Thursday, June 28, 2007

Apple's hyping of the iPhone? Did i miss something?

If i read one more person write about the (undeserved, they claim) hype that Apple has generated about the iPhone who's going to kill themselves if they read one more story on the iPhone, i'm going to start taking down the whole internet.

Apple's hype machine can be described in one sentence:
A series of demos and commercials that show nothing more than a guy in a black shirt and blue jeans using the product.

And therefore, with that level of insane marketing and hype, Apple should be derided for the eventual failure and gotcha-scamming of millions of suckers that buy the things.

You are nucking futs.

Okay lets take the hype machine from the beginning to the end, eh?

1. The MWSF Stevenote:
it had to be done - the FCC announced it about 30 days after the Stevenote. And let me say that the Stevenote contained no semi-naked girlz or pop music or jumping up and down all sweaty yelling ZUNE ZUNE ZUNE! It was a 50-something bald guy with a phone wearing a black shirt and blue jeans showing people how it worked along with his demo monkey and the guy that designed it. He said he was proud of it and that Apple had been working on it for a few years.

2. The WWDC Stevenote:
people were throwing chairs at Apple over what happened. I'm not sure that on any planet, one could define THAT as hype.

3. The last two weeks:
They completed field testing, made some software tweaks, and finalized the specs based on real-world numbers that have been verified by half a dozen reviewers. Battery specs are hype? Really? They put out 4 videos showing a guy dressed as Steve Jobs USING the phone. NO music whatsoever. If that's hype, i wonder what the world would think of an arthritic cat dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans. The kids would SOOOOO want one. And you could see the cat on YouTube, i'm sure.

4. The web campaign:
they told people the rules for purchase, the costs of the plans, and provided a page to let people know if the store near them is sold out, to save them a trip driving up to Denver in the SoCal-like traffic of Denver.

Now - is there hype around this? Yes. But I submit that 99% of the hype and the reason for the anti-hype backlash is not Apple's fault.

My Proof?

Substitute Steve Jobs with Jergen Hansfrenblebimmonss and Apple with Noika and iPhone with N95 - and let me know if you think that there would be level of hype involved.

Oh wait... it didn't happen? Because the N95 is just more of the same badly designed crap that's been available from cell phone providers since the beginning.

The only hype apple has generated is that, like the iPod, they've made a device that, by all analysis, is what people WANT, rather than the crap that they're forced to choose from if they want a phone/music player/internet device. Yeah - there's a crime right there.

If Apple's campaign were any more understated or subdued on the topic of iPhone, you'd wonder if you'd have to be in a coma to use it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

c|net tool, Robert Vamosi

just give the guy his hit count and get it over with....

Mr Vamosi has a congenital defect that all cnet folks seem to have... they know nothing and are full of shit.

"When flaws are patched, Apple often does not acknowledge the researchers who actually brought the vulnerability to its attention."

now, i don't mean to disagree with a guy that gets paid to blog, but holy shit, here's a short sample of the OPPOSITE of what good ol Robbie has to say on the subject of Apple not giving acknowledgements or otherwise going after "security researchers" like Lit Cigarrette Maynor.

and that's just 10.4.10 - 10.4.3

if anyone cares to, feel free to look them up yourself...

what i want to know is why i can't get a bullshit job like this hack, and just post drivvel for a career.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Moron Syncing... or, Thanks for proving my point, Information Week!

In my last post, i explained why grown up Mac users want iPhones - because we're sick of syncing hell.

apparently, someone noticed this and wrote a long, drawn out example of what the hell i'm talking about..

This dude at Information Week pretty much proves my point - Mac users are completely second class citizens on the syncing front, or at least, all syncing methods for current smartphones are crap by Mac user standards (that is, we'd like them to work.)

Between my Nokia Symbian, my Blackberry, and my Treo, i've never gotten a smartphone to work with my Mac - and we stupidly have continued to throw money at the problem, hoping that the next guy will serve us properly. And i've spent well over $600 trying.

So, I'm going to give it one last try with the iPhone. But holy hell, if Apple can't do it, you can assume i'll never buy a smartphone again, and will just go back to carrying a SE brick and a laptop when i travel.


while i'm carrying on - i figured it would take SOME time for this to happen, but that it was both Enderle and "Lit Cigarette" Maynor just makes it all the sweeter.

Turns out, "we want an SDK to make iPhone apps! What security problem?" and "damnit, the iPhone is not secure!" is going to be the rallying cry of those apposed to the Butcher of Noika. The tag team FUD machines of Enderle and Maynor and have been quoted in the ever-increasingly-stupid Forbes magazine as saying "The more things a device does, the more vectors an attacker can use," he says. "With the iPhone, the initial barrier to finding vulnerabilities has been overcome because the browser has already been out there."

So thats it then... its not secure and its fine, lets put out an SDK. I wonder what would have happened if Apple had provided an SDK at the beginning and let anyone install anything on the phone? I suppose that Maynor would have shit himself in glee at how breakable the iPhone is. Like the other platform that runs OS X... the Mac.

Of course, since 99.999% of Mac users don't run anti-virus software or firewalls, and the same number of people have never had a problem, we'll take his advice and properly file it.

Its the Syncing, Stupid

I am a Mac user, and damnit, all us Mac users are going to wait in line and buy the damn iPhone as soon as we can for one, critical, and simple reason.

Would you like to be treated like a Chinese prisoner in Japan before the war?
Would you like to be treated like a black person in the south in the 50's?
Would you like to be treated like Salman Rushdie in Pakistan?

Of course not.

Then why do you think Mac users want to be treated like Mac users with smartphones for the last 7 years?

$500 is NOTHING compared to all the different phones Mac users have had to buy over the years looking for nirvana - where we could use a smartphone, get email, surf the suck-web, and make phone calls, all while having to either stupidly setup our "smart"phones by manually hacking in our address books, or even worse, using the "sewage-water for a dying man in a desert"-like software that was supposed to let us do those things automatically.

Honestly, Apple could have charged a thousand bucks for the damn thing, and most of the Mac users i know feel the same way. And the sick thing is... deep down inside, i still actually sit here and a part of me wonders...

will this phone actually sync properly with my Mac????

i know it sounds impossible... but having been let down time after time with

the PalmPilot/Treo
the Nokia Symbian phones
the Blackberry phones and their crazy-ass "get your software from out in left field" nonsense...

Mac users are terribly gunshy.

Motorola phones and SE phones, to be honest, sync fairly well with Macs - SonyEricsson being the best of the bunch. iSync and SE phones are pretty much stone-cold perfect.. of course, the downside to this is actually having to own a SE phone that makes you look like a continuously horny perv with the 3x4 inch bluge in your pocket. In Colorado, you have to actually get the state to issue you a licence to carry a SE phone because they're so fat and dense and heavy, they can be used as a deadly weapon were you to throw them at an on-coming attacker. My last SE phone, the W600i, was capable of pulling double duty as a cell phone and a Caterpillar chocking block.

Motorola phones, while being slim, simultaneously win the awards for "most peleolithic UI" and "most likely to be powered by a water wheel and a difference engine". To call them slow is to insult the great sidereal year as being annoyingly frenetic.

So, i can somewhat understand the problem faced by people that don't understand why anyone would want the iPhone - so let me sum it up.

Its thin, it looks reasonably good pulling phone duty, it will play my music and my movies that i have all stored on my Mac, and it will (hopefully) sync with Address,, .Mac, and my stickes without me having to wonder "wtf is going to go wrong when i try to sync this damn thing?"

Of course, i'm a Mac user and i assume that the Windows software that comes with all those phones actually works.. but i have no proof of that. It could be that the Windows software blows as many donkeys as the Mac software that's out there... and the only reason that the Windows users aren't whining is because.. well...

we are talking about Windows users, aren't we?

Office 2007 is the PS/2, have you heard of it?

How 2007 is Going to be 1987

Microsoft has remade the PS/2 - the very thing that vaulted them over IBM for market dominance - in their own image.

And its called Office 2007.

In 1987, IBM crafted a frustratingly inconsistent, incompatible, and technically uninteresting upgrade that brought the business community nothing substantial. IBM believed that their dominance would force corporate America to not only ignore the high cost of and the problems with their new platform. They smugly thought the market would buy this "vendor lock-in dressed as a new product" product known (now barely remembered) as the PS/2.

20 years later? Substitute IBM with Microsoft and PS/2 with Office 2007.

Having obviously learned nothing from their former partner and rival, Microsoft is in the exact same market position as IBM was - totally dominant, with some cracks beginning to show both technically and financially - and are under the idea that doing everything possible to piss off as many users as they possibly can is somehow going to improve the situation.

In the later 1980's, it was already becoming obvious that only stuffed shirts of MIS middle management thought their job simply meant walking into a meeting and saying "IBM" and "industry standard" a lot and to be continuously validated by their technically inept bosses. And, well, it was.

But for those companies and startups doing new things and coming up with actual new ideas - thinking past the PC and looking toward the future of networks and interoperability - for those folks that actually make things happen in "The Valley" like Apple, Sun, HP and Compaq, the thought of using IBM hardware to be the basis of their burgeoning companies was impossible to think, and a sign that one's technical chops were weak... "corporate suit"-weak.

Welcome to 2007. It is already becoming obvious that only the stuffed shirts of IT middle management think that their job simply means walking into any meeting and saying "Microsoft" and "industry standard" a lot while being neverendingly validated by their technically inept bosses. And well, it still is.

But for those doing new things and coming up with actual new ideas - thinking past the simple internet toward integration and interoperability and user-driven content and online everywhere - for those folks that actually make things happen in "The Valley" like Apple, Google, and pick-a-2.0-company, the thought of using Microsoft software to be the basis of their burgeoning companies IS impossible to think, and a sign that one's technical chops are weak... "point and click"-weak.

I can't think of a single 2.0 company that we've all heard of that runs Microsoft's proprietary software stack. Not one. Paul Graham pointed that out to us in his now famous dictum - "Microsoft is dead". To quote The Real Steve Jobs, that doesn't mean in a small way.. that means in a big way. They're dead not that they're going out of business next week - IBM never went out of business - but today, hip, technologically savvy people don't really care about Microsoft, and it will only be about 5 years before Microsoft's most reliable customers - corporate and government America - will catch on and follow suit. But the stink of death is already on them.

Paul said

"All the computer people use Macs or Linux now. Windows is for grandmas, like Macs used to be in the 90s. So not only does the desktop no longer matter, no one who cares about computers uses Microsoft's anyway."

This is exactly how it was for IBM in the late 80's as they petered out of the dominant role in the computer industry. All the "computer" people used non-IBM machines. Not only didn't the computer maker matter, anyone who cared about computers intentionally didn't use IBM computers by 1990.

And by then, "IBM Compatible" became a term 100 times more popular than "IBM PC" had ever been.

I was there - I worked at Babbages in the mall in hyper-affluent Southern California - and i can count on one hand the number of times i heard "I have an IBM PC". They always said "I have an IBM Compatible".

How did it happen? Easy! remember it with me...

One random day in 1987, IBM had a press conference, and it was very weird. IBM, in their power ties and "greed is good" suits stood there and smiled on us like hapless children as they dropped the combo-mother of all shit sandwiches upon the corporate world -
1. incompatibility
2. buck naked vendor lock-in
3. a price that would make Donald Trump (pre gopher-hairpiece) shit in his pants.

I think that they thought the world was looking for just that combo... i guess.

3 years later, IBM was floundering in all kinds of bizarre ways, like asking their newfound rival, Microsoft, to write software that competed with Microsoft's new operating system, for IBM, in order to smash Microsoft's own product? This intergalactically famous corporate screwup is so dense that blackholes don't suck as hard and this mistake's perfection is sullied only by the fact that Michael Bay hasn't made a movie of it yet.

Fast forward to... no... lets scroll wheel down to 2007.

Microsoft partners with Novell on Linux and Windows technologies... and there's talk of Yahoo buyouts. They make two very Apple-esque totally closed platforms that no one else can license and that they control every facet of, and lose money hand over fist in these endeavors... while basically taking their only money makers, Office and Windows, and making them so confoundingly different to use and basically incompatible with everything that came before them.

see what i mean?

Today, Microsoft's lock-in is simple and one can only wonder what in the hell would posess them to tamper with the Perfect Lock-In Storm of


Corporate hard drives are stuffed to the gills with them to point where the MSCE's can't slam additional harddrives into the RAIDs fast enough - and they want to break that? What are they smoking?

And just as there were untold AT keyboards, monitors, floppy disks, and specialty cards that worked in "IBM Compatible" computers that would absolutely NOT work on IBM PS/2 computers, the world now runs on 3 3-letter abominations of binary files. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that will be too hard to use with Office 2007 for the average office worker.

It will be one Homer Simpson "DOH!" moment after another as people fight their software in ways only previously found in nightmares trying to do something as simple as making a Word file that someone else can read. Hell, if this is Microsoft's idea of "its easy", Office 2007 is going to be non-stop fun.

Your boss and you put up with a lot using Windows... what's going to happen when work is a 10-hour long monkeyshit fight to do nothing more basic than give someone a file that they can read?

How long until the phrase "Old Office File" becomes part of our everyday lexicon? Seriously, I should trademark the phrase "Old Office Compatible" and go sit on a beach drinking mai tai's with no salt for the rest of my life. It worked for Michel Buffer, didn't it?

But as my fellow engineers and i read the announcement today in the company-wide email, it came to me like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky...

Microsoft has just IBM'd themselves.

The message read in part:

"The shit sandwich of Office 2007 will be coming to your computer one morning in the near future, and there's nothing you can do about it. You can put mustard on it in the form of "online training", we can even give you a teaser taste of the shit sandwich by giving you a copy at home for $26 of your own dollars. But don't be fooled. You *will* eat this shit sandwich".

That's paraphrased, by the way. The actual message caused people in my office to start mumbling phrases which will become the stuff of "coprorate bingo" from a few years ago...

  • "i guess i'll be working at home now just to get my work done"
  • "is there a 'classic' mode so that i can just get my work done?"
  • "at least they haven't done anything crazy like get rid of File, Edit, View, and Tools menus... right? Right?"

    The worst part is that i've not heard a single person, technical or otherwise, give a single reasonable answer to the most obvious question... "why are we doing this and why can't we just leave things alone since they work?". The reason is obvious and hardly needs to be said...

    Microsoft has no choice, and big companies and US government agencies are similarly left with no choice - just as Microsoft intended us to be.

    As an aside and in the spirit of not being a knee-jerk windows basher, lets point out some truths...
  • Windows 95? Much better than 3.1, thank you.
  • NT 4 eventually brought you Windows 95 on something moderately stable.
  • Window 2000 was the best version of Windows ever - accepted as truth galaxy-wide and true source of Microsoft's problem - that no one would ever need a newer version of Windows ever again
  • XP was 2000, but slower, but you could basically have your Windows 2000 for a few more years and just get back to work.

    I'm not even going to bring up Vista, mostly because i don't have to. The reviews are short and to the point...
    "No reasonable requirements... Less useable than Windows XP. Lame."

    And funny, the corporate world is saying to Vista..."yeah, maybe later, maybe never. not now, that's for sure. Stop asking".

    But i've been reading and seeing and am now personally affected by some mutant corporate IT leadership that have somehow figured "well, Vista will be a pain in my ass, but Office will be a pain in their ass, so lets do that and get the little man from Microsoft off my back to upgrade."

    While, practically no one alive can even tell without looking at a splash screen which version of Office they are on between 95, 97, 2000, 2003 - we all know what happens the first time one of the little IT rank-n-file installs Office 2007 on a "test" machine.

    They start to get a twitch, and then they start to sweat... then they just outright panic..

    Their futures? A never ending bitch session from their users of..."where's the Freeze Pane in this damn new Excel?" and "where the hell is Times New Roman?" and "i just want to click on the indent button... where the hell did it go?"

    But the one that will be seared into their ears for all time will be...

    "how do i do this in Office 2007"

    I should trademark "...where's the Tools menu..." too and invite a friend to sit next to me on the beach.

    How did IBM screw up - in one sentence? By trying to foist non-compatible products on the golden geese of corporate America at outrageous prices with "Vendor Lock-In" listed as a feature in the sales pitch.

    Ditto, Microsoft.

    And as I sit here, i am astonished. If Microsoft put out a vision statement that read "To rise to complete dominance and ultimately crash and burn in exactly the same way as IBM", presented it at a shareholder meeting, and gave it out to everyone at Microsoft as a powerpoint file to print out and decorate their cubicles... they still wouldn't have come up with such a perfect clone of IBMs great failure.

    But i'll need those as .ppt's... i can't open .pptx files.
    I'm on a Mac.

    * : much love to FakeSteve - don't worry, i don't plan on hijacking El Jobso's riffs as general practice. Consider this title my one "freebie" leech.