Monday, January 31, 2011


Steve Hayden:

When Jobs introduced the spot at Apple’s annual sales meeting in Hawaii in October 1983, he cast IBM in the role of Big Brother. That was never our intention. The real villain was our collective fear of technology, not a corporation either real or imagined.


Ironically, Jobs had questioned the buy in the first place. He said, “I don’t know a single person who watches the Super Bowl.” Well, of course you don’t. You’re Steve Jobs.

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Assuming this morning's NYTimes story is correct in its details, Big Brother is living in Cupertino these days...

This is big (and evil) news if the NYT is correct that Apple won’t let “customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.” That goes way beyond Sony and Amazon, although the first order effect would be that I would use my iPad a lot less and definitely buy a Kindle.

The Loop quotes Apple’s doublespeak:

“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” Apple spokesperson, Trudy Muller, told The Loop. “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”

This non-change is the biggest policy change since Section 3.3.1. Apparently if Amazon wants to link to their Kindle Web store, they’ll also have to re-engineer their app to use in-app purchase and give Apple 30%.

My line over at Kirk McElhearn's personal blog, (where Kirk was either not fully comprehending what the announcement meant, or else just Playing the Gruber), was to rhyme the famous William Jennings Bryan quote as:

You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of a 30% cut to Cupertino on all commerce


Y'know, I'd have no real problem with all this malarky if Apple said they were committed to being a two platform company going forward.

I've seen iOS as a game console system since within a year of the iPhone introduction. And it's a kickass game console system. If Apple would just make clear that they were going to continue to develop a general purpose computer platform in parallel with their game console platform, I'd toast to their health.

But they don't make such things clear, because I think such things aren't their intention.

Instead, the malarky will just keep slowly seeping into OS X. And that crazy quote from Mark Pilgrim, "by 2015, Apple will make appliances and developer add-ons. Not general purpose computing devices", will actually come true, absent a change in course.

I genuinely don't wish bad health to Steve-o, but I've been flying the 'Bring Back John Sculley' flag for the last few years. Less imagination and more wisdom is what is called for at this particular moment in time.

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