Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 5:05 am

“Why I hate Apple”

Filed under: Geek-related issues — Lex @ 5:05 am
Tags: , ,

“Macland just feels more and more like some combination of Oceania and the tightly controlled simulated reality of The Matrix and no, the irony of the first half of that equation is hardly lost on me.”


I don’t hate Apple. In fact, I created my first resume on an Apple IIe, back in the day, and a key aspect of my current job relies heavily on Apple. But the truth is that the only reason I don’t hate it is that it has never mattered enough to me for me to form much of an opinion one way or the other.

When I got into database journalism about 20 years ago — which, other than the aforementioned Apple IIe, was my first step away from mainframe dumb terminals — there was simply no Mac software capable of doing the heavy database lifting I had to do, so I was Wintel from the git. With rare, design-related exceptions at my various jobs, I have stayed Wintel ever since.

I have an iPod Shuffle and manage its contents with iTunes, but neither cost me anything. I can’t afford an iPhone (and sure as hell can’t afford the required AT&T mobile service that goes with it), and an iPad with no ‘Net connectivity just puzzles me.

Before Apple can piss me off, it’s first going to have to matter. And while I could be wrong, I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 8:09 pm

Way too cool for AT&T

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 8:09 pm
Tags: , ,

I haven’t even had a cell phone that takes pictures for very long. I don’t have a Blackberry, let alone an iPhone, so to a certain extent all this is happening way over my head, practically speaking. But I get the ramifications:

Earlier this month, Apple rejected an application for the iPhone called Google Voice. The uproar set off a chain of events—Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt resigning from Apple’s board, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigating wireless open access and handset exclusivity—that may finally end the 135-year-old Alexander Graham Bell era. It’s about time.

With Google Voice, you have one Google phone number that callers use to reach you, and you pick up whichever phone—office, home or cellular—rings. You can screen calls, listen in before answering, record calls, read transcripts of your voicemails, and do free conference calls. Domestic calls and texting are free, and international calls to Europe are two cents a minute. In other words, a unified voice system, something a real phone company should have offered years ago.

Apple has an exclusive deal with AT&T in the U.S., stirring up rumors that AT&T was the one behind Apple rejecting Google Voice. How could AT&T not object? AT&T clings to the old business of charging for voice calls in minutes. It takes not much more than 10 kilobits per second of data to handle voice. In a world of megabit per-second connections, that’s nothing—hence Google’s proposal to offer voice calls for no cost and heap on features galore.

What this episode really uncovers is that AT&T is dying. AT&T is dragging down the rest of us by overcharging us for voice calls and stifling innovation in a mobile data market critical to the U.S. economy.

Bad enough that AT&T didn’t come up with this on its own, it had to keep anyone else from using it, too. Say what you will about the dinosaurotude of newspapers, at least newspapers didn’t t try to keep the Internet out of your house. (In fact, the N&R’s parent company was one of the first ISPs in this area, although it later got out of the retail ISP business in favor of more big-ticket enterprises.)

(h/t: Fec)

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