The two-way path between government, politics, and private industry, densely shaded by lush money trees, is so well-worn it seems to have been carved by the finger of God, a well-known capitalist, long ago. And yet, fresh trade routes establish themselves all the time. David Plouffe, the man who successfully convinced a majority of the United States in 2008 that Barack Obama would change the country for the better, is now going to make the same argument for Uber, a service that seeks to deeply weave itself into the infrastructure of cities in order to make as much money as possible. Meanwhile, Kara Swisher notes, former Obama press [...]
"Technology becomes obsolete. Batteries don't last forever. That's not exclusively Apple's problem, nor is it exclusively Apple's fault."
Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Oracle, KB Home, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Hilton, Oracle, eBay, Charles Schwab, Clorox, Adobe, Oracle … it seems like a lot of the world's top companies are based in California, including more than half of the NASDAQ technology index. But Texas Governor Rick Perry is the kind of man who knows things in his heart, and he won't let any fancy coastal-elite numbers and facts get in the way of what God tells Rick Perry in the dead of night.
Australian police are warning the people down there to stop using Apple's terrible maps program, because the app is so worthless that people could easily die if they believe the ridiculous maps have any connection to earthly reality. For example, Apple Maps is telling gullible Australians that an entire city, Mildura, is hidden within a vast and terrible wilderness 44 miles away from the actual city.
Police have received calls from motorists who have been stranded in the park without adequate food and water for as long as 24 hours. The park does not have a water supply, police said. Combined with the fact that temperatures in the [...]
It helps to be "cool," in this world. Apple is cool! Barack Obama is/was cool, too! But not Microsoft. It is nice that Bill Gates is saving the world from diseases, but that doesn't make kids want a Zune. That's why Microsoft investors are very excited about CEO Steve Ballmer making the company's offerings cool. The band Weezer played a Microsoft store in a Virginia mall, so that's something. Hip hop and skateboards could be next for the software giant.
Second in a pair of essays today on freedom and the Internet. Previously: What are the politics of the Internet?
Last week, gracious youngsters from Google, Inc. were stationed below 14th Street, handing cards to commuters. The cards confirmed that those wireless signal bars appearing on certain subway platforms weren’t phishing expeditions by identity thieves or digital phantoms. Rather, they were the fruit borne of a partnership between Google and a wireless Internet provider named Boingo. Log in to their hotspot and get a summer of free Wi-Fi access all over New York City. In return, Google gets to hoard the information they generate, assembling an accurate picture of [...]
If I could award a prize for the best chapter title ever given in a work of fiction, I would bestow it at once on British author Ernest Bramah for the title of Chapter III of Kai Lung's Golden Hours (1922): "The Degraded Persistence of the Effete Ming-Shu." Bramah is better known for his blind detective, Max Carrados, but to my mind the comic tales of Kai Lung (most of them free on Project Gutenberg) are his best. They are sublime, particularly if you enjoy a rococo, antiquated, kooky imitation-Chinese English style:
"It has been said," he began at length, withdrawing his eyes reluctantly from an unusually large [...]
Big huge tech acquisitions bring out the worst in people. I do not know exactly why: I assume that it has something to do with seemingly infinite sums of money being made to seem finite or even small in the presence of even larger infinities of money. Anyway, has anyone noticed that the loud and visceral reaction to Apple's multi-billion dollar acquisition of Beats, the headphone and music service company, is kind of racist?
I asked this question on Twitter and got a number of private responses immediately. One, from a well-known tech writer: "I did, but only in DM, because I can't deal with that shit today." Then [...]
Here is a pretty epic and accurate description of the hubris of the new Internet-rich. Now that a small group of people has accumulated vast amounts of money, employing desperately few Americans, paying very little in taxes, isolating itself in wealthy bubbles while the rest of America slowly smolders, what will we do when they try to take over the government? Nope, not in some hypothetical far future; pretty much it all starts right now. First one off the Internet wins.
Like many people who moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s, I did it because San Francisco was cheap. It didn't have the lowest rents—in the California of three recessions ago, a Silver Lake bungalow or blocks-from-the-beach Santa Monica apartment were even more affordable than the chilly city by the bay—but it was the only West Coast town you could survive in without a car. With a $35 Fast Pass, all the smelly buses and dinky Muni trains and even the cable cars were there for the riding to and from work, whether you were a bartender or a waiter or (like me) a very fast typist irregularly [...]
The world runs a little bit more smoothly without troublesome humans mucking up the works. Consider the least sexy sex scandal of all time, 60-year-old David Patraeus and his various middle-aged twin Florida gal pals and wives and shirtless old FBI agents trying to figure out this whole "sexting" business. Why not just have drones do the war fightin', right? OH WAIT THIS IS OBAMA'S PLAN.
Meanwhile, in China, there is trouble at the factories that produce our beloved iPhones and iPads and those iDevices currently manufactured in a compromise size between that of the iPhone and the iPad. The workers want the jobs, because of the [...]
First in a series of two essays today on freedom and the Internet. Next: Google, Sci-Fi And The MTA.
Late last Friday, news broke that the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, an online discussion board and community commonly referred to as the WELL, was on the verge of being shut down. Founded in 1985 as a dial-up BBS, the WELL is an enormously important part of internet history, both as a place where things happened and as a model for how discussion and community should work on the web; the comments system below this post owes its existence, in many ways, to the WELL. The site's ethos [...]
"Over two decades the quintessential Chinese factory worker has gone from earning $50 a month assembling $100 sneakers to $300 or so a month, depending on overtime, assembling $300 or so smartphones. If a Foxconn worker — given the other opportunities in life and the current no-cell-phone policy on the factory floor — was going to splurge on a smartphone, the only reason he wouldn’t buy an iPhone is that Apple products are inevitably a ripoff, which is the not-so-dirty secret of 31.5 percent operating margins.
The Bottlenose, a prototype by Grindhouse Wetware, receives sonar, UV, wi-fi and thermal information and translates it to a magnetic field.
We stand at a strange moment in human history, when lawyers and corporations wage war amongst each other over one question: who owns your body? Off to the side, biohackers—the freaks, geeks, rebels, and punks who do biotechnology experiments in garages and basements—must decide whether to abide by the outcomes.
Maybe you’ve heard about this argument in the context of the Myriad Genetics Supreme Court case; that corporation had patented a part of the natural human genome, the “breast cancer gene.” Some versions of the [...]
The first time you hear a very clear Chinese woman's voice say "Sou Sou!" in your living room while you are supposedly alone, it is natural to brush it off. There are so many things making noises all the time! The second time, weeks later, when you're sitting alone by the fireplace reading at midnight, is terrifying. At this point, it is natural to wonder if this is how Moses or Allah or Jesus or Neale Donald Walsch or Oral Roberts or Ted Nugent or Charles Manson felt, when they first heard voices telling them what to do. But what did "Sou Sou!" even mean? It seemed less like [...]
Google's Android phones are used by more people, yet Apple's App Store sells 400% more than Google's online store for Android apps. How is this even possible? Consumer tech experts say it's because Apple started early and has stringent quality control and also has a whole lot of iTunes account holders who typed in their credit card information before they even owned a smart phone.
Consumers are more willing to fork over their money for an iOS app, because they know they’ll probably get their money’s worth, says app developer Zak Tanjeloff with DLP Mobile. “The App Store has a higher proportion of quality apps, thanks to the [...]
You could argue that the brown-liquor renaissance of recent years has been a reaction to the vodka-drenched Pucker-corrupted cocktail decade that preceded it, which experienced its nadir in the hideous appletini. But in the tail end of apple season, with plenty of good cider available, I wanted to renew the apple "martini" (I succumb to the troubling but widespread practice of categorizing mixed drinks by glass) and unlock its long-betrayed potential. While bourbon may spring to mind as the obvious way to achieve this, I realized that, in fact, brandy was the key here, and I had a chance to resist the bourbon hegemony that has crowded out brandy from [...]
This explanation of what happened to Kyle McDonald after he installed image-capturing software in Apple store computers is fascinating.
I may never stop laughing. Here is some advice for how to accomplish price-fixing, which we have learned here in US v. Apple et al (PDF), the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against ebook sellers for conspiracy to fix prices with Apple, so as to undermine Amazon. (Fun fact: the defendants in the case account for a full half of Amazon's ebook revenue.)
"Double-deletion" of email is the apparently common practice of deleting an email in your inbox, then deleting it again in your trash. It also largely doesn't work.
Also, "pro tip": it really helps if you don't keep emails about double-deleting your emails [...]