seriously, is Wilcox on Benzedrine?

Hat tip to my favorite font of facial-hair, Jim Dalrymple at The Loop.


GOP Pants Crapping

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-24 16:59

Gods’ balls I loves me some Rude Pundit.


Fixing the App Store

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-23 21:03

I began working on this article several months ago, but other things took priority and I pretty much forgot about it. The recent bout of blogorrhea over Apple and its DRACONIAN CONROL!! of the App Store prompted me to dust it off. For the record, I am in agreement with those who argue that there are problems with the App Store. Months ago I wrote that I thought the entire process was being mismanaged. On the other hand, I have yet to hear a proposal to “fix” the App Store that I think would actually work. So, since I’m just arrogant enough to think that I can do better, read on to hear my proposal for correcting the issues with the App Store—if you dare.

Assumptions and Background

Before getting to the recommendations I think that it’s a good idea to define the ground rules. Without a shared understanding of the playing field, any discussion is bound to fail under the weight of incorrect assumptions.

The first thing that we need to define is the players in our little drama. As far as I’m concerned there are three groups who’s interests need to be considered when discussing the App Store. They are:

  • Apple
  • Application Developers
  • End Users

Note that I’m not including other entities such as the cellular carriers, governmental regulatory groups, or ideologues such as the Free Software Foundation. As far as I’m concerned, the interests of of the carriers and the governments are rolled into Apple’s interests as part of doing business. The interests of the ideologues, to the extent that they can’t just be dismissed entirely, can be expressed by the ability of end users to just not buy iPhones. Any discussion of how to “fix” the App Store must consider the needs of all three groups in my list.

The second thing to define is what actually constitutes a fix. For my purposes, a fix to the App Store needs to maximize the benefit to all three legs of my App Store tripod. Fixes that work to the benefit of a single leg of the tripod to the excessive detriment of the other legs, a problem that plagues most of the suggestions that I’ve seen so far, will be dismissed.

The next thing to consider are the needs of the groups involved. I’m presenting these needs from the perspective of the group involved. Some may disagree with their validity, but each group feels that they are requirements.

I think that Apple has, arguably, the most complicated set of needs of the three groups. Apple needs the App Store to be popular in and of itself. It needs the App Store to be stocked with a large selection of popular applications. Note that I didn’t say “high-quality” applications. If the market demands fart apps then so be it. Apple needs to be reasonably sure that applications on the iPhone will not run afoul of their contracts with the various cellular carriers or governmental regulations. Apple also feels the need to protect themselves from legal liability in regards to copyright and trademark infringement, as well as protection from consumer complaints about the content contained within iPhone applications. This last point is the one that most people seem to take exception with. You can argue its validity all you want, but Apple has made it abundantly clear that they consider this non-negotiable.

The group with the next most complicated set of needs is, I think, the developers. App developers also need or the App Store to be popular. There is no denying that the App Store has been an amazing discovery venue for numerous developers who would have had much more difficulty being recognized. Developers need for their applications to be discoverable within the App Store. Developers need to have clearly defined rules of what will be allowed on the iPhone platform, and clear communication when those rules change. Lastly, as long as Apple imposes any sort of approval process, that process needs to be efficient, transparent and consistent.

Lastly, the needs of the end users are simple. The end user needs a device that works and does the job that they purchased it to do. Note that I’m specifically rejecting notions such as: the end user needs “freedom.”

The Current State of the App Store

I don’t think that it’s necessary to detail how the App Store currently works. Everyone familiar enough with the situation too have read 750 words into this manifesto knows how the thing works. What I do want to do is examine how the App Store is broken, for broken it surely is. Arguably, from Apple’s perspective, the App Store is working just swimmingly. Despite the screeching and howling from the blogosphere iPhones, iPod Touches and soon iPads are selling in record numbers. The App Store has a metric fuck-ton of applications available and there have been bajillions of said applications downloaded in the since the App Store opened for business. Really, the only downside to the App Store for Apple is the whining and complaining about it from the blogtards.

From the end user point of view, things are also not so bad. Again, there are a plethora of applications to cover all manner of needs. Most applications are available at reasonable price-points and, while the App Store does have issues with discovery due to the sheer volume of apps available, it isn’t as bad as it could be. It can be argued that Apple’s strict control over what can be offered in the App Store has some downsides to the consumer. Those who have debated me on this issue via Twitter will probably be stunned to know that I actually am generally an advocate for consumer choice. On the other hand I realize that unfettered choice doesn’t really benefit anyone.

Lastly we have the developers, who have certainly been the most vocal about the perceived problems. I will agree that the App Store approval process has been slow, inefficient and opaque (although some of that has changed in recent months). I’ll also agree that Apple’s strict control of what can and cannot be done with the platform is frustrating. Lastly I’ll also concede that seemingly arbitrary enforcement of what policies are made public is unacceptable. Finally there is the issue of “discoverability.” Much has been made of the “99 cent ghetto” and the morass of fart apps, but this is a complicated issue. Who determines if an app is worthy of notice?

To summarize, the major issues in need of addressing in the App Store are:

  • Approval Process/Communication
  • Apple’s Control Issues
  • Discoverability

What Won’t Work

There have been a few suggestions that I have seen that I feel to be dead on arrival. I’ll briefly explore them, and why I think that they won’t work.

The simplest suggestion is that Apple maintain the status quo. While I think that this would work in the short term, I don’t think that it is ultimately sustainable. While I am firmly of the belief that the future of consumer computing will be the closed model that Apple is pushing with the iDevices (see here), I do not think that the current App Store model is optimal for all three of the groups that I initially identified. Ultimately a different model is needed.

Another suggestion that has been bandied about is to remove the App Store entirely and revert to the model that has been used in desktop computing since time immemorial. Developers build applications using whatever tools that they have available, which can be installed on any device without restriction. This. Will. Not. Happen. Apple derives too many benefits from the presence of an App Store to abandon it entirely. And it’s not just Apple that benefits from the App Store. For every Wil Shipley, Craig Hockenberry, Adobe and Electronic Arts, developers with the marketing savvy and infrastructure to survive without the App Store, there are hundreds if not thousands of developers who greatly benefit from Apple providing the marketing and infrastructure of the App Store. The end user also manifestly benefits from the presence of a centralized, Apple vetted collection of applications; all accessible with a single account.

Yet another solution that I have seen bandied about is for Apple to remove all “censorship” from the App Store. Often the definition of “censorship” varies depending on the personal bugbear of the person suggesting it, but it can range from fairly tight restrictions (just let my boobie app in) to utter freedom. In the most extreme form of this proposal you would see Apple App Store Reviewers performing only checks too see if the application was malware or possesses obvious bugs. Uses private API’s but works for now: accepted! Serves to do nothing but display a picture of a man’s prolapsed rectum: accepted! This also will not happen. Apple has made it clear that they do not want applications on the iDevices that access unpublished and private APIs. Additionally, they have made it clear that they think that they have some legal exposure regarding applications that they resell. I don’t think that anything is going to change Apple’s stance on these points.

What’s to be Done

Finally we’ve reached the point where I expound on my genius solution to above mess. First I want to give credit where credit is due. None of this was developed in a vacuum. I’m indebted to the many (too many to name) people who have written sanely on this topic. Much of this is a synthesis of things that others have proposed. Also I’d like to reiterate that my goal here is to propose a sustainable solution that optimizes the benefits to Apple, developers and the end users. I also know that there is effectively zero chance of any of this actually being implemented, but what the hell.

In broad strokes, my proposal would be to:

  • Retain the App Store
  • Publish a crystal clear set of rules, guidelines and workflows regarding the App Store approval process
  • Optimize the approval process
  • Develop a non-App Store “Approved Developer” program that allows installation of software directly to the iDevice

Let’s examine these individually.

The App Store

As I wrote above, it’s essentially inconceivable that Apple will abandon the App Store model. In my proposal Apple would retain control of the App Store and would be allowed to be as restrictive as they want to be. This would be Apple’s playground and they could restrict it to whomever they wanted. There really isn’t much else to say about this component of my proposal, since it’s not much different than the current situation.

Documentation

To accompany the newly draconian App Store I would require that Apple do something that it honestly should already be fucking doing. Specifically, Apple would need to publish and maintain a crystal clear set of rules about what is, and is not allowed in the App Store. Additionally they would need to provide more transparency into the approval process such as proper workflows and escalation paths. I would also propose here that Apple take a cue from the regulations being imposed on banks regarding terms of service changes. Specifically Apple would commit to providing a certain number of days notice before enacting changes to the rules.

Optimize the Approval Process

Since I initially began work on this piece several months ago, Apple has made great strides in improving at least the speed of the approval process. I would propose that they take this to the next level in a few ways.

First, developers should have an official channel to “pre-approve” possible applications. This should be a senior team well-versed in the current rule-set. This would eliminate much of the supposed “uncertainty” that developers claim they currently experience.

Second, to the extent that they haven’t already done this, Apple needs to abandon the “call center” model that I believe they have been using and move to a model based on software QA. A well manned team of reviewers should evaluate each application completely (no rejecting apps on the first issue) and only via rigorous application of the rules. Ambiguous situations should default to escalation to a senior team instead of blind rejection.

Third, every step of the approval process should be transparent to the developer. As the application progresses though the process the iTunes Connect system should show the progress along with a reachable contact responsible for the application.

Fourth, there should be a proper escalation process for situations where the developer thinks that their application was rejected in error. This escalation process should be subject to the same transparency requirements as the rest of the process.

Lastly, submissions to address rejection issues and bug-fixes to accepted applications should be put in a fast-track queue. Developers who abuse the bug-fix queue to add additional content/functionality would face revocation of their access to the App Store.

Sideloading” Applications

Now we come to the real meat of the proposal. The development of a system to allow developers to offer their wares outside of the App Store and for end users to install those applications directly to their iDevices. Note that most of the functionality to allow this to happen is already present in XCode, iTunes and the iDevices. Also note that I am not talking about unrestricted access to the device a’la the “desktop” Mac OS. What I am proposing is the following:

Apple institutes a new “class” of developer (the ADC program already acknowledges different classes of developers), call it “iPhone Preferred Developer” perhaps. To become a member of the “Preferred Developer” program a developer would first agree to a smaller, but equally well defined and stringently policed set of guidelines. Some guidelines that Apple would almost certainly require would be

  • No code interpreters (fuck you Adobe)
  • No using unpublished/private APIs
  • Nothing that violates Apple’s contractual requirements
  • No malware (with a specific set of guidelines as to what constitutes “malware”)

Other items that I think would be reasonable would be things such as:

  • No copyright/trademark violations
  • No “illegal” content (a grey area admittedly, but I’m thinking things like child porn)

Secondly, the developer would be required to pony up more than the current $99 that it takes to obtain an iPhone development certificate. I’m thinking something in the $500 to $1000 range, if not more. I can already hear the howls from the developers, but bear with me. I think that for a proposal like this to work there has to be some substantial consequence for failing to follow the rules. Money usually works for that.

On the end user side, the experience would essentially be a combination of the current distribution model for desktop applications and the iTunes experience. A user could download an .ipa file from a developer’s web site, which would open in iTunes. After an initial user agreement screen informing the end user that they are about to commit an atrocity and absolving Apple of any and all legal responsibility the application would install. Obviously this functionality would be an ideal place to insert “parental” controls to prevent the unauthorized installation of non-App Store content.

Apple’s role would be simple. Upon receipt of the money, Apple would issue the developer a special certificate to allow the application install process to work. This is essentially the same as the current process that allows developers to install their applications to physical devices for testing. From that point a dedicated team would periodically review the applications being offered by the developer. Upon detection of a violation of the rules the developer would have their certificate revoked, with or without a chance to correct the issue as the case merits. Apple could also forward the developer’s information to the appropriate authorities if the case merited.

Whither “Discoverability”

You might notice that my proposal doesn’t contain any suggestions that would improve the issues surrounding application discoverability. That’s because I don’t have anything to offer here. I honestly can’t think of a solution to this issue that doesn’t involve Apple playing gatekeeper; which is a situation that no one wants.

Winding Down

So, there you have it, my suggestion how to “fix” the iTunes App Store and related processes. Will any of this happen? Probably not, but if anyone at Apple is listening, my consultation rates are very reasonable.


Shut Up About the App Store You Nerds!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-23 15:43

Thank Satan for Kara Swisher. It’s always refreshing to see someone call out the blogosphere for being a bunch of whiny link-baiting blowhards. At this point, the breathless faux-outrage displayed every time Apple demonstrates that they couldn’t give a fuck what the blogtards think is becoming pathetic.


Brilliant

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-19 14:59

…simply brilliant.


Post-Macworld Expo Thoughts

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-16 17:56

So, Macworld 2010 has come and gone and now the post-mortem analysis can begin in earnest. Already several parties have weighed in on whether or not Macworld was a “success” this year; so I may as well throw in my two cents.

As I wrote previously, this year was my first attending Macworld Expo, so I feel that I have a slightly different perspective than some of the other commenters who have more history with the event. I’ll leave my overall assessment and prognostications for the end of this piece, and focus on my impressions of a few key areas first.

The Media

The reaction of strictly media outlets to this year’s Macworld Expo has been what I would call guardedly optimistic. Most reports that I have read have acknowledged that, if Macworld is indeed dead, it’s not a Night of the Living Dead zombie but more of a rage fueled 28 Days Later zombie. On the other hand, most of those reports still pose the existential question, “will it be enough?”

I’m going to go ahead and restate the point that I made in the earlier piece linked above. My take is that, if you are in the media and saw past Macworld Expos as a venue for Apple to announce shiny new shit, Macworld is probably dead to you going forward. On the other hand, if you are looking for stories about the non-Apple vendors in the Apple market, then Macworld still has plenty to offer. None of that, though, is as much a reflection on post-Apple Macworld Expo as it is a reflection on trade shows in general. In the Internet age, Apple (or any company really) can make more of a splash with a coy media invite and a timely leak to the Wall Street Journal than any number of Macworld keynote speeches. And, in this economy, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to boot.

The bottom line is that it is true that the days of seeing mainstream traditional media outlets such as CNN or CNBC at Macworld are probably over. The question that needs to be asked is: does that actually have a negative impact on the remaining exhibitors, or was the mainstream coverage mainly focused on Apple anyway? That’s a judgment call that only the exhibitors can answer.

The Expo

View of the show floor

There is no denying that there were fewer exhibitors attending Macworld this year than in years past. Without digging up the exact numbers, I think that the count was about half of what it was last year. Many pundits have been quick to blame this on the lack of an Apple presence; arguing that, without the mainstream media draw that Apple provides, vendors don’t see the point in attending. That may very well be the case. But I think that attempting to distill a very complicated issue into such simplistic terms is disingenuous at best.

The decision whether or not to exhibit at Macworld is a complicated one for any vendor, made even more complicated by the difficult economic times that we find ourselves in. Exhibiting at a trade show such as Macworld Expo is a costly matter, often with little to no immediate return. Compounding this is the fact that many of the same arguments that Apple itself has made regarding attending trade shows can be applied to the smaller vendors as well. It is difficult to justify the expense of renting a booth when the Internet is essentially free.

That said, it can be argued that there was still a great benefit for many of the vendors who attended. Firstly there were a plethora of smaller and specialty hardware and software vendors in attendance whom I first became aware of by visiting their Macworld booths. These are shops that have, for whatever reason, not been able to penetrate the greater blogosphere’s mindscape; yet they still are offering compelling products. Secondly, Macworld Expo offered a unique opportunity for iPhone app vendors to be seen outside the so-called app store ghetto, and to interact directly with their current and potential customers.

Floor zombies

One thing is for certain. As I roamed the Expo show-floor myself, at no point did it seem empty. In fact, my innate hatred of crowded spaces was on point the entire time.

The other sign of changing times on the Expo floor was the makeup of the exhibitors. While I was there I heard several jokes about the “iPhone Case Ghetto.” The thing is, if Macworld Expo is to survive as a trade show, these are the exhibitors that IDG must court. The small shops who don’t have the New Media Douchebag connections to get featured by TechCrunch and their ilk, and will never see the shelves of an Apple Store.

Waiting in line

The other side of the Expo, and an area where I think that Paul Kent and his IDG team really shined were the Main Stage speakers and Feature Presentations (and I’m not just saying that because the Angry Mac Bastards podcast was on the Main Stage). The three Feature Presentations that I was able to attend (Late Night with David Pogue, Kevin Smith and the iPad Special Event) were at turns, touching, hilarious and informative. All three were standing room only. I can honestly say that I derived more from them than I would have from a Steve Jobs keynote.

The Conference

While I have heard mainly praise for the Macworld Conference tracks, I am sad to say that I didn’t utilize the Conference sessions as much as hoped to. I don’t say this to in any way denigrate the sessions that were offered. The sessions that I attended were uniformly informative, and I heard nothing but positive comments for the sessions that I didn’t attend. The “failure” of the Conference tracks lies mainly on myself, and where I lie in the Apple ecosystem.

As a “non-professional power—-user” I found the Users conference tracks to be mainly aimed either below my skill level or above my interest level, and the MacIT tracks didn’t apply to me at all. If I could offer one suggestion to Paul and the team, I would suggest that they try to offer more Users tracks aimed at a wider range of skill levels.

I’ll leave my critique of the Conference portion of Macworld at that.

The Community

One prevalent theme that ran through commentary about Macworld, both before during and after the show was the idea of “community.” This is really a difficult part of the equation to factor in because, with little exception, it’s a part that lies outside of IDG’s control. I will say though that “community” is absolutely the right lens with which to view Macworld, and what a great community it is. This is a place where I think that my perspective as a newbie to the Macworld community gives me the right insight to comment on it.

First of all, I want to thank Paul Kent and the rest of the IDG team. I’m fully aware that it’s Paul’s job to be a good host, but I’ve known many who weren’t half as gracious and welcoming as he and his staff were. Paul’s personal enthusiasm and commitment to the community is impossible to ignore. But even aside from Paul and the IDG staff, I can’t think of a single moment during my time at Macworld when I wasn’t made to feel a part of the community. I won’t even try to name names, because I know I will leave someone out, but thanks to everyone who was a part of that.

The Future

The million dollar question is: was it enough? I don’t have the answer to that question. The only people who will be able to make that call are IDG World Expo. The bottom line is that this is a money making venture. If the money isn’t there, then the Expo will go away. What I am prepared to say after attending my first Macworld is that Paul Kent and his team seem committed to doing all that they can to keep Macworld alive. I know that, if they can pull that off, I’ll be there next year. I hope you are too.


The Buzz on Google Buzz

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-10 15:29

Ok, this is the one and (hopefully) only post that I’m going to make regarding Google Buzz. Google Buzz will succeed if, and only if, it can steal a large majority of mainstream users from Twitter/Facebook. Note that, by “mainstream users” I don’t mean New Media Douchebags like Scoble, Arrington, Winer, et al. I mean your parents, the barflies at my pub, and the vapid tarts in the local sorority.

No amount of whiz-bang technology, or “mind-share,” or the adoption of so-called influentials will mean fuck-all unless Google can engage the masses. My money is that they can’t.

That said, in the interests of seeing how this all pans out, my profile is http://www.google.com/profiles/dlines13.


Macworld 2010 Ahoy

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-10 14:40

Hidey Ho kids. In a little more than 12 hours I’ll be hopping on a plane to San Francisco to attend the 2010 Macworld Conference and Expo. If you’re there, and want to meet up, drop me a line. Probably the easiest way of contacting me will be to direct message me on Twitter (Angry_Drunk). But an email will work too.


Angry Drunk Go Boom

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-05 17:52

You may have noticed a certain lack of Angry Drunkenness for the last several hours. The bottom line is that a combination of my database corrupting for no obvious reason and an unknown issue preventing me from accessing my webhost to restore from a backup left the site in fucksville. Things look ok for now, but the last two posts were lost. I restored them from a redundant backup, but the link to Disqus was broken. Hopefully that can be fixed eventually.


Mike Monteiro Fucking Gets It

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-05 17:37

Add Mike Monteiro to the list of people who actually understand the iPad. The money quote:

The people don’t want “tablet computers” with Ubuntu and OpenID (worst name ever for a product attempting broad acceptance). They could honestly give a shit whether it’s a closed or open system. And, let’s be really honest, they probably care as much about DRM as they do about baseball players juicing; by which I mean not very much at all. They want things to work most of the time, and be easy to fix when they don’t. And if the process by which it happens is “magic” they are totally cool with that.

They want the thing in the movies.

This is a concept that’s been banging around in my head for a while now. Ask most geeks if, given the opportunity, they would want a device like the PADD from Star Trek. Hell, ask them if they would want the whole Star Trek computing experience (“Computer, download all available pornography with the keywords, ‘asian’, ‘big titties’ and ‘lesbian’”). I think most would say yes. But, when confronted with what well may be the genesis of that model, they run screaming back to 1992. It’s weird.


iPad Dismissal

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-05 17:35

Fraser Speirs nails it yet again with a blog post titled [iPad Fallacy #1: “It’s not for content creation”][]. In the post he poses the question:

I keep hearing this thing on the web that the iPad is “a consumption device, not a creation device”. I don’t know why people keep saying that. It’s fast enough, it has enough storage and it has some seriously powerful applications. If that’s your opinion, please enlighten me in the comments.

Fraser continues on to completely debunk this fallacy by showing screenshots from Apple’s iWork demonstrations during the introductory event. To me though, the really interesting thing is answering the question that Fraser poses: “Why do people keep saying that?” I think that, in many cases, the reason people keep making that claim is actually an off-shoot of the same “Future Shock” that Fraser himself described before. Or, to pimp my own work, I think that statements that the iPad is “just for content consumption” are further examples of nerd myopia.

Like most things in the real world, responses to the iPad are not a simple binary “love it” or “hate it” proposition. In between the people who dismiss the iPad as a “big iPod Touch” and those of us who see it as a potential revolution in consumer computing there is a middle ground of people who almost see the potential of the iPad, but still feel the need to dismiss it in some way. The two most common forms in which I’ve seen that sentiment expressed can be summed up as:

The iPad will be the perfect device for media consumption.”

and

The iPad will be the perfect device for my parents/children/retards/any group perceived as less ‘savvy’ than the person making the statement.”

The thing is, both statements are perfectly accurate, but by limiting the iPad’s potential to just being a “dumbed down” computer, they miss the point. It’s obvious that Apple intends the iPad to be the first in a new class of computing devices. Looking at the iPad and dismissing it as just a toy for certain less savvy users is as short-sighted as the people who dismissed the original Macintosh as a toy for graphic designers. Of course, seeing as I still hear people making that claim, 26 years later, I don’t hold out any hope that the iPad dismissers will stop any time soon.


Consume!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-03 16:58

Yay, more crap in the Angry Mac Bastards Cafe Press store. Ladies, you know you want me on your chests. Admit it!


iPad, Letters.app and Nerd Myopia

Permalink - Posted on 2010-02-01 18:27

As anyone reading this blog is almost certainly aware, Apple announced the long-awaited iPad last week; and the tech world collectively lost their fucking minds. As I’ve already opined, I think that Fraser Speirs has written the best analysis of the collective pants-shitting and I would highly recommend reading Fraser’s article if you haven’t already. Flying somewhat under the radar during all this babble was another phenomenon which I think provides an interesting parallel to some of the ideas that Fraser articulates so well.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed references to something called “Letters.app.” For those unaware, here is some background. Earlier this month developer Brent Simmons put out a call-to-arms for the development of a new email client to fit the needs of “developers and power-users.” The argument being that all extant instances of email clients (specifically for the Mac OS, but presumably for all platforms) are lacking in some way that makes them unsuitable for “developers and power-users.” The goal of the project, soon dubbed Letters.app was to harness the skills and creativity of the indie Mac development community to build the perfect beast. Shortly afterwards, the project completely and very publicly imploded.

At this point I need to take an aside and clarify what I mean by “imploded,” as my asshole-sense can already detect the prepping of a thousand responses telling me that I am wrong. First of all, it is true that the Letters.app project is still under active development. Project president John Gruber (Daring Fireball) and project lead Gus Mueller (Flying Meat Software) continue to make progress and I eagerly anticipate seeing the fruits of their labors. I consider myself an email power-user and hope that Letters.app might fit my needs.

However, I maintain that a read of the archives of the (now closed) public discussion email list proves my assertion. The mailing list discussion is rife with contention, rigid-thinking, straw-man arguments and an overwhelming dismissal of the needs and requirements of anyone who disagrees with a given poster. In almost every case those dismissals are phrased something like this: “Letters must/must not do X because it is meant only for ‘developers and power-users’ and you don’t apply.” What is constantly missed, even in the face of it being pointed out, is that there are many people who are “power-users” of email who have never seen a line of code and who can barely reboot their computer. In one particularly ironic twist, at several points the proverbial “non-power-user” is described as a “bored secretary.” This, more than anything, demonstrates the myopia of some of the “indie developer” camp on the list. Having been a long-term denizen of the corporate world I can tell you, “secretaries,” or “Administrative Assistants” as we call them in the enlightened post-1960’s are almost always the largest consumer/producer of email in an organization, and have the most need for power features.

So, the question is: “What does this have to do with the iPad?”

I would argue that the same myopic dismissal of anyone who isn’t a developer, and IT person or a technology wonk as a “non-power-user” is as much responsible for the “future shock” that Fraser describes as it was the never-ending argument on the Letters.app list. It is easy for us, and I include myself in this class on two of the three counts mentioned before, to dismiss the needs of non-technical power users. I’ve even seen some of this attitude in iPad defenders when they extol the virtue of the iPad as a device for their kids, or parents, or anyone who is presumably “not good with computers.” Fortunately Apple isn’t so myopic.

Assuredly, the iPad will be a good fit for those users. I contend it will also be a good fit for corporate users who already have a primary desktop system and need a basic communication and content creation tool for limited travel. I contend that, with the proper third party applications, the iPad will be a good tool for many artists who work in the field. My Angry Mac Bastards co-host Peter Cohen is excited about the possibility of an “Aperture Touch” product in conjunction with the iPad Camera Connection kit. I myself and excited about the possibility of taking my writing on the road without the overhead of a full Mac OS laptop. People I know in the education segment, from K-12 all the way though higher education have expressed excitement over how the iPad may be integrated into their workflows. Not to mention the plethora of vertical market opportunities.

What the tech media tends to miss is that all of the user classes I’ve just mentioned contain “power users.” They’re just not necessarily power users of computer development and administration tools. As Fraser points out, people want to do “Real Work.” And for the vast majority of the world “Real Work” is not maintaining computers. Apple computers and operating systems have always been about enabling “the rest of us.” The iPad is just the next step towards that goal. I choose to embrace that future. The iPad may not be the device for you, but to deny that there is a vast market for it is to show the same myopia that led to inane suggestions for Letters.app such as requiring the user to run a mail server on their desktop just to enable local storage of email; something even most power-users would agree is just retarded.


Fraser Speirs on the iPad and “Future Shock”

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-31 19:59

I’m going to jump in on the bandwagon and heap praise on Fraser Speirs’ brilliant analysis of the iPad and the tech world’s reaction to it. I pretty much am in complete agreement, and I wish I had written this.


Scott Roeder Found Guilty in 40 Minutes

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-29 17:37

Good! The jury did the absolutely right thing here. There should be no debate, no deliberation, no contemplation. If you kill people, any people, just because your sky-daddy tells you to, you are a murderer. Now, because I actually have consistent and logical moral beliefs, I hope that this cock-sucker is sentenced to life in prison. Because state-sanctioned murder is just as reprehensible as sky-daddy sanctioned murder.


iPads, “Hackers” and the Death of Computing

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-29 16:36

Inevitably, amongst the rest of the inane wailing about the iPad in the last 48 hours, the old “closed system” meme has reared its tired head. The particular form of that meme that I want to focus on is a particularly annoying variant and one that is best expressed by Alex Payne in his blog post On the iPad. In yonder post Alex makes the assertion:

The thing that bothers me most about the iPad is this: if I had an iPad rather than a real computer as a kid, I’d never be a programmer today. I’d never have had the ability to run whatever stupid, potentially harmful, hugely educational programs I could download or write. I wouldn’t have been able to fire up ResEdit and edit out the Mac startup sound so I could tinker on the computer at all hours without waking my parents. The iPad may be a boon to traditional eduction, insofar as it allows for multimedia textbooks and such, but in its current form, it’s a detriment to the sort of hacker culture that has propelled the digital economy.

Perhaps, but let me counter with a bit of my own history. My first computer was a Mac Plus. The Mac Plus was as closed a box as the iPad ever will be. At that time there were no freely available development tools like Xcode (you know, the tool that let’s you develop for the horribly closed iPad). Development tools cost hundreds of dollars. There was no Apple Developer Connection website, fuck Alex, there was no web. This idea that Apple has morphed from some hippy-dippy hacker-friendly love-fest into a dystopian corporate juggernaut is plain wrong. Continuing, Alex writes:

Wherever we stand in digital history, the iPad leaves me with the feeling that Apple’s interests and values going forward are deeply divergent with my own. There’s nothing wrong with that; people make consumer decisions every day based on their values. If I don’t like the product that the iPad turns out to be once released, I’m free to simply not buy it. These things have a way of evolving, and I won’t preclude the possibility that Apple eventually addresses concerns about the openness of the device.

For now, though, I remain disturbed. The future of personal computing that the iPad shows us is both seductive and dystopian. It’s not a future I want to bring into my home.

This is the dilemma that Alex presents us with. Moving forward we can either have a world of hacker-friendly general purpose computers, or a dystopian nightmare of “closed” products. I would argue that this is a false dilemma. The first way in which Alex’s argument fails is that he confuses the iPad, as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch with general purpose computers, and then attempts to draw conclusions about the future of computing in general from how Apple treats them. It is true that these devices are in essence computers. Hell, the first generation iPhone had specifications that, in every way, are superior to that of my old Mac Plus. However, Apple obviously doesn’t see them in that way. To try and discern Apple’s motives in regards to the very future of computing based on the iGadgets is foolish.

The other way in which Alex misses the boat is the time-honored new media generation Y standard of ignoring all of recorded history prior to the year 2000. Here’s a hint for those unaware: “hackers” are not some mystical new phenomenon of the computer age. They didn’t spring, Athena-like, from the forehead of Zeus with the introduction of the personal computer. There have always been tinkerers, “hackers” if you will, and they always manage to work around whatever road-blocks the purveyors of their particular hobby put in their path.

It’s considered bad form to use car analogies in reference to computing, but this is a case where I think an exception can be made. Once upon a time the internal combustion engine was simplicity itself. Mainly mechanical parts, with a smattering of electrical (not electronic, there is a difference) components. Anyone with the time and inclination could disassemble and tinker with the engine in their vehicle. One might say that they could even “hack” them. Shade-tree mechanics were legion, and many the youth learned the skills that would lead them to careers in mechanical engineering. Does any of this sound familiar?

Over time, though, the nature of the automotive industry changed. Automobiles became more and more complicated and “closed.” Pundits bemoaned the death of the shade-tree mechanic. And yet, tinkerer’s still exist. Communities of enthusiasts who share their knowledge and love of the IC engine still exist. The world didn’t end, it merely changed.

A far more rational take on this situation, but one that I still have some disagreements with was posted by Steven Frank. Steven sees the iPad as an example of the difference between what he dubs “Old World” and “New World” computing. I think that this is a fascinating idea and I largely agree with it. My dissention is with Steven’s belief that the “New World” will necessarily supplant the “Old World.” I don’t see that as a foregone conclusion. I think that both models of computing can coexist, just as consumer friendly automobiles coexist with “hacker” friendly customs.

In either case, the iPad is hardly the herald of our new dystopian future—-that’s Skynet, get it straight.


iPad Analysis

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-29 05:35

Courtesy of Penn Jillette, my response to 95% of the iPad “analysis” out there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PaHcZUHI00

Thanks to my pal Peter Cohen for thinking of this first


iPad Calculus

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-28 16:50

Yes, the fucking iPad is finally here. Now, at least, the craptastic blog posts and articles can have some basis in reality—or not, this is the blogosphere we’re talking about here. As we all know, the question burning up the intar-tubes is, what does Darby think of this thing. Well, dear readers fear not, for all shall be revealed. Read on to learn the truth.

iPad: When Myth Becomes Reality

While Apple may not have participated in the pre-announcement collective loss of sanity, they certainly haven’t tried to calm the hysterical masses post-announcement. Calling your new product “Magical and revolutionary” takes balls; giant cast-iron testicles. But this is Apple we’re talking about, when they roll the bones they go all in. And good on them for doing so. Half measures are for losers. My, far saner take is this: Steve Jobs came down from the mountain to reveal the mythical Apple unicorn, and it turns out that the unicorn was actually a horse. The thing is, there is nothing wrong with that. See, unicorns aren’t real, horses are.

So what does this horse look like. You can read the official feature list here, the tech specs here, and the pricing breakdown here. I won’t regurgitate the bullet lists, but the short version is:

  • 9.7” IPS Multi-Touch screen at 1024x768 resolution
  • Custom Apple built processor which is apparently crazy fast
  • Available in 16, 32 and 64 GB configurations
  • Apparently runs a close variant of the iPhone OS
  • Can run most extant iPhone applications either in a 1 to 1 pixel mapping or a pixel doubled mode.
  • Accompanied by a new iPhone OS SDK to allow developers to leverage iPad specific features.
  • 802.11n standard on all models
  • 3G available as an option on all models
  • 3G service by AT&T in the U.S. on a non-contract pay as you go basis
  • Bluetooth (including the ability to use a BT keyboard)
  • All of the various crap that people complain about regarding the iPhone and iPod Touch remains the case
  • OMG No camera!

In my opinion, an overall good first outing. The key thing to take away from the design and specs of the iPad is that it isn’t intended to be a netbook. It’s Apple’s answer to the use-cases that spawned netbooks. Nor should the iPad be looked at as a laptop replacement. Instead, I think that the iPad should be viewed as a laptop alternative.

The $10,000 Question

Of course, the only question that really matters is: am I, The Angry Drunk, going to buy one. Let’s begin to answer that by asking a question: What possible use would I have for this product? To answer that, let’s look at my use-case.

I’m not looking for a replacement computer. My 2006 24” Core2 Duo iMac works sufficiently. When I do replace the iMac, it will probably be with the 27” quad-core i7 iMac. The iMac is the core of my “digital life.” I record the Angry Mac Bastards podcast there. I write these brilliant blog posts there. It’s where I store all of my music, photos and videos. It’s where I do the vast majority of my web browsing. No tablet computer, no netbook, no laptop can really replace that for me.

I’m also not looking for a new communications device.I have an iPhone, and what it does it does brilliantly. The iPhone is perfect for mobile communications. I use the iPhone to update Twitter and the various social networks and to interact with a number of various services. When I’m bored I have a selection of games to divert me. I also have a brace of eReaders so I can access my large library of eBooks on the go. In fact, I do my eReading almost exclusively on the iPhone. What I don’t do on my iPhone is create content or do intensive web browsing. Sure, the iPhone can do those things, but for me at least, it doesn’t do them well.

So, what do I want? Between my iMac and my iPhone there are two basic gaps. The first is the reading component. I hate reading books on the iMac; it just isn’t comfortable. Currently my iPhone, with the addition of various eReader software, makes a serviceable eBook reader, but it’s not ideal. Mainly, it’s the size. The iPhone’s screen is just too small for comfortable reading. Prior to yesterday I would have said that I was the perfect audience for the Kindle—nah, who am I kidding, I would have bought a Nook.

The second gap is the mobile consumption of “stuff,” and content creation. Part of that “stuff” is eBooks, so the prior statements apply there. Another part of “stuff” is the web. Mobile Safari is a fine browser. In fact, one could go so far as to say that it set the standard for mobile browsing. Unfortunately, Mobile Safari (on the iPhone) is insufficient for the bulk of my browsing. Sure, it’s wonderful for the quick look-up or to settle a bar bet, but it quickly becomes impractical when trying to browse forums or read longer content. The iPhone’s mail client suffers from similar issues. It’s great for a quick check of the inbox, but a pain for longer email sessions including drafting in-depth responses Then there is the “content creation” piece. Sure, the tools exist that would have allowed me to write this article on my iPhone. Had I attempted such though, I would have probably killed myself by now. The iPhone form factor just isn’t right for that.

So what device should I get to fill this huge gap in my soul? Prior to yesterday I would have said a Macbook. The thing is, I don’t want a Macbook, or any laptop for that matter. First there is the price. $1000 dollars to start is too much moolah for a device that is only going to be used on my patio, in a pub or when I travel (which is rare). Second, I don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a second, fully functional computer. Sure, iTunes sharing and Mobile Me sync help with this, but the bottom line is that I would still be running a full OS X instance just to browse the web, read a book, draft an email or write a blog post. For those who would counter, “get a netbook,” I would respond, “Fuck you in the ear, asshole.” My hands are already too fucked up, last thing I need is typing on a netbook.

Which brings us to the iPad. For me, for my use cases, since I don’t already own a laptop the iPad looks to be perfect for me. For other people, and other use cases that may not be so. As a laptop alternative I think the iPad is wonderful. It has just enough of the horsepower, and very little of the overhead of a Macbook. Now, someone click the Paypal button and send me $830.

disclaimer: don’t actually send me $800.


…And There We Have It.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-27 20:01

So, how did we do:

Tablet

  • A tablet will be announced: 90% - Duh.
  • …named:
    • iTablet: 5% - BZZT!
    • iSlate: 30% - BZZT!
    • iPad: 80% (sadly) - BING!
    • Something without a fucking “i” in front: 2% (sadly) - BZZT!
  • …it will have wifi: 90% - Of course
  • …it will have 3G: 75% - On some models
  • AT&T exclusive: 60% - HAHAHA Fuck you Verizon.
  • …including Verizon: 40% - BZZT!
  • …Verizon exclusive: 10% - BZZZZZT!
  • …Steve will announce a handful of major content partners: 80% - Yep. And fuck you McGraw-Hill.
  • …it will run a variant of the “desktop” OS X: 30% - Nope.
  • …it will run a variant of the “iPhone” OS X: 70% - Not stated, but given the App situation seems to be the case.
  • …it will run a completely new variant of OS X: 30% - Nope
  • …it will have App Store support at launch: 70% - Yeppers

iPhone - Goose Egg on All Counts.

  • The 4th generation iPhone will be announced: 70%
  • …it will be available for sale before July 2010: 20%
  • …it will run iPhone OS 4.0: 90%
  • …there will be a Verizon version: 20%
  • …it will be Verizon exclusive: Are you fucking kidding me?
  • …it will support arbitrary background applications: 5%

OS X Touch 4.0 - Also Goose Egg.

  • Touch OS 4.0 will be announced: 70%
  • SDK available now: 80%
  • …significant changes to the NDA situation: 10%
  • …available for original iPhone: 5%
  • …available for iPhone 3G: 25%
  • …available for iPhone 3GS: 60%
  • …available only on the new iPhone: 20%
  • …available for first generation iPod Touch: 25%
  • …available for second generation iPod Touch: 60%

App Store/iTunes

  • Approval process eliminated: 10% - Hahaha, you fucking kidding me?
  • Subscription music: 50% - Nope
  • Subscription TV: 30% - Nope
  • Subscription Movies: 10% - Nope
  • Text content added: 80% - Nope…er, I mean Bingo!

Other

  • MacMacs will herald new device as “game changing”: 99.99% - Wait for it.
  • Enderle/Thurrot/ZDNet/PC World will declare announcements “disappointing”: 99.99% - Tune in to the Angry Mac Bastards for updates.
  • Scoble will mess himself: 90% - Wait for it.

All in all, the iPad is pretty much what I was expecting. I’ll write up my thoughts after I’ve had some time (and hooch) to mull them over.


My Predictions — Unicorn Edition

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-27 14:43

The day of days is upon us, so I thought I’d do a quick run-down of the various rumors that have been bandied about. I’m also going to give my estimation on the likelihood of said prediction coming true.

Tablet

  • A tablet will be announced: 90%
  • …named:
    • iTablet: 5%
    • iSlate: 30%
    • iPad: 80% (sadly)
    • Something without a fucking “i” in front: 2% (sadly)
  • …it will have wifi: 90%
  • …it will have 3G: 75%
  • AT&T exclusive: 60%
  • …including Verizon: 40%
  • …Verizon exclusive: 10%
  • …Steve will announce a handful of major content partners: 80%
  • …it will run a variant of the “desktop” OS X: 30%
  • …it will run a variant of the “iPhone” OS X: 70%
  • …it will run a completely new variant of OS X: 30%
  • …it will have App Store support at launch: 70%

iPhone

  • The 4th generation iPhone will be announced: 70%
  • …it will be available for sale before July 2010: 20%
  • …it will run iPhone OS 4.0: 90%
  • …there will be a Verizon version: 20%
  • …it will be Verizon exclusive: Are you fucking kidding me?
  • …it will support arbitrary background applications: 5%

OS X Touch 4.0

  • Touch OS 4.0 will be announced: 70%
  • SDK available now: 80%
  • …significant changes to the NDA situation: 10%
  • …available for original iPhone: 5%
  • …available for iPhone 3G: 25%
  • …available for iPhone 3GS: 60%
  • …available only on the new iPhone: 20%
  • …available for first generation iPod Touch: 25%
  • …available for second generation iPod Touch: 60%

App Store/iTunes

  • Approval process eliminated: 10%
  • Subscription music: 50%
  • Subscription TV: 30%
  • Subscription Movies: 10%
  • Text content added: 80%

Other

  • MacMacs will herald new device as “game changing”: 99.99%
  • Enderle/Thurrot/ZDNet/PC World will declare announcements “disappointing”: 99.99%
  • Scoble will mess himself: 90%

There you have it kiddos. Tune back in after the announcement to see how I did.


The Calm Before the Storm

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-27 01:20

Well, my lovelies, tomorrow all will be revealed. I’m about to ensconce myself within the meditation chamber of the Fortress of Disquietude until the magic hour is upon us. See you on the other side.


Stewart Bags on Olberman

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-22 20:10

Sometimes I think that those of us on the left take ourselves too seriously. Thanks, then, for Jon Stewart to take us all down a peg when needed.


Winer Swings and Misses…Again

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-22 19:51

I’m bored, and the non-stop torrent of Apple Unicorn rumor-mongering interests me not one bit; so I think I take some time to point out yet another example of Dave Winer’s ongoing campaign to prove that he knows fuck-all about technology. I’ve written about this before, but this example was too good to pass up.

In an article titled Twitter is SMS 2.0 Dave puts forth the thesis that Twitter is to SMS as blogging is to the web. Hilariously, that analogy is absolutely correct, but not in the way that Dave thinks it is. Dave is proposing that Twitter is an evolution of or replacement to SMS in the same way that blogging is an evolution of or replacement to the web. To quote the curmudgeon:

There was the web and then there was Web 2.0. The difference is dimension. The first version of the web, though it was never the intention of the designer, was one-way. Publishing was hard, very few people did it. Lots of reading, not much writing. Blogging changed all that, writing got very easy, then richer, to the point where lots of professional publications now use blogging software. Mission accomplished.

The first mistake that Dave makes is the classic New Media Douchebag division of “Web” and “Web 2.0.” I hate to tell you lack-wits, that division exists solely in the minds of you and your fellow travelers. To everyone else on the planet there is and always has been just “the web.” Hells, most real people don’t even understand that there is a difference between “the web” and email.

The second place that Dave jumps the tracks is his characterization of blogging and that it has somehow changed the landscape of the web. The truth is, and Dave should fucking well know this, is that “blogs” existed even before hypertext transfer protocol was a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye. The separation of “blogging” into some novel category is again an invention of the New Media Douchebags.

Dave’s final mistake is his implication that the fact that “lots of publications” use blogging software mean that blogging has somehow replaced the web. This is a classic Winer mistake, confusing the message with the medium. What does it matter is a news outlet is using an in-house Content Management System (CMS), a blogging platform, or hand-coding each html page? It’s the content that matters. Just because the New Media Douchebags have decreed that sequentially posted “articles” are the definition of “blogging” doesn’t change the fact that the content, in the case of our news outlet example, is a news report. If CNN starts carving their headlines into stone tablets, does that make them commandments?

Moving on with Dave’s argument:

Texting was always a read-write medium, and very simple, but like 1.0 of the web, was one-dimensional. Texts were limited in how they could be combined and routed. Enter Twitter, a puzzle — what the frack is it? We spent three-plus years puzzling it out, in the end it has a rather simple explanation — it’s the next version of SMS. You can do everything in Twitter you can do in SMS, and so much more. But essentially it feels very much like SMS, the same way blogging is very much like the web (so much so that that statement seems ludicrous).

Actually, calling this an argument is ludicrous. Dave merely asserts ex cathedra that Twitter is the next version of SMS. And why is that so? Because cranky uncle Dave says so. What little passes for argument boils down to a tautology. “Twitter can do everything SMS can do and more.” Of course it can Dave, that’s because Twitter was designed to run on top of SMS you moron. In fact, the standard response to Dave when he bleats that Twitter should invoke whatever feature he’s pumping in a given week is that it has to maintain compatibility with SMS.

Which brings us to the point, and why Dave got the analogy right but the logic behind it wrong. As I wrote before in the article I linked above, Dave Winer doesn’t grasp the difference between an application and the platform that it runs on. In this case Web : Blog :: SMS : Twitter because the web and sms are platforms that the specific applications of Twtter and blogging run over (and yes I know that Twitter runs on the web too, that’s irrelevant).

Once again Dave displays a shocking lack of awareness of these concepts given that he is the so-called “father of blogging and RSS.”


New Media Doucheparty

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-22 14:54


Thanks

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-20 20:18

A while back I added a Paypal donation button over in the sidebar; mainly because “why the hell not.” I didn’t mention it because I’m not about to go on a begging spree. I do this thing mainly for my own enjoyment, that anyone else finds my babbling entertaining is a constant shock to me. At any rate, today someone (who I will refrain from naming to protect the innocent) slipped me a few shekels. So, nameless benefactor, thanks for that.

Note, this is not an attempt to solicit more moolah. No one reading this should feel under any obligation to provide me with hooch money. Now, that said, clicking the Google adds…could it kill you?. Better yet, click the Oxfam add and donate to help the Haiti Relief Fund.


Enough With the Fucking Tablet

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-20 17:29

It’s extremely disturbing when I read something insightful on TechCrunch. Imagine taking anger-management advice from Mirror Universe James Kirk, or etiquette training from Tara Reid; something about it just seems off. So you can imagine the discombobulation I felt today when I read Anticipating the Apple Tablet: When journalism becomes fanfiction by Paul Carr. Paul makes a point that will be familiar to readers here and to listeners of the Angry Mac Bastards podcast. The short version is, “until Apple actually announces something, shut the living-fuck up about the Apple tablet.”

Paul truly nails it with these two paragraphs:

But until the official launch announcement comes, I would rather not hear another word about Apple and their tablet. Not because it isn’t news – but because so many of the journalists anticipating the launch have dropped any sense of responsibility to their readers and replaced it with cloying fanboyism.

They claim of course that they’re digging for facts – the name of the new product, its price point, its specs — because that’s what reporters do. Bullshit. What reporters do is find out things that people don’t want us to know. In seven days’ time Apple is going to announce the name of their product, its price, its specs and much more besides. Revealing those things seven days early isn’t news.

He’s exactly right. At this point the incessant coverage of the Apple tablet is science fiction at best, and worthless masturbation at worst. I mean, is it too much to ask that Apple actually announce the fucking thing before we go declaring it a failure?


I Love Dave Winer

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-19 20:36

I really do. It’s almost a certainty that at least once a week he will grind out a blog post that amuses me. The latest case in point is this one. In the post, Dave explains that he wants some “no-frills” hosting and gives a laundry list of the features that he requires. The funny part is that the way that he presents the list is exactly like a cranky old man trying to buy any reasonably modern product. “I don’t want a television with that new-fangled ‘High Definition,’ my old set worked just fine.” In other spots he just comes across as needlessly pissy. Seriously:

Don’t hype me. All the services I see advertised on the web are long on hype and closing the deal, but I usually can’t tell what they’re offering. Ridiculous.

Yes Dave, we’ll be sure to find you a provider who does no marketing.

But the real fun starts in the comments. Of course, a slew of nimrods show up offering solutions that don’t exactly match Dave’s lofty criteria. So, Dave being Dave, he gets all cranky and starts waxing Scoble-like about the good old days:

This isn’t personal because I think most people don’t bother to read the post before responding. They just read the headline and maybe skim the body and then start writing. Makes it really hard to ask a question that might be even slightly off the beaten path. It hasn’t always been this way. And if you read the other comments in this thread, you’ll see almost everyone else has been doing it, even people like Stan and Hanan who have been longtime contirbutors here. They didn’t answer the question I asked. They told me what they do. But what I’m trying to figure out is how far we are from services that can actually solve the problem I’m posing. Creating an archive of our work that’s independent, affordable, and long-lasting. So like I said, this isn’t about you — it’s about us — how are we ever going to work together if even a simple question can’t be heard.

Oh Dave, don’t ever change.


Quiet.

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-19 20:07

If it seems quiet around here, that’s because I can’t find the motivation to fight against the flood of asinine iTablet unicorn speculation. When the tech media regains its senses, then I’ll start abusing it again.


Apple Media Event Unveiled

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-18 20:11

O frabjous day! We finally have confirmation that Apple will, in fact, announce something on January 27th. Indeed, callooh! Indeed, callay!

What we know:

Not a mother-fucking thing.

What I predict:

I predict that an ungodly amount of ink and pixels will be spilled in the next nine days while the tech-obessed media attempt to glean some meaning from the artwork of the invitation. Ninety percent of which will be wrong. Also, Rob Enderle will be a douche.

What will be revealed:

That the person responsible for said artwork was, in fact, an eight-year-old girl.


A New Hope

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-15 15:47

Could this be the return of Crazy Apple Rumors?


Today’s New Media Douchebag Moment

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-13 19:32

…courtesy of Scoble. Short version: I’ve been to China twice in my lifetime. Now let me spend 1150 words pontificating about how business is done there. Oh, and my commenters are sycophantic dipshits.


Erica Rides the Crazy Train, Again

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-12 20:15

As if to taunt me, TUAW just ran another article from prognosticator extraordinaire Erica Sadun that boggles the mind: Enough already with the draconian NDAs, Apple. This time, instead of consulting her crystal ball about the mythical iTablet, Erica takes time out of her busy schedule of huffing glue to complain about the NDA that Apple has slapped on on the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK. You know, the SDK that doesn’t fucking exist yet.

Enough of this crap. Speculation about a product that Apple almost certainly will introduce in the next month is one thing, but this blatant link-baiting is ridiculous.


Erica Sadun: Nostradumbass

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-12 18:48

Supposedly Erica Sadun is some sort of high potentate of the iPhone development community, which I guess explains why publications like The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) go to her for commentary. But, given the fact that she has the logical skills of a young-earth creationist, they should really stop. Case in point: an article posted today on TUAW titled App Store approvals and the tablet: why it matters. That’s right kiddies, it’s another article about unicorns.

Erica starts out with an observation:

When iTunes Connect returned after its Christmas break, developers noticed that things had changed quite a bit on the App Store approval front. Applications that had formerly taken ten to fourteen days to work through review were now getting processed in a couple of days or less. The upshot? Happier developers, better bug releases for users, and a healthier App Store ecosystem.

Good so far, this is factual and draws a conclusion that follows logically from the premise. The rail-jumping begins immediately after:

There’s another consequence of the new, speedier approvals: the tablet. With the device due to ship March/April (late Q1, early Q2), and no announced 4.0 SDK, developers were left wondering how they’d have the time to bring their software up to date.

Whuuuuuut? This is the point that, were this a trailer for a Wayans Brothers movie, we’d play the phonograph needle scraping over the record sound. How in Satan’s name do you go from the observed fact that Apple has tightened up the approvals process to the “fact” that there is a) an actual tablet product, b) it will have a March/April ship date and c) that it will run any variant of the iPhone OS, let alone the equally mythical 4.0 version. Seriously Erica, with prognosticatory powers like that, you should give up iPhone development and just play the fucking lottery.


More Bruce Schneier on Security

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-09 21:03

Once again, Bruce Schneier shows the way on the topic of real security. People have to realize that the only way that terrorists “win” is if we live in fear.


Teabaggers Unite!

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-08 16:52


Macworld Musings: An Outsider’s Perspective

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-07 19:36

Following the brouhaha over the future of the Macworld Conference and Expo is interesting to me, because I am essentially an outsider here. When the Angry Mac Bastards do our thing there this year it will be the first time that I have attended a Macworld, ever. I suppose that this gives me a different perspective on things than many of the people who have commented on the matter. For one thing, my opinion isn’t colored by memories (distorted or not) of previous Macworlds.

The biggest thing that stands out to me is that the majority of the people who seem to be beating the “Macworld is doomed” drum are journalists and bloggers. That makes sense to me. I can fully understand how, if the main benefit that someone derives from attending a Macworld is being among the first to hear and report on the words of His Steveness, Apple’s absence makes the conference pointless. And without an Apple booth to allow journalists to get their grubby hands on Apple’s latest and greatest for their “first look” articles, the show floor is also pretty worthless.

Of course, as others have pointed out, Macworld is not just about the keynote and show floor. At it’s heart Macworld is trade show and industry conference. Many other industries have similar shows/conferences without the dog and pony show of a Stevenote, and they muddle along just fine.

Again, as others have pointed out, there are many factors that will have an effect on the future viability of Macworld. Macworld may thrive, and it may well fail. If Macworld does fail though, the blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of one organization. That organization is not Apple. If Macworld fails it will not be because Apple “abandoned the community.” As others have pointed out numerous times, even sans Apple the trade show and conference aspects of Macworld have the potential to bring value. If that value is insufficient to bring in enough vendors and conference attendees then the blame will fall entirely on IDG.

Understand that, when I write that the (potential) failure of Macworld is IDG’s responsibility, I don’t intend to cast them as villains any more than Apple. That’s because there are no villains here. Regardless of whatever fond memories you may have of Macworlds past, or how much fun I intend to have there, the bottom line is that Macworld isn’t a party, it’s a product. If that product fails in the market, then so be it. Perhaps another vendor will create a better one.

At any rate, there’s my two cents as a Macworld virgin. Hopefully they can help provide some perspective.


Tabletard Speculation Part Eleventy Billion

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-07 17:36

I’m hungover and cranky, and I’m utterly tired of iTabet/Slate/Whatever—-the—-fuck speculation. Today, in particular, I’m irritated at this pointless exercise posted to Macworld a few days ago (actually it originated at Computerworld, but I’m too lazy to dig up the link.) The gist of the article is two “analysts” giving reasons why Apple will, nay must, announce a tablet this month. Bear in mind, I’m not offering any speculation or commentary on whether Apple will or won’t announce the Holy Grailblet. I’m commenting solely on the inane reasons given by the “analysts.”

The technology’s ready.”

So the fuck what? Flying jet-car technology is ready too, where’s my flying jet-car Ford‽

E-book readers are hot.”

Good gods do the analtards love this one. Niche product is hot, where by “hot” we mean popular with New Media Douchebags not real people, so damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. The Tablets must flow!!!

Tablets are fun, computers are not.”

You know what else is fun you mooks? Unicorns. And hookers. Fuck it Apple, where is my hooker on a unicorn‽

A tablet is Apple’s next step toward world domination.

Oh yeah baby, we’re living under Highlander rules now. Here’s a clue you feckless retards, Apple isn’t interested in “world domination.” They’re interested in making oodles of cash.

Feh, a pox on the whole thing. For the love of God Apple, announce this thing so I don’t have to read any more of this tripe.


Huhwhat?

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-06 16:53

For the love of Satan, is it really too much to ask that sites that purport to report on technical matters do at least a little research or even have the slightest clue about what they’re talking about? Case in point: this article by Stan Schroeder on Mashable. I really don’t give two shits about the fact that Roy Batty’s great-grandpappy runs Flash, but this quote enrages me.

If you’re an iPhone owner, you probably don’t want to hear about Flash. Full support for Adobe’s rich media technology has been promised for the iPhone many times, but it’s still not there yet.

Really Stan? Full support for Flash on the iPhone has been promised? Who made those fucking promises Stan? Because it sure as hell wasn’t Apple. You know Apple, don’t you Stan? The mother-fuckers who control every bit of software that makes it onto the iPhone.

For fuck’s sake, how hard is it really to actually have some minimal understanding about a topic before you start spouting off about it? At this rate I might as well start a blog detailing my experiences as a poor black share-cropper in 1940’s Alabama. I have about as much experience with that subject as most of these slack-jawed mongoloids do with technology.


My Nexus One Review

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-05 21:51

Feh


Scoble Explains it All…Incorrectly

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-04 17:00

While I was in the midst of my latest attempt to prove that a man can be powered by ethanol alone, Betanews ran an utterly retarded opinion piece by Joe Wilcox titled: The world doesn’t need an Apple tablet, or any other. There is much that is fundamentally wrong with Joe’s piece, but I don’t want to talk about that. Fortunately I don’t have to talk about Joe’s errors because the tech punditards sallied forth en masse to white—-knight a non-existent product (remember, until Apple announces the gods damned thing, it ain’t real). Amongst the herd rushing to defend all things “tablet” was our good friend, and absolute moron Robert Scoble.

In a precocious bit of blogorrhea titled: Oh, Joe, the world doesnt need a Tablet? Really? Robert springs to the defense of the tablet platform. Sadly, he also demonstrates that what Robert Scoble understands about technology could be written in twenty-four point font on the back of a postage stamp; with room to spare.

Robert’s attempt to defend the maiden honor or the tablet takes the form of a litany of successful tablet computing devices that have already succeeded in the market. Items he refers to include:

  • A touch-screen Point of Sale terminal
  • The touch-screen interface of his “Oh aren’t I so much better than you people” 2010 Prius
  • The touch-screen interface of a gas pump (ironic given the above example)
  • Some touch-screen shit in a Chinese taxi cab

Anyone else notice the pattern here? Robert has conflated a touch-screen interface with tablet form-factor computing. Here’s a clue Scooby: Lots of devices utilize a touch-screen. Some have been successful, some not so much, but merely possessing a touch-screen does not make a device a “tablet computer” you fucking ignoramus. Seriously, go back to hawking cameras. Hell, some of them now even have touch-screen interfaces. Your vast experience with tablet computing will serve you well.


Gruber Gets it Right

Permalink - Posted on 2010-01-01 20:11

I haven’t written much about the supposedly impending Apple Tablet device, mainly because I’m not in the business of tech–prognostication. If you’ve listened to the Angry Mac Bastards podcast then you may have heard me express my opinion that there will be an Apple tablet-esque device, and that whatever it is, the ideas being bandied about by the majority of the tech media will be wrong.

Until now that is. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball recently posted an article that I think absolutely nails what the “iTablet” will and won’t be. Seriously, any pundit that claims to know Apple, and then proclaims that the magical mystery device will be an upscaled iPod Touch, or a touch–screen Macbook, or a dedicated ebook reader should have his or her keyboard confiscated.


Bruce Schneier on Real Security

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-30 20:01

This has been linked far and wide, but it can’t be disseminated far enough or wide enough. Words of wisdom.


Fuck This Decade Part III

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-30 16:09

The Rude Pundit finishes up his decade end retrospective. I certainly agree with the fuck you’s.


A New Low for TechCrunch

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-30 15:59

Gods know I hate TechCrunch. Fuck, they’re probably responsible for at least a third of the material for the Angry Mac Bastards podcast. But yesterday, TechCrunch and Erik Schonfeld sank to an abysmal new low.

In the article, which is so disjointed and pointless that it makes the average third–grader’s book report look like a master’s thesis, Shonfeld castigates DeviantART (an online artistic community composed of user–submitted works) for the fact that the one hundred millionth user submission, or “deviation” as they are styled, happens to be a gay sex story. I honestly can’t get what Shonfeld is going on about here. Is he offended by the subject matter, or just jealous that the people at DeviantArt actually produce something other than propaganda for Google and endless comedy material for those of us bagging on the CrunchPad? Or, as is most likely given that this is TecCrunch, is he just trolling for links to keep his master Arrington from busting out the cat-o-nine-tails and punishment dildo?

Whatever the motivation, the article is reprehensible. Seriously, how dare a jumped up tabloid like TechCrunch criticize DeviantART. It’s true that a large chunk of the material on DeviantART is, to be honest, crap, but so what. At least the people posting there are trying to express themselves artistically. I’d rather see a billion more gay, furry, S&M, Picard/Kirk fan-fiction stories than one more piece of textual feces shat forth from the keyboards of the pretentious twats at TechCrunch.


Fuck This Decade Part II

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-29 16:41

The Rude Pundit continues his farewell to this shitty decade; this time slagging off on the honkeys who fucked us up. Again, I can’t find much to disagree with.


I Feel So Safe

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-28 19:16

Warning! Political and Local Interest content ahead! Proceed at your own risk!

It’s nice to see that the United States has become a nation of panty-waisted shrinking violets. Apparently two poor fucks flying into this shit-hole of a state were detained by the cracker-jack (because that’s the box out of which they get their certifications) agents of the TSA. Of course, upon investigation, they were released. And what, you might ask, were these poor sods’ crimes? Well:

  • Looking “Middle Eastern”
  • Talking “loudly” in a language that some grass-fucker honkey didn’t recognize
  • Either watching the movie “The Kingdom” or being present when the snitch was watching it (the story is idiotically unclear on this point. As an aside, “The Kingdom” is a fantastic movie and features stunts by a good friend of mine go rent it.
  • Getting up to take a leak.

There you have it. All you swarthy fuckers better make sure to keep you mouths, and your prostrates, clamped shut, or it’s the interrogation room for you. I swear I am so sick and tired of this nation of terrified racist cunts. And don’t get me started on the comments to the article. Seriously, I may have to kill myself.


Fuck This Decade

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-28 18:53

Via the Rude Pundit. There ain’t much there I disagree with.


Terminology Matters

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-18 15:30

Everyone’s favorite cranky old jackass Dave Winer is all a’flutter about WordPress and Tumblr implementing the Twitter API in a post titled How open standards are created. The meat of his post is a bunch of typical Winer bullshit about how wonderful it is that WordPress and Tumblr have implemented the Twitter API (which is true) and how that fact may well make the Twitter API and open standard.

I’m going to ignore, for the time being, the patent absurdity of Dave’s assertion. Last time I checked, for something to be an “open standard” it had to be both open, which The Twitter API hardly is; and a standard, which I don’t think being used by yourself, and two blog hosting companies qualifies as. It’s not really that that irks me about this piece.

What bugs me here is something that Winer does incessantly, and really chaps my ass. He completely misuses and conflates two different technical terms. To quote:

If Facebook were to implement the Twitter API that would be it. We’d have another FTP or HTTP or RSS.

No, Dave we wouldn’t. The Twitter API is just that, an Application Programming Interface. FTP, HTTP and RSS are communications protocols.

I know that, to the layperson this might seem like a trivial distinction, but it really isn’t. An API is just a description of methods that allow someone to programatically interact with a piece of software. A communication protocol is a specification that describes how to transmit data over some medium. In fact, the Twitter API uses HTTP to transmit data.

As I wrote above this may seem trivial, and if it was just some random tech journalist making the mistake I wouldn’t even notice it. But Dave Winer isn’t some random tech journalist. To quote from Dave’s own bio:

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software…he received a Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin…

The man should bloody well know better, but this is just the latest example of Dave doing this kind of thing. Of course, the real reason why Dave does this is simple. He has an overwhelming obsession with tying every single development in web communications back to RSS, his one claim to fame.


Hump Day Kvetching

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-16 15:19

So, you may have noticed a short-lived banner ad at the top of the page here. I (retardedly) decided to listen to the people who have suggested that I make some attempt to cash in on the not-trivial traffic I get. Unfortunately, seeing as how I’m apparently blacklisted by Adsense (probably because the content here isn’t “family-safe,” but who fucking knows; Google is a black box) I went with a lesser provider. The results were less than stellar, so I’ve pulled the whole thing. Why the fuck is this shit so difficult?


I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe…

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-14 19:35

The greater techno-sphere got their collective panties in a twist this weekend over the quasi-unveiling of the rumored Google Phone. I’m not going to link to any of the coverage, I’m lazy and you all can use a search engine just fine, but it behooves me as an opinionated cock-sucker and general bastard to throw in my two cents.

So, what do we know about this bad boy? Basically, it’s a re-branded (or should that be “unbranded”) HTC phone running the latest version of Android. Supposedly it will be offered carrier-unlocked (no word on pricepoints) and it works on T-Mobile’s variant of the GSM spectrum in the U.S. What that means, for those who don’t understand the vagaries of cellular data networks (New York Times, I’m looking at you) is that it a) won’t be running on your precious fucking Verizon, and b) will only operate at EDGE speeds on AT&T.

My take on this: “So the fuck what?”

The vast mouth-breathing majority of the blogosphere is agog with comments about how this strapping young lad of a phone will “change the industry” and other such hyperbolic twaddle. The phrase “iPhone killer” has even been bandied about. The thing is, it’s all bullshit. The cell phone landscape has already been changed, and the changer’s name was Apple. No one in their right mind (Enderle need not apply) can deny that it was the iPhone that introduced the mainstream consumer to what a properly executed smart-phone should be. But again I ask: “So the fuck what?”

The truth is that there is nothing exceptionally special about the iPhone, just as there isn’t anything particularly special about this new Google Phone. Both, along withe the Droid, the Pre and whatever the hell Blackberry is hawking these days have their strengths and weaknesses. Buy whichever one works best for you and then shut up about it.

The problem is that the bulk of the tech media doesn’t understand the previous paragraph. They are so consumed with two huge blind-spots that they have utterly missed the point. Those two blind-spots are Silicon Valley insularity and binary thinking.

A huge chunk of the tech media, and the New Media Douchebags that do their thinking for them, have their heads so far up their Sili Valley asses that they haven’t the foggiest idea what the actual cellular phone market looks like. Here’s a hint: there are vastly more people out there with “dumb” phones, or no cell phone at all, than there are smart phone users. Will that change? Most likely, but probably not in the way that the punditards think. I suspect that, much like with the rest of the consumer electronics industry, the features that we now consider to be emblematic of “smart” phones will gradually become features that are taken for granted in newer mainstream devices.

To take an example from an industry utterly unrelated to cell phones, let’s whip up a good old fashioned auto industry analogy. Specifically, let’s talk GPS. At one time only the swankiest of luxury automobiles came with an optional GPS navigation system. Now they’re being included in many base models. Does that make GPS navigation any less of a “smart” feature? No, it just shows that, over time, the average consumer tends to adopt successful technology.

Another way in which the press seems oblivious to the realities surrounding the cellular phone market is the tendency to equate the smart phone market with the personal computer market, where consumers have been conditioned to think that there is one maker of PC operating systems, with a few alternatives for hippies and nerds. Historically the cellular phone market has been much more like the rest of the consumer electronics market, with a plethora of brand choices and consumers showing precious little loyalty among the brands.

So, how does this relate to the cellular phone market? Unlike many in the blogosphere who seem to envision a weird, dystopian future where one monolithic corporation dispenses smart phones to the enlightened digerati, I see a future where many of the features that now epitomize the “smart phone” are present in a wide variety of devices offered by a number of manufacturers running a choice of operating systems. Among them I definitely see Android and the iPhone OS, with less confidence surrounding WebOS and WinMobile.

Which brings us to the second way in which I think that most pundits miss the point: binary thinking. It seems to be taken as a gospel truth that only one vendor can exist in any given market, even as the same pundits lash out at companies that choose not to participate in markets that they don’t see as profitable (you can shove your Apple Netbook up your ass).

It’s somewhat amusing to see writers shift seamlessly from screeching about “monopolies” and “anti-competitive behavior” to breathless screeds about the next “X Killer,” where X is usually the iPhone, Apple, or a game console. Again, these people are ignoring the vast population of consumer products where competing brands offer different products, and it all works famously. Has anyone ever seriously made a comment such as “The new Vizio HDTV is totally a Panasonic killer”? No, they haven’t and if they did they would be laughed at. But somehow, if a device connects to a computer then we’re living under Highlander rules.

So, back to the point, the Google Phone, or Nexus One, or whatever it’s called. Goody on Google. It’s a nice looking phone. I’m sure it will be good for Google, it will be good for Apple, and it will be good for the market as a whole.

Now shut the fuck up about it.


Easy as π

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-14 15:14

This amused me. Apparently Ubuntu Linux now features a system-wide notification framework inspired by the Growl project from Mac OS X. Unlike Growl, though, Ubuntu’s notifications are bound to the upper-right corner of the screen, which apparently vexes some people. Not to worry though! Lifehacker comes to the rescue with a post linking to the Ubuntu Forums. All you have to do is follow the simple advice to move the notifications to the bottom-left corner. There is one little caveat though:

The fix requires downloading and installing the source code for the notifications, and might require dealing with additional dependency installations if you get back errors on trying to install the source code.

Oh Linux, you crazy bastard, don’t you ever go changing on me.


Old Media Douchebag

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-09 21:25

Nothing warms the cockles of my dark heart more than seeing the “Old Media” shiv “New Media” in the kidneys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1dyRFhRHbY

Hat tip to Lauren Feldman at 1938 Media for the link


Damned if You Do…

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-08 16:45

Since essentially Day One of the iPhone saga there have been constant complaints about AT&T’s service. While I reject the a priori conclusion that any network that merely possesses the property of “not-AT&T” would necessarily be better, no one in their right mind would attempt to argue that everything has been rainbows and unicorn jizzum. That’s why it’s heartening to see things like the email I received recently from AT&T informing me of a new cell tower being deployed in my neighborhood, or the release of the AT&T Marks the Spot app in the App Store [iTunes link]. It’s a brilliant idea really, use the power of crowd-sourcing to gather the data needed to efficiently upgrade your infrastructure. Scoble must be giddy.

Of course, nothing can appease the perpetual whiners and AT&T bashers; so The Unofficial Apple Web Log ran this turd by Mel Martin yesterday: AT&T offers app so you can report crappy service. Huh?

The dumb starts quickly:

In one of life’s supreme ironies, AT&T today posted an iPhone app that allows you to report substandard service. That’s right folks. Got a dropped call? No reception? AT&T Marks the Spot … is designed to get that info to your favorite cell company so they can act on it.

Did you have a point there Mel? Because that is exactly what the app is meant to do. How else should AT&T gather the data, fucking carrier pigeon? Moving on:

Let’s see… I don’t have any reception, so I pull out my new AT&T app to notify them of the problem. Doh! No reception to do that. And the app even nicely brings up a GPS map showing where I am. The GPS signal is much more reliable of course.

Mel’s right, it’s idiotic of AT&T to not include a way for the report to be stored and then sent once you can access the network. Wait, what’s that, the app does allow you to queue up requests so that they can be sent later? Too bad Mel couldn’t be bothered to actually use the app before attempting to slag on it.

Look, I know AT&T means well, but the app is a tacit admission that all is not well on the AT&T network. I know you could travel to someplace with good reception, and send the data to them, but I think this app will rub salt in an already sensitive wound.

Ah so, Mel actually did know that the app queued messages. Why then the pointless paragraph before this one? I know, it’s a shitty attempt at being “snarky.” Also, this isn’t a “tacit” admission of any fucking thing. AT&T has been pretty fucking clear about the fact that the iPhone is overwhelming their network. This is an explicit step to begin fixing shit.

I’ll skip Mel’s little bon mot about a previous manager airing a television program to help people with bad television reception (oh those precious non-techies, I bet he emails people to tell them that email is down too) and finish up with the last paragraph.

AT&T says they will acknowledge the report with an SMS (and I assume not charge for it) and I truly hope that they use the information they get to improve the network, because if it is just a PR stunt it is likely to backfire. There are already reports of people sending reports and not getting any acknowledgment. Oh well.

Hey Mel, here’s a clue for you: try not assuming and just use the fucking app. It says right on the box that the SMS notifications are free. Seriously, has a system SMS from AT&T ever cost the end user? Moreover, do you really think that AT&T would go through this exercise if they didn’t plan on using the data. If they wanted a PR stonewall they could just say, “we’re working on it,” just like they’ve been doing for almost three years. Maybe, instead of writing execrable crap like this in a vain effort to appear “edgy”, Mel and TUAW could do some real research and report on actual reality.

Then again, probably not.


Monopoly Lawsuit

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-07 22:46

Breaking News:

The word “monopoly” has announced that it is suing all the lack-wits who keep misappropriating it. The famous noun was quoted as stating: “Seriously, App Store, what the fuck? Can you dolts go buy a dictionary or something.”


History Lesson

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-02 15:35

Brilliant article from Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica examining the issues surrounding government regulation of the Internet though the lens of the issues surrounding the telegraph system. I think that, all too often, the tech punditocracy tends to ignore the thousands of years of human history that proceeded the last decade.


Why Ignoring New Media Douchebags is the Best Decision You Can Make

Permalink - Posted on 2009-12-01 19:09

The other day I noticed this bit of fluff from everyone’s favorite ex-camera salesman, Bobby Scoble: Dying career: traffic helicopter pilot. On the surface, there isn’t rally much to say about the piece. It’s the usual tripe where Scooby takes “2” adds it to “B” and comes up with “yellow.” In this case he takes an Associated Press article about how advancing technologies are replacing the venerable traffic helicopter and lurches off into yet another manic rim-job for the next-big-thing.

Now, I could rant about how mind-fuckingly stupid you would have to be to rely solely on crowd-sourced traffic updates, but that isn’t really what I want to focus on here. What I want to do is use this as an example of how gob-smackingly stupid you have to be to pay the slightest attention to the New Media Douchebags, even more-so if you are a company taking business advice from these twats.

And why, you ask, is it so bad to heed the advice of the NMD’s. Here’s why my chum. These douchenozzles, who claim to understand “the end users,” have their heads rammed so far up their insular, Silicon Valley asses that you would have to be a retarded mollusk to think that they have anything worthwhile to say about the real world. Case in point, click on this link to Waze’s (the next-big-thing) real-time-traffic-map.

If it’s anything like when I viewed it, and I’m willing to bet that it is, then the vast majority of reports are coming from where? That’s right, the Los Angeles—-San Francisco corridor. Or, possibly more accurately, straight out of Scooby’s ass. Now, it may well be that Waze is the next-big-thing. But I guaran-fucking-tee you this: If they are, by the time they have enough market penetration to decide that, Scoble’s ADD riddled ass will have forgotten them and moved on to something else.

That’s the danger of listening to the New Media Douchebags. They will absolutely not be able to tell you anything about your users. Because your users are in the real world, and they ain’t.


CrunchPad Dead

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-30 16:35

Golly-gee-willakers, who’da thunk it. A douchebag with no hardware development or product management skills couldn’t make his mythical iTablet killer appear out of unicorn farts. I’m shedding a tiny little tear.


Vacation

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-23 15:48

I’m on vacation from the office this week, so without the constant boredom updates may be a bit more sparse than usual. Deal with it.


Case in Point

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-20 18:17

No sooner do I comment on the overly credulous commentary being offered up by the techno-sphere regarding the ChromeOS announcement than I notice this wretchedly mis-titled article over at TechCrunch: “Google Is Keeping Chrome OS Simple. Maybe Too Simple.

Now, to be fair, this is Erick Schonfeld, and his deep abiding love of the Google-cock is well documented, so I shouldn’t be surprised. But quotes like this really take things to a new level:

Rather than support Android apps and other sorts of apps, there is only one kind of app Google is interested in: the Web app. Chrome OS is all about making Web apps the only apps you will ever need. Which kind of makes you wonder how long we’ll need Android apps, or iPhone apps for that matter, because you know it is only a matter of time before a phone comes out running on Chrome OS.

Seriously, Chrome web apps are now going to eradicate standalone Android or iPhone apps? The same web apps that Steve Jobs proposed two years ago and was widely, and rightly derided over? Web apps certainly have their place, but to even suggest that a phone running nothing but a web browser could even vaguely compete with native applications, be they Android or iPhone is laughable.

But this is Google we’re talking about. I’m honestly waiting for some “analysis” claiming that Google can warp the laws of physics. Maybe they can start by walking on water.


ChromeOS Reactions

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-20 16:07

Yesterday Google unveiled their browser-as-operating-system concept, ChromeOS, in greater detail. I’m still processing the information and I may, or may not, write up my thoughts on the announcements later. For the moment though I’m finding myself, as is often the case, more interested in the reaction of the greater techno-sphere to the announcement.

I’m somewhat bemused, although I really shouldn’t be, at the credulity of some of my fellow travelers. I don’t doubt that Google is capable of marketing ChromeOS. Google certainly has the money on hand to force themselves into whatever market they so choose, and the adoption of Android shows that they certainly have the capability to produce a serviceable operating system (even if it does largely leverage Linux).

I also don’t hold with the segment that dismisses ChromeOS solely on grounds that it only runs web applications. I personally think that, at the moment, web apps are inherently inferior to a well-built desktop application, and I don’t see that situation changing in the near future. But if decades of Windows dominance has shown, your average consumer is perfectly willing to use an inferior product as long as it is cheap and convenient enough.

What I do find objectionable about ChromeOS is something that very few people care commenting on. It’s related to the whole concept built into ChromeOS that all data lives in the cloud. I think that it is best put into words by an exchange that I had with my Angry Mac Bastards co-host John Welch during the announcement yesterday. John observed that “…google is trying to become the single point of failure for the internet.” To which I replied that, in the form of ChromeOS, Google is trying to become the single point of failure for the entire computing experience.

I’m sure that the above observation will elicit howls of rage about how wonderfully open Google is, and how they can “do no evil,” as if a cute motto can overcome the necessities of corporate governance. Instead of repeating arguments that I’ve made before I’ll simply link to an article that I wrote over a year ago. And at that, I’ll conclude with one new observation. It’s relatively uncontroversial to contend that Apple’s choke-point on iPhone app development (via the App Store approvals process) is a problem. Why then, would it be a good thing to introduce an operating system where the entire computing experience depends on a choke-point at Google. Single points of failure are never a good idea.


Ironic

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-19 16:09

What’s the real threat to marriage in Texas? The State Constitution. Stupid rubes.


Fraidy Cats

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-18 19:22

Brilliant idea from John Gruber.


Morons!

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-16 20:27

PC World doubles downon the stupid. Fuck you Ian Paul you cheap twat.


Ride of the Entitletards

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-16 17:34

So, the dip-shits at Psystar had their day in court, and the court punched them square in the junk. You can read all about the legal decision at Groklaw. But I don’t want to write about the decision itself. Suffice it to say that I agree with the Groklaw analysis. No, I want to comment on the absolutely execrable commentary on the decision from the retards at PC World.

As always with this sort of puke, the stupid starts right away with the headline:

Apple Wins Hollow Victory In Psystar Ruling

Really, a “hollow victory?” I rather imagine that Apple doesn’t see the absolute destruction of Psystar as a “hollow victory.” Nor do I imagine that they’re anything but orgasmic to have a court uphold their arguments regarding the enforceability of the OS X End User License Agreement (EULA) as it pertains to third-party resellers. So, overall not so “hollow” after all.

But the stupid don’t stop there. The first paragraph re-introduces us to an old friend:

A federal judge has ruled in Apple’s favor in its lawsuit against Mac-clone maker Psystar. Prevailing in the court battle seems like it should be a good thing, but what Apple really gets out of the victory is limited market share potential. Uhm, congratulations?

Oh fuck me running, it’s our old buddy The Marketshare Myth. More ink, electrons and carbon dioxide have been spent dispelling this moronic “argument” than it ever deserved. Apple has no interest in winning marketshare. What they want to win is profit, and they seem to be doing that handily. Moving on:

I don’t agree that Apple should have the ability to restrict the hardware that I install the Mac OS X software on, but based on the application of existing laws I can understand why Apple won this case. The fact that Apple can leverage existing law to maintain draconian control over how its products are used is a flaw with the laws and their application, not with Apple.

Fortunately, the world is not beholden to what the jackanapes at PC World do or don’t agree with. In fact, a Federal judge made it quite clear that Apple has every right to dictate what hardware its operating system can and can’t run on. And what’s this twaddle about “leverage[ing] existing law.” Being right is not “leveraging” anything; it’s simply being right. Psystar didn’t lose because Apple out-lawyered them. They lost because they broke the fucking law. And one last thing about this paragraph: I hereby proclaim that any discussion of Apple that contains the phrase “draconian control” is automatically null and void. Call it Darby’s Law.

I don’t understand or agree with most copyright law and EULA restrictions as they pertain to computer hardware and software. As far as I am concerned, Apple dictating what hardware I can install Mac OS X on is like Doubleday Books telling me where I am allowed to read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, or like Sony restricting me from playing The Taking of Pelham 123 on a Toshiba DVD player.

Imagine if other industries worked like that. Let’s use cars as an example. You pay $30,000 for the privilege of indefinitely ‘borrowing’ a Chevy Camaro, but General Motors reserves the right to tell you where you can park it. And, if you try to customize or modify it in any way, like changing the factory-default rims or installing a new stereo system, General Motors sues you for creating a ‘derivative work’. There would be riots.

Here’s a little lesson that most of us learned as wee children. If you don’t understand a topic, then shut the living fuck up about it. I don’t give a mouse’s fart whether you “agree with most copyright law and EULA restrictions as they pertain to computer hardware and software.” The examples then given to support this retarded opinion are some of the worst examples of just not fucking getting it that I have ever seen. They’re so bad that I’m going to eviscerate them one at a time.

First, the asinine book publishing example. PC World makes the assertion that Apple’s EULA restrictions are somehow the equivalent of a book publisher restricting you to where you can read a book. It’s hard to even properly thrash this idiocy it’s so badly framed, probably because the author doesn’t seem to have the foggiest clue what it was that Psystar was doing. If you have to have a publishing analogy here it’s this: What Apple did was the equivalent of Doubleday Books preventing a company from buying one copy of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol photocopying it a bunch of times, slapping it into a cover under the title Psystar’s The Lost Symbol and hawking it on eBay. While I know for a fact that there are certain freetards out there who see nothing wrong with that, information wanting to be fweeee and all, the courts have historically taken a dim view of it.

The second ill-conceived comparison is to Sony preventing a movie (I’m going to assume that it’s one that Sony publishes) from playing in a Toshiba DVD player. Again, it’s hard to properly address these because they are so unrelated to the actual situation as to make them pointless. But to make an effort, during the BlueRay/HDVD format war, there was plenty of content that was exclusively available in only one format. Content producers are under no legal or moral obligation to make shit convenient for you.

The last shitty comparison is so bad I need to quote it again:

Imagine if other industries worked like that. Let’s use cars as an example. You pay $30,000 for the privilege of indefinitely ‘borrowing’ a Chevy Camaro, but General Motors reserves the right to tell you where you can park it. And, if you try to customize or modify it in any way, like changing the factory-default rims or installing a new stereo system, General Motors sues you for creating a ‘derivative work’. There would be riots.

Oh lordy a fucking car analogy. I should just dismiss this out of hand because it’s a fucking car analogy but I’ll give it the old college try. First, “…[y]ou pay $30,000 for the privilege of indefinitely ‘borrowing’ a Chevy Camaro, but General Motors reserves the right to tell you where you can park it…” Guess what numb-nuts, such a thing exists. It’s called a “lease,” and, much like a software license, leases come with terms and conditions. You can’t just willy-nilly do crap to a vehicle you’re leasing if they violate the lease terms. Hell, even if you’re financing a full purchase you will have limitations on what you can do to the vehicle imposed by the finance company.

The second horrible thing about this ridiculous comparison is that it confuses Apple’s trademark claims with it’s copyright claims (hint, Psystar was violating both). The proper car analogy here would be if Yugo was buying Mercedes bodies, welding them onto a Yugo frame with a Volga engine and marketing them as Mercedys Bonzes. It dilutes Mercedes trademark, and Yugo would get their dicks slapped for doing it.

The rest of this horrid shit-smear of an article continues on to make the usual entitletard mistake of confounding end users with a company that deliberately set out to turn a profit via the brilliant tactic of willful copyright and trademark abuse. Then throws in no less than two more instances of “DRACONIAN CONTROL” and ends on a feeble note about market share. All in all, a worthless exercise by someone with little to no grasp of the facts. In other words, all in a day’s work at PC World.


Musing on an iTablet

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-11 15:35

Jason Snell at Macworld opines on the possibility of Apple selling reading content on the mythical forthcoming Apple tablet. Overall, I pretty much agree Jason’s assessment, but the whole discussion raises another question in my mind. I’m perplexed by the fact that the bulk of the tech media seems to have latched onto the idea that this mythical Apple tablet is going to be about e-reading in general, or that it will be targeted specifically to compete with the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.

The Kindle and Nook, and the other minor players in the e-reader space run for around two to three hundred dollars per unit, or approximately the cost of an iPhone or iPod Touch. Does anyone really see Apple releasing a new, larger, e-reading focused device at that price point? I sure as hell don’t. Additionally, as Jason points out, there are already several very well done e-reading solutions for the Mac OS (desktop and Touch versions) that have access to a wealth of content, including the full libraries accessible to the Kindle and Nook.

My wild-ass suspicion is that, assuming the Apple tablet is actually real, e-reading will be a small component of its feature-set; with music and video taking the larger role. iTunes LP and iTunes Extra spring to mind as much more compelling demonstrations of a tablet form-factor device to the general market. To take my suspicions into complete fantasy land. I’m betting that we see initial roll-out of the iTablet including a few (or perhaps even just one) select 3rd party e-reader applications, with full access to the App Store coming at a later date; perhaps coinciding with the release of iPhone OS 4.0.


Vultures

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-09 17:15

For all I bag on TechCrunch for their rampant douchebaggery, I have to nut up and give some praise to this piece by Paul Carr exposing “citizen journalism” for the self-indulgent mirror-gazing that it really is. Good on ya’ Paul. Of course, the comments are the worst dreck that humanity has to offer, which sort of proves the point.


Layaway

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-09 02:34

Warning! Non-Techie Content Ahoy!

You may have seen a commercial that K-Mart has been running lately encouraging people to make use of the “layaway” system for purchases this holiday season. To explain layaway for those who didn’t grow up middle-class in the last few decades, here’s the deal: Back in the hoary days of yore, when you wanted to buy something but didn’t have sufficient scratch on hand, one of the choices available was layaway. The way it worked was, you put some money down, and then made payments every one to two weeks until you had paid for the item. Then it was yours.

I know that, sadly, there are probably some people who have been struck dumb with incredulity at that description. “Mon Dio!” you say, aghast. “Surely you would just put such a purchase on your credit card.”

And, of course, nowadays that’s exactly what you would do. But, as horrifying as it may seem, there once was a time when people didn’t leverage their futures just to have the new shiny now. Maybe it’s actually a good sign that stores are bringing the concept of layaway back. Of course, the banks will find some way of making a shekel off it somehow. Such is life.


I Get Mail (Sort Of)

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-08 23:20

Today, when I came to I was informed that the following epistle was left on one of the family vehicle’s windshield last night

Letter From an Idiot

For those who, for some reason, can’t see the picture there the text is as follows:

NANCY,

PAINT MY ?(ALL) FENCE

WHITE OR I WILL

SEE YOU IN COURT !

DK

So, for background. “DK” is my next-door neighbor. DK is an asshole. DK is the sort of person who massively remodels his house without a singe permit or inspection. DK is the sort of cock-sucker who puts building materials in other people’s trash bin so that the city doesn’t bitch him out for doing so. Basically, he’s a cunt.

The story of the “fence,” it’s really a block wall is this. Many years ago, while my old man was in the hospital dying of cancer and my mother was in the hospital with a perforated intestine. DK took it upon himself to extend the common wall between our properties out to the street, and to stucco and paint my side of it bright white. Just last week we re-painted our side and apparently this has angered the twat. Right now I’m in consultation with the U.N. and the World Court regarding an appropriate response. Early contenders are “Pound sand” and “Make me old man.”

Stay tuned for breaking developments.


App Store Shenanigans Part Eleventy Billion

Permalink - Posted on 2009-11-06 17:16

Jason Snell at Macworld writes about the bullshit that Macworld went though to get an eBook version of their iPhone and iPod Touch Superguide published to the App Store. Every time that someone reveals the details of this process it reinforces to me my belief that the fundamental flaw in how Apple is handling the approval/rejection process is that it is being treated as a “call center” process instead of a “quality assurance” process. Having done both I can attest that I have witnessed scenarios almost identical to what Jason describes during my technical support days. Sadly, my experience in this field tells me that the only way this process can be fixed is to raze it to the ground and start from scratch. Monkeys like “Steve” from the article are fundamentally incapable of being re-educated.


I Am Shamed

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-30 17:14

It’s horrifically embarrassing to admit I missed one of the better idiot-quotes from Erick Schonfeld’s latest Google rim-job, and didn’t notice it until I saw it in a Prince McDildo article:

Google supposedly didn’t need to create its own phone, because it could simply create software for the iPhone. And, in fact, some of the best apps on the iPhone—Mail, Maps, YouTube, Search—were developed by Google.

The lack of oxygen from Google’s schlong blocking Erick’s airway must have confused him. None of those applications were developed by Google. One isn’t even a real application.


Noise

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-29 15:06

A while back in one of the Angry Mac Bastards podcasts I postulated that Scoble’s Twitter favorites can’t possibly be of any worth, since he can’t possibly be paying the slightest attention to what he favorites. Consider the numbers that he states in the linked blog post. 7,000 favorites in two months? By the most generous math that comes out to 116 favorites a day. Now go look at the list of favorites on that blog post. At the time I’m writing this, there is only one tweet out of the twenty there that is even arguably not marketing chaff. I seriously doubt that will change.


Get Google’s Cock Out Of Your Mouth You Tool

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-28 22:34

Erick Schonfeld takes one deep and works the ballsack today with this: Google Should Make Apple Beg For Maps Navigation. Choice quote:

When Google announced what is clearly the best car navigation application on any mobile today, it didn’t just take a swipe at GPS navigation companies such as Garmin and TomTom. It took a swipe at Apple.

Ignoring the breathless proclamation that, since it’s from Google it must be the best thing since unicorn cum, let me just point out that Apple already “took a swipe” at Google when they banned Google Voice, banned Google Latitude and bought a mother-fucking mapping company.

As for the retarded notion that Google should make Apple “beg” to use their precious unicorn-tear powered mapping framework, recall that Google doesn’t make dime fucking one directly from Android phone sales. It makes it’s money selling advertisements. As such, I rather imagine that Google will be begging Apple to use their service on one of the fastest growing mobile platforms in the fucking Universe.

Seriously, Erick and the rest of the TechCrunch lackwits, stop before your lips become permanently chapped.


Rob Enderle is a Fucking Madman

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-23 17:15

Presented, without additional comment, the opening paragraph of Rob’s latest flight of fancy:

This is likely to point with Apple this month as they sit stunned that Windows 7 is doing so well and they are left looking foolish with products priced out of the segment. Their big news this week was a couple of PCs, a new keyboard and a multi-touch mouse. This last will likely go down in history as one of the lamest devices yet as they should know, given the iPhone, that touch is connected to the screen and not anything else. They likely would have done better putting fir on the damn thing and building it to fart the star spangled banner at least that would have been patriotic.

Can someone check and make sure that Rob isn’t having a psychotic episode?


Faux News

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-21 16:36

Take this article, change the domain and banner to Fox News, and I defy you to show me the difference.


Read This Now

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-21 15:43

Seriously, read this article from Wired about the anti-vaccine movement. This message cannot be spread far enough. As an aside, I have to say that I’m absolutely in love with the writing in this article. It’s fact based, pointed and refrains from indulging in the asinine he said, she said false equivalence crap that most modern “journalists” think represents “objectivity.”


New Apple Crap

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-20 17:36

Updated iMacs, Macbooks, Minis and a new Mouse. I want the 27” Quad i7 iMac so bad it’s making me physically ill.


Results

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-19 21:02

Apple’s QA results. Somewhere Rob Enderle is howling in rage.


Incomprehensographs™!

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-16 19:54

New from Angry Dunk Productions, it’s Incomprehensographs™! A compendium of the arcane diagrams that Daniel Eran Dilger/Prince McLean uses to “illustrate” his articles. Warning! May induce insanity!


Lifehacker, Emphasis on the ‘Hack’

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-14 15:53

It looks like the fucking lack-wits at Lifehacker are still attempting, and miserably failing, to report on technology. Case in point: the execrable piece of crap that Kevin Purdy shat forth today under the headline “Latest iPhones Block Jailbreaking.”

Before I address the article itself I want to make something clear. All of the current processes used to “jailbreak” iPhones (that I know of, correct me if I’m wrong) rely on operating system exploits to do their thing. That’s right kiddos, exploits as in “the shit that the evil crackers use to “pwn” your systems.

So, what heinous crime is Apple has Apple committed this time? From the Lifehacker story:

The Dev-Team and other jailbreak makers have been using an exploit known as 24kpwn to break into the iPhone and obtain deeper access to install new app markets and unlock certain features. A new booting firmware update, iBoot-359.3.2, has been shipped on 3GS models manufactured since last week, however, and a Dev-Team member tells the Boy Genius Report that jailbreaking won’t be possible on the newer units, at least until another exploit is found.

OMFGWTFBBQ!!! Apple patched a known exploit in the OS, why those fucking assholes!! How dare they make the iPhone more secure at the expense of a bunch of whining fuck–wits?!?

More quoting of the terminally dumb:

It’s odd to see Apple spend so much effort on fighting back against a niche group of iPhone enthusiasts, but then again, AT&T has an interest in keeping things like tetherting to a minimum. For the time being, if you’re looking to break into a newer iPhone model, hold off until another exploit is (inevitably) found.

Look you ignominious piece of squirrel vomit, Apple isn’t expending effort to block jailbeaking. They’re patching known, exploitable vulnerabilities in the operating system. If this was the desktop Mac OS you twats would be bitching that it took them this long to patch the hole.

In summary, fuck you Kevin Purdy. Fuck you Lifehacker. And fuck you jailbreaking “community” that would rather see the iPhone remain less secure just so that you can run your craptacular apps.


Marco Gets It

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-09 17:35

Probably the most insightful analysis of the iPhone App Store that I’ve seen from a developer.


More AMB Swag in the Store

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-07 22:06

Buy now you pussies.


Thanks Mike

Permalink - Posted on 2009-10-05 15:50

We all know that Mike Arrington wouldn’t understand the concept of “ethics” if it came up and punched him in the junk, but it’s always nice to have yet another example.


Congratulations You Loopy Fuckers

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-28 15:26

I rarely get a chance to write about media outlets that don’t piss me off, but if you’ve listened to the Angry Mac Bastards podcast much, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the reporting that Jim Dalrymple is doing over at The Loop. Consequently, I was happy to read the update regarding recent changes that Jim posted today. In particular, it’s great to hear that fellow AMB host Peter Cohen is joining up as Executive Editor. Congratulations to all involved, and thanks for running an Apple news/opinion site that doesn’t make we want to stab a hobo.


Schadenfreude,

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-25 15:15


Fuck Off Lifehacker

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-24 19:29

Adam Pash, Lifehacker editor, I have a message for you.

You are an idiot.

I highly suggest that you give up on trying to report on technology issues and go back to posting pretty pictures of people’s desks and fellating David Allen. At least you’re good at that.


TechCrunch Jizzes Over an Apple/Google Story, Again

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-22 20:47

Someone should call up Michael Arrington and his cadre of scrotum washers over at TechCrunch and let them know that the “irrational Apple hatred” job is already taken by Rob Enderle, and Rob does a better job of it. Case in point, today’s post from so called Apple expert M.G. Siegler under the headline “Push Gmail Finally Comes To The iPhone, No Thanks To Apple.”

The background to the story is that Google Sync, which is merely Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, now supports Google Mail. Before today, Google Sync could only sync contacts and calendars. Before I go on, take some time and click through to the Google Sync page. Once there, take note of the options in the choose your phone dropdown. Note that, in addition to the iPhone there are a few other options, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Mobile among them.

Now check out the TechCrap story. Brace yourself for the righteous indignation being hurled at Research In Motion, Microsoft and Nokia due to their refusal to support native Google push email. Wait, you say there is no such indignation? You say that the only company the monkey—-feltchers at TechCrap bitch at is Apple. Well, surprise, sur—-fucking—-prise.

Seriously, I don’t know what Doucheington and crew hope to gain by their blindingly obvious campaign to turn every story that even tangentially involves Apple and Google into some sort of Watergatelike feat of investigative journalism. I suppose that one could go with Occam’s Razor and assume that they’re just attempting to utilize the Dvorak Method of linkbaiting, and to that end I’ve aided them. But I suspect a deeper motive, what that is remains to be seen.


Logic Isn’t His Strong Suit

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-22 03:45

The reasons for publishing inaccuracy-laden tripe on the web are as varied as the lack-wits who write it. Some have a political agenda to push. Some are in it for the cash. Some just get a massive erection from pissing off rational people. But amongst these miscreants are the select few who have a need, a compulsion if you will, to pack as much idiocy, faulty logic and inaccuracy into one article as they possibly can. Among these select few, the grand master is Daniel Eran Dilger and his Cavalcade of Sock-Puppets.

I normally don’t seek out Dilger’s particular brand of fuckwittery, nor do I willingly read the drooling effluvia from AppleInsider (one of his usual haunts), but the people have spoken, so I am now compelled to beat him up for the mental diarrhea that he posted today at AppleInsider under the headline “Why Apple is betting on HTML 5: a web history.”

My usual modus operandi with this sort of article is to first address the central thesis of the piece, but, for the life of me I can’t figure exactly what in the seven hells Daniel is hoping to accomplish with this article. If there is a thesis, it’s beyond my ken. So, given that, let’s bust out The Gin and just start from the begining.

The lead, where most sane authors state their thesis, doesn’t help us much, but it does set us on our course for crazy-town right off the bat.

Despite making the vast majority of its money from hardware sales, Apple is investing heavily in shaping the future of software. One example of this pertains to HTML 5 and related web standards.

Apple is investing in the future of software! Well slap my ass and call me Sally! No shit you frothing tool, Apple invests heavily in software. It’s called the mother fucking operating system you lack-wit! And I am shocked, shocked I say, to discover that Apple, a company that develops products that consumers use to access the Internet, is interested in emerging internet standards. I would have thought that Apple would just say, “Fuck the web. Whatever Google and Microsoft come up with are cool by us.”

Daniel natters on for another paragraph about Apple’s various HTML powered offerings (you know, the things that might make Apple interested in the direction of the HTML standard) then attempts to provide the tension in the article.

Critics have complained that HTML 5 won’t be finalized until 2012, and that its completion might be irrelevant anyway because Microsoft is unlikely to ever support the new standard within Internet Explorer. Others wonder if the world really needs any changes to the language underlying the web.

Really? Who are these “critics?” Daniel, of course, can’t be bothered to cite any. Of course he also raises the hoary old boogeyman, “Microsoft may choose to not support Technology X, so we all may as well give up and pack it in.” Lastly, Daniel raises the specter that nameless “others” (could they be the Others from Lost, if so I wouldn’t worry, Richard Alpert is totally into the <canvas> tag) don’t think that HTML needs any new work. If HTML 4.0 was good enough for grandpa, it’s good enough for them.

Daniel then proceeds to spend the bulk of the next three pages, and forty-one fucking paragraphs to detail the history of the HTML standard. I’ll smack around some particularly asinine statements from this gods-forsaken info-dump shortly, but first I want to comment on the format itself.

This is something that infuriates me. Some writers, either suffering from the delusion that adding a crap-load of irrelevant information makes them seem technically astute, or in a psychotic attempt to out-write the inimitable John Siracusa, or desperate to up their word-count go into excruciating detail in an article ostensibly aimed at a non-expert audience. Don’t fucking do this. The entire forty-one paragraphs could have been summed up as:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee developed the initial HTML specification in 1989 and since then it has gone though numerous iterations. During this time browser support of the various HTML specifications has been inconsistent at best. The current draft specification is HTML 5.

Now that I have that off of my chest, let’s look at some choice bits of stupid from ol’ Danny-boy:

In order to draft HTML as a recommendation to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standards body in 1993, Berners-Lee needed to provide an example of an actual implementation of HTML. He cited the Mosiac browser being developed at the American NCSA, which had been funded by congressman Al Gore as a part of a broad effort to promote the development of high performance computing and communications by leveraging the power of market forces using strategic government investment.

This paragraph is actually fairly accurate from a historical standpoint, but I love the implication (via shoddy construction) that Al Gore personally funded the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. By the way, if you’re going to expand some acronyms, you do it for all of them, Danny manages to fuck this up. But back to poor old Al Gore, I guess he will never live down inventing the Internet, will he.

Moving on.

The completely open nature of HTML, backed by government investment in critical implementation work, enabled Berners-Lee’s new web to completely overturn the pockets of incompatible, proprietary Internet services that were in the process of dividing users up between the silos of AOL, CompuServe, GEnie, MSN, and similar offerings.

In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, come again? Having worked in the Internet Service Provider industry at the exact time that AOL and the other “walled garden” providers were imploding, I can categorically state that this assertion is pure fiction. There were many factors that went into the demise of AOL and company, the existence of a fucking markup language was not one of them.

And we’re walking:

HTML’s public definition as an open standard allowed anyone to to set up a server with web page documents that any web browser on any platform could display. As the reality of this tremendous new potential began to sink in, Microsoft realized that the web would not just be a threat to its proprietary new MSN service, but would also be used by companies to reduce their dependance on Windows, allowing them to buy products from any vendor. This sparked its war with Netscape on the implementation side, but there would also be wars on the web standards side.

Where to fucking begin? First, HTML has fuck all with the ability for the average chump to set up a public web server; mainly because HTML is a gods damned markup language.HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the actual transport used to deliver HTML documents (amongst other things). To the extent that it was possible for an individual to set up a web server (hint, short of academia and commercial providers it wasn’t possible for many years) it was the open source Apache HTTP server that allowed it. HTML was, and always will be text with some funky tags. The rest of the babble about companies reducing their dependence on Microsoft is too incoherent to parse.

Next:

Netscape was primarily interested in rapidly creating a way to deliver web pages that could catch the attention of consumers, so the additions it began adding to HTML included tags the specified things like a background color for the page, or specific font faces for text. To academics, this inappropriately mixed presentation into a standard that ideally should only present descriptive semantics of how the document was organized.

This is just utter fiction. Danny-boy cites absolutely fucking nothing to back up these assertions.

Are we done yet, my head hurts:

Meanwhile, Netscape’s leadership in the browser market was challenged by Microsoft, which in 1995 licensed the original Mosiac code and began forking it off in a new direction in an effort to prevent the web from being defined by group of companies (primarily Netscape and Sun) that had a vested interest in breaking up Microsoft’s grip on the PC operating system market.

Fuck me, at the rate I’m guzzling the Tanqueray Rangpur, I may not make it through this one. While Microsoft, being Microsoft, certainly wanted control of the nascent web, to extrapolate that this was because Netscape had the slightest interest in affecting Microsoft’s so-called “grip” on the PC market is pure MacMac fantasy.

Ooh, speaking of MacMac fantasy:

It’s important to note that HTML 5 isn’t one big difficult leap like moving from Windows XP to Vista, or from IPv4 to IPv6.

Gods help me for defending Windows Vista, but an operating system upgrade isn’t fucking dark elven magic you ape. Also, Dilger displays a charming lack of understanding of what’s involved in moving from IPv4 to IPv6 (hint, for most people, not a fucking thing).

Please daddy, make the bad man stop writing, I won’t be noisy anymore:

Despite the potential threats to Office and Windows that HTML 5 delivers, Microsoft also sees the need to participate in HTML 5 because its browser share has now dipped to around 65%.

The sound you just heard was a vein in my head popping. Somehow Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows are threatened by a fucking markup language! That makes as about as much sense as claiming that the orbit of Jupiter is threatened by a mouse fart. It’s not merely a matter of scale, but of massive orthogonality.

Finally, after three pages of weird, revisionist fantasy (including one of AppleInsider’s patented incomprehensible diagrams) Dilger comes to his finishing move. An act of illogical prowess so magnificent that I feel compelled to give it a name. Henceforth, the application of a conclusion that in no way shape or form follows from the proceeding arguments shall be known as, “The Dilger.”

Once Adobe realizes it can make more money selling authoring tools for HTML 5 than it can in catering to a dwindling group of Flash designers, its outlook is likely to change dramatically. That shift from plugin maintenance to standards-based tool creation will enable the company to rely upon a platform created by the community, largely Mozilla and WebKit, rather than trying to implement its Flash, Flash Lite, and AIR runtimes on different hardware platforms and within different browsers. Because clearly that isn’t working.

Let that one soak in. Revel in the crazy. Adobe will shit-can it’s multi-billion dollar investment in Flash to become an exclusive provider of HTML editors. It’s a good thing I’m as drunk as I am, or I might just stroke out.

There you have it kiddies, the people spoke, and it was done. Now, seeing as how I can’t feel my teeth, I’m going to have my stomach pumped.

toodles


Boring

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-21 16:10

If anyone is still waiting for wondrous tales of my Irish adventure, I’m sorry to disabuse you of that notion. Three days of jet–lag, training and meetings didn’t leave me much inspired to do any adventuring.


Travel

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-16 12:11

So, for the terminally oblivious, the reason for the lack of activity is that I am currently in grey and dismal Ireland doing the same job I would normally be doing, but with a 150% cost of living modifier and no appreciable sleep. At any rate, the jet–lag is unlikely to dissipate any time soon. So, until my return, things gonna be quiet around here. Deal with it Susie.


Bloody Brilliant

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-10 14:43

Simply brilliant commentary utterly shredding the “Apple is evil” meme. Even the fucking comments are intelligent.


Real Socialism

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-08 01:23

Yet again the Rude Pundit nails it.


Wah, Wah, Wah Goes the Pundit.

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-02 17:13

I debated doing a proper tear-down of this piece of self-indulgent tripe from the usually a bit more astute than this Merlin Mann. It certainly has all of the tropes that send me into paroxysms of rage: Apple as cult, the implication that Snow Leopard is just a “service pack,” the inability to understand Apple’s marketing of Snow Leopard, douchebaggy faux-conversations between the author and an anthropomorphized Apple. Really, it’s a New Media Douchefestival of delights. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. Instead I’ll offer just a few thoughts.

I get it Merlin, you’re an idiot who rushed into an OS upgrade because, like every other dip-shit in the tech punditocracy, you are obsessed with the new shiny and, like a fucking raccoon, you can’t resist grabbing for it. I get that, again like the rest of the punditocracy you aren’t capable of listening when Apple said clearly that Snow Leopard was not going to be about new features (except for Exchange). I get that it’s easier to blame Apple instead of your beloved developers who couldn’t be arsed to upgrade their software in time for Snow Leopard, even though Apple gave developers an unprecedented amount of time and support to get their shit together. I get that you’re pissy because people are calling bullshit on you this time.

Tough titty.

Here’s the fucking reality. You chose to upgrade your shit while in the midst of a project, without verifying the compatibility of the tools you rely on. That was stupid. You can throw all the tantrums you want. You can compare Apple and the people telling you that you did a stupid thing to a cult all you want. You can make up conversations in your head where some mythical “Apple” enjoins you to perform troubleshooting steps that went out of vogue in the 1990’s all you want. None of that changes the fact that you did something dumb. It just makes you look like a jackass.

We all know that you’re smarter than this Merlin, so cut with the hissy-fit, and comb your hair you fucking hippy.


Quiet

Permalink - Posted on 2009-09-02 16:04

For those who care, a quick explanation for the relative silence around here lately. Last week I took some time off and chose not to pay attention to the blogo-klein-bottle. Once I get back up to speed I’ll start spewing my usual brand of vitriol.


R.I.P. Senator Kennedy

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-26 06:36

I may not have always agreed with you, but you were a fine Senator and a better drunkard.


Interesting Proposal

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-20 15:58

Thom Hartmann on the healthcare debate: Just let everyone buy into Medicare.


What Planet Are You From?

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-19 14:53

Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, bringing the sexy back to the healthcare debate:

See, when confronted with the insane and the stupid, the appropriate response is not reason, it’s derision. The second that the Republican party and their stooges like the crazy bint in the video decide that they want to put on their adult pants and sit at the big-people table then we can have a debate. Until then, they can fuck right off.


Politics

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-18 15:52

It occurs to me that it’s been a while since I went on a political toot, and there may be new people here who thought that this pointless exercise in self-indulgence was all Apple, all the time. Sorry, it ain’t. If that’s a problem, I suggest unsubscribing.


The Rude Pundit on Health Care as a Civil Right

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-18 14:56

As usual, The Rude Pundit nails it. Health care is a civil right, and Progressives need to treat it as such. Additionally, the Democrats need to grow a pair and realize that we voted them a mega-majority for a fucking reason. From the article:

Mostly, though, there’s only one real solution: Democrats have to have the guts to tell Republicans that they’re no longer part of the process. They have not negotiated in good faith and they’re not gonna vote for shit, no matter how watered down. It’s gotta be “Fuck off, fuckers” and bar the door and pass what needs passing.


Death Panels and Advocate Judges

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-17 22:17

Presented, for your moral outrage, one Antonin Scalia, who is of the opinion that innocence is no barrier to imposing the death penalty. There is so much to be said about this topic. but I have neither the time nor the available blood pressure. I will, however offer these brief thoughts:

This is the true face of the conservative movement in America. It’s not the deluded and delusional tools who answer Fox News’ call to disrupt healthcare town halls. It’s not the closet racists who are fast running out of slurs to throw at President Obama, and who seethe in frustration at the fact that a nigger is in the White House. It’s not even the corporate douchebags who are willing to play nice with anyone as long as the profits keep rolling in. All these are either tools or opportunists.

The true face of American conservative thought are men like Antonin Scalia. Men who are so absolutely amoral, that to call them “evil” is an insult to true evil. These are men who are so morally bankrupt, so locked into their psychotic fear of losing status and power that they are essentially sociopaths. These men cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be compromised with, they cannot even be ignored. They must be opposed at every opportunity, and ultimately destroyed.


Gaming the System

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-17 18:56

I write a lot about entitlement issues here. The way that I see it, one of the primary driving forces behind much of the ills of our society is the overwhelming sense of entitlement that most people seem to have. We want things done our way, and we want them delivered now gods damn it! We seem to have forgotten the old axiom, “Cheap, Perfect or Fast; pick two.” Which leads me to an odd little piece that I picked up via The Consumerist (I’ll link to them after I’ve forgiven them for being part of the Gawker Family of Suck). The blog post in question is titled Hey Burger King, you’re getting timed for a reason! from the Selfish Mom blog. Yes, dear readers, I’m taking on the mommy–bloggers again. I only pray to Lord Satan that I emerge with my testicles intact.

The gist of this little missive, charmingly filed under the PostType of “How To Piss Me Off,” is the realization by the author, Amy, that Burger King employees have been gaming the timer system by having drive–though customers back up and pull forward to reset the timer. The shock, the horror! To think that some minimum–wage dead–cow jockeys are gaming Corporate’s precious timing system! A million douchebag efficiency experts are crying out in pain.

Amy writes:

I went back this morning, in the interest of investigation – not because I was dying for a Croissan’wich. Once again, when I got to the window, I was asked to pull forward and back up. I said “Why? Are you trying to stop the timer?” She said yes. I said something to the effect of “But that’s cheating. How will the process get any faster if they think you’re already really fast?” I know enough about fast food restaurants to know that they really study this stuff. There are systems that figure out when you should drop fries based on how many cars are in the Drive-Through lines. There are McDonald’s that have outsourced their Drive-Through order-taking jobs to call centers. Corporate sure as hell wants to know for how long people are sitting in the Drive-Through.

Honestly, Amy, this was of such burning importance to you that you felt the compulsion to “investigate?” And do you honestly think that the Burger King corporation develops these metrics based on any factor other than maximizing their profits?

Let me explain a fact that I learned during my long tenure in the world of call center operations. The corporate douchebags responsible for setting these sort of customer–service metrics haven’t the foggiest clue what they are doing. I guaran–fucking–tee that the purpose of timing the poor fucks on the drive–though window isn’t, as Amy seems to believe, to make them faster so that you get your slab of dead cow a few seconds quicker. They’re being timed so that Burger King can squeeze the maximum amount of profit out of these schmucks’ shifts.

Again, from experience, I can tell you that there are three responses to this sort of pressure. First, you can muster up your dignity and quit. Of course, if you are working at a BK drive–through (or a call center for that matter) your employment options are probably somewhat limited, so let’s disregard that option for now.

That leaves two choices. First, you can take whatever shortcuts needed to bang out the product in the time alloted. Fries aren’t quite done / are way too fucking done? Who cares, time’s almost up, dump that shit in the bag. Want to take the time to create a presentable and edible sandwich? Who the fuck do you think you are, Bobby Flay? Pop that fucker in the rethermelyzer and move on. We have fatasses to feed!

Of course, we all know what’s likely to happen if you deliver a shit product too may times, eventually some entitletard with an internet connection is going to post about it on The Consumerist, then corporate will decide that they “take this seriously,” which is basically code for “fire the fucker who got caught then proceed as usual.”

So that leaves our second choice, game the system. The stupid timer can be reset by someone backing up, well back that ass up baby! During my tenure in the call centers, as management constantly tightened the metrics in an attempt to squeeze profit from a dying concern, the phone–monkeys played a constant game of cat–and–mouse to avoid the bullshit.

So, who’s to blame? We are, well, not me I’m not an entitletard. The people to blame are the ones who insist that everything has to be fast, cheap and perfect. In their quest to get a 99¢ burger, “the way I fucking want it, and right now you fucking asshole I’m a very busy person,” they have created a world where the poor fuck slinging beef at Burger King has to resort to gaming the fucking drive–though to keep their job. Good going fuckers, I hope that Whopper tastes good, you earned it.


Town Hall

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-17 15:26

No, sadly, I didn’t go to a town hall meeting; try and contain your disappointment. Here is an account from The Rude Pundit relating his experience at a healthcare town hall. No one combines political commentary with profanity better.


Civility

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-14 20:42

So, in response to this steaming turd over at TechCrunch, I posted a comment calling Erick Schonfeld an “idiot.” Note, that I didn’t say, “fucking idiot”, or “rampaging douchenozzle idiot,” or “cum–gargling shit monger idiot.” For me, I was restrained. Of course, the comment has been deleted. It is, as the youngsters say, on.


Five Reasons Michael Scalisi Should Shut His Fucking Trap

Permalink - Posted on 2009-08-11 19:11

Well, it’s Tuesday so it must be time for the shit-mongers over at PC World to expel another worthless bit of link-bait designed to a) get reprinted in Macworld, and b) bring in the iPhone fanatics. This week’s fecal dissertation is titled 5 Reasons It’s Time For a Verizon iPhone by Michael Scalisi. There isn’t actually a point to this colo-rectal discharge, so let’s get right into the defenestration, point by point.

It would provide a major boost to iPhone sales: For a good number of people (whom I used to be one of), the iPhone is appealing, but AT&T is a deal breaker. Providing a second provider would capture these customers. Additionally, existing iPhone customers wanting to upgrade to the 3GS might find that jumping from AT&T to Verizon provides the perfect excuse to get a new phone with a new contract.

This is the only one of Scalisi’s anal offspring that has even a hint of relation to reality, and it’s so self–fucking–evident as to be a gods damned tautology. Yes, Michael, offering the iPhone on another provider would increase the potential market. Aren’t you a bright boy. Do you want a gold fucking star?

MMS: With the newest iPhone software, AT&T is now the weak link when it comes to the lack MMS on the iPhone. Surely Verizon, needing to provide features to entice customers, would offer Multimedia Messaging Services.

MMS! What fucking planet are you from Michael? Offering the iPhone on Verizon would force AT&T to enable MMS? You mean, like they have already committed to doing? Satan’s taint you’re a moron.

Tethering: As with MMS, we don’t know for sure that Verizon would offer tethering. However, for the sake of competition, I’m betting they would. To remain competitive, AT&T would have to follow suit.

See. Fucking. Above.

Dropped Calls: When a guy like wine guru Gary Vaynerchuck takes the time to complain about AT&T in a video blog, you know there’s an issue. Verizon customers don’t seem to suffer nearly as badly from dropped calls.

Who in the everlasting titty–fuck is Gary Vaynerchuck, and why the Christ should I care about his video blog? More to the point, Michael, you don’t know that the Verizon network wouldn’t suffer the same fate as AT&T’s after being deluged by the flood of hipster douchebags updating the Twitter status. You, just like every cock–sucking fucktard who makes this claim, are just assuming that things would magically be better on a non–AT&T network. Well, I am assuming that my blood pressure would go down forty points if you would immolate yourself. Jump on top of that.

Voice Mail Delays: I know I’m not alone in this. On a good number of occasions, someone will call and leave me a message. Hours later, the message will finally show up in visual voicemail. Sometimes the messages are important and time sensitive. This feature is far too critical to have this kind of delay. We don’t know that Verizon wouldn’t screw this up too, but I’d be willing to give them a shot.

Buddha’s ball–sack, I barely have the will to even answer this turd. Just like with points two and three, Michael has basically restated the above point. And, in both cases, the “points” are solely based on Verizon’s patented unicorn jizzum technology.

Honestly, PC World, this exercise in anal self–abuse is a fucking embarrassment. Stop, before someone is forced to stop you.


99¢

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-31 15:21

This ain’t gonna win me any friends, but I honestly would like an answer to the question. I constantly hear iPhone developers bemoaning that they are “stuck in a 99 cent ghetto.” So, my question is: what precisely do you want Apple to do about that? Because any answer that I can think of amounts to price fixing.


Terminology

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-29 00:28

I’m going to junk punch the next whiny dolt I hear saying that “Apple killed the Google Voice app for ‘no good reason.’” You may not like it, but limiting competition is a perfectly good reason. Stop confusing your own wants with moral certitude.


Palm: Insane, or Batshit Insane?

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-24 20:00

There has always been a hint of mental illness at Palm. From their habit of breaking third party application compatibility with each hardware release, to treating expandable storage in such an incomprehensible way that I don’t think that anyone ever really figured out how it worked, to the bizarre chain of buyouts, mergers and acquisitions that make Palm’s ownership history look more complicated than the Habsburg family tree; it’s always been apparent to outside observers that there has to be something in the water over at Palm HQ. But none of Palm’s previous shenanigans holds a candle to the current whacky antics that they are displaying over the Palm Preand its Media Sync functionality.

For the uninformed: when Palm first announced the Pre, one of its highly promoted features was Media Sync. Which provided the ability for the Pre to appear as an iPod with Apple’s iTunes software. Before the first units shipped there was wild speculation regarding this feature. Was Palm working with Apple to enable this? If not, how would Apple respond?

As it turns out, Apple wasn’t working with Palm on the Media Sync feature. What was happening was that Palm was utilizing a very simple hack of the USB 2.0 specification that allowed the Pre to lie to the operating system and claim to be an iPod. All breathless claims of “monopoly” and “anticompetitive practices” aside, Apple quickly responded with a Knowledge Base article which can be tidily summed up as saying, “Don’t fuck with us. assholes.” Apple then, slightly less quickly released an update to iTunes which patched at least part of the hack that Palm was using.

Palm, with all the obnoxious tenacity of the nerdy sidekick in a John Hughes movie who can’t get it though their head that they are never, ever going to get any of that delicious Molly Ringwald poontang, released an update to the Pre’s WebOS that took the USB hack one step further. Normally at this point we’d be able to say, “ball’s in your court Apple,” and get to the profanity, but in an act of hubris of Sophoclean proportions Palm has announced that they’ve reported Apple to the USB Implementers Forum complaining that Apple is hindering interoperability. Also Palm is alleging that Apple won’t share their GI Joe figures, and that Steve Jobs keeps poking Jon Rubenstein when mommy isn’t looking.

So, now you have the background and I can get to the part of this crap that I actually enjoy.

What in the everlasting fuck is Palm thinking here? First off, complaining to the USB Implementors Forum is possibly the most whiney and ineffectual act that I have ever seen a corporation make. At the very best all that could happen is that Apple will have to remove the USB 2.0 logo from their packaging. At the very worst the USB Implementors Forum can decide that it’s Palm that’s violating the specification (hint: they are) and have them pull the USB logo. No, all this is merely posturing for the media.

Secondly, Apple has all the cards here. Apple controls iTunes and, should they choose to, they can constantly stay one step ahead of Palm. Given enough time and hardware revisions to the iPod and iPhone hardware lines, Apple can lock things down so tight that it would take DMCA violating levels of hackery to overcome. Barring that, Apple could take the simple way out and just sue Palm into oblivion. In my completely unqualified legal opinion Apple could make a decent case of trademark infringement by way of brand dilution.

The truly insane aspect of this is that all of this is completely unnecessary. Vast numbers of people, particularly Windows users, hate iTunes. I would hazard a guess that there are probably more people looking for a solution to manage their iPhones and iPods without iTunes than there are actual Pre users. And it isn’t like there aren’t legitimate ways to get content managed from within iTunes into a non-Apple device. Apple provides an iTunes Library file in XML format specifically for this. Or, let’s get really whacky here. Palm could partner with a non-iTunes provider. I’d imagine that Amazon might be receptive to overtures.

The real tragedy in all this is that it’s only the Palm Pre users who are going to suffer here. By attempting to piggy back on iTunes’ success Palm is consigning their users to become perpetual second class citizens. Always playing catchup with iTunes. Unfortunately, if this continues, Palm may very well be forced to learn a lesson that Apple learned long ago. When users of your product are hampered by issues with a thirdparty service, they rarely are willing to accept that as an excuse. The majority of Palm Pre users will not ask, “why is iTunes broken?” They will ask, “why is my Pre broken?” My advice to Palm, look at the grief that AT&T has caused Apple, and they are legitimate partners. Do you really want to be put in that position?


Stormy

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-21 16:56

I always laugh when some five or ten year transplant to Arizona starts running his or her mouth about how much worse the weather is “back home” and how they are all gods among men for their abilities to navigate in snow, sleet and hail.

I laugh because I know that they will undoubtedly be one of the first to get startled like a rabbit and run their car into an embankment at the first sign of that rare miracle that we natives like to call, “rain.”


One Small Step…

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-20 18:23

In honor of how far we came, and in light of how far we have yet to go. Here is a recording of Billy Bragg’s “The Space Race is Over.”


Lyrics

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-20 15:20

You know, no one writes decent songs about punching people in the head any more.


A Typical Day at the Office

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-19 17:57

At least the office in my mind.


Angry Mac Bastards Swag

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-17 20:48

Behold! The glory that is the Angry Mac Bastards thong!

Nah, just joshing you, but I am enjoying a frosty pint of ale from the wonderful Angry Mac Bastards beer stein. You know you fucking want one. Kudos to Melissa Findley (@Mercuralis on Twitter) for the design. It truly rocks.

AMB Swag 1

AMB Swag 2


More Feed Fuckery

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-16 19:36

While dicking around with the feeds earlier, I decided that I haven’t made enough pointless and annoying changes lately. So, we’re moving to Feedburner. The new feed links are below. Update your feed reader, or don’t, I don’t care.


Feed Issues

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-16 17:10

It’s been brought to my attention that some people aren’t getting any content in the RSS/ATOM feeds. Oddly, this only seems to affect certain feed readers. So far I can verify that Google Reader, Newsgator Online and Feed Demon exhibit the problem. Fever and Safari’s built in RSS reader are working fine. At this point I’m stumped. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know in the comments.

update: it seems the time–honored troubleshooting technique of poking at crap until something changes may have borne fruit. I’m now getting the proper display of content in every feed reader I have access to. If you’re still seeing just headlines on all the posts shoot me an email, or not, I don’t actually care.


Is Mike Arrington Still a Dick?

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-15 20:49

It’s one of the eternal questions that has vexed mankind since the dawn of civilization. Socrates pondered it. Tacitus meditated upon it. Aquinas prayed over it. Locke (the real Locke, not the gimp on the Island) debated it. Rand would have pontificated about it, but she was too busy giving a “Captain of Industry” a Rusty Trombone. What is this age–old question? Is Mike Arrington a Dick?

For the first time since matter coalesced from the energy soup that followed the Big Bang, the answer to that question has changed from “yes” to “no.” For, you see, Mike Arrington has managed to transcend the bonds of mere dickdom and has risen to new heights of douchebaggery.

Now, I was originally going to state at this point that Mike had graduated from being a dick to becoming a cunt. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that wasn’t fair—-to the cunt. See, a cunt is a wonderful thing, a useful thing. I might even go so far as to say that I love cunts. I don’t, on the other hand, love Mike Arrington. So, instead I have decided that Mike Arrington is actually a blood–flecked, tuberculitic phlegm–smear.

It’s not even the fact that Phlegminton chose to publish the stolen Twitter documents that has my spleen up. I mean, it’s Mike Arrington, did anyone think that he wouldn’t publish this crap. It’s the fact that, like all New Media Douchebags, Mike insists on trying to paint himself as some sort of hero of journalistic ethics. Even going so far as to publish his little self–fellating justification under the heading “Ethics 101.”

Really, you worthless mucosal secretion, Ethics 101? Please, oh sage, do give us your fucking wisdom. The sad thing is, I’m fairly certain that Arrington buys into his own bullshit. That, somewhere deep down, he really sees himself as some sort of bastion of journalistic integrity. Here’s a wake–up call for you, fucklenuts. Someday, a meteor is going to fall on your head, or a runaway circus elephant will trample you (because really, even as an atheist, I know that if you are as much of an utter scumbag as Mike is, someday the Universe is going to punch that karmic ticket) And on that blessed day, when you float up to the pearly gates, it won’t be the ghost of Edward R. Murrow greeting you. It’s going to be some sort of horrible rape–demon composed of the rotting corpses of William Randolph Hearst, Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Springer.

Adding insult to injury, Mucosal Mike’s justification essentially boils down to, “if we don’t publish, someone else will, so we might as well get there first.” As my friend John Welch is fond of saying, that is seventh grade logic. Just because Billy is going to hit a puppy doesn’t mean you’re morally justified in kicking a baby.

So, in order to calm down I’m going to go back to that mental image of Arrington being greeted by the Fox News Rape Demon. Enjoy the eternal sodomy you chump, at least it won’t try to shake your hand.


More on Free

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-10 17:10

Today I ran across another entry in the growing list of refutations of Chris Anderson’s Free: The Future of a Radical Price. This time it’s an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education featuring the story of Berkley Physics professor Richard A. Muller. In a nutshell, Anderson uses Muller as an example in Free of a case where web exposure (in this case YouTube videos of professor Muller’s lectures) has translated into commercial success (in this case a book deal).

The problem is, Muller doesn’t agree with Anderson’s conclusions. Muller is quoted in The Chronicle:

That is wishful thinking from someone who is trying to conclude that Webcasts lead to money, said Mr. Muller. But correlation is not causation. What Anderson says may be easy to see, but it just aint so. He is letting his hoped-for conclusion drive his analysis of events.”

The Journal then goes on to detail how Muller performed a quasi-scientific experiment to attempt to confirm Anderson’s hypothesis:

I have been personally contacted by about 1,000 people who saw my Webcasts, said the professor. When the book came out, I arranged to e-mail all of them (using Nortons account) to let them know that a book was now available. I then watched the sales very carefully. (I actually have a computer that downloads the ranking every hour from Google.) Although I had seen huge jumps in my sales when I was interviewed onNPR (3 times) or had a book review inThe Boston Globe, and a few other things, the massive e-mailing to my Web fans produced no discernible increase in sales. My conclusion: Web viewers dont buy many hardcover books.

Anderson, of course will have none of this. The Chronicle quotes him as responding:

To suggest that all Web viewers dont buy books seems premature, said Mr. Anderson in an interview with The Chronicle. He argued that the professors exposure on YouTube most likely helped the sales of his book, even if indirectly. For instance, the popularity of the videos may have made reviewers more interested in writing about the book.

If he believes theres no correlation, thats interesting, said Mr. Anderson. We have done the same type of experiments and we conclude otherwise.

Here is the hight of cybertopian douchebaggery. “I will ignore your evidence because it doesn’t fit my preconceived notions.” Sorry, Chris, this isn’t how science works. Of course, if Chris Anderson had an understanding of the Scientific Method we wouldn’t have twaddle like The Long Tailand Free to tear apart. Anderson makes two fundamental mistakes in his attempts to push his cybertopian crap. The first, Richard Muller points out above. Correlation does not causation. Chris Anderson seems incapable of grasping this fact. The second mistake that Anderson makes is thinking that the plural of “anecdote” is “data.” Anderson’s writing is chockfull of justsostories that, while they do an admirable job of making the reader feel good about whatever technoutopia Chris is pushing this week, do not serve as actual evidence of a trend. Really, it’s no better than a weight loss pill ad. Results may vary, meant for use with diet and exercise, consult your doctor before using Free.

The thing is, the above issues aren’t the most annoying part of the cybertopian menace, and here I will switch from the specific annoyance of Chris Anderson to the general mass of cybertopian dipshits. If the worst thing about the cybertopians was their sketchy grasp of science and their insistence on a wooladen worldview that would make Depak Chopra blush then we could just dismiss them. What truly rankles about the cybertopian freetards is their complete and utter inability to consider the fact that they may be wrong.

See, I couldn’t care less if someone wants to try to follow Anderson’s model and become a cyberhippie. That just leaves more filthy lucre for me. What infuriates me, and many people that I’ve discussed this issue with is Anderson and his disciples ability to blithely ignore actual content creators like Muller and just declare them wrong. To assume that, in a complicated economic system, a single model is the only valid one is sheer lunacy. To then declare the very people making money by refuting your model to be wrong borders on psychotic.


David Carr on Steve Jobs’ Health

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-06 18:36

I haven’t written about this subject of Steve Jobs’ health issues much here, mainly because the vast majority of the coverage of this issue has left me disgusted. If you’ve been following the Angry Mac Bastards podcast you know that I have been pretty vocal in my opinion that the coverage of Steve’s issues has been tabloid–tacky at best, bordering on ghoulish at worst. So image my utter joy and delight to read a column by David Carr in the New York Times agreeing with my assessment. Thanks, David, for being a voice of decency amongst a bunch of fucking vultures.

Hat tip to Daring Fireball


Sympathy for the Liver

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-02 20:25

Behold as I now attempt to relive my youth and get hammered four days in a row. Consider it my tribute to Steve Jobs’ former liver.


iPhone Test

Permalink - Posted on 2009-07-01 18:24

It looks like the Wordpress iPhone app works again. Yippie!


Malcolm Gladwell Bitchslaps Chris Anderson

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-29 19:30

Full disclosure: I have not read, and have no intention of reading Wired editor Chris Anderson’s new book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price.” This is mainly because I think that Anderson is a deluded cybertopian freetard, and I have no intention of giving money to someone who is exhorting the rest of us to give our work away for free. I’ll read Chris’s tripe the very day he decides to post it online free of charge.

Even though I don’t recommend reading Anderson’s babble, I do highly recommend reading Malcom Gladwell’s evisceration of Anderson’s “logic” in his review of the book in The New Yorker. Gladwell does an excellent job of exposing Anderson’s cybertopian fantasy for the garbage that it is.

hat tip to Daring Fireball for the link

Update: I just found out that Anderson is releasing a free edition of Free. Fuck it, it’s still tripe.


Breaking News 6-29-2009:

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-29 16:05

Scoble returns to blogging. Hasn’t found a cure for logorrhea yet.


Redundancy

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-26 15:34

Jesus Cthulhu Christ on a crispy rye cracker! Who do I have to defenestrate to get a single gods damned plugin that can a) give me a Flickr pictures widget, b) allow me to add Flickr pictures to posts without using retarded WP “shortcodes,” and d) work properly with a lightbox plugin (again without having to manually edit every bloody <img\> tag. Seriously, I have 5 fucking plugins installed to pull all that crap off. Web 2.0 my ass. More like Web Me


Today’s Round of Idiocy

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-26 02:25

I write this post with a heavy heart.

Have any of you ever been in the following situation? You know a guy. He’s a smart guy, and you agree with almost all of his opinions, but he’s done or said something so monumentally annoying that you just have to smack him around a bit for it. Well, I’ve just encountered the intertubes version of that.

So, who’s the dipshit in question? I’m glad you asked. It’s “Cousin Avi” of Veritas Nihilum Vincet.

Background time. VNV is a decent enough little blog with a decidedly progressive political bent. I’ve had it in my feed reader for some time, and I quite enjoy reading. Unfortunately, Cousin Avi is apparently as savvy about the internet as his fictional namesake is about the London mob scene.

See, this week I went ahead and switched to Shaun Inman’s nifty new feed reader Fever. For those who’ve somehow missed all the press that Fever has received over the last week, but who still managed to not piss me the fuck off, Fever uses a somewhat unique method of installation. Instead of being a application that you run from your desktop, or something that runs in the cloud (CLOUD!!!) a’la Google Reader, you install Fever to a webserver that you control. In my case the angrydrunk.com webserver.

So Fever, like all newsreaders sends a HTTP referrer string each time it connects to a blog. If you are running a blog and have access to your referrers you’ll see an entry for each connection. For example, here is an entry from my blog stats program (Mint, also by Shuan Inman)

google.com/reader/view/

Pretty simple isn’t it. It just means that a Google Reader user clicked through to a page here. An entry from a Fever user would look much the same, but since Fever runs on my webserver, the originating domain would be www.thangrydrunk.com/fever. If you click that link, since you ain’t me, you’ll see a Fever login screen.

Which brings us to Cousin Avi. My boy Avi reached the login screen, and apparently had a fucking aneurysm. Then, confused and possibly drooling, Avi pokes around the old homestead long enough to find my email address and fires off a half-assed rant at me. Back when the internet first sprang, Athena-like, from Al Gore’s noggin it was considered impolite to publicly post private emails, but fuck that shit. Avi-me-boy opens up with.

So…every once in awhile one of the “referring links” in my blog stats says “Angry drunk dot com / fever”

Slash Fever is some password protected bit of horseshit I’m not permitted to see. So it goes.

So i have a peek at Angry Drunk dot com.

I think…no, I’m certain…I am angrier.

First of all, I want to make a point. Here is a cap of the login screen for Fever:

Fever Login

It may not be obvious here, but there are no less than four links that one may click to take you to either the Fever homepage or Shaun Inman’s page. But let’s ignore that little bit of idiocy.

Avi, I’m so very fucking sorry that my little blog here upset you. No wait, I’m not. Since you didn’t feel the need to comment on any particular bit of content I’ll have to assume that you don’t like the choice of fonts. Well, fuck you. Helvetica rocks.

At this point Avi descends to the standard backup set of insults when someone can’t dredge up any sort of cogent or interesting criticism. “I’m a bigger drunk/angrier guy than you.” Whatever internet tough guy. Come out this hellish desert and I’ll drink you into a stupor, bludgeon you to death, then piss on your corpse. Two can play at the keyboard warrior schtick.

I have to admit, I lied: Avi did offer some bumbling insight into what has drawn his mighty ire.

On closer inspection, you appear to be an obsessed MAC freak. Jesus. God curses me and I reject the very premise of the obviously hateful cunt. Go figure.

You got me fucknuts, I am utterly obsessed with Media Access Control. Oh, wait, you mean “Mac” as in Macintosh computers? Well, even I admit that I do tend to write about Apple frequently, but then again, I also write about New Media Douchbags, politics and my fucked up finger. Besides what did Apple ever do to you? Did a Powerbook kill your pappy?

Avi then eventually rambles off to an mostly unsatisfactory conclusion, much like his sexual encounters I’d imagine, closing with this gem.

Still tho…what the FUCK is “/fever”?….don’t make come over there all stabby.

Like you’d know, Avi, had you spent the two fucking seconds it takes to click any of the links on the Fever page, Fever is a feed reader. Do you spazz the fuck out when you see that Google is spying on you? Hell, you probably do. And, as for the “stabby,” I have what they call around here an Evil Hand, and it’s getting bored with gutting hobos and hookers.

To conclude, if you’re into progressive politics and atheist rants read the Veritas Nihilum Vincet blog, but for the love of Zoroaster, don’t do anything to confuse or startle the mother-fucker running the joint. He might just draft a strongly worded letter at you.


Renovations

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-25 21:09

I’m playing with some new toys to let you nerds spread the gospel of angry drunkeness. Go forth my minions.


DoucheLounge

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-18 19:15

Jeremy Horowitz is seriously in the running for the Michael Arrington Award for Excellence in Self Indulgent Yellow “Journalism.”


Construction

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-11 20:52

If you were looking here while I was updating to WordPress 2.8 and fixing the resulting mess, deal with it.


WWDC 2009 Keynote Announcement Comments

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-09 19:50

The 2009 Apple World Wide Developer Conference Keynote was yesterday and Apple announced quite a few things. Here’s a compilation of my thoughts on the announcements.

Updated Notebooks

The first substantive announcement was updates to the Macbook and Macbook Pro lineups. I don’t have the patience to detail all of the changes, but you can read up on them here. The gist of the updates are: The Unibody 17, 15, and 13 inch models now all fall under the MacBook Pro label. The polycarbonate 15-inch Macbook gains an official place in the lineup. The Macbook Air gets a price drop. Firewire 800 and a Secure Digital card slot are present on all Macbook Pros, regardless of size. And finally, ExpressCard remains only on the 17-inch Macbook Pro. Notably, although not surprisingly, missing from the announcement was the long dreamed for Apple netbook.

To me, there are some interesting implications of yesterday’s notebook announcements. First, Apple has finally seen the problems inherent in maintaining a Macbook vs. Macbook Pro distinction arbitrarily based on screen size and port availability. Now it is clear that Unibody models (excepting the Air) are to be seen as “professional” machines and the polycarbonate model(s) are for consumers. Of course, one has to wonder if the polycarbonate lineup will see additional models. I think that the answer to that question is, “yes.”

Industry pundits have been clamoring for Apple to introduce a “netbook” computer. Apple’s response has consistently been that they do not think that “netbooks” are a market that they want to compete in, but they are watching the space. I too have been watching the netbook space, and I’m seeing two distinct markets being confused as one there. The first market is the segment of consumers who want a reasonably powerful notebook in the smallest form-factor available. Like it or not, Apple has addressed this market in the form of the MacBook Air. Apple has stated on more than one occasion that the Air is the smallest, most compromised notebook that they wish to produce. And, at the new $1499 entry-level price point, not horribly unreasonable.

The second “netbook” market consists of consumers who want a notebook at the cheapest possible price point. With the polycarbonate Macbook starting at $999 I see a potential move on Apple’s part into that market. While I doubt we will ever see anything like the price-points available from Dell, HP, MSI and company; I would not be surprised to see the Macbook lineup dip as low as $799 for a low-end model. The beauty of that strategy is that Apple doesn’t need to expend any R&D resources on the project. They can simply keep dropping the low-end Macbook price point as faster chips make the current offerings obsolete.

My last thought on the notebook announcements has more to do with what was removed than what was gained. Specifically, the removal of ExpressCard from the 15-inch model along with the addition of Firewire 800 to the 13-inch model and a SD slot to the entire range. I was talking to Macworld editor, and fellow Angry Mac Bastard, Peter Cohen abut the notebook changes when it occurred to me that Apple is having something of a problem defining just exactly what defines a “professional” in regards to the Macbook Pro lineup.

Professional” notebook users range from software developers, to musicians, to video engineers; and the usage patterns of each group can vary widely. I fear that, in this incarnation of the Macbook Pro, Apple has catered to the professional photography and video markets, at the expense of others. Ironically, as Peter pointed out to me, ExpressCard actually would allow the flexibility to address most of the professional markets. On the other hand, from what I’ve seen in various fora from the members of those groups, many professional consumers don’t understand that point.

MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard

As expected, Apple demoed the next version of the desktop operating system, 10.6 Snow Leopard. There were few surprises, which is a good thing. As developer Fraser Speirs wrote on Twitter: “…WWDC with no major surprises is the best WWDC.” Regardless of that the media punditocracy would like. WWDC is about developers, and springing major changes on developers there is a bad thing. Again, I’ll link to a much better review of the announcements. That being said, a few items that Apple highlighted stood out.

First, the enhanced Microsoft Exchange support will undoubtedly be welcomed by systems administrators. I know, in my company, many manager level employees have begun using their personal Macbook (Pro)s in the office. Drones like me, of course, use what we’re given. Better Exchange integration is one less reason to have to boot into Bootcamp or use Parallels/VMware. Personally, as much as it pains me to allow the company additional vectors into my life, the ability to access Exchange natively from my home iMac will actually be useful.

The second part of the Snow Leopard announcement that stuck out was the release date and pricing. Snow Leopard will be available in September with a price of $29 for those updating from Leopard. I take this as a punch in the junck to every moron analyst or pundit who has claimed that Apple is “resting on its laurels” and that Windows 7 will “blow Apple away.” The message to Microsoft is very much, “bring it on mother-fuckers.”

iPhone OS 3.0

Everyone with a functioning brain expected a iPhone OS 3.0 updated, and Apple delivered. As with Snow Leopard, there really wasn’t much announced that wasn’t expected. The big news is that we learned the release date (June 18) and that AT&T kind of sucks.

iPhone 3Gs

Only and idiot would think that Apple wasn’t going to announce new iPhone hardware. (Hi Rob!) You can read the details here, but the bottom line is that the 8 GB iPhone 3G is demoted to the newly created $99 price point and two new models were debuted. The iPhone 3GS at $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB, both in black and white. My first thought about this is: Fuck you to all the idiots who fall for the lies of their Chinese “sources.” No matte finish back and no new bezel. Secondly, these are pretty much what I expected. Major hardware changes are: an unspecified set of changes that render everything “faster” (I presume that this equates to a faster process and more memory), an incremental upgrade to operate at the maximum allowed by the current GSM 3G infrastructure, an upgraded camera and a magnetometer to allow the iPhone to act as a compass. Yay?

The big story to come out of the 3GS announcement is that the above prices are with carrier commitment and subject to carrier upgrade policies. Just like every other fucking phone sold. I have to be honest, I have never heard as much self indulgent whining as I have in the last 24 hours about this “issue.” I don’t even want to write about this any more. I’m ready to just nut-slap the next douche-bag who brings it up.

Ignoring the dipshittery about the pricing, I think that the 3GS is a nice incremental upgrade. Just enough to keep the new purchasers coming, and a very nice upgrade for the iPhone 2G users who are now just coming out of their contracts. Me, I’ll probably wait for the inevitable iPhone 4G coming next June.

That Which Was Not to Be

Of course, the usual hydrocephalic members of the New Media Douchebag punditocracy were convinced that Apple was going to announce some sort of 10-inch netbook/tablet/marital aid. The main driver of this meme, other than Mike Arrington’s fevered masturbation sessions, was the usual anonymous Chinese “sources.” Get a clue fuck-wits. Me Chinese, me play joke, me make up stupid rumor and laugh at gullible round-eye. When Apple chooses to introduce a potentially game-changing new device, I guarantee it won’t be to an audience of developers. I will be at a special media event possibly hosted by a unicorn.

Speaking of mythical presenters. There was a small, but vocal, band of retards who though that His Steveness was going to make a surprise appearance. Sorry dipshits, this is the new Apple. When they say that Steve will return at the end of June, they mean the end of June. Deal with it.

So, there you go. All in all a decent WWDC keynote. And I didn’t once try to throttle the monkeys at Douchegadget though the screen.


iPhone 3GS

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-08 21:34

So yeah, nice update, but I think I’ll wait. Here’s the logic. Currently my AT&T account page shows that I’ll be eligible for a discounted upgrade from my iPhone 3G on December 23rd. I don’t see any reason why that policy would change. Next, Apple has now consistently upgraded the iPhone 1 year after the release of the previous model. I think I can wait six months to see what 2010’s iPhone model has to offer. Early prediction 64GB memory top end and the newly rolled out 4G network. Which may also mean independence from AT&T, not that Verizon is any better.


Euphemisms

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-04 16:19

As I read the Palm Pre review at Engadget, I’m laughing my ass off at the linguistic contortions they go through to make sure they always write “web standards” when they really mean “Javascript and CSS.”


Gimp Hand Update 6-1-2009

Permalink - Posted on 2009-06-02 02:11

It’s been a while since I’ve regaled you with pictures of my finger. Behold what almost 2 months of healing hath accomplished. Considerably less disturbing pictures after the jump.

Gimp Hand 6-1-2009 Dorsal

Gimp Hand 6-1-2009 Ventral

Gimp Hand 6-1-2009 Tip

Flickr Set


App Store Follies

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-29 17:01

Pretty much every time that news breaks regarding yet another fuckup with the iPhone App Store approval process I get a slew of emails and tweets prompting me to opine on the subject. In general I haven’t done so, not because I don’t have an opinion on the subject, but because I fear that my opinion would not be well understood. Nonetheless, I’m going to take the time now to lay out my thoughts on the whole sad, sorry affair.

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball published a piece today titled Excerpts From the Diary of an App Store Reviewer. It’s funny, with John’s characteristic dry wit. It’s also wrong.

As an aside, I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not claiming any special knowledge regarding this situation, and I don’t think that John is either. I’m merely speculating based on what I’ve seen in the last year, and my own experience with similar processes at other companies.

John seems to argue, in his humorous way, that the core issue with the App Store approval debacles is the individual reviewers acting capricious for their own personal reasons. He writes:

I could read that over and over. It’s like the voice of a robot. The voice of authority. The voice of authoritative robots.

I feel a surge sending it. I can imagine that for the developer on the other end the experience must be like that of speaking to a wall. A monolith. But it’s a wall that might actually be listening. That on the other side of the wall might be — must be, no? — a human being, an at least reasonably smart late-20s/early-30s guy with a B.S. in comp sci who grew up in the same culture, shares the same interests. Someone who in broad demographic terms is more or less exactly like him. Someone whom he could not just relate to but reason with. Someone who, if presented with the simple facts, would surely see the absurdity of the stated reasons behind this app’s rejection. … Rejecting all of them, consistently, would in fact be no good at all. The feeling of being part of the monolith — of being the monolith — really only surges when I use my position to act capriciously.

To act fairly would be to follow the rules. To act capriciously is to be the rules.

This is where John and I must part ways. Where John, and his imagined developer imagine the App Store reviewer to be a guy “more or less exactly like him” I make a very different assumption.

My view of our imaginary reviewer is much the same as that expressed by Mark Damon Hughes in his Twitter response to John’s article:

@gruber I love the app store reviewer diary, but the plodding, methodical, unthinking, rigid rules behavior? Classic Indian outsource work.

While I don’t agree that the behavior we’ve seen from the App Store review process is necessarily indicative of Indian, or even outsourced work, it is very indicative of the call center mentality.

The vast majority of people who have commented on the App Store approval process, discounting the talking heads of the New Media Douchebag echosphere, have been current or former software developers or IT professionals. It is natural for them, like John’s fictional developer to imagine that the reviewers should be people like them. I, on the other hand, have my roots firmly in the land of call center operations, and I can tell you that the people that man the cube-farms are as vastly different from software developers and IT pros as they are from Manhattan socialites.

It wasn’t always this way, but for the most part now your average cube farmer is a mindless drone who is actively discouraged from ever applying his or her own critical thinking to a situation. He or she is given a set of guidelines to follow, and if you can’t resolve the issue using them in the alloted time then you ditch the issue using any means available.

The problem is that, while the vast majority of App Store submission decisions are no brainers (and let’s be honest, the percentage of questionable rejections that are generating this conversation is vanishingly small), the difficult cases are, to be blunt, difficult. So, when a developer submits an app that triggers review based on the guidelines that Apple has provided, it may land in the queue of someone with some critical thinking skills and be approved, or it may land in the queue of someone who slavishly follows the rules to the letter. Even worse, an app that made the cut when first submitted will almost certainly be reviewed by a different person when being updated, with potentially disastrous results.

So, what’s to be done? First I have to repeat that everything that I wrote above is pure speculation, I could very well be wrong about this. Second I want to emphasize that I’ve written this not to absolve Apple of the problem, but to help the developers out there understand just why it seems that Apple is acting like a spastic crack monkey. Given that, here are my recommendations to Apple:

  1. If this review process is, in fact, being handled by outsourced labor bring that shit back in house! Outsource may be cheaper, but this process is too important to leave to third parties.
  2. Attach some identifying information to the App Store rejection letters. Part of the frustration of the rejection process is the anonymity of the reviewers. Developers have no idea if their app is being reviewed by one person or a multitude.
  3. Publish clear approval/rejection guidelines with specific examples of what may or may not trigger rejection.
  4. Create and adequately staff an appeals queue, and make it clear to developers when they are communicating with the front line monkeys as opposed to the  higher-ups.
  5. Create a process for devs to obtain a provisional “pre-approval” for apps. I agree with the devs who are complaining that it’s unfair for them to commit resources to an application that may be rejected.
  6. Fire whoever at Apple owns this process. A year is too long for something like this to be publicly broken.

So, there you have it. My perspective on the situation from someone who’s done time in the trenches. I may be wrong, but I’m betting I’m right.


Camera

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-29 04:51

I may expound on this later, but I just purchased a Canon PowerShot SD960 IS, and I’m loving it. Replaces my old A520 handily and also eliminates any need to by a Flip camcorder. Convergence for the win.


Honesty

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-27 21:07

This one goes out to my Republican friends.

Just get it over with and call Sonia Sotomayor a “spic bitch” and be done with it. You know you want to, and it might stave off the aneurysm that you’re working up to.


Memorial Day

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-25 19:47

There is much that I could say regarding the state of our armed forces, the way in which we treat our veterans, and the decisions that have led us to where we are now; but I wont.

Instead let’s take this time to honor the the men and women who have, and who continue to serve in defense of this country. Thank you.


FAQ: Coping With an Evil Hand

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-21 21:11

It’s time for me to give back to the community. So I’m going to provide some information about a condition that has affected me personally, and probably has affected many of my readers: Evil Hand Disorder (EHD). EHD is a very personal disorder, so I’d like to thank the many anonymous contributors to this F.A.Q. Their courage is inspiring.

What is Evil Hand Disorder?

Evil Hand Disorder is the generic term for a variety of conditions in which an individual’s hand takes on an independent personality, by definition an evil personality. It should be noted that the independent personality manifested by the hand must be a least ten percent more evil that the original host personality to be classified as Evil Hand Disorder. If the entire composite organism is equally evil, then the individual has a condition knows as “being a fucking asshole.”

What causes evil hand disorder?

Evil Hand Disorder can be caused by many different things. Among them:

  • Psychotic breakdown
  • Transplant from a serial killer
  • Absorbing a twin while in the womb
  • Gypsy curse
  • Demonicpossession
  • Science run amok

It is important to note that the specific cause of the evil hand will directly affect the way in which it manifests. This F.A.Q. will mainly deal with the common issues.

Will my evil hand try to kill me?

In most cases, no, your evil hand will not actively attempt to slay you. The major exception to this rule is some forms of Gypsy curse where the goal of the curse is to inflict a maximum degree of suffering upon the cursed individual before their horrific demise. In general though, your evil hand has a vested interest in maintaining the health of the “host” individual.

Will my evil hand kill other people?

Oh fuck yes it will. This is basically all evil hands do. Think about it, what else does an evil hand get to do with its time? It can’t eat. It can’t talk. It can indulge in only the most rudimentary forms of sex. Additionally, the average evil hand only has the mental development of a three-year old child, or a small marmoset. They are highly emotional and rarely rational. If you have an evil hand, prepare to learn how to hide a corpse.

How can I peacefully coexist with my evil hand?

First, if your evil hand is the product of a malicious Gypsy curse then you are fucked. You might as well kill yourself now. In other cases, the key to maintaining a harmonious relationship with your evil hand are is observing the “Three Cs”

  • Communication
  • Compromise
  • Concealment

Communication is the first step to having a healthy relationship with your evil hand. Often, the first impulse that someone diagnosed with EHD has is to ignore it. The urge to pretend that your new companion for life doesn’t exist can be very strong. You must overcome that impulse and engage in an open and honest dialog with your appendage.

Compromise is the heart of a healthy relationship with your evil hand. Establish clear and firm boundaries regarding who your hand may kill, and when it may manifest itself. Many an individual with EHD has failed to establish proper boundaries with their hand, only to wake up in a pool of their significant other’s blood. don’t let this happen to you. In the same token, recognize that your hand has needs too. You may find hacking hobos and prostitutes into a fine mince distasteful, but that is the sweet, sweet release that allows an evil hand to make it through the day. Seriously, it’s like evil hand heroin.

For the love of Satan, don’t let anyone ever discover that you have an evil hand! It may be tempting to seek the advice of a family doctor, the scientific community or a member of the clergy, but please reconsider. The most common result will be incarceration, vivisection, or burning at the stake.

It may be tempting to attempt to remove your evil hand, possibly via the use of a table saw or large axe. Don’t attempt this! At best your evil hand will sense your intentions and rebel. At worst you will succeed and your hand will take on an independent existence. If you thought your hand was evil now, wait until you’ve cut its feet off.

Can I have sex with my evil hand?

I wouldn’t advise it, and you are a sick mother-fucker for thinking of it. In all seriousness, you would willingly allow something called an “evil hand” near your genitals? Go play in traffic, you’ll have better odds.

Closing thoughts:

I hope that you have found the answers above useful. Remember that, with a little care and understanding, having an evil hand can be a rich and rewarding experience. The best of luck to you both.


Comparisons

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-20 16:22

The technopunditocracy insists on vomiting forth articles about how the iPhone 3G’s camera compares “unfavorably” with point-and-shoot cameras. But I ask you, where are the articles pointing out the lousy quality of the average point-and-shoot camera’s cell reception compared with the iPhone?


Campaign Promise

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-18 00:44

Somewhere along the line in my diabolical plot to become dictator of the world I will introduce a bill in Congress titled The Internet and Water-Cooler Discourse Reclamation Act. The act will mandate that all citizens take a basic comprehension test. Those that fail will be implanted with a chip that allows then to only view reality television. That way I don’t have to read or listen to people inanely debating what happened on the season finale of Lost.


New Feed Links

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-16 21:12

Just for kicks I’ve enabled separate feed links based on content types. The available feeds are:

  • All content
  • Just posts
  • Blurbs (the trivial crap that show up in the blue boxes)
  • Angry Mac Bastards Podcast Updates
  • Disqus Comments

You can find the feed links in the right hand sidebar.


Twitnews

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-15 19:32

I may, or may not, expand on this later. But just let me say, watching the whole damn Twitterverse shit themselves over a year old story completely validates every criticism I’ve made about Web 2.0. Thanks fucktards.


A Sad Day For Obama

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-13 18:51

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M - Th 11p / 10c
Arizona State Snubs Obama
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor

As a proud drop-out of the “institution” in question I have to say, I truly doubt that the big O is shedding any tears about this one. I also have to disagree with the implication that this was a racially based decision. The truth is, knowing ASU President Michael Crow, Obama just didn’t offer a big enough bribe.


Spoilers

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-12 16:11

Saw Star Trek last night. I’m so pissed that they changed it so that Kahn shoots first; that totally pussifies Kirk’s character. And replacing the ghost of Sarek with Hayden Christensen? What the fuck Abrams?


Gimp Hand Update - 5-9-2009

Permalink - Posted on 2009-05-09 20:08

Ok boys and ghouls, these things are starting to annoy me almost as much as they are probably annoying you, so this is the last update about my hand for a while. Enjoy the pictures after the fold and keep the comments about my flaky skin to a minimum; you try keeping a digit under a bandage 23 hours a day and see if you don’t need a little moisturizing.

Gimp Hand 5-9-2009 Reference

Gimp Hand 5-9-2009 Dorsal

Gimp Hand 5-9-2009 Ventral

Gimp Hand 5-9-2009 Tip

Flickr Set


Gimp Hand Update - 4/29/2009

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-30 05:11

For this week’s installment I get that gods damned split off for good!! See the slightly less disgusting pictures below the fold.

Gimp Hand 4-29-2009 Ventral

Gimp Hand 4-29-2009 Dorsal

Gimp Hand 4-29-2009 Bandaged 2

Gimp Hand 4-29-2009 Bandaged

Flickr Set


Rob Enderle: A Douche for All Seasons

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-28 17:20

I don’t often bag on Rob Enderle. I mean, where’s the sport in picking apart the scribblings of a guy who looks like your creepy uncle, and who would write an article comparing his own mother to Satan if you greased his palm sufficiently? Nonetheless, Rob’s latest idiotic screed is something that I can’t pass by. So, let’s fire up the RantoMatic 5000 and get down to business.

I’d like to dissect Rob’s article argument by argument. Unfortunately Rob neglected to actually make any arguments. Instead, what we have is a loosely strung together collection of mini-rants, inexplicable links, pathetic attempts at wit, and a bizarre audition for work at Fox News. So, in lieu of a proper tear-down, I’ll settle for pointing out some of the more inane pieces.

All shitty articles start with a shitty headline, and this turd is no exception.

Apple Shakes Baby, Kills Freedom of Speech

You see, what prompted Rob to go into a frenzy was the recent “Baby Shaker” iPhone app incident. I think. It’s really hard to understand the gibberish that Rob spews onto the screen. You see, last week Apple shook a baby to death. Then for a followup they repealed the First Amendment. Or not. In reality, maybe Apple allowed an app of admittedly questionable taste to make it into the App Store, and, when the pro-infant contingent started whining about it, pulled the app. At any rate, Rob’s angry about it.

Rob’s tenuous grasp on reality is further reflected in the lead.

Apple may be a genius when it comes to branding its products, but when it comes to public relations, the company is in a dead heat with Google for the crown of worst company in the world. Google looked to be the winner when its Street View team was run out of town by angry Brits, but Apple quickly one-upped it with its all-around bad judgment over the notorious “baby shaker” app for the iPhone.

Um, yeah, Apple and Google, the two companies in the world with the worst PR ever. I’ll just leave that one to fester.

Moving on to the next paragraph.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was having a good month until last week. Sales were up explosively — at least, for the iPhone and iPod — but all of that good news was trashed when the company first allowed a questionable application onto the iPhone and then killed it without explanation. Already, the tone surrounding Apple appears to be changing.

Yup, everything Apple has accomplished in 30 odd years of business has been destroyed by one iPhone joke app. Developers, your power has never been so great! Even worse, the last word in the paragraph, “changing,” is a link to some asinine ZDoucheNet story about how the MacBook Air doesn’t compete with some shit-ass netbook. I guess the actual relevance of the link doesn’t matter as long as the fucks who provide Rob with his cocaine supply get the Google juice.

From there Rob continues his decent into madness. As far as I can tell, the Dipshit King seems to think that Baby Shaker was some sort of avante garde message about the dangers of Baby Shaking (and believe me, I wish someone had warned me about baby shaking before I blew out my rotator cuff). I can’t say for sure that that’s what Rob’s on about, because reading his “argument” makes my head swim.

For the sake of giving you pricks the same headache I have, here’s a choice quote.

Going to the core of all of this is free speech and censorship. In this instance, there may be — and I stress “may,” because I have no idea why this thing actually exists — two groups focused on doing the same good deed, while disagreeing as to the method. In choosing one side, Apple effectively entered as censor with a possible adverse impact: That one life that might have been saved will now be lost. It appears that both the initial acceptance and later removal of the application came without any deep review.

What in Baal’s name does that even mean? Seriously, one thousand quatloos for the person who can parse that paragraph.

At this point, things get weird. Rob, who is apparently looking to branch out from his job sucking Steve Balmer’s cock to sucking Rupert Murdoch’s cock uses this drivel to attack Al Gore.

Why this is a problem for Al Gore is that the Democratic Party — the one he belongs to — tends to aggressively defend free speech and has supported aggressive anti—-smoking efforts in the past that could potentially be viewed as bearing similarities to the current controversy. With a Nobel Prize, the expectation is that Gore would play a significant role when issues like this arise.

You read it right childrens, Al Gore is responsible for App Store approvals. The words, they fail me.

There really isn’t much else to say about this one. Everyone knows that Rob Enderle is the shillingest of paid shills, but I have to believe that he did this one off the clock. There couldn’t be anyone retarded enough to pay for a combined Apple/Democrat hit piece based on an iPhone joke app. Could there be? As a special bonus, do read the comments to the original piece Rob’s replies to the criticism are just precious.


Stitch

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-22 23:41

Got my stitches out today, and back into the splint o’ doom I go. No pictures for you.


Gimp Hand The Movie II: Electric Boogaloo

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-20 00:14

Gimp Hand 4-19-2009 from Darby Lines on Vimeo.

Well, you depraved fuckers seemed to enjoy my last percocet induced ramblings. Here’s part two.


Gimp Hand Update - 4/15/2009

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-16 01:30

It boggles my mind, but some of you sick fucks seem to enjoy these pictures. Whatever blows your skirt up.

Gimp Hand 4-15-2009 Bandaged 2

Gimp Hand 4-15-2009 Bandaged 1

Gimp Hand 4-5-2009 Dorsal

Gimp Hand 4-15-2009 Ventral

Flickr Set


Gimp Hand - The Movie

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-12 21:46

Gimp Hand 4-12-2009 from Darby Lines on Vimeo.

I’ve been wanting to play around with some video, and what better way than to horrify people with my ugly mug and hideous hand. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll crap your pants.


Night Out to Nightmare in Thirty Seconds.

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-10 18:20

If you follow me on Twitter, or Facebook or even just particularly pay attention to this site you should know by now that I massively fucked up my hand last weekend. Since then, I have received numerous requests to explain just what the hell happened. I do appreciate the concern (or just sick curiosity) but I haven’t really felt up to the task of typing this all out until now. I’m going to make this fairly brief, since the act of typing is excruciatingly painful. I’m also going to omit specific names and locations. If you already know the whos and wheres, nifty. If not they won’t add to the story.

The story begins last Saturday night. I was drinking at a local bar with a good friend of mine. Nothing out of the ordinary. As I was drinking I noticed that there was something not quite right with my barstool. For those not in the know, the stools at this particular joint are basically a welded steel frame with a cheap seat bolted to the top. What I was noticing was that it seemed that the upholstery of my stool was coming unfastened. What I didn’t know was that the reality was much more dangerous.

At about eleven o’clock I returned from the pisser and went to sit down. As I did so, I grabbed the seat of the barstool to hitch it forward. Unknown to me, the seat itself separated from the frame, and approximately one centimeter of my left ring finger slipped between the frame and the seat. When my (not inconsiderable) weight came down on the seat my finger was trapped between the plywood seat and the steel frame.

At that point I felt the worst “pinch” I have ever experienced. I wrenched my finger loose and immediately clutched it in my left hand. My companion turned to me to ask what was wrong just as I took a look a quick look at my finger. I expected to see a possibly bruised fingertip; maybe even a broken nail. Instead I was greeted by a ragged lump of torn flesh with bone sticking out. Not pleasant, I assure you. Fortunately my body goes into shock quickly. So instead of passing out like I wanted to, I whipped a napkin off of the bad and clamped it around my finger. Turning to the bartender I said, “I need an ambulance.”

To turn a hellishly long story short, the EMTs arrived, quickly bandaged my hand and began a search for the missing fingertip, which they eventually found still wedged in the barstool. I was then transported to a local hospital where it was determined that the finger was not a candidate for reattachment. A surgeon was contacted, who decided that he could repair the damage with outpatient surgery (which I had Tuesday) and I was released. All through this my companion remained with me until my family proper could be contacted, which undoubtedly allowed me to retain what sanity I had left at that point.

So that’s the story so far. I won’t know until my followup exam exactly how much finger was lost, although a good centimeter seems likely. Also unknown at this point is the status of my fingernail re-growth. The surgeon was optimistic but not definitive.

There you have it, now I need to take some drugs.


Gimp Hand

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-08 14:57

For the morbidly curious:

![Gimp Hand 1][]

Yes children, under all that gauze is slightly less than one ring finger.

Flickr Set

[![Gimp Hand 1][]]: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3328/3424237448_34d719bd1d.jpg


Gimp

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-08 00:05

Quick note for those who don’t already know. On Saturday night I was in an accident that claimed about one centimeter from the tip of my left ring finger.

Updates will be a bit sparse while I join Rush Limbaugh in the sweet release of Oxycontin.


What Should Steve Jobs Do?

Permalink - Posted on 2009-04-01 20:13

Oh Lordy did my man Shawn King stir up a nest of MacMacs with his opinion piece today titled Steve Jobs Should Not Come Back to Apple. And, since it’s not in my nature to let any decent shit-storm remain unstirred, I think I’ll add my two cents.

First though. fair warning to those who only read this blog to see me froth at the mouth and call people “cum guzzling ass weasels.” Since Shawn is one of the vanishingly few writers on the whole gods damned Internet who’s capable of stringing together more than one cogent thought without resorting to a cornucopia of logical fallacies and link-baiting idiocy, I’m inclined to engage in actual discourse. Yeah, I’m disappointed too.

Anywho, moving on to matter at hand.

Shawn makes two propositions in the article. First, that Apple does not need Steve Jobs as CEO, and second, that Steve Jobs would be better served by not returning in that capacity.

On the first proposition, you will hear no argument from me. I’ve always maintained that the sturm und drang from the so-called “media” regarding Steve’s health and his role within Apple was absolute idiocy. To quote Shawn:

Tim Cook, from all outward appearances, has done his usual calm, cool and collected job as the replacement CEO as he has in the past as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. We have not heard one single word questioning his ability to lead Apple through not only the internal turmoil Jobs’ absence may have caused but also the external turmoil of the world economy at large.

Cook’s leadership seems to have calmed investor’s fears regarding the company. The stock has closed above US\$100 for the past week with no signs of collapse on the horizon. Developers are pleased with the course of the iPhone 3.0 software announcements, due later this summer, and Snow Leopard is making steady progress.

I couldn’t say it better myself. Although, I probably would have used the word “fuck” more often.

To the second proposition, let me quote Shawn, then I’ll opine.

So while Jobs may want to run the company, he doesn’t need to.

Wouldn’t Jobs be happier as a “Big Picture Guy?” A guy who doesn’t need to deal with the minutiae of the day to day operations of the company. Doesn’t need to deal with the media’s seeming obsession with his health, his wardrobe, or where he parks. A guy who can focus, behind the scenes, on creating the next Great Product for one of the most remarkable companies in the world.

Why come back and subject himself to all of us peons questioning him, second guessing him, prying into his private life and his health? Why not be a “behind the scenes advisor” or even the company’s official “Chief Idea Officer?” After all, it seems like he’s already doing something similar. He said in his January letter, “As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out.” Does anyone believe that Jobs is completely hands off during his recuperation?

Once again, I’m going to agree with Shawn. Steve Jobs would a much more valuable asset to Apple in some sort of “Wise Aged Elder” role following the lead of Bill Gates at Microsoft. Here, though is where I somewhat disagree with Shawn. While I agree with Shawn’s assessment, I’m basing my recommendation as to what Apple should do on one simple fact. Steve Jobs is an arrogant mofo, who can hold a grudge like no one else.

Why is that a factor? Well, let’s cast our memory back to the days of yore. Once, long ago Steve Jobs allowed himself to take the role of the “idea guy” while someone with, putatively, more business acumen took the CEO role. And, what happened boys and girls? That’s right, Steve got booted the fuck out of the company, and a series of “business guys” proceeded to run Apple straight into the ground. I honestly believe that Steve Jobs will never willingly let go of control of Apple again.

So, given that, here’s what I thing that Apple and Steve should do.

When Steve’s health permits, he should return to Apple in all the ostentatious glory that the MacMacs demand. I mean call a special media event. Have Steve ride into the auditorium on a white stallion. Fuck, have him descend bodily from heaven. Go absolutely fucking nuts with it. Hell, announce a netbook while you’re at it. Then, once everyone has been duly schooled that “the Steve” is back on the job never let him out in public again, with one exception.

And what is that exception you ask? Simple, Steve should still appear at the yearly shareholder meetings and be present (but silent) during the quarterly earnings calls. That way, none of the Jim Cramer wannabe slug-fuckers in the financial “press” can try to spin that Steve is not running the show.

Let the MacMacs howl, it’s what they’re good at anyway.


Glee

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-31 22:56

Given the self-righteous bullshit spewed by the Google fanbois over how “open” Google is compared with Apple, this fills my dark heart with glee.


The Rude Pundit Responds To The AIG Douchenozzle

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-26 19:03

If you’re not reading The Rude Pundit, then you fucking should be. Case in point: this masterful response to the self-serving, whiny “resignation” letter from some dumb goat-fucker at AIG. It’s a glorious exercise in rage and profanity.

And, yes, I do politics from time to time. Fucking deal with it.


Scott Moritz: Idiotic Douchebag Or Moronic Cock-sucker? You Decide

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-24 16:31

Jesus fuck me Christ! I’ve read some stupid crap, from some stupid fucking “writers” over the years, but the unadulterated shit that Scott Moritz spews out has got to take the cake. Seriously, if you are stupid enough to make a single stock trade based on the tripe that this Uncle Fester looking douche-nozzle vomits forth you deserve to not only lose your money, but to be drug out onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and shot in the head.

Last week we had this idiotic turd of an article reporting on the iPhone 3.0 preview event. Here’s a clue Scott. When you can’t even get the basic facts of the fucking story correct, you should probably just go hang yourself. Hint, the iPhone push notification service isn’t being provided by Meebo you fuckwad.

But Scott isn’t content to just be a talentless inattentive hack. No, he’s going for the gold with this unfathomably insane piece of drivel. I’ll start with the headline itself.

Apple’s Netbook Foray Will Flop

Think about that for a second. Really let it roll around in your head. Yes, Scott (I shave my head so I look like my hero Jim Cramer) Moritz is really, honestly writing an article to predict that a product that Apple has not announced in any way shape or form will fail. Hey, Scott, if your crystal ball is so fucking powerful, why didn’t you tell Jimmy not to go on The Daily Show, huh?

I could dissect this steaming mass of chimp feces line by line, but gods know I have more important things to do with my time (my mid-morning gin infusion is due soon). So, instead I’ll be a nice guy and offer Scott some heart-felt advice. I know that it’s hard to focus when you have Jim Cramer’s cock rammed firmly up your ass and he keeps slapping your bald noggin screaming, “BUY BUY BUY.” But please, for the love of all that’s holy, try and pay some attention to the shit your writing. For the sake of my sanity if nothing else.


Well…

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-19 21:52

that settles it. I’m no longer in the market for an AppleTV. MacMini HTPC here we come.


Jimmy Crack Mac And I Don’t Care

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-19 20:46

So, CanSecWest ran another one of their “crack shit and we give you prizes” contests and surprise, surprise, the MacBook got cracked.

Ok, before we get this ball rolling let me make something clear. I’m not a security expert. I’m not looking at this as a security expert. I’ll leave that to people much smarter than me. So, having said that, anyone who attempts to question my security expertise in way of rebuttal will be shot.

I hate these sort of competitions, because they are just theater. And, while one could make the argument that competitions like this help spread awareness about computer security, I’d argue that they don’t. Here’s why.

The problem with competitions like this is that the tech media, and the hordes of mouth breathing commenters / forum retards never seem to take away the important message. Instead we usually get breathless hyperbole (note, I’m specifically not accusing Macworld of that. I linked to them because they were the first story about this that I had open).

Whenever one of these stories breaks, you can be assured that the bulk of the responses will generally fall into one of two buckets.

The MacMacs will inevitably come out of the woodwork to point out every tiny flaw and niggle in the report. In this case the going meme seems to be: “Well, since this exploit required a user to click a link it really isn’t that bad.” Look, chuckle-nuts, it’s a fucking exploit, Apple needs to fix it. Get over it.

Which leads us to the anything but MacMac zealots (Linux, Windows, BlackBerry, take your pick). They, of course, will immediately begin their chants of “Ha ha the MacBook got cracked. I hate you Apple pricks.” All the time ignoring the fact that everything gets cracked.

The only one hundred percent secure system is one that doesn’t interface with the outside world in any way. Exploits happen, and the goal shouldn’t be to use their existence or lack thereof as a marketing tool (and yes, I’m calling Apple out on that point as well). The goal should be to patch the exploits that are there now, and work to prevent future ones from occurring. Unfortunately, theatrics like the PWN2OWN competition do not foster that mindset.


iPhone 3.0

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-18 16:40

The short story is, I’m impressed. I’m also honestly surprised that Apple went ahead and addressed the sheer number of whiny nerd complaints that they did. More commentary, and commentary about the commentary to come.


A History Lesson For The Freetards

Permalink - Posted on 2009-03-04 20:27

A few days ago my esteemed comrade John Welch wrote up a very insightful post about the issues surrounding the Amazon Kindle’s text to speech features and Author’s Guild response. I’m not going to revisit the specifics of the situation. If you’re unaware of them go and read John’s post, but I did want to add some of my thoughts in the form of a historical parallel that seems to be getting missed in the discussion so far.

Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale…

Harken back to a distant time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, crappy synth-pop filled the airwaves, and the internet was merely a gleam in Al Gores eye. Yes my children, I’m talking about the 1980s. It was during this quaint time that a new technology was tearing a new asshole through the entertainment world. That technology was home video, specifically the VHS player.

Prior to this world-changing advance, if you wanted to watch a movie or television show you watched it where and when the studio or network told you to. And we liked it dad gummit! But suddenly, with the rapidly gaining acceptance of the VHS player, the possibility of a content provider releasing a recorded version of a movie or television show for later viewing was real (although the networks were later to the party and never really embraced distributing television shows on VHS due to the space limitations).

Note though, I’m not *not not talking about the use of videotape by consumers to record shows on their own. The content providers hated this and it isn’t germane to my point.

Before I continue I want to take a brief digression into the world of how content producers (not distributors) are compensated. Say I write a screenplay, I now own the copyright to that work (regardless of what the freetards think of copyright) and I and I alone get to determine how that work is reproduced and distributed. Of course, that’s the idealist situation. The truth is (and this was even more true pre-internet) if I want to get paid for my work I’m going to need to work with some sort of content distributor. In the case of this parable the distributors are the movie studios and television networks. So what I do is I sell “rights” to have my work used and reproduced.

The thing is, all this gets very complicated; so what I do is I join a union like the Writer’s Guild of America that negotiates standard rights agreements between its members and the various content distributors. So, based on the standard agreement, when my screenplay become the next summer blockbuster I get x percentage of the profits. When it makes money overseas I get y percentage. When it plays as ABC’s movie of the week I get z percentage. And so forth, all the way down to the pittance I get when it plays at three o’clock in the morning on some no-network local UHF station.

Then VHS came along, and during the next round of negotiations between the WGA and the studios a rate was negotiated. And here is where it gets interesting. Faced with the first real technological innovation in the home entertainment market in decades, the studios decided that they didn’t want to pay all that much for the video distribution rights. To be sure they had some compelling arguments. “VHS costs a lot to produce, we need to recoup those losses.” And, “This is experimental technology, we’re not sure that it will take off.” Both reasons were true at the time, and the studios promised that they would revisit the rate later and increase it if warranted.

Of course, they never, ever did.

So, time went on and in the 1990s a new technological advance was poised to remake the home entertainment landscape, DVD. With DVDs vast increase in storage space came several new possibilities. First, it finally became feasible to the television studios to jump on the bandwagon. It was much easier to sell a season of a show on 2 or 3 DVDs as opposed to upwards of a dozen VHS tapes. The second new possibility that is important to this tale is “bonus material.” One of the initial key selling points of DVD over VHS to the consumer was the presence of bonus material: director and cast commentary, “making of” documentaries, you name it.

In time the next round of WGA negotiations came around and a rate for DVD sales was negotiated. But the studios, being what they are stiffed the content producers again. “DVD costs a lot to produce, we need to recoup those losses,” they said. And, “This is experimental technology, we’re not sure that it will take off. We’ll revisit the rates once this becomes a proven technology.” Hey, that sounds familiar. And about the bonus materials? “Consider those marketing materials,” the studios said, “producing them makes you money.” So, once again the content distributors used the fact that a technology was “unproven” to stiff the people who actually produce the content.

To provide a brief coda to this story before moving on to how it applies to the Kindle. In 2007 the studios tried a third time to play the “it’s unproven we don’t want to pay you for it, besides it provides you exposure” card. This time in relation to the growing trend of providing online supplements to television shows and movies aka “webisodes.” Having finally been burned enough times the WGA went on strike and forced a good-faith negotiation.

eBook Text To Speech is the New VHS

Nah, it probably isn’t, but the parallel is there. What the vast internet retardotron is missing, and sadly what authors like Neil Gaiman are missing in this is it isn’t a case of the evil content publishers preventing the downtrodden consumer from exercising their supposed “rights.” The danger here isn’t that I will avoid paying for a proper audiobook rendition of Coraline, it’s that I won’t even have that option. The danger is that the publisher, in their constant quest to save a buck won’t even buy the audiobook rights from Mr. Gaiman. Instead they will buy the ebook rights knowing that the text to speech option is “good enough.”

The sad thing is, the Author’s Guild is in danger of being taken just as badly as the WGA was. Instead of attacking Amazon over the technology; they need to immediately, and forcefully begin action to negotiate new agreements that prevent the publishers from slipping text to speech in the backdoor. Don’t rely on the fact that the mainstream technology is ass now. As the WGA parable shows us, technology advances, but once rights are negotiated away they’re damned hard to get back.


Techcrunch Is Full of Shit

Permalink - Posted on 2009-02-23 20:06


Scoble Just Doesn’t Get It

Permalink - Posted on 2009-02-18 21:37

Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly a shocking revelation; but every now and then Scoble comes up with something that makes even a battle hardened veteran of the New Media Douchewars like myself sit back, shake my head, and go “huwazat‽”

In this particular instance it’s a bit that Robert wrote regarding the Facebook Terms of Service Copyright Landgrab. Linky here. Here’s a quick review, for those of you with actual things to do with your time. Recently Facebook posted a change to their Terms of Service that said, in essence, you are giving them a permanent and irrevocable license to all content that you post to Facebook and that Facebook can effectively use that content in any way they see fit.

I’m not going to comment on the specifics of the situation; mainly because I don’t care, and this sort of crap is exactly what I expect of an outfit like Facebook. But I am going to comment on Robert’s reaction; because I think that reaction is a prime example of what most of us already know: Robert Scoble is completely out of touch with reality.

Robert’s reaction can be summed up in one quote from the article:

Truth is it doesn’t matter.

Robert’s inability to grasp the issues here is manifest in two distinct ways. I’ll address each separately.

Social Networking Does Not Equal Marketing.

Social Networking is not Marketing; but the inability to grasp that fact is the defining characteristic of the New Media Douchebag. To a NMD like Scoble, every interaction; from posting a Twitter update, to talking to a person in a bar, to uploading a picture of their cat is an opportunity to promote the semi-mythical “personal brand” that they’ve built around themselves. This is something that makes the New Media Douchebags almost tragic figures to me; and is the main reason why I don’t bag on them as much as I could.

See, what the Robert and The New Media Douchebags never seem to get is that, for every one of them, there are millions of people using services like Facebook in order to do mundane things like reconnect and keep in touch with friends and family. These are people who are uploading content to share with the people that they care about and who, rightly, balk at the idea of a corporation asserting ownership of that content in order to make a buck.

Scoble’s advice to these people; which essentially boils down to either give up your ownership or host your own content is farcical when you consider his needs and resources as opposed to the needs and resources of the actual average Facebook user. It may be easy for Robert to relinquish control of his content in his overwhelming quest to push his personal brand; but I, and the majority of Facebook users have no brand to push; and no desire to use my snapshots to push it if I did.

Not All Marketing Is Created Equal.

The second way in which Robert misses the point is, honestly, not one that occurred to me as I read the initial article. It was something that was pointed out in this comment by Jim Goldstein. Here’s an excerpt:

I am continually perplexed by your stance on issues such as this. Your needs and use of social media sites are not one size fits all and your approach of guiding others to do the same of giving everything away for free is troubling. If it were so simple FastCompany wouldn’t be so concerned about protecting the work you do for them. Individuals who strive to leverage social media to make a name for themselves, market and pick up clients as a sole proprietorship or LLC suffer from such a blanket recommendation.

I’ll admit that this argument doesn’t resonate with me since I’m not interested in marketing; but it’s valid nonetheless. Unfortunately for those who are attempting to market themselves via social media, the sort of advice offered by the high priests of New Media Douchebaggery only really applies to other New Media Douchebags. Unless you’re willing to become a full-on Scoble; this sort of advice will hurt more than it will help.

More to the point; this attitude exemplifies one of my biggest criticism of the New Media Douchelite. They are incapable of understanding that they are in no way representative of the average user of the services they promote. They peer into the crowd, and see only their own face shining back at them. It’s no wonder that I sometimes pity them.


I Think I Own One of These

Permalink - Posted on 2009-02-11 02:03

And really; isn’t it the profanity that counts.

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work


Paul Thurrott Opens Mouth, Unbridled Idiocy Pours Forth

Permalink - Posted on 2009-02-10 20:44

In the Retarded Zealot Hall of Fame there is none loftier than Paul Thurrott. He has achieved a level of absolute inanity that is unparalleled by any MacMac, freetard or New Media Douchebag. Given that fact, today’s bit of mental vomit comes as little surprise.

Microsoft Licenses ActiveSync to Google Why is the company cooperating with a competitor?

There you have the headline of today’s diatribe; and there you have the crux of the idiocy. See, like any good zealot, in Paul’s mind Microsoft must be the end all and be all of, well, everything. The mere thought of cooperation is trauma inducing. Paul begins byspending a few sentences making snide comments about “conspiracy-happy Mac fanatics” (pot meet kettle) before making this comment:

With Apple gaining usage share in the PC market regularly over the past several years, why is Microsoft propping up this ever—-stronger competitor with the crucial Office productivity suite?

Oh, I don’t know Paul; maybe because Apple and Microsoft aren’t really competitors. I know that this is a shocking concept to both sides of the OS wars, but it’s true. Apple doesn’t compete with Microsoft. Fuck, every currently shipping Apple Macintosh computer not only can run Windows; they even come with a tool to facilitate that. In the personal computing space; Apple competes with Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. Which is, incidentally, why Apple will never willingly allow clones again.

And, to address Paul’s question, why does Microsoft “prop-up” Apple by producing the Office suite. The answer is simple, go to the (online) Apple Store and click the Productivity link under Software. What do we find on the first page? Why, it’s Microsoft Office for the Mac; at a tasty four hundred simoleans. That’s money in Steve Balmer’s sweaty hands; and Uncle Fester does like the money.

What Paul and the rest of the zealots, Mac and PC alike refuse to accept is that the OS wars are over, and nobody (or was it everybody) won. It’s 2009 and we now live in a glorious post-Glasnost utopia where we can run Office natively in OS X (and have pretty damn good compatibility with Win Office files), run Windows on a MacBook and sync our iPhones with Windows XP. Unfortunately Paul and crew are the OS wars versions of a Japanese soldier hiding in the jungles of Guam; vehemently denying that the war is over.

Paul continues:

This week, Microsoft announced that it had licensed Exchange ActiveSync to yet another competitor, but this one is more powerful than most. Google, in turn, announced its Google Sync for Mobile Phone service, which allows popular mobile phones like the Apple iPhone, the Blackberry, the Nokia S60, Windows Mobile phones, and other devices wirelessly sync with Google-based contacts and calendars. As is so often the case with Google, Google Sync for Mobile Phone is absolutely free.

This is, I feel, unbelievably dangerous for Microsoft. The software giant already faces an exodus of customers, especially on the low end, to Google’s free and inexpensive cloud-based solutions, solutions that compete directly with expensive and complex Exchange-based servers and services.

I want to call out one part of the above before tackling the whole “…Google’s free and inexpensive cloud-based solutions, solutions that compete directly with expensive and complex Exchange-based servers and services.” No Paul, they really don’t compete. Again Paul makes the mistake of thinking that he knows what he’s talking about. The truth is, with the very small exception of a few Google Apps for Domains customers, Google apps aren’t competing with Exchange. Not many individuals are running Exchange 2008 Server on their home networks; and a similarly tiny number of corporations are using Google Apps.

The remainder of the piece is basically a repeat of the above argument. As far as I cantell (I may be wrong here, I’m not all that drunk yet) the logic goes like this: The iPhone is the most popular smart phone in the history of stuff. Exchange Server can’t compete with Google Apps. Therefore Microsoft should refuse to license Exchange Active Sync to force consumers to switch to buying Exchange licenses and WinMobile phones. Yeah, I definitely need more Gin, because that conclusion seems a bit off to me. I suppose that Paul hasn’t considered the possibility of Google just asking Apple to licence whatever they’re using for MobileMe syncing. It’s not like the CEO of Google sits on Apple’s Board of Directors or anyth…oh wait.

Of course, like a good little zealot, Paul misses the point by a continent. It’s a good thing for Microsoft to get Exchange Active Sync onto as many devices as it can; and used by as many back-end providers as it can. Because EAS isn’t competing with Google Apps or MobileMe. It’scompeting with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. And that’s who Google and Microsoft took a swipe at today.

But I guess that’s hard to see when you’re still hiding in the jungle.


Norwegian Consumer Protection Group Announces, “We’re Ineffectual Twats”

Permalink - Posted on 2009-02-04 22:19

Back in September of last year I wrote a piece about the chuckle fucks in Norway ranting and raving about evil iTunes and its human rights violating DRM. In the ensuing shitstorm of responses from the forces of moral decency (aka cheap cocksuckers) it was pointed out, numerous times, that ranting at Apple over this issue was doing about as much good as pissing into the ocean; because it wasn’t Apple demanding the DRM, it was the record labels. Of course that point was lost on the cheaptards; because in their world, wishes are horses and they damn well are going to ride.

Cue today’s announcement that Norway is dropping its idiotic demands due to Apple and the record labels, agreeing to drop DRM in the iTunes music store.

Hope you arctic dipshits enjoyed your three years of windmill tilting. Now imagine how much faster we could have had this had you gone after the real problem instead of trying to gin up headlines.

Fucktards.


Want

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-28 22:36

I want one of these. A blaze of gunfire would actually make me want to get up in the morning.


Change

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-20 19:45

I honestly have too much work to do right now to offer any sort of in-depth insight regarding the historical events of this day; but I will offer one thought. While the election of President Barack Obama and the repudiation of the policies of the previous administration is crucial to the task of re-making this nation in the image that the founding fathers intended; it is not President Obama who will be the deciding factor in whether or not that change happens.

The deciding factor is ourselves. It is incumbent on each and every one of us to effect the change we desire in this world. From the smallest acts of kindness, to partaking in the grand pageant of democracy. On this day, the future has been placed into our hands; and we will make the choice of how to shape it.

Choose wisely.


Tasmanian Cocksuckers

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-15 18:14

As of the posting of this entry, this blog is the number 1 Google result for the search ‘tasmanian cocksuckers’. I win the Internet.


Cocksuckers

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-15 18:02

If anyone is waiting on me commenting on the deluge of douchebag stories about Steve Jobs’ leave of absence; don’t hold your breath. There’s just too much jackassery here for me to tackle. But I will leave everyone with these thoughts: I wish Steve Jobs a quick and thorough recovery; and I wish Jesus Diaz, Brian Chen and every other piece of shit crowing over this a slow and painful death, possibly from dick cancer.


Great Expectations

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-06 19:30

sigh

So, it seems that I’m going to have to explain reality to the MacMacs yet again. I know you’re all busy dusting off your hair-shirts and preparing for the inevitable round of self-flagellation that you so love to indulge in after every Apple announcement. But please, for the love of Moloch, try and actually think for a minute here.

Apple is pulling out of Macworld Conference and Expo after this year. Ascribe to that whatever conspiracy theory makes your fuzzy little heads warm; but it’s a simple fact.Corollaryto that fact; Steve Jobs wasn’t going to deliver the Keynote. Again, come up with whatever “moon-landing-was-a-hoax” theory you want to to explain that; but it’s a fact.

So, given those facts; did you really, really, think that Apple was going to make some earth-shattering announcements today? Did you honestly believe that this was going to be anything other than the most banal and hum-drum Keynote since Jobs returned. Why, in the name of all that’s unholy would Apple go and prove that everyone who crucified them for pulling out of the Expo was right.

Really, use your fracking brains you nimrods!


The Gizmodo Cocksuckers Strike Again

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-05 17:03

Sing, O Goddess of the wrath of Achilles…

On second thought bitch, sing of the wrath of the Angry Drunk, for he is indeed wroth.

And what fine specimen of New Media Douchebaggery has earned my unholy wrath today? Why, it’s Jesus Diaz of Fuckwit Central, or Gizmodo as they prefer to be called. Last week I mentioned, in passing, a bullshit rumor-mill story by Jesus citing unnamed sources claiming that Steve Jobs’ decision not to deliver Apple’s final keynote address at the Macworld Expo this week was due to illness. In a rare move, both Steve and the Apple Board of Directors issued statements today addressing this issue. Steve’s letter is here; and the Board’s is here. Go ahead and read them. I’ll wait.

Ok, you’re back. Did you read those? Seriously read them? Good; now here’s a quick pop quiz. In which sentence did Steve or the Board admit that Apple PR was “lying” when they stated that Apple was pulling out of Macworld because the Expo was no longer worth the investment? Can’t find that part? Neither can I; but we must not have the magical mind reading powers of Jesus Diaz. See, in the world of New Media Douchebaggery, there a few hard and fast rules; and one of the primary ones is that you never, ever admit when you’re wrong.

So, instead of manning up and admittingt hat he spread a bullshit rumor based on a lying piece of shit source; Jesus decides to claim that it’s Apple that’s lying. Read it here. To quote:

But we were right on something almost as important: The reason why Steve Jobs is not doing the Macworld 2009 keynote is his health. Apple PR muscle tried to mislead the public again saying that the reason was the irrelevance of Macworld. They said they didn’t want to give importance to a show that Apple was pulling from.

That’s a lie.

The truth, as written by Steve Jobs himself, is that his health is the real reason. He didn’t want to put himself through the ordeal of preparing the keynote—the hardest part—and delivering it for two hours. And that’s why he decided to take time off with his family and keep recovering.

No Jesus, you rampaging fucktard, “…[t]he truth, as written by Steve Jobs himself…” is that he was losing weight, which he never denied, the issue has been identified and is being addressed. I know that it’s hard to focus on reading comprehension and causal connections with that New Media ad-revenue dick firmly lodged in your esophagus, but let me break down Steve’s message in terms even a jackanape like you can digest. The translation is in italics.

Dear Apple Community,

Dear fuckheads,

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.

I got to spend Festivus with my family, mainly because I’m done putting on a show for you twats. Yay me!

Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.

Unfortunately you shitheads (I’m looking at you Jesus) needed to cover your shorts and decided to make up some bullshit.

I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.

I’m only saying this once, so pull Denton’s cock out of your mouth and listen up.

As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.

I’ve been losing weight? No shit, I hadn’t noticed! Thank you for pointing out the obvious.

Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.

Sadly, I’m a woo-addled hippy and it took me a while to go to a doctor who practices evidence-based medicine. My bad.

The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.

Modern science is fucking amazing.

I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.

I don’t need you pricks to remind me of my fiduciary duties as a CEO.

So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.

Fuck off and die.

Is that more clear? Correlation does not equal causation.

Now, translating the statement from the Board is even easier:

Are you on the Apple Board of Direcors? No? Didn’t think so. Now fuck off.

Here’s the deal my Web 2.0 brethren. When you wonder why businesses don’t give you the respect and access that you deserve. Why people still say “blogger” with the same tone that they do “child raping dog-fucker?” Well, take a good long look at chumps like Jesus Diaz. That’s your answer.


Resolutions

Permalink - Posted on 2009-01-04 20:03

Actually, I made a New Year’s Resolution back in 1986 never to make another New Year’s Resolution. I’m proud to say I’ve kept that one.


It’s a New Media DoucheFestival

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-31 05:40

Ye fucking gods.

I usually avoid the fetid dribblings of Robert Scoble like the black fucking plague; but just now I ran across a post from my pal Chuq that drove me to venture into the belly of the douche. To quote Scoble’s update on FriendFeed:

I’m in Palo Alto. Just had yogurt at shop that Steve Jobs eats at frequently. They said he was in a couple of days ago and is in great health.

Yes you read that right. The frigtard king spent the time and effort to post that a frogurt shack employee is reassuring us that our Dark Lord Steve Jobs is doin’ just fine. I seriously, and with no hyperbole whatsoever, do not have the words to explain the utter idiocy of this. I mean, where do I begin? The sense of utter self importance? Scoble’s desperate need to associate himself with celebrity? *The insane desire to comment on every gods damned Apple rumor ever? *FROGURT

I’m fully convinced that these depraved lunatics won’t stop until they end up riffling through Steve’s garbage; or stealing Jobsian stool samples for “analysis.”


Rumormill

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-30 20:00

If, heavens forbid, Steve Jobs is actually sick; I hope that he last long enough into the Obama administration so that a newly empowered SEC can do a thorough investigation into so-called “journalists” like the fuck-monkeys at Gizmodo. I’d be very interested in seeing an analysis of their purchases of Apple stock compared with their bullshit hatchet job stories.


More Thoughts About the MacMacs

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-19 19:38

In my last post about the MacMac reaction to Apple’s announcement of their strategic withdrawal from Macworld Expo I focused on the self-indulgent sense of entitlement present in the bulk of the complaints. As I’ve ruminated more on the subject, and after reading some very well reasoned thoughts on the subject (my main man John Welch puts it all in perspective here), I’ve decided that there’s another aspect to all of this that bears examination.

One constant theme to be found in the complaints is that Apple is somehow “abandoning” the community that built them up. As others have pointed out, Apple has never given a shit about any “community.” Hell, why should they when the single greatest factor in Apple’s massive turn-around has been explicitly ignoring the “community” and pandering to the wider consumer electronics market? The simple truth is that Apple could lose all future sales from those that supported them in the lean years (and, in case anyone has any doubts I am one of that number) and they’d still make money hand over fist.

But, as I wrote above, that’s not what I want to focus on here. What I want to focus on is the dysfunction at the heart of the MacMac contingent of the Apple “community.” For all the self-indulgence, the whining, the sense of entitlement, the unspoken (or sometimes spoken) idea that Apple somehow “owes” the community something, there is a constant thread of neediness. The sense that if daddy Steve would just pay more attention to them then the MacMacs would stop cutting themselves and working the pole for money. For all that they bitch and moan at everything that Apple does, when someone outside the “community” attacks Apple the MacMacs fight back with all of the fury of a beaten trailer-park wife. “Don’t you go a hitting on my man Apple! He’s a good man, he just get’s angry when he’s a been drinking.”

So I put this to the MacMacs: Why give Apple that sort of power over you? Why allow Apple to determine the fate of your precious Expo? Here’s the thing. Communities are formed of people; corporations are not people. There may be people who work at Apple who are members of our community (Steve sure as shit ain’t one of them though) but Apple itself isn’t part of the community; and that’s a good thing. In my experience, when the official party line coming out of a corporation is all about the “community” that’s the time to run for the door. Because that’s the very moment that the marketing team has decided to rape you for all you’re worth. Certainly some companies do foster communities, and bully for them; but it ain’t gonna happen at Apple.

I have a challenge to all the people complaining about Apple pulling out of the Macworld Expo. Go there this year and send a message. Not a message to Apple, couched in futile “silent protests” or self immolation (on second thought, someone should torch themselves, for my amusementif for nothing else). Send a message to IDG. Go to the Expo and make this one the most successful yet. Network, attend sessions, buy crap at vendor booths (just not Apple’s, not that they care). Show that you can make a community that doesn’t need to feed off of Apple’s teat. I guarantee you’ll have a swell time. Because that’s what “community” is about and, let’s face it, if you only went to the Macworld Expo for the Keynote; then you aren’t really part of the community are you?


Apple Owes Me a Pony!

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-18 15:40

As you may have heard; Apple recently announced that a) Steve Jobs will not be delivering the keynote address at the next Macworld Expo, and b) the next Expo will be the last that Apple attends. The response from the Mac blogosphere has ranged from the retarded (OMGWTF Steve’s agonna die!!!) to the rational (attending the Expo is expensive and Apple now has other options to present new products that are more under their control). But, of course, it wouldn’t be an Apple story without a heaping helping of whiny self-entitlement. Case in point http://silentkeynote.com.

Apparently Apple owes us a keynote and we’re going to hold our breath and stamp our feet until we get one.


Tech Pundits, Take Yo’ Meds!

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-10 18:29

For the love of sweet baby Zoroaster, what is it with the tech media and their never ending propensity to conflate the voices in their heads with reality? Case in point, here’s a blog post from Daniel Ionescu of PC World that I picked up via MacWorld. The gist of the post is simple: netbooks outsold iPhones for one quarter, therefore it’s time to announce that the time of the netbook has arrived. Of course, there is the usual leap of faith assertion that this development may also mean that Apple is on the verge of producing a netbook of their own.

Where to begin with this?

First, how about the fact that the overlap between the netbook market and the iPhone market is so miniscule that it heavily approximates the probability of Angelina Jolie walking into my office in the next hour and offering me sex. An iPhone is not a netbook; and, while an iPhone may be able to do many of the tasks that a netbook does, I don’t know of any netbooks that fit in my pocket. Besides, you look awfully retarded holding a netbook up to your head and calling mom.

Second, I know that you tech pundits have an all consuming desire to see Apple compete in every market in the known Universe; but you really need to stop mistaking the voices in your head for official Apple PR. Apple may, or it may not decide to produce an netbook. They may, or they may not decide to produce a mid-range desktop. Who knows, with Steve in charge they may even decide to produce a line of high end toaster ovens. But there is one thing I do know. The only thing that the voices in your head are good for is picking out the next hobo to skin.


Ah the ‘70s

Permalink - Posted on 2008-12-03 14:59

I miss the good old days when, if you found a “suspicious” white powder in a police car you just assumed it was some blow “liberated” from the evidence room.

link


Giving Thanks

Permalink - Posted on 2008-11-26 15:33

Tomorrow, in the U.S. at least, is Thanksgiving. It may be difficult to tell sometimes based on conventional observance and media coverage but there is a deeper meaning to this holiday than four day weekends, shopping and gorging oneself on roasted fowl. Thanksgiving is about reflecting on what you are thankful for; although given the economy, the two wars that we’re engaged in, and the deteriorating environment it may sometimes be difficult to find things to be thankful for.

In the true spirit of the holiday, I want to reflect a little bit on what I am thankful for. There are many things I could write here, but I won’t. It’s too easy to make a facile list of ways in which I may happen to be better off than the average chump. Instead, I want to focus on the one thing that I am truly and honestly thankful for.

I am thankful for the friends in my life.

That’s it. It’s the bonds that we form with people in this world that bind us in the world; and true friends are the purest form of those bonds. I am lucky to have a great set of friends; both in the real world and across the greater intertubes. So, to my friends I offer my sincere and deepest thanks.


Eating Their Own

Permalink - Posted on 2008-11-07 15:30

As you may have noticed from some of the political posts I’ve written, I consider myself to be a fairly progressive liberal Democrat. That’s why it pains me to be forced to admit that, sometimes, I fucking hate my fellow travelers on the Left. Why is that? Simply put, I despise the propensity of some liberals to eat their own at the ultimate expense of the Progressive movement as a whole.

Case in point: the the breathless panic induced in some progressive liberals by the news that President Elect Obama has named Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. You can read a fairly balanced piece on this from The Nation here that lays out the issues nicely.

Let it be said, I am in no way a fan of Rahm Emanuel. He’s a Democratic Leadership Council Clintonite; and I think he represents everything that is wrong with the Democratic party. But one thing that no one can deny is that he can beat people into doing what he wants. And, as Chief of Staff, that’s exactly what his job will be; to browbeat various parties into going along with President Obama’s agenda. In that way he’s a great pick for the job.

There is a bigger point that I’m trying to make here though. Here’s the deal people: at the time I’m writing this, President Elect Obama has had that title for three fucking days. For Cthulu’s sake, if this was most of us we’d still be holed up on a desert island for the next few weeks. Look, we didn’t elect some sort of mystical hobo who can wave a magic wand and undo the depredations of the last twenty eight years with a puff of magic dust. Moving this country in a more progressive direction will take years of work. But we’re damn sure in a better position to do it than if McBlinky and the Dolt had been elected.


Hope vs. Fear

Permalink - Posted on 2008-11-05 16:04

I don’t think that I’m going to be able to write an in depth piece regarding the election; but I do want to get some of my thoughts down. To that end:

In all honesty, Barack Obama wasn’t my first choice during the primaries. The truth is, despite the cries of “most liberal Senator” (wait wasn’t that Kerry 4 years ago), and “socialist,” Barack Obama isn’t liberal enoughfor me. Seriously, to me, “socialist” is a good thing. Nonetheless, when it became apparent that the primary race was down to Clinton and Obama I resolved to support either of them in the general election. Not because I have any real loyalty to the Democratic party, but because I honestly feel that the country can not survive another four, let alone eight years of the policies currently espoused by the Republican party.

That being said. In the end I became an Obama believer. I think that the moment that it crystalized in my mind was Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Here was a candidate who was, for the first in a long time, preaching a message not of fear, but of hope. Now, it’s easy to make lofty proclamationsin an acceptance speech; but at every stage of the campaign, all the way to the historic speech that Obama gave last night, even in the midst of the current economic crisis Obama has spread a message of hope.

Hope in the inherent goodness of all the people of this country, not just those who share his ideology. Hope in future, which is ripe with opportunities to forge a truly great “new American century.” And hope that, together, we can be a great people once again.

And how did the McCain campaign respond to this message of hope? They responded in classic Karl Rove style: Fear. Fear that a Black man, with a funny sounding name must surely be up to something nefarious. Fear that the limp wristed pansies of the Democratic party wouldn’t have the moxie to defeat a bunch of terrorists. And fear that, apparently zombie Karl Marx was going to come around and “redistribute” all your precious “wealth.”

Here’s a hint for Mr. Rove. People can only live in fear for so long. Sooner or later, hope triumphs. It always does.


Hope

Permalink - Posted on 2008-11-05 05:31

Those who know me know that I am not, by nature, a hopeful person. In fact, one might even say that I am a cynic. But on this night, this historic night, I am hopeful for the future of my country. Hope, and a sense of community has triumphed over fear, greed and exclusionism. The road ahead will be hard, but together we will bring about a bright new era; and I’m proud to be a part of that.


Friday Fabulous Forum Fucktard Follies

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-31 20:08

Hell, I’m bored. So I think I’ll start culling the gems of stupidity from various forums. If I have to experience this pain; so should you.

Kicking things off we have this winner from the Macworld Forums.

My facts are 100% correct!!! In my experience with the I-phone!!! Some of them are what I think about what it is… and it may not be the same with you.

I built navigation/HD technologies for the future. and I know how to use the i-phone to its limits. Personaly I don’t care what people may few about my comments… But they are my facts and they are correct. There are many things I did like about the G1 and it is an ugly phone… But it does make the i-phone a stupid phone and you want use for work and not playing games and stupid applications. Just take the touch off the I-phone and you go back to 1995 on the PC experience. Come on!!!! They can do better and I hope they will… because technology changes every second… and now they I-phone is behind to what is coming soon…

Yeah, it’s an iPhone killah rant (Rip should be thrilled). But what sets this one apart is the poster. H builds technologies for the future!!! THE FUTURE!!!!

And thus we have this week’s entry. Have fun fuckos!


Irony

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-31 14:45

It’s delicious.

Credit to Karl Gunnars via Twitter.


Good Job Apple

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-24 19:32

I’m going to join in the chorus of people praising Apple for their stance on California’s Proposition 8. I frankly don’t give a tinker’s damn who you want to fuck; but the idea of the state keeping two people who love each other from certifying that love, based on the whims of a bunch of assholes and their three thousand year old fairy-tale needs to be slapped down hard. Unfortunately, Arizona has a similar proposition on our ballot. How about it Steve, wanna shoot a few grand our way?


I Gave at the Office

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-24 14:46

So, my office is doing a canned food drive for a local food bank. Ok, that’s cool, laudable even. Now, how are we going to implement this? A box in the break room perhaps, where people can quietly donate as their conscience dictates?

Oh. Fuck. No.

No, instead we’ve been divvied up into teams, apparently via some random algorithm since I have no idea who these people are. Then a “team captain” is appointed to send out obnoxious rah-rah emails. And why, dear readers do we need rah-rah emails? Because, of course since this office has a ten to one ratio of Sales douches to normal people, we’ve gone and made this into a competition. Yes indeedy, don’t donate because it helps people, donate to get a splendiferous half day off. Sometimes I think that these retards are incapable of taking a crap unless someone posts the results to a “leaderboard” somewhere.

To add idiocy to obnoxiousness, the latest douchemail from the “captain” encourages us to buy cases of bottled water. Because, you know, it’s more efficient for me to provide water at $.75 a pop than it is for the food bank to use the taps at $.01 a bottle.

Fucking charitards.


Rumor

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-21 18:49

I have it on good authority that the next iteration of Apple laptop line will return to having two display options:

UltraGloss - This highly reflective surface is perfect for the MacMac entitletard to gaze lovingly into his or her own visage and revel in the world where every gods damned thing is about them.

Matte Xtreme - For the real “professional” this coating will absorb all visible light, making glare truly a thing of the past.


Entitletard Holocaust

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-20 18:21

So, you may have heard that Apple recently released new MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Amongst various changes the shiny new MacBook now no longer has any sort of FireWire connectivity. Because we’re talking Apple here, and Apple “fans” are the biggest bunch of whiny entitletards on the face of the planet; this change has generated a veritable Large Hadron Collider’s worth of retarded bitching. The worst of the bunch though, which I present with minimal comment is the Macworld Forums discussion.

All I can really say is:

Ye

Fucking

Gods

300 plus (at the time I’m writing this) posts of the most ignorant, entitled bullshit that I’ve ever seen. When you strip out the few posts by people with legitimate issues, those honestly seeking information, and my brother from another mother Bynkii trying to give people options (in his usual charming manner) you end up with a single refrain. “Apple owes me a shiny new laptop with all the fixins’. Gimme gimme gimme!”

It’s the fucking Entitletard Holocaust.


No Comment

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-16 16:21

blargh


Goo Goo Googly Goodness

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-16 16:11

Back when the iPhone developers were still getting their whine on regarding the “Fucking NDA” and other Apple crimes against humanity (little known fact, the Geneva Conventions have a section regarding cell phone development) one of the more frequent refrains was “I’ll go develop for Android then.” Because, of course, a giant advertising company would automatically be more “open” (whatever the fuck that means); even though there has yet to be a single shred of evidence provided that the actual manufacturers and carriers will let you modify Android based phones in the slightest. But, hey, it’s Google, they can do no wrong; so they must be better than Apple. Right?

Imagine then, the utter shock that I experienced tho discover that Google is putting a application kill-switch into Android. SHOCKED I SAY!!! I can only react to this in one way.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Wait, let me catch my breath…

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m going to make a prediction. The carriers are going to lock down your precious GooglePhones tighter than a drum; and your buddies at Google aren’t going to do a damn thing to fight it.


MacBook

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-15 15:37

I’ll probably opine more on this later (or not); but my first impression of the new MacBook/MacBook Pro/LCD Monitor setup from Apple is…”want.”


Update

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-14 20:53

I ain’t dead folks.  Just got back from Mexico and I’m catching up.


Yay, No More NDA

Permalink - Posted on 2008-10-01 19:24

Actually, that’s not quite true; but Apple did put up announcement on the iPhone developer site promising to release a new NDA shortly that would significantly lift the restrictions on iPhone developers. The full text is:

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.

Now, let us be clear here. No one has publicly seen the new NDA; but my read of the announcement is that unreleased iPhone OS software and features will still be NDA while released features are clear. In other words; this is exactly the same as the NDA that covers OSX desktop development.

Now I want to take a look at the bigger picture here. If you take this announcement, in combination with the earlier announcement of changes to the App Store customer review process (mainly that reviewers must have, at least, downloaded the application), I think that a pattern is emerging. I’ve held all along, although I haven’t blogged extensively about it, that the various iPhone development issues (reviews, NDA, app acceptance/rejection) were not indicative of any sort of grand plan on Apple’s part; but were instead a collection of bad decisions being made at multiple levels in the organization. My hunch is, what we’re seeing now is the adults waking up and getting everyones’ act together.

All I can say is, “about time, the whining was giving me a headache.”


What Fresh Idiocy is This?

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-30 23:20

Today’s dose of “teh stoopid” comes to us courtesy of The Apple Blog in this wonderful gem of idiocy from Bob Rudis titled iTunes Store and Apple’s DRM Safe Haven In Jeopardy. I have neither the time, nor the energy to properly disect this gem; but it breaks down like this. Apple recently commented that the rate hikes on digital downloads being proposed by the Copyright Royalty Board could make it shut down the iTunes Store. For those with terminal brain dysfunction, this is what we call a “bluff.” Bob combines this fact with the fact that Walmart, that paragon of consumer activism recently shut down its wildly successful online music store; and in the process of doing so told it’s customers to pound sand.

From these two events, related tangentially at best, Bob then extrapolates a dystopian future where Apple shutters iTunes and leaves its customers in the lurch. Of course, this leads us to Bob’s heroic cry to the common man to rise up against the shackles of FairPlay and ask, nay, demand that Apple violate their contracts with the music industry and remove FairPlay now.

It’s really too bad that Apple, in its usual secretive manner has never commented on DRM … oh, wait.

… Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Imagine that world indeed.


Not Everything is a Consumer “Right”

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-30 19:39

Tucked amid the financial doom and gloom this week was this annoying tidbit. Apparently some twat in Norway has decided to run his mouth some more about how Apple is required to make iTunes Store purchases interoperable with their competitors’ products…or else. I’m sorry, but this sort of shit enrages me. I am a advocate of consumer rights; but, once upon a time, “consumer rights” meant things like “your car doesn’t explode,” and “your food isn’t poison.” Not the current refrain of “wah, gimme what I want” that seems to be synonymous with the phrase now.

Here’s the facts for the simpletons out there who don’t get it. You have no right to demand that every thing that a corporation sells you be provided in any format that strikes your fancy. If you don’t like iPods, then buy your music from any of the dozens of alternate sources and play it on whatever the fuck you like.

And, in particular to Bjoern Erik Thon, fuck you in your frost-bitten, entitletard ear.


Don’t Drink the Google-Ade

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-24 19:45

Last night I posted a quick blurb that said:

I just want to go on record here that I will go back to using tin cans and fucking string before I use a phone with an OS developed by Google. So mote it be.

In the comments for that post Wes asked:

What’s your reason for this? Don’t like Google or some other objection? I’d use it if its Mac support was as good as the iPhones and the user experience was as good or better.

I don’t really have much else to write about; so I figure I’ll go ahead and answer this one.

The bottom line is, no I do not like Google. Why don’t I like Google? Well, the answer to that question is long and complicated; so I’m going to limit my answer to Google in relation to the Android OS.

What Google Is:

To start out I’d like to take a brief moment to summarize exactly what Google is; since many in the tech industry don’t seem to know. Google is a publicly traded corporation; just like Apple, or everyone’s least favorite tech. company: Microsoft. This means that Google exists solely to provide a decent return for its investors. In fact, should the Google Board of Directors act in a manner that is demonstrably not in the fiduciary interests of its investors they would be exposing themselves to legal action.

Specifically, Google is an advertising company. I know this part comes as a shock to many people; but Google doesn’t make a dime directly from the services they offer (search, Gmail, Android, etc). This, of course, is the point where someone leaps to inform me that Google does charge for their enterprise services; but seriously, that revenue is a drop in the bucket. The truth is that everything that Google does, from free email hosting to building a mobile phone OS is done to either further a platform for advertisement delivery, or to gather demographic data to help refine that delivery system. If you won’t accept this, then you may as well stop reading. You’ve drunk the Flavor-Aid and there is no helping you.

What Google Isn’t

We just covered what Google is; here is a brief list of what Google isn’t.

  • Google isn’t a charity: I have no doubt that many, if not all of the individuals working at Google have the highest aims and ideals; but at then end of the day Google is a publicly traded, for-profit corporation.
  • Google is not infallible: Somewhere along the line, many in the tech. world got it into their heads that Google could do no wrong. Their search is always relevant, their maps are always accurate, their code is always perfect, their intentions are always noble. I’m sorry, Google is a collection of individual people. People are fallible, people make mistakes, and the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
  • Google is not unique. Google happens to be in the great position of being a market leader capable of attracting the best talent. Nifty, others have been there before.

Why I Won’t Own an Android Phone

In the end, my rational for declaring that I will never own a phone running an OS produced by Google is a simple one. I don’t want to use a device running an OS built by an advertising company. There you go, simple and clear. I don’t trust Google; and, given the choice, I’d rather give my money to a company that is relatively up front about their intentions to make a ass-load of filthy lucre off their products. It certainly helps that, in my opinion, the iPhone is parsecs ahead of the T-Mobile G1/Android combination that is currently the only Android game in town. But even if they did have feature parity, my device would be the iPhone.

But let me make one thing perfectly clear; nothing I’ve written should be taken as arecommendationto others. The G1 works for you? Great, knock yourself out. Unlike my friends at the Free Software Foundation, I believe in choice. At the end of the day though, I’ll keep my iPhone. And, if Apple folds, there’s always semaphore.


Cutting Edge

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-24 06:47

I just want to go on record here that I will go back to using tin cans and fucking string before I use a phone with an OS developed by Google.

So mote it be.


iPhone Killah

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-23 19:14

Apparently some sort of “iPhone killer” was launched today; but for the life of me I can’t work up the motivation to read about it. Someone page me when I’m supposed to care.


I’m Microsoft; And I Don’t Have a Clue

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-19 11:57

I took a break from drowning my corporate sorrows in booze to take a look at the latest Microsoft advertisements; and I have to say, I’m fucking impressed.

Impressed that a single corporation can so utterly and completely not fucking get it.

The ad (I’m too lazy to dig up a link, Google it) consists of a slew of famous and average people proudly proclaiming “I’m a PC.” Given that the ad kicks off with a half-assed John Hodgman look-alike; it’s obvious that Microsoft is taking a swipe at Apple’s “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ads. This is the precise spot where you can scientifically prove that Microsoft has no fucking clue. Here’s a hint Bill, Justin “I’m a Mac” Long isn’t supposed to represent Mac users. And similarly, “PC” isn’t supposed to represent Microsoft users. I know that this sort of subtle metaphor is a bit high-brow for the nerdlingers at Microsoft; but I’ll try to explain this simply. Within the world of the Apple ads, Hodgman and Long are literally PC and Mac.

This is what the various idiots on the intarwebs who decry the Apple ads as being “smug” don’t get either. PC isn’t represented by a slightly befuddled yet likable guy in a suit because the cats at Apple think that PC users are like that; but because that image best represents the PC itself. Of course, Microsoft can’t understand that, so we’re subjected to yet another lame “people use PC’s, honestly” advertisements.

But hey, it could be worse, it could be Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld comparing dick sizes or something.


The Sorry State of “Journalism”

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-16 18:24

Greetings from Eire’s drizzly shores.

Unfortunately, this isn’t going to win me any friends; and may well alienate some of my readers; but fuck it, it needs saying. The big news in the Apple/iPhone media last week and this week is the story of how Apple denied App Store Access to a program citing as the reason that the application in question duplicated functionality built into iTunes. This, of course has been met with the usual hyperbolic reactions ranging from approval to threats of mass developer suicide.

Now, get one thing absolutely fucking clear here. I’m not defending Apple’s stance here. If this is, in fact, going to be Apple’s policy going forward then the parties responsible should be hunted down and converted into Solylent Green until they relent. It’s stupid and short-sighted. That is, if this is an actual Apple policy.

See the thing is, so far, while I have read an ungodly number of blog posts and news stories about this, I have yet to read anything approaching the following:

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the policy.

Or maybe this:

When approached for comment, Apple denied the rumors and stated that a more defined policy would be forthcoming.

Or even this:

Apple declined to comment on the story.

The bottom line is, I have yet to see any indication that any of the so-called “journalists” covering this story have even made an attempt to speak with anyone at Apple about it. I mean, for fuck’s sake, you can argue all day long that Apple needs to be better about communicating, and I’ll agree with you completely. But that does not absolve “journalists” from performing the basic functions of their jobs. You cannot simply sit around and wait for Apple PR to do your job for you. Sadly, this level of “journalism” seems to be par for the course in the tech media these days.

No wonder Apple seems to hold you guys with such disdain.

Bonus: My Completely Speculative Take On The App Store Shenanigans

Since this is my personal blog; and since I make no attempts to claim the title of “journalist.” Let me give my take on what is going on with the App Store approval process.

When I look at the applications that make it into the App Store; as well as the one’s that don’t; I don’t see a pattern of corporate dominance. Fuck, I don’t see a pattern at all. What I do see is a badly mangled process; that is probably being “managed” by the front line approval team. I have this vision of a cube farm full of Customer Service monkeys (not necessarily in the U.S.A.) making all of this shit up as they go along.

Is that a problem. Yes. Is it the problem the blogokleinbottle thinks it is? Not really.

Now, I’m off to eat some horrid Irish “cuisine.”


Limbo

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-16 12:20

No, I haven’t died yet. I’m in Ireland for the next week; so updates will be spotty…er, spottier.


Oops

Permalink - Posted on 2008-09-10 14:52

Well, apparently the Large Hadron Collider didn’t destroy the Universe. Unfortunately this means I’m going to have to pay for all the hookers and blow from last weekend.

Damn.


Churros