Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • October 9, 2014 10:56 am

    iPredict with My Little Eye

    Nobody sane can possibly care about this, but here’s what I think “It’s been way too long” set under an old-school seven colored Apple logo fragment means:

    The return of the Macintosh brand. You may not realize it, but it’s been more than a decade and is creeping up on two decades since the last computer even partially branded “Macintosh” exited a factory. The Power Macintosh G3 would seem to be the last one that qualifies, having been deleted from the lineup in January, 1999. Non-PowerPC based designs like the superb Macintosh Quadra 840av were the last of the Power-free Macintosh names and sported any modifiers after the word “Macintosh.” Everything since the Power-era has been either “Mac” or “Power Mac” this and that. In amidst the sputtering end of the unexpurgated “Power Macintosh” naming era, Steve Jobs unveiled the iMac. I hear that sold pretty well. And we’ve been living with the i ever since. Hell, Steve was the “iCEO” for a not insignificant period of time.

    This new computer will be a new design (though it may well end up looking a lot like or at least being reminiscent of the existing iMacs simply because the requirements of any all-in-one computer design are somewhat limiting) but the all new design will sport a Retina display (or Retina capability with external displays, maybe meaning one is provided by Apple and introduced here; it has been waaaay too long since the last monitor update, after all). Settle down, X-Mac people, I’m pretty sure this new dingus will still be monitor-inclusive, though mayhaps the updated Mini platform will support Retina resolutions.

    And here’s the kicker: the new design is simply called the Apple Macintosh.

    To my mind, people have been reading too much into the naming schema “Apple Watch” as being special positioning for the luxury and/or fashion segment. While it’s certainly true the Watch moniker is much more dignified than “iWatch” could ever be, I think it’s simpler than even that; Apple has made the long overdue decision to start dumping the iNames. Can’t do it with iPhone just yet, but they certainly can do the iMac. And, at some point, maybe even at this event, they’d re-christen the laptop line as well. Could be they refresh that whole lineup and ditch the forever ungainly “MacBook” with something like Macintosh Notebook Pro/Air/MagicPixieDust. They’ll sit right along side the Macintosh, Macintosh Mini, and the Macintosh Pro.

    After all, it’s been way too long.

  • May 28, 2014 5:04 pm

    It's on: Apple cranks up the Beats for $3 billion

    By welcoming Beats into his portfolio, Apple CEO Cook is acknowledging a shift away from its pioneering iTunes pay-per-song model and toward streaming audio. He also is side-stepping founder Jobs’ insistence that all Apple hits be crafted in-house.

    I guess we’re not counting iTunes (which started life as SoundJam MP until Apple bought, re-skinned, and renamed it) and of course iPod, which was Apple industrial design around the PortalPlayer reference platform and Pixo software. So, yes, excepting those two massive omissions in the most directly comparable field to that which you are writing about, Jobs insisted on only Apple crafted hits.

    Additionally worth noting that Jobs apparently outsourced Apple misses. Looking at you, Cube.

  • March 7, 2013 9:53 am

    "Hey, Bob, I saw the movie you just released last night, and it sucked."

    Steve Jobs, at the time Disney board member and majority share holder, in periodic calls to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

  • August 16, 2012 6:05 pm

    Steve Jobs: Truly Gone

    To me, this is the first real sign that the shine could come off, and quickly:

    The report also noted that [Apple Retail VP John] Browett said Apple’s retail outlets need to “learn to ‘run leaner’ in all areas, even if the customer experience is compromised.”

    During fiscal 2011, Apple’s retail stores generated $14.1 billion in revenue and $3.1 billion in profits. The chain has operated at around a 22 percent profit margin over the past five years

    Were Steve Jobs alive and running the company, this guy would be gone before he got back from lunch. These sorts of paper gains that put the long game in hock to better favor a slight quarterly bump, all just ahead of what would appear to be the biggest, most important launch in the company’s history? Utter lunacy. You should be adding employees, my friend. The money involved is completely and utterly beside the point at your margins (and, no: forget Apple’s margins for the moment, I mean just the margins of the Store). Would the cuts even cover your own salary? Will they help you at your new job? I certainly hope so.

    But here’s some unsolicited advice: the Apple Store isn’t a store like Best Buy. It’s equal measure retail operation and, critically, brand identity. The experience of it needs to be every bit as delightful as the latest iDingus. If it’s not, you’ve damaged the brand. And once that’s gone, it ain’t coming back at any price. I feel certain Apple would operate the store at break-even or as a slight loss leader; it’s more valuable as an icon and an experience than it is as a raw profit center churning out new doodads for the masses. Apparently Browett didn’t get the memo. Time will tell…but I’d say the Store is now officially the leading indicator for the company. As it goes, so goes Apple. When it starts seeming like Best Buy in there, sell short.

  • October 5, 2011 9:41 pm

    "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

    Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

    Steve Jobs

  • August 24, 2011 7:59 pm

    "The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t. I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time.[…] These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.

    But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important."

    Steve Jobs, talking to Wired in 1996.

  • February 3, 2011 10:28 am

    "Here we have the man who invented the personal computer, then the laptop. He’s now destroying them. That is an amazing life."

    Rupert Murdoch on Steve Jobs. I’d quibble with the “invented” being more of a “popularized,” but otherwise spot on.
    Equally amazing (to me, anyway) is that the transition from “let’s sell everyone personal computers” to “let’s sell everyone wireless things that people don’t really even realize are computers” took place within the span of one CEO’s lifetime, though not one continuous tenure with Apple (since we’re talking Jobs here).
    Color me unimpressed with The Daily, though. Just the sort of crap magazine I avoid in print, much less on the iPad. Reeder is the really disruptive technology if you’re asking me. And I know you are.

    (Source: daringfireball.net)

  • February 5, 2010 4:08 pm

    "It doesn’t matter how amazing the steak is, if it’s served on a cold plate it’s crap. If it’s served with a dull knife it’s crap. If the gravy isn’t piping hot, it’s crap. If you’re eating it on an uncomfortable chair, it’s crap. If it’s served by an ugly waiter who just came in from a smoke break, it’s crap. Because I care about the steak, I have to care about everything around it."

    Gordon Ramsey channeling one Steve Jobs

  • December 19, 2009 1:07 pm
    Verizon is the perfect corporate partner for Apple. This is precisely how Steve Jobs himself would deal with a balky battery door. With a branded sticker. Accept no cheap substitutes; only Verizon-brand stickers give you the confidence today’s multitaskers demand.

    Verizon is the perfect corporate partner for Apple. This is precisely how Steve Jobs himself would deal with a balky battery door. With a branded sticker. Accept no cheap substitutes; only Verizon-brand stickers give you the confidence today’s multitaskers demand.

  • December 14, 2009 12:20 pm

    AmericaLand in bad decline

    Re: this and this prior post, Fake Steve Jobs reports on the chat he had with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Here’s some highlights:

    Now, the thing about [“Meet the Beatles”] was, on the day [the album] hit the U.S. the whole world changed. Like, before that day, the world was one way, music was one way, culture was one way — and then after that day the world was never the same ever again, and as soon as you heard that album you knew that, and even if you were only nine years old, which I was, you just knew. You knew. Sales were crazy.

    […] there was a lot of demand for that record — so much that the plant that printed the records could not keep up. Now here’s the lesson. Do you think the guys who were running Capitol Records said, Gee whiz, the kids are buying up this record at such a crazy pace that our printing plant can’t keep up — we’d better find a way to slow things down. Maybe we can create an incentive that would discourage people from buying the record. Do you think they said that? No, they did not. What they did was, they went out and found another printing plant. And another one and another one, until they could make as many records as people wanted.

    Absolutely goddamned right. AT&T’s metaphorical Meet the Beatles response to the iPhone data-deluge seems to be:

    "we need to figure out a way to keep people out of record stores. Prevent them from entering, dissuade them from buying the records if they’re already in there. That is the winning formula.”

    Which is precisely the reaction that puts AT&T out of business. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon (and for a long time). Back to (fake) Steve:

    Yes, 3% of your users are taking up 40% of your bandwidth. You see this as a bad thing. It’s not. It’s a good thing. It’s a blessing. It’s an indication that people love what we’re doing, which means you now have a reason to go out and double or triple or quadruple your damn network capacity. Jesus! I can’t believe I’m explaining this to you. You’re in the business of selling bandwidth. That pipe is what you sell. Right now what the market is telling you is that you can sell even more! Lots more! Good Lord. The world is changing, and you’re right in the sweet spot.

    Indeed they are. Reaction? Let’s piss it away for some modest, short-term gains. The model, you’ll recall, is to sell crippled phones that, since people can’t actually use, don’t tax our network at all. AT&T simply doesn’t understand that the world has turned and left them there, in the past, with a shitty flip phones business while everyone else is up here, in the “future,” waiting on good pipes. Praying someone will take their money for those (still mythical) good pipes. That AT&T doesn’t see it that way is mostly because of the sentence to which I added emphasis: AT&T doesn’t want to believe that they are only selling pipe. They think they are selling something else entirely. I’m quite sure they can’t vocalize exactly what that thing is, but they inevitably deny the notion that they are, in fact, already a dumb-pipes company, though a very bad one. And this is why they fail. They think their subscribers care who is providing them with the dumb pipes instead of how well the dumb pipes work. And it is on this point that (fake) Steve really, really gets going:

    Guys like you took over the phone company and all you cared about was milking profit and paying off assholes in Congress to fuck over anyone who came along with a better idea, because even though it might be great for consumers it would  mean you and your lazy pals would have to get off your asses and start working again in order to keep up.

    […] everyone focused on just getting what they can in the short run and who cares what kind of piece of shit product we’re putting out […and…] it was all about taking all this great shit that our predecessors had built and “unlocking value” which really meant finding ways to leech out whatever bit of money they could get in the short run and let the future be damned. It was all just one big swindle, and the only kind of engineering that matters anymore is financial engineering.

    Empahsis added to point out (fake) Steve likely recapitulating the secret mission statement of AT&T. They sell pipes, for chrissakes. And yet they think it is in their interest to restrict and deny people access to those pipes, which said people feel they have contracted for access to and have every right to access. Worse, AT&T seems to feel this is a winning strategy. And maybe it is. For 2009, and even some of 2010. But 2011? Not so much. I guess Randall and his lot will have vested and retired to Nantucket by then.

    That this sort of shit seems to be the organizing concept of American industry for the past half-century or so is, uh, totally unrelated and nothing to worry about, I’m sure. Fake Steve sums it up:

    I had this vision of the future — a ruined empire, run by number crunchers, squalid and stupid and puffed up with phony patriotism, settling for a long slow decline.