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…
(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.
(UPDATE: Sony did the surprising and released the Sony Imagination Studio Suite. I have a review HERE)
Before everyone reading this (all three of you) start agreeing with me that I need “a life” outside of my fiancée, computers, and my Xbox, remember that a little while back I wrote a post discussing the perceived benefits of Apple releasing the iLife suite to PC’s. Now that we are up to speed…
I wrote about the financial benefit that I believe Apple would receive from making this suite available to the broader market of PC users, there are quite a few PC users out there who, like myself, would jump at the chance to have these basic programs loaded up (for a price of, say, $200 or so – $50 per program isn’t too bad, and no iDVD doesn’t count as a program for this purpose.)
And I have to say that I am quite let down that Steve Jobs hasn’t already taken my advice, made this software available to the market, and personally called me to thank me for coming up with such a great idea and offering me a fabulous job working on more amazing ideas. 😉
I know that the programs installed in iLife are basically grandma-ware versions of Apple’s more powerful consumer level (Final Cut Express, Logic Express) programs, and they are very basic compared to Apple’s pro level stuff. But they are still strong enough for what most basic-level social media/internet peeps want to do – put up a quick site, record podcasts in Garageband (which has a killer World Music Jam Pack, I’ve gotta say – see Steve, it’s not all vitriol 😉 ) or edit some video in iMovie.
In lieu of Apple coming up with iLife for PC (they can put a wrap around suit and tie on the box to go with their current marketing theme), I’ve come up with another brilliant idea.
I’ve been reading about the various problems that Apple users have been having with their upgrades to their newest $129
service pack… er, stupendous, outstanding, super-duuuuuuuuper OSX upgrade – Leopard, or Siamese, or Tabby, or Puddy Tat, or what-the-hell ever kitty cat name they are giving this release to convince their buyers that they are a fierce cat in the computer jungle… feh.
Computers locking up, people having problems with some of the security features (the Apple Firewall is set up to be in “off” mode when you turn it on. I guess it “just works” at being turned off) – and some Apple fan-ites getting the equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death (something that, oddly enough, I haven’t gotten since I bought the completed version of Vista). I fact, I haven’t seen a BSOD in a loooooooooooong time with Microsoft.
Now I know that some Apple fanboys are going to blast me as some anti-Apple, “don’t get it” type of person. I’m glad to tell them that they are totally wrong. One of the first computers I cut my teeth on was an Apple IIc and I still enjoy puttering around on Macs when I get a chance. I’ve even told my fiancee that my next laptop will be an Apple Macbook Pro – once they get the hardware up to the level that my Inspiron E1505 is already at.
But it is nice to be able to tell Apple fans that, with Vista Home Premier, everything seems to “just work” for me.
Video editing software? Check
Audio and music editing software? Check-a-roonie
Web design software? Oh hell yeah
Photoshop? Yeah baby, yeahhhh
Anti-Virus and Firewall? Piece of cake
Video players? Check – and on a sharper screen than an Apple 15″ Macbook Pro
Not to mention, my digital video camera which works perfectly on Vista when I plug it into the Firewire port. You see, on my mom’s iMac, the video camera would not register at all.
Plug it in? Nothing.
Restart the computer? Nothing.
Pick up the iMac and shake it like a British nanny with a 3-year-old? Nada.
And don’t get me started on Apple’s great contribution to the browser wars – Safari (I’m starting to pick up a theme here… I wonder what it is…). Once it was ported to the PC platform it took… one, two days… for bugs and errors to be found? I was really excited to get to use Safari, too. I like they layout of Safari, it’s so pretty. But gosh darn it, it just… what’s the phrase I’m looking for here… “wouldn’t work” on my PC. And the fanboys went into full-on emo mode – doing the digital equivalent of sniffing and looking at their navels while saying “Gee, I don’t know why those mean, nasty Windows people take such pleasure in telling us there are problems with our browser.”
Maybe – since Macs have the opportunity to run Vista via Boot Camp – fanboys can load up Vista while they try to figure out what’s wrong with OSX: Leopa-Tabby-Puddy Tat.