Archive for December, 2009

The Sun newspaper can go screw itself

December 31, 2009 3 comments

The Sun, a newspaper in the UK, put out a little video parodying the amazing commercials that Apple makes for its products, and are also trying to poke fun at all of the hype around the iSlate. This is their commercial:

Cute, right? Well fuck you, Sun Newspaper, you’re standing in the way of progress. Also, people are going to think you’re serious with this crap and start running around talking about how they’ve got a better handheld device than me. And you know what? I’m an old man; my wrists won’t be able to stand up to all of the goddamn punches to the face I’m going to have to give to people.

Thanks for making me need a wrist brace, Sun Newspaper. You can go straight to hell.

Also you’re making the goddamn trees cry. People who print things on paper are worse than Hitler. There, I said it.

Yes, that’s right, I said that killing trees and putting ink on the dried pulp so people can conveniently be made aware of the world around them regardless of their current power supplies is an act worse than rounding up a subset of your population because of their heritage and killing them in a systematic attempt to wipe their entire lineage from the planet, and I stand by it.

Shut up.

(thanks to Chris Brogan for linking to the video)


Social Media Experts should Shut Up.

December 30, 2009 3 comments

This just in from Mashable:

Social media is growing fast, but how fast? UsingTweepsearch to search bios on Twitter profiles, blogger B. L. Ochman found there were 4,487 social media experts in May 2009. Today there are 15,740.

I’m afraid I have to call shenanigans on this one, because I don’t believe for a moment that there are that many social media experts on Twitter. I have a hard time believing there are that many social experts working in the field. Now, I have no problem believing there are that many people who claim to be social media experts, but so what? It’s a meaningless, nebulous label, like calling yourself a writer, a musician, or, worse, an artist. Who can disprove your claim if you’re jackass enough to label yourself a social media expert?

Since “social media expert” is subjective, and doesn’t come with extra letters after your name, it’s like any of the million other careers where you get to claim to be whatever you like  — I’m a tech journalist! — no matter how empty the claim is, or how little you know, or how you’re no more than a puppet making jokes in front of a low-end camera in a frigid basement. More than that, all these idiots claiming to be experts makes everyone else look bad, and when I say that I’m not just saying how the fake experts make the real experts look bad, though that does happen — no, I’m talking about how fake social media experts make everyone who sings the praises of the web look like idiots. And not just everyone who claims they’re a social media expert. I’m talking about everybody who praises the power of the web. We look like idiots because of those jerks. It’s like every time you hear about a breatharian, all people with any leanings toward magical thinking look stupid.

It’s stupidity by association, and it should stop.

Since we don’t have the gatekeepers that lawyers or doctors or police officers have, and since it’s sadly not illegal to claim to be a social media expert — A world with Arrington in jail is a world I want to be a part of — we have to rely on something else. We have to rely on people-based systems, such as the system of Trust highlighted by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith in their great book Trust Agents. What that means, really, is that if you’re actually an expert in something you have to earn the trust of people you’re proclaiming your expertness to, and if you’re not an expert, if you’re one of the 90% of online idiots who think they can give themselves all the titles in the world because it’s online, and everybody’s an expert, well, this means we get to point at you and laugh until you go away.

I know you can’t see me, because this is text, but if you’re an idiot and you suck, I’m pointing and laughing at you. Go away.

Apple is NOT moving to a spectrum of OSes.

December 30, 2009 2 comments

A couple days ago over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, they asked the question: Could Apple be moving to a spectrum of operating systems?

“I’ve been wondering if Apple, on their Jan. 26th product announcement, won’t start to differentiate OS X to include OS X Mobile, OS X Touch, OS X Desktop & OS X Server. But rather than discreet versions of the OS, it is a spectrum where features of one version can slide up and down the scale depending on the functionality of the hardware platform it’s running on. It seems to be moving in that direction whether a formal acknowledgment is made or not.”


What do you think? Is a new, formal acknowledgment of a new Apple OS on the way, or will the tablet run a beefier version of the iPhone OS?

What do I think? I think: No. That’s stupid. One of Apple’s strengths on the consumer end is that they don’t currently do it like Microsoft does it; they’ve spent years pointing out that they have one version, so there’s zero confusion about which version to buy. Why the crap would they change that now? Hell, they’ve already got wildly different versions of OS X on the go, but they’re pretending it’s the same thing. The version of OS X you get on your iPod Touch or your iPhone doesn’t go on your MacBook Pro, but they’re both OS X. Get it? It’s simple, and it’s genius, partly because it’s Apple, but partly because it makes things clear: Apple products run on OS X, and it’s not like there can be any confusion, because you can’t buy them in any way other than they’re intended; they never cross the streams.

Yes, that was a Ghostbusters reference. Shut up.

Apple already has it right, and it’s something that, frankly, Steve Ballmer could learn from: the customers don’t need to know what all of the options are, they just need to know what options are right for them. Do you realize how much easier people would be on Microsoft if they said “Buy Windows 7 Home Premium if you’re an individual. None of the other versions make sense for you?” Seriously, Steve Ballmer, this isn’t rocket science.

Aside from the stupidity of this idea from a marketing perspective, if Apple did start touting 4 separate versions, what would Bertrand Serlet be able to come to the stage with? It seems like his entire job consists of making fun of Microsoft for this exact thing; if Apple differentiated their OSes like TUAW is suggesting, he’d be out of a job, all because Apple would be acting more like Microsoft.

So, in conclusion: this is a stupid idea, and The Unofficial Apple Weblog should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking of it. Go to your shame corner, TUAW; go to your shame corner.

Why it’s called the iSlate.

December 29, 2009 5 comments

More and more people are saying that the upcoming Apple Tablet will be called the iSlate, and I’m very sad to report that yes, that’s what it’s going to be.

The iSlate.

I love Steve like a beloved student who I love so much I want to hug, but I think this is the dumbest name for an Apple product since “Katie Cotton.” A lot of you are wondering what Steve is thinking giving such a wonderful product such a stupid name, but I can tell you, because I was in the meeting when they decided on the title: It was Phil Schiller’s fault. What happened was, we’d been throwing out possible names for hours, and nothing seemed to click.

(My suggestion was for either Tablet or iMoss, but both were shot down by Tim Cook, the jealous bastard.)

Schiller kept yelling “iSlate” over and over like a puppy barking at a squirrel, but everyone hated the name. Everyone. Including Steve. But he kept at it, and Steve kept hitting him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, but he wouldn’t stop. Anyway, we were taking a break in our naming session, and we had one of those gentlemanly-bet moments that happens in fiction but never in real life where we were talking about how huge a success the new tablet will be. I said:

It’s going to be the biggest thing since the iPhone.

Steve said:

It’s going to be bigger, Walt. It’s going to be a hundred times bigger than the iPhone. People will buy one for each hand. They’ll buy two for every room in their house. They’ll buy one for their dogs.

Then I made a comment I’ll regret until the day the new tablet is inevitably replaced by something cooler, and Steve forgets about it:

You know, it probably doesn’t matter what we call the thing.

Immediately, Steve got it. He started saying how he could give it the worst name being suggested, and it would still be more popular than the iPhone. As soon as he said worst name, Schiller resumed yelling “iSlate” over and over like a retarded puppy. Steve started laughing maniacally. Katie Cotton said she didn’t think it would work, that the name was too bad to sell people on, but Steve brushed her concerns away with his hand and also his logic:

Nobody cares about the name, really, Katie. Sure, at first they’ll say it’s stupid, but are they not going to buy five of these things just because they sound slightly douchey saying what it is when people ask? No, of course not. Sure, some people will grumble, and I’m sure some idiots will start up “call it the iTablet” petitions, but they’ll still buy the thing, and their complaints will end the first time they power up, or once they get laid, or something. It’s not a problem.

Steve was so sure of this that he made a bet with Katie:

If this product isn’t more popular than the iPhone, even despite the godawful name Schiller came up with, I’ll give you back your soul. Okay? That’s how confident I am that it’ll succeed. Now let’s go market the fucking future!

And that’s why it’s called the iSlate. For my part in the atrocious name, I can only ask for your forgiveness. I’m so sorry.

Ray Kurzweil is taking us toward a singularity of stupid.

December 29, 2009 2 comments

Yesterday in Gizmodo, that publication I hate so much I want to vomit on Jesus Diaz’s shoes, there was a post about a new product called Blio, which will be debuted at the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas.

Brief note: I won’t be going to CES this year, because no one would put me in a large enough goddamn hotel room. Also there was a concern about the ability of certain unnamed wussy corporations to write off that many prostitutes as a tax expense.

Brief note 2: If you’re reading this and you’re my wife, “prostitutes” is a tech industry term for EVDO cards. Read more…

Steve Jobs is really “happy” about the upcoming tablet.

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Writing about Apple in the New York Times last week, Nick Bilton said that sources within Apple say that Steve Jobs, my friend who is so close I call him for Scrabble advice (you sunk my Battleship!), is very happy about the upcoming Apple Tablet. Like, ridiculously, deliriously happy.

When one of my colleagues here asked if the rumors of the Apple tablet were true, and when we could expect such a device, the response from his source was, “I can’t really say anything, but, let’s just say Steve is extremely happy with the new tablet.”

Why is Steve so happy about the new tablet? Because I just gave it my thumbs up, something bound to put any high-powered CEO in a good mood. A while ago, in one of my videos, I told you that I was the reason for the delays with the Apple Tablet. I said that I told my dear, personal friend Steve that releasing the tablet earlier would’ve been too hard for you, the common people, to handle; it would’ve been too revolutionary, and I think that a good percentage of the planet would have had an aneurysm from the awesomeness of the tablet. This is what I said:

… wean them onto the future device slowly, with the iPhone, so they understand this revolutionary technology bit-by-bit, and their heads don’t explode.

And just a couple weeks ago I called Steve up to let him know that I felt that the world was sufficiently prepared for his paradigm-changing device. I told Steve:

Enough people are using the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and enough of them have seen all of those cool magazine on tablet demo videos going around that I think they’re ready. The time has come, close personal friend Steve Jobs: you can show the world the Tablet.

And now, with my blessing, Steve’s running around the Apple campus clicking his heels like a happy leprechaun, and he’s going to unveil the mindblowingly amazing product to the world at a goddamn special event on January 26, all because of me.

You’re welcome. Shut up.

An Exclusive Look at Microsoft’s R&D Department

December 28, 2009 2 comments

I was lucky/hated enough to get a special tour of Microsoft’s inner sanctum today, and part of that tour included their R&D facilities, where they dream up all sorts of products that some idiot or another will eventually call revolutionary, even though it isn’t Apple. Check it out:

That explains a lot about what’s coming out of Redmond these days, don’t you think?