September 23, 2013

Thinking of South Park...

I don't hate Apple. But I don't love Apple.


There was some mirth to seeing this as I recalled the South Park episode "HUMANCENTiPAD". Kyle was subjected to pornographically monstrous indignities that it turns out he accepted by clicking OK on the iTunes "Terms and Conditions." It was one of the South Parks that was a little over-the-top even for me. But the great comedic moment was when he talks to Stan, Eric, Kenny, and Butters -- all of whom are astonished that he clicked okay without reading the entire agreement: "Else, how could you know what you were agreeing to?" asks eight-year-old Cartman. Comedy gold.

Haha. But there is a property rights issue underneath that disturbs me. I had that decision thrust upon me today for a bunch of stuff that I purchased a long time ago. My Amazon collection is mine. It is delivered on MP3s that I can play anywhere. No DRM, no licensing, no sewing of your mouth on the butthole of another iTunes user...

I celebrate Steve Jobs's saving the music industry by figuring out a digital model which eluded the labels. But I don't buy anything from Apple unless it is not available from Amazon. Even then, I think pretty seriously whether I really want it.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (1)
But AndyN thinks:

Every time I'm asked to agree to a questionable terms of service agreement, I'm reminded of this...

"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from or one of its duly authorised minions."

Posted by: AndyN at September 24, 2013 7:35 AM

July 11, 2013

Yet Another QOTD

Has it really been only five years since we were conditioned to believe that "there's an app for that"? Which, when you think about it, is really quite a revolutionary thing to believe. -- Robert Tracinski
I fight Malthusianism like my blog brother fights altruism. We are never, ever, ever going to run out of ones and zeros.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2012

Mini iPad Promo

We've been so busy with politics, we haven't done any religion in a while:

Hat-tip: Jonathan V. Last

Posted by John Kranz at 2:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 1, 2012

Wow! That was Fast.

I certainly enjoyed the appreciation for innovation that shone ever so briefly in the wake of Steve Jobs's death.

Wasn't that awesome? Lefties, moderates, and wingnuts all celebrated the cool things Apple wrought, the prosperity, the freedom, the benefits to other industries like music. One corporation, it seemed, was -- dare one say -- cool. As the Hollies Youngbloods said "just a moment's sunlight, fading on the grass."

Memo: Jobs's corpse is cold and Apple is no longer cool. Two NYTimes stories in a week reveal that anyone who appreciates the greedy corporate conglomerate was caught in Jobs's famous "Reality Distortion Field." As I mentioned, Paul Krugman led the charge last week. Apple didn't really create any jobs in the US (those Apple products unload, sell, and compose software themselves). Not like the GM bailout! Now that was a little-j jobs machine!

Today my niece (no, not that one -- I have nine) posts this NYTimes News story to Facebook, with the caption "Yikes. The hidden costs of our addiction to technology..."

In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers -- as well as dozens of other American industries -- have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.

However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious -- sometimes deadly -- safety problems.

Sweatshops! It's like Lochner v New York never happened over there.

I provided some gentle avuncular wisdom in this instance (that was actually pretty well received). But clearly the word is out. The shine is off AAPL.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 8, 2011

Teachable Moment?

If you can endure one more story about "Facebook Friends...." Two of the most collectivist I know have both changed their profile pics: one to the Apple logo, and one to Steve Jobs. Each has posted clips from his commencement address.

How. Can. This. Be? Our favorite two-lettered-lefty is hosting a thread on the importance of public broadcasting and one on the evils of America's disparity between CEO pay and worker pay. I did suggest that Steverino likely made a touch more than the guy who affixed the shipping labels to the iPods. And I had the temerity to suggest that, contra his stats, said clerk would be happier with a 10% raise than the news that his CEO took a 50% cut.

Sing, little piggy! No...Breathe from your diaphragm!!!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Here is my answer to our FF: iCapitalism.

The progressives who want to bring down "Wall Street" will snipe that Jobs was one of "theirs," not "ours."

He belonged to no one. He was transcendently committed to excellence and beauty and innovation. And yes, he made gobs of money pursuing it all while benefiting hundreds of millions of people around the world whom he never met, but who shed a deep river of tears upon learning of his death this week.

From "I, Pencil" to iPhone, such is the profound, everlasting miracle of iCapitalism -- a triumph of individualism over collectivism, freedom over force and markets over master planning. To borrow an old Apple slogan: It just works.

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2011 12:58 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Everyone needs team mates, and clearly they think that they were on Steve's team (or vice versa)...

... and you never speak ill of your own. Only of the "others".

Posted by: AlexC at October 8, 2011 5:01 PM

October 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

At the risk of dragging unbeloved Washington into thoughts on the legacy of Steve Jobs, let it also be noted that President Obama spent the better part of his hour-long news conference yesterday moaning about Washington's "failure" to bring his job-creation bill to life. The bill's details aside, it is hard not to notice the differing results of the Washington model of creating jobs and the Jobs model of creating jobs. Perhaps Washington should think different. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

Mr. Jobs's contribution to the world is Apple and its products, along with Pixar and his other enterprises, his 338 patented inventions -- his work -- not some Steve Jobs Memorial Foundation for Giving Stuff to Poor People in Exotic Lands and Making Me Feel Good About Myself. Because he already did that: He gave them better computers, better telephones, better music players, etc. In a lot of cases, he gave them better jobs, too. Did he do it because he was a nice guy, or because he was greedy, or because he was a maniacally single-minded competitor who got up every morning possessed by an unspeakable rage to strangle his rivals? The beauty of capitalism -- the beauty of the iPhone world as opposed to the world of politics -- is that that question does not matter one little bit. -- Kevin Williamson
Requiescat in pace, Mr. Jobs.
Posted by John Kranz at 8:39 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

The entire Williamson piece is a great elevator talk in itself.

Posted by: jk at October 6, 2011 9:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes it is, and Rush made it the focal point of the first hour of his program yesterday. It made for awesome listening (while I bounced around in front of a hay baler in a windstorm, but that's another story.)

I particularly enjoyed KW's description of the "occupy" protesters as "undeniably shortchanged by our government-run cartel education system." What a delightful way to say they are dumbasses!

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2011 2:13 PM

March 15, 2011

I'm Still a PC

But this is cool:

You know how in disaster movies, people on the street gather around electronic shops that have TVs in the display windows so they can stay informed with what is going on? In this digital age, that's what the Tokyo Apple stores became. Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones. Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world.

Anyway, I mention this not because I work at Apple now, or because I'm an admitted fanboy, but because I'm genuinely proud of the Apple Japan staff and their willingness to stay open to help people that day. And I'm also impressed with the way Apple's products (and yes, Google's, Twitter's, and Facebook's) helped them that day. Even after we had to close, many of the staff stayed outside the store to fixing iphones and teaching people how to contact family or stay informed via wifi.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2011


Too funny! Professor Reynolds gets a message from Amazon "markdowns on the new Apple Macbook Pros."


If you've been waiting for the prices to drop, this is your chance!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Buy all four and pocket a cool $20!

Posted by: jk at February 25, 2011 6:33 PM

January 6, 2011

All Software has Defects

Waitress Lindsay Garvey "takes full responsibility for being late. And the only person she's mad at is Steve Jobs. (~1:10)"
'Cause her iPhone alarm failed to wake her up at 10:30 on New Year's Day when she had been out until 5:00 and she was fired.

I take full responsibility for my weight. And the only person I'm mad at is Sara Goddam Lee...

UPDATE: Forgot to hat-tip Insty, who's not a lot more sympathetic than me...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 6, 2010

Now He Thinks He's AlexC!

The reviews are a little mixed. but I am enthralled with the AppleTV.

I guess one has to ask what a hundred dollar box is expected to do. No, it does not iron your underwear or provide permanent storage for media. It provides access to your Apple content, with Netflix and YouTube thrown in.

The streaming Netflix was a primary feature. We have been using this on our TiVo® for a long time. Frankly, if the AppleTV were to take that function over, our TiVo will likely be dropped for the cheaper cable DVR.

The AppleTV provides a much richer experience. The TiVo lists items you have placed on your "Instant Queue." The AppleTV allows you to browse the entire Netflix repository. Each movie or episode brings up a detailed search screen to browse.

The hardware is Apple-cool, a bit smaller than a hockey puck, A sleek joystick + 2 button remote, very pretty and intuitive navigation and graphics. Tonight we will be setting up the lovely bride's iPad as a super-remote.

Five stars from me -- and I'm a PC!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:53 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

You've gone and lost your mind!

But yes, the iPad remote is sexy as hell.... I can't wait until Comcast gets the DVR and iPad talking.

Posted by: AlexC at October 6, 2010 8:52 PM

June 8, 2010

Huh? What?

Ten minutes before the close, the DJIA is up 111 and "The Nazz" is down "A Finn."

Is this all because Steve Jobs screwed the iPhone4 demo up so badly? Did I miss something?

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

And the Lord Obama looked upon the markets, and cursed those that produced the fruit of profit, for verily they are the wicked who produce jobs and goods and services for willing.

And the Lord Obama blessed those mutual funds who short the corporations, yea even the evil giants Apple and General Electric. Verily are those funds are filled with the Holy Spirit of Social Responsibility, and the Lord Obama saw that they were good.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 10, 2010 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nicely done brother PE!

Posted by: johngalt at June 10, 2010 4:17 PM

May 26, 2010


A toast to Brother AC: Apple tops Microsoft in Market Capitalization. WSJ:

Apple — for now — is the new king. At the close of trading, a small decline in Apple shares combined with a 4% drop in Microsoft’s stock to leave Apple’s market value ahead — at nearly $223 billion compared with about $219 billion for Microsoft.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:34 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The influence of the PC/Mac commercials' stereotype continues to damage the Redmond dweebs. And they need to stop trying to copy Apple and start coming up with their own innovations. Me? I'm not buying any of it. Hell, I don't even have a text plan on my phone!

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2010 11:39 AM

April 4, 2010


For computing platforms, I'm a PC <montypythonvoice>and so's my wife.</montypythonvoice>. But for entertainment, we do do the Apple thang and the lovely bride had hers delivered yesterday.

I have to admit it is extremely cool, I like it almost as much as Stephen Colbert:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Gets a Free iPad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Reform
Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2009

Apple As Retailer

Hate to go back to religious wars, but in the spirit of fair play, I thought I should link to Dennis Kneale's Why Apple Is the World's Best Retailer

Kneale is one of my favorite of Kudlow guests and CNBC personalities. He's on-board with Apple and links to a painful, cringeworthy six minute video of how to host your own Windows 7 release party. I think that Microsoft has really hit stride in its television commercials. Did the same crew come up with this? Being a PC is sometimes almost as bad as being a Republican.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:48 PM | Comments (24)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:
My comment sprang from the inability to use open source code components in a product for commercial sale, although I can't recall the details. A commercial software product can be licensed for such use but open source licenses forbid profitable uses. Preposterous!
JK is correct. Why do you not understand the basis of licensing? If you don't like the conditions, then don't accept use of the product, and go ahead and develop your own. Or use purely free code that people don't develop under open source licensing. The truly preposterous notion is that of taking someone's code, which has preset requirements for use, and not adhering to those requirements just because you don't want them but want the benefit of someone else's creation. Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 3, 2009 4:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Instead of the general term "profitable uses" I should have said "use in a product for sale." And I would never advocate the elimination or dishonoring of copyright licenses.

PE said, "But you cannot sell the fruit of your labor when you have agreed to give up that right." My main contention throughout was that few people in Galt's Gulch would take that deal. It's only an opinion, not a philosophical absolute.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2009 1:12 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

But you called the idea "preposterous" that you cannot sell a derivative work of open source. So you may not be advocating the elimination of copyright or licenses, but you appear to think they shouldn't apply to things that are given for free.

The purest capitalist-anarchist society could still make use of open source. Trade doesn't have to be on the basis of money, you must realize. It can be on the basis of exchanging ideas and labor, even if there's no monetary profit to be had. Profit is not always about money: it's about what you gain. For example, I picked up a few groceries tonight. It was a profitable exchange for me, because the dollars were worth less to me than having the groceries. I may have lost a few dollars, but I gained in the value of my assets (as I see them).

Open source works because no single person can write, say, OpenOffice. As I explained before, thousands of people across the world can each contribute one line, or thousands, and together create a complete product. Each participant profits immensely (if not immeasurably) because he couldn't have done it alone.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 5, 2009 11:22 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

One last thing: if only a few people in Galt's Gulch actually make use of open source, so what? The freedom to transact will show what's best.

If it's a good thing and only one person is using it, then he'll benefit from being the only one (this is the concept of the Kirznerian entrepreneur). If it's a bad thing, a free market will show the error of his decisions.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 5, 2009 11:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

What I meant to call "preposterous" was the notion of forbidding profit for any reason - the state of hostility to profit.

If the license guarantees that all additions to the code will always remain in the public sphere and available to anyone, what harm is there in allowing profitable uses, say by inclusion in a hardware product?

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2009 1:17 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I thought I had posted a reply, but it didn't seem to go through.

What I meant to call "preposterous" was the notion of forbidding profit for any reason - the state of hostility to profit.
As I explained, profit doesn't have to be monetary. You can profit by the exchange of material goods and services. Open source is one such example of free exchange without the exchange of money. Profit simply means "gain," like when Patrick Henry said that George III could profit from certain historical figures' example.

The condition of no monetary profit is not just any reason, but a good reason. Why should I develop something that can be easily copied and modified, only to have you make money off it? That destroys my incentive to create it in the first place. So it's to your interest to adhere to the conditions I set, otherwise you won't have my work at all.

So you see, the limitations are not arbitrarily set, but for very good reasons.

If the license guarantees that all additions to the code will always remain in the public sphere and available to anyone, what harm is there in allowing profitable uses, say by inclusion in a hardware product?
There is, in fact, open source hardware, with much the same intent in keeping all schematics and design as freely available as open source code.

You don't see as much, though, although not because of the nature of the licensing. It's the difference between hardware and software. Hardware is more expensive to develop and upgrade, especially when collaborating. And when hardware fails, it could be irreparably damaged as opposed to needing a reflash.

It's also much easier for end users to download and install software, without worrying about buying circuit boards and chips.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 8, 2009 1:58 PM

September 17, 2009


Okay, AlexC is a Mac and I am a PC...

I find the Apple commercials lack verisimilitude when iTunes -- Apple's flagship software product -- sucks so completely. This enables their popular iPod, manages music on the iTouch and iPhone, and is used by millions of customers on non-Apple platforms. If they cannot or will not bother to get this right, I'm less wowed by a cord that's hard to trip over.

We had this argument years ago. But I bring it up because I have just installed iTunes 9. Nine! The Microsoft plan is that version 1 barely works, version 2 is clunky but mostly functional, and then version 3 is the one you want to buy. These guys are on 9.x and it is still hopeless!

I am glad they finally discovered that computers are networked -- that was a big failing in versions 1-8. I cannot say I have got the home shares to work yet -- but I am just a 15 year+ Unix and Java programmer. I'm sure the Astrophysics PhDs got it going right away.

So I gave up and played some locally stored songs. It got through three before crashing.

I'm JK and I will remain a PC until Apple can fix iTunes.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:33 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The Refugee will second JK's well-crafted opinion. The Refugee's original experience with an iPod Mini was atrocious and didn't improve with a device several generations later. Even his kids hate it. We've moved to low-cost MP3 players that work flawlessly.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at September 17, 2009 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:

Blog friend sc has complained of multiple failures.

For mysekf, I think the iPod hardware is the apogee of great design. I have had a bunch and I love them. My gripe is purely with the iTunes software that manages your mp3 files and moves them onto the iPod.

Posted by: jk at September 17, 2009 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But you're running iTunes on hardware that is foreign to Apple, are you not? And BR and SC too, PC's?

Posted by: johngalt at September 18, 2009 12:31 PM
But Keith thinks:

I'm going to be the contrarian here, and I do this fully respecting everyone, regardless of their gender, age, ethnic origin, and choice of operating system. I'm all about inclusiveness on this issue.

(ahem) Rhythmbox. That's all I'm sayin'.

Posted by: Keith at September 18, 2009 2:42 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Zoinks.... you just add your songs to the libraries, and it takes care of the rest... Kind of like money and our government.

You could always play songs amongst computers on a network (we do it at work all the time)... but you can't physically move the files between computers via iTunes... the 9 version supports that, but i haven't messed around with it.

Posted by: AlexC at September 18, 2009 4:42 PM
But jk thinks:

I wanted to keep my library on a network drive and mount it from multiple machines, but the performance was so bad you can't really do that. Man, what are they doing? Over 100Gb Ethernet, I haven't seen network drives bother other apps at all. I am thinking that the home shares in V9 will give me another way to accomplish this.

Yeah, I guess it works as you say, but it so painfully slow I don't know if it has crashed, or working, or if my click did not register. It's called a "thread" guys you can acknowledge response even when you're busy.

Sorry, man, nine tries and it is still clunky, unintuitive and slow. The WSJ says how important this product is (in a very factorable interview, I must confess).

Posted by: jk at September 18, 2009 5:05 PM

January 7, 2009

New Mac Feature

AlexC's wife is currently in line at the Apple Store to get her husband one for their anniversary:

One very cool thing on the TiVo is that you can subscribe to internet videos. When a new Onion TV video comes out, I get it on my list of recorded programs. I'm trying to talk them into doing it with

Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:


and i was going to say.....

"if you're tiny laptop were a few inches smaller, it would be like my phone.

... but i could still make calls on it."

Posted by: AlexC at January 7, 2009 3:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"I'll buy almost anything as long as its shiny and made by Apple." - Alex Zalbin

Apple is now part of the dominant paradigm.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2009 3:50 PM

November 30, 2007

Leopard Is Vista

We haven't had an OS war for a while.

I have been very disturbed by the Mac commercials slamming Vista. Macs are verboten where I work, but enforcement is rare. As a result, I have seen a steady stream of emails detailing serious security flaws and have heard a lot of internal complaints about Leopard.

Mostly, the commercials just make me nervous because I believe that all software is going to break, and it seems in poor taste to imply in a commercial that yours won't. If Toyota claimed their cars never broke down, people would say "yeah, right" even though Toyotas are known for reliability.

PC Magazine's Oliver Rist seems less than convinced that the new MacOS is perfect:

I'm not sure what ticks me off more about Leoptard (I can't take credit for that nickname—some Brit coined it): the fact that so many of the semi-important changes don't work, the fact that Apple turned a stable OS into a crash-happy glitz fest, or that the annoying, scruffy Live Free or Die Hard actor infecting my TV (and our Web site, by the way) is pretending that Leopard is better than Vista. It's not better than Vista. Leopard is Vista. And Tiger is better than both of them!

I've had decent results with my new Vista box, but have to admit that a few drivers aren't available. If I bought a new box tomorrow, I'd ask for XP. I assume Apple will fix Leopard (even though iTunes still sucks) but the company ought to have a little more superstition than to run that commercial.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:29 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

I've seen that Vista commercial... in my month long (from scratch install) experience with Leopard has been (with one exception) very good.

Safari (the web browser) hasn't crashed on the Evening Bulletin's website (something it would do almost everytime).

Spotlight, the "find" feature, has never run as fast as it does now.

I finally got a serial ata external HD enclosure for my old HD, and am looking forward to doing backups in a simpler, simpler way.

I could do without "stacks" and "quick look" doesn't really amaze me.

I haven't used Spaces, though I have had trouble with their *brand new* implementation of X11. They've moved from Xfree86 to an foundation, which makes it "different."

Posted by: AlexC at November 30, 2007 5:11 PM

September 6, 2007

Lunch is On AlexC

from The Wall Street Journal.

Sept. 6, 2007

Facing a consumer backlash, Apple said it would give a $100 store credit to early iPhone customers, many of whom were angered when the company slashed the price of the gadget by $200 just two months after it first went on sale. In a letter to customers, Apple CEO Steve Jobs defended the decision to cut the price, but apologized to customers. "We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple," he wrote.

For more information, please see:

Posted by John Kranz at 4:03 PM

September 5, 2007

No Phone? I'll Take It!

from The Wall Street Journal.

Sept. 5, 2007

Apple revamped its iPod lineup and introduced a new model with an iPhone-like touchscreen and Wi-Fi technology that allows users to wirelessly access the Internet. The device, whose software interface also resembles the iPhone, will be called the iPod Touch and cost either
$299 or $399 depending on the amount of storage.

For more information, see:

Posted by John Kranz at 3:47 PM | Comments (1)
But AlexC thinks:

The $200 price drop on the 8gb iPhone really gets my goat.

... yeah yeah yeah... earlier adopter, etc. etc.

Posted by: AlexC at September 5, 2007 4:48 PM

July 24, 2007

AT&T Up; Apple Down

You have to appreciate those who can play the game. Wall Street is docking Apple stock because the iPhone missed expectations. AT&T, however, got a nice boost on the last two days of its quarter.

AT&T's Profit Rises On Wireless Growth (Paid link)

AT&T Inc., reported a 61% rise in net income amid recent acquisitions and said it activated 146,000 iPhone subscribers the last two days of the quarter, 40% of whom were new AT&T Wireless customers.

AT&T has an exclusive deal with Apple Inc. to sell the iPhone in the U.S., and it hit the market June 29. Expectations for the device were high and the initial results fell short of Wall Street's forecasts. Shares of Apple, which is due to report quarterly results on Wednesday, fell as much as 5% on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Of course, incredible expectations were priced into the Apple shares already. But it's funny to watch the media coverage and think that the iPhone introduction missed expectations.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM

July 18, 2007

The iPhone -> AT&T Contretemps

AlexC posted about Rep Ed Markey's attacking the iPhone for its exclusivity with AT&T. I posted a flip comment. But Holman Jenkins sees some nefarious underpinnings in the superbly titled: Sort of Evil (Paid link)

Jenkins sees this as a grab for rent-seeking by Google, now that its net neutrality dreams are failing.

You're saying to yourself, haven't Google and friends been gnashing their teeth over the landline practices of the Verizons and Comcasts, demanding "net neutrality" regulations to be erected against crimes to be named later? Yes, and without much success. Consider a recent Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute study that found that imposing Google's idea of "net neutrality" (i.e., restricting a network operator's ability to prioritize urgent and non-urgent data) would end up cutting a network's peak capacity in half.

Now Google and friends are turning to wireless, which they hope will prove a softer target. Here operators traditionally have built networks for the restricted purpose of letting customers make voice calls with an operator-supplied cellphone. But most operators have also started rolling out all-purpose broadband on their wireless networks, albeit high-priced and painfully slow (evidence of their need to ration capacity carefully to protect higher-priority voice traffic).

I defended Google around here for pursuing shareholder value over freedom. I guess I must admit they have the right to lobby for advantageous legislation, but I will fight them tooth and nail. And be happy that I am a Yahoo guy.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:02 PM


I have not mentioned in a few months that Apple's iTunes is perhaps THE WORST PIECE OF SOFTWARE EVER!

I moved my library off the network onto a local drive which helps (you wouldn't want to support networks or anything -- I hear they're a flash in the pan) as did my new, faster machine with 2 gigs of RAM.

These changes make it tolerable -- but now it is freezing up when I add a new video file. As always, it is difficult to tell when the program is frozen because it is so completely unresponsive most of the time.

When they make their flagship software product not be a complete piece of junk, I'll think more seriously about buying one of their computers.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:36 PM

July 11, 2007

Dems and the iPhone

I guess Congress is all out of things to worry about.

The iPhone "highlights both the promise and the problems of the wireless industry today," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecom and the Internet. "This cutting edge technology breaks new ground … [but] consumers can't use this service with other wireless carriers" and those in areas not reached by AT&T cannot use the iPhone at all, he said.

Apple signed an agreement with AT&T to serve as the sole cell phone service provider for the iPhone. Those who purchase the iPhone, therefore, must switch to AT&T in order for their phone to work, incurring cancellation fees from current providers and locking themselves into a two-year contract with AT&T.

"Consumers feel trapped," Markey said at a hearing about regulation in the wireless industry.

"The iPhone could still change the world and be available for any consumer on any network, but we won't know until 2012, the year that AT&T's American exclusivity runs out," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. "I think it's time the consumer becomes a decider, not the cell phone carriers."

Michigan Republican Fred Upton has a sensible rejoinder.
"Competition spurs carriers to innovate and build a better mousetrap," he said. "The iPhone is the newest mousetrap and now other carriers will be working to top it."

Amen... and I say that as an iPhone owner.

Posted by AlexC at 8:54 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Even the Republicans can't get it right. Innovation is completely irrelevant. It's about choice: you don't have to buy the thing in the first place. You also do not have the right to force someone to sell you goods or services on terms the seller doesn't want.

Now pardon me while I go complain to XM that I need to buy a satellite radio unit in order to receive their broadcasts.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 11, 2007 10:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Fine for you guys to be flip. When Rep Markey and I think of those poor children, outside of the AT&T service area, who have to settle for Razrs and Chocolate phones instead of iPhones...(sniff)...having to have an iPod and a's almost too much to bear.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2007 9:21 AM

June 29, 2007


Today is the day they come up, I'll be ordering my online.

But Philly Mayor John Street is camped out for an iPhone.

"I think it's not a bad a thing for a person who needs that device [the iPhone} to sit and wait. I could have used influence to get one, but I don't work that way."

You have got to be f*cking kidding me.

The mayor suddenly discovered ethics.

Just before his remarks, 22-year-old Larry West of Mount Airy confronted the mayor.

"How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?" West asked.

Street announced that "I'm doing my job."

He then left for City Hall, and it was not clear when he would return to the line. He assigned his spot to a male aide, who declined to be identified.

"I'm just holding a spot for the mayor," he said.

Well known for his Blackberry addiction, his Honor will be disappointed to know that despite the massive cool factor, it will still be available to subpoena.

I seem to recall that the mayor had trouble remembering that he had a Blackberry during the "bugging" investigation... but I can't find any articles about that.

Speaking of thieves and iPhones.

Watch this video...

fox news
Uploaded by hotternews

Crazy guy steals the microphone... what's with people and FoxNews?

Posted by AlexC at 2:51 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

It not like Street has anything else to do, like reduce the murder rate, stop making Philly a national laughing stock,..clean out his desk for Michael Nutter to move in, etc,...

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at June 29, 2007 9:07 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't know John Street, but he was off to a good start with, "it's not a bad thing for a person who needs that device to sit and wait." Except that nobody "needs" an iPhone. (Ip-own?) I'm quite certain that "I could have used influence to get one, but I don't work that way" was inspired by the flak John Edwards received after sending an aide to strongarm a WalMart employee for a PS3 for his kid.

But when things got uncomfortable, he did "work that way." If using a government aide, paid by taxpayer dollars, isn't "using influence" then what is it?

"Pay no attention to my deeds, just watch my lips move."

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2007 10:33 AM

April 2, 2007

Ding Dong, the DRM Witch is Dead

Well, let's say she has developed some worrisome symptoms...

EMI Unveils Plan to Sell Music Without Anticopying Software (Paid WSJ link)

"By providing DRM-free downloads, we aim to address the lack of interoperability which is frustrating for many music fans," said Eric Nicoli, chief executive of EMI in a statement Monday.

Apple said iTunes will make individual tracks available from EMI artists at twice the sound quality of existing downloads, with their DRM removed, at a price of $1.29. ITunes will continue to offer tracks to consumers at 99 cents but these will have standard sound quality and with DRM still applied. Customers who have already purchased standard tracks with DRM will be able to upgrade to DRM-free tracks for 30 cents.

"We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year," said Mr. Jobs in a press release.

Bully for Jobs for pushing this and bully for EMI for diving in. I really believe that it will expand digital music sales more than enough to compensate for piracy. I buy almost all of my music on CD, rip it, and shelve the CD just to protect my "license." If this takes hold, I will move to more digital purchases and with the added convenience, will probably buy more music myself.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM

January 9, 2007






I'm relieved I didn't get that Chocolate phone I've been lusting for.



... and it's an iPod! Hopefully 80 to 100 Gb.....

The entire cell-phone industry just wet their pants.

Posted by AlexC at 12:53 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, but it would still play the "Newlywed Game" theme all the time. When Apple fixes iTunes, I will trust them with my telephone. Not before.

Posted by: jk at January 9, 2007 1:10 PM
But AlexC thinks:

D'oh! 4gb and 8gb only... and service through Cingular only.

Not going to replace my iPod, though.

They're also looking at a June release.

Posted by: AlexC at January 9, 2007 1:59 PM

December 14, 2006

Cool Tech

Here's a cool way to manage multiple desktops on the new MacBook Pros.

Speaking of cool software, here's a really cool desktop wallpaper program. I'm looking for a Windows equivalent.

Posted by AlexC at 10:59 PM