Well it has been quite the week for corporations in my little part of the online sphere. Earlier this week my good friend Will has his car towed by an Albuquerque towing company of meth addicts because he accidentally parked on the wrong side of a McDonalds and “McDonalds Parking Enforcement” officers had his car towed away. Parking enforcement officers… yeah really.
(BTW, this is the same lot I’ve parked in many times to eat at a different restaurant – come tow me, bitches.)
But more importantly, this has been one of the weeks where Apple has crossed over the line of corporate paranoia and let their cyberpunkish “Corporate Overlord” mentality show through. And from a PR standpoint Apple’s not looking too great.
Jesus Buddha Christ, Apple. Really? Let’s break this down:
- A tech blog gets a hold of your super secret next generation iPhone that was lost at a bar,
- And then returns it to you after reviewing it
- (Which happened after you denied the prototype’s existence),
- Then you send your super secret “Apple Force” to the journalist’s house demanding to look around
- (Which he says “hell no” to. Makes sense.)
- And then you have the reporter’s house busted into by the cops and multiple computers, et al “taken for examination.”
Let’s see, did I miss anything? Nope, didn’t think so. I’m just surprised that Apple didn’t hire a private group of mercenaries to bust this poor guy’s door down.
Wow Apple, you have really opened yourself up to ridicule at the least, and a potential lawsuit on the more serious end. (and if the EFF and other technology or media non-profits don’t sign on to object to this kind of treatment of a journalist, then y’all just need to pass your 501c3 cards forward because y’all are dismissed.)
But in true Apple form, Steve Jobs has penned a letter about… Apple’s problem with Adobe’s Flash?? It’s like Steve-O really thinks that by ignoring the problem, or dictating the terms of engagement, he can control all of the coverage he gets. And right on cue, noted tech journalist (and Steve Jobs apologist) Walt Mossberg will pen a column decrying Flash (and asking why the hell Team “Apple Force” didn’t tase the entire Gizmodo staff over and over).
So this is a PR and tech blog. What advice would I give Apple if they asked?
Well, this being Apple, they never would because in their minds “The Jobs” can’t do anything wrong. That said, I’d tell them to cut this crap out.
- Drop any charges,
- Get the police to turn over all equipment taken from Jason Chen’s house,
- Replace any broken or damaged equipment on Apple’s dime,
- Pray that Apple doesn’t get sued,
- And one more thing, stop acting like jerks.
I guess Steve-O really hasn’t learned anything about tact (or new media) from the Think Secret lawsuit. Jon Stewart is right, chill the hell out Apple.
(And before Apple Evangelists start typing a response about how I’m some Apple hater, this post, much like this video in years past, was completely created on a Mac.)
Just to reinforce my love of technology, and that i’m not averse to Apple, Inc. I bumped into this story while on Twitter. A high school kid had emailed Steve Jobs (and just how in the heck did he get THAT email address, I’ve gotta ask) and asked if he could get the college educational discount for the latest copy of Final Cut Studio. MInd you, not a free copy, just for the $600 or so discount (still willing to pay $700 for it).
Well, this email got forwarded to Richard Townhill, the director of Pro Video Product Marketing for Apple, who emailed the kid back and asked for his address to send him a free copy of the software. How cool is that! Apple, Inc gave this kid an early Christmas, and created another evangelist to boot. Not too bad!
Turns out not everyone is gaga over the iPhone, people in Poland are saying “hell no!” to wanting to pay for the “privilege” of shelling out a lot of cash in monthly phone bills, in addition to giving richly for some of Steve-O Jobs’ love. So instead, Orange (the Apple approved phone operator of choice – Orange… Apple… insert joke here if you can) has decided to pay actors to stand in line outside of stores to try and create fake buzz in the iPhone.
Why do I get the feeling that if Microsoft or RIM did this, the iCabal would be up in arms – arms I say!! – about it. Hell, they threw a tantrum about the Mojave Experiment campaign when it started…
What can I say? I’m convinced…
… Sorry. Can’t complete that statement, it’s copyrighted.
Looks like Apple has it’s sights set on Netflix for the online movie rental domain. (Major Hat Tip to Ars Technica’s outstanding liveblog from the Macworld Keynote) Steve Jobs just announced (5 minutes ago) that iTunes users will be able to rent movies from almost all of (if not all of) the major studios. You can rent them for $3-4 and have 30 days to start watching them (and 24 hours to finish watching them)
The interesting thing about this is the ability to transfer these movies to your iPod, or iPhone or what have you. You can’t do that with the DVDs you rent from Netflix. I don’t know if you can with the Netflix online rentals, because I haven’t tried that out yet. That does send a shot over Netflix’s bow, because people (especially 20 and 30-somethings) like their mobile devices and having the ability to watch a rental on the go is a very strong appeal. Netflix already changed their online rental policy to anticipate something from Apple, but I wonder what else they are going to do after this announcement.
A few months back I wrote a couple of pieces about the problem my old Dell laptop was having. Well, it wasn’t as much of a story as it was me bitching about the problems I was having with it.
And to my surprise and delight, one of Dell’s consumer advocates left a comment and asked me to email him. I did this and he has helped me out several times with my old laptop and with problems with my current laptop as well.
Following up on all of my posts about iLife for the PC (which I know you can’t possibly be tired of yet 😉 ), I was looking at the Dell site a couple of weeks ago and I found this! Adobe Elements Studio, offered only from Dell and only for a few of its products, the new XPS One desktop (Dell’s answer to the iMac single form factor computer) and the XPS 420 desktop.
Now I don’t want to say that Dell got the idea from my previous post about how to bundle Adobe software to produce an iLife clone for PC. (But I’m cocky enough to do it anyway 😉 ) But it’s a good idea to have this kind of a bundle for PC users as well. Another bundle I’ve found that would work as a PC iLife replacement is Roxio’s Easy Media Creator 10. It’s another bundle, focused more on video, audio and basic image editing. One thing I’ve been finding is that these bundles don’t focus as much on basic Web site design, which I think is a mistake since many people are interested in putting their pictures and video on their own Web site, but don’t have the know how to design a site from scratch. Then they end up putting their stuff on MySpace.. ugh! I’ll keep looking for a package that includes web templates, or at least some decent web templates you can use (I’ve already found some at Open Source Web Design)
(RELATED UPDATE: I have a review of Sony’s Imagination Studio Suite HERE)
In an interesting turn of events, the post that has given me the most traffic in recent weeks hasn’t been any of my comments about Mayor Chavez (although I did get a spike in traffic from linking to Eye on Albuquerque) or my posts about the Albuquerque Tribune possibly shutting down.
Nope, my biggest traffic getter for the past month and a half has been my call for Apple to release iLife to the PC platform. As I discussed before, Apple can get a decently large piece of the pie from Adobe and Sony if they were to do this, because there are other geeks like me out in the big wide world who wouldn’t mind trying out iLife.
That said, it doesn’t sound like Apple will be doing this anytime soon. So for those people looking for a PC suite of programs that will work in much of the same way that iLife will, I offer the following groups of programs that play well together and give you some integration (although again,one of iLife’s strengths is its incredibly tight integration and smooth workflow between programs, Sony and Adobe can offer similar workflow, however):
|Video||Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum||Premier Elements 4.0||Windows Movie Maker/JahShaka|
|Music||ACID Music Studio and/or Sound Forge Audio Studio||Audition or Soundbooth||Audacity|
|Photo||PhotoGo or Windows Live Photo Editor||Photoshop Elements 6.0||GIMP or Windows Live Photo Editor|
|Web||KompoZer||GoLive CS2 (since they have Dreamweaver, they can do something else with this)||KompoZer (getting a there here?)|
As you see, I also included a column for software that comes with your Windows machine, or that you can get via the Open Source community. These programs, I’ve found, tend to have a little steeper learning curve than some of the Adobe/Sony programs – much less the iLife suite. But it’s like most software programs, once you master them you can do amazing things with them.
I’ve also included a piece of Open Source software in the Web component of the table (at least for Sony and the Open Source columns). KompoZer is a cool software application, built on the Nvu platform – an open source competitor to Dreamweaver or (probably more appropriately) Microsoft Expression Web. iWeb’s strength is still all of the templates that came with it – from what I’ve seen it’s more a matter of different CSS’ for the same WYSIWYG framework templates. A good idea, because people can drag and drop files onto the pages or start typing in the predesignated areas before moving them around.
Adobe should do the same thing with GoLive, add a lot of templates to the software, lower the price or (better yet) bundle the software as part of this package, and make it more accessible to the same market segment that Apple could be gunning for, but hasn’t yet. (More on Dell’s Adobe Elements studio in the next post).
For those of you interested in a PC version of iLife, I hope these help provide you with some of the same enjoyment and utility that I have had working with them – until Apple takes my advice and moves iLife over.