Tag Archives: Apple
Godt skrevet fra Gawker, og isteden for at jeg skriver noe tilsvarende mener jeg dette er viktig å tenke på – derfor klipper jeg bare en del rett ut fra artikkelen:
In the days after Steve Jobs’ death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He’s been hailed as “a genius” and “the greatest CEO of his generation” by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man’s reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.
The internet allowed people around the world to express themselves more freely and more easily. With the App Store, Apple reversed that progress. The iPhone and iPad constitute the most popular platform for handheld computerizing in America, key venues for media and software. But to put anything on the devices, you need Apple’s permission. And the company wields its power aggressively.
In the name of protecting children from the evils of erotica — “freedom from porn” — and adults from one another, Jobs has banned from being installed on his devices gay art, gay travel guides, political cartoons, sexy pictures, Congressional candidate pamphlets, political caricature, Vogue fashion spreads, systems invented by the opposition, and other things considered morally suspect.
Apple’s devices have connected us to a world of information. But they don’t permit a full expression of ideas. Indeed, the people Apple supposedly serves — “the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers” — have been particularly put out by Jobs’ lockdown. That America’s most admired company has followed such an un-American path, and imposed centralized restrictions typical of the companies it once mocked, is deeply disturbing.
But then Jobs never seemed comfortable with the idea of fully empowered workers or a truly free press. Inside Apple, there is a culture of fear and control around communication; Apple’s “Worldwide Loyalty Team” specializes in hunting down leakers, confiscating mobile phones and searching computers.
Apple applies coercive tactics to the press, as well. Its first response to stories it doesn’t like is typically manipulation and badgering, for example, threatening to withhold access to events and executives. Next, it might leak a contradictory story.
But Apple doesn’t stop there. It has a fearsome legal team that is not above annihilating smaller prey. In 2005, for example, the company sued 19-year-old blogger Nick Ciarelli for correctly reporting, prior to launch, the existence of the Mac Mini. The company did not back down until Ciarelli agreed to close his blog ThinkSecret forever. Last year, after our sister blog Gizmodo ran a video of a prototype iPhone 4, Apple complained to law enforcement, who promptly raided an editor’s home.
And just last month, in the creepiest example of Apple’s fascist tendencies, two of Apple’s private security agents searched the home of a San Francisco man and threatened him and his family with immigration trouble as part of an scramble for a missing iPhone prototype. The man said the security agents were accompanied by plainclothes police and did not identify themselves as private citizens, lending the impression they were law enforcement officers.
Steve Jobs created many beautiful objects. He made digital devices more elegant and easier to use. He made a lot of money for Apple Inc. after people wrote it off for dead. He will undoubtedly serve as a role model for generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on how honestly his life is appraised.
Her er en artikkel fra New York baserte Gwaker om Steve Jobs. Ikke minst for balansen og den totalt halleluja som Apple og Jobs oppnår i blant tech-geeks og journalister synes jeg denne er vel vært å lese, ikke minst for det at jeg mener at artikkelforfatteren Ryan Tate har noen meget gode poenger (det er helt sikkert derfor som jeg aldri har vært en sånn Apple-fan….)
Hvis man har interesse for konspirasjon, så er denne helt lysende. Jobs og de tradisjonelle mediene se til at alt fortsetter som før… ok, kanskje ikke helt enig i det – men det jeg er enig i er at hvorfor klarer Apple og Jobs seg unna det Microsoft har fått kjeft for i alle år?? At Apple skal bestemme hvilket programmeringspråk som skal brukes for apps, og tech geekene godtar det? Falsh er en utdøende teknologi? Å være nødt til å bruke iTunes? Å bare bruke den norske delen av det? Annonsemarkedet skal styres av Apple??
Vel, artikkelen reiser masse spørsmål og anbefales å leses på det varmeste – så kan man vel ha det bak øret at Mr Tate ikke er noe særlig glad i Steve Jobs…
Steve Jobs seduced New York’s media moguls all too easily, convincing them his iPad would magically keep them in business — and in chauffeured limos. But nothing easy comes free, and the publishers’ digital debt is now due.
Apple’s CEO is, and has always been, a capricious and controlling leader, and now it is print media’s turn to learn how this feels. Like everyone in the Cult of Steve Jobs, the moguls have come under his thumb by their own choice. They’ve been slashing budgets and firing staff to cope with falling circulation and advertising revenue; meanwhile, they’ve largely failed to build profitable businesses online, where nimbler rivals are growing quickly.
Against this gloomy backdrop, the iPad seemed an enchanted portal into a much brighter future. Suddenly stale old ideas like paywalls and self-contained e-magazines looked appealing again. Not just appealing: Viable, even trendy. Such was the power of the advance hype around the iPad. Before the device was confirmed to even exist, Time Inc. mocked up a slick demo of a tablet edition of Sports Illustrated; Condé Nast’s Wired showed off something even cooler-looking under the title “Wired Magazine on iPad,” before the device went on sale.
For the old-line moguls atop companies like Dow Jones, New York Times Company, Condé Nast and Time Inc., the excitement around the iPad must have seemed like a godsend: Suddenly, they could stick to their old business models, with only the slightest of tweaks, and maybe even return to the salad days of long lunches and other perks. The pain of adapting to the cutthroat world of Web publishing could perhaps be avoided, or at least delayed.
And yet the signs keep piling up that this was a false dawn — and that, far from a savior, Apple’s CEO is (gasp!) actually a capitalist American business executive, at least as ruthless and calculating as any other. The Pixar chief-turned-Disney-director has been predictably savvy in dealing with the media, using their weakness to grow Apple’s control over distribution, creation and even content itself. Here are the most important recent watersheds:
This sounds like a geeky footnote, but was actually a dramatic power grab. It means developers can no longer write apps in languages like C# and Flash and then use tools that automatically convert their code into iPhone-compatible software. This has become common practice, especially among games developers, including Electronic Arts, which links in an unsupported language called Lua. Keep in mind this is a distinct and much more controversial step than Apple’s famous ban on Flash in Web pages, since the Flash used to write iPhone and iPad apps is entirely converted to native code, which is then directly reviewed by Apple before anyone can install it.
The backlash to Apple’s stringent new rules was fierce among techies. One programmer called it “gut-turning… bullshit.Another said it would be like having to use Apple’s GarageBand software in order to sell music on iTunes. A developer at Adobe, which makes Flash, reacted with a blog post titled “Apple Slaps Developers in the Face.”
But Apple’s purge of impure programmers hurts the media companies too; their programmers tend to be Flash programmers, which is why both Sports Illustrated and Wired built their tablet demos in Adobe Air; although Time Inc. is no longer using Adobe technologies and says it never had long-term plans to, the idea at Condé Nast and other publishers had been to build using Adobe technologies like Flash and then cross compile to native iPhone/iPad code, a path that Apple has now banned.
In other words, now that Jobs has print media companies in his thrall, he’s taxing them in order to displace rival Adobe. As former Condé Nast technical lead Alex Norcliffe wrote.
Apple just pulled the rug from under a valuable media partner in Condé Nast US. … Apple has pitched itself recently as the champion of publishers whose traditions are vested mainly in print… Actually it’s Jobs who is King. He may make a few publishers a bit of cash on the side, but in his personal crusade against a lumbering Adobe, he just cost one very important media partner a lot of money in wasted effort.
To be fair, it was possible to see this coming. In fact, we anticipated Apple “banning apps with Flash baked in” in our March 26 post detailing Apple’s dogfight with publishers to control news. Jobs certainly made his feelings on Flash clear in a behind-the-scenes meeting at the Wall Street Journal, and Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend was wary of investing too much in Flash weeks ago. The New York Times also steered conspicuously clear of Flash; despite having an existing version of its Times Reader already written in Adobe Air, it proceeded with a native, hand-coded Objective-C version of the app.
None of that changes the fact, however, that Jobs has undone large amounts of work and many existing applications with a single rule change. Nor does it alter the reality that Apple has taken operating system control to a new extreme: Not only does the company insist on approving each and every iPhone and iPad app, it now wants to control exactly how those apps are written.
Apple annexes advertising: Not content with a chokehold on the distribution of iPad and iPhone media, Apple is making its move on advertising, and starting with the hottest, most promising new subsector: Mobile ads. After acquiring mobile ad seller Quattro Wireless earlier this year, Apple just announced it will bake “iAds” technology right into the heart of the iPhone OS, the sort of bundling that Microsoft used to get raked over the coals for.
Analysts believe iAds could make several billion dollars for Apple, and no wonder: Not only is Apple offering to design the ads itself, it just quietly changed the iPhone/iPad rules in such a manner that might cripple its mobile advertising competitors, according to Peter Kafka at All Things D.
In case the pattern isn’t clear yet, moguls: Jobs loves control, disdains rivals and plays for keeps.
Apple still controls content: Remember Apple’s arbitrary and censorship of iPhone app content? It’s carried right through to the iPad; e-magazine distributor Zinio’s app (left) has been barred from loading French Vogue, Maxim and Playboy, among other titles. Which means Apple’s control will grow, should the iPad take off and revolutionize print media as many publishing honchos hope, encompassing not just distribution but content itself.
Silicon Valley observers have grown accustomed to Steve Jobs’ fascist side. This is the man, after all, who 26 years ago was so insistent on keeping memory expansion slots out of the original Macintosh that his own engineers had to sneak them in on fear of firing. He’s the man once as famous inside Apple for his firings and withering fury as for his inspiring keynotes, who bragged at the Wall Street Journal about his pride in dispatching the floppy drive, CD ROM and even one of Apple’s own FireWire ports.
Speaking of the Journal: In addition to old war stories, Jobs also gave editors there a taste of life in his shadow, when the CEO apparently became enraged over one editor’s indiscreet tweet. Now, as then, Jobs’ hopeful admirers in the news industry have a choice: They may wage a dark and potentially bloody fight back to a future they’ve got real control over — or they may subjugate themselves ever-more-completely to the most revered CEO in the world. Given their own track record, as compared to Jobs’, that’s actually a tough call.
It’s fun to trash the search-monster’s Buzz, but there’s a method to its social networking smart-phone madness
Is this what world domination looks like? On Wednesday, Google announced it was building an ultrafast, one-gigabit-per-second broadband network designed to showcase “innovative” Internet applications. On Tuesday, Google launched Google Buzz, integrating social networking functions into Gmail. Last month, Google debuted its Nexus One smart phone.
So in little more than a month, Google has invaded the turf of the biggest telecommunication companies (Verizon, AT&T, etc.), directly challenged the reigning social networking giant (Facebook), and taken aim at the most fetishized gadget of the 21st century — the iPhone (Apple).
Even Microsoft, in its heyday, was never quite that ambitious. The multiple fronts on which Google is battling — and the huge prizes at stake — make the old Microsoft-Netscape browser wars look like a water fight waged with busted pistols. The scale at which Google hubris is operating is absurd: We will index all the world’s information, upload all the books, deploy the fastest network and design the coolest phone, while simultaneously managing your e-mail, pictures, blogs and anything else you’d care to upload to our online repositories.
There’s a natural urge to react negatively to so much expansionism, and it’s painfully visible if you dip into the Twitter-storm currently boiling over on the topic of “Google Buzz.” People who seem to have spent no more than 10 minutes exploring the service are wondering what’s the point, labeling it an “epic fail,” and, most popular, questioning why the world needs yet another social networking service.
It’s a valid point — especially since Google’s already toyed with at least two previous such networks (Orkut and Jaiku) . How many microblogging, status-update delivering, picture-and-video linking vehicles does one person need? With Facebook, a critical mass of my friends and family are already connected and happily sharing pictures and links and news — why would I want to try to rebuild that functionality elsewhere? What is so compelling about, as Greg Merritt, a guy whom I am suddenly getting Google Buzz updates from simply because we exchanged some bicycle related e-mails, observed, “a long-winded Twitter with awkward privacy management and tie-ins to everything that matters except for the 800-pound gorilla of Facebook.”
But there’s a pretty obvious answer to that, at least for people who already use Gmail. Adding functionality to a core platform in your life is much more attractive than setting up yet another entirely new service. Integration that works can be seductive — and Google is very, very good at making things work. I’ve been playing around with Google Buzz for half a day, and it is the easiest thing in the world to keep tabs on while checking my e-mail. Suddenly I find myself strongly considering making more use of Google Reader and Google’s Picasa photo app just because of how simple the integration is.
Gmail, Google Maps and, of course, the Google search engine are already second nature to millions of people. We should be paying less attention to how Buzz matches up to Facebook and Twitter in isolation, and much more to how Buzz might leverage all the other pieces of Google that we already use.
At The Big Money, Chris Thompson has a very smart piece arguing that Google’s real play here is for the mobile device world. Once you combine your social network with Google Maps and the GPS locator in your smart phone you open a whole new world of irresistible connectivity. A friend of mine recently demonstrated the app FourSquare on his iPhone while shopping at the local grocery store. I was mildly interested to see that there were three other FourSquare users in the Berkeley Bowl at the same time as us. I would have been considerably more interested to learn if friends or acquaintances of mine were nearby, or around the corner — something that would be extremely easy if my Facebook network or Gmail contacts were mapped to my mobile whereabouts.
More important, Google is hoping that its ability to figure out what is “relevant” will translate into something more than just a few useful search results.
If you’re looking for a good nearby restaurant, Google Buzz will let you scan all the public posts about establishments in your area. You can even navigate this visually, placing yourself on Google Maps and scanning a universe of public comments about anything posted in your immediate vicinity.
This is not only useful; it’s a stab at changing the paradigm of social media. With Google Buzz for Mobile, Google is attempting to make where you are and where you’re going the most important criteria for ranking status updates and posts.
In other words, Google Buzz will try to show you what’s most useful to you, using your network, depending on where you are and what you are doing.
At PoynterOnline Will Sullivan points to the obvious corollary: The potential for targeted advertising is immense. The more Google knows about what you like and where you are the easier it will be for ads to pop up on your phone that are genuinely useful. (Or genuinely annoying.)
Google’s rivals are desperately pooh-poohing Google Buzz as nothing new. But they’re just putting on a brave face. In the future, we’re all going to be using smart phones as our primary interface to the networked world. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google — everyone knows that. Whoever makes that phone most useful to us as we negotiate our way through our lives will be well on its way to becoming the most powerful corporation on the planet. World domination, indeed.
I’m sure many of us criticized Apple’s first generation iPhone as sorely lacking in the technology department. However, no one can doubt the buzz the impending launch of the iPhone OS version 3.0 has created. On the flip side, if we can look through the marketing, we can see that there is a very clever strategy at work here.
Kontra from the very excellent Counter Notions blog has a great analysis of Apple’s iPhone Strategy and how it has evolved from a device into a platform.
In summary, the first iPhone generation introduced us to a device that could pull in all your Stuff in a logical manner. The 2nd generation 3G iPhone created a platform where, by leveraging on the iTunes store, you could download all your Stuff. Finally with the release of iPhone OS 3.0, (very apt don’t you think?) Apple plugs up most of the holes we have been complaining about and almost perfects the product. Thus making it.
Apple consolidated its gains, marked its territory of 30M users+25K apps+800M downloads and built a very deep and wide moat around it. A moat so formidable that there’s not a single smartphone player capable of overcoming it.
Apple also methodically eliminated the vast majority of iPhone’s “missing” features: copy and paste, landscape text entry, global search, notifications, MMS, voice memos, new calendar format, Notes sync, stereo Bluetooth support, extended parental controls, browser auto-fill and anti-phishing… pretty much anything else that may have given potential customers a pause previously.
Another thing I like to add is that great products do not have to be 100% right the first time. Getting a product shipped that 80% right but with a 100% intrinsic benefit to your user is a lot better in my humble opinion. Just make sure to reiterate and improve your product very quickly after you have launched it.
This strategy is like a good baseball swing. You need to have a good follow through after you take your shot. Unfortunately the follow through is what many companies are just not good at doing.