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 [...]
The iPhone5 was released six days ago. Did you get one? Did you make a video about it? These are some of the people that did both of those things. Bryan Menegus is, unfortunately, a writer and comedian. He blogs here and occasionally tweets here.
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.
"Because when you work in a factory, brands lose a lot of mystique."