Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apple. Show all posts

Thursday, July 16, 2015

iGet taken back . . . and so does the iMac

I'm 18 again. And cool.

This was my afternoon listening -- during which the memories and the cool tunes came flooding back -- before there almost wasn't an episode of 3 Chords & the Truth this week. There almost wasn't a show this week because I finally took Production iMac to the Apple Store last night to get its recalled, big-ass "fusion drive" replaced with a brand-new, not-recalled version of the same.

The original hard drive seemed fine to me, but the email from Apple said they'd determined that my hard drive and others just like it were at risk of the computer version of cardiac arrest. Production iMac would need a transplant.

So as a PC veteran who has replaced my share of hard drives . . . and everything else . . . I was figuring along the lines of bring the thing in, go have cup of coffee, pick the thing up, go home. Unfortunately, while Apple products Just Work, they cannot be Just Fixed. Because cool design, or something like that.

THREE to five days, the verdict was.

"Well, then, I'm sunk. This is my work computer," I appealed.

"Let me check," the Genius Court said.

"There goes this week's show," your host groused during the wait.

As it turns out, the sentence was amended. Twenty-four to 48 hours in the shop, with no credit for time not served.

Under Apple's "good time" law, however, Production iMac was paroled early this afternoon -- a presumably rehabilitated digital audio workstation. (By the way, I can't say enough good about the Mac's "Time Machine" data backup. In less than an hour, the iMac was just as it was before. No hassle, no drama.

Windows boxes are all about the drama. I spent a night and part of a day trying to get our Dell laptop to work and play well with the studio equipment and digital audio interface. It was touch and go.

Actually, it was more like cuss and scratch your head.

But the Mac is back, and I'm not subjecting myself to the W-word anymore.  Not in the studio, at least.

All is well in the world, the Big Show goes on, and you'll get to hear you some Gruppo Sportivo, too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Everything I need to know about science . . .

. . . I learned from Star Trek.

If you like, I can share it with you via my Surface. And you can read it on your iPad.

UNLESS, of course, you'd rather that I just contacted you via your communicator -- uh . . . cell phone.

BUT DON'T go totally booger-eater on me here, OK?

I SHOULD have told you the booger-eater thing earlier, shouldn't I? Siri?


OH, SIRI . . . while I'm thinking about it, could you give me an update on how that warp drive is coming?
In the "Star Trek" TV shows and films, the U.S.S. Enterprise's warp engine allows the ship to move faster than light, an ability that is, as Spock would say, "highly illogical." 
However, there's a loophole in Einstein's general theory of relativity that could allow a ship to traverse vast distances in less time than it would take light. The trick? It's not the starship that's moving — it's the space around it. 
In fact, scientists at NASA are right now working on the first practical field test toward proving the possibility of warp drives and faster-than-light travel. Maybe the warp drive on "Star Trek" is possible after all. 
According to Einstein's theory, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. The original "Star Trek" series ignored this "universal speed limit" in favor of a ship that could zip around the galaxy in a matter of days instead of decades. They tried to explain the ship's faster-than-light capabilities by powering the warp engine with a "matter-antimatter" engine. Antimatter was a popular field of study in the 1960s, when creator Gene Roddenberry was first writing the series. When matter and antimatter collide, their mass is converted to kinetic energy in keeping with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2.In other words, matter-antimatter collision is a potentially powerful source of energy and fuel, but even that wouldn't be enough to propel a starship faster-than-light speeds. 
Nevertheless, it's thanks to "Star Trek" that the word "warp" is now practically synonymous with faster-than-light travel. 
Is warp drive possible? 
Decades after the original "Star Trek" show had gone off the air, pioneering physicist and avowed Trek fan Miguel Alcubierre argued that maybe a warp drive is possible after all. It just wouldn't work quite the way "Star Trek" thought it did. 
Things with mass can't move faster than the speed of light. But what if, instead of the ship moving through space, the space was moving around the ship? 
Space doesn't have mass. And we know that it's flexible: space has been expanding at a measurable rate ever since the Big Bang. We know this from observing the light of distant stars — over time, the wavelength of the stars' light as it reaches Earth is lengthened in a process called "redshifting." According to the Doppler effect, this means that the source of the wavelength is moving farther away from the observer — i.e. Earth. 
So we know from observing redshifted light that the fabric of space is movable. [See also: What to Wear on a 100-Year Starship Voyage] 
Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the "universal speed limit." In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a "warp bubble" and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light. 
Since Alcubierre published his paper "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity" in 1994, many physicists and science fiction writers have played with his theory —including "Star Trek" itself. [See also: Top 10 Star Trek Technologies] 
Alcubierre's warp drive theory was retroactively incorporated into the "Star Trek" mythos by the 1990s TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." 
In a way, then, "Star Trek" created its own little grandfather paradox: Though ultimately its theory of faster-than-light travel was heavily flawed, the series established a vocabulary of light-speed travel that Alcubierre eventually formalized in his own warp drive theories.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

MAD strikes again

Leave it to MAD to come up with the ultimate spoof of Crapple Maps . . . uh, I mean Apple Craps . . . er, Apple Maps.

At least that's the way I see it sitting in my houseboat here on Park Avenue in Omaha, by God, South Dakota.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Questions for a nation past its sell-by date

University of California, Berkeley
Nov. 9, 2011

Earlier that day a colleague had written to say that the campus police had moved in to take down the Occupy tents and that students had been “beaten viciously.” I didn’t believe it. In broad daylight? And without provocation? So when we heard that the police had returned, my wife, Brenda Hillman, and I hurried to the campus. I wanted to see what was going to happen and how the police behaved, and how the students behaved. If there was trouble, we wanted to be there to do what we could to protect the students.

Once the cordon formed, the deputy sheriffs pointed their truncheons toward the crowd. It looked like the oldest of military maneuvers, a phalanx out of the Trojan War, but with billy clubs instead of spears. The students were wearing scarves for the first time that year, their cheeks rosy with the first bite of real cold after the long Californian Indian summer. The billy clubs were about the size of a boy’s Little League baseball bat. My wife was speaking to the young deputies about the importance of nonviolence and explaining why they should be at home reading to their children, when one of the deputies reached out, shoved my wife in the chest and knocked her down. . . .

My wife bounced nimbly to her feet. I tripped and almost fell over her trying to help her up, and at that moment the deputies in the cordon surged forward and, using their clubs as battering rams, began to hammer at the bodies of the line of students. It was stunning to see. They swung hard into their chests and bellies. Particularly shocking to me — it must be a generational reaction — was that they assaulted both the young men and the young women with the same indiscriminate force. If the students turned away, they pounded their ribs. If they turned further away to escape, they hit them on their spines.

None of the police officers invited us to disperse or gave any warning. We couldn’t have dispersed if we’d wanted to because the crowd behind us was pushing forward to see what was going on. The descriptor for what I tried to do is “remonstrate.” I screamed at the deputy who had knocked down my wife, “You just knocked down my wife, for Christ’s sake!” A couple of students had pushed forward in the excitement and the deputies grabbed them, pulled them to the ground and cudgeled them, raising the clubs above their heads and swinging. The line surged. I got whacked hard in the ribs twice and once across the forearm. Some of the deputies used their truncheons as bars and seemed to be trying to use minimum force to get people to move. And then, suddenly, they stopped, on some signal, and reformed their line. Apparently a group of deputies had beaten their way to the Occupy tents and taken them down. They stood, again immobile, clubs held across their chests, eyes carefully meeting no one’s eyes, faces impassive. I imagined that their adrenaline was surging as much as mine.

My ribs didn’t hurt very badly until the next day and then it hurt to laugh, so I skipped the gym for a couple of mornings, and I was a little disappointed that the bruises weren’t slightly more dramatic. It argued either for a kind of restraint or a kind of low cunning in the training of the police. They had hit me hard enough so that I was sore for days, but not hard enough to leave much of a mark. I wasn’t so badly off. One of my colleagues, also a poet, Geoffrey O’Brien, had a broken rib. Another colleague, Celeste Langan, a Wordsworth scholar, got dragged across the grass by her hair when she presented herself for arrest.

-- Robert Haas,
UC poetry professor,
former poet laureate
of the United States

From a New York Times essay published Sunday

'Paternoville,' Penn State
September 2009

Some ad hoc tent encampments on public property are more equal than other ad hoc tent encampments on public property in these United States.

If you're, say, a student at the Pennsylvania State University and you're one of, say, 700 students and their tents crammed into a lot outside Beaver Stadium, and you're there because you want choice seats in the student section for this week's home game, that's a good thing.

That's a beloved tradition.

Media types will write whimsical stories about those wacky campers in State College braving the rain and the cold in a tent --
and doing it all week -- for the sake of college football. The school's football coach will drop by to pose for pictures with his worshiping flock. ESPN personalities will drop by to press the flesh. The 60-something university president will go slumming amid the teen and 20-something campers for kicks and giggles.

You'll get your own university website, a "mayor," a plaque and a write-up in the alumni magazine.

You are what America's all about.
You are Paternoville.

PERHAPS you just fancy Apple products. If the gadget's name starts with an "i," you have to have it. Now. Before anyone else does. So help you Jobs.

There's a way to achieve that. You camp out to stake your place in line. Scores of you camp out for the love of "i." Hundreds of you, even.

It's all good. Apple is happy to let you do it in exchange for your iMoney.

Media types will write whimsical stories about those wacky campers in
(fill in the blank) braving the rain and the cold in a tent or a lawn chair -- and doing it all week -- for the sake of the brand new iWhatever. The store's manager will drop by with coffee for his worshiping flock. Noted tech bloggers will drop by to press the flesh or -- hell -- join you in your campout. The 60-something mayor will go slumming amid the 20- and 30-something campers for kicks and giggles.

You are an American patriot. You are buying s***.

BUT IF YOU'RE a student at the University of California-Davis or Cal-Berkeley, and you're one of, say, 100 students and their tents crammed into the quad, and you're there because you're alarmed at how tuition is skyrocketing, how a college education is becoming more and more unattainable for those of modest means and how American society is becoming more and more unequal, you are a dangerous thug and an anarchist. Your tent encampment is a threat to public health, public safety and public access to public property.

That's an unacceptable situation.

Media types will write serious stories about brewing unrest. Pundits will warn of the sheer unsustainability of your unruly protest --
random tents and shelters mired there in the rain and the cold -- for the sake of an amorphous agenda you cannot articulate.

Riot police will drop by to beat the s*** out of the "criminals," fog the dirty hippies in the face with pepper spray and tear down the troublemakers' tents.
Fox News Channel personalities will make fun of the liberal wackos on the air. The 60-something mayor will denounce the "mob" of 20- and 30-something "occupiers" for political advantage.

You'll get thrown in jail, receive a court date, and your wrists will have nasty bruises from the handcuffs for quite some time.

You are what's wrong with America.
Get a g**damn job, you filthy commie freak.

* * *

PAY NO ATTENTION to that question behind the headlines and official concerns for public health and safety.

Ask not why you're no threat to public health and civic order if you squat on public property for superfluous reasons. Or why doing so in a peaceful political protest is a transgression requiring raids by riot police employing chemical agents, truncheons and excessive force.

Ask not what kind of a country celebrates the unserious as its riot police beat professors, pupils and poets driven to civil disobedience as a last resort for asking serious questions and demanding serious answers.

Ask not these things. Your betters have decided you don't need to know the answer.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Sic transit gloria mundi

Steve Jobs is dead.

He died today at 56, about 35½ years after he co-founded Apple -- the company from which our capitalist society derives the worth and breadth of his existence.

CBS News and

Jobs also set the company on the path to becoming a consumer-electronics powerhouse, creating and improving products such as the iPod, iTunes, and later, the iPhone and iPad. Apple is the most valuable technology company in the world, and has a market capitalization second to only ExxonMobil, which Apple surpassed multiple times this past August.

He did so in his own fashion, imposing his ideas and beliefs on his employees and their products in ways that left many a career in tatters. Jobs enforced a culture of secrecy at Apple and was an extremely demanding leader, terrorizing Apple employees when he returned to the company in the late 1990s with summary firings if he didn't like the answers they gave when questioned.

Jobs was an intensely private person. That quality put him and Apple at odds with government regulators and stockholders who demanded to know details about his ongoing health problems and his prognosis as the leader and alter ego of his company. It spurred a 2009 SEC probe into whether Apple's board had made misleading statements about his health.

In the years before he fell ill in 2008, Jobs seemed to soften a bit, perhaps due to his bout with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004.

In 2005, his remarks to Stanford graduates included this line: "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

Later, in 2007, he appeared onstage at the D: All Things Digital conference for a lengthy interview with bitter rival Bill Gates, exchanging mutual praise and prophetically quoting the Beatles: "You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead."

Jobs leaves behind his wife, four children, two sisters, and 49,000 Apple employees.

THAT IS our measure of this just-departed man. Late was the day that even Jobs himself started to seriously question the limits we placed upon his worth . . . and upon the true meaning of his life.

Sic transit gloria mundi is a concept that bedevils us. Always has, always will as we scratch and claw here in a desert land well east of Eden.

UPDATE: My old 1993 Mac. Started right up last summer after a decade in the closet. Despite the point of the above posting, you gotta give the man, and the company he founded, their technological props.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I couldn't have said it better myself

Do you think the National Organization for Marriage just might have been reading this blog?

Reading this MSNBC story and watching the above video, I would have thought that I couldn't have said it better myself . . . if I hadn't remembered that I already did.

I don't care what you think on the gay-marriage issue (obviously, as an observant Catholic, I'm against it), and I don't care what you think about "big government." But I do think that before people get all paranoid about the power of big government and its potential to sow tyranny, they need to realize that big business is just as capable of reducing us to serfdom . . . and perhaps far more likely to try.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christianity gets Jobs-ed

Forget Julian Assange.

The most dangerous man in the world just might be Steve Jobs.

Why? Because knowledge is power, communications is the conduit, and Jobs is trying to position Apple -- via the iPhone, iPad and ITunes marketplace -- to be the premier gatekeeper in what he envisions as a "walled garden" of information technology, one micromanaged by himself (Himself?) and his techno-nerd corporate minions.

AND APPARENTLY, Apple just has declared mainstream, orthodox Christianity offensive and banished it from the iTunes app store. From the Catholic News Agency:
After Apple Inc. removed the Manhattan Declaration application from iTunes over complaints that it had offensive material, signers are urging the corporation to make it available again.

The Manhattan Declaration application for iPhones and iPads was dropped last month when the activist group gathered 7,000 signatures for a petition claiming that the application promoted “bigotry” and “homophobia.”

The Declaration – a Christian statement drafted in 2009 that supports religious liberty, traditional marriage and right to life issues – has nearly 500,000 supporters.

The iPhone application, which was previously available for purchase on iTunes, was removed around Thanksgiving.

CNA contacted Apple Dec. 2 for the reason behind the pull. Spokesperson Trudy Muller said via phone that the company “removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

When asked if Apple plans to release additional statements on the matter, Muller said she had no further comment.

CHRISTIANITY has its truth. Apple, and all the mau-mauers yelling "Hate!" in a crowded app store have theirs. And in a world where truth is relative, and often mutually exclusive, the only currency we have left is power and the ability to subjugate the competition.

It seems I was talking about that
just yesterday.

In this kind of an environment, that makes Jobs a really cool Big Brother. It pains me to say this, but "Give me Windows, or give me death!"

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Fight the last war, lose the next

Fall 1983.

Apple and its co-founder, Steve Jobs, have massed it forces for a frontal assault on the Evil Empire, otherwise known as IBM. The Macintosh attacked the Empire early in 1984, then fell back under a withering assault from . . . Microsoft and its new Windows operating system.

Jobs left Apple in 1985, victim of a botched coup d'etat against the CEO he hired, John Sculley. Apple was nearly broke by 1997 . . . at which point Jobs came back to lead a renaissance of the company, which began to dominate in products not Macintosh.

Now behemoth Apple girds for battle with behemoth Google as behemoth Microsoft continues being Microsoft but can't compete with Jobs in anything except the operating-system market. Right now, Apple looks unbeatable.

And it will until it is.

There's a moral in that -- not that anybody ever pays attention to it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Your Daily '80s: The computer for the rest of us

In 1983, this was personal computing:

C:\>dir "C:\audio files"

C:\Audio files>dir "revolution 21"
THEN CAME the Macintosh in 1984. It had something called a "graphical user interface." It also had something called a "mouse."

You could click on an icon representing what you wanted or where you wanted to go.

It was a miracle.

TECHNOLOGY. What would we do without it?

That's a great question. Just don't ask Steve Jobs.

Twenty-six years after he made the world safe for personal computing, he'd rather that you just don't bug him.
Or Apple.

A college journalism student learned this the hard way when Apple media relations screwed her around, and she sent an E-mail to the top of the pecking order.
That would be Jobs.

After the Apple boss deigned to send her back a snotty-tot reply, a brief exchange ensued, and then Jobs got the last E-word:
"Please leave us alone."

In a market economy, that can be arranged. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'All right, Mr. Jobs, I'm ready for my close-up'

OK, the iPhone 4
may suck as a cell phone, and Steve Jobs may well be a jerk, and the whole friggin' company that is Apple may specialize in arrogance and overpricing,
but. . . .


What before would have required lots of high-end equipment, crews of technicians and a cadre of special-effects geniuses now can be accomplished by a plucky --
Did I just write "plucky"? -- little crew of young filmmakers.

With an iPhone that costs much, much less than a color television did when I was in college.

Now, whether "cool" actually intersects with "necessary" (especially in light of the team of trade-offs and unintended consequences we hitched our wagon to on the trail to high-tech Nirvana) . . . that's another conversation entirely.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Design . . . by Apple

Call it Design by Apple.

If you hold the new iPhone model wrong, your calls get dropped.

And then, if you drop your iPhone -- and really, it's a blinkin' cell phone . . . all God's people drop their cell phones -- this happens:

THERE IS a term for this. "Really bad design."

It may be pretty, but it obviously isn't practical. Practical is important. Epic fail for Apple.

Of course, it could be that Apple was aiming to create a metaphor for the Age of Consumerism. If so, brilliant.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oh, crap.

Steve Jobs thought he had a Gizmodo problem.

What's he gonna do about this Vietnamese website that's come up with an iPhone 4G and Apple's newest MacBook? Insist that American authorities rekindle the Vietnam War?

Come to think of it . . .
oh, s***.

AS YOU consider the prospects and tremble, here's the latest from Mashable:
A Vietnamese website — the same one that got hold of another Apple 4G iPhone last week — has posted a video and details about the new entry-level MacBook 7.1.

The machine’s CPU was upgraded to a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, increased from 2.26GHz in the previous generation, and graphics were given a shot in the arm with a NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU. These updates will be the first for the MacBook since October 2009, when the notebook got a longer battery life and overall design reworking.

Apple’s recent round of laptop refreshes has thus far included upgrades to the MacBook Pro, including a standard 4GB of RAM and a choice between Intel’s i5 and i7 processors on larger models. Similar CPU and graphics changes appear to be trickling down to standard MacBooks, as well. Upgrades to the MacBook Air were also rumored but have yet to surface as fact.
AND I'LL BET that for a Vietnamese website, getting a scoop on what Apple's doing next is as easy as driving to the southern Chinese factories that make all this stuff and slipping a little somethin' somethin' to somebody who's more than willing to make a premature sale.

I guess, while Steve is at it, he could have American authorities declare war on China, too. But in the event we didn't get our clocks cleaned in trying to make the world safe for Silicon Valley capitalists, where then would Apple make its premium-priced products?

In American factories? Paying American workers living wages?

That would sooooooo screw with Apple's profit margins and "shareholder value," don't you know?

I guess it's better to just keep kicking around the little guys, then.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Just one question. . . .

Why wouldn't I just buy a laptop instead?

A laptop, after all, can multitask, unlike an iPad. A laptop also can run lots more programs than an iPad, and it has a full-featured operating system.

Why, given all this, would I try to turn an iPad into a really lame fake laptop?
Instead of buying the real thing.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I got an iPad!

I got my new iPad today!

Thing is, I don't understand what all the fuss is. And why did people have to wait until Saturday to get one when it would have been easy enough for them to make an iPad anytime they wanted?

That said, I'm glad people are so excited over the iPad. I'm fond of mine, and I find that it's infinitely customizable.

But could someone explain to me why all these tech heads and yuppies are paying $499 and up for something you can get at the grocery store for under a buck?

Sometimes, I just don't understand this country at all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thank GOD for free shipping

What I want is a bad-ass Mac Pro to fly through multimedia chores -- to put together podcasts with the greatest of ease.

I can see it now.

Dual quad-core Intel processors, 32 GB of RAM and four 2 TB hard drives in a RAID array. An NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. Two SuperDrives. A 24-inch Apple cinema display.

HANG ON, I'm just getting started, y'all.

An Apple Magic Mouse. An 802.11n Wi-Fi card. Logic Express 9 and Final Cut Express 4 (Hey, I'm not greedy . . . I didn't go for the Pro versions). Aperture 2 photo-editing software. Microsoft Office (Ick, but what'cha gonna do?)

A Mini Display Port-to-DVI adapter, just in case.

And a Canon PIXMA printer.

Oh . . . and don't forget the AppleCare package -- a no-brainer here.

AS YOU probably can tell, I went to the online Apple Store to configure me one of these bad boys. Likewise, you probably will not be shocked by what I say next.

Brother, can you spare $15,042.90?

Sigh. Windows sucks, but at least it's an affordable sort of suck.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In the year 2025 . . . will K-Yuck
and the Daily Blab still be alive?

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The past 10 years has been the decade of "disruptive technology."

And the easier the tech is for your average clod to use, the more disruptive it has been, is and will be in the decade to come. See "search engine, Google" and "iPod, Apple."

FROM A series that began Sunday in the Omaha World-Herald:

“In the year two thousaaaaaaand!”

That cry heralded one of Conan O'Brien's recurring late-night gags in the '90s, in which he listed ludicrous predictions of how the world would change in the new millennium.

In the year 2000, O'Brien said, political correctness would dictate that the term “homo-sapiens” be changed to “alternative lifestyle-sapiens.” Also, for no apparent reason, the color green would be renamed yellowy-blue.

Who could've guessed he wasn't being absurd enough?

Just 10 years ago, we lived in a world that didn't recognize the phrase “reality TV.” A world in which, for all we knew, Paris Hilton was a French hotel. It was a time before steroids killed baseball, before iPods killed CDs.

It's not just the simple stuff that's changed. Terrorism, war, political battles and financial struggle indelibly affected every aspect of our culture, even — or especially — the parts traditionally considered entertainment.

But the question is: What cultural elements will come to define the years 2000 through 2009?


1. Google

You know what another good name for Google would be? The Internet's oxygen.

Google, the Internet search engine founded in 1998, is about as omnipresent as things get online — it's always around, it's absolutely essential, and like that odorless gas we breathe, its importance is pretty easily ignored if you're not paying attention.

Beginning with its fast, accurate and thorough search, the GooglEmpire (it's not a word, but it should be) has grown to include Google Maps, Gmail, Google Earth, Google News and endless other incarnations, innovations and creations.

Face it, it's Google's Earth. We just live on it.

2. iPod

It's a simple gadget, basically an empty — albeit pretty — hard drive and some white headphones. And yet, in just a few short years, Apple's iPod (first released in 2001) has staged a cultural coup and completely changed the way we listen to music.

As much a feat of marketing (joyous, bright musical commercials) and marketplace genius (iTunes, the most convenient music store ever) as it is beautiful hardware, the iPod forced the music industry to change its focus from albums to singles, and from CDs to online digital files. Two-hundred twenty-five million sold, and music may never be the same.

MAYBE I should revise my lede on this post. What if we only think the "noughts" have been the decade of disruptive tech? What if the first tenth of the 21st century only has set the table for the real disruption to come?

What if 2000-2009 has been high-tech's figurative working over of traditional media's midsection, with the odd jab here and there to newspaper's snout and broadcasting's swollen right eye?

And what if the next 10 years delivers the uppercut that finishes the job that started with the last 10 years of "softening up"?

Muhammad Ali, meet Steve Jobs.

Jobs, the brain behind Apple, bloodied and staggered radio and the record industry with the iPod and iTunes. And now, it looks like he's about to either save or kill off newspapers and magazines with Apple's long-rumored "tablet" computer.

Personally, I wouldn't even consider that Apple's tablet will save newspapers, but I mention the possibility because the analyst in the MSNBC video above did. He apparently has much more faith in traditional media's ability to embrace and adapt than I do.

DID I mention the age of tablet computing probably will be the death of radio, too? Just ask former radio man Jerry Del Colliano:

In my opinion when this device is debuted -- not if -- it will be the most successful consolidation of media ever -- far more successful than radio consolidation.

Apple will likely allow music, movies, email and web browsing. Some call it a potential Kindle killer because it is likely to compete in the book reader category that Amazon's Kindle has started.

This is purely out of the Apple playbook.

Let someone else test the market and they come in with a cooler, more intuitive device with a back structure that includes Apple's massive and growing iTunes store.

I've heard that the new device may also include a PDF reader making it a phenomenal choice for professional people (doctors, lawyers, disc jockeys -- sorry, I'm partial to radio djs) as well as an ideal replacement for student textbooks.

How popular do you think Apple will be if municipalities everywhere could stop ordering textbooks and have students access digital books through the iTunes store?


Let me be blunt.

If radio is not actively engaged in iPad content, it is over even sooner than the ten year life radio has left.


Older consumers will also migrate to the iPad. They showed a willingness to embrace the next generation's new tools when they adopted email, texting, Facebook and iPods to name a few. This will be no different.

The new iPad will be their own personal media device. Their bookstore. Their TV.

And radio's answer to simply stream terrestrial audio won't work here. In fact, radio needs to get video. And I'm not talking about a studio cam aimed at the morning dj (if they still have one).

The iPad is something very exciting and the only industry that has talent in place to occupy that space is the one industry that is firing all its talent.

You know who.

The iPad will be bigger than the iPod and iPhone but for radio and the music business it will be the iPlop if they don't get into the future right.


What we have today -- and what already is wreaking havoc on traditional media -- are version 1.2 devices, essentially. An Apple tablet will be cheaper than a good laptop, as capable as a netbook (and far more capable than a Kindle), easier to carry around than a newspaper and will offer a far more compelling multimedia experience than an iPhone or other "smart phone."

It will be like jumping directly to a version 3.0 device.

Unfortunately, broadcasting and newspapers -- at least those still working in broadcasting and newspapers -- by and large are partying like it's 1999.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kill virtual baby, si. Pass virtual gas, no.

Talk about your "killer app."

Baby shaking is all the rage among the no-self-control set, so we knew it was only a matter of time before some techno sk8r punk app developer brought a prison-free version of it to your iPhone, all for the low, low price of 99 cents.

Not surprisingly, the "Baby Shaker" program made it into Apple's App Store, which deemed a virtual whoopee cushion too tasteless to be sold. Slightly more surprisingly, Apple pulled it after child-welfare groups raised holy hell.

THE FOLLOWING Culture of Death Minute is brought to you commercial-free by Suzanne Choney and
A controversial program for the iPhone called "Baby Shaker" was added to, then pulled from, Apple's App Store this week after protests about the program's offensive nature dealing with a deadly serious subject.

Child protection groups were outraged by the 99-cent app for the iPhone and iPhone touch, which encourages those frustrated with babies' crying to shake them, or in this case, shake their devices to change drawings of a crying baby to a calm one.

Apple, "which notoriously and routinely rejects new apps from developers with a 'rigorous' vetting process, nonetheless apparently allowed this horrible application to be sold through its store," said the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, whose aim is assist in the research of new developments for children with pediatric acquired brain injuries such as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

"Not only are they making fun of Shaken Baby Syndrome but they are actually encouraging it. This is absolutely terrible," said Marilyn Barr, founder of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and a board member of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.

Apple, asked about why the Baby Shaker app was approved and how long it was available before being pulled, did not answer those questions.

"It was removed today," was the only statement Wednesday from Natalie Kerris of Apple.

Sikalosoft, listed as the developer of Baby Shaker, could not be reached for comment.
OH, AND ABOUT that rejected virtual-fart app? Apple has standards, you know:
The company has been criticized by software developers for not allowing other kinds of programs, such as those that pass digital gas, into the App Store.

Such apps ultimately were approved, although the developer of one, "Whoopie Cushion," was first told by Apple that his program did not "comply with Community Standards,” programs that have “any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.) or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”
NOW, if someone were to develop a Capitalist Shaker app, they might be onto something.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The next big thing

As we speak, there are Mac enthusiasts flocking to their local Apple stores wanting to buy the new MacBook Wheel. I have a better name for it, but there are ladies present.

Really, if Steve Jobs built it, people would buy it. Probably the same people who really enjoy tagging MiniDiscs.

I think the reason The Onion's satire is so damned funny is because you know there's someone out there. . . .

Friday, October 03, 2008

'You won't believe what people are uploading'

Whoever wrote the positioning statement for CNN's iReport page didn't know how right he was.

"," the pithy headline says. "See it first. Your Stories. No Boundaries. You won't believe what people are uploading."

Well, no, you won't believe what people are uploading. That's because you
can't believe what some people are uploading.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE "iREPORT" that Apple chief Steve Jobs had been rushed to the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack. Not true.

The problem is, a lot of investors and Wall Street traders
did believe what they read on the Cable News Network site. And Apple's stock tanked -- a 5.4-percent drop at its lowest.

Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating, according to Bloomberg News:
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the origin of a false report on a CNN citizen journalist Web site that Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had a heart attack and was hospitalized, according to a person with knowledge of the inquiry.

The agency's enforcement unit is trying to determine whether the posting was intended to push down the company's stock price, said the person, who declined to be identified because the probe isn't public. The report is ``not true,'' Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in an interview.

Concern about Jobs's health weighed on the shares this year, contributing to a 51 percent drop. The stock swing caused by today's erroneous report drew renewed calls for Apple, which has said only that Jobs's health is a ``private matter,'' to be more forthcoming, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at Yale University's School of Management.

``Leaving it to rumor and speculation is reckless,'' said Sonnenfeld, who has personally owned Apple shares since 1997, the year Jobs returned as CEO. ``If he is healthy, they should say so. If he's not, we should know that too.''

The shares fell as much as 5.4 percent earlier today after the post on cited an anonymous source saying Jobs was rushed to the hospital after suffering a ``major heart attack.'' The report has been removed.

John Heine, a spokesman for the SEC, declined to comment on whether the agency will look into today's erroneous report.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, dropped $3.03, or 3 percent, to $97.07 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock earlier fell to $94.65, the first time it has traded at less than $100 since May 2007.
IT TOOK JUST A DAY to find someone in the journalism universe stupider than the Detroit radio reporter who got fired for wearing an Obama T-shirt while covering an Obama rally. Unfortunately, that "someone" is a whole network.

The one whose executives came up with
"See it first. Your Stories. No Boundaries. You won't believe what people are uploading."

were they thinking? Without close supervision -- and fact checking -- by an adequate number of editors for the task, CNN's iReport is ripe for victimization by a Janet Cooke a day. At least.

In the present era of lean budgets and leaner newsroom staffs, do you think CNN's
iReport is getting supervision equal to the task? Today's fiasco -- possibly a criminal stock-manipulation fiasco -- says no.

I hope Apple sues CNN for millions, because CNN violated the cardinal rule of journalism:
"If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out."

CNN didn't know the "citizen reporter" from Adam, but that didn't stop the cable-news outfit's web editors from taking his unconfirmed report and plopping it prominently on the
iReport page. With nary a call to an Apple flack for confirmation.


BUT IT gets worse, according to Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider:
"Citizen journalism" apparently just failed its first significant test. A CNN iReport poster reported this morning that Steve Jobs had been rushed to the ER after a severe heart attack (story and screenshot below). Fortunately, it appears the story was false. We contacted an Apple spokeswoman, who categorically denied it.

CNN's iReport kept the report up until at least 10:15 AM, about 20 minutes after we published Apple's denial. The story has since been removed.

UPDATE: Here's CNN's official statement. CNN says it removed the story because the "community" brought the story to its attention. Importantly, CNN also refers to the content as "fraudulent," which is much stronger than "inaccurate." "Fraudulent" implies an intent to deceive.

CNN's iReport, Original Story

Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath. My source has opted to remain anonymous, but he is quite reliable. I haven't seen anything about this anywhere else yet, and as of right now, I have no further information, so I thought this would be a good place to start. If anyone else has more information, please share it.
Immediately after reading the iReport story, we contacted Apple. Katie Cotton, Vice President of Worldwide Communications, replied quickly, saying "It is not true."
A GUY with a trade blog can get an Apple flack on the phone after reading the CNN iReport, but a CNN web editor couldn't do the same before almost sinking Apple's stock by publishing something that flew in over the Internet transom?

Let the journalism world watch this train wreck carefully, then proceed exceedingly cautiously into the brave new world of "citizen journalism."

"Citizen reporters" work for free. And, sometimes, you're going to get exactly what you pay for.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Best ad campaign ever

The folks behind the best ad campaign ever give us perhaps the best Web ad ever.

If Internet advertising were this consistently clever and entertaining, I don't think newspapers would have a big problem in monetizing their Internet editions. I want to go out and buy a Mac right now, don't you?

Well, actually, I've wanted to for a while now. There's just this little issue called money standing in the way.

The NECreative blog, via Twitter.