↯ Change.org: Petition Apple to Protect Workers →
Buncha morons who don’t know the way the world is.
The Occasional Blargh is back!: I’m told people prefer bloggers with inflated senses of self-worth and vanity. Is it a sign of my inflated sense of self-worth and vanity that I think the quote is about me?! P.S. Missed ya, boo.
Apple's Pricing Advantage
Will Kujawa and I talk more often than most couples: Apples profit is linked to its human cost, sure, but Mr. Raging makes it sound like it’s the biggest or only reason for Apple’s success and that’s just not true. If that were the case every hardware manufacturer would be making a lot more money. The truth is, there are a bunch of factors that make Apple so profitable,...
I’ve been accused of not explicating my train of thought enough. So here’s an executive summary: It is not pure snark to juxtapose Apple’s record profit with the human costs because, as things stand, the two are inextricably linked. (Obviously, this does not mean that the low manufacturing (dollar) cost is the sole reason for Apple’s profit.) Given that the two are...
Anonymous asked: You need to stop telling people...
Andrew Ti at yoisthisracist: OH WORD, IT’D BE MUCH BETTER TO JUST LET SHIT SLIDE, THANKS FOR THE GREAT ADVICE, HOMIE. PS. Obviously, fuck you.
More Notes on the Labor Issue
To refresh everyone, here is a key quote from the NYTimes article: “You can set all the rules you want, but they’re meaningless if you don’t give suppliers enough profit to treat workers well,” said one former Apple executive with firsthand knowledge of the supplier responsibility group. “If you squeeze margins, you’re forcing them to cut safety.” This quote is the basis of my claim that Apple...
↯ Crooked Timber: No-One Cares About the College... →
Kieran Healy points out some problems in what Gruber and Siracusa say about Apple’s education strategy.
Speaking of reasoning, The Loop: Brooke Crothers, CNET: Should you boycott Apple products, as many commenters have suggested and some publications are now calling on you to do? That question opens a pandora’s box that taken to its logical conclusion would mean eschewing pretty much all devices made in China–including the one on which you’re reading this post. It’s a slippery slope. Ah,...
↯ ONE37: People →
A fun read from Matt Alexander. (via 512 Pixels) Looks like a blog I’ll start following.
Will Kujawa: Sounds like Mr. Raging is perfectly fine being the guy who shits on other’s opinion and nothing more. I’d call it a toilet more than a blog. As I noted in “What I Like”, I don’t shit on others’ opinions — at most, I shit on others’ reasoning processes for arriving at those opinions. I think it could be valuable: for example, opinions based on...
Reader Mail, Edition #5
From a reader who I’ll call “Dustin”: lol Someone thinks you’re writing a tech blog instead of a tech-writing blog. Or tech-blogging blog. (I kept writing more, but I think it all boils down to that.)
↯ The Economist: Silicon Implants →
One reason to boycott MacWorld. (Not just MacWorld, of course.) BTW, The Economist itself should be boycotted for this: Being a man, Babbage cannot deny evolution’s impact on his admiration of attractive women. Yet he resents it being used against him.
What I Like
I forgot to directly respond to one of Will’s questions: Why don’t you write about what you do like? I do. I like logic and rationality, psychological biases in reasoning, and the use of language. I write about all of them here. Despite its appearances, this isn’t a tech blog. :-)
… like “a slow motion train wreck”, according to Will Kujawa. Will’s post makes lots of interesting points, and I think they deserve some responses. The passages are a bit out of order, but you should read Will’s post anyway, not the least because it’s the longest anyone has ever written about this blog. If there’s one thing your right about, (really, one...
Apple has two big news items lately: the historical quarterly profit, and the hidden human cost of its products. Inspired by a reader comment, I thought I’d take a look at some prominent Apple enthusiast sites’ coverage of these two big news items. Daring Fireball: 14+ posts on historical profit, 1 post on human cost (a link to Tim Cook’s email to employees*) ParisLemon: 6+...
Marco Arment: But I still use Siri. My wife still uses Siri. Last night at dinner, my friend used Siri. I don’t think Boris and his friends are a representative sample. My anecdotal evidence is better than your anecdotal evidence!!
Speaking of the company we keep, Devin Coldewey’s article that MG Siegler quotes is also a magical combination of glibness and irrationality. Let’s get started. The New York Times has published a long article on Foxconn which, while it doesn’t provide much in the way of new information, does act as a sobering reminder of just how companies like Apple can make so very much money. ...
MG Siegler at parislemon: A lot of people have asked for my take on The New York Times piece yesterday about the true cost of making Apple products in China. The real key here is that this story could have been written about any number of technology companies that have to deal with hardware manufacturing. This sad state of affairs is the way the world works in this space. Anyone who thinks...
↯ NYTimes: iPad and the Human Cost →
“You can set all the rules you want, but they’re meaningless if you don’t give suppliers enough profit to treat workers well,” said one former Apple executive with firsthand knowledge of the supplier responsibility group. “If you squeeze margins, you’re forcing them to cut safety.” Woohoo historically profitable quarter!!!!!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!! We won!!!
MG Siegler at parislemon congratulates himself: And I’m hardly alone. Looking over the blogosphere today, you’ll see posts like this one and this one and this one and this one, all of which also read like and/or address gloating about Apple. There’s a common theme: all of us placed bets on Apple at a time when it wasn’t particularly sexy to do so. Some of these bets may have been with money in...
David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals: Apple’s last quarter was the second most profitable quarter of any company ever in US history. Only ExxonMobile topped them slightly in 2008 when oil was at an all-time high. That’s an astounding and awe-inspiring accomplishment. But that’s not why some of us are so proud of what Apple’s been able to do; it’s much more personal. […] Still,...
↯ NYTimes: How US Lost out on iPhone Work →
Shorter Steve Jobs: damn those restrictive labor laws that give workers rights prevent production flexibility!
So it’s a pity that Apple has chosen instead to re-enter the education market...– Kieran Healy
↯ Kieran Healy: Apple for the Teacher →
Gotta break my hiatus to recommend this well-written piece, from a professor at Duke.
Taking a bit of a break. [Melodramatic departure soliloquy omitted.]
Anonymous asked: Hey this is your pal Will. What's your twitter handle. I responded but don't have any way to tell you besides link backs.
Will Kujawa at OKedition, in response to my “Viewpoint of Another Spreadsheet”: I still don’t understand how people like this don’t get it. Huh? What don’t I get? I think profit matters. Who doesn’t? In fact, I agree with Gruber that profit share is a more meaningful metric than market share. What I think is rather silly are claims like market share reduces...
↯ Clipart Covers →
Tumblr of the week. Featuring album covers, recreated with clip art and Comic Sans.
Apple enthusiast John Gruber asks “Whose Problem Do Ultrabooks Solve?”: Kevin C. Tofel: I’d argue smartphones and tablets currently meet most, if not all of those needs; therein lies the problem for Ultrabooks. It’s not a consumer problem; it’s an Intel problem, as sales of traditional computers are declining, while sales of tablets and smartphones are rising. Let’s...
Let's Not Exaggerate
Since this is making the rounds, MG Siegler: Apple, because they put the consumer first and have proven time and time again that they will not bend to carrier bullshit and will often work against them behind the scenes. Yeah, dude. Like when Apple didn’t ban tethering apps because the carriers are against tethering! Or like when they included a hotspots feature without enabling it on...
↯ Khoi Vinh: The Miracle of WD-40 →
for fixing your iPhone home button (but see also Ben Brooks).
Anonymous asked: About the "Church of Marketshare": can you point me to the iOS version of the "Touch Apps", from Adobe? I know for sure that Adobe Ideas (the first Adobe touch app) lauched on iOS first and Android second, but can you point be at the iOS version of Adobe Proto? Or the flagship touch app - Adobe Photoshop Touch? Gruber laughs at the idea that people would develop "Android...
The Viewpoint of Another Spreadsheet
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: But to think that market share alone is a primary motivation for all or even most of the developers who’ve turned the iOS App Store into a phenomenon is to miss the forest for the trees. It’s looking at the market from the viewpoint of a spreadsheet, reducing everybody and everything to numbers. Looking at profit share is also looking at the market from the...
More Logic Puzzles
The Macalope sarcastically notes: Yes, the best selling smartphone is “stale.” In the very next paragraph: The Macalope has no real idea what market share has to do with software but that’s probably some kind of Apple zealot thing he’s got going on. Oh, okay.
↯ Trollem Ipsum →
Spot on. (via 512 Pixels)
MG Siegler at parislemon: After a 27-point (just over 4%) plunge today, buying Google’s stock with your Apple proceeds all of a sudden doesn’t look so hot. Apple’s stock, meanwhile, once again hit a new all-time high today (before closing down a tad). Jeez. In all seriousness, MG Siegler made a good point that one should not take all that seriously a drop in the stock price without changes in...
… despite what many Apple observers like to say, Apple does in fact care...– Matt Drance, Apple Outsider
MG Siegler at parislemon: Just A Friendly Reminder: If You Sold Your Apple Stock In October, You Were, In Fact, An Idiot Really? Would you, in fact, be an idiot if you also bought it again late November? Or even let your money sit in the bank accruing minimal interest but bought it again at the same price now? LOOK AT THE FUCKING GRAPH! What matters is just having an opinion, AMIRITE?! ...
↯ Kickstarter: PopSockets iPhone Case →
I don’t care if you fund this. The video alone is worth a link.
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: Karl Smith, in an “open letter” from Apple to its shareholders: Paying a dividend and burning down our war chest would jeopardize all of that. You see, one day a competitor will come along and cut our core product line out from underneath us. We will need all the cash we can muster to fend them off. When that cash is done, we will mortgage the company. The first...
MG Siegler at parislemon: The carriers are doing well too — but carriers always do well. Being overly greedy tends to have this effect. Every OEM in the industry is looking at Apple and drooling when it comes to profits. (Making money is what matters at the end of the day for a company after all.) As an exercise, I leave to the reader the task of constructing the underlying logic. And for...
Anonymous asked: My rule was posted on Twitter and gave exception to Macalope.
Oh, Marco Arment, you’re just baiting me! A few things about this dialog bothered me, as a developer: The forced use of the word “publisher”. Are all app developers “publishers”? Couldn’t it just say “Instapaper” instead of “The publisher of Instapaper”? The use of “their” to refer to the singular “publisher”. The incorrectly lowercase “zip”. Please consult the ‘singular...
Ben Brooks: I am breaking my newly established “don’t link to anonymous type sites rule” because turns out his name is ‘Mike’ — close enough for me, my rule is still intact Let’s remember this “rule” the next time Ben links to The Macalope.
Moral of the Story
Apple enthusiast John Gruber links to a cute comic that compares Apple to the Earl of Sandwich, and draws the moral of the story as: Design innovation looks a lot easier in hindsight. Of course, there is another, more historically accurate, way to understand the comic. In fact, meat between two slices of bread was already a common concept in the Netherlands before the Earl of Sandwich...
↯ Nick Heer: There Is a Clear Difference →
nickheer: It isn’t that advertising is bad, or that targeted advertising is wrong. The problem lies with the tracking stuff. Some are fine with it, but I am not. There is a clear difference. Consider installing Ghostery. If you had, you’d see Marco’s site uses both Google Analytics and Mint to track visitor data. Brooks Report has those, plus Amazon affiliate and Google AdSense....
Quote of the Year
Max Jacobson at stuparker: As much as I feel silly being the apologist Gruber didn’t ask for, I especially don’t want to get stuck defending Ben Brooks. See y’all in 2013.
↯ Nick Heer: It's About Audience →
nickheer: Let’s start with two silly points: I will ignore your quip about fanboys. It’s a stupid word with unwelcome connotations that does not promote discussion. Those are scare quotes. (Sigh. I just can’t resist reblogging myself.) How modest. The parenthetical is self-irony. Now that we got those out of the way, onto your substantial point: Rather, I think it’s a case of...