Tangent — Apple’s Win is Not a Win

Certainly the decision in the Apple vs. Samsung suit is a win for Apple and its shareholders. But the sort of strong arming Apple has been doing with patents could inhibit innovation and may make the market ripe for Apple almost completely controlling smartphone sales for several years. Last time I checked, when a company is the only game in town or darn near, it’s not good for the consumer’s pocketbook. Sadly, Apple is doing what others, namely IBM and Microsoft, have done. And if you don’t know, those two companies got some all encompassing anti-trust actions slapped on them. Factor in Apple’s anti-trust situation with the ebook market, and they are begging for more of the same. Unfortunately, anti-trust actions can drag on for years and years. IBM’s lasted for 14 years, Microsoft’s lasted for 16 years.

But something happened in the Apple vs. Samsung verdict that may have made all of that irrelevant. The jury handed the Samsung counsel a great appeal. Oh sure, Samsung and Apple were both prepared for appeal before this thing really got rolling, yet I doubt either was expecting something like the jury provided. This screams for appeal. If you don’t want to read the link, just know that the jury reached their verdict too quickly and bungled some things in the process. You can also Google it since this morning there are plenty of articles. Of course no one really knows the outcome of court cases, appeals included, as this case makes so abundantly clear.

Whatever happens, Apple has already lost, and in a way that no court case can win back for them. They have now screwed themselves with a significant portion of the programming community, and the programming community has been a key to their success. Have you ever wondered why Macs seemed impervious to viruses? Have you ever wondered why Apple products just haven’t seemed beleaguered with the software issues that PC based products experienced for years? Very simple answer, and it’s not that Apple has made such a superior product impregnable by hackers. The hacker part of the programming community has more or less left them alone. And why? Because the majority of the programming community didn’t see Apple as a bully and were busy taking down other bullies such as IBM and Microsoft. Guess who’s the bully now?

Have you noticed how viruses have started creeping into Apple products? Well expect more of that. A large number in the programming community are seething at how Apple is flexing their proprietary muscle to crush the little guy, and programmers love the little guy because they still think of themselves as a collection of the little guys. Apple went so far as to claim it was patent infringement for other companies to make a rectangular phone with rounded edges and they won. Not a little guy anymore. And now they will have to keep one step ahead of the little guys who will make it a goal to bring them down.

Of course I could be wrong about all of this. If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch.

Tangent — Jacking with Meta

June 30, 2011

And for you techies, this may not be what you think. The video below addresses something everyone on the World Wide Web needs to know is happening so is well worth the nine minute’s investment to watch.

I chuckled a bit when Eli Pariser mentioned his political bent. He has been an integral part of Moveon.org, a very politically biased site. I do not agree with everything said there. I’m not sure I agree with everything said anywhere, but this never keeps me from listening to someone’s viewpoint, and I’m almost always wiser for having listened. And how sad if their visibility were diminished in my little world thereby making my world that much smaller. Oh, I’m all for personalization, but when it becomes a stumbling block to my ability to consider a bigger picture, it’s gone too far. And for what? Mostly to take advantage of niche marketing, i.e., the ability to sell me something whether it be a product, a service or an idea by appealing to my seeming interests keyed into a search engine. Oh, I’m not completely opposed to niche marketing, but I HATE when someone seeks to think for me in a way that limits my thinking, and it’s really insulting when it’s a machine. Hopefully, you watched the video, so all of this makes sense and my next words in particular will be in perspective.

Today, the only major information site that doesn’t personalize to the degree of Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. is Twitter. I would include Digg and Reddit, but they are being eclipsed by Twitter. So this makes Twitter a really important tool for the little guys — us. The beauty of the web has been this power to connect people who would not otherwise be able to find each other, and gatekeeper media sites have been fairly circumvented in this process, but now Google, et al are seeking to control where we go even more. Frankly, the mere mention of a gatekeeper hacks me off. Thankfully, Twitter is still powerful enough to overcome that kind of control because it’s mostly unfiltered, and therefore wild and unpredictable and beautiful in its ability to give us average people who have little or no professional connection with major media the power to potentially have impact. This is the main reason I like Twitter and would hate to see it go the way of the others. Hopefully, this makes it evident Twitter should not be dismissed as mere fluff.

It’s amazing to me how true is this adage: it’s not what you see or hear but what you don’t. I’ve told my kids this countless times in the hope they will learn to think outside the box by knowing that the box is invisible.

On a personal note, if I told you some of the influential people whom I’ve been able to converse with as a result of Twitter, you wouldn’t believe me. I could care less about name dropping, but I say this here to make the point that your voice can be heard on Twitter in ways you could have only dreamed about before.

edit: I’m putting the Richard Armitage and public service tags on this since this is “important” stuff in the fine art of Richard Armitage watching. :D