Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

Hey. No. Really. I have to go. My wife thought I was going to be home two hours ago.

The move isn't complete, but from this point forward, all the new posts will be over ----> HERE.

It's a very nice place. They fixed it all up. The walls are soft. The nice young ladies bring me soft food. They sharpen my crayons for me and let me watch all my soaps.

Oh, boy. It's time for my candy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do Mac Lovers Hate Tech Analysts?

I saw an article over on MacDailyNews that posed the above question. Actually, MDN didn't ask the question, but they linked to an article that did. I didn't read so far as to find out the name of the twit who actually wondered that out loud. Clown.

The answer is: No. I love TidBits. They're tech analysts. They make sense without being totally slobbering fanboys, and I appreciate them respecting my turf that way. They write stuff I sometimes disagree with, but usually only until after I spit hot coffee on my shirt. Then I settle down.

Really, the answer is, "No, dumbass." But I'm trying to be kind. We LOVE tech analysts. It's just that there are so few of them among the poseurs and hacks.

Mac lovers hate FUD mongers and clods with obvious agendas who publish absolute idiotic drivel. InformationWeak and BusinessWeak come immediately to mind. Seriously, if reading absolute Enderleic, snotty-sleeved, basement-dwelling, pseudoanalytical, anti-Apple garbage appeals to you, those two sites are probably a bit beneath your standards.

Tonight's award for the most ill-informed poorly researched pile of mythological metaphors, flowery platitudes, and bad analogies goes to Roger L. Kay (whose name can be rearranged to spell "York Lager") of BusinessWeak. I linked it. I'm kind of changing my attitude about that. If nobody reads these FUDbots, they'll quit writing. Then I won't have anyone to make fun of except the kid across the street.

York Lager starts out with this twisted gem:

"Just as those living in shiny houses of self-righteous glass often end up surrounded by shards of their former sanctimony, so Apple Inc. now finds itself the increasingly appealing target of software hackers."
First, where the hell do you buy self-righteous glass? If I'm building a house of glass, I think I'll use 3/8" tempered. But that's just me. And then, just exactly what connection does that have to hackers? Apple? Apple isn't in a glass house throwing stones. There are roughly umpteen-skillion fewer pieces of malware written for OS X than Windows. There's a business school technical term for not marketing based on major, obvious advantages over your competition. The term is: stupid.

Then he goes on:
"For years, Apple's marketing has consisted of accentuating the positive and ignoring everything else."
Really? Holy Business one-oh-one, Batman! Apple has only been advertising and marketing the positive aspects of their products? Those bastards! Who the hell do they think they are? Comparing their product favorably to those of the competition, too?! IN AMERICA? I'm shocked. Outraged. [I could show you the rest of the paragraph, but you'd get more value from getting a moist towel and wiping that coffee cup ring off the desk]

Then York Lager explains that "Apple is becoming a victim of its own success, and the irony is just too great to miss. Anyone with a mild sense of history is keeping track." York Lager apparently doesn't quite have a mild sense of history. He drags out the "security by obscurity" dead horse and beats it. A mild sense of history would know how utterly stupid that noise is. He might have misspelled "mild case of histrionics."

The next subheading is a hoot,


Below this subhead he notes that Apple is selling piles of Macs and says, "It's little surprise then that reports of Mac viruses have been rising steadily." On this one note, as a student of mathematics, I want to point out that York Lager is correct. The reports of Mac viruses have risen steadily at a constant rate of zero.

See this line? ______________________________________

That line represents the slope of the increase in Mac viruses. It's been rising steadily at that rate for eight frigging years. If you lean your head slightly to the right, it might look like an upslope, but that's just a trick of the eye (or neck).

Anyway, York Lager dithers on for a few more minutes before delivering the final bon mot:
"Everyone makes mistakes. But society loves to repay hubris with derisive laughter."
Oddly, we provide the same response to ill-conceived gibberish delivered with an air of pomp and pretension.

So, yeah. That kind of FUD-spewing self-proclaimed expert might upset a few Mac lovers. If you want to read about Mac security from a tech analyst, I recommend this post. Over on TidBits, you can get real analysis. Some of it might piss off a rabid fanboy from time to time, but I'll get over it.

Flash for the iPhone. Meh. There sure is a lot of noise about it. I'll bet most of the fuss is funded by Adobe. Those parts of the internet that require Flash to be interesting aren't the ones I go to, so I – selfishly, as usual – could not care less about Flash.

Vista Sucks SP1 is available. I am not making up this quote from Ars Technica. This is straight out of the article. You can go read it here if you doubt me....
"Significant changes include: File copying should no longer have an ETA of hundreds of years..."
The rest of the post is even funnier. All you have to do is read what those poor, downtrodden Windows slaves have to live with to remember why we Mac lovers tend to be just a little on the smug side.

Time for coffee.

Late note: Roughly Drafted does a better job of discussing York Lager if you'd like a little better balance of cynicism and analysis. I try to stay more with the former.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Poker Trainer: Four queens beat a straight

Mondays suck.

Apple Domination. Shut up. Okay?

Um. People. What in the hell is all this snuffling about "Apple domination of the computer market?" It'll be good. It'll be bad. It won't matter. It'll suck. It'll never happen.

Folks, Apple is taking over. Just relax. This won't hurt a bit. The check is in the mail. The keys are in the car. You can't judge a book by its cover. A stitch in time saves nine. Over the hills and far away. Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl. Don't give me that do-goody-good bullshit.

Right now, people who don't know squat about computers and have the money to buy a real one, can afford a Mac. A good percentage of them will buy one. Some of them will also get a dozen eggs and a wicker trivet.

People who know something about computers and can afford to buy a real one, can afford a Mac. A large percentage of them will buy one. Maybe two. They may also take up macramé and have a small salad with their dinner.

Bureaucrats and corporate IT types will be reluctant, but will come around in time. Right now, they're buying Dell/HP/Windows and Linux servers. They think they have to.

A lot of the market share numbers come from Bob Shippingclerk and Mary Benefitsadministrator. They don't care this much about XP vs. X. If they need a new computer, they'll ask their friends what they bought. As more and more of their friends say "iMac," more and more ordinary Mikes and Lindas will say, "You have a booger showing. Other side." But only if they're talking to really good friends. Everybody else can just run around looking like that.

Here's proof that Apple is already capturing mindshare in the market. These are things you never hear:

Mom's Zune pie
A Microsoft a day keeps the doctor away
The XBox of her eye
Comparing Dells and oranges
An HP for the teacher
The Vista never falls far from the tree
Bobbing for Acers
Adam's Vaio
Polishing up the Linux
You see what I'm saying here? Master Jobst Fimil had this all planned out from the very outset. And I don't know about you, but if he ever has boogers showing, I've never noticed. So if you ever want to talk to me about Apple dominating the computer market, you obviously have too much time on your hands.

I'm pretty sure we have some more olive oil.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Hey! Where is everybody? I feel like Eliot Spitzer at a family reunion.

I was kidding in the last post, you know. I meant skinny, expensive, fun to look at, AND useless.

Is that better?

Hey, does anyone know how to hack a Sony TV? Is there something I can download? It has a USB port, so there must be a way. My stupid television won't let me use the whole screen for computer output. I didn't go to all the good time and trouble to hook the nasty thing up to my MacBook so I could watch The Outlaw Josey Wales on a little rectangle in the middle of the screen.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote something ignorant, fact-free, and easily debunked.

Don't bother. I'm not going to.

Slashdot is reporting that iPhone 2.0, which hasn't even been released, may have been hacked.

It's nice of them to finally catch up with the rest of us.

ZDNet headline:
Apple to iPhone devs: Keep on developing for Jailbroken iPhones guys!

Would everyone just wait a minute? We haven't even got the makings for a good molehill yet. Appparently some guy named Philip Elmer-Dewitt (I'm not making that up) from Fortune put on his size-28 orange shoes and red nose and claimed that Apple delivered a mighty slap in the face to potential developers.

This from a letter that said, "Can you hold please?"

John McCain just has to sit back and take notes until June. It really doesn't matter who the candidate turns out to be. McCain should have everything he needs.

The whole media focus on the Dems is a black man versus a white woman. I thought the liberal media was above all that crap by now. Oddly, they can't seem to move the discussion to any other metric. Weird.

Oops. School night.

It's Over, Apple. Give up.

I've been around and about the worldwide whatchamacallit reading. Wifey-poo doesn't feel good, nothing else to do. What I've learned isn't good.

All the computers in the world run Windows.

All the software in the world is written for Windows. All of it. There is no software for Apple products. None.

100 ± 5% of all the computer users in the world prefer Windows.

The MacBook Air Jordan is the Paris Hilton of computers – skinny, fun to look at, but useless.

The iPhone is a niche product. Worse than that, Apple has rejected developers in droves. DROVES. The potential developers for the iPhone are storming Cupertino with pitchforks and torches screaming, "Steve Jobs [something, something] Twinkies and Pepsi."

The iPod/iTunes ecosystem? Imaginary. Closed off. You can barely use the dogdamn thing. Amazon and Hulu are way better.

AppleTV is not the Messiah. There are less than 1000 movies, and they aren't in 1080p.

Steve Jobs? Well, if you take away his black mock-t he's just another megalomaniac billionaire with goofy glasses.

I know it's all true. I read it on the internet.

Fold up the tents; it's time to go home.

Notes: By my imprecise calculation, in the entire history of cinema there are fewer than 1000 movies worth watching, and seven of those were filmed in Super8 by my Dad. Also, I'm reminded of a story about a couple having dinner out.

He says, "This food is terrible."

She says, "Yes, and such small portions."

Update: They're developers. They PROGRAMMED the pitchforks and torches to scream.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Technologically Obsolete Antique Store Toys (TOAST).

45 RPM record spindle adapter
Mechanical cash register
Brownie camera
Palm Treo
Various handheld devices almost (kinda) running WinCE, Symbian, and Linux.
We're setting up the BlackBerry display. Come back in July.

A Few Stupid Things

The stupid people are rather noisy lately. I thought it might be useful to compile a list of things they're saying so that my loyal readers can remain above the fray. If you realize that these noises only come from the informationally infirm it's easier to respond with pity. It's more fun to respond with derision, but it isn't very nice.

Here is the Rip Ragged field guide to flamebaiting:

"Apple has made a major misstep..." Translation: I don't understand what Apple is doing. Therefore it must be wrong. This is the war cry of the wild assclown. Idiots of all stripes flock to this call – illiterate Windopes and screeching Macolytes will wage bloody battle in the forum halls.

"[Insert Apple product or service] is just like/worse than Microsoft. Translation: I don't understand what Apple is doing. Therefore it must be wrong. Oddly, this too brings the warring factions together for semi-literate flame fests.

"I love [Apple, Mac, iPod, iPhone], but..." Translation: Preamble to "Apple has made a major misstep." There must be a formal term for these self negating statements. People always announce what they don't want to do as an introduction to doing it. I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but... Of course, it's none of my business but... I shouldn't talk but... In conversation, I like to cut people off in the middle of the "but" and say, "then don't." In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream, "SHUT UP, DUMBASS."

"Apple has built a closed system with iTunes/iPod/AppleTV/Macintosh/OS X/iLife/iWork/graphite/toolbar/dock/Address Book" Translation: I don't understand what Apple is doing. Therefore it must be wrong. People who have been using Macs for any length of time know that Apple's system is always more open than anything Microsoft. Note: Always means: EVERY. FRIGGING. TIME. Therefore, anyone who makes the noise about an Apple closed system may be casually disregarded. Alternatively, hold up two fingers behind their heads while they're talking.

"i[insert word] killer." Translation: Vaporware or cheap imitation of Apple product. The beta version of any product that is remotely similar to the iPhone/iPod/MacBook Air Jordan is a killer. Android is an iPhone killer. The actual existence of a product immediately diminishes its killerness. Note that the Lenovo X300 got all kinds of "killer" reviews. Now it's shipping. Meh. The MBAJ is still way cool. The killer has vanished. Likewise, the N95.

Android will continue to be an iPhone killer until it actually appears and disappears in the marketplace, or is formally declared dead.

"Apple is the new Microsoft" Translation: Everything should be free. Linux. Open source is good. Profit is bad. This is usually accompanied by the word "monopoly." Once an individual develops this speech pattern, it's best to just keep them comfortable. The individual is in the final stages of terminal assclown. Probably dreams of buying an XO and giving away free Acers loaded with Ubuntu to everyone.

Please speak kindly to these people. It isn't that they're an endangered species or anything, quite the contrary. But, if you speak softly, smile, and win their trust maybe you can get close enough to hang "Kick Me" on their backs.

Time for more coffee.

Worthy afterthought: This is not a complete list, by any means. Please contribute in the comments for a later, more comprehensive field guide to frigtards.

Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled browsing.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dang it. I Forgot.

I forgot to mention that Android is going to overtake the iPhone in the market. That's the story from Google, anyway.

Android is gonna run on lots of different platforms.
Android is gonna be like Google all over your phone.
Android is gonna do lots of cool stuff that's even better than the iPhone.
There is stuff you can do with Android that you can't do with the iPhone.
Android is gonna just be wicked, wicked cool.
The fact that Android doesn't, technically, exist on any devices is somehow not mentioned as a drawback. I like football analogies. The way I see it, the clock is running. Apple's team is on the field alone scoring touchdowns. Many other teams are claiming they are going to beat Apple, but none of them are in the game. NONE. Android doesn't even have version out for public scrutiny on a real piece of electronics.

I'm not sure I haven't missed anything, so fill me in, here. Is there another technology that has caught up to iPhone 1.0? I don't remember anything like that. And, um, isn't iPhone 2.0 out in beta for release in June?

If that's right, then something that's going to blow the doors off the iPhone is going to need to get started here pretty soon. Right? Am I right?

I haven't mentioned this for a while: Vista sucks.

Now. Now, I'll have a slice of cheesecake. Thank you.

The Sky is Falling

First a couple of quick hits.

The world of financial analysts and other clueless people have some speculation on things Apple-ish.

Cringely: Apple is holding back Blue-Ray because they're gambling that HD downloads will overtake the market. In other words, Apple is playing a high stakes game of chicken with Sony and the Studios. I don't buy it. Apple, as I recall, was on the Blue-Ray Worldwide Committee of Decision Making and Policy Establishment (I don't recall the real name of the thingy, and no, I'm not going to look it up, but Apple was on it).

My guess is, His Steveness doesn't think Blue-Ray can make Apple enough money to justify the cost of adopting it, yet.

Over on CNN Money there's a thing from Dow Jones Average that says the iPhone Dev Team is going to really hand Apple their asses with a feature called "Pwnage." Apparently, if you're willing to completely surrender your iPhone function and security to hackers, Pwnage will let you download and run unsanctioned apps to your iPhone.

Once your iPhone has been pwned by the iPhone Dev Team, it's really pwned. You'll be off the EULA. Anything you buy from them is potentially toast every time Apple upgrades the iPhone version. Apple can build an upgrade that specifically fries those apps periodically. As an absolute minimum, every upgrade of iPhone software could leave you with a screwed up experience with the whole phone, and it won't be Apple's fault. Once you violate the EULA, you are on your own.

Or, if Apple wants to, they can sue the britches off the iPhone Dev Team. I've heard Apple has some experience with lawsuits. I'll bet Apple can pay more lawyers for longer than IPDT. Wanna talk about pwnage?

My guess is that Apple won't even notice a loss of money. On top of that, they'll keep enough lawyers on retainer so that when they cherry-pick the best "Pwnage" apps for inclusion as Apple products, the hackers that built them won't have a legal leg upon which to stand.

The developers/hackers will scream for the moral high ground. Sorry, kids. You can only beat the system from the inside. If you use guerrilla tactics from outside the fence, you'll lose. You'll lose bad.

What I said last night wasn't a theory. If the iPhone Dev Team is smart, they'll develop their apps from the inside. If they don't, they ain't.

The iPhone Developer program is in beta. Chill. Apple isn't going to "reject" developers. Developers. Developers. There's no way The Master is that frigging dumb. It's easy to understand the fear, though. Lots of new developers coming over from the Microsoft world. They're used to a different reality. We should be kind to them.

Eric Zeman wrote some more drivel over on InformationWeek today – yammering on about Apple rejecting developers in droves. DROVES. This, he says, further tarnishes Apple's image.

Tonight's homework assignment:

Find original writing on InformationWeek that was NOT prepared by an assclown.
Be prepared to defend your assessment.

Also, the next time you're chewing tobacco in class, you'd better bring enough for everyone, young man.

Couple of Quick Things

I agree with Paul on last night's post. Apple isn't trying to secure individual machines. That would be nearly impossible, anyway. But I'll bet a cold bottle of Perrier they could break any unsanctioned app that gets released on the web. Individual hackers breaking individual machines won't keep Master Jobst Fimil away from the sandman.

I think the "wave of rejection letters" for developers for the developer beta are because it's beta for Apple, too. They have to make sure their system is going to work on their end. They have to limit the numbers until they know how they're going to handle it. A mobile application store that services millions of downloads wirelessly is a new thing. Nobody is doing it at all. Apple wants to make sure they're doing it right.

The worst thing Master Jobst Fimil could do is to screw it up in delivery to the user. Patience, young Jedi.

Mom's here. More later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thank you, InformationWeek

Great post over at InformationWeek today by Eric Zeman. I'm beginning to love InformationWeek posts as much as humorists and comedians love Hillary Clinton's apologies – and for the same reasons.

Eric holds forth that boy-oh-boy-oh-boy hackers have already unlocked iPhone 2.0 and Steve Jobs is an utter failure in his determination to lock the iPhone down and hackers 1, Steve Jobs 0 in the SDK/platform lockdown death-match. Believe it or not, that's the whole freaking post. It's even less intelligent than the posts from Mitch Wagner and Alexander Wolfe on the SDK.

I have no independent verification that Eric, Alexander, and Mitch are filling in for writers who know something about tech while studying for their sanitation engineer qualification exams. In fact, I just made that up. But I like the sound of it, so it stays.

These experts just keep pointing out what an utter dumbass Steve Jobs is. As near as I figure it, a dumbass would be making chump change to criticize the decisions of Steve Jobs. In other words, after you take a company from near bankruptcy to a business school staple of good examples in ten years, you're qualified to judge stupid corporate management. If that's not you, well, keep talking. Don't worry – we're not laughing with you; we're laughing at you.

I'm deviating from my policy of not calling people asshats, trolls, and flamebaiting ignorami for this one post. Because, frankly, I can.

Dear Asshats and iPhone hackers (there may be some overlap),

You are not smarter than Steve Jobs all by himself. You sure as hell are not smarter than all the programmers at Apple. You haven't tricked Apple by hacking the iPhone. Have. Not. Okay? If you're patting yourself on the back because you hacked iPhone 2.0, don't. It was easy because Apple just doesn't care anymore.

Apple doesn't give half a fat damn whether you hack the phone. Apple doesn't care if you create cheez-bag, worthless, ginchy apps and distribute them on your websites. Apple doesn't care if you break your equipment. Apple doesn't care if a few people are stupid enough to risk their hardware investment on your absurd programs. They just don't care. If you insist on breaking the iPhone you've already paid for, you are outside Apple's reality. You just don't exist to them.

Trust me, if Apple really wanted to stop hackers they could do it. I know. I've been using Macs for twenty-one years. I've been running OS X continuously since the Public Beta. If you think nobody has tried to hack OS X in eight years, you must be completely disconnected from reality, continuously stoned, or congenitally stupid. I have never (never: NOT EVER) had a piece of malware on a Mac. Apple knows how to stop hackers. So if you're congratulating yourself that you outsmarted Apple, you're just a little extra dumb.

Hacking the iPhone does not indicate that Steve Jobs has been outsmarted. It indicates that hacking the iPhone can't be too tough to do. That means it wasn't intended to be difficult.

Apple hasn't closed the iPhone to hackers. Apple is simply refusing to ensure that future iPhone upgrades won't break your hacks. They're going to assume responsibility for a high quality user experience for those of us (most of us) who don't feel the need to screw with a good thing.

The choices then, are fairly simple:

1. Work within the system. Write your programs within the boundaries Apple establishes. Only install Apple-approved software. Live with the AT&T lock-in for a while. [the End User option]

2. Hack your phone. Install unapproved software. Jailbreak it. Expect absolutely zero support from Apple. Once you violate the EULA, Apple owes you nothing. NOTHING. [the Bold Hacker option – equivalent to the Really Stupid End User option]

3. Go buy a BlackBerry. [the Other option]

4. Keep insisting that you want everything both ways. Apple has to guarantee the user experience no matter how many suckhead teenyboppers distribute useless-clutter applications. It won't happen, but at least you'll clearly identify yourself and the value of your opinions to others. [the Dumbass Tech Blogger/Suckhead Teenybopper option]

You could just shut the hell up, but that would spoil my fun.


The little voice in your head you've been ignoring lately.

P.S. If the iPhone Dev Team is really smart they'll stop proving that they're just as smart as Steve Jobs thinks they are and then they'll build Apple-approved apps to sell on the iPhone App store. That's not an opinion, it's an equation. If they don't, they ain't.

Man. A big dish of plain yogurt and frozen blueberries sure sounds good about now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Calculus has Changed

The trouble with the tech-blogoverse is that it's peopled with tech bloggers. The trouble with tech bloggers is that we tend to be very number oriented.

We tend to discuss computers in gigahertz and megabytes and througput and backside RAM and and benchmarks. We who are geeks and geek wannabes think all that crap is really important. We think anyone who doesn't understand all that when making a computer buying decision is a dork.

Well, kids, it's like this. The mass market, Joe Pawnshopowner and Jane Florist, don't give a fat damn about quad-cores and video drivers. They want their web pages to render quickly. They want to play their games and email a picture of their new baby boy pissing into the air like Old Faithful to Aunt Suzy. If you start talking to them about gigas and teras and megas their eyes glaze over. Aunt Suzy will need her glasses and somebody to point out the stream. She sure as hell won't know the difference between two and ten megapixels.

Does performance matter? Yeah. Performance is important. Joe Hottubinstaller wants it to be so fast he doesn't notice the computer. He wants it to work so well that the platform is meaningless. And to him, the platform is meaningless unless it doesn't work, in which case the platform sucks nuts.

Real geeks who can make any computer do anything they need it to do are mostly platform agnostic. Real geeks don't need a UI. So for übernerds, the platform is meaningless, unless they write software for a specific platform for a living.

The argument online between Macolytes and Windopes is largely between people who know just enough to be patriotic to their cause, and not enough to be taken seriously by anybody except their fellow patriots. Like me. I could survive in Germany or Mexico. I know how, in those two languages, to ask for a beer, a cigarette, and where's the bathroom? I could probably get lunch and a hotel room with a little help. Beyond that, I'd be in trouble. The same goes with my computer knowledge. As long as I don't have to know too many words, I'm okay.

In other words, most of our tossing about is approximately meaningless to everyone but us. That doesn't make it any less fun, but it should change our perspective a little. It's Ford vs. Chevy. As much as the average guy on the street knows about cars these days, the discussion doesn't go much deeper than the paint job, anyway.

Master Jobst Fimil gets it. Take the MacBook Air Jordan as an example. Blogospheroids are everywhere slamming its lack of an optical drive, not enough ports, no ethernet plug, dinky-ass HD, not enough memory. The Master knows that stuff means Diddle D. Squat to Joe Pizzeriamanager. The average non-geek-mass-market consumer doesn't want a computer at all. Jane Humanresourcesmanager wants what the computer does. It's an inconvenient expense that she has to have a computer to accomplish that.

Cool counts. Function counts. Using it without the manual continuously open counts. Works well every time counts. If all that is good, the price counts. Megagigaterapetas are meaningless.

That's why Macs are kicking ass right now in the market. They're cool. They work. The price is no boundary for anyone who can afford a real computer.

Why did Wal-Mart just kick the cheap-ass Linux machines off their shelves? That's easy. Nobody was buying them. They suck. The average guy has to become a geek to use one, and no self-respecting geek would own one. The only selling point they really had was that they were cheap.

Folks will pay for good stuff. Cheap doesn't sell shit.

That's as serious as I ever get. Well, except when I'm trying to find a parking spot near the tavern.

Could we get another bucket of popcorn over here, please?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

InformationWeek is batting 1.000 this week

Alexander Wolfe is busy getting kicked by the Macalope tonight, so I thought I'd take a cut at Mitch Wagner's vast factless void Will The SDK Be The iPhone's Achilles' Heel?

First of all, the condensed version of the reply: No.

Mitch says:

Apple is betting its future in the smartphone market on a control-freak business model. Where other smartphone platforms let anybody build applications for them, Apple demands to be the gatekeeper for what goes on the iPhone, to protect users from inappropriate and dangerous content, and to generate additional revenue for itself.
That control-freak business model is the "Apple" business model. Someone who knows something about the "Business value of technology" would know that. That someone would also know that it seems to be working out okay for them. Apparently that would be someone different from Mitch. I wonder if Mitch has seen Apple's market cap trend over the past 10 years.

Apple is only protecting me from code, not content. I can go to the internet and get anything I want. Apple doesn't give a big rat's ass about content.

And Apple is in business to make money. (Mitch actually got this point right, although he seems to think that making money is a bad thing)

A little further down, Mitch stumbles on:
In addition to a cut of the revenue, developers must pay Apple $99 up front to write apps for the iPhone...[at this point he quotes John Gruber saying it isn't a major problem]...But the $99 will also restrict diversity. The volume of free and dirt-cheat programs for the iPhone will be vastly diminished if the people writing those programs have to pay $99 to get them out to the public. Apple is basically pricing the hacker community out of iPhone application development, leaving only the pros.
Yup. You have to be a pro to come up with $99. It's a trip to the grocery store. It's less than a utility bill. It's a month of vente lattes. I like John Gruber's characterization of the C-Note price of admission as a "bozo filter."

Can someone please tell me what must-have third party applications are residing on those "open" smartphones? Wait, change "must-have" to "worth the time to download," also filter that list based on whether they crash the phone more than half the time they operate.

I had one of those other smartphones with the open development platform. The stuff it came with barely ran. The available third-party applications were difficult to find, ugly when they ran, if they ran. The ones I tried also crashed my phone even when they weren't running.

At the end of the post, Mitch belches:
I was one of the first people to buy [an iPhone] when it went on sale June 29, and I like it a lot. But what smartphone will I, and other users, buy when it's time to replace the iPhone in a year or two? Will we upgrade the iPhone, or go with something more open next time? That's a question Apple is betting its future on.
Well, Mitch, that's a question you're going to have to answer. Would you rather have a device full of software written by amateurs with nothing vested in your user experience, no accountability for the functionality of the device, and no oversight for quality or security between you and a basement-dwelling hacker? Or would you, and most users, prefer to have software that has been verified to work, software that won't crash the system, software that will be easily searchable and downloadable? Oh yeah, and a device for which there actually is software worth the time and energy to download?

Apple's betting their future on that. Me too.

Full disclosure: The author has a few shares of Apple. Whenever I collect enough change out of couch cushions and under the bed, I buy another share or two. That will continue for the foreseeable future.

Interestingly, as a late update, Mitch notes that Alexander Wolfe posted a similar mess of worm-eaten drivel elsewhere on the same site. This under the heading "Great minds think alike." I might have phrased that differently.

Note that at no time in the above post did I ever resort to petty name-calling. I never said assclown, dipwad, technologically illiterate troll, or any of those other mean things. No applause, please.

Time to find my jammies and teddy bear.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It. Is. Alive.

I read over on TechNewsWorld (All Tech, All The Time) about the beginning of the iPhone rebirth by none other than Rob Enderle. I thought he had been so utterly discredited by now that he'd faded away forever. I thought maybe he'd found useful employment or something. Not happening. Like a Whack-a-Mole, up pops his head again.

I'm guessing that the Macalope will give this the attention it deserves. And, of course, I don't want to overstep my boundaries there.

One piece of the article that deserves to be ripped ragged, however is this passage comparing the iPhone to the BlackBerry:

"Neither of the products is particularly good at what the other does, which is why both did very well last year."

Wrong, Rob. The iPhone, particularly with the enterprise upgrades, will do everything the BlackBerry does, better than the BlackBerry does. Right now, without any upgrades, people are willing to trade in the stuff the BlackBerry does okay for the stuff the iPhone does great. And the iPhone will do stuff the BlackBerry only wishes it could do. So, only one of the products isn't particularly good at what the other one does – which is everything:

1. The BlackBerry did well because it was the only device that did any of that stuff acceptably until June.

2. The iPhone did well because it rocks. Friggging ROCKS.

Now please go back to whatever it is you actually know how to do. There must be something.

Steven Levy's wife threw away the New York Times. Good for her.

The Beatles are coming to iTunes. Means squat to me. I already have every song they ever distributed on CD. As an AAPL stockholder, though, I have to say it sounds cool. Of course, the Beatles have been coming to iTunes since about 1978, so this isn't exactly news.

On a related note, I just read today that Neil Sedaka, Billy Preston, and Neil Diamond are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Madonna is. Any of those individual reasons invalidate the whole meaning of the tribute. Taken together, they make the HOF a sad, sick joke.

Hillary is all but mathematically eliminated from winning the Democratic Presidential nomination, and has graciously offered to top a Hillary/Barack ticket.

Mme. Clinton apparently is willing, if Barack will stop holding her head underwater, to kill him mercifully. Oddly, Mr. Obama thinks that's fairly stupid. Hard to fault his logic.

I think I'll go get a burger and a brew.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I am NOT a Snob

Just finished reading a few sites around the web. The Street has published a video, followed up by another video on Macworld exploring the same topic: Mac users are snobs.

This is based on some goofball study that says Mac users are more likely to:

Buy toilet paper
Use bath soap
Use laundry detergent
Buy food requiring preparation at home
Buy new clothes
Not shoplift at Wally World
Not pick their noses at lunch with the company CEO
Fart quietly and hope the little old lady in the next pew thinks it's her husband, instead of rattling the rafters and shouting WOOHOO!
Spell words like "necessary," and, "broccoli," correctly
On this basis, they've decided that we're a bunch of elitists. I don't think that's at all true. Some of my best friends are non-Mac users. I have two brothers-in-law who use Windows. I let them come in the front door in the middle of the day. They bring their kids.

Snob, indeed. Just to prove I'm no snob I gave two cooks the evening off and dished up my own tomato aspic.

Croquet anyone?


You know the tune.....

Clintstones. Meet the Clintstones. They’re the modern redneck family.
From the town of Little Rock, they’re a smirch upon our history.

Last ride with the family down the street.
Sex, lies, murders, perjury, deceit.

If we get the Clintstones we’ll have a taxing spending zoo time. And terror too time.
We’ll have a gray cold slime.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Let's Recap the Game So Far

Lessee, since January.

Apple updated the iPhone, twice.

Apple introduced the MacBook Air Jordan, and isn't quite keeping enough of them in stock to satisfy demand.

Apple introduced Apple TV, Take Two – which is getting rave reviews.

Apple updated Leopard, making the translucent menu bar optional.

Apple updated every app in iLife at least once.

Aperture 2 is getting rave reviews.

Apple prepped the iPhone for the enterprise market.

Apple introduced the Software Developer Kit. It was so popular the server couldn't keep up with demand.

The iPod Touch has lots of happy owners who can also get all those cool apps that are coming in June.

The growth of iPod sales is slowing, which means Apple is still selling more of them than last year at this time.

Analysts are lukewarm about Apple's future prospects, if not outright denigrating.
Please, somebody help me out with this. I have to know. What is the best wine with broiled Coho salmon with asiago and romano crust, and steamed asparagus with hollandaise?

I don't want to mess this up.

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

This time it's Brian Caulfield running down the street naked, screaming the names of ancient deities and throwing saltwater taffy to the kiddies, in the name of Forbes. Now, to be fair, you have to have a minimum level of street cred to write for the big "F". So I don't want to just say that the man is a dork, but it does seem like they should raise the bar over there. That is if they can remember where they buried it.

In fact, I'm not going to call him a dork at all, now that I think about it. I'll quote him.

"The iPhone is a monster."

"Its sleek, wide-screen display – uncluttered by an ugly chiclet-style keyboard – is ideal for surfing the Web or watching video."

"... while the keyboards sported by RIM's BlackBerry and Palm's Treo are ugly, they're ideal for users addicted to e-mail rather than the latest installment of Desperate Housewives."

The whole article is here. It's a quick read. What it lacks in depth and breadth, it more than makes up in its laconic length.

Condensed version:

  1. The iPhone is really cool.
  2. The BlackBerry, Treo, and others are NOT really cool.
  3. The iPhone will take business away from BlackBerry, but not all of it.
  4. Apple isn't going to kill RIM.
  1. Duh.
  2. Duh.
  3. Duh.
  4. And BMW isn't going to kill Kia either. What the hell is the point of that observation?
After clearly stating the advantages of the iPhone, Brian says it has shortcomings it doesn't have. Then he says the shitty keyboard and dinky display on the BlackBerry are better for email addicts. No. They are only better for dinky-display-and-shitty-keyboard addicts. He quotes another analyst who wants a good price for his RIM stock when he sells on Monday, "The iPhone touch-screen is not as optimal as the BlackBerry interface for e-mail." Technically, this is true. "As optimal" would be "equal." The iPhone touch screen is actually "better" than the BlackBerry interface for e-mail; not "equal."

Then he drags out the old "oooh it's too expensive," bugaboo again. How far out of touch do you have to be not to know how utterly debunked that old saw has been?

The article seems to have the point that Mr. Caulfield has to provide a minimum character count in order to receive his regular stipend.

One more thing, Brian: The iPhone is going to take A LOT of business away from the BlackBerry. How much? Who knows? I'll bet half a roll of Tums RIM isn't going to appreciate any of it.

Time to throw another log on the fire.

Guaranteed Weight Loss Program. 100% Effective. You Will Lose Weight Or All Of Your Money Will Be Cheefully Refunded

Eat less. Exercise.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Night of the Living Tech Analysts

I am nodding in the general direction of MacDailyNews for this piece of information.

Tech/financial analyst Peter Misek believes that the iPhone SDK will have no impact on the Blackberry. Mr. (or Ms.) Misek – in a crowded conference room – stripped down to a pair of Spiderman boxers, smeared Smuckers grape jelly on his or her chest, and jumped up and down on the conference table screaming, "I am a clueless idiot. I have no business ever speaking or writing about anything technical. I just got my brain washed and I can't do a thing with it."

I'm kidding. He or she wasn't that subtle. He or she said:

"Microsoft, with Windows Mobile/ActiveSync, Nokia with Intellisync, and Motorola with Good Technology have all fared poorly in the enterprise. We have no reason to expect otherwise from Apple."

Peter, if you should happen to get ahold of this post, which I doubt, listen. There are a couple of things you need to know about technology. Here are some reasons why the companies and products you named aren't satisfactory points of comparison to the iPhone.

1. The hardware you compared to the iPhone is all clunky, ugly, and difficult to use. The lone exception is the Blackberry, which is merely ugly, clunky, and more difficult than an iPhone to use.

2. The software running that hardware is shit. 99 and 44/100 percent pure. It floats. Particularly if that software has the name "Microsoft" anywhere in its pedigree.

3. The software and hardware are designed by committees in different companies.

4. All of those other products suck monkey genitals. Not the Blackberry. It is merely inferior to the iPhone, but in a "worthy technology that's about to get creamed" kind of way.

If you have "no reason to expect different from Apple," you have been asleep for a few years. Everything is different from Apple. Everything.

So here's the deal, Peter, the iPhone is about to make the Blackberry into a frigging relic. Not that it isn't already. If that's your estimation of the "iPhone having a neutral effect" on Blackberry sales, okay.

I'm willing to bet a plate of homemade peanut butter and swiss cheese sandwiches on day old onion bagels that the iPhone is already close to the 10 million mark. You know why? Have you ever noticed that when the question comes up, the Apple spokesperson gets that I-just-had-sex with-your-secretary smug smirk?

Yeah. 10,000,000 is a done deal. The SDK will kick start sales. And there's no reason to wait, either. It's a free upgrade to iPhone 2.0. I'll bet the final sales number gets closer to 15M by the time you factor in Birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, St. Patricks Day, Christmas, and out of control bridal showers.

Blackberries? Without substantial upgrades to the hardware, software, and interface, they're hosed. Gone. Buh-bye. They'll be remembered fondly, like green-screens, 24-pin dot-matrix printers, carburetors, and Earth Shoes. Other than that, they're toast.


And if I'm wrong, may lightning strike Hillary Clinton, or possibly Paris Hilton.

Time for my pills.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The iPhone Thingy

The iPhone is about to eat planet Earth. If, um, you're one of the people who bet against that – and you have any shame or sense of decency – it's time to feel really, really stupid. You don't have to admit it. After all, if you're a financial/tech analyst or a fundtard, admitting you're wrong would be a sign of weakness. Just being an ignorant sheep-like echo chamber of other peoples' stupid opinions won't cost you your job. Mediocrity pays the rent, right?

Around about Junish, the ass-kickingest phone on the planet is going to get better by a quantum leap. About the only thing the Blackberry will do better than the iPhone in late summer is collect dust. If you're really hooked on that fugly little keyboard, well, that sucks for you. Really.

I read the MacWorld liveblog of the event, and now I can't wait for June to get here. I want my iPhone 2.0. Really. That's all there is to say about it. Well, that and:


Phoebe Snow, Poetry Man. Arguably the sexiest jazz recording ever. I've listened to it on vinyl, tapes, CDs, and iTunes. For 30+ years I've listened to that song and I still get goosebumps every frigging time it plays.

Now, would somebody please give back my calculator. I'm late for class.

The Big Asshole Theory

This has troubled me all day. I just have to talk to somebody about it before I simply burst. I guess that's what I get for reading four pages of hogwash from a dip wad.

First a little background. I started my career in my industry during the Georgia Peanut Farmer administration. During the thirty-one years I've been doing what I do I've worked at nuclear power plants on both coasts and a number of points in between. I've worked for good bosses and bad bosses. More of the latter than the former, thank you very much. It's weird, but the bosses I remember as being the best to work for were the ones who were considered assholes.

Of course, I have a weird take on things that differentiates me from the average union-wage-earning drudge. I could very seldom see all the way through to the labor side of the labor-management debate. On the labor side of the debate there always seem to be people who bitch about the company during the hours the company pays them the wage they agreed to work for, instead of working. I always thought that the wage I agreed to obligated me to do my best work for all the hours the company paid me for. Weird huh?

Asshole bosses also thought that, so we agreed. Naturally, I was labeled a suck-up by many of my peers. It was pretty easy to use that as a metric for which of my peers to respect, and which to reject.

Most of the bosses that people thought were assholes committed no greater sin than expecting peoples' best work. And they expected people to get up off their asses and DO the jobs for which they were being paid. I never saw a problem with that, which put me solidly in the minority.

That isn't to say there weren't bosses who earned their puckered sphincter merit badges for being lying, conniving, low-life, flaming bags of shit. But on balance, I remember them being the exception rather than the rule.

All that brings me to the big question: Is Steve Jobs the big asshole he gets blamed for being? Or does he just insist that his employees earn their pay?

Apple keeps pushing the bleeding edge of what technology can do. Right now the Macintosh is miles ahead of any other personal computer in terms of elegance and user experience. The Apple iTunes/iPod/iPhone ecosystem is without peer. Nothing is even close. You never even hear anyone mention a Windows/Zune/WinMobile ecosystem. The closest you can get is the Blackberry and its days are numbered. (If you disagree and would like to be ridiculed in the comments, please feel free.)

How does that happen? Somebody has to take charge of the team; somebody has to have the central vision that drives the team; somebody has to be able to stand up and be the one to accept the credit and the blame. Somebody has to insist that the team gives its best effort. At Apple, that's Steve Jobs, at least from what we can see from the outside.

It is quite impossible to get a good team effort if there isn't someone in charge. A quote I heard many years ago – from Hyman G. Rickover, if memory serves – "If you can't put your hand on the shoulder of the responsible person, nobody is responsible." Steve Jobs is responsible for Apple. I think he understands that responsibility and respects the huge implications. For him to properly dispatch that responsibility, the company must continually move forward.

Apple must be ahead of the curve. The further the better. I'll bet you the rest of my yogurt and blueberries Apple has technology in the experimental stages that makes the stuff we're using now look silly. That cannot happen in a place with a laid back, mellow boss who's willing to accept "a good try." You have to have a boss that pushes or at least refuses to give or accept excuses.

A story I heard about Major League Baseball manager Lou Piniella is a nice analogy. He walked out to the mound where his pitcher was struggling. As he called in relief he told his pitcher, "I know you're trying your hardest, but I can get a truck driver to come in here and try his hardest. I need to win the game."

If that's what an asshole is, well, Master Jobst Fimil may qualify.

Oh gracious. I'm just babbling on and on. Thanks for giving me a chance to talk that out.

Now I think I'll be irresponsible and belligerent some more. It's much more fun.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Man, I am SO Out of Research Budget

At the behest of faithful reader zacksback, I decided to go read the Fortune article on the troubles with Steve Jobs. Interesting part of the article to me was that this Peter Elkind fella who wrote it said it took months to write it. MONTHS. My guess is that Peter was using Vista Home Basic No Frills Hold The Pickles Hold The Lettuce on an Acer he bought at a Wally World clearance sale. He probably used the mouse for all his cutting and pasting, too. And since the article consists of four pages of cut-and-pasted years-old rehash, innuendo, and occasional inane suppositories, it had to be pretty slow slogging.

Interestingly, even though the synopses of the article I read before commenting on it led me to believe that it was a lame-ass hatchet job, I had to admit after reading it that zacksback was right. It was even stupider than I thought it would be. He even called Steve Jobs a vegetarian.

The basic tenets of the article are that Steve Jobs is an asshole, that Steve Jobs is a crook, that Steve Jobs lied to the shareholders by omission when he didn't drive the stock down by announcing he had cancer. All of this is done by slanting facts to make those points. The fact that His Steveness has been cleared of wrongdoing in the stock backdating "scandal" by the SEC is mentioned in passing, but only once Peter makes his point that El Jobso is one dirty bastard.

Probably the stupidest point, and the one most harped on by Peter, is that Master Jobst Fimil is an asshole. This opinion probably stems in part from the Master's refusal to be interviewed for a planned hatchet job. Peter contrasted this to the fact that His Steveness granted an interview to another reporter for the same rag. This upset him, I think.

And everybody knows there's nothing more annoying than a sore Peter.

Guess what, though. That isn't the dumbest damn thing I've read today – the longest dumbass thing I've read, but not the stupidest. No, that honor goes to Douglas A. McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St. in a post called: Steve Jobs In (sic) No Robin Hood. Douglas insists that the fact that Apple isn't buying back stocks or planning a dividend proves that Steve Jobs is a cheapskate.

Well Douglas, how the hell do you end up writing investment advice without even having the faintest glimmer of a clue? Every third economist on the planet is predicting a recession or frigging stagflation or some other huge economic malady. If you're the CEO of a consumer commodity company heading in to rough economic weather, and you have plenty of cash to ride that out, and you spend that reserve to allow day traders to bail out at a good price, you're an idiot. Steve Jobs, as noted above, may be many things; he sure hasn't demonstrated that he's an idiot of that magnitude.

It's a company, dickweed. It isn't a charity. If you bought stocks expecting the CEO to endanger the long-term health of the company so you could hold on to unrealistic profits on your trades, you're just the kind of pinhead that allows me to make money in the market.

Be sure you separate investors from traders. There's a difference. I'm an investor. I've held Apple stock for almost 10 years. I just bought a few more shares. I'm not feeling the pain. Traders might have gotten creamed. Steve doesn't owe traders any loyalty – loyalty being a two-way street. Trading the price of paper is WAY different from investing in a company.

He owes loyalty only to investors (people who have held the stock for a while and believe in the company, like me). That loyalty is best expressed by making sure the company rides out the Next Great Depression or whatever the hell this is. As near as I can see it, hanging on to a $20 billion cushion is a really smart thing to do.

Feel free to disagree.


Bret Favre announced his retirement today. You don't have to like football, or even sports, to recognize that Mr. Favre is a true sporstsman, a man's man, and a gentleman. He's leaving the game on his own terms – with the NFL quarterback record book in his back pocket. Bravo, Bret. You'll be missed.

(response to earlier query) – Poke the pekingese: screw the pooch, dick the dog, boink the housepet, hump the neighbor's cat.

One more item of note. A lot of people are up in arms because Master Jobst Fimil dissed Flash today. I'm certain that he carefully measured his words and didn't mean to start a fight. Please don't read a lot into that. The fact that Flash is a web standard can be attributed to the youth of the web, not that Flash doesn't actually suck – which it does.

Have you ever tried peanut butter on pork rinds? Here. Have one.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Stockholders Meeting

Master Jobst Fimil and his Padawan learner, speaking at the meeting today said,"Remember all the stuff we've already said? Yeah. That. Can I have a raise?"

I can't find a complete transcript anywhere. Just snippets here and there.

Ten million iPhones in 2008. No stock buy back. No dividends. Can't discuss unannounced products.

The stock finally came up a bit based on: No change in anything at all. All the idiot analysts have adjusted down their target price for the stock, but the price went up nominally. You figure it out.

I can't find out if anybody asked about all those hacked iPhones in foreign lands, or about the movies we're supposed to have on iTunes by now. If I could have gone to the stockholders meeting, I would have asked, "Are you people EVER going to open an Apple Store in Eastern Washington?" I mean, I must be one of the screechiest fanboys on the planet. Don't I deserve an Apple Store of my very own? At least one that I don't have to cross a mountain pass to get to?

Thank you.

Apple still has a lot of weeks to go in 2008. So far there's been something cool every week since the Expo – iPhone updates, Time Capsule shipped, iLife tweaks, Leopard update, the MacBook Air Jordan shipped, this week the iPhone SDK. Mostly a lot of small stuff with a few big goodies thrown in.

Over on Fortune or Forbes – I forget which, and frankly don't care – there's an article discussing the "problem with Steve Jobs." It's the usual dross about his "mercurial personality," and autocratic management style. If you'd rather not bother reading it, here's the condensed version:

Steve Jobs is an asshole. He does things that intelligent CEOs would never have the balls to do. It isn't fair that he runs Apple and I don't. I'm a lot smarter than he is. I'm a journalist with a degree, so obviously I know more about how to run a multi-billion-dollar international tech company than a college dropout. I'm stuck writing shitty magazine articles. He never even listens to me. What an idiot. Waaah!

Dear dumbass analysts and punditbots,

Please spend some time figuring out how Steve Jobs' management style works. Because, pinhead, it does. The company is – not to put too fine a point on it – kicking ass. If you'd stop poking the pekingese for a few minutes you could look around and notice that most of the negative spin you've written about Apple has been factually, observably, demonstrably wrong. Stop picking your nose. Sit up straight.



Just one more handful of Fritos, then off to bed.

Monday, March 03, 2008

This Counts as Research

I just got my copy of BusinessWeak in the mail. Stephen Wildstrom reviewed the Lenovo X300. He compared it to the MacBook Air Jordan. And he notes the following:

The X300 is thicker.

The X300 is heavier.

The X300 has a slower processor.

The X300 runs an inferior operating system.

The X300 is more expensive.

The X300 has a DVD drive.

In an almost tie of two machines whose leading feature is that they're supposed to be lightweight, the heavyweight wins by a nose (up Microsoft's ass). Even though the X300 compares unfavorably on every particular, it does have an obsolete battery-hogging optical drive.

Also, Mr. Wildstrom pointedly sets aside the comparison of operating systems at the very beginning. Yup. Never mind that the MBAJ has a recently updated and fully functional operating system, and that your best bet for an operating system on the X300 is eight-years old. Look at the extra plugs you get. And you can watch a standard DVD if you want to – maybe even most of the movie before your batteries crap out.

Not to mention that the Lenovo looks about as cool as black lace-up wingtips and white socks.

That's the kind of cutting edge product review that makes me glad BusinessWeak is a tax deductible business expense.

Apple missed another deadline. They don't have 1000 movies available for rent yet.

Geez. That sucks. Just between us kids, I haven't watched all of the first 700 yet, so I'll probably be okay. But hurry up.

Please, Mr. Jobs, open an Apple Store in Spokane, WA. This side of the State needs a little love, too. It's a college town. Gonzaga is there. Have you heard of it? Seattle shouldn't get ALL the goodies. Frankly, Best Buy hasn't got a clue how to sell Macs, and they don't seem to consider that a deficiency.

Somebody answer the phone.

The MacBook Air Jordan

For regular readers of Rip Ragged it will come as no surprise that a MacBook Air Jordan is harder to find than a baseball player without needle-tracks on his ass. Ars Technica says they only found a few backwater Apple retailers with MBAJs in stock. Duh.

MBAJs are cool. Cool sells. Specs don't sell computers to non-geeks. It took almost 30 years, but computer functionality is finally becoming a commodity. The computer itself is just a means to get to that commodity. That means, for those of you who use Windows, the computer itself is irrelevant to the average guy. What's important is email, web browsing, watching King of the Hill and listening to Trini Lopez on the airplane. The degree to which that can be accomplished without telephone calls determines the value of the device itself.

Joe Cleanroomequipmentsalesman doesn't give a big rat's ass what the processor clock speed is. He doesn't care how many RPM the dogdamn hard drive spins at, or how many megawhatchamajiggers of thoughput the fragglepicker wiggles. All that matters is that the computer does all the stuff it's supposed to do.

Add that it's the coolest looking laptop ever.

Add that it comes pre-loaded with iLife – which has no equal as a suite of applications anywhere at any price – for free.

Add that it's got the same logo as the übercoolest phone ever, and my iPod.

Add that it's made by THE NUMBER ONE MOST ADMIRED CORPORATION, according to Fortune.

Who the hell is surprised that the MacBook Air Jordan is selling well? I'm pretty sure I called it. I'd go look, but that might constitute research. I'm not sure whether it would or not, but looking that up would definitely be research. I'm pretty sure.

Of course Apple's stock is down today with all that good news. I mean, that's good for me. I'm planning to get some more. But it sure is stupid for the stock to be down this much.

Oh, well. Back to work.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Live. From Spokane, Washington

I'm at my daughter's apartment in Spokane. I'm using her 20" iMac. For the record. This thing is sweet. She has IPA in the fridge. I don't have any Mac stuff to blather about today.

I just taught Jasmine (my kid) how to make homemade blue cheese dressing.

1 quart of mayo
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
3 - 4 oz. packages of blue cheese, crumbled
1- 4 oz. package of blue cheese, liquefied.

Mix all the ingredients except the liquefied blue cheese. After everything else is blended, fold in the liquefied blue cheese and continue blending for about five minutes.

Put it all in jars in the fridge. It keeps getting better for about a week.

That's all.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Insert Title Here

Okay, there's an interesting pair of stories out there that to me indicate we're in a lot of trouble.

1. Microsoft has big plans for Sync.

2. Vista sucks.

In the first story, it seems that Microsoft wants to track your movements so they can sell ads for you to see and hear in your car. They're convinced that you won't mind having advertisements jammed up your ass while you're driving. They want to track what you like, where you like to eat, what you like to do, so wherever you are they can advertise the nearest one and tell you how to get there.

In the second story, top Microsoft executives have, poetically, gotten a lousy user experience from Vista.

So here's Microsoft. They took six years to build the laughing stock of operating systems. An operating system so bad they can't even get it working right for the top brass. This selfsame company wants to distract people moving two tons of metal, glass, luggage, groceries, and passengers at freeway speeds. They want to sell advertising, with a popup on the dashboard.

If people wanted to listen to ads, there wouldn't be iPods. Okay? Advertising isn't going to get me to the best seafood restaurant in the area. It's going to get me to the greasy fish and chips joint that bought an ad.

Worse than that, Sync is going to track where you are, what you like to do, where you're most likely going, and probably get it wrong. I mean, let's face it. We're talking about the same company that makes Access. It will probably cooperate with local law enforcement and keep them abreast of your speed and whereabouts. Hell, it might print out a speeding ticket via bluetooth on your home printer. Not only will you have to pay the ticket, but you'll have to buy more ink, too.

The only upside to all this is that it probably won't work at all. But if it's anything like Vista, it will crash your car and lose your groceries and your Aunt Sally. Then you'll have to call tech support. When you restart, Aunt Sally will be there twice. Naked. And she'll insist that you call her Ingrid.

Me? I'm getting a Chevy. An OLD Chevy.

I read somewhere that if you use Safari you shouldn't use PayPal or something like that. Security.

Dell missed analysts predictions. Analysts predicted that Michael Dell would meet people who shared many of his interests and that he should devote more time to his artistic endeavors. Also, today is a seven. Oh, no. Wait. That was astrologists, not analysts. Anyway, apparently the broader market is discovering that when measured against the standard, "computers that don't suck beagle weenies," Dell doesn't rank very highly.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention this: Microsoft is lowering the price of Vista. It won't be long before they're giving it away free as a promo with car washes and carpet shampoos.

About this time next year, Microsoft will be negotiating for all those CD burners AOL isn't using anymore. Vista discs will start showing up in boxes of Special K and folded into the Sunday newspaper circulars. Pleasepleasepleaseplease use our new OS.

Note: Leopard still rocks.

Note II: Seriously rocks.

I may or may not make any entries this weekend. I'll be spending the weekend with my daughter. The one with the 3.85 GPA in her Junior year at college. Oh, yeah. This could involve shopping. Wish me luck. I hope I don't end up with very many pairs of shoes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thank you, Arik Hesseldahl

That other fellow that writes for BusinessWeak didn't give me anything to work with last night. Thank the maker, Arik was on the job today. I'm serious, boys and girls. Mr. Hesseldahl gave us a great big old, Microsoft-sponsored rant on why Master Jobst Fimil should take the company on the wild goose chase of a stock buy-back.

That's the problem with giving these guys bylines. They think that because their names appear below a recognized registered trademark, they must know something. Not true.

Arik, The Master has at his disposal (the last time the numbers were officially updated):

Do you have 1.84 E10 USD?

Let me guess: No. Am I right?

See, the way this works is if you're really smart about money you have a lot of it. If you're not, you don't. His Steveness has a lot of money. You don't. Therefore, he is really smart about money. You are not. If anyone needs to see that equation again, I'll be here for a while after class.

You may need financial advice from The Master.

The Master does not need financial advice from you.

Any questions?

Apple's stock went up a few bucks today. Tim COOk announced that Apple is going to sell 10 million iPhones before the end of 2008. No. Wait. I thought Steve Jobs said that before the first one was sold. Apple has never said anything different than that. Tim COOk didn't say much that was new, just, "Remember what we said last year? Yeah. Just cut and paste," and the stock is up to the tune of $6.xx.

Remember what I said about the Stock Market being stupid? It's also insecure and has a short attention span. Kinda like a teenager, except with zero stuff to do after school. Sometimes the market just needs a hug.

Over at Forbes, the magazine that still owes me a jug of hooch and a stogie, there's a whole page devoted to Apple being late delivering an SDK for the iPhone. Brian Caulfield, the author, compares the one week delay of the SDK to the delay of Vista. He likens a one-week delay in a Software Developer Kit to a years long wait for arguably the most rat-infested operating system in history.

The iPhone SDK is important, but as yet, it won't affect 90-something percent of the personal computer market. Nor will it crash or fail to run on a substantial number of "iPhone SDK" enable devices.

Every time somebody compares Apple to Microsoft it blows me away.

Over on Slashdot, there's a piece about how OS X secretly cripples non-Apple applications. Some undocumented API apparently slows down Firefox and other browsers. If Firefox is crippled, I haven't noticed. It's the browser I use, and that is probably more crippling than anything Apple might do. Anyway, Slashdot compares Apple to Microsoft by saying that the undocumented API is like something Microsoft always gets in trouble for.

No. It isn't. Microsoft doesn't "cripple software with undocumented APIs." Things don't run slower when the borg want them excluded. Microsoft breaks shit. When Microsoft breaks it, it doesn't frigging work.

Apple speeds up it's own stuff without telling everyone how they did it. Firefox works fine.

Microsoft breaks other people's stuff so it won't even fecking work, and then refuses to tell anyone how to fix it. Later, they offer a lame-ass insincere apology and say maybe someday they'll get around to fixing it.

Apple misses by a few days and delivers a quality product.

Microsoft misses by a few years and delivers Vista.

Compare that.


Wow. I need some dark chocolate. Right. Now.

Good Bye, W.F. Buckley Jr.

I didn't post about William F. Buckley Jr last night. I really couldn't figure out what to write. Still can't.

When I was a kid my favorite thing to do on rainy days was to sit and read the dictionary. Really. I still get a kick out of learning new words and their meanings. I don't read dictionaries for fun anymore, because the plot is thin. It's the same reason I don't read novels much.

I love to read William F. Buckley with a glass of good scotch and a dictionary. I didn't always agree with what he said, but I always found that he made me think. Sometimes he even convinced me to change my mind about things, if only incrementally. He also made me look up words and learn their meanings. The only other pundit who accomplishes the latter is George F. Will, but he rarely achieves the former.

My political beliefs didn't originate from reading William F. Buckley Jr. My understanding of politics and conservatism is better because William F. Buckley Jr. made me look up definitions. I'll miss knowing he's around.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Apple Faces a New Lawsuit

Which of the following is Apple accused of using in violation of a patent?

a. Silica-based translucent viewing hardware.

b. Perforated enclosure grill for internal air-flow component cooling.

c. Software that let's a cell phone match an incoming number to a name.

d. Multi-colored spinning disk for indicating processor activity.
On my honor, one of them has reportedly been filed.
Answer at the bottom of the post.

Master Jobst Fimil travels in that private plane the company bought for him. Apparently, that's expensive. Duh. Depending on where you read, that's either a really good sign or scary. I don't get it. I mean, I'm all like, dude, the company bought that for him to be able to, like, travel. You know? Like, on business? If he wasn't using it, they'd sell the flipping thing. If he uses it, it's gonna cost money. Dude. I never talk like that really, but I always wanted to try it. It even sounds more ignorant when it's written.

Kind of like a story about something as meaningless as how many frequent flyer miles His Steveness has accumulated in the company car. Talk about your journalistic packing peanuts. That has deadline written all over it.

Maybe the iPhone SDK will be out next week. Something about the Enterprise, too. I skipped through the article and just read the important parts. Anyhow, I think at least Kirk and Spock are getting iPhones. After they get the kinks worked out of the push email, the rest of the crew will get them. Also, something about blackberries for dessert or maybe for lunch. Like I said, I just skimmed it.

Over on BusinessWeak, who I've been rather snotty about lately, is a well reasoned post by Peter Burrows. I read it in the sincere hope that I'd be able to make fun of it. Basically he says if you're a day trader, Apple is not your friend at the moment. If you're a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, Apple is a fine stock to own. I'm the latter. So I agree with his basic tenets, if not all of his reasoning.

The stock market is stupid. Stock prices have no real basis in reality. If you go in with that understanding, realize that you can lose your ass, and be careful to buy good companies, the stock market can be a lot of fun and you can make some money. I've done alright.

Anyhow, the article is a fair read. I don't agree with all of it, but it's not stupid, either. I don't know who the hell he thinks he is. Now I have to go looking for something new to ridicule.

Maybe tomorrow.

Answer: c.
I'll bet you two pairs of used Reeboks the guy who filed the complaint is trying to decide between Hillary Clinton and Ralph Nader for president. He's almost certainly less intelligent than an equivalent quantity of camembert cheese.

a. glass; the other two were gimmes.

Waitress, can I have a doggy bag for this?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Major News Day

Apple released iPhone 1.1.4. I, of course, downloaded it within moments after arriving at the house and I'm pissed.

Now my iPhone doesn't operate the garage door or my radio controlled Sopwith Camel. It doesn't get channel 13, and I was counting on watching the PBS pledge drive on it. The police scanner function? Dead. There wasn't a single new nude picture of Elle McPherson in the update. Not one. I turned it on and my black light posters didn't light up. Man. I'm just upset. And where's the icon for the SDK?

Is it just me or did the whole Microsoft-Yahoo! thing just sort of evaporate? Last week it was against the rules to write on the internet unless you included the words Yahoo and Microsoft somewhere in the text. This week, nothing.

Microsoft has kinda gotten used to getting whatever it wants over the last few years. Looks from here like a few people are summoning up the cojones to tell Ballmer and the team to pack sand.

More nothing. Nobody has even speculated about MacBook Air Jordan sales. Remember early somebody reported Apple was building 400,000 of those bad boys. Entry level price, without the optional anti-lock brakes and off-road towing package, is like $2,000. If they sell off the first batch, let's see that's two times four, with eight zeroes? According to my precise calculations, that's a pretty good chunk of change. No telling how long it will take.

Here's another phenomenon I'm noticing about the blogoverse that's a little disconcerting. It's like a house of mirrors. You can read the exact same story, slightly paraphrased, over and over and over and over. One guy wearing the tattered remnant of something resembling credibility reports something without a source or facts, and it gets repeated all over the whole dogdamn innertube.

Arik Hesseldahl, whose credentials are clearly established by the fact that he has a byline with Businessweak reported, based on nothing you can verify, that the iPhone SDK might maybe be delayed. All over the web, in places you hope to find good information, they're reporting the delay as a fact. Several porn sites, my bookie,, Jokeroo, and other equally reputable places are reporting a one to three week delay as though it came down from the mountain on stone yellow legal tablets. The original source? A.H.

I'm hearing from my sources that Arik Hesseldahl is full of shit. I'm not hearing anything like a reason to doubt it.

Apple introduced a faster MB and MBP today. It's Tuesday. That's what they do.

Other news from Apple:

There's a blue Honda Civic in the parking lot with its lights on.

The Wellness Support Group has moved their regular meeting to Thursdays to accomodate requests based on training schedules.

The Friday special in the cafeteria will be fish and chips until further notice.

Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Neck and Neck. Awesome album. Yeh. It's on iTunes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find my teddy bear and wash up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Contest, and a Rant.

First, important business, then onto my opinionated rant.

For the winner of last night's contest. I have to select zacksback's: Reruns of The View.

Frankly, just thinking about The View makes me want to run down stairs and make sure the TV is off. I have never even seen a snippet of that show. Not even by accident, which puts it further down my "to watch" list than Katie Couric and Survivor.

Baxtrice came in a close second with: Paris Hilton's acting career. That would have won, except I heard PH had one film that was interesting, although I never got to actually see it – it DID garner some interest.

So, I've decided to award the grand prize to both. Print this post and take it, along with a valid credit card with plenty of headroom on it, and book a flight to anywhere you can afford lodging.

Let's have a nice round of apple sauce for our winners.

For all our other contestants we have a copy of the home game. Also, a printout of this post and a five dollar bill will get you a Venté Cafe Americano and some shiny religious tokens at the Starbucks you just walked past.

My copy of BusinessWeak arrived in the mail today. Yup. I'm a subscriber. Anyway, Stephen Wildstrom spends several pages and much verbiage explaining how Microsoft should improve Windows in the next version.

One feature at a time, Mr. Wildstrom explains that OS X does something that he sure wishes Windows would do. Then at the end he says he's willing to wait for Windows to become OS X. I hope Microsoft was listening, because I don't own any Microsoft stock.

OS X is just about 10 years old. His Steveness brought the foundation for it with him from NeXT. We're not using a brandy-spanking new idea over here on our Macs, Stephen. We're using Unix with probably the most well-matured OS and UI in the history of personal computers.

If Microsoft ditches the underpinnings of Windows, ditches support for twenty-five years of legacy DOS programs, starts from scratch – they'll lose the only selling point they still have: backward software compatibility. All that freaking software won't run anymore. And if they're going to reinvent the OS from scratch, they don't have any choice but to faze all that crap out.

In ten years or so – the time it will take for Windows OS X clone to become a mature system – Windows will be as well remembered as CP/M.

On the other hand, if Microsoft DOESN'T reinvent Windows from scratch, it will become less and less relevant because Apple is still making improvements in OS X. Windows XP is still the operating system of choice. Vista, by all accounts, blows. The first service pack, designed to make it blow less, blows up applications. The most popular operating system on the planet is OLD. OS X is NEW. So, if Microsoft doesn't do something NEW pretty soon, their OS market will vanish entirely and quickly.

What really worried me was the statement at the end of Mr. Wildstrom's article that says he's willing to wait a few years for Microsoft to release an operating system that doesn't suck. Why? OS X is available right now. It does everything he said he wants Windows to do. In fact, every feature he asked for in Windows was compared against an already functional feature in Leopard.

Stephen Wildstrom wants Windows to be OS X. He's willing to wait beyond 2010 for that.

Picture this scene:

Waiter: What can I get you sir.

SW: I'd like a cheeseburger, fries, and a beer, but I'd like it to taste like a reuben, potato salad and a glass of merlot.

Waiter: I can get you a reuben, potato salad and a glass of merlot. Same price.

SW: Nope. I'm willing to wait, years if necessary, until the cheeseburger, fries, and beer taste like a reuben, potato salad, and merlot.

Waiter: You're a technology pundit, aren't you. *SECURITY!*

Reader Paul gives us the following link with an update on the Zune.

Rats. I'm out of coffee.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

First Ever Rip Ragged Contest

The annual Hollywood Festival of Smug is tonight.

Yup. The Oscars.

I'm not going to watch a single second of the pomp, the pageantry, the perversion, and the poltroonish political posturing. That isn't to say that there is no chance of seeing something worthwhile at the Oscars, just that sitting through the whole show on the off chance something will interest me, doesn't interest me.

You guys go ahead.

Here's the contest: Name one thing that is less interesting or useful than the Academy Awards.

Entries will be judged based on whimsy, caprice, and arbitrary opinions. There are no objective criteria. The winning entry will be in tomorrow night's first post, with full credit to the author. The winner will also receive a voucher that will, with your valid credit card, permit you to buy plane tickets and a hotel room anywhere in the world, assuming you've paid your card down enough since Christmas.

I'm also kind of interested to see if anything really unusual happens. You know, like a movie with actual merit getting an award for something other than a fifth tier category (Best Use of Papîer Maché and Rubber Bands in an Animated Short Documentary).

Note: Who or what wins various awards only matters if it's Eddie Murphy (or anything to do with Norbit), or Lindsay Lohan (likewise, anything to do with I Know Who Killed Me). That would be weird enough to take note of. It would also indicate that the Academy is still, even after Brokeback Mountain, trying to plumb the depths for absolute rock bottom.

That's enough.

Is there still such a thing as a Zune? I haven't heard much about them lately.

Vista appears to continue to suck.

My sources tell me Apple is going to announce something on Tuesday. I can't confirm or deny anything, but I think it will have something to do with digital something-or-other. Don't quote me. Remember what happened to Think Secret. Holy crap. Black Helicopters?

Gotta run.

Concert at Businessweak

Arik Hesseldahl and The Unnamed Sources, touring their Greatest Hit Pieces album. I considered linking the whole story. I didn't. Not worth the extra work.

Without naming names of people who have said anything unofficial, Arik says that since nobody has said anything official, the iPhone SDK has slipped. He cites not one single fact to support this claim unless you count "I'm hearing from one source," and, "I'm not yet hearing..." as facts.

Let me reiterate. He has no facts. He named no source. He gave absolutely nothing to back up a single word of his statements, and when you read the whole piece it says "maybe." What in the name of Eniac was the point of that post? It sure as hell isn't news. Pure, unadulterated, unsupported, unverifiable speculation with a negative spin looks like FUD for FUD's sake from this angle.

This is why Rip Ragged makes no claims of journalistic integrity. People who claim "journalistic integrity" make me itch. Bob forbid I should ever be categorized with them.

It's bad enough when a source asks to remain anonymous. Unnamed sources where there is at least the promise that a real person is attached to the chimera, still taints the value of the information. When that promise isn't even there, and the reporting is supposed to be taken seriously, well, it just makes me feel like taking a shower after I read it.

I may be an opinionated, self-important, jackass fanboy, but at least I'm honest about it.

Arik. Please. If you have nothing to say, adjust your word count to mathematically reflect that quantity.

Thank you.

I wonder what this button do[=-089]]ia


Saturday, February 23, 2008


Psst. Did all the dumbasses leave? Good. I figured that last post would scare off the weenies.
Just between us, you have to be something of a dipwad not to be buying AAPL right now. It'll be a bargain at $150. Don't be scared. The fundtards won't start driving the price up again until early April. Right now it's like free money. Really.

Just between us girls, the price will probably get close to $300 by Christmas.

You read it here first. Unless of course you were outside walking the dog or something. Then you probably heard it here second or maybe third.

I have to go get into my jammies and brush my teeth.


Apple has issued no new information about the iPhone SDK. With that in mind, somebody started a rumor that the SDK is delayed. Sell Apple stock. Sell it right now. Today. Get your frigging broker into his office and get the stuff gone. Don't wait. This is urgent.

Apple hasn't issued anything like a number about iPod sales. They aren't ordering as much NAND memory as they did for Christmas. Growth is slowing. Apparently "slashed orders" sells more keyword ads than "reduced orders." Anyway, sell, sell, sell. I mean now. Get rid of those nasty old shares of Apple before they infect your other stocks.

Hundreds of thousands of iPhones have been purchased and aren't being activated on iTunes. Presumably they've been smuggled to China. Nobody knows for sure, but they're gone. GONE. Apple isn't going to get their frigging residuals on them. RUN!! You aren't still sitting on shares of AAPL are you? Oh, my aching ingrown toenails! Have you NOT been paying attention? Your kids will starve. Your retirement will consist of stealing Alpo from neighborhood back porches and sleeping in an appliance carton if you don't get rid of that stock RIGHT NOW!

The MacBook Air Jordan is underpowered and doesn't have an optical drive. Sell. Bloody hell. Are you still just sitting there with that look on your face? Get busy!

Several of your neighbors are not (NOT!) planning to buy an AppleTV. Don't you get it, man? This is it. The end! The dogdamn apocalypse is upon us. Apple is doomed. DOOMED. Unload that stock before they come to repossess your house, clean out your refrigerator, and take your last clean pair of Spongebob Squarepants boxers to pay off your margin balance. Save yourselves while there's still time.

Apple dropped the price of the iPod Shuffle. That can only mean they are desperate. DESPERATE. Growth is slowing. The company is retrenching. Western civilization is on the verge of collapse. Gloom. Despair. Agony. Warm beer. Socks that don't match. Somebody ate the last of the General Tso's Chicken. And if you're the only one still holding on to a share of this utter failure, it will be your fault.

Okay. I'll buy them. Taking one for the team is what I'm all about.

Well, it's time for the first barbecue of the season.

More C|Net Stuff

Erica Ogg, over on C|Net opines that downloads will kill Blu-ray. Duh. No link. I'm just too lazy.

Have I not mentioned that? What the hell? It's important that Blu-ray won the format war, because it means Microsoft didn't get to advance another mess of proprietary detritus on the planet. Other than making sure the borg doesn't assimilate video, it was meaningless.

I reserve the right to have my wife change my mind, but I have no plans to buy another disc player. I'm looking for a hack that changes my MacBook HECK (Home Entertainment Center Kiosk) into an AppleTV. It shouldn't be tough; somebody is working on it, I'm sure.

In the meantime, DVD quality downloads are quite watchable. Besides, my 3 Stooges discs won't get much better with technology advances.

And speaking of flotsam and jetsam: Zune.

Thank you.

Please pick up your children on the way out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's a fine evening

Just went out and saw the local high school production of Seussical the Musical. It was awesome.


Support your local amateur theater.

Anyway, back to work. Reader Paul sent me a link this morning to a C|Net post that said SP1 might be held up because it was breaking things, causing problems, and generally behaving like a piece of crap. Well, that link now brings back a 404. Sooooooo.....

I did a little research. I hate it when I have to screw up the next month's research budget, but one does what one must. It turns out that there has been a slight improvement in the recovery plan. The service pack still breaks things, causes problems, and generally behaves like a piece of crap, but it won't be delayed. Microsoft sent out a "not comprehensive" list of applications that SP1 will break.

Interestingly, several commentards at the post are of the opinion that it's a C|Net hit piece on Vista. That's the price you pay if you want to stick your flag pole in the high ground of journalistic integrity, objectivity, and responsible reporting. This is why I carefully avoid any association with that kind of thing. Nope. Nosirree. Just irresponsibility, profanity, and half-assed opinions here. That doesn't mean my opinions are infallible, just that, well, I get to decide as long as we're in the confines of the blog.

In any case...

The next time you hear or read someone saying Apple is the new Microsoft, pee on his shoes. And his pants leg. Tell him I said it was okay. You'll still probably have to talk to a policeman, but you'll be smiling the whole time.

Time for my pills.

Pros and Cons

There are intelligent, competent, knowledgeable people on both sides of the Windows versus Macintosh debate. We should be more accepting of the views and opinions of the other side of the argument.

It isn't reasonable for us to insist that just because our computers look better, work better, and have a lower total cost of ownership than theirs, that they are somehow better. Macs aren't perfect, after all.

While it is true that there are literally thousands of pieces of self-replicating VISTA (viruses, infections, spyware, trojans, adware) for Windows, the half-dozen or so Trojan horses and phishing attacks for Mac indicate that someday we could be at an increased security risk. Given that the ratio of intelligent people to morons remains constant, as more people adopt the Mac more of them will have the mental acuity of boiled okra. It's reasonable to expect, however, that the percentage will not increase greatly because switching to the Mac automatically indicates at least a brief increase in IQ.

There are a number of features in Windows that have no Mac equivalent. You can change the Windows default hourglass cursor to a galloping horse. With Mac, you'll just have to deal with the spinning beach ball. With Windows you can watch the whole login script scroll by in a window that looks an awful lot like DOS. On a Mac, you just have to trust that stuff you don't have time to read and wouldn't understand if you did is happening. Paint. It comes included with Windows. Free. It has a spray can tool, several brushes, an eraser; you can manipulate individual pixels and save the result as a .bmp image.

You CAN NOT run Microsoft Access in OS X. You must have Windows. If you need a database manager that compares unfavorably to using microfiche and the Dewey Decimal system (and is FUGLY)– you must have Windows.

There are lots and lots and lots of niche programs for Windows. If you need a Point-of-Sale (POS) program for a 24-hour Bingo and Off-Track Betting Parlor, it's a good bet that program
is available for Windows. In fact, if you need any POS application, it's probably available for Windows. That isn't to say that there are no POS applications available for the Mac. They just aren't as prevalent.

If you're using Windows, it's a limited edition copy. There's a serial number that you have to enter. The company has a personal relationship with your computer. They're watching you. They're watching your copy of Windows. Microsoft is making sure that your copy of Windows isn't just gallivanting all over the place. Apple just sells you a copy of the operating system and then ignores it. Your copy of OS X could be anywhere. Apple doesn't give a shit. That's just sad, really.

Windows has the added security feature of asking you if you want to do what you want to do every time you want to do it. This is how Windows locks down your system. It's the same basic concept as asking passengers if they have a bomb before they get on an airplane. Everybody knows that a terrorist, when faced with a direct question, will say, "Darn. You caught me. Yeah, I have a whole pound of C4 and a handful of blasting caps wired up to a timer in my bag. Sorry."

Side note: Now that we pat down grandmothers, take our shoes off, and can't carry on a pair of mustache scissors, we've made great strides in airport security. Fortunately, airport security is careful not to racially profile middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40 in spite of the fact that 99% of all terrorist acts are committed by middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40.

It's the same thing with Windows. After you've spent several minutes running through a maze of menus like a rat looking for a piece of Pasteurized Process American Cheese-like substance, the machine asks, "Cancel or Allow?" to make sure you really want to open that document you were supposed to edit a week ago.

Be tolerant of our PC brethren. It's bad enough to suffer through using that garbage without having to be constantly reminded that all their wounds are self-inflicted.

Time to wash up.

Note: Updated at 2304 PST to remove offending apostrophe's.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Huh? Micro who?

There's a new post over on Roughly Drafted. If you came here before going there, I'll understand if you want to go read Daniel first. After all, he actually has insights and information that you might find meaningful and useful. I'm just going to be irresponsible and profane.

Yeh, the evil empire is in trouble. Actually, I think they'll be okay for a few more years. Microsoft won't fade away. One day the fabric of the curtain will tear, and the dopey old fart running the controls will be exposed as a fraud. Then it will all turn to shit faster than a peanut butter and Ex-Lax sandwich.

The new Vista SP1 is going to hit the streets soon. According to a couple of sites, the new fix will detect cracked installs. It won't disable anything. It will just pop up more annoying dialogue boxes. In between "Cancel or Allow" dialogs, you'll also get messages reminding you that if you can't even afford Windows, maybe you ought to be running Ubuntu. Dumbass.

I'm just wondering: what possible motivation can there be to crack Vista? "Look. Is that cool or what? I'm running arguably the shittiest mass-market OS on the planet, and I stole it. Be in awe of me."

Also, the thing in the service pack that finds the hacker code is called a "crack sniffer." I didn't make that up. I read it on another site. Same site, in the comments, somebody says the SP is already available as a torrent with a crack for the crack sniffer. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

I think it would cheap and sleazy of me to make additional jokes about a service pack with a crack sniffer.

The Linkin' Park thing? Just a six-song set. Maroon 5 is playing the same store on Sunday. After that maybe the Backstreet Boys, Roxette, Bananarama, The Indigo Girls, Zager and Evans, Homer and Jethro, The Ray Conniff Singers, The Lettermen, Englebert Humperdinck, Trini Lopez; you just never know. Probably not Wayne Newton. He's booked in Branson, MO for a while.

If there's going to be a big announcement associated with all this free music, it hasn't been mentioned in any serious way. So either the whole thing was fizzy-bubbles from the very outset, or it's so secret His Steveness doesn't have all the details yet.

Product Review: iTunes 7.6.1.

I downloaded it, installed it, opened it. It's playing my music library right this second. Works fine. It'll probably do all that other stuff it's supposed to do, too. I rate it a 9, Dick. The lyrics are great and it's easy to dance to.

John Gruber prefers B.O. over the "Republican." It seems B.O. has a better font than McCandidate. I momentarily thought that was a really stupid observation, but given the insignificant differences between the two flavors of big government liberalism, typeface selection is as good a criteria as any. Both candidates have nothing to say and never shut up.

It's National Engineers Week. You probably won't hear about it anywhere but here. Engineers are a fairly introverted lot as a whole. An extroverted engineer is one that stares at your shoes when he's talking.

I guess that's enough. I think I'll go yell at the neighbor kids for no reason. It keeps them off the yard.