Anniversary Post: Apple iPad

Apple SucksOn this day in 2010, the first iPad was released. It was an extremely big deal because like every Apple product ever, it didn’t do anything new. It was what all their products are: a well packaged implementation of other people’s work. But it had the secret sauce that all their products have: a really big legal department that sues every other company that builds on the same technology that Apple has been stealing for years.

It is not, as many people seem to think, that I have it out for them and that I love Microsoft. First, I don’t like Microsoft at all. But more to the point, I don’t care about devices. If I can get work done on it, fine. That’s all that matters to me. Give me a computer with OS X or Windows or Linux: I don’t care. I can get my work done on them. With things like tablets and phones, I can get work done, but it is harder because they aren’t built for work; they’re built for entertainment.

What I Hate About Apple

But what I do hate about Apple is how it tries to win through the courts. As I said: it never innovated anything. At least Microsoft did a couple of things worth note. So for Apple, it’s all about using the legal system to gain advantage. Consider Apple Inc v Samsung Electronics Co. I thought that whole clusterf@#k was typical of what was wrong with Apple and America. In South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom, Apple was laughed out of court. But the litigious bastards won in the United States because as the saying goes, “The business of America is business.” And what that means is that we don’t care about innovating and creating stuff. We just care about allowing companies to trick their way to profitability.

If you like Apple products: fine! I don’t care. I still do most of my work with the vi editor, initially released in 1976. It’s not the best editor, but I’ve been using it so long that it is natural. And I can create keyboard mappings that do amazing things. I know that Emacs can do a lot more, but I’ll bet I can still do things faster in vi than 99% of Emacs users. So it’s fine to like one tool more than another. But don’t kid yourself: Apple is one of the most evil companies in the world.

4 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Apple iPad

  1. I generally don’t think of companies as “evil” or “good.” That’s applying human characteristics to inhuman things, and saying corporations are people, my friend, is perhaps the biggest mistake in corporate law. I think of them as morally neutral but potentially dangerous, which is why regulation is necessary.

    As for the iPad itself, well, frankly I don’t see the point of tablets. My laptop computer is more versatile, my iPhone is more portable. The iPad seems to have no aspect of itself that is not done better by one of those alternatives.

    • Corporations are like gods: they don’t care about anything that doesn’t self-perpetuate themselves. But the idea of a corporation was always that it was more or less a person. Mitt Romney wasn’t wrong in that statement. It’s just that the statement shows that the very idea of a corporation is ridiculous. If it were a person and it caused someone to die, it should be incarcerated or even put to death. But that never happens.

      When I was a libertarian, I was unique in being totally pro-union and anti-corporation. I thought that corporations went against the very idea of freedom. Ultimately, people — flesh and blood people — must be held accountable for their actions. This was, of course, long because 2008.

      I used to be a big fan on laptops and, of course, I still use my Linux laptop whenever I have to go out of town. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that I need a better keyboard. In fact, I’m on the verge of buying a new high tech keyboard that won’t kill my wrists.

      But I think tablets are great for watching movies and playing games. But they were great for that long before the iPad.

  2. “If it were a person and it caused someone to die, it should be incarcerated or even put to death. But that never happens.”

    Well, that’s exactly the problem. When that does happen- like when the accounting firm Arthur Andersen was convicted of its role in the Enron scandal- the firm is destroyed, but the consequences don’t redound to the people involved. Most of the time, the people at the top are well-off enough to get by, while for those at the bottom it’s unemployment lines. Of course, it’s the people at the top who were most likely the criminals. So those people should be directly tried for their crimes- charging the corporation as a person dilutes responsibility and allows the guilty to get away with it. Some (you, I believe) would argue that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    • But Arthur Andersen was not put out of business as a legal matter. It was just that its reputation was shot. But you are right: it should all come down to the people.

      My position is that the owner of a company should be completely responsible for any malfeasance. I know that sounds crazy, but that would have the effect of keeping companies small. You want to run a billion dollar business? Fine! But you could easily spend the rest of your life in prison. But the way it is, there is only upside for these top “managers” — no downside.

      Consider what happens to a writer turns out to have plagiarized. In most cases, their careers are over — at minimum for a number of years. Similar crimes of CEOs don’t even cause them to be socially shunned.

      Also: I don’t buy the whole thing of middle managers doing stuff wrong. I’ve worked enough in corporate America to know that it all comes from the top down. It’s like in a James Bond film, “Mr Bond is being troublesome; something must be done about him.” The Bond villain doesn’t need to say, “Kill James Bond.” Chris Christie is so guilty of the Fort Lee lane closure that it makes my head spin.

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