How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet

I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing
with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle,
printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these
things work, which is this:

1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly
exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order
of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s
been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to
work out how old you are.

Fantastic article by Douglas Adams written 11 years ago. It’s great not just because Adams “got” the Internet, but rather “got” technology and society as a whole.

I chose the above passage because it’s generally true, but also because I’m an exception to it. Though more than 20 years past the stated cut-off, I still love seeing technology progress. Especially in the areas of mobile and personal computing. Though a geek myself, I believe the more technology is taken out of the hands of IT groups, geeks and “gurus”, and put into the hands of a typical family home, the better.

Apple Antitrust

It’s bad enough there’s no monopoly in phones for Apple to be accused of abusing, and nearly every article complaining about Apple admits this. Yet the subject keeps cropping because Apple’s competitors are asking the feds to slow Apple down, and it’s good PR for politicians. Whatever.

But now it’s gone so far as this:

But, Apple is walking a fine line, and will be increasingly scrutinized by the government. Each time provides additional risk for regulation.

This is nonsense. 

Let’s put it in sports terms: “Well, Bob, New York’s had three hits down the baseline that were close to being foul. The umpires will increasingly scrutinize further such hits. Each one provides additional risk for being foul.” 

That’s absurd. The thing is either fair or foul. No matter which, it’s over, done with, and has no bearing on future hits. Like flipping a coin 10 times in a row with tails, the next flip is still just 50-50 tails (spare me the mathematical precision that says I’m off by a few hundredths, the point stands).

This isn’t some freakin’ game where not only can you not break a rule, but apparently you’re only allowed a few times where you allegedly come close to breaking a rule—never mind Apple’s not close. This is lobbyists in Washington playing with politicians in Washington. It’s companies trying to to get their money’s worth. We should be appaled, not happy, if they succeed.

Five Reasons To Be Concerned About Google

Unfortunately, much of what is awesome about Google also makes them increasingly terrifying with each passing day

Though none of these points is new, given how few people seem to know them they bear repeating. It’s a shame so many people—and, unfortunately, tech pundits—will fawn all over free stuff without ever considering where the money’s coming from, and what’s being done to get it.

I’m not predicting doom, or suggesting we all run screaming into the night, I’m just saying that when the front-facing (i.e., consumer) portion of a corporation is free, but we know that corporation is making billions and trading stock at $475 a share, we should concern ourselves with the source. This isn’t some paranoid conspiracy, to me it’s just common sense. No one is filling Google’s coffers because they give away stuff.

If The Airport Guy Says To Take Your iPad Out of the Bag, You Better Do It

Lots of talk about how the iPad does not need to be removed from bags for separate x-raying by airport security, but it seems a bit premature.

Sure, it’ll be a nice convenience, but let’s not pretend security personnel at every airport will be aware of this soon. I strongly suspect many of them will see it as a “laptop” and want it in a separate bin.

In a year or so, maybe we never mess with this again, but for now I wouldn’t make any assumptions, and I sure as heck wouldn’t try to explain to the guy why he shouldn’t be asking you to remove the iPad. That seems like a recipe for a long day at the airport.

Apple Friends and Foes: iPsychology 101

It’s the friends [of Apple] who are more befuddling. There are hundreds of journalists and bloggers covering the Apple beat… If they can’t prove themselves to be smarter and more insightful, their stock goes down.

Great article. Regarding the “friends” of Apple, don’t rule out how many of them try to prove they’re “not biased”, and not simply “fanbois”.

Apple bashers form a decent chunk of even a pro-Apple blogs’ visitors. Many of these sites are only too happy to throw them a bone now and then. I dislike it, but it’s a trend that began a few years ago, and it’s not likely to stop for most sites.

What’s sad is that the kind of community Apple had a dozen years ago — the one you could argue held things together during Apple’s darkest times — doesn’t exist any more. Were those times to reappear they’d be the first to cut and run.

Does the Name “iPad” Still Suck? No, But Complaints About It Still Do

CoM readers were underwhelmed by the choice of iPad, 51% of the 1,380 readers who answered our poll on Jan. 27 gave the moniker a “meh” while just 17% said the name “rocks.”

How is it we bought IBM and Lenovo ThinkPads all these years without ever criticizing the name? How did we ever use mouse pads without giggling? TechCrunch fooled us for over a year with the CrunchPad and everyone was on board, nary a chuckle.

Point is, the iPad name is fine; the “pad” argument exists only because it’s Apple. Some people just want to have something to say, and others are looking for page hits. You certainly don’t have to like the name any more than some other product name, but the usual reason given for criticism is beyond ridiculous.