Posts tagged Apple
Posts tagged Apple
Apple dumplings. #johnnyappleseed #festival #fair #food #foodporn #apple (Taken with Instagram at Johnny Appleseed Festival)
Charts don’t lie.
Speaking of leaks, I do wonder why the iPhone 5’s casing leaked so profusely but the iPods’ did not. I suspect the answer is two-fold. First, the iPhone is the single most successful product in the world and is the subject of a disproportionate — dare I say unprecedented — degree of speculation. If any of the new iPod designs had leaked in advance, it surely would have garnered a lot of attention, but nothing like the iPhone. Second, because the iPhone 5 will sell in greater quantities and is going to be available first, it is further along in production in the supply chain. Apple has to begin large-scale production of a new iPhone today so far in advance that I suspect we’ll never again see a surprise iPhone design unveiled on stage.
The iPhone also happens to be Apple’s most profitable product. I suspect many of the leaks were passed along by Apple itself in order to build anticipation. Instead of the ironclad ship of Steve Jobs, we are seeing a series of controlled leaks under Tim Cook.
There seems to be a moral aspect, here, as if Apple should be held to a higher standard. Last year, Apple and Nokia settled an IP “misunderstanding” that also resulted in a “Tax”…but it was Nokia that played the T-Man role: Apple paid Nokia more than $600M plus an estimated $11.50 per iPhone sold. Where were the handwringers who now accuse Apple of abusing the patent system when the Nokia settlement took place? Where was the outrage against the “evil”, if hapless, Finnish company? (Amusingly, observers speculate that Nokia has made more money from these IP arrangements than from selling its own Lumia smartphones.)
Somehow I don’t think #boycottNokia would have the same ring to the Google + crowd.
A few months ago, when my Dropbox client popped up to ask me if I wanted to automatically upload my photos each time I plugged in my iPhone, I wondered how the heck it had intercepted my operating system. But after a few times seeing the alert, I gave it a try, and now I’ve come to rely on my photos and videos arriving on my desktop.
“No one was asking us for camera uploads,” Dropbox CEO Houston told me in an interview during Dropbox’s recent companywide Hack Week.
But Dropbox anticipated that need and figured out a convenient way to address it.
No. Dropbox instituted this feature after Photostream from Apple was debuted. Far from anticipating this feature, Dropbox was imitating a feature of its rival. Liz Gannes is usually a very good technology writer, but she dropped the ball on this one.
But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.
This is very scary aspect of cloud computing.
Years passed. Finally, on November 14, 2006, Microsoft introduced its own music player, called Zune. Fifty-four days later, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which combined a mobile phone, a music player, Internet capability, a camera, and other features not available on Zune. But the iPod was still around for customers who didn’t want a phone. In fact, Apple had already introduced its fifth-generation iPod, its less expensive iPod Mini, and was about a year away from marketing the least costly of its music players, the iPod Nano.
Zune was blown away. By 2009, iPod maintained an astonishing 71 percent of the market, the kind of numbers rarely seen anywhere outside of a North Korean election. Meanwhile, Zune limped along with less than 4 percent. Last October, Microsoft discontinued it, in hopes that customers would instead purchase a Windows Phone that, like the iPhone, has a music player.
I didn’t know that the Zune came out so close to the iPhone. No wonder why it failed.
Apple continues to steer the Dock squarely toward the needs of novice users by making it much harder to accidentally drag an item out of the Dock in Mountain Lion. An icon must be dragged about an inch (~60 points) away from the Dock—and held there for some minimum amount of time—before the cursor will gain its “puff of smoke” badge. End the drag any closer to the Dock and the icon will zoom back to its original position, unchanged.
I am glad that Apple changed this. I often restart my computer only to find my dock completely rearranged by accident.
The prime example of an industry that really does need such protection is pharmaceuticals. The reasons are threefold. First, the invention of a new drug tends to be extremely costly—in the vicinity of hundreds of millions of dollars. The reason is not so much the cost of inventing as the cost of testing the drug on animal and human subjects, which is required by law in order to determine whether the drug is safe and efficacious and therefore lawful to sell. Second, and related, the patent term begins to run when the invention is made and patented, yet the drug testing, which must be completed before the drug can be sold, often takes 10 or more years. This shortens the effective patent term, which is to say the period during which the inventor tries to recoup his investment by exploiting his patent monopoly of the sale of the drug. The delay in beginning to profit from the invention also reduces the company’s recoupment in real terms, because dollars received in the future are worth less than dollars received today. And third, the cost of producing, as distinct from inventing and obtaining approval for selling, a drug tends to be very low, which means that if copying were permitted, drug companies that had not incurred the cost of invention and testing could undercut the price charged by the inventing company yet make a tidy profit, and so the inventing company would never recover its costs.
So pharmaceuticals are the poster child for the patent system. But few industries resemble pharmaceuticals in the respects that I’ve just described. In most, the cost of invention is low; or just being first confers a durable competitive advantage because consumers associate the inventing company’s brand name with the product itself; or just being first gives the first company in the market a head start in reducing its costs as it becomes more experienced at producing and marketing the product; or the product will be superseded soon anyway, so there’s no point to a patent monopoly that will last 20 years; or some or all of these factors are present. Most industries could get along fine without patent protection.
Excellent thoughts on the broken patent system from Richard Posner.
(Source: The Atlantic)
Twitter isn’t Apple. It doesn’t make iconic (and patent-protected) products. It isn’t Facebook. It hasn’t layered innovation after innovation and enticed nearly a billion people to deposit their lives in a place from which they’d find it difficult, even painful, to move. It isn’t Google. It doesn’t have a search algorithm or any other kind of killer app.
The beauty of Twitter is that it is so elegantly simple. It originally benefited from a laissez-faire philosophy that helped it act in what could be described as the public interest. But now it stirs discontent, and that discontent could inspire competition.
This article is kind of stunning in its naivety. Why would any company make less than it possibly can? But more annoying, this list overplays all of its competitors originality, while downplaying Twitter’s own. Simple, powerful tools are hard to come by, and Twitter has been and will continue to be a transformative company. It makes no sense for them to stop being a transformative company in this regard.