Archive for the 'Rants' category

 | August 31, 2010 8:57 pm

imageIn North America, it’s the second week of school.  This means that temperatures are declining, and of course, that students are complaining about money.  Early fall weather and student angst go together like tar and feather.

In the hallways and in the hangouts, you can hear beleaguered pupils talking about how much they spent on tuition and how much they will have to spend on books.  They’re probably cursing administrators, publishers, text-book authors and professors.  After too much alcohol, these world-wary folk will probably wax profound on the evils of higher education and how they are being exploited.

These things are part of the natural order of the universe, and are to be expected.  So, those of us in the periphery of the Universities largely ignore them and continue on with life.  But even though we don’t give the profanities much attention, this doesn’t change one fundamental reality: the intoxicated fools are right.

Higher education is a racket.  It’s a for-profit business that inflicts a maximum of pain for a premium penny.

Sure, some professors may be in the system for students (during bouts of deep misanthropy, I’d argue that this number is vanishingly small), but administrators are not.  They are there to extend the power of the institution, bring in big money, and collect fat paychecks.

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 | July 30, 2010 1:57 pm

Zombie Computers of DoomI now understand why companies write horrible, long and complicated terms of service.  It’s to give them a graceful exit when confronted with difficult situations.

Draconian terms of service help to prevent ambiguities, misunderstandings, and problems.  Moreover, if an issue should arise, a company can get themselves out before bodies start flying and customers begin to ask for “… brains … “

With that introduction … are you ready for another chronicle of My Adventures as an Inept Businessman?

1.

I’ve always believed in producing things of quality and doing a good job.  It’s something that was ingrained in me by parents and grandparents.  Integrity and the importance of standing by your work is also an indelible part of the industry where I gained my first professional experience: horse training.

Horse trainers, literally, live and die by their word.  When they are setting up new contracts, they need to clearly specify what is included and what is not.  They need to understand the desires of new horse owners and determine whether their services will meet those needs.  (They also need to make sure that meeting said needs won’t kill them.  Not all horses are easy to work with.)  Finally, they need to ensure that the clientele is happy with their work.

In horse training, reputation is everything.  If one unhappy horse owner starts telling unflattering stories, you can watch your stream of income dry up.  Just look at what happened to Monty Roberts.

(In the early 1990s, Roberts published an interesting book called “The Man Who Listens to Horses.”  It was touching, insightful, and mostly not true.  This led to a protracted lawsuit against his family, during which his credibility and reputation imploded.  He’s mostly stayed out of public since 2002.)

Through my horse training experience, I learned one important lesson: say something, mean it, and stand by it.  In the case of ambiguities and misperceptions, this means that you do your very best to meet expectations, even if you didn’t explicitly agree to them.  A great deal of my horse training business was built on word of mouth and relied, not on my skills as a horse trainer, but my reputation as someone who took care of his customers.  This was even true in cases where the horse training didn’t go as smoothly as I would like.

It turns out that this doesn’t always transfer to other industries.  Sure, in my day job as an engineer it does.  Understanding needs and then striving to meet and exceed them has allowed me to be very productive.  I’ve been able to publish, share my ideas, and even patent some (three and counting).  But in some of my other endeavors, I’m finding that some ambiguities can be deadly, which is how I stumbled into the the Zombie Computer of Doom.

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 | July 27, 2010 5:13 pm

OMG-UbuntuOver the past few weeks, I’ve had a great deal of fun watching Benjamin Humphrey and Joe Elijah (d0od), the founders of “OMG! Ubuntu!” try and start their own business.  If you look back over their Twitter streams, you will see a lot of noise about product ideas, expansion opportunities and big dreams; and some of it is really interesting stuff.

(Does anonymously spying on two strangers via Twitter make me some kind of a voyeur?)

They’re talking about expanding the number of websites they run (there’s already an OMG! SUSE! website) and they’re even experimenting with merchandise.  The whole thing is a fascinating experiment in entrepreneurship, and I sincerely hope that Humphrey and d0od are successful.  Already, they’ve been doing some interesting things and I look forward to seeing how they pan out.

Consider their first big venture, the OMG! Ubuntu website.  By any metric, OMG! Ubuntu is extremely successful.  It boasts 12,000 RSS subscribers, 4,000 twitter followers, 3,000 Facebook fans and an average of 2 million page views a month.  This places it right up there with behemoths like LifeHacker, Gizmodo and Daring Fireball.

With that said, I’m not sure how well their experiment is going.  Even though they have an established website and brand with tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of pageviews, I don’t get the impression that the OMG! franchise provides a comfortable income.

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Which raises a really interesting question: what is the best way to “monetize a project”?  We all want our work to be self-sustaining, and some of us would even like for it to be profitable.  But what is the best way to make that transition?

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 | July 21, 2010 3:51 pm

Galileo Moon Sketches - Half Full 2For much of human history, Science and Religion have had a very tumultuous relationship.  Both are systems of beliefs that attempt to answer important questions like: “Where did we come from?” and “How did we get here?”  But because they use different methods to arrive at those answers, it is to be expected that they will not always agree.  Nor is there a guarantee that both sides will remain civil.

Yet, even though Religion and Science don’t always get along, this does not mean that their relationship is one of simple antagonism.  Unlike what modern commentators such as Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens would have you believe, Science and Religion are not enemies.  Far from it, in fact.

If anything, Science and Religion are siblings.  After all, they share a common ancestry and purpose, and it’s only very recently (within the past 150 years or so) that any society – Western, Islamic or Eastern – has attempted to separate them.

Which is perhaps why it is so disturbing to see attempts by philosophers and believers to set them at each other’s throats.  Within the past few years, there has been a virtual renaissance of pro-Science (read, pro-atheist) books that have come out on the market.  These titles have advocated for a fact based morality, declared war on God, and argued that rational/scientific thought is incompatible with religious belief.  In one Slate.com piece, the author actually seemed to believe that Dr. Francis Collins shouldn’t hold a scientific leadership position because he happens to be an evangelical Christian.  (Never mind his hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and significant contributions to the field of genetics.  After all, it’s not like he sequenced the human genome or anything … )

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 | July 9, 2010 10:30 pm

Ubuntu-BlackSeveral weeks ago, the Ubuntu related blog OMG! Ubuntu! published an extremely interesting piece entitled, “Many Hands Make Light the Work; Few Make It Shine” by Benjamin Humphrey (of Ubuntu Manual fame).  The article repeated and expanded upon several mantras currently popular in the Ubuntu community right now, specifically:

  • Developers should give very careful thought to the features they add to their programs and ensure that they integrate with the desktop as a whole
  • Linux desktop has a large number of minor issues (often referred to as papercuts) which detract from its consistency and usability; these need to be fixed
  • It’s not the ideas that matter, but their implementation; and if you’re going to do something half-assed, it’s worse than if you don’t do it at all

Overall, I agree with the message of the article.  It shows that the design philosophy and attention to detail of the Mac  community is starting to permeate the Linux community; and that is a spectacularly Good Thing.

But even though I agree with the message of the piece, I found myself in opposition to it.  I wrote several diatribes in the comments, and then proceeded to defend those positions to the death.  (Even though a few of them were pretty extreme.)  That’s not something I do very often.

Since I can already see the strange looks and hear the unasked question, I’ll just go ahead and give it voice:

What on earth could set you off like that?  (Especially in such an innocuous article.)

There is both a simple and complex answer to this question.  Here’s the simple version.

You might say that the article (and especially some of the comments) touched a nerve.  Actually, that’s not quite right.  The article didn’t just touch a nerve, it scraped it raw, stretched it out, and encouraged Michael Flatley and his troupe to Irish stepdance all over it.

Ready for the more complicated version?

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 | July 3, 2010 5:00 pm

Java-IconIn general, I don’t really care for Java.  I think it’s slow, clunky, ugly … and, well, you get the picture.  But even though Java may not be my favorite computer language, I do recognize a fundamental reality: it’s a pretty essential component of any operating system, especially on Linux.

The amount of stuff that requires Java is absolutely staggering, and you don’t begin to really appreciate how important Java is until it stops working.  Which brings me to the main point of this posting, it seems like every time I upgrade my Ubuntu distribution, it wants to stop working.  Unfortunately, my recent upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 was no exception.

Now – in an ironic turn of fate — I actually understand the reason for that Java breaks whenever you upgrade to the newest version of Ubuntu.  From an ideological standpoint, I even agree with it; somewhat.  But consciously appreciating the rationale behind something and having to clean up its mess are two very different things; and I dislike adjusting my daily routine because of ideology.

Here’s the problem.  Ubuntu, like most Linux operating systems, strives to be Open Source.  As I said, part of the reason for this is ideological  — Ubuntu wants to include only the best Open software available – but part of it is also practical and legal, meaning that any GPL software package more or less requires that related software also be GPL.  And therein lies the problem with Java, and why it seems to break every time you update to a new version of Ubuntu.

There isn’t just one version of Java.  Really, there are two.

One is the Java VM, distributed by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle), that you’ve come to appreciate and love on every major platform.  Even though it is everywhere, the Oracle version of Java isn’t completely Pure; and for that reason, a few narrow minded zealots individuals feel that it shouldn’t be included in Ubuntu by default.

The other Java version, in contrast, is a true open source implementation that doesn’t require you to give up any of your free-software rights.  I’ll refer to it as Open-Java.  As I said above, there are good ideological reasons to support and use Open-Java.  But even so, there is also a big technological reason not to: they haven’t quite ironed out the kinks yet.

Every time I upgrade Ubuntu, I have high hopes for Open-Java.  And every time I upgrade Ubuntu, I re-learn my lesson: Open-Java is still not ready for prime time.  This morning, I learned it in particularly painful fashion while trying to finish a chapter in my book on the Zotero Cite-While-You-Write plug-in.

After performing flawlessly for months (nearly seven of them, in fact); the plug-in simply refused to work.  I would Open Zotero in Firefox, and that worked fine.  Then, I would launch OpenOffice Writer, and that would work too.  But when I tried to insert a new citation, my computer would beep and say, “Unable to connect.”

Zotero-LogoWhat the hell?

This was very frustrating to me.  Unable to connect to what?  OpenOffice was running and working.  Zotero was running and working.  There shouldn’t be a problem. Yet, there was.

I’m a control freak.  Random breakages annoy and anger me, and this particular breakage was absurdly frustrating because Zotero had worked just fine the previous week, prior to upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04

Now, at the time, I had absolutely no idea what was wrong.  I hadn’t yet realized that Canonical, in the interests of ideological purity, had replaced my carefully installed Sun Java with the Open-Java implementation.

Therefore, I turned to the Great Oracle of Google; and I it was there that I discovered the answer: my Java installation wasn’t working correctly.  Ah, Java.  Bane of my existence and annoyance of my computing.  As I said, I’ve been here before; twice actually.  When I upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10, and when upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 before that.  You’d think I would keep better notes.

But, at least I’m not the only one.  So far, I’ve received two different emails from others having the very same problem.  Which is why I’m writing this blog post.

Should you find that your Java programs have stopped working, here are the steps needed to fix it.

  1. Enable the Ubuntu partners repository.
  2. Next, install the java-virtual machine package and browser plug-in.
  3. Finally, set the Sun Java Machine as the default.

Here’s what it looks like from the command line:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-jre-plugin
sudo update-java-alternatives –s java-6-sun

And as far as Canonical is concerned: please only make upgrades to my system that improve the user experience.  I dislike having to fix things.  I would much rather focus on my work.  To say this actually pains me, because, for the most part, Ubuntu offers the best “It Just Works” experience of any of the major operating systems.  So, Canonical, why would you do anything to screw that up?

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Note: The Java icon used for this post was adapted from Java $PSD by VSX47.

 | July 2, 2010 3:24 pm

Since it was first released a year ago, I’ve been mostly happy with Windows 7.  It’s stable, fast, and generally better than any version of Windows before it.  And what’s more amazing is that I don’t really have any qualifications.  Since installing the beta version, Windows 7 has Just Worked.

Or at least, that’s what I thought.  About a week ago, I had my first major malfunction with Microsoft’s latest operating system, and it was a doosy.  In fact, you might just say that my computer staged an all-out rebellion.  It was unexpected, bloody, and most annoying; and it could happen to you.

Here’s what happened, and more importantly, how I fixed it.

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 | November 10, 2009 2:20 pm

As wonderful as the internet may be, it causes a lot of problems.  For starters, it is putting newspapers out of business.  It’s also radically changing how artists, writers and musicians make their living.  And in case you weren’t paying attention, it’s starting to look like a crisis.

Different groups have responded to the impending collapse of publishing in different ways.  Some writers sell sponsorships for their books and then offer an acknowledgement when it is printed.  Many musicians have adopted the self-publishing and distribution tools long available to authors, leading to experiments like Amazon’s CreateSpace.  And there are those who have gone the route of directly asking for contributions and donations to support their work; the digital equivalent of a performer passing the hat, you might say.

The problem is that some of these experiments are running head-long into good old American sensibility and propriety.  There are even people saying that some of the new content generation schemes are inappropriate; including that old bastion of American common sense, Ms. Manners.  Manners has even gone so far as to say that for a novelist to ask for a contribution is the same as begging, or panhandling.

She says it like it’s a bad thing.  The simple truth is that artists, musicians and storytellers have long been beggars.  The content industry of the 20 industry is a tremendously new invention, and as I noted above, it’s running into another time tested American value: frugality and a love of private property.

In fact, there seems to be this attitude that, “After I’ve purchased the novel or CD, I own the work and ideas.  I’ve invested in its creation.”   This little nugget rears it’s head most commonly when discussing music.  Even the great Steve Jobs has been known to say, “People don’t want to rent music, they want to own it.”

Except … that’s bullshit.  An interesting idea, or a well written book, or a beautiful piece of music isn’t like paying for a hamburger.  You aren’t reimbursing someone for providing you a good or service.  And I’m frankly shocked that anyone would think that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony or Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is only worth the price that paid on iTunes.  The true worth is far greater than the price of admission.  Would you seriously think yourself exploited for buying a second recording, or for paying to hear it at a concert?

Of course, that’s when people can be bothered to pay for content at all.  An exacerbating factor is that many people expect ideas to be free or very inexpensive.  How many times have you heard a variant of this argument, “I would buy more music (or books) if it wasn’t so expensive!  Nine dollars for an album is just out of my budget!”  Ironically, these same people don’t blanch at dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars for an iPod or iPhone.

While bad, this attitude can further devolve into something much more poisonous: “The artist owes me for reading, viewing or listening to their work.  My piracy is helpful!  After all, I am promoting them and making them famous!”  But being famous doesn’t pay the bills.  There have been many authors, artists or musicians who lived in squalor while enjoying enormous fame and prestige.

A music or literature pirate might even justify their position by saying, “I’m sticking it to the music industry (or publishing industry), they’re a bunch of greedy pigs!”  And the pirate might have a point, if he weren’t doing far more damage to the creator of the content than to its distributor.  Big businesses like record labels and big publishing houses don’t respond to that attitude by lowering prices or dealing fairly with their customers.  Rather, they become more draconian in how that content is disseminated.  Ever wonder why Digital Rights Management (DRM) and related technologies were born?  It might just have something to do with the American sense of entitlement.

Clearly, something needs to change.  Artists and musicians can continue to experiment with different pricing and distributions schemes, but I remain rather unconvinced that it will have a lasting effect.  What we really need is a return to the patronage system of old, with a few major modifications.  Certainly, artists should continue to sell recordings, books and other tangible goods.  But the public should also undergo a shift in our attitudes and ideas about what the arts are and how we support them.  That might mean that we transform our understanding of what a “donation” is.

When buying a book or donating to a writer, it’s foolish to think that you are somehow providing a fair compensation for the ideas and entertainment that you receive.  Instead, it is much healthier to view your contribution as a support so that the artist can continue to create future content.  This notion actually fits in pretty well with the concept of Fair Trade.

We also need to understand that the price we pay for a book or CD isn’t about the value of the materials.  Textbooks aren’t expensive because they are printed on beautiful paper with artwork and in color; they’re expensive because researching and writing their content is hard.  For example, the “Contributors and Reviewers” page for Gray’s Anatomy (the anatomical guide, not the television show) lists sixty different authors and content reviewers, though only the editor and chief is credited on the cover.

Except, how do you actually bring about the needed shift in attitudes and culture?

That’s an excellent question, and I’m not sure that I can offer any insight.  The Europeans have tried to shape public perception through generous subsidies.  But direct governmental support of news agencies and publishers is controversial for good reason.  As a cure, it might even be worse than the illness.  If you’ve got any ideas, let’s hear ‘em!

 | October 9, 2009 12:27 pm

There’s big news this morning: Barak Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  According to the committee, here’s why: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given it’s people hope for a better future.  His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

Huh?

Upon reading the headline and rationale, I had to do a triple take.  First response: this is an Onion story that someone allowed to get way out of hand.  Second response: clearly there’s a mistake, after all, the nominations were made before Barak Obama was even in office.  He hasn’t had time to engage in any diplomacy.  Third response: shocked silence.

I’m an enormous supporter of Obama.  I generally like his vision and thinking on health care reform, nuclear disarmament, and middle east peace.  But what has Obama done to deserve a Nobel peace prize?  I wasn’t aware that we were handing them out for intentions or even vision; and after looking at the language describing the prize, I remember why:

The Nobel peace prize should be awarded to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses [Emphasis Added].

There are a couple of keywords in that passage which defy intentions, for starters: “shall have done” and “best work”.  Both phrases have one thing in common: they describe accomplishments of the past and not the potential of the future.  Moreover, it’s more or less an expectation that the award be given for work already done.  A brief review of past Nobel laureates clearly demonstrates this:

  • Martin Luther King Jr (1964).  King was the face of the human rights struggle in the United States, and his philosophy, eloquence and organizational ability are probably the single most important factors of it’s success.  Even though he was the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize, 1964 came after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and “I Have a Dream”.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (1990).  This guy had just finished dismantling communism, thereby ending the cold war.  (And all this while worrying about the very real possibility of a military coup.)  It’s hard to argue that removing the threat of Nuclear Holocaust didn’t make the world a better place.
  • Nelson Mandela (1993).  After spending 27 years in prison for the audacious crime of demanding equality (given the much more seditious label of sabotage), he had finally realized a major agreement with the regime of South Africa, ending apartheid forever.  He then went on to unite his country and serve as the first president elected in a fully representative democratic election.

And now, Obama …  but what has he accomplished?

Sure, our European allies no longer hate us. Except … they never hated us in the first place.  The strained feelings of the past few years have had much more more in common with a serious sibling disagreement than anything else.  Now that the real problem (George W. Bush) is gone, relations have largely gone back to what they were prior to 2003.

I’ll give you that Obama has some wonderful plans to bring about peace in the Middle East …  But that has been a major goal of every US administration for the last fifty years.  And at the moment he’s made about the same amount of progress as his predecessor: that is to say, none at all.

Awarding the prize without a true legacy of accomplishment is not only controversial, it’s short sighted; and this is the second time in the last three years that the award has been a real stinker.  The 2007 award, given to Al Gore for his educational efforts to combat climate change, was also a tremendous disappointment.  Why so many divisive prizes all of a sudden?

Nobel prizes aren’t supposed to be controversial, they’re supposed to be obvious.  The scientific prizes (Physics, Chemistry, Medicine) aren’t awarded at the time discoveries are made, but after the utility and importance of those discoveries is known, which requires time.  It isn’t uncommon for the award to recognize work that was done twenty or thirty years ago.  Ditto for literature.  Why should the peace prize be any different?

Nor was there a scarcity of qualified nominees, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times summarizes it well:

[What of]  Dr. Denis Mukwege at the Panzi Hospital in eastern Congo, or Jo and Lyn Lusi in the Heal Africa Hospital of western Congo, or Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health for his tireless work in Haiti and Rwanda, or Greg Mortensen traipsing all over Pakistan and Afghanistan to build schools, or Dr. Catherine Hamlin working for half a century to fight obstetric fistula and maternal mortality in Ethiopia … or so many others.

Obama has the potential to be one of the truly great presidents, but before showering him with accolades, we should allow him to actually accomplish something monumental.  Becoming the first African American president was an impressive start, but is insufficient for a great legacy.  It’s impressive the way a birth is impressive and for largely the same reasons: it was the beautiful start of something new.

But Nobel Prizes aren’t birthday gifts, they’re lifetime achievement awards.  So shouldn’t we wait for a little bit more of that life to happen before handing it out?

 | October 6, 2009 4:24 pm

Apple Store - Glass Cube Regular readers of this blog might accuse me of having a deep seated resentment against iPhone, Mac OS X and Apple in general.  The only problem, of course, is that resentment is the wrong word.  Disillusionment and disgust are much more accurate.

You see, purchasing a Mac computer was one of the single biggest disappointments of my young technical life.  I had been promised so much!

If you read the ramblings of online pundits or dedicated Apple purists, you will know that switching to a Mac brings a Zen like state to your computing.  It will make you more productive, more creative, more organized, more intelligent and possibly even more attractive.

Except after nearly three years of owning one and using it more or less daily, I’ve come to a simple conclusion: my MacBook Pro, in addition to being a lovely paperweight, is a computer.  Nothing more, and quite possibly a whole lot less.  (Were it just a computer, I might even be able to use it the way that I want, instead of capitulating to the desires of a mega corporation.)

In fact, I’ve further decided that there is only one possible way that you can possibly claim that a Mac is easier to use than a PC (short of using mind altering chemicals, that is). You must  choose to stay within Apple’s suffocating glass greenhouse and allow Apple to decide what you can do and dictate precisely how you will do it.  The Apple experience demands nothing less.

Want to use Time Machine to back up to a network storage unit different than their ticking time bomb?  Sorry, you can’t do that.  “It’s not supported.”

Want to run that piece of software that worked just fine until you installed Apple’s latest glorified service pack?  Sorry, that isn’t going to happen, either.  “Backwards compatibility prevents us from creating innovative and utterly amazing ™ new user experiences.”

Or want to use that iPhone program that was approved at the highest levels, and then rejected without explanation?  “We just can’t allow that.  It could result in user confusion.”

It’s either Apple’s way or no way, even when Apple’s way is pathologically stupid.  Yet, there is no lack of iCult members who are positively giddy to be treated like iTools!

In contrast, when something goes wrong on a PC, people – rightly, might I add – blame Microsoft.  Microsoft makes a disgusting amount of money from their software; and in a sane world, money buys accountability.  We pay the CEOs of large corporations obscene salaries and even more ludicrous bonuses to fix problems.  If there’s a malfunction, someone is reassuringly responsible; if there’s a disaster, someone is handily available to be lynched.

Except, reality breaks down within the Church of Apple.  If a Mac user has a problem, you can rest assured that she will blame herself.  You just know that a technical glitch couldn’t possibly be because Apple made a mistake, or the product contains a flaw.  Apple merchandise is loving crafted and precisely engineered!  And the omnisicient Steve Jobs thinks of absolutely everything!

Is it really so hard to see that Apple’s technical accomplishments represent the pinnacle of human accomplishment? Or that every contact with the Holy Church is divinely sublime?

It is positively convenient to drive 50 miles to the nearest Apple store, wait for more than an hour because the iDisciples can’t keep to their appointment system, and lose your computer for a week and a half because a computer repair service doesn’t stock hard drives.  You get to talk to a human being, who will insult you to your face rather than over the phone!  simpsons-mappleIf you can’t get it to work, that’s your problem.  You’re obviously not smart or cool enough to be an Apple person.

In Apple’s pristine little world, it’s just inconceivable that Apple’s products might not be nearly so desirable as the punditocracy claims.  It’s blasphemy of the highest order, requiring that thorough penance to be administered by the all-too enthusiastic congregation of assorted hippies, losers and online freaks.  Any individual who so much as implies something negative about Apple deserves the accusations of bias – defined as anything less than a total willingness to sacrifice their firstborn’s blood on the iAltar – that will plague them for the rest of their public life.

After all, Apple has never done anything to encourage resentment or anger.  They’re far too busy voiding warrantees, sabotaging relationships and having a party to promote the thousands of invisible (albeit refined) features and APIs of their near-perfect operating system.  As a result, it’s simply incorrect to assert that I resent Apple.  Until such time as they do something improper, I’ll just have to classify my feelings as disillusionment and disgust.