What Steve Jobs didn't say is fairly stupid.

Leaving aside that I don't believe for a second the story that Steve Jobs was caught with Shuriken in his carry on and leaving aside that Shuriken are a pretty stupid, imprecise, and not very deadly weapon, I would like to comment on what was quoted as said by Steve Jobs in that article. He (didn't) say: "it wouldn’t make sense for a person to try to hijack his own plane". It wouldn't make sense. But it also wouldn't make sense to let some passengers through with weapons because they are flying their own plane. You are just putting a price on hijacking other planes. A hijacker could pass the weapon to a passenger in a commercial flight (or in a plane owned by somebody else) or he/she could pretend he/she is flying in her own plane with the objective of smuggling the weapons. The threat by Steve of not returning to Japan, not only sounds like him, but it reflects the Apple looser mentality.


Innovation's Genome

I think Apple's new Nano is a mistake (i.e. worse than the previous version), but I think that Apple is falling into an innovation trap and being very successful at avoiding the consequences. On one hand, it has to change products so that the old one looks, well, old. On the second hand, sometimes the changes are for the worst (witness the no button shuffle). On the third hand, Apple has not changed the laptops significantly for more than 3 years without negative consequences. How is it that a laptop that can be 3, 4, or even 9 years old, doesn't look old, but an iPod looks instantly old when a new version comes out? Apple's magic.

But the best trick Apple has done is convince people that they are individuals if they buy they same piece of electronics that everybody has. How does that happen? Easy, normal people don't like to try things. Many years ago I wrote an article about Operating Systems. In it I complained that we should buy Operating Systems the way we do cars: By comparison shopping, but that that was very hard. I realized now that I was being young and foolish then, well, I am old and foolish now. People do not comparison shop for cars (or for almost anything). People use different brands of cars when they rent or borrow a car. They get what they are used to and what they know. From time to time what looks good or is cheap or the press hypes it. Same with computers, phones. mp3 players and what have you. This is the end of innovation. Well, not really, cars are innovative all the time. Because they are made by engineers, hackers, and makers, and talked about by geeks and freaks in places like Autoblog. What they are not is crazy innovative. If they don't conform with certain norms they won't get made and the same will happen with gadgets of all kind as they get massively popular. Products will look and feel similar and most people interpret that as a good thing. But the breed suffers. From an evolutionary stand point it is like we are killing the mutants. Not only the ones that couldn't survive on their own or would be a burden on the tribe, but the ones that have superpowers and could feed the whole tribe.

And what happens is that the gene pool stagnates, like in cars. Certain things change, slowly, but there is no radical departure. If most people do not like convertibles, convertibles are not made. If people like SUV, most cars will be SUV like. That will happen with phones, because opinions like this one will push it that way. Even the geeks can't see different perspectives. That's what gave us Windows, that's what gave us the iPhone. I don't like it. As K.V. use to say, and that, is that.


Apple: A showcase for incompetence

So, I heard Apple was going to stream the event yesterday, so I borrowed a Mac in order to watch it. But I couldn't. Why? Apple was only streaming to Macs with Snow Leopard and IOS 4 devices, and my Mac only had Leopard. That means that people with Windows couldn't watch the stream. Apple may think that this is a showcase of its technical capabilities, but it really is just a showcase of its incompetence. It's the same incompetence that made Microsoft create sites that only worked on Internet Explorer, or music files that could only be played in Windows. If a user goes to a site offering stream and can't watch it, is not the user fault, it's the site's fault. Ten years ago Apple could stream to any computer using Quicktime, but Apple is less capable now, Why?

Because Apple fanboys and the fawning media refuse to criticize Apple. That is why everybody thought the Shuffle without buttons was fine. That's why nobody is saying what a piece of shit Ping is. Steve Jobs introduced Ping as a Social Network for Music, and asked "Does it make sense?" After using the service I can answer: "No, it doesn't." It doesn't make sense how many artist are not in there, it doesn't make sense that podcasts are not there, it doesn't make sense that there is no way in and out of Ping, and it doesn't make sense that there are no status message. Apple decides what activity you display, you can't say what you want. How is that for social? It's closer to a Fascist Network! Ping will fail, but you won't hear about it until it does.


Apple: One step forward, two steps backwards

So, Apple introduces new iPods. At last, they listened and fixed the iPod shuffle which is now just a smaller version of the correct shuffle. That only took them a year and a half or so. Of course, they don't realized that by changing the design often they are going to screw up a good thing, so now, they've taken the buttons out of the nano! The new nano is almost as stupid as the old shuffle, but I bet it will sell better. I am very glad I picked up the right nano a couple of weeks ago. It has the video camera the new one lacks, and the click wheel. I think it is destined to become a classic. The new touch is nice, I was expecting more of a redesign. Why does the touch looks so different from the iPhone? It didn't used to. As for the Apple TV the only news there is the price. It is cheap and if it works outside the US, I may get one. I am pretty sure I am getting a touch and a shuffle.


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