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"By the way, what have you done that's so great?"
May 15, 2010 1:19 PM   Subscribe

A candid late-night email exchange between an online journalist and Steve Jobs (who may or may not have realized he was in fact talking to a journalist). (SLGawker, though the perplexed are welcome to Google the obscure Mr. Jobs for more information.) Learn whether Jobs thinks a 20-year-old Bob Dylan would've thought Apple was groovy, how Apple is protecting you from porn, and more!
posted by kittens for breakfast (214 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know, the willingness to answer anyone and everyones emails would really be an endearing quality in less weird and cranky times for Jobs and Apple. As it is, I can't help thinking that maybe he'd be better off just staying away from the keyboard rather than commuting late night acts of brand demolition.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also have someone write up some proper clarifications for all the questions Re: 3.3.1 that no one at Apple seems to be bothered answering. That's where some clear and open communication would be welcome.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on May 15, 2010


You know, the willingness to answer anyone and everyones emails would really be an endearing quality in less weird and cranky times for Jobs and Apple. As it is, I can't help thinking that maybe he'd be better off just staying away from the keyboard rather than commuting late night acts of brand demolition.

I have learned to avoid online communications after a certain hour. One would think Steve Jobs, of all people, would have adopted that trick by now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:29 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


wow, that guy got a chance to have an exchange with Jobs, and figured it to be cool and tell him how his wife likes porn (I think that's what he was trying to imply), and three three or four "fucks" ( I think his wife was gone for the evening, if I remember correctly, and those "fucks" were between him and Jobs)
in there for good measure.... I'm wondering if he felt Jobs would be, somehow, impressed with that.


And, he elevated this exchange way beyond its actually meaningfulness and significance, does he REALLY think Steve answers his own e/mail.
posted by HuronBob at 1:31 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Gawker needs to stop writing about Apple.
posted by empath at 1:34 PM on May 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


does he REALLY think Steve answers his own e/mail.

I would be astonished to learn that someone as obsessed with image as Steve Jobs would let an employee sign his name to statements about his company.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


STFU gawker. Dylan fucking loves his iPad.
posted by Corduroy at 1:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm jealous, SJ never got back to me on his favorite color and this guy gets to have a full-blown nerd fight with him, and still he complains.

Sheesh, those Silicon Valley types.

"By the way, what have you done that's so great?"

ooh, informal fallacy!
posted by hellojed at 1:36 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is supposed to be a real journalist? It sounds like some random frothing redditor. What a wasted opportunity.
posted by floam at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm not technologically advanced enough to fully understand those e-mails, but Jobs seemed fairly classy (until the end, at least) in his replies. I think it's kind of cool, actually, that he bothers to write people back.

But I can't help but think that Ryan Tate might want to rethink his strategies for getting the inside scoop from one of the world's most prominent businessmen. Except that's not what he's doing: he had an axe to grind, and he ground it. The new journalism, folks. Don't you love it?
posted by brina at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2010 [18 favorites]


I have learned to avoid online communications after a certain hour. One would think Steve Jobs, of all people, would have adopted that trick by now.

Well, he doesn't drink.
posted by rokusan at 1:42 PM on May 15, 2010


> I would be astonished to learn that someone as obsessed with image as Steve Jobs would let an employee sign his name to statements about his company.

I would have imagined that there are one or two staffers who read the steve@apple.com inbox and forward the occasional interesting question to Jobs to answer.

Instead it looks like Jobs occupies himself during downtime by picking whatever couple emails are at the top of the queue at the moment, reading them and replying.
posted by ardgedee at 1:42 PM on May 15, 2010


Methinks Ryan Tate had too many Stingers that night (actually, early morning).
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on May 15, 2010


What a wasted opportunity to delve into, love him or hate him, a brilliant mind. Might as well have had Larry King interview him.

And I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Artw was the first to comment on this story. The only ones that are more obsessed with Apple than fans are those that hate. It's kind of cute in a stalkerish way :)
posted by gtr at 1:43 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Steve Ballmer from the Microsoft Corporation is ticked off at Jobs too.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:48 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


This guy is HARDCORE when his wife is out of town.
Creme de menthe cocktails and emails to Steve Jobs.
Was Sex in the City not on?
posted by chococat at 1:59 PM on May 15, 2010 [40 favorites]


A British fashion magazine has reportedly dubbed its iPad issue "the Iran edition" due to the requirement to remove nipples and other body parts to get content on Apple's tablet computer.
---
Steve Ballmer from the Microsoft Corporation is ticked off at Jobs too.
You wouldn't expect him to like it. Apple if focusing on making a great user experience, while with android, Google is focusing on Developers, Developers, Developers.
posted by delmoi at 2:01 PM on May 15, 2010


Wow,

I can't believe jobs would actually tout "Freedom from programs that trash your battery"
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I found the Gizmodo e-mail to Steve Jobs trying to extort him to be more entertaining.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:04 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


online journalist troll
posted by tmcw at 2:08 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can Steve Jobs open his mouth without sounding like a pompous ass? 'Cause I haven't seen it yet. You have to wonder if he's as dishonest and hostile to his wife.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:16 PM on May 15, 2010


Apple CEO troll
posted by shii at 2:18 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I may, Gawker's relationship with Apple is going swimfan in a hurry. This is getting painful to watch.
posted by bicyclefish at 2:25 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


You have to wonder if he's as dishonest and hostile to his wife.

Wait, which one?
posted by Corduroy at 2:26 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


they should just shut up and make out allready.
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on May 15, 2010


By the way, what have you done that's so great?
Christ, what an apphole.
posted by elgilito at 2:30 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK, I'm pretty thinly read (little bits of lots? am I using that correctly, Eddie Izzard fans?) across the blogoverse, and I don't really have a handle on how seriously the individual or collective Gawker departments take themselves. But I look at this and I see some schmuck down in subsector 7G of the Gawkerdrome who just avowedly & unabashedly engaged in a liquor-fueled pissing contest in print with a major-league CEO whose people are, as we speak, actively pursuing legal action against Gawkerdom Itself.

I mean, right? How is this "Ryan Tate" joker not eleven-different-kinds of fired, like, three hours ago?
posted by unregistered_animagus at 2:31 PM on May 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


Yeah, the gawker guy came across as the bigger twit here, hands down.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:33 PM on May 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


I found the Gizmodo e-mail to Steve Jobs trying to extort him to be more entertaining.

Stupid question: How did the iphone prototype leak hurt - or threaten to hurt - iphone sales as Gizmodo was saying? Is it because consumers would stop buying current product when they know the next big release is just around the corner?
posted by Think_Long at 2:33 PM on May 15, 2010


I'm under a moderate amount of pressure to write iphone & ipad apps for my clients. However, one of my main selling points for development services has been the use and creation of open source/sustainable software.

Right now though, it's clear that Apple are innovating left and right. It's like living in the mid 90s again, watching PCs trash everything else on the market. This time though, it's more of an experience, a neatly packaged; an almost perfect consumer experience, all things considered.

Since I don't think we'll arrive at the point of reconciling such a tailored experience with complete openness and freedom for a while yet, I'm strongly considering buying the developer license and just going with it. For now.

And I've noticed that my clients don't care about FOSS in the way I would like them to. They care more about my personal recommendations, because it's me, and they know me. My gut feeling is that consumers in general will start to grasp the whole Freedom aspect in about 10-15 years.

The main thing that bothers me about FOSS right now is that it's mostly not discriminating or refined. It suffers from an "anything's cool, man, huh huh" stigma, but I would guess most people know better. I'm thinking Jobs knows the exact numbers on most people knowing better, and I'm really thinking that's where his "freedom from porn" line comes from.

A lot of people (people who aren't into porn) equate porn with a low-quality consumer experience, because value-based online services often turn to something like porn or exploitation on some other level to raise revenues.

Gawker has been accused of doing the same with another service they operate. Maybe Jobs also had that in mind? A little jab?

Apple run the risk of becoming pornographic in their own way (Disneyfication, the ultimate in walled gardens) so they also walk a dangerous, if less blatant, line.

Anyway, just some thoughts.
posted by circular at 2:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]



Stupid question: How did the iphone prototype leak hurt - or threaten to hurt - iphone sales as Gizmodo was saying? Is it because consumers would stop buying current product when they know the next big release is just around the corner?


That is one reason. You also don't want competitors to know what you are up to. Regardless, some idiot stole the phone and made no effort to return it and gave it to some other guys who broke it so forget the lost sales, it's theft and it's wrong either way.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honestly the question "what have you done" is probably terrible 99% of the time, but you mail someone you don't know to tell them how disappointed you are in their work? Hah, you deserve whatever you get.

Anyway I shouldn't start on a Saturday but the quote "Wired is doing a native Cocoa app because they HAVE to" says it all. The stupid.
posted by Wood at 2:39 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't identify myself as a writer for Gawker in my initial email, sent from my ryantate.com email address. But, as you'll see in the exchange below, I eventually made my affiliation clear, and Jobs didn't seem bothered

Yeah, my favourite part was where he explicitly said he was a journalist for Gawker.

Oh, wait.


Reposting this email exchange seems really tacky.
posted by djgh at 2:46 PM on May 15, 2010


Is Gawker media like... a tabloid?

(thanks for the post, though)
posted by polymodus at 2:49 PM on May 15, 2010


This is supposed to be a real journalist?

No. A blogger.
posted by mr.marx at 2:53 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you make Steve Jobs look like less of an asshole than you, you have a serious asshole problem.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:54 PM on May 15, 2010 [40 favorites]


OK, I'm pretty thinly read (little bits of lots? am I using that correctly, Eddie Izzard fans?) across the blogoverse, and I don't really have a handle on how seriously the individual or collective Gawker departments take themselves. But I look at this and I see some schmuck down in subsector 7G of the Gawkerdrome who just avowedly & unabashedly engaged in a liquor-fueled pissing contest in print with a major-league CEO whose people are, as we speak, actively pursuing legal action against Gawkerdom Itself.
I don't think there's any legal action going on against gawker itself, just against the guy who found the phone.
posted by delmoi at 3:14 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


"If Dylan was 20 today, how would he feel about your company? Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with 'revolution'? Revolutions are about freedom."

Yes, and the iPad, that giant iPod Touch (psst, that's not a bug, it's a feature when you already know the OS of a new device), is definitely leading the way. Whether it stays the leader is anyone's guess at this point, we'll se what other tablets come out this year. But there's no question of it's impact. Like it or hate it, the iPad is put the revolution on the map and only a fool would deny that.

Also, if Dylan was 20 today, he would have grown up with computers, the internet, cable tv and cell phones, which would give a different view of revolution.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:25 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think they both come off a little worse for it, but it was worth reading for the comments. Specifically, 'There's no such thing as "Freedom From" only "Freedom To"'
posted by yerfatma at 3:35 PM on May 15, 2010


This doesn't completely apply to this exchange, but boy do I loathe Gawker. They're yellow journalists and proud of it. The fact that one of the most successful "blog empires" is run by some Murdoch wannabe bums me out.

Also, Mediaite has been gaining some traction, but I find that they do things a bit to Gawker-like for me. Meanwhile, Rex Sorgatz, who if I recall has some ties to Mediaite asks: Is Awl the new Metafilter?

And I answer: No.
posted by defenestration at 3:37 PM on May 15, 2010


"Well, he doesn't drink"

Or beat off, apparently. Or maybe he does, but only to his own reflection, or Apple press releases.

The world may (thankfully) never know.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:42 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll grant that Steve jobs much deserved his status as visionary, but I'll likewise assert that he's hurting computing and human progress today. Humanity must abandon the closed source and locked down software, and bullshit patents.

I'm hoping the coming copyright and patent armageddon results in the digital equivalents of the levellers imposing rules like adverse possession. We already know however exactly what the law must say with respect to copyrights :

All copyright shall be unenforceable unless the source code is also published and usably so.

posted by jeffburdges at 3:50 PM on May 15, 2010


My gut feeling is that consumers in general will start to grasp the whole Freedom aspect in about 10-15 years.

When it's too late. When you can't "own" music, movies or software anymore, but everything is subscriptions or pay-per-use and remixing isn't allowed. When your computer is a media consumption device that's locked down with "trust" and it isn't subject to casual crappy viruses but really tricky shit that sells your clickstream or joins a botnet lies quietly in the background so you don't even realize you've been compromised. When you think of a neat idea, but have to pay $199/year to write code for the platform and there aren't alternatives except for "professional" computers that cost $5k.

When people get busted for selling audio & video digitizers that don't check for watermarks.

Also, if Dylan was 20 today, he would have grown up with computers, the internet, cable tv and cell phones, which would give a different view of revolution.

There was a "revolution" after World War II in Euro-style (light, maneuverable) sports cars and Model T-based hot rods where the "makers" were inventing new stuff in their own garages. A lot of people thought it was pretty neat. Dylan wrote
ain’t goin’ down to no race track
See no sports car run
I don’t have no sports car
And I don’t even care to have one
I can walk anytime around the block
Yes, he'd have a different view of revolution, but he'd still be a cranky weirdo who might care more about the fate of immigrants in Arizona or fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico than whether Wired can ship a Flash version of their magazine on the iPad.
posted by morganw at 4:00 PM on May 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


Steve jobs much deserved his status as visionary, but I'll likewise assert that he's hurting computing and human progress today.

Ralph Nader redux?
posted by morganw at 4:01 PM on May 15, 2010


Wow. Open-source is still the computer version of the guy in the back of every rally to the left of the Illinois Nazis holding up a "legalize pot" sign.

As for the article: dude gets drunk, overestimates himself, picks a fight with someone better at it than he is. Story at eleven.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:07 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


This doesn't completely apply to this exchange, but boy do I loathe Gawker. They're yellow journalists and proud of it. The fact that one of the most successful "blog empires" is run by some Murdoch wannabe bums me out.

I don't think they're the "most successful" blog network out there, just look at HuffPo. Anyway, all media companies are run by media mougles. It's not all that clear why you're calling him a "Murdoch wannabe", I don't think Nick Denton is a conservative.
posted by delmoi at 4:22 PM on May 15, 2010


Lots of people are visionaries. Very few manage to find a Wozniak though.
posted by vapidave at 4:31 PM on May 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


If you make Steve Jobs look like less of an asshole than you, you have a serious asshole problem. -- dirigibleman
What are you talking about? If this guy is an "asshole" because of those emails, then so are 90% of the people who post on metafilter.
Yes, and the iPad, that giant iPod Touch (psst, that's not a bug, it's a feature when you already know the OS of a new device), is definitely leading the way. Whether it stays the leader is anyone's guess at this point, we'll se what other tablets come out this year. But there's no question of it's impact. Like it or hate it, the iPad is put the revolution on the map and only a fool would deny that. -- Brandon Blatcher
YES, A NEW TOY IS REVOLUTION IN HUMAN ACHEVMENT. Seriously, the ability to pay money to a giant corporation to so you can play with a computer that’s slightly cooler then some other computers is a the soviets getting kicked out of Poland. Steve Jobs is the George Washington of touch screens!
Wow. Open-source is still the computer version of the guy in the back of every rally to the left of the Illinois Nazis holding up a "legalize pot" sign. -- DoctorFedora
Because obviously marijuana should be illegal. Freedom from the munchies!
posted by delmoi at 4:35 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


This guy isn't a journalist, he's a mouthy blogger who happened to luck out on trolling Steve Jobs and managed to turn the email exchange into ad hits. Calling what Gizmodo and its related properties do journalism is an insult to real journalists.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


This doesn't completely apply to this exchange, but boy do I loathe Gawker. They're yellow journalists and proud of it. The fact that one of the most successful "blog empires" is run by some Murdoch wannabe bums me out.

I don't think they're the "most successful" blog network out there, just look at HuffPo. Anyway, all media companies are run by media mougles. It's not all that clear why you're calling him a "Murdoch wannabe", I don't think Nick Denton is a conservative.


Well HuffPo bothers the shit out of me too. It's a lack of vigor and concern for what is true. A good HuffPo example would be their embrace of quackery.

And I didn't mean a "Mordoch wannabe" politically. Perhaps I could've picked a better example. I mean sheer dedication to eyeballs and subscriptions above all, nuance be damned. I was thinking more PITHY POST HEADLINE and 'I don't care that Beck is crazy because people watch him' type of stuff.
posted by defenestration at 4:49 PM on May 15, 2010


Gawker's March Editorial Review Memo
posted by defenestration at 4:55 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The thing is, all the iStuff basically is Jobs' baby. It reflects his own desires, urges, thoughts, etc. As such it has the advantage that it all follows a single vision and design philosophy.

The lesser problem of this sort of thinking is that if what you want isn't what Jobs wants then you're out of luck.

The greater problem is that Jobs seems to think of every iUnit as being his personal property, and gets upset when people use them in ways he doesn't like.

Apple could have simply declared in its warranty that jailbreaking your iTHing voided the warranty and then washed its hands of the matter. But Jobs seems to see jailbreaking as a threat, or an affront at least, and thus Apple works diligently to damage jailbroken iTHings and to harm those who have the temerity to believe that since they bought the product they can do with it as they will.

And that, I think, is a problem that offsets the advantages of a product guided by a single vision. If Jobs was able to let go, to let people use his iThings the way they wanted, the lesser problem would be all we have. But instead he seems attached to every single iThing out there, and it seems he can't stand to let them be used in ways, or for things, he doesn't like.
posted by sotonohito at 5:00 PM on May 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Apple works diligently to damage jailbroken iTHings

Apple does no such thing.

and to harm [people]

Apple does no such thing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:07 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Middleman series finale is an episode about the CEO of an Apple-like corporation which, in an alternate universe, becomes a dictator-for-life.

That was a fun show.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on May 15, 2010


As a liver transplant survivor, Mr Jobs would most probably have been placed on a very high dose of glucocorticoids (among other medications, including calcineurin inhibitors, azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil, and rapamycin or one of its close analogs). Hopefully his physicians have managed to taper the steroids dose down significantly, possibly even to zero if there is no sign of an ongoing immune-mediated primary disorder. This is good, because high dose glucocorticoids "are associated with significant side effects, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, infection, bone abnormalities, peptic ulcers, and psychiatric disorders", and he already will be dealing with enough unfortunate side effects from all the other immunosuppressive medication. However, judging by his weird choice of correspondents and replies apparently emanating from an unfiltered Mr Jobs over the past few months, it does seem as if his apparently existing and famous personality type has been enhanced. Or perhaps a 'roid-induced euphoria is continually tempting him to express it directly to the public more commonly than previously.
posted by meehawl at 5:20 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just wanna say, um, I like using Apple's computers, and I draw porn with them. I really wish His Jobsness would get off this weird anti-porn kick he's been on since seizing on this one dubious Android app; it's creeping me out but I really, really don't wanna try to make Linux or Windows feel like a comfortable place.
posted by egypturnash at 5:20 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Back to the "Revolution" issue, I remember that in 1997 I was kind of annoyed with the Think different campaign that used Gandhi and Martin Luther King (Kermit the frog was fine though). My Mac-using friends were swooning over it but I couldn't help feeling that there was something obscene in enrolling historical figures who had actually moved mountains for the sake of mankind (and died for it) to sell pretty gizmos that weren't even that different in the first place. There should be a Reverse Godwin's Law for this type of marketing hype.
posted by elgilito at 5:27 PM on May 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


freedom from porn? *winces*
posted by effugas at 5:47 PM on May 15, 2010


What a wasted opportunity to delve into, love him or hate him, a brilliant mind.

I don't think an unequivocal statement that things which aren't suitable for children will not be available through Apple channels is a particularly wasted opportunity, given the whole "we want to own the channels for publishing music, news, and books" thing Steve has going on. If it were Wal-Mart, upwards of 90% of the MeFites who have a love affair with Apple would be holding this up as proof of what an evil company they were.
posted by rodgerd at 5:56 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The funniest thing about this "debate" is how haunted it is by the arguments of the mid-20th-century: whether Bob Dylan would approve, whether the iPad is "revolutionary", whether banning porn from the iPad is "Orwellian". Capitalism revolutionises consumer products every six months, but it's never a revolution of the kind that people were writing and singing about fifty years ago. This argument is like a LARP where the journalist is playing a spry elven Edward Murrow and Jobs is lumbering around wearing a cardboard box painted to look like Joseph McCarthy. These people need ideological girlfriends.
posted by stammer at 5:58 PM on May 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


The only ones that are more obsessed with Apple than fans are those that hate.

God, yes. This, a million fracking times.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 PM on May 15, 2010


Jobs is lumbering around wearing a cardboard box painted to look like Joseph McCarthy

SOMEONE PUT THIS ON A T-SHIRT.
posted by heeeraldo at 6:16 PM on May 15, 2010


I have no intention of buying an iPad, but I think that Tate is just whiny and vapidly misinformed here. The last email from Jobs just about sums it up; Jobs is right, Tate doesn't understand the basics Apple's approach to user experience. Tate doesn't have to buy an iPad; what is his problem?

If I did buy an iPad, the lack of Flash would be a selling point to me. I am sick of that crap trashing my processor all the time.
posted by carter at 6:23 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you make Steve Jobs look like less of an asshole than you, you have a serious asshole problem.

LOL. I think the serious asshole factor was evident when the so-called-journalist wrote that the "freedom from porn" quote would haunt Jobs. Yeah in his dreams. He thinks he can tag Jobs with some quote he thinks encapsulates his vision of who Jobs is. Good luck with that.

To me, it's pretty clear that Jobs isn't talking about freedom from looking at porn on the web or such, nothing Apple makes can prevent that. I figure he's talking about freedom from popup porn ads with malware, etc. That is going to be a lot harder to push viruses and malware onto a closed system like the iPad, and hooray for that. I personally would buy an iPad in a minute if I could get a serious ad blocker for that version of Safari, something like PithHelmet. That certainly would cut down on the porn popups and spammy links.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:51 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


^ eponysterical ^
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:29 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well HuffPo bothers the shit out of me too. It's a lack of vigor and concern for what is true. A good HuffPo example would be their embrace of quackery.
Well most paper media was crap too, why should it be any different on the internet?

One funny thing though, the internets instant metrics have meant that publishers know exactly what kind of headlines capture attention nowadays, and everyone has really started to try to make them as captivating as possible. So for example a boring article in bussnessweek about a study on the health effects of sitting down for a long time gets the headline: "Your Office Chair Is Killing You"

As far as Gawker, I don't know I tend to think of most of the journalistic class as being a bunch of tools anyway, the idea that we should worry about "insulting" "real journalists" is laughable.

Remember when Samantha Power called Hillary Clinton a "Monster" during the campaign, quickly adding "that's off the record". Except this was in England, where the "Standards" for what is and isn't off the record are different.

Tucker Carlson actually invited the reporter who wrote that onto his show and basically chastised her for it. It struck me that he thought it was his job to keep what he heard secret, unless explicitly given permission to tell people. He thought that was the ethical thing to do, and it seems like pretty much how most reporters in the U.S. treat their sources.

But that's not the ethics of someone who's job it is to tell the truth, those are the ethics of whores

People who think Gawker had some kind of ethical responsibility towards Apple, a huge and powerful corporation, are out of their minds. Maybe some of their celebrity stuff is objectionable, whatever.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on May 15, 2010


I bet his wife takes his computer with her next time she goes out of town.
posted by digsrus at 7:32 PM on May 15, 2010


That is going to be a lot harder to push viruses and malware onto a closed system like the iPad, and hooray for that.

Why would it be any easier? Windows is just as "closed" to malware as the iPad. Malware happens because of security holes, and an iPad that can be jailbroken is one that can get malware installed on it too.
posted by delmoi at 7:33 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Why would it be any easier? Windows is just as "closed" to malware as the iPad. Malware happens because of security holes, and an iPad that can be jailbroken is one that can get malware installed on it too."

That is Jobs' whole argument about Flash. By disallowing third-party plugins, exploits that Apple can't control are eliminated. It doesn't eliminate exploits, it just eliminates the easiest way to inject exploits.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:46 PM on May 15, 2010


YES, A NEW TOY IS REVOLUTION IN HUMAN ACHEVMENT.

Yes. The iPad turned the computer into something you don't tinker with, it's something you use and don't have to tinker with, it just works. Like a light switch, you use it to do other things, a person ceases having to worry maintaining the device and is free to concentrate on getting things done.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


"some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."

Grandiose and self-important. Yes, the locked-down system will enable ... for a time ... protection against entropy. For those who need it and choose it. It will keep the entertainment and pretend-news industries happier for a while.

The whole idea that you can create a spotless-mind utopia for a certain class of values may just be a diversion to avoid answering the extremely important question about Bob Dylan. Remember that the multi-colored Apple icon get swallowed by a chrome one. The old tiger's still protecting that wound.

Really think the strait-jacketed iStuff will displace the endless diversity of openStuff, Steve? Or just roaring?
posted by Twang at 7:59 PM on May 15, 2010


hat is Jobs' whole argument about Flash. By disallowing third-party plugins, exploits that Apple can't control are eliminated. It doesn't eliminate exploits, it just eliminates the easiest way to inject exploits.

Give or take the odd H264 buffer overflow.
posted by Artw at 8:04 PM on May 15, 2010


Yes. The iPad turned the computer into something you don't tinker with, it's something you use and don't have to tinker with, it just works.
Oh come on, mac users have been saying the same thing for 20 years. Were they all full of crap the entire time?
posted by delmoi at 8:09 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


BB:"Like a light switch, you
use it to do other things, a person ceases
having to worry maintaining the device and is free to concentrate on getting things done."

* printing, simple file transfer, display mirroring, wireless sync not included
posted by mullingitover at 8:13 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Were they all full of crap the entire time?

Obviously I don't think so, don't know what else to say to you. You think it's a toy, I think it's good tool (with definite issues, sure) because it strips away a lot of extra trappings and just let's people get work (or play).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 PM on May 15, 2010


defenestration: “Gawker's March Editorial Review Memo”

Wow. That's pretty insane stuff. I mean, I always sort of got the impression that Gawker aspired to a low form of yellow journalism, but it's another thing to see them actually say so explicitly in print. As in, in that memo there's a link to the wikipedia entry for yellow journalism and an approving comment about how Pulitzer "got his start" that way.
posted by koeselitz at 8:17 PM on May 15, 2010


A portion of the loyalty that consumers have to any brand is well covered in the Frontline episode entitled The Merchants of Cool.
Me? Fuck Pepsi. It's a matter of choice. It's not the real thing.
Apologies to those that the above link won't work for. As I understand, Frontline is no longer available outside the US. Which, as I own PBS, is bullshit.
posted by vapidave at 8:19 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, "Getting things done" on the iPad? it's being marketed as an entertainment device. My Nintendo "just worked" back in '89 or whenever I got it. You know, as long as I blew on the cartrages first.

And the XBox is marketed as more then just video games now too. You can rent movies and look at pictures just like an iPad. There is nothing revolutionary about this business model, it's the same one that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft (with the XBox) have been using for decades.

The only thing that's even kind of new is selling it to "grown ups" and non-gamers as more then something that's primarily about video games. But games are a big part of it.

---
Were they [mac users who said macs 'just worked'] all full of crap the entire time?
Obviously I don't think so, don't know what else to say to you. You think it's a toy, I think it's good tool (with definite issues, sure) because it strips away a lot of extra trappings and just let's people get work (or play).
Well, look lets review:
I said: I didn't think the iPad was revolutionary
You said: "The iPad turned the computer into something you don't tinker with, it's something you use and don't have to tinker with, it just works."
I Said: Mac users have been saying their systems "just worked" for a long time, were they full of crap?
You said: "Obviously I don't think so"
The problem is that Either macs just worked, in which case the iPad is not revolutionary, OR iPads are revolutionary in which case Macs didn't "just work".

But they can't both be true, it can only be one or the other.

Also, It's pretty obvious that the iPad is being marketed and hyped as a toy, or entertainment device. Something to watch movies on, or look at pictures, or play games. I don't know what kind of "work" you can do with it unless your job is mostly just sending emails back and forth.
posted by delmoi at 8:29 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sure, it just works, as long as you think that increasing the brightness to renew a DHCP lease is "working." It's a computer attached to the internet, the idea that it won't require maintenance beggars belief.
posted by whir at 8:33 PM on May 15, 2010


Really think the strait-jacketed iStuff will displace the endless diversity of openStuff, Steve? Or just roaring?

Control of the app store isn't the end of diversity. Apple isn't blocking the internet, you know; there's openStuff all over the web (cf. "goatse").
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:37 PM on May 15, 2010


The problem is that Either macs just worked, in which case the iPad is not revolutionary, OR iPads are revolutionary in which case Macs didn't "just work".


Macs just worked all those years compared to the competition, the iPad just works compared to the competition today.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:43 PM on May 15, 2010


There is nothing revolutionary about this business model...

I never claimed the business model was revolutionary, so I have no idea why you're mentioning that.

The problem is that Either macs just worked, in which case the iPad is not revolutionary, OR iPads are revolutionary in which case Macs didn't "just work".

It's not an either or thing. Macs tended to just work, better than PCs, but still needed fiddling. iPad takes that a step further by making a computer just another device that don't only doesn't need fiddling but can't be fiddled with.

I don't know what kind of "work" you can do with it unless your job is mostly just sending emails back and forth.

There's word processing, spreadsheets or page layout.

Sure, it just works, as long as you think that increasing the brightness to renew a DHCP lease is "working."

Eh, software bugs, it happens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 PM on May 15, 2010


Eh, software bugs, it happens.

Boy, you better not have been repeatedly ragging on Adobe over some democode crashing.
posted by Artw at 8:49 PM on May 15, 2010


The only really and truly revolutionary macs that ever "just worked" starts with an "E."
posted by koeselitz at 8:54 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Boy, you better not have been repeatedly ragging on Adobe over some democode crashing.

Why not? It's one thing for a 1.0 product to have issues, it's another for 10.0 version to be crashing on an intensive demo as Adobe attempts to prove Flash really really is capable of working on a mobile device three years after the iPhone came out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 PM on May 15, 2010


"I didn't plan to pick a fight with Steve Jobs last night..."

Hahaha. Bullshit.
posted by One Thousand and One at 9:15 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never claimed the business model was revolutionary, so I have no idea why you're mentioning that. -- Brandon Blatcher
Because their "Just works" mantra is enabled by their business model. If anyone could write and distribute apps for the iPad, there would be same problem with malware, spam, etc. Locking down the applications like a video game system is a big part of what the iPad is. Otherwise it would just be a touch screen Macintosh with an updated finder, not really different then any laptop, except not having a keyboard. And it wouldn't be getting 1/10th the hate.
Macs just worked all those years compared to the competition, the iPad just works compared to the competition today. -- furiousxgeorge
It's not an either or thing. Macs tended to just work, better than PCs -- Brandon Blatcher
Oh come on. Something either "Just works" or it doesn't. You're basically saying "Oh, the Macintosh is free of problems! I mean except for these problems that don't exist on the iPad! But the iPad is definitely free of problems (Except...)"
Eh, software bugs, it happens.
Uh huh. And is the average user going to be able to figure out why they can't get online and just reason through that obviously they need to reduce their screen brightness first? No? But the iPad "just works" except for the software bugs that prevent it from working.

Completely at odds with what the term actually means when you tell people.

(And it's also annoying how mac users take subjective opinions about whether Macs or PCs are easier to use as objective facts.)

Also, it sounds like a hardware problem where the wifi circuit isn't getting enough electricity to connect, due to the screen using too much at full brightness.
Why not? It's one thing for a 1.0 product to have issues, it's another for 10.0 version
That's ridiculous mobile flash for android is obviously beta. They're not even giving it out yet. And you're comparing it to a hardware device that's been sold to millions of people.
posted by delmoi at 9:28 PM on May 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm compiling responses to "What would you answer if Steve Jobs asked “What have you done that’s so great …”?

Best one so far: "I'd say 'Well I got you to respond to my bloody e-mail.'"
posted by atsotsis at 9:33 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh come on. Something either "Just works" or it doesn't. You're basically saying "Oh, the Macintosh is free of problems! I mean except for these problems that don't exist on the iPad! But the iPad is definitely free of problems (Except...)"

By this logic nothing could be described as just working as long as a superior design is ever to exist.

It's bizarre how far people are willing to stretch logic just to rag on a corporation they don't like.

Look, records just worked, compared to getting a live band in your house. However, I'll take my MP3 that also just works.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:39 PM on May 15, 2010


By this logic nothing could be described as just working as long as a superior design is ever to exist.
Not at all. You can say that two things "Just work". I mean, my first digital camera "just worked" and my current one "Just works". They both just worked! But one is better because it takes sharper pictures.

What I'm saying is that if macs "Just work" then the iPad can't "Just work" any harder. And it certainly isn't revolutionary on account of "just working", because other things in the past have "Just worked"

If you want to say the iPad is easier to use, that's fine. But don't run around that some minor refinement in UI, equivalent to what happens every couple years is some kind of revolution. It's just another minor update.

The only real change is the turn toward the locked down, video game system style business model. Which is a change for the worse.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 PM on May 15, 2010



What I'm saying is that if macs "Just work" then the iPad can't "Just work" any harder.


I know that is what your saying, my confusion arises from the fact that you are pretending to believe it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:58 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


you're move.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:00 PM on May 15, 2010


The iPad is counter-revolutionary. Return to your farms, serfs.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:06 PM on May 15, 2010


There's word processing, spreadsheets or page layout.

You can prove anything with facts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:19 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know that is what your saying, my confusion arises from the fact that you are pretending to believe it.

I don't really care if you think I believe it or not. It's obviously true. But if it wasn't true, the point about the iPad not being revolutionary would still be true. If both the Mac and the iPad "Just work" then the iPad can't be revolutionary because it "Just works".

In other words, a device that "Just Works" better then another device that also "Just worked" but somehow not as well is no more revolutionary then a digital camera with 10% more megapixels or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 PM on May 15, 2010


it's another for 10.0 version to be crashing on an intensive demo as Adobe attempts to prove Flash really really is capable of working on a mobile device three years after the iPhone came out

Three years is a long time in the computer industry. If a company like Adobe can't get it together in three years, with developers all over the world and billions in revenue, then either Flash Just Sucks or Adobe is not making the right management decisions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:05 PM on May 15, 2010


By this logic nothing could be described as just working as long as a superior design is ever to exist.

If a thing is described as perfect in a particular way, then yes, you can't introduce a product and claim it's more perfect in that particular way. It is a constant droning meme from Apple and Apple users that Apple products "Just Work", in contrast to the hateful Windows computers that are claimed to constantly crash and be riddled with bugs and expect every user to be a sysadmin. If you're saying that Microsoft makes products with bugs and crashes, and Apple is different because their stuff "Just Works", then yes, you're saying that Apple products don't crash or have bugs. And if you're saying that the iPad is revolutionary in comparison to these Apple products that have always "Just Worked", because the iPad truly "Just Works", then either you were lying then or you are lying now.
posted by kafziel at 12:13 AM on May 16, 2010


I'll grant that Steve jobs much deserved his status as visionary, but I'll likewise assert that he's hurting computing and human progress today. Humanity must abandon the closed source and locked down software, and bullshit patents.

So because Steve Jobs is not improving those things in every way, or in the ways that you value most, he's hurting them? BS.

You could just as easily argue that FOSS is hurting computing and human progress by failing to produce usable products.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 1:09 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


and thus Apple works diligently to damage jailbroken iTHings

No they don't. My iPhone has been jailbroken for ages and they haven't done shit about it, despite being in a position to do so. If you're going to rail against Apple please don't make shit up, thanks.
posted by cj_ at 1:31 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem is that Either macs just worked, in which case the iPad is not revolutionary, OR iPads are revolutionary in which case Macs didn't "just work".

But they can't both be true, it can only be one or the other.


They sure can be if you stop taking a marketing tag-line as an unbreakable rule and take other things into consideration.


Also, It's pretty obvious that the iPad is being marketed and hyped as a toy, or entertainment device. Something to watch movies on, or look at pictures, or play games. I don't know what kind of "work" you can do with it unless your job is mostly just sending emails back and forth.

You're basing the potential of a platform on some bit of mainstream consumer marking? Think Different. I can think of many serious business and academic uses for an iPad. That you can't says more about you than the iPad or iPhone OS.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 1:38 AM on May 16, 2010


Well, I agree that the iPad is more of an entertainment device. It's pretty obvious that a full-featured operating system is more useful than a locked down miniaturized device in pretty much every possible business application. To state otherwise is to be willfully obtuse.

There's nothing wrong with a device dedicated to entertainment. I don't have stats to back this up, but I would put money on 95% of computer usage being for entertainment. Movies, television, music, etc. If you need to actually do "work" on a computer (developing software, working with business documents) then obviously an iPad is not ideal for that. This product is not targeting you. Does it have to? Do you not have other options that suit you better, such as, I dunno, laptops? I have a pretty nice laptop from the same company and last I checked they weren't pressuring me to abandon this platform.
posted by cj_ at 1:53 AM on May 16, 2010


It's pretty obvious that a full-featured operating system is more useful than a locked down miniaturized device in pretty much every possible business application.

That completely depends on what a role in a business requires. Why would I want to bring a laptop or netbook to a cafe to demonstrate a website for a client?


If you need to actually do "work" on a computer (developing software, working with business documents) then obviously an iPad is not ideal for that.

That completely depends on the task at hand, surely? Do you think smartphones are poor business tools, too?
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 2:15 AM on May 16, 2010


Do you think smartphones are poor business tools, too?

Uh, yeah. I mean, besides their obvious utility at making phone calls, they offer nothing. I love my smart phone, but I use it for listening to mp3s, playing Plants vs Zombies, and getting directions to the club I was trying to find when I got lost.

The idea of using it for my actual job (programming) is ridiculous.
posted by cj_ at 2:27 AM on May 16, 2010


Also..

Why would I want to bring a laptop or netbook to a cafe to demonstrate a website for a client?

Because they want to see what their webpage looks like on a real computer, which surely the vast majority of their market is using? Can you fire up all the major browsers and show how it'll behave at different resolutions on your iPad?

I dunno what kind of web development you are doing, but it's alien to me if all your clients care about is it looks OK in WebKit on a small resolution. If that works for you, that's awesome, but it's pretty atypical.
posted by cj_ at 2:32 AM on May 16, 2010


"I can think of many serious business and academic uses for an iPad."

Two things:
1. name one. You said serious.

2. (more importantly) wouldn't a lot of the devs here be out of work if the xanadu of one to rule them all came about? From what little I know about coding the petty squabbles between those that decide result in frustration but also job security.
posted by vapidave at 2:43 AM on May 16, 2010


1. name one. You said serious.

Uh.. i meant I can't think of one. That much would be obvious if you read anything else I said. Sorry my typo confused you, assuming you aren't being disingenuous.
posted by cj_ at 2:49 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can think of several serious business and academic uses for an iPad. Here are just a few off the top of my head:

1. Giving presentations with Keynote.
2. Collecting and viewing patient data and medical images.
3. Running any Citrix apps.
4. Managing servers and services remotely with an SSH client.

Not being able to recognize "serious" applications of the iPad to "serious" environment is a failure of imagination on the part of the hater, and that doesn't reflect on Apple or on other users of Apple products.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:20 AM on May 16, 2010


eh, don't pull that "hater" bullshit with me. I'm writing this from my macbook. I love OSX. But I'll be damned if I'll do mental gymnastics to justify iPad as s business-worthy device. In all the cases you've mentioned, I'd rather have my laptop (A MACBOOK, DID I MENTION THAT?) than this crippled platform. All it offers is being smaller, and the trade-offs for that are huge.

My laptop is only slightly bigger but has absolutely 0 restrictions on the apps that can run on it, which is pretty important to me as a software developer. You maybe missed where I was defending iPad as an entertainment platform. I think it's cool. But if you're seriously going to try and position it as a replacement for a fully-featured OS, then I have to call that out as pure fanboyism.
posted by cj_ at 3:29 AM on May 16, 2010


In all the cases you've mentioned, I'd rather have my laptop (A MACBOOK, DID I MENTION THAT?) than this crippled platform

A hospital IT department is deploying iPads because of their battery life, weight and cost, to be used for accessing the same Citrix apps that heavier and more expensive laptops/tablets would otherwise run.

In other words, it doesn't matter what you would "rather have" — the fact is that people in academia and industry have objective criteria for their choice to buy and deploy iPads over other portable devices, for their serious applications, and those criteria trump yours because they evaluated the technology and committed the time and money.

I have to call that out as pure fanboyism

Your general failure of imagination being shown here is not built on a solid foundation of facts. That aside, calling people "fanboys" who use iPads and the like for "serious" applications is basically nonsense.

Granted, it's not as bad as some of the comments in this thread, like the one about Apple destroying jailbroken devices and physically hurting people, but asserting that people can't and don't use these things for "serious" purposes doesn't hold up to reality, at all.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 AM on May 16, 2010


Uh, yeah. I mean, besides their obvious utility at making phone calls, they offer nothing. I love my smart phone, but I use it for listening to mp3s, playing Plants vs Zombies, and getting directions to the club I was trying to find when I got lost.

Once again, if that's all you think you can use a smartphone for, then the limitation seems to be with you. I don't listen to much music, play games, or even make many phone calls on my iPhone. Yet I use it all the time to keep track of things and record ideas.


Because they want to see what their webpage looks like on a real computer, which surely the vast majority of their market is using? Can you fire up all the major browsers and show how it'll behave at different resolutions on your iPad?

The screen of an iPad is 1024x786. It's an excellent size for showing a site to a client. Just large enough to accommodate most "large" size sites (960px is a common width now days), it's also a very common size for desktop computers. The client can see that it works on a small screen but can still view the site layout at it's optimal size. It can also be rotated to show what it looks like on a smaller, less than ideal screen.

Since it's a tablet, you can hold it up or easily hand it around. The IPS display is great for this. I've yet to see a netbook with an IPS display; only higher-end laptops have them. It's also intuitive for clients to use.

They don't need to see it working on all major browsers; that is my job and I do it back at the office on my laptop.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 4:23 AM on May 16, 2010


Your general failure of imagination being shown here is not built on a solid foundation of facts

I never claimed my opinion was based on facts. It's an opinion, after all. Facts have nothing to do with it. I do not deny I fail to imagine things, either.

But.. you are trying to tell me that this device is better for business purposes than a laptop running a full-featured operating system. That is a tall claim. Could you explain to me how any of the things you listed are better served on a closed platform with a low resolution display? If there's some piece of technology here that makes Citrix or medical images better when displayed on a closed platform with lower resolution, I am wildly interested.
posted by cj_ at 4:29 AM on May 16, 2010


Once again, if that's all you think you can use a smartphone for, then the limitation seems to be with you. I don't listen to much music, play games, or even make many phone calls on my iPhone. Yet I use it all the time to keep track of things and record ideas.

Are you just trolling? I'm not sure I can even take this seriously.

Yeah, you can use your smart phone to .. keep track of things. You can also use a piece of paper for that. This is not a "business use". Jesus fucking christ.
posted by cj_ at 4:33 AM on May 16, 2010


Also, "Getting things done" on the iPad? it's being marketed as an entertainment device.

Actually, a large proportion of the population counts accessing and consuming entertainment as "getting things done."
posted by carter at 5:22 AM on May 16, 2010


Locking down the applications like a video game system is a big part of what the iPad is. Otherwise it would just be a touch screen Macintosh with an updated finder, not really different then any laptop, except not having a keyboard. And it wouldn't be getting 1/10th the hate.

This argument is odd to me, as you're essentially saying the iPad isn't like other tablets i.e. just a clone of desktop, but instead it has a new way of dealing with things. (i.e. there is no Finder).

As for 1/10th of the hate, well they've sold a million of them so far, at a faster clip than the iPhone, so I'm not sure where you're getting the hate from.

Something either "Just works" or it doesn't. You're basically saying "Oh, the Macintosh is free of problems!

Far from, I probably wasn't not being clear enough due to being tired. My apologies.

Having spent a good bit of time playing with an iPad, watching others play with it and talking to an Apple sales rep at the local Best Buy, i think the iPad "just works" in the sense that people almost immediately pick up to use it and enjoy using it. It allows them to interact with their data in new way, seemingly directly. The focus for the user is on using their data not a a computer, although they clearly are. In that sense, how I mean it just works, someone picks it up, quickly grabs how to use it and then starts using it without having to worry where their files or apps are stored. The Finder/Explorer metaphor is now longer needed. That's revolutionary.

That said, clearly the iPad can have technical issues, no question. It is an device after all, it can break or be badly put together, either as one off or design flaw.

That's ridiculous mobile flash for android is obviously beta. They're not even giving it out yet. And you're comparing it to a hardware device that's been sold to millions of people.

Generally, you're making a good point in that Flash isn't even out for mobile devices and will surely be more cleaned up and bugged from when it ships. However, my point there was that it hadn't shipped.

Also, It's pretty obvious that the iPad is being marketed and hyped as a toy, or entertainment device.

It's been marketed as consumer device.

It's pretty obvious that a full-featured operating system is more useful than a locked down miniaturized device in pretty much every possible business application.

Nah, most government and school workstations are locked down tighter than the iPad and work still gets down (insert witty joke about government not working here).

1. name one. You said serious.

Word processing, spreadsheets or page layout.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 AM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The iPad is counter-revolutionary. Return to your farms, serfs.

Okay, everybody just needs to calm down a little bit.

As for the thread: Jobs rules. This Tate guy came across as a little unhinged, to say the least.
posted by Garak at 5:54 AM on May 16, 2010


I'm perplexed about what people want out of an iPad anyway. I haven't bought one yet mostly because I avoid buying version 1.0 of anything if I can (Also, if the original iPhone experience is a clue to the future, the price of the thing is due to drop by 25% in 3...2...1...). However, apart from the obvious iPhone-y stuff I know it does, if it just has a really great PDF reader/annotator app that would be the final push over the edge for me when version 1.1 of the thing comes out. Just that one thing, so I can read it like it's a book while relaxing in my comfy chair, which doesn't really work well with my laptop. This thing costs a hundred bucks more than a Kindle and it kicks Kindle's butt. What does it really have to do to make people happy?
posted by lordrunningclam at 6:18 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Yeah, you can use your smart phone to .. keep track of things. You can also use a piece of paper for that.

You can also program on graph paper, debug it in code reading sessions, and type it directly into the compiler so that it runs the first time. What's this IDE bullshit about? What do you need a laptop for? You're wasting your money and I can't imagine why you need such a thing when a pen and paper are so cheap.

So far I've been using my iPad mostly for web browsing, watching videos and playing games. If I compare its cost to a low-end widescreen TV, satellite dish service, and the amount of time I'll spend watching it, I'm getting considerably more value for the dollar out of the iPad.

That said, the iPad's only been out for six weeks. Nobody except Apple and a limited number of hand-picked developers have had the time needed to write fully-fledged Serious Applications from scratch for it yet (and even those are still relatively limited and lacking), which means buying an iPad now for business purposes constitutes an early adopter penalty rather than an outright waste of money.

For example, there are a couple different projects out there to put text editors on the iPad. The products available now are pretty raw - none of them have syntax highlighting or remote syncing yet. I'm holding out hope, though: Something that can manage SVN checkin/checkout via SFTP is something I can do Real Development on via my very small, light and portable Real Wireless Keyboard, and it doesn't require direct manual access to the local file stores.

In fact that's my general impression of Serious Applications for the iPad in the apps store - everything's underfeatured and not fully fledged. Developers are feeling their way around, trying to figure out what works, watching what each other ships and building up slowly. I'm willing to see what happens. I think the iPad's terrific, but so far its potential is mostly unrealized.

Apple's not yet claiming that the iPad is the all-you-need, standalone computer. In fact, you can barely use it without pairing it to an all-you-need, standalone computer (the 3G model isn't even usable until it's been paired and synced). On the other hand, up until a couple years ago laptop computers were considered too limited and underpowered to be anything more than, at best, portable accessories that were best synced to your serious, all-you-need, standalone desktop.
posted by ardgedee at 6:53 AM on May 16, 2010




In other words, a device that "Just Works" better then another device that also "Just worked" but somehow not as well is no more revolutionary then a digital camera with 10% more megapixels or whatever.


Have you forgotten the years of "I'm a PC/I'm a Mac" advertising or are we just ignoring it because it is inconvenient to the argument?

The "It just works" slogan was always part of anti-pc ads in their campaign to get people to switch formats. It was always "It just works" compared to PC.

That is still true, it is not erased by a product that works even better. The iPhone/iPad OS is a definite change in how one uses a computer, in the entire experience. It is easier, more intuitive, and smoother with a stripped down touchscreen UI. It was not an evolution in features like adding megapixels, it is a new type of device (tablet) with the first consumer OS that really was designed from the ground up with this type of device in mind.

I know you have a problem with the lockdown, and that is a perfectly valid point, you should just stick with that instead of trying to tear down everything positive that can be said about the company.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:36 AM on May 16, 2010


Yes. The iPad turned the computer into something you don't tinker with, it's something you use and don't have to tinker with, it just works. Like a light switch, you use it to do other things, a person ceases having to worry maintaining the device and is free to concentrate on getting things done.

This describes every computer I've owned since about 1998.
posted by juiceCake at 7:43 AM on May 16, 2010


A hospital IT department is deploying iPads because of their battery life, weight and cost, to be used for accessing the same Citrix apps that heavier and more expensive laptops/tablets would otherwise run.

Which hospital and which apps?
posted by adamdschneider at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2010


A quick Google search reveals one doctor is Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the apps seem to be web based, meaning the doctor can just jump in and start using a tablet with them, no need to wait for a custom app to be built. Interestingly, iTunes does have a health care section which has Apps for the health care industry, not just lay people.

Another hospital in California is trying them out, while another in Idaho is building an App to "...support our patient resource specialists in ensuring that children and their parents understand and feel comfortable with important medical procedures and mitigate any potential fears or concerns they may have."

Here's a link speculating on how the iPad (or any good tablet) could change Emergency Medicine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:25 AM on May 16, 2010


The thing about revolutions is that they don't always change the world in the ways you want them to.
posted by milarepa at 8:27 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


What makes an iPad tick? Take a look inside…
posted by Artw at 9:24 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Integrating digital devices into hospitals is well known to be a hard problem, and proper sterilisation is one of the main reasons. You don't want to have to throw away your keyboard after every surgery, after all, especially if it's inseparably attached to a $1000 laptop. But if somebody designed a nice touch-based tablet that was easily sterilised, it could do some magic.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:02 AM on May 16, 2010


which surely the vast majority of their market is using?

One month, One million.

Think on that for awhile.

(I am not a fanboy, waiting for v.2.x to arrive, then - if it has some good mind mapping, diagramming (ala Visio-like) software, I am right there...)
posted by jkaczor at 10:23 AM on May 16, 2010


In response to:
The problem is that Either macs just worked, in which case the iPad is not revolutionary, OR iPads are revolutionary in which case Macs didn't "just work".

But they can't both be true, it can only be one or the other.
Soupisgoodfood wrote:
They sure can be if you stop taking a marketing tag-line as an unbreakable rule and take other things into consideration. --
Well, the problem is that if "Just works" is "Just a tagline" then it's actually just completely meaningless. Vacuous hype. And there's nothing revolutionary about hype. Especially when it's the same tagline they've been using for over 20 years, I mean come on.

The iPad's business model is borrowed from the video game system world, especially when you consider recent innovation in that area with online game networks like Xbox Live and selling other services. But applying it to a "general purpose" computer is actually new. Of course it's more reactionary then revolutionary.
You're basing the potential of a platform on some bit of mainstream consumer marking? Think Different. I can think of many serious business and academic uses for an iPad. That you can't says more about you than the iPad or iPhone OS.
Oh come on. If someone writes a serious business app for the iPad, then you'll be able to do "Serious business" with it. What you won't be able to do, though, is share information between apps directly on the device. That's a huge weakness on the device itself. You could put data "on the cloud" but since there is no 'standard' way of doing that right now, it means more effort and work in configuring apps. Each app would need it's own configuration, and some apps might not work with different cloud providers, etc.

The iPad makes itself easy to use by getting rid of standard features that aren't needed on an entertainment device.

And anyway, it's pretty obvious that Apple is marketing this primarily as an entertainment/fun device. I mean, you still need a regular computer to plug it into, right? It's not even fully functional on it's own.
That completely depends on the task at hand, surely? Do you think smartphones are poor business tools, too?
Well, you can't make calls on the iPad, which is mostly how phones are used in business. Phone calls and quick emails on the go. The iPad is actually not as portable for quickie emails.

---
Having spent a good bit of time playing with an iPad, watching others play with it and talking to an Apple sales rep at the local Best Buy, i think the iPad "just works" in the sense that people almost immediately pick up to use it and enjoy using it. It allows them to interact with their data in new way, seemingly directly. The focus for the user is on using their data not a a computer, although they clearly are. In that sense, how I mean it just works, someone picks it up, quickly grabs how to use it and then starts using it without having to worry where their files or apps are stored. The Finder/Explorer metaphor is now longer needed. That's revolutionary.
Well, the finder/explorer metaphor isn't needed because you still need another computer to manage your iPad. You have to upload songs and movies and pictures to it with iTunes, right? Running on a PC or Mac?

And on top of that one of the reasons that the iPad is easier to use is because it lacks functionality. I mentioned cameras earlier in the thread. Most of them "Just work" for people too. If I want to take a picture, I just push the shutter Easy. But if I want to do anything with the pictures I have to upload them to my PC. And that's fine.

Now, someone mentioned giving presentations on the iPad. Suppose I want to draw a picture using the cool touch screen and use it in my presentation. Now, don't I need to synch the iPad, extract the picture somehow, and then insert it into my presentation on a regular computer? That doesn't sound very easy.

Now you someone could create an app with a built in drawing program, but eventually you're just recreating the complexity of a regular PC inside that app.

The fundamental thing here is that the iPad has traded functionality for ease of use, and it's optimized for use as an entertainment device. Which is fine, but not revolutionary It's just a locked down game machine with slightly different marketing. (Game machines also sell millions of units quickly, btw).

Basically jobs took the bottom half of a Nintendo DS and called it a revolution :P
Have you forgotten the years of "I'm a PC/I'm a Mac" advertising or are we just ignoring it because it is inconvenient to the argument?

The "It just works" slogan was always part of anti-pc ads in their campaign to get people to switch formats. It was always "It just works" compared to PC.
-- furiousxgeorge
The problem I have is the idea of using a marketing slogan as a factual assertion, and then calling something revolutionary because of that slogan. I mean, if we're just talking about a marketing slogan, that's not revolutionary. Again, especially since it's the same slogan they've been using for decades!
posted by delmoi at 10:33 AM on May 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Integrating digital devices into hospitals is well known to be a hard problem, and proper sterilisation is one of the main reasons. You don't want to have to throw away your keyboard after every surgery, after all, especially if it's inseparably attached to a $1000 laptop. But if somebody designed a nice touch-based tablet that was easily sterilised, it could do some magic.
Someone needs to invent the iPad condom, STAT.
posted by delmoi at 10:35 AM on May 16, 2010


Actually, many of the last batch of iMacs did not "just work", but I'd guess that was due in part to Apple's focus on the iPad.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on May 16, 2010


Blazecock Pileon: "I can think of several serious business and academic uses for an iPad.
...
2. Collecting and viewing patient data and medical images.
"

In the hospital where I work I often see people sharing or presenting patient data, DICOM images, and so on with each other using their Iphones and Touches (and soon, presumably, their Ipads). You can do this, yes, but you should not be doing this, because these devices are so far from satisfying any sort of rigorous data security and patient confidentiality requirements as to be almost a cruel joke. And a serious breach of responsibility and institutional operating requirements.
posted by meehawl at 10:40 AM on May 16, 2010


This kind of dismissal from Jobs can only mean Apple is working on some super-secret porn device.
posted by mazola at 11:22 AM on May 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's insane how people get so emotional over this. Apple is a corporation committed to convincing people to part with their money, just like every other producer of consumer goods. If u like their products, great! Use them and shut up; defending a corporation only makes you sound like a mouthpiece or a puppet. If you don't like their products, great! Don't use them!

We all know the whole "just works" thing is a lie; a simple Google search for "ipad support forum" makes that clear. So ignore the marketing, and just use the tool that gets the job done. If that's an ipad, good for you! If it's something else, that okay, too.

The level of douchebaggery involved in corporate loyalty is saddening.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:40 AM on May 16, 2010


> if it has some good mind mapping, diagramming (ala Visio-like) software, I am right there

There's an app for that. (Disclaimer: I haven't tried it yet. I've happily been using Omingraffle for the Mac for years, though.)
posted by ardgedee at 11:46 AM on May 16, 2010


Omnigraffle for iPad is very, very nice (disclaimer: I know people at Omni) and probably makes a good test case for proper applications on the iPad at application prices. Two big downsides - it quickly hits trouble with the iPads limited memory, and you find yourself really wanting a stylus.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on May 16, 2010


these devices are so far from satisfying any sort of rigorous data security and patient confidentiality requirements as to be almost a cruel joke

I don't think very many computing platforms do. Microsoft certainly doesn't have a track record for rigorous security and hospital staff use their garbage all the time. Hell, there's even yet another post on the front page about Conficker's latest exploits.

No, what hospitals seem to focus on, in my experience, is partitioning and locking down the internal network. And any device has to be able to get through to the right internal network, to access patient data. Clients themselves can add security through another layer of strong encryption, such as is done with Citrix apps. The iPhone and iPad can perform strong encryption as handily as other modern computing devices.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 PM on May 16, 2010


You have to upload songs and movies and pictures to it with iTunes, right? Running on a PC or Mac?

iTunes is not the Finder.

I mentioned cameras earlier in the thread. Most of them "Just work" for people too.

Exactly! Computers have tended not to do that, becoming bogged down with files, crap, malware, spam, etc. The iPad is aiming to get rid of that.

The fundamental thing here is that the iPad has traded functionality for ease of use, and it's optimized for use as an entertainment device.

Not at all. It's quite functional, being able to use all of the non Flash Web, along with whatever Apps are made for it.

And I'd say it's a consumer device at this point, not an entertainment device. Sure, there's some overlap between the two, but a consumer device is aimed the needs of a consumer, be it video, pictures or a bit of word processing and spreadsheets. An entertainment device, such as an Xbox, would not have the latter apps on it.

iPhone OS 1.0 was aimed squarely at the consumer, while iPhone OS 2.0 was aimed squarely at the business market (while still keeping its consumer bonafides). I would not be surprised to see something similar happen with the iPad.

Apple rebuilt its Office suite clone, iWorks, for the iPad and is charging a lot less than the desktop version for it. There's no way in hell the iPad is just an entertainment device, it's nothing less than a fundamental shift in computer hardware for the masses and I'd be incredibly surprised if Apple didn't push the iPad as replacement for computers in the business world (i.e. PCs) with the next two years.

It's insane how people get so emotional over this.

Why are you reading this insanity, you crazy or something?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:42 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: "there's even yet another post on the front page about Conficker's latest exploits."

Given that so many people are apparently happily walking around with trivially rooted Apple handhelds that Apple apparently cannot secure even after several years of well-publicised exploits, news about a distributed worm on another platform does not inspire me with confidence, or lessen my mistrust of consumer-level devices without good central management facilities being used for sensitive, personal health data. Saying that "those guys are shite, so our shiteness is lessened" is, well, a shite solution.

I do agree with you that the most secure mode of operation for these devices for EMR is using an encrypted, remote screen player ala Citrix or SSH, and that indeed is what I see in most of the bespoke EMR devices deployed within hospitals utilising remote logins. However, without simple, non-occult audit software available that is able to plumb the depths of such machines, and to verify that unencrypted data is not being cached in buffers or lookups, I would still mistrust them. I know that the bespoke machines are generally tuned to wipe all their caches following the end of a single sign-on session, and that their extant data can be audited remotely. I don't know that about Apple's consumer handhelds, and I haven't yet seen any similar central management technologies for them.
posted by meehawl at 2:09 PM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but Bill Gates was known for obsessively, personally answering email sent by random people, even when he was getting massive amounts late in his days at MS. He never hid his address and never changed it while at MS, IIRC. He always thought email communication something of a miracle, at least that's how it appeared when people asked him about it, so he didn't want to obstruct it at all, even if it were too much for any mortal to handle. I am not sure if that's complimentary to say, like looking at it one way maybe it looks like he has nothing better to do, but he seems to be a perfectly nice guy who made some incredibly awful software and Borg-like business decisions. It must have been interesting seeing the reactions of those who wrote him and never really expected him to even see it, seeing his personal response come back.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:58 PM on May 16, 2010


But.. you are trying to tell me that this device is better for business purposes than a laptop running a full-featured operating system. That is a tall claim.

That completely depends on the role required. Why do you assume that every task for a job requires a desktop operating system?


Could you explain to me how any of the things you listed are better served on a closed platform with a low resolution display? If there's some piece of technology here that makes Citrix or medical images better when displayed on a closed platform with lower resolution, I am wildly interested.

Why is it a low resolution display? Isn't that completely dependent on what it's being used for? Why does making something open automatically make it a better business solution? That's just one of many things to consider.


Are you just trolling? I'm not sure I can even take this seriously.

I think there is the possibility that someone here is trolling, but it's not me.


Yeah, you can use your smart phone to .. keep track of things. You can also use a piece of paper for that. This is not a "business use". Jesus fucking christ.

No, I can't always rely on paper. At least not anymore than a person with a desktop computer could replace it with a pad of paper.




Well, the problem is that if "Just works" is "Just a tagline" then it's actually just completely meaningless. Vacuous hype. And there's nothing revolutionary about hype. Especially when it's the same tagline they've been using for over 20 years, I mean come on.

Apple can keep their "it just works" tagline and talk about how revolutionary a new device is. Both the points Apple is trying to make are valid. If you see a contradiction, perhaps it has more to do with a difference in your philosophy or worldview?


Oh come on. If someone writes a serious business app for the iPad, then you'll be able to do "Serious business" with it. What you won't be able to do, though, is share information between apps directly on the device. That's a huge weakness on the device itself. You could put data "on the cloud" but since there is no 'standard' way of doing that right now, it means more effort and work in configuring apps. Each app would need it's own configuration, and some apps might not work with different cloud providers, etc.

My understanding is that apps can share data locally if they are both designed to. But even if that wasn't possible, why does that mean it's impossible to use in a business? Doesn't that completely depend on the task?




I guess time will tell.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 5:05 PM on May 16, 2010


However, without simple, non-occult audit software available that is able to plumb the depths of such machines, and to verify that unencrypted data is not being cached in buffers or lookups, I would still mistrust them.

Then I hope for your sake that you will never have to go to a clinic or hospital, where you will find your data being managed and passed around on thousands of workstations running stock versions of Windows, all carrying all sorts of zero-day security problems. No matter how much hatred there is for Apple, maybe an iPad running strong encryption isn't that much of a risk, in that context.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:38 PM on May 16, 2010


Er, would these hypothetical iPads not be used in conjunction with any existing network of computers? I don't believe your poroposal would actually remove any problems of that kind, it would just add any new problems that the iPad represents.
posted by Artw at 5:48 PM on May 16, 2010


I mean, it sounds great, accessing a web app through an iPad probably could potentially be a lot more successful in that kind of set up than laptops or (ugh) tablet PCs, but it sounds like you're pushing asside some thoughts on the matter from someone who has actual real world experience in the mater in favour of some ooga-booga scare tactic stuff about your favourite boogieman - that's not exactly furthering the conversation, is it?

Also - touchscreen, medical context - I'd want to go through tear off screen guards like crazy.
posted by Artw at 5:53 PM on May 16, 2010


Then I hope for your sake that you will never have to go to a clinic or hospital, where you will find your data being managed and passed around on thousands of workstations running stock versions of Windows, all carrying all sorts of zero-day security problems.

Well, actually, no, this isn't representative of most enterprises, where the workstations are locked down and users don't have administrative rights. The vast majority of vulnerabilities require administrative rights, and simply don't work if you don't have them.

That said, I don't see why the iPad couldn't be vetted for use in a medical environment. The problem with people using their personal iPhones and iPads is more a matter of them being unmanaged. There are rudimentary management tools for iPhones in the enterprise, at least, although I don't have a lot of personal experience with them. I think the iPad would make a good Citrix client for viewing patient data.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:24 PM on May 16, 2010


... except that a lot of enterprises are using Flash (via Flex) for data visualization, enterprise dashboards, etc. D'oh!
posted by me & my monkey at 6:28 PM on May 16, 2010


I'd be incredibly surprised if Apple didn't push the iPad as replacement for computers in the business world (i.e. PCs) with the next two years.

I doubt they'd be so dumb as to do that. I mean, they can't even get Macs in the door in the business world at large, and those are general-purpose computers at least, with some of the management tools needed in the enterprise.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:35 PM on May 16, 2010


I doubt they'd be so dumb as to do that. I mean, they can't even get Macs in the door in the business world at large, and those are general-purpose computers at least, with some of the management tools needed in the enterprise.

But they do seem pretty successful with the iPhone. And the iPad is more like the iPhone than a Mac.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 6:48 PM on May 16, 2010


I'll grant that Steve jobs much deserved his status as visionary.

Why? He's really good at image control and marketing, but that hardly makes him visionary.
posted by afu at 11:04 PM on May 16, 2010


That completely depends on what a role in a business requires. Why would I want to bring a laptop or netbook to a cafe to demonstrate a website for a client?

To demonstrate your ability to develop across platforms, maybe?

Ralph Nader redux?

Honestly, sometimes I'm ashamed of associating with this place.
posted by Chuckles at 11:48 PM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then kliuless makes another post, and I feel better again.
posted by Chuckles at 11:52 PM on May 16, 2010


To demonstrate your ability to develop across platforms, maybe?

And why would I bore my clients with that? They just want to see the site. Those that know about the problems with developing for multiple browsers just want to know that it works; they certainly don't want a demo of the site in each browser. And if such a request is ever made, I can always bring my laptop. What kind of clients do you have?
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 12:58 AM on May 17, 2010


That completely depends on the role required. Why do you assume that every task for a job requires a desktop operating system?

I don't. I understand that some use cases don't require that level of horsepower. You can send email and jot notes down in your GTD app. I get it, that's cool.

But you are still working on a platform that has *significantly* less capability than already existing ones. The only thing you get in return for this downgrade is that it's a more portable device than a netbook. That's it. But it's not small enough to fit in your pocket (which is what's awesome about smartphones), what the hell do you have?

Why is it a low resolution display?

Er, because it's a low resolution display? I don't know how else to word this. It's 1024x768. That is the resolution I was using 10 years ago.

No, I can't always rely on paper. At least not anymore than a person with a desktop computer could replace it with a pad of paper.

I'm sorry, but: desktop, smartphone, ipad, whatever. I think if your substantial argument is you can "take notes" then you're just looking for excuses to justify your love of this device. This is not a business use.

Actually, a large proportion of the population counts accessing and consuming entertainment as "getting things done."

Fair enough.
posted by cj_ at 2:20 AM on May 17, 2010


But you are still working on a platform that has *significantly* less capability than already existing ones. The only thing you get in return for this downgrade is that it's a more portable device than a netbook. That's it. But it's not small enough to fit in your pocket (which is what's awesome about smartphones), what the hell do you have?

Something that's much more portable than a laptop and easier to use than a netbook. Why do you keep thinking that a desktop OS is necessary for everything? And how exactly is it *significantly* less capability? How do you quantify that, exactly?

If this is about Apple's walled garden approach rather than platform architecture and product design, it's not like there's another device out there that's like the iPad, but more open. If that was the case, you might have more of a point when it comes to the iPad specifically.


Er, because it's a low resolution display? I don't know how else to word this. It's 1024x768. That is the resolution I was using 10 years ago.

Actually, plenty of people still use the resolution, which is partially why it makes a good size for the web. While it may not be full HD, it's certainly much higher resolution and larger size than the screen on any DSLR or decent smartphone. It's completely relative. It would be silly to make a comparison to desktop displays.


I'm sorry, but: desktop, smartphone, ipad, whatever. I think if your substantial argument is you can "take notes" then you're just looking for excuses to justify your love of this device. This is not a business use.

What makes you think I only take notes? Besides, we're not talking about my personal use here; that was just an example. Try to keep up.


People who think that the iPad is useless because it fills a gap that doesn't exist seem to be forgetting that people upgrade their computers. Next time it comes to upgrade their laptop, they might get a bigger one and a tablet instead of a smaller laptop. People will change their habits based on the range of devices available. Apple doesn't need to convince anyone to by a product they don't need, computing will evolve to make use of it.

They're also forgetting that most of the innovation will come from 3rd party apps. People will be able to create hardware for the iPad and connect to the net. Between those two things alone there is huge room for innovation. The result will be something that will make most people think of capability and functionality, not a lack of it.


Anyway, this is pointless. Either I'm not getting through to you or you're just trolling. This is a discussion that is better off taking place a year from now when I won't have to work so hard to disprove some basic myths techies still have about computing. See you then :)
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 4:05 AM on May 17, 2010


The only thing you get in return for this downgrade is that it's a more portable device than a netbook. That's it.

The computer that you carry will always be more useful to you on the road then the computer you don't carry. I have a large desktop at home. Wait, three large desktops. I have a MacBook Air, because I have to carry it when I travel.

Despite the much smaller screen, slower CPU and less memory, and basically tiny HDD, it's still a very useful machine to me. I'm looking at an iPad, because I think it can do everything I need to do, and it weighs less and uses less power. Do not mock lightweight to the frequent flyer.

However, there's two things I dislike depending on. ".0" and "Rev A." :-)
posted by eriko at 6:06 AM on May 17, 2010


As a long-time critic of Apple's products, why would anyone ever criticize Jobs or Apple for what they've done? My criticism is subjective - I don't like the ipad because it doesn't let me do X. But at no point am I so delusional or egotistical to think that because the product is not suitable for me that means the product is bad.

The objective criteria is that the iPhone/iPad is an enormous success. Those products are successful in a way that Apple's design philosophy has not been successful in the PC market. The products dominate market and mind share. They are the product innovator and the leader in a market with no real second place. And that's the problem.

This Gawker journalist is an idiot, and Steve's smackdown at the end is just and proper. The conversation the gawker journalist should have has is with the CEOs of Microsoft, Motorola, Rim, Palm, HTC, google, etc. Because by any objective measure, in the smartphone industry, those companies have failed.

RIM is successful only because so many corporations limit smartphone work email access to Blackberrys. It's almost like a monopolistic position.

Android is an also ran. Yes, they gained marketshare in the US--only because Verizon has the best network but Apple doesn't make a CDMA iPhone. But what about the rest of the world? Iphone dominates.

My problem with these other companies is this: How hard is it to simply copy the iPhone. I mean that literally. As an internal R&D project, see if your engineers can duplicate the iphone, it's responsiveness, it's power consumption, all of those technical details. Don't try to change the interface, just copy the interface pixel for pixel, just to see if your engineering teams can do it. I bet they can't. Even with the answer key in front of them, with full knowledge of what features to leave in and leave out, I bet none of those companies can duplicate iphone version 1. Once you can do that, then you will have discovered the clever things apple did to get the iphone to work the way it does, and then you can tweak things to differentiate your product from Apple's. Like a browser with plugins. or a media player that plays media. Or you can add Flash support.

The reason they don't do this is not engineering. Those companies all have smart people working for them. The problem is management. Every one of those companies is staffed by the same guy at all levels of management: Mr. Khaki Blueshirt.

Khaki Blueshirt is focused on his career and his job alone. Mr. Blueshirt has learned that it is better for his internal corporate advancement to try to sell a different product that is very obviously not the iphone. When if fails, he can point to Apple's "design," by which he means its appearance, because in these companies no one expects a Blueshirt to understand fruity aesthetics. Even though Mr. Blueshirt graduated from engineering school 25 years ago and has been a manager for most of the time since, he likes to tell people that at heart he's an engineer. He's not a designer.

Khaki Blueshirt has an internal company fiefdom to protect, and so he plays not to lose, and he plays it safe. He doesn't play to win. That's why they all wear khakis and a blueshirt--no one gets fired for wearing that to work. It's the safe uniform. Jeans and a t-shirt? Most companies don't allow jeans at work, which means those companies would not allows Steve Jobs to work there and be himself. And that should tell you something right there.

In my view, a real contender to Apple is coming from somewhere else. Maybe the shareholders of MSFT are going to get fed up and appoint some guy from the video game division to phones. But my money is that a company like Nvidia, with truly awesome hardware for phones is going to get frustrated with having their superlative hardware driven by shitty software. A company like this is going to look at Intel as a case study in how simply have great software (Mac OSX) running on 10% of your hardware creates a better image for your product than the other 90%.

It is easier for Nvidia (or Qualcomm) to make great software to show off their great hardware than it is for these software or handset vendors to maximize the use of what the hardware companies are giving them. It's perverse. Microsoft is likely to look at the power of Tegra or Snapdragon and conclude that their software doesn't have to me particularly clean or optimized, because the hardware is so fast, no one will notice.

Newsflash: the consumer noticed. They bought iphones. Follow the japanese/korean/chinese model - coppy what is already objectively successful in the market, and only when you have mastered it, innovate beyond it.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:12 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bet they can't.

What planet are you on? Only knock-off companies gain market share by being immitators.
posted by Chuckles at 9:19 AM on May 17, 2010


In response to a question in a recent Apple shareholder’s meeting, Jobs said that a HyperCard-like product for the iPad would be a good idea “though someone would have to build it”.

Run Rev built it, Apple rejected it.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on May 17, 2010


Reuse code across the Web, desktop or server, for the PC, Mac or Linux

This is why Runrev's development suite is not going to be allowed, not because Jobs doesn't want HyperCard on the iPad.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:55 PM on May 17, 2010


It seems like I'm in a small minority, but my opinion of Jobs actually increased after reading these emails.
posted by cell divide at 2:32 PM on May 17, 2010


I can't help wondering if Gizmodo is running this for a reason... The Fascinating Origin of the Word "Fanboy"
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on May 17, 2010


This is why Runrev's development suite is not going to be allowed, not because Jobs doesn't want HyperCard on the iPad.

From the link (emphasis mine):
in order to support our active and growing revMobile customer base, we submitted an in-depth proposal to Apple that we create an iPhone-only product ... Steve Jobs has now rejected our proposal and made it clear that he has no interest in having revMobile available on the iPhone or iPad in any form.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:06 PM on May 17, 2010


Steve Jobs has now rejected our proposal and made it clear that he has no interest in having revMobile available on the iPhone or iPad in any form.

Well, let's see some details. Did they get a letter from Steve Jobs, or are they being overly dramatic and interpreting the new dev license to claim Jobs personally rejected their write-once, deploy-anywhere app? Because, frankly, it is difficult to read anything in that link except bile.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:44 PM on May 17, 2010


it is difficult to read anything in that link except bile.

Well, for you, maybe.

To me I’m seeing a common repeated story – Apple makes a vague change for purposes they wish to mysterious on, throw up a bunch of smokescreen instead of properly clarifying and then refuse to answer direct questions. The work of developers working on Apples platform is at a now in limbo, causing direct financial harm to many third parties. Meanwhile Steve Jobs has time to indulge in live pig wrestling bouts on the internet.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on May 17, 2010


Pastabagel: "the CEOs of Microsoft, Motorola, Rim, Palm, HTC, google, etc. Because by any objective measure, in the smartphone industry, those companies have failed ... what about the rest of the world? Iphone dominates."

It almost seems absurd to introduce actual facts into this discussion, but...
Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q1 2010 (Units in Millions)





Vendor

1Q10 Volumes


1Q10 Market Share


1Q09 Volumes


1Q09 Market Share


1Q10/1Q09 Change




1.
Nokia


21.5


39.3%


13.7


39.3%


56.9%




2.
Research In Motion


10.6


19.4%


7.3


20.9%


45.2%




3.
Apple


8.8


16.1%


3.8


10.9%


131.6%




4.
HTC


2.6


4.8%


1.5


4.3%


73.3%




5.
Motorola


2.3


4.2%


1.2


3.4%


91.7%




Others


8.9


16.3%


7.2


20.6%


23.6%




Total


54.7


100.0%


34.9


100.0%


56.7%





So, yeah, a good year for Apple with 132% growth. But the overall market grew 57%, and even lowly HTC grew 73%, and HTC's branded unit sales exclude its OEM sales, which are a huge portion of its "other" percentage of the market. And Apple globally in 2010Q1? Third place. Apple globally in 2009Q1? Third place. It might overtake RIM this year, but then again if you aggregate by OS (ie, Android on HTC, Motorola and "Others"), it will probably still be third place by OS.
posted by meehawl at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2010


p.s. Table looked good on Preview. Oh preview, why do you mock me so?
posted by meehawl at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2010


Also it probably should be remember that it was Jobs that killed Hypercard in the first place.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on May 17, 2010


So, yeah, a good year for Apple with 132% growth. But the overall market grew 57%, and even lowly HTC grew 73%, and HTC's branded unit sales exclude its OEM sales, which are a huge portion of its "other" percentage of the market. And Apple globally in 2010Q1? Third place. Apple globally in 2009Q1? Third place. It might overtake RIM this year, but then again if you aggregate by OS (ie, Android on HTC, Motorola and "Others"), it will probably still be third place by OS.

So, basically a company that by all appearances does not have monopoly control over the cellphone or smartphone market is called a monopoly by bloggers and is being targeted for government intervention because of Adobe. Makes sense, only in a bizarro world, perhaps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:18 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, for you, maybe.

Seriously, let's see some facts. The Revrun fellow is claiming Steve Jobs personally rejected his Apple-only application without seeing it -- and by Apple-only, the implication here is that the application was written in one of the four approved languages. So let's get some fact-based confirmation on this stuff. Otherwise it's more of the same dishonest "Apple is destroying jailbroken devices" bullshit that the blogosphere peddles every day.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:21 PM on May 17, 2010


I believe the principle you are looking for is Restraint of Trade. I am not a lawyer, and neither are you, and I suspect calling it one way or the other is pretty pointless for either of us given that.

As for RevRun I would believe that your interpretation is specific to you and it would be pointless to try and shift you from it, so I'll simply leave you to fume over the "haters"
and their "bile".
posted by Artw at 4:34 PM on May 17, 2010


As for RevRun I would believe that your interpretation is specific to you and it would be pointless to try and shift you from it

The above comment only underscores how nice it would be to read some actual facts about this subject matter, for once, instead of the usual dishonest Apple-hate fest that we see on Metafilter once a week or so.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:59 PM on May 17, 2010


Did they get a letter from Steve Jobs, or are they being overly dramatic and interpreting the new dev license to claim Jobs personally rejected their write-once, deploy-anywhere app? Because, frankly, it is difficult to read anything in that link except bile.

Does it matter whether it was rejected by Steve personally or by the company? Rejected is rejected. And again, by "write-once, deploy-anywhere" you really mean write-once, deploy on iPxx, right? Because that's what the link discussed - a product that would only let you build for Apple devices. And yeah, there's plenty of bile, but it seems to be on the other side of the counter if you know what I mean, with the "Adobe is lazy" stuff etc.

The Revrun fellow is claiming Steve Jobs personally rejected his Apple-only application without seeing it -- and by Apple-only, the implication here is that the application was written in one of the four approved languages.

No, the implication is that "Apple-only" means it wouldn't be available for other platforms. The linked letter uses fairly small, understandable words and phases.

... a company that by all appearances does not have monopoly control over the cellphone or smartphone market is called a monopoly by bloggers and is being targeted for government intervention because of Adobe.

Well, that's kind of silly, and it's obviously wrong. It's Apple's playground and there's no reason they can't take their toys and go home. But likewise, we're free to point out the obvious business reasons behind their actions and point out the detriment to consumers.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:05 PM on May 17, 2010


That's a lot of "freedom from" and not much "freedom to". One wonders whether Jobs has read The Handmaid's Tale.
posted by acb at 5:12 PM on May 17, 2010


Does it matter whether it was rejected by Steve personally or by the company?

It does matter. Anti-Apple hyperbole has lead to numerous inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies, several posted in this thread alone.

Here's what a small, understandable subset of words says, emphasis added:

"Steve Jobs has now rejected our proposal and made it clear that he has no interest in having revMobile available on the iPhone or iPad in any form."

So the software is not even written, assuming he's even telling the truth about Steve Jobs rejecting it personally. That's even assuming that revMobile is an Objective-C app, even though the rest of the site promotes the platform as write-once, deploy-anywhere, which is irrelevant to the issue of HyperCard -- if it isn't C, Objective-C, Objective-C++ or JavaScript, it wouldn't be accepted in the first place.

Just as a matter of simple, clear logic, that RevRun software may not be accepted to run on the iPhone doesn't imply Steve Jobs doesn't want HyperCard-like software running on the iPhone. All it means is that RevRun software would get rejected for the same reason Flash apps would be rejected.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:19 PM on May 17, 2010


Run Rev built it, Apple rejected it.

Well, yeah: "In order to support our active and growing revMobile customer base, we submitted an in-depth proposal to Apple that we create an iPhone-only product that uses native Cocoa objects, supports 100% of their API, works perfectly with multitasking and battery life, but uses a variant of the revTalk language to use these objects and APIs, and then translates those into native code."

They were trying to pull an Adobe, thinking "Yeah, yeah, we heard about your rules, but we think we deserve an exception."

I wish them luck in bringing a Hypercard type program to the Android thought, what would be very cool.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:00 AM on May 18, 2010


instead of the usual dishonest Apple-hate fest that we see on Metafilter once a week or so...

At least we have the usual dishonest bullshit about being haters just as much. What utter fucking nonsense.
posted by juiceCake at 7:50 AM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "serious business use" argument is interesting. The same argument occurred and continues to do so with Netbooks. I've been told and have read that Netbooks can't be used for "real" work. Utter nonsense of course. They may not be suitable for a specific type of "real" work that someone does but this of course doesn't mean they are perfectly suitable for the type of "real" work that others do. The same is true of the iPad. I personally find it very limiting, so I'm a netbook and Linux user instead. Others will find it just perfect for them. Criticism of policies and philosophy is entirely valid and is not the domain of haters or the dishonest.
posted by juiceCake at 7:57 AM on May 18, 2010


Either I'm not getting through to you or you're just trolling.

Yes, that is a fair characterization of anyone that disagrees with you about something.

You win.
posted by cj_ at 1:48 AM on May 20, 2010


And for the record, I'm not an "Apple Hater". I'm typing this from my MacBook Pro, the only machine I own at the moment (discounting FreeBSD boxes I maintain). OSX is awesome. I like my iPhone too (although I like it much better after jailbreaking it).

But do I have to either be an Apple Lover or an Apple Hater? Is it not possible to think OSX is a great OS, but think the Ipad is a weak device built on hype? Are these two unrelated concepts incompatible just because of the company involved?

I was willing to have this debate until I was accused of a bunch of bullshit like being a "hater" or "trolling" because I think the iPad is a weak offering. If you want to argue that this 10x7 non-multitasking device that can't fit in your pocket is really important for business use, make your fucking case for what it offers that is "revolutionary" and leave the insults out of it.
posted by cj_ at 1:58 AM on May 20, 2010


make your fucking case for what it offers that is "revolutionary" and leave the insults out of it.

One of things I've noticed in reviews of the iPad is people being able to fly cross country in America, using the iPad heavily and still having power left over afterwards.

Being able to use Omnigraffe or iWorks for hours while carting around just a pound of weight seems pretty revolutionary.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:37 AM on May 20, 2010


cj_: It has been explained like 50 times that there are business uses for a device like that which aren't the exact same as a laptop or desktop suite of business software. The stubbornness with which you refuse to acknowledge that is what is making us raise our eyebrows here.

Ever been to a WaWa? They have dumb terminal touch screen monitors for ordering food from the deli.

If I told you I invented a dumb terminal touch screen you would tell me it doesn't have business uses because it doesn't do _________ .

Trust me, there will be plenty of things businesses will be able to do with the iPad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:25 AM on May 20, 2010


Heh, Gizmodo, stiring much? The Anti-Apple Coalition
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on May 20, 2010


That saqid - "when you beat Apple, you're dominating -- it's the new definition."

So maybe it's not just Gizmodo...
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on May 20, 2010


Oh Steve...
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on May 21, 2010


A profound lack of hard crypto and lock down is why using an Iphone (or by extension, an Ipad) to store any kind of medical, legal or business-sensitive information is a Very Bad Idea.
posted by meehawl at 12:39 PM on May 27, 2010


Apple Sells 2 Millions iPads Since Debut

The latest announcement shows that Apple is selling one million iPads a month, an average of nearly 35,000 a day. The iPhone, which went on sale in mid-2007, took 74 days to reach one million sales.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:55 AM on May 31, 2010


"Bwahaha!" says Adobe. "We Were Behind Wired's iPad Magazine All Along!"
posted by homunculus at 11:07 AM on June 1, 2010


The Death of Flash
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:02 PM on June 1, 2010


Sentence first — verdict afterwards
posted by homunculus at 12:21 PM on June 1, 2010


Ouch.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on June 1, 2010


"Bwahaha!" says Adobe. "We Were Behind Wired's iPad Magazine All Along!"

Did anybody doubt that?

That App is not universally well regarded, BTW.

Is This Really The Future of Magazines or Why Didn’t They Just Use HTML 5?
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on June 1, 2010


Best Steve Jobs quote about Google yet: "My sex life is pretty good..."

(!)
posted by koeselitz at 10:01 PM on June 1, 2010


Say goodbye to unlimited data.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on June 2, 2010


Well, so much for the iPad as a movie watching platform. Or a platform for 500mb issues of Wired. Or anything that you try to do over 3G, given the iPhone's habit of using 40x the bandwidth of other smartphones for similar tasks.
posted by kafziel at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2010


Uh, it's meant to be used with wifi.

3g is a backup.
posted by empath at 2:50 PM on June 2, 2010


Well, so much for the iPad as a movie watching platform. Or a platform for 500mb issues of Wired. Or anything that you try to do over 3G, given the iPhone's habit of using 40x the bandwidth of other smartphones for similar tasks.

You bought an iPad and an iPhone? Good for you! Welcome to the family.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on June 2, 2010


Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 tablet prototype preview - essentially a UI thrown together in Silverlight running Windows Embedded Compact 7, it's still actually pretty slick.
posted by Artw at 12:54 AM on June 3, 2010


Ha ha... "Standards aren’t add-ons to the web. They are the web. And you can start using them today."

Visit the page in something that isn't Safari, click on a link, see what happens... Oh dear.
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on June 4, 2010


"Visit the page in something that isn't Safari, click on a link, see what happens... Oh dear."

Yeah, it's like they're embracing the standard, but then extending it with their own proprietary junk. Embrace and extend...why does that sound familiar?
posted by mullingitover at 10:25 AM on June 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Relax haters, Apple is just trying to get people to try out Safari. Google Chrome uses Apple's WebKit for rendering, so it should do everything Safari does, except for Apple's proprietary junk OpenGL support that Google's browser lacks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2010


Apple's html5 page isn't html5
posted by empath at 6:28 PM on June 4, 2010


Good thing his views don't represent those of Opera.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:35 PM on June 4, 2010


All the demos ran fine in Chrome 5, btw, once I got past Apple's stupid browser check.
posted by empath at 6:41 PM on June 4, 2010


Blazecock Pileon: "Relax haters,"

I'm sorry you take criticism of Apple so personally. Most of us don't get our own identities confused with the brands of tools we use, and it's easy to forget that some of us do.

Apple is just trying to get people to try out Safari. Google Chrome uses Apple's WebKit for rendering, so it should do everything Safari does, except for Apple's proprietary junk OpenGL support that Google's browser lacks."

Wrapping everything up in a browser check the way they did is making it proprietary, and if this was really about getting people to try Safari, as Gruber admitted, they should've called it "Cool shit Safari can do."
posted by mullingitover at 9:32 PM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoops sorry, the actual quote is “Look at the Cool Shit You Can Make Without Flash”.

The hilarious part of all this is how it's a perfect ad for flash. Safari has somewhere in the neighborhood of 5% of browser market share right now, which means that 95% of the traffic hitting that page is just seeing a gtfo message.
posted by mullingitover at 10:55 PM on June 4, 2010


I'm sorry you take criticism of Apple so personally.

Oh, I don't, don't worry. I just get a laugh out of people who are hellbent on hating Apple for any imagined slight, however insignificant, even to the point of non-existence.

If you really want to talk about proprietary web sites, let's talk about banks and government sites that require Internet Explorer. This is just a tech demo you're getting your britches up about, so in light of that, you might do with a little perspective, perhaps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 PM on June 4, 2010


Apple's HTML5 'standards' hype debunked
posted by Artw at 11:55 PM on June 4, 2010


Apple is right about HTML 5 vs Flash. They just picked a spectacularly arrogant, dishonest and ham-handed way of demoing it.

Safari is a lousy browser. I never use it on my macbook -- I used to use Firefox and now Chrome.
posted by empath at 11:59 PM on June 4, 2010


Can't wait until Apple sells the next million iPads. HTML5 is coming, Flash or no.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:13 AM on June 5, 2010


"Can't wait until Apple sells the next million iPads. HTML5 is coming, Flash or no."

Dude when it happens you should totally get a sweet tattoo.
posted by mullingitover at 2:46 AM on June 5, 2010


From this: Safari gets to look better on Apple kit than competing browsers because Apple gets to use undocumented APIs for speed and composition advantage that other browsers are locked out from using. Apple also doles out rights to use undocumented APIs to selected business partners on its mobile platform. You try to do that without being in Apple's cartel, you get the boot.

This kind of thing, using udoc'd APIs and selectively granting access to them within the context of an effective monopoly, is just one of the things that Microsoft was busted for in the '90s. Now Apple is saying "See. Our browser is hella fast" without telling you that others are being blocked from making their browsers that fast.
posted by meehawl at 8:36 AM on June 5, 2010


Invincible Iron Man: Will paper be cheaper than digital?
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on June 5, 2010


It was obviously going to happen, I guess: Gizmodo banned from WWDC
posted by koeselitz at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2010


Foxconn to Double China Factory-Worker Salaries After Suicides
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on June 6, 2010


Dagnabit, I meant to put that link in this thread.
posted by homunculus at 1:31 PM on June 6, 2010


iPhone 4: The Definitive Guide - I'm sure a thread will be along in a moment.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on June 7, 2010


iPad? That old thing?
posted by mazola at 12:22 PM on June 7, 2010


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