Thursday, November 18, 2010

Woz: Please start mincing words

Woz did an interview with Dutch newspaper in which he said lots of ridiculous shit including his spaced-out projection that Android will eventually become the dominant mobile platform. Somehow the boneheads at AOL/TechCrunch managed to translate the article from Flemish into English so they could run a post about it. We’ve told Woz, a million times, that if he wants to do an interview he needs to sit down with Katie first so she can tell him what to say. It’s pretty easy stuff, mostly along the lines of, “Yeah, it’s so exciting to see Apple doing so well and making such amazing products,” and, if asked anything specific, “Yeah, I really don’t know anything about that, and I don’t have any opinions on anything, and it wouldn’t make sense for me to speculate on a hypothetical.”

That’s our standard media training and Woz knows it, but he just goes off the reservation, again and again and again, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reminded him that he’s still officially listed as an Apple employee and bound by same code of silence as everyone else. He just laughs.

The larger question is why on earth do reporters still care to interview Woz? He hasn’t actually worked here in 30 years. Why do people think he has some kind of special ability to project the future when it comes to mobile phone platforms? The last thing Woz made was the Apple II. It was a fine machine in its day but in the context of today’s mobile devices it’s a friggin toy.

Nevertheless, here’s Woz, spouting off, and and now it’s everywhere. Business Insider wrote it up. Then Engadget gleefully joins in, saying that Woz “has never been one to mince words.”

Dear Woz: Please start mincing words. Or I swear to friggin God, Katie will come over there and mince your nuts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You will never forget this day, even if you live a thousand years

November 16, 2010. A date that has now been seared into history, alongside the day when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the day that JFK got shot, which I think were both in December, but I don’t actually remember exactly, and the day of 9/11 which is of course easy to remember since it’s the actual name of the day.

But this? The Beatles on iTunes? Who will ever forget this day? Who will forget this day when the greatest musical artists of all time finally agreed to make their historically significant music be downloaded at a reasonable fee via the greatest online music store that has ever been created.

Even if you wanted to forget, I dare say, you will not be able to. No, you will never, ever erase this date from your memory.

Even if you live a hundred lifetimes, and survive a dozen world wars, and a nuclear attack by robots from outer space; even if you win the Nobel Prize for discovering the cure for cancer, and have so many children that you need to write down their birthdates so you remember when to send them cards, and even if you end up with full-blown friggin Alzheimer’s and can’t remember your own name — no, even then, I dare say, you will never, ever, forget this date.

Oh, and one more thing. Bite me, Yoko. Bite me hard.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Does nobody care that Facebook looks like ass?

Sweet holy Buddha, is this really the future that Mark Zuckerberg is damning us to? Below is a screen shot from the big Facebook announcement today, snipped from a slideshow onĀ Huffington Post along with the not-at-all-hyperbolic front page headline (above) declaring that this clusterfuck of ugly fonts and colors is “the way the future should work.”

Dear friends, I beg of you — look down at that page of horrors at the end of this post, and then ask yourself: Really? Can this really be true? Is there really anyone in the entire world who finds this user interface to be attractive?

After all the work I’ve done? After four decades of my Bauhaus-inspired radical minimalism and easy-on-the-eyes simplicity, this nightmare of buttons and icons and random colors, this messy electronic ransom note — this is the future? Do you have any idea how many hours, how many full days and weeks, that I’ve spent agonizing over the amount of white space that should be put at the edge of a screen? How many sleepless nights I’ve spent tossing and turning, my mind racing with decisions about type faces and kerning? And bezels and chamfers?

And now this. This world of shit and poor taste is where half a billion people choose to spend their time.

I look at Facebook and I feel the way I imagine I.M. Pei must feel when he looks at some giant public housing project. You just sit there going, Why? Why do this? Why make it so ugly when for just a tiny bit more effort you could make it, if not beautiful, at least not horrific?

I look at this page and I feel a migraine starting to come on. I feel dizzy, and get tunnel vision, and I have to go sit down on the floor in the child pose and just clear my mind.

It hurts me. Do you understand? It physically friggin hurts.

But this, we are told, is the future of messaging. All of these feeds (IMs, SMS, email) streamed into one giant steaming mountain of crap. Dear friends, this isn’t a product. It’s a punishment. But apparently there is nothing that any of us can do to stop it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

We have not delayed iOS 4.2, and there is no WiFi problem with 4.2 on iPads

Despite what you may have read on idiot blogs like Engadget, we have not “delayed” the release of iOS 4.2. What we have done is reset our ship date to a future date that has not yet been determined. That’s not a delay. It’s a date change. Also, contra Engadget, the new software is not having “issues” or suffering any “serious looking connectivity bug.” What Engadget seems to have stumbled upon is a new feature that enables the iPad to rapidly connect and disconnect to a wireless network, thus saving battery life. The switching takes place at a speed that is actually faster than the speed at which neurons fire in your brain, so that to the end user the rapid connecting and disconnecting is not detectable. We call it Neuron Switch and we’re actually super proud of how amazingly awesome and mind-blowing it is, and we’ll be shipping it when we feel the world is ready for it, which might be today or might be some other day. So, Engadget? Get your facts straight. And next time, maybe call us before you just print something. Peace.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Betting pool: How soon until David Kirkpatrick defends Facebook for not exporting contact data?

Very serious man in scarf

So Facebook is finally getting called out for being selfish greedy pricks and making up preposterous excuses for not allowing users to export their contact information. Now Katie and her minions have started a betting pool to see how long it will take David Kirkpatrick, Facebook’s new unofficial spinmeister, to publish something on The Daily Beast where he explains that Zuck & Co. are actually doing the right thing here, and how Google are the bad guys.

The back story: Google is griping about Facebook being a one-way street with user data, meaning you can import data from Gmail into Facebook, but you can’t pull your contact info back out. Google retaliated with a code change that tried to prevent Facebook from getting Gmail data. Facebook hacked around the block. Now Google says it’s “disappointed” and God knows what will happen next.

For the first time that I can remember, people are just openly calling bullshit on Facebook.

Michael Arrington says, flat out, “Facebook is lying.” Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land says Facebook are a bunch of hypocrites.

My problem is that I hate Google as much as I hate Facebook. So I’m not sure which side to take. Frankly I’d like to see them just open fire on each other like guys at the end of some Quentin Tarantino movie.

Let me tell you what Zuckerberg put us through when we wanted to make Ping work with Facebook. I tried doing the thing where I invite some dork to my house for dinner and take him for a long walk. This never fails. Except on Zuckerberg, that quasi-autistic little sociopath. You know what he said to me? He goes:

Look, we’ve got half a billion idiots rounded up in a cage, and we’re going to wring billions of dollars out of these morons by slicing and dicing all sorts of data that they provide and then selling that data to advertisers. If you, Mr. Jobs, want access to that data, then write us a big huge check, or just go build your own social network, or otherwise just go away, because frankly all this stuff about openness and sharing is just bullshit and you, of all people, Mr. Jobs, should know this. I mean Steve Jobs lecturing me about openness and sharing is like John Wayne Gacy offering tips on how to run a day care center.

So I asked him how much money he wanted. The number he gave me was so ridiculous that I had to ask him to repeat it. The phrase I used in the press was that Facebook wanted “onerous terms,” but what I really meant was, Sorry, but I really don’t enjoy the feeling of blood running down my legs and pooling in my running shoes.

With Google I’m not sure it’s even about money. It may just be that Zuck has no interest in sharing data with Google, no matter what price he can get.

Google is stunned. They’re like, Wait a minute, you can take our data from us, but we can’t take it from you? Are you serious? And Zuck says, Um, yup. And then Google tried this lame maneuver of trying to publicly slut shame Zuckerberg for being such a slut, but the problem is that Zuckerberg has no shame. Or morals. Or conscience. Suck on that, Google. You’ve finally met an opponent that’s more monstrous than you are.

And that’s why this is all such a great challenge for David Kirkpatrick. Because in this case Facebook are so obviously being ruthless hypocritical lying dicks that it’s hard to imagine how someone could come to their defense. Then again, if anyone is up to the task, it’s David K.

My bet is that he has something up on Daily Beast by end of day today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why there is no white iPhone

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday Part 2

Happy Friday

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ray Ozzie’s memos as incomprehensible as his software

Ray Ozzie just wrote a windy farewell memo to Borg staffers, using 3,500 words to deliver a message that boils down to this:

We suck. I quit. Goodbye.

I tried to read the memo and couldn’t get past the first paragraph. But you go ahead and try. I dare you. Behold the inner workings of the mind that inflicted upon the world the tangled hairballs that were Lotus Notes and Groove.

If you ever wondered what’s gone wrong at Microsoft, just look at this memo. Seriously. It explains everything.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Found in a Gizmodo comment string