Thursday, December 20, 2007

Think Secret is Dead

Alright? Every other frigging blog on the web that is authored by someone who can spell Apple has discussed the defunctness of Think Secret. Here are my comments: So? And?

It's gone. Nick is going to do other things with his life. Move along.

Over on Mac Daily News, some assclown posted a comment to the story. This guy cut and pasted the First Amendment to the Constitution, like so ---

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
But he decided that it wasn't good enough just like that so he added some emphasis, like this --
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; "or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Then he added the comment, "And that includes Apple."

Either he was defending Apple's right to free speech and a free press – which I don't think was ever questioned – or he means that Congress includes Apple. The first amendment exists to limit the power of the government in the described areas. It says the government can't pass laws that say, "Shut up." Apple has no responsibilities whatsoever under the first amendment. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zune.

It isn't a constitutional issue in any way, form, style, or fashion.

Apple wanted TS off the web. It happened. If the principles don't want to talk about it, who are we to make hash out of it.

Speaking of hash, Baxtrice asked an unrelated question on the last post: Is Apple acting monopolistically?

The answer: No.

A monopolistic company might make a browser (like IE 7 for instance) that requires nonstandard commands to operate, and breaks if the rest of the internet doesn't conform to its nonstandard requirements. Then, after deliberately trying to foist a broken piece of software on the planet, a monopolistic company might test a browser (like IE8), and claim it meets one limited set of standards (like Acid2), then declare itself the savior of the web for allegedly creating a piece of software that doesn't suck dog dicks.

Apple builds Safari. Apple doesn't mind if you run something else like Firefox or Opera or iCab or Camino. Apple didn't build a proprietary set of internet protocols for Safari. Safari doesn't break unless it runs across a site built specifically and exclusively for IE. Fortunately, those sites represent a small minority, and they're largely crap.

A monopolistic company would carelessly screw over its partners, knowing it didn't matter. They'd change DRMs ("Playsforshit") in the middle of a partnership, leaving their good friends holding on to useless and expensive hardware with no media to play on it. Then they'd build a music player that wouldn't even run their old files.

A monopolistic company would sell you a crippled operating system, require you to register your copy, and then electronically verify that you registered it. If the program thinks it's unregistered, the computer decides you must be a thief. Then, without offering you a chance to declare your innocence, the monopolistic company bricks your computer.

Why would a monopolistic company carelessly fuck over their customers, partners, competitors? Because they can. Because they're the only game in town. Because people will take it. Because we're so big and powerful that whatever we decide is automatically the new standard so learn to live with it, lemmings.

Apple isn't a monopoly. They don't do any of that crap. If we're really lucky, they never will. With the exception of the DRM on music, I think, Apple's stuff all operates on open standards.

The only way you can call Apple a monopoly is if you say they control the market for really cool shit. I can't see how that's their fault though. All the other tech companies have either been sucking the MS tit or fighting MS for so long that they've come to be largely irrelevant without MS. Whether they're fighting MS or holding on for dear life, their every move is defined by the Evil Empire.

Apple is utterly independent of MS. If MS stopped developing Office for Mac tomorrow, Apple would be just fine. At the same time, Apple doesn't have any job security based on fighting the Borg. Apple's legal department is the only part of the company that needs to give a rat's ass what's going on in Redmond.
Here's the really good part, though. Microsoft isn't a monopoly any more, either. Because, guess what? People are discovering they don't have to pay for overpriced half-assed crap – and then submit to a cavity search at the cash register. Microsoft isn't scary anymore.

Back before the turn of the century His Steveness said, "Microsoft doesn't have to lose for us to win." Earlier this year he said that he thought Leopard represented a "tipping point." Watch for Apple to be a little less secretive about upcoming products soon. The tipping point? Leopard – Just like Mr. Steve said.

MS can't kill a pre-announced Apple product with FUD anymore. Leopard vs. Vista killed MS-FUD's credibility. Apple has the hammer, now, baby. Twice a year – MacWorld and WWDC – His Steveness will almost certainly introduce something cooler than what anyone else is selling. That's a turbo FUD machine that Apple doesn't even have to operate. The fan-blogosphere has it handled.

Think Secret just became unnecessary, boys and girls. That's all.

Remember, you read it here second or third. Or maybe fourth.