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Apple is being taken apart by Capitalism

I’m right, right of center that is. I love capitalism’s quirks. But I despise consumerism. That being said, Apple sucks!

I’ve used Apple products since 1980 and they stood for something. But I believe what made Apple great was precisely what Tim Cook has come to destroy…it’s passion for being different, just like its 1984 ad!

I started programming for Apple in 2009. I had programmed for Windows and I even got into Android and it just blew! Crappy IDE’s, multiple, unstable, buggy SDK’s galore, sluggish, unresponsive hardware to go with it.

Well I’m sad to say that’s what Apple is now in 2014. I’ve lived through 6 major versions of the IDE Xcode and 5 versions of their iOS. Not to mention the minor versions in between. All this time of course, I have needed a Mac to program for iOS. Throughout this time I’ve seen all three: iOS, Xcode and the hardware, literally go down the drain.

Who is to blame? Capitalism of course. Capitalism is great, a great broth for innovation and re-invention. But let’s simplify what happens with any new ideas in our capitalistic ‘free’ market nowadays.

1. Someone has a great idea. Jobs had one. Although it was technically Woz’s idea. Jobs idea was to market it to everyone.

2. To have that idea take off, you have to put some money into it. Takes money to make money, right?

3. Now the idea takes off. People say: “Hey, that’s a great product! Do you sell other stuff? Do you sell those in Europe? Will you have a new product next year? Man, your products are so good I’d buy anything from you!”

Sound like anything that crossed your mind after buying something from a good company? Be it computers or great coffee.

But let’s take those each in turn cause this is where things go awry. (1). You don’t sell other stuff. But now those very few consumers who made you $100,000 profit this year, want to buy something else from you. Let’s make a new product, we need money for that. So take those 100k and put them into a new product division. (2). You don’t sell anywhere else but from your garage. So we need to expand, so we need money for that. Oh and since we need to ship things now, we not only need more overhead but also more things to make our product last more, be it packaging for products or chemicals for food (oh yeah, your product is looking really nice now). (3). You hadn’t thought about a new product but now your customers asked for it. The lure of money is too strong.

Add to all this that you may take your company public to make money and grow. This makes other people have a say in your company. You might think taking a company public just brings in money, but it does something worse. It brings in pressure from shareholders to squeeze more out of every revenue dollar or even worse, spending cuts or re-engineering investments which basically take a wholesome product like Corn Flakes and adds carcinogenic preservatives; or a great burger into a pitifully sized cardboard filled meat pie; or a truly different iOS/OSX software into a bug-laden, unstable-multi-versioned beachballin nightmare!

Capitalism might be great in a free market. The problem is Adam never really defined ‘free’. The forces acting in the market today are as dark and sinister as any Sith or politician.

Tim Cook took over a great company and is riding it’s innovation wave. Unfortunately he is the perfect sequel to an original innovator like Jobs. The innovator set the wheels in motion and creates a truly unique product and possibly a few aggregate products around it. But then a calculating suit takes over and starts growing too fast, investing in non-value adding projects and divesting resources from wow-factor generating winners.

Yes, Apple is making but loads of money. But It’s not very innovative. And it will run out of steam eventually.
Sure, Cook may have gauged just how much momentum Apple has and could be waiting until he really needs umph. He might even get his calculations right. But it’s just not Apple anymore…it’s more like IBM! Looks like Apple’s 1984 was actually 30 years later 😦IMG_4561.JPG


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Facebook Found my iPhone

Facebook Found My Lost iPhone

My mom was always asking me to help her out with her crappy phones. She always had trouble with emailing pictures, posting to Facebook, everyday phone configurations or even keeping her phone charged. She even decided to get an Android phone to be able to so all those things herself. This was even worst because then I had to actually learn how to use an Android phone in order to help her.

So I finally got her an iPhone 4 and she loved it. One day she tells me in a breaking voice:

“I lost the phone”

It hurt. Perhaps more than it should, after all, its just a phone, right? I’m an Apple fanboy so it meant a lot to me. But what’s so special about iPhones after all? Maybe my zeal for Apple stuff was after all, overrated.

I did what I could to recover it. I visited the last place she remembered having it and even offered $500 reward for it. You might think that’s overdoing it, but you’d be wrong. We live in a country where information is worth a lot more than a piece of hardware. When you lose your phone with contact information and access to your emails and other online resources, you are exposed to kidnappers, extortionists and such. And not being very techie, my mom hadn’t added a Passlock, much less configured FindmyiPhone on the device.

So I proceeded to change email, fb and AppleID passwords. I also blocked the SIM by reporting it stolen to the mobile carrier. I figured at least this way they wont have access to emails, the AppStore and more. But I was still worried that the thief had access to our family’s phone numbers, emails etc. I even decided to change my 9 year old phone number. But there was little else I could do. Oh well, it’s lost…get over it!

Two weeks later a strange post shows up on my moms fb wall. A girl posing for pictures in a known store in our city. The store name in the background of one of the pictures.

My sister calls me and tells me to look at my mom’s fb wall. She also told my mom who was having lunch with my wife. They recognized the store so my dad and my wife drove to the store and confronted the attendant. They asked her if she had seen an iPhone they’d lost a few days ago in that same store. She denied having seen it. So immediately my wife pops up facebook on another phone and showed her how she appeared in a picture with the store name in the background, wearing the same clothes she was wearing that day and with a timestamp of 5 minutes ago. The girl froze up! She was pale! She mumbled to the store guard to come out from the back. She finally admitted he had taken the picture with his phone. After negotiating with the guard who had apparently bought the stolen phone a few days back, we recovered the phone. It turns out he was a bodyguard who didn’t speak English and obviously had never used a phone like this and needless to say, was not the tech savvy. But he was a good soul after all since he returned the item.

Morality aside, what puzzled ME was, how come the picture had shown up on my mom’s facebook account if I had reset all passwords. I even contacted a friend who works at Facebook to ask him about it. After checking out the recovered iPhone, we noticed a Facebook icon with his name under the icon Instead of “Facebook”. It turns out he had created a Safari link on his springboard to his Facebook account. The native iOS Facebook app still had my mother’s account on it. Apparently he had been using his facebook account from the web browser. So when he took the pictures that day at the store, he must have unknowingly gone to the Photos app and posted the picture directly from Facebook, which used the native iOS app configured with my mother’s FB account.

As to why the app let him use my mom’s account to post if I had changed the account password, that’s another story. I thought it was a fb fluke which is why I originally contacted my friend at Facebook. It turns out my mother had 2 accounts. She had opened a second account in order to avoid some unwanted friends a while back. I had actually changed the password of her OLD account. Her new account password was still working and configured on the iPhone. Had he posted to his Facebook account via the web browser, we never would have seen the post.

After all is said and done, the iPhone’s ease of use proved crucial so that a person who didn’t speak the language and had never used such a sophisticated phone was able to post a picture to Facebook. And Facebook’s time stamp proved useful in determining the relevancy of the post.

We are thankful to both Apple and Facebook founders for their ingenuity and drive in the technology realm.


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Apple Revolutionized the Airline Industry?

A stewardess with an iPhone 4, which sports one of the best cameras available on mobile phones, saved a flight from being delayed and my mother was proud to share the story.

Having worked for AA for 25 years, my mother has seen her share of delayed flights. She knows the lengthy and complicated procedures involved in speeding a flights safe departure and the consequences of a delayed flight for the passengers, employees and the airline. A delayed flight also wreaks havoc on other flights, airlines, passengers and even the airport since its passengers must be moved to other flights, planes re-scheduled and luggage re-routed.

It turns out the tire on an American Airlines flight from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to Miami, Florida was found to be less than perfect for a new flight completion. This meant the flight would be delayed until a replacement tire was found. Tires wear out as any other part on an airplane does and the physical appearance can tell a lot about a tire’s remaining flights. But in order to evaluate the tire, the technicians must actually inspect it, right?

There is more than one way to skin a cat! That is exactly what this one stewardess thought when she quickly turned to her iPhone and snapped a couple of pictures of said tire! Te pictures the local station had been sending to the technicians were of such low quality that it was impossible to determine with any level of certainty whether the tire was indeed too worn out to complete one last trip. The iPhone’s picture quality however, was just what the technicians needed to inspect it and clear it once again!

And so the delay was averted, reschedules were unnecessary, no reroutings to calculate and no broken family promises to regret!

And Apple didn’t even need an app for that :). Kudos Steve!