Random, But Not Necessarily Deliberate

April 14th, 2014 · General Detritus

We’re on vacation. Palm Springs, CA. This is where you want to be if trying to look young is a huge thing for you. It’s in style here. It really doesn’t matter how old you are, develop a physique that says “famine,” and wear designer clothes. At least wear short pants/skirt and expose as much leathery skin as possible, so everyone knows you’re trying to look like your grandchildren. You also need to wear a lot of jewelry if you’re going to let everyone know you have more money (credit card debt) than they do.

Anyway, I’ve been a little slack about reading the innertubes. There’s beer. In June is the WWDC. Apple is expected to announce practically everything including a new OS and SDK for the Newton. The silliness gets worse and worse.

Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, who I’ve come to respect as a writer over the past couple of years, wonders why Apple is suing Samsung instead of Google. As much as I like PED, the answer is easy. Google doesn’t make any money directly from Android. Google only makes money from ads in faces. By suing companies that use Google’s OS, Apple makes is less and less profitable to use Android. Even if Apple doesn’t win right away, all those lawyers have to be paid and Apple can afford to pay them longer than the defendants can. Free is only good as long as it’s really free. Apple is making sure it stays “not free” to run Android.

Samsung is trying out “Tizen.” It’s only a matter of time before the other hardware makers start to develop their own OS’s to supplant Android. Then Apple can dictate terms to Google for access to iOS, or just let them collapse like a failed soufflé. I predict the latter.

The iWatch won’t die. It’s possible that Apple will introduce something wristwatchish. It will be completely different than anything currently foreseen. I’ll probably buy two.

MacDailyFlameWar posted a link to this story where Barron’s says Microsoft is a risky investment.

Duh.

Barron’s is a collection of analysts and editors. They’re like weathermen – right often enough that you can’t ignore them, and wrong often enough that you can’t believe them.

Microsoft owns the desktop. If you bought a truckload of T-Shirts commemorating the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Denver Broncos, you have an idea how it must feel to own the desktop OS market right now. Approximately nobody needs the power of the next generation of desktop computers, and roughly everybody can accomplish what they need to accomplish with, at most, a laptop. All but a thin slice of the pie chart can do all they need to do with a phone and maybe a tablet. The desktop is all but dead as a mass-market category.

Mobile is the new thing and Microsoft has less impact on mobile than it ever had in the portable music player marketplace. Remember the Zune? I saw one once in the wild. I also saw them in store displays being ignored.


 

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Around the Innertubes in 80 Column Inches (or fewer)

April 9th, 2014 · General Detritus

 

MacDailyNews is reporting that DigiTimes is reporting that flexible circuit boards are being tested by Apple for possible inclusion in iWatch.

DigiTimes predicts that the iWatch will be introduced in September. Do with that information what you will.

A flexible circuit board may also indicate that Apple is developing….

  • iDodgeball/iMedicineball/iBasketball
  • iSeatcushion
  • iShockabsorber
  • iElbowpatch (ultra-suede or genuine naugahyde)
  • iToothpaste Tube
  • iCondom (Large, Extra Large, and Circus Freak)
  • iPatch
  • iMeasylikesundaymorning

Also not announced by Apple are the coming improvements to Apple TV. The new version will most likely require a hardware update to support the addition of connectors for SCSI, RS-232, AppleTalk, RCA Phono, and VGA. The new hardware will also be required to accommodate a surfeit of new content:

  • The Oil Change Channel –– Watch as skilled technicians change oil in domestic and foreign cars, trucks, motor homes, SUVs, and crossovers. Will also include lubes, filter changes, and fluid checks.
  • The People of WalMart Channel – Live video feed from rural and suburban SuperStores around the country.
  • The Toilet Paper and Facial Tissue Channel – Comparisons you can trust.
  • The Stars Reading Aloud Channel — Just like audiobooks but with your favorite megastars seated in comfortable chairs in front of a camera reading great novels. There is already reportedly a complete reading of the works of Louis L’Amour by Paul Reubens in the works. Also, Sarah Palin reads Dr. Seuss.
  • Apple is also reportedly in talks with cable companies who are in talks with content producers who are in talks with their gardeners who have been to all the local nurseries trying to find just the right shrub for the front walkway with no consensus on exactly what their wives want. This could take a while. Maybe someday we’ll be able to binge watch the whole series of You Asked For It without commercial interruptions.

Everybody expects Apple to introduce OS X 10.10 (code name: Syrah) at the WWDC in June. According to rumors, it’s supposed to be more “flat” like iOS 7. That, to me, means they’re ditching “Aqua.” For those of you who’ve been around awhile, Aqua has been a part of OS X since it was introduced. Steve Jobs said it looked so good you’d want to lick it. Maybe it’s just one more example of my uniqueness, but I’ve never wanted to lick my monitor.

Anyway, if the rumors are true, Aqua is dead.

I”m betting Apple will introduce something more earth-shattering than that, but who am I?

The punditbots and fundtards are still claiming Apple has to introduce the iWatch and the iTV because Google Motorola HTC Blackberry innovation market share. Also even if Apple does introduce the iWatch and iTV they’re already beaten because Google Motorola HTC Blackberry innovation market share.

Dear punditbots and fundtards,

Please take off your helmets, put down your crayons, and stop licking the nearest window long enough to read this:

Everybody knows that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. Everybody. All conceivable attributes of the two men have been compared ad nauseam since at least the middle of the last decade. Any further bleating on this topic is a sure sign that you have nothing of value to say about Apple. It establishes all the context anyone needs for the rest of what you have to say; in short, you’re an idiot.

If you have nothing original or insightful to say, the correct thing to do is SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Love,

Rip Ragged


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Wearing Thin.

April 3rd, 2014 · General Detritus

Good grief. I think I’m finally bored with the whole Apple thing. Why? Because it’s not interesting anymore. Nobody is saying anything new, or even anything not incredibly trite and stupid. Really. No joke. Let’s take a look at what’s going on right now.

New Products

There haven’t been any category-creating products since the iPad. That’s only news if you happen to be following Apple. It’s not news for any other company anywhere in any endeavor.

The world is awash in companies that produce a single product or service that they keep trying to make better. Ninety-nine and forty-four one hundredths of those companies are happy with incremental growth from year to year. An even higher percentage of those companies would kill their best friend’s mother with a stapler for Apple’s growth over the last 17 years (since Steve Jobs came back).

And yet the internet is crawling with hit-whore anti-Apple screeds, all screaming about Apple’s troubles. It’s all bullshit.

All. Bullshit.

Apple is doomed. DOOMED

If you look at Apple’s products, and if you think (a rare skill), you’ll notice that in every case Apple software runs Apple hardware. Apple makes the hardware and the operating software compatible. They don’t let others screw with the formula. They don”t license their OS. Ever. That stopped in 1997. Nobody ever talks about that being the secret sauce. Steve Jobs, before he was canned in ’85, gave the system software away for free. If you owned an Apple computer you upgraded the operating system by taking a floppy to the Authorized Apple Dealer. They put the OS on your disk and you were on your merry way. Now we have broadband innertubes, so you can just download the new OS free of charge – the original dream.

Apple did build an environment that lets you run Windows on a Mac. Oddly, Windows runs better in Boot Camp on a Mac than on a Wintel POS. But it’s still Windows, and of course, even on a Mac it could suck the MetLife blimp inside out without breaking a sweat.

Competition

If you want to compare tech companies, go ahead. Apple has to be compared to the whole tech industry, though. There isn’t a single company that competes with Apple.

You have to combine the efforts of at least two companies to come up with a competitor that actually competes with Apple. Your competitor will have to design and maintain the hardware and software for:

A music player

A phone

A computer (desktop and laptop)

A tablet

A set-top TV box

Different companies compete with separate Apple products, but nobody [nobody |ˈnōˌbädē, -bədē| pronoun – no person; no one: nobody was at home | nobody could predict how it might end. noun (pl. nobodies)] competes with the Apple oeuvre.

Add to that, Apple is making an unprecedented amount of money selling its products. Apple executives have to be happy that money is largely transacted digitally. They’d literally be wading around chest deep in hundred dollar bills otherwise. Simply put, it’s amazing that the company even survives. They’re doing everything wrong.

Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs

Are you kidding me? You have to be a moron to ascribe any meaning to that phrase. In fact the typist who considers that fact to be a basis for analysis should be deprived of a keyboard and sent to a maximum security basement until a suitable contrition has been expressed. I don’t know. A year without pizza and doughnuts might be extreme, but the constant application of a meaning to a useless, obvious fact is getting stupid and deserves punishment.

Tim Cook isn’t Steve Jobs. So? He’s the guy running the company. He has the company making money hand-over-fist. That’s what he’s supposed to do.

If you need a thrill, sell a share of AAPL and go rent a thrill.

Apple must introduce an iWatch or they’re doomed

Fiddlesticks and poppycock. Piffle. If you’ve seen the early entries into the smartwatch market, you’d know better.

They’re all crap. CRAP. Watches are, by their nature, small. You can only get a watch shaped thing to do so much. Nobody has figured out how to do that form factor with a bloatware set of unnecessary features and a battery that lasts from LAX to O’Hare.

When Apple introduces a watch-shaped thing, if Tim Cook was paying any attention while Master Jobst Fimil was in charge, the iWatch (or whatever it’s called) will have a small and important set of features that it will do very well. It will be able to do them for more than a couple of hours before charging the battery.

Apple will be doomed if it starts doing what the punditbots and fundtards think it should do.

Anyway, I’m starting to lose interest. The stupidity is exactly the same, but it’s getting worse because it’s been proved wrong for over a decade, and yet the babbling morons continue. Macalope does a good job of skewering them. I should just leave it be. Maybe I should change Rip Ragged to a community discussion about the movie Heartbreak RidgeOr possibly a forum on the neonicotinoid pesticides. Or incandescent light bulbs. Or men’s fashion.

Because, let’s face it. If you want to know what the tech business is going to do, watch what Apple does. The rest of the companies will do their very best to copy whatever that is. Then the tech press will jump up on their back legs and bray about how Apple is losing “market share” to the cheap-ass knock-offs. And on and on it goes.


I don’t know why I love this track. Maybe it’s the nod to Canned Heat in the lyrics.

 

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New and Improved

March 25th, 2014 · General Detritus

There’s a new book out called Haunted Empire. It’s about how Tim Cook isn’t Steve Jobs. I’m serious. The whole damn book is about how Apple has lost its way since the passing of The Master.

Apple is a business. You measure the success of a business in dollars. Apple is worth more dollars, and has made more dollars faster since Tim Cook took over as CEO.

The book makes the assertion that Apple is wandering in the desert because they haven’t created a new and innovative product in a couple of years. Is that necessary? When was the last time Exxon-Mobil introduced a world-shaking new product? Sure, it’s apples and oil wells, but still and all it’s possible to be successful by selling something that seems to work.

Anyway, the only person I’ve read who doesn’t think the book is total crap is Raw Benderly. You can go read what he has to say if you really want to, but I don’t link bozos on purpose.

Android Wear, which is terribly hard to report on since I can’t find any pictures of store displays of available units, is going to kick the shit out of the iWatch. Keep in mind that neither of these things actually exist anywhere. In fact Android Wear may be only a software OS thingy with no hardware built for it yet. In any event it’s the latest innovation from Mountain View that’s going to fire a warning shot across Apple’s bow and recalibrate what the tech world thinks of mobile computing.

There is no physical entity to display, or I’d show you pictures. There’s no iWatch either.

Guess which company is issuing press releases about a non-existent product. I’ll give you a clue. Put the two companies in alphabetical order. It’s the second one.

Dumb.

Apple is reported to be in some kind of negotiations with Comcast. I think they’re going to make F-Troop, The Jack LaLanne Show, and The Rifleman available on an on-demand channel along with highlights from the 1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also, possibly, selected episodes of Hootenanny and Shindig.


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Random Observations and Sarcasm

March 14th, 2014 · General Detritus

You might think the government doesn’t have the resources to use Facebook to tap into your personal hard disc drive and see what you have in there. You might have the mental acuity of a lawn gnome, too. Yes, the NSA can and will take a look at private hard disc drives using your Facebook account. Yes Zuckburger knows, and he called the king on the phone to protest. That should have about the same consequences as peeing on a grease fire.

After all, if you disagree with the king’s vision of America, you’re a threat to national security.

I’m pretty sure they’ve examined my stuff. Not that there’s anything of any significance.

The iWatch is still in the news. So is the Apple HDTV. Neither of which exist.

Late entries say that the iWatch will track your pulse, blood oxygenation, blood alcohol, blood relatives, and bladder level. The Apple HDTV is still a total mystery. Just between us kids, the Apple TV user interface will have to improve significantly before it makes a dent in anything. The current iteration sucks. Even with a bluetooth keyboard it’s annoying to navigate. Also, content will have to improve. YouTube can be a fun diversion, but after a while it gets kinda boring. Then there’s NetFlix. If there’s a movie I want to watch, it’s almost a sure bet it isn’t on NetFlix.

There needs to be a more intuitive way to surf channels on the Apple TV. And there needs to be some kind of “Apple TV Guide” to let you know what you might get to see on a given channel. For instance, Crackle. I had to go to the internet to even find out what the concept of Crackle even is. It looks a lot like NetFlix, but free (apparently).

The point is, the Apple TV interface should provide something to clue you in. Looking at most of the channels out of curiosity might be enlightening, but it’s time consuming and there’s no guarantee you’ll know any more when you’re done than when you start.

Why, oh why does the tech press keep reporting Steve Wozniak’s Apple business insights. The guy has all the business savvy you might expect from a drunk sailor in a red light district. Might as well interview Richard Sherman looking for insights on interpersonal and media relations. Woz showed up again this week. This time defending Tim Cook.

He might be right, but based on his track record it’s in the vision-impaired-squirrel-finding-a-nut spectrum if he is. Woz is a great guy from all reports. I know a lot of great guys who know absolutely nothing about how business works. I don’t have the knowledge to give any advice on business. So I don’t think it makes Woz a bad guy to have opinions. Reporting those opinions and ascribing importance to them is just goofy.

CarPlay is coming. And like every new Apple technology, you can read whatever you want to read about it. Anything. Tesla might be involved. And Solar City. After market electronics makers (Alpine, Kenwood, Emerson) are being interviewed. At this point, since it’s all speculation, the table is wide open.

No, seriously. It’s just starting. Currently you can only find CarPlay on 15 or 20 of the most Tech-Centric websites. By next week it will be a cover story on Barn & Silo and American Journal of Textile Manufacturing magazines. By the end of April you won’t be able to surf the web without bumping into:

  • The list of possible CarPlay features
  • The list of car models that will have CarPlay as standard equipment/high dollar option
  • How CarPlay will destroy Apple
  • Why Tim Cook is an idiot for releasing CarPlay
  • Why Steve Jobs would never have released CarPlay
  • Further evidence that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs
  • Only the members of the Apple cult will consider CarPlay to be a selling point or even a useful feature

Microsoft Office for iOS will be about as meaningful as a Kardashian wedding.

The Candy Crush IPO is coming. *yawn*

A stitch in time has nothing to do with string theory.

Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts did it first, but this is a pretty good take on a classic…

 

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New and Improved

March 10th, 2014 · General Detritus

Well, it finally happened. iOS 7.1 is on the street. It has updates, improvements, bug fixes, nude selfies of Justin Bieber, anything you could possibly want in an operating system for a thing in your pocket.

If you’re interested, you can find video clips of Justin Bieber giving a deposition. They’re all over the internet. I saw them on TMZ via a link on Facebook, just in case you’re wondering how boring this recovery is. The comment thread under the article with the videos is priceless. Everybody makes him out to be this huge villain because he’s being rude and dismissive to lawyers. He’s an extremely rich, pampered, smug, spoiled brat. Okay. Is the concept of “celebrity asshole” really new to anyone old enough to operate a web browser? And he’s talking to LAWYERS. He’s in a roomful of LAWYERS. Being an asshole in a roomful of lawyers isn’t really a crime, is it? I mean, you have to try to fit in, don’t you?

The worst part about the whole episode is that it’s being treated as news.

Who cares?

Apple TV has updated software, too. It’s supposed to make it easier to hide channels you don’t use. Also there’s supposed to be a channel for SXSW.

Apple is getting into the hearing aid business. They’ve hooked up with hearing aid company ReSound. Pretty soon everybody will want hearing aids because they’ll hook up to your phone wirelessly. You’ll be able to jam at your desk at work without anybody being able to see anything. It won’t be cheap, though. You’ll have to be serious about it, or get your health insurance to pay for them. Those bad boys are going to cost $3000 per ear or so.

I’ll find my way to a pair of them. I already wear hearing aids anyway, so I have an excuse going in.


This may have something to do with the deterioration of my auditory sense over the years. Thank goodness I still have plenty of pedal left to go. The volume knob still has room, and bigger speakers are always available.

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