Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Clickbait is Killing the Internet

theattentionmerchants_coverDid that headline get your attention?
Did you click a link to get here? Why? What did you expect to see? Okay, sorry, that title was “clickbait”. I want you to read my blog. I want you to stop whatever you were doing and visit the TechWite site, so I created a sensational title. That was my motivation. What was yours? It’s worth thinking about…


ClickbaitDo we really need to define this? It is what it sounds like: A title, heading, or image designed to DISTRACT the web user from whatever s/he is doing, click a link, and “go” somewhere else.


Clickbait is often about advertising, the end result to get you to BUY something. But it’s also about EYEBALLS, to get you to look at an ad, push up the “readership” of a page, a video, or person, or site. It’s not just in Facebook and gawdawful “news” web sites like nj.com. It’s on LinkedIN.

HINT: If an article has “Steve Jobs” in the title, especially if it’s about “Tim Cook is NOT Steve Jobs” it’s clickbait. If it’s about Apple or some other company being doomed or “beleaguered” it’s clickbait.

Dishonest clickbait is infuriating.
Let’s say just because it sounds interesting, you click on one of those links, “The Five Worst Plastic Surgeries of Playboy Bunnies”. That GRABS your attention. But gosh, now you’re on a page with an article about lawnmowers! Where are the bunnies? Nope, not even the kind with long ears. You’ve been had. And somewhere, somebody gets to claim your click and say their link got you to look at a web page. This is getting so bad that on YouTube you’ll click on a link for one thing, and end up watching a video for something completely different. And before you know it, minutes, maybe hours, have gone by. Where? Can you remember what you watched? Do you know what a “black out” is? I’m inventing a new term today: “the CBO“- Clickbait Black Out. If you’ve experienced this, it’s time to take a look at your digital life.

Think before you click!
Internet people, TechWite—newly committed to spending less time in a browser—is not going to write a long essay about this. Not today. But TechWite will offer you some sage advice: Think before you click. It could save your life, a few minutes at a time. Think before you click. Take a couple of seconds before you take the bait. TRY to remember WHAT you were planning to do today. Be aware. Right here. Right now. And may you go for a walk, outside, in nature.

—TW

Want to know more? These links open in new windows, think before you click!!:

Partly covered as a topic in this book by Tim Wu, “The Attention Merchants“.

Or read or listen about it here:  How Free Web Content Traps People In An Abyss Of Ads And Clickbait : All Tech Considered : NPR

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“Courage”, Innovation, and Headphone Jacks

 

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-4-22-08-pmA word about “Courage”:
Phil. Seriously? At this particular date, with all of its significance, the word “courage” applied to the way people use their $600 telephone is a mind-jarring mis-use of English. Is this just another case of pandering to the drama of Ellipticals? They can deal with it. It’s just a freakin’ jack!!

The crazed, emotional rants in advance of the official product announcements were generally from people complaining that they don’t want to give up their wired headphones. You don’t have to give up your headphones. You lose the jack.

Read the details people.

  • The iPhone 7 comes with Apple lightning connector “Earpods”—you connect them to your phone with a “lightning” connector. (The same connector used for your power adapter.)
  • Apple also includes a little “dongle” to connect your current headphones using the Lightning port.
  • This only applies to iPhone 7 and newer Apple devices going forward.
  • For now, you can’t charge your phone and listen at the same time. Wow. Big inconvenience.

iMac 1998—What’s a Big Inconvenience?? The first friggin’ iMac was a Big Inconvenience!
The first iMac was the first Macintosh with USB connectors. Printers? Scanners? Modems? Hey, none of the old stuff worked!! You had to buy all kinds of new cables, adapters, and peripherals. USB was brand new. And mice? Thank you, Jonny Ive, who designed this crazy ROUND mouse (which became known as “the Hockey Puck“) that spawned a whole industry of replacements and add-ons because it was so useless. AND there was no floppy drive to install all the new drivers!! Gone! All those boxes and stacks of 3.5” floppies were now about as useful as…well, nothing. We didn’t call that “courage”, we called that “Steve Jobs fixing Apple”.


screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-4-22-51-pmAirPods?
As for the new wireless earbuds, airbuds, EarPods, AirPods, whatever…those beautifully designed Dyson-style, GI-Joe sized, mini-hairdryers will only work for people who can put them, and keep them in their ears. I can’t. Love the technology. Hate the shape.

Here I am giving away another brilliant idea again: “Pod Shapers”, a special adapter for the AirPod to hold it on your head because it won’t stay in your ear. Especially for the Boomer market, available in a range of fluorescent colors to make them little buggers easier to find!

To The Whiners—If you really hate Apple roping you into its eco-system and “forcing” you to go wireless and buy airbuds, EarPods…whatever, then go on, buy a Samsung. Just, make sure you also buy a fire extinguisher. 😎

—TechWite

 

Apple, Hogwarts of Tech, w/o Headmaster Jobs, no longer a “growth” stock??

via Looking for Signs That Apple’s Runaway Growth Is Waning – The New York Times.

Sure, Steve Jobs called the iPad a “magical device”, and if you listen to the press, Apple is the Hogwarts of Technology. Here’s the old and new evidence compiled by the Ministry of Magic:

  • “Reality Distortion Field” – The perception-bending mind trick of the late Headmaster, Steve Jobs, notorious for making Apple employees, industry pundits, the press, and anyone else who was close enough to listen, believe that something, some new product, some new idea, that wasn’t that hot, was really going to be the next big thing. 
  • “Halo Effect” – Attributed to the iPod, said to lift the sales of Apple’s other products, as if riding a broom, making even the Ron Weasley of the corporate desktop—the humble Macintosh—look good!
  • “The Apple Effect” – Now, after decades of attributing rises and falls in the whole stock market to Apple’s price, and the company’s “inability to maintain the pace of innovation“, the analysts have coined this magical influence over the stock market, the “Apple Effect”.

Do not doubt that Apple is responsible for the rise and fall of the stock market. The New York Times has a cool graphic to prove it! (See Big Data Analysis, below.) I guess if you’re Tim Cook, it’s better than being “beleaguered”.

theAppleEffectNYT

This is bad news though, because Apple stock has traded down this past week, causing the pundits and analysts to waste lots of ink (or these days, electrons) pontificating on the unlikely future of the most successful business in history. Oh, gosh, is it no longer a “growth stock”? Is it now become one of those boring old “value stocks”? This is a strategic question that must be answered! (At least for someone at Goldman Sachs.)

But does it matter to most of us? When Apple stock is selling at $100+ a share? Can Amir Average afford a few hundred shares when he is still not in the “one per cent?” Is it Growth? Or is it Value? And does it really matter?

You won’t hear this often from TechWite, but, I DON’T KNOW.

-Techwite

Happy Birthday Windows 95

I Love Working on a Macintosh.

Does that sound weird? After all these years? To me it doesn’t. But to people who have never worked on Macs—or for some reason that I cannot fathom—have worked on Macs but just not liked it, let’s face it, it sounds weird. Because even in this enlightened new millennium, most computer users use Windows, and sure, they eventually get work done, but honestly, how many Windows users love working on Windows?? Seriously? Even the geekiest of Windows Weenies, the hottest Windows programmers, the most talented of Windows technicians, how many “love” working with Windows? I’d wager, very few. Very, very few. And Mac users? When they switch, when they get their first Mac, what do they say? You’ve probably heard it too: “I love my Mac!”

This is not just hearsay or advertising. I’ve been in this business so long. For years people would tell me their sob stories about their Windows computers, their malware, viruses, their crashes, and slow downs, and on and on. As a consultant I refused work on Windows. There was plenty of work; Windows is a job-creation-machine. But to me, it was always the same nightmare, helping with the same stupid problems. It was no challenge; it was an affront to my creativity. It was “stone knives and bear skins”. Friends, relatives, and potential clients whose business I refused all got the same answer: “Why don’t you get a Mac?”

The price difference was often the reason, and that has diminished over the years, but even deeper, the answer, in the old pri-mac-evil days was pretty basic: “If I get a Mac, who will help me when I have a problem?”

And this was true. With Windows, you could have your brother, father, sister, friend, colleague at work, TOTAL STRANGER, or homeless person on the corner help. The power of ubiquitous monopoly meant that nearly everyone knew someone who could help them reboot their their Pee Cee, format the hard drive, and re-install Windows. (Which was the standard process to fix 95% of the issues with Windows – which, by the way, is why it was called “Windows 95”).

Telling people, “If you get a Mac you won’t have all those problems,” was not enough. Apple support in those days was notoriously hit-or-miss. Apple had a 90 day warranty! (I kid you not! Ninety days!!) There was no Apple Store. There were no “Geniuses”. And Apple had yet to launch a convincing and brilliant Mac vs. PC advertising campaign.

So Microsoft helped. By releasing Windows 95. Ten years after the original Mac, Microsoft embraced the interface so completely, copied the Mac OS so totally, that in the end they won over more users to Apple. “Windows 95” legitamized the Macintosh just as Apple was suffering the “Time of Darkness.”

And here again we have to acknowledge a strategic vision that moved Apple. Maybe it was Steve Jobs—he always gets the credit, for all I know it was Phil Schiller—or someone else at Apple, but they built a comprehensive strategy to address all those objections, one at a time, piece by piece.

Over time, it started happening, they all started to get Macs. For awhile I helped some of my clients move their stuff, but Apple had the tools, and the Apple Store, and the Geniuses available, and soon there wasn’t much work there, and that was okay. It was satisfying to have all these people tell me, “I finally got a Mac! You were so right! It works great!” These days, Macs have become so mainstream, so accepted, so successful, that I don’t even hear that anymore.

Being a Mac user isn’t special or unique. It’s just a good choice. You’d hardly congratulate someone for buying a Mac any more than you would congratulate someone for buying a decent car. And…most people nowadays even understand and accept the emotional attachment that people have for their Macs.

And on this important anniversary, I just want to say, thanks Microsoft. Happy Birthday Windows 95. I love working on a Mac!

Apple Flashback 2002: The Paradox of The Steve

Apple Stores and Employees Under Fire

John Manzione, publisher of “a webzine that professes to ‘Celebrate The Mac!'” writes some OP ED about his less than enchanting experiences with staff at Apple Stores, including comments such as: “Steve Jobs lives in an Ivory Tower and doesn’t hear his customer’s frustrations.” Duh.

This is the paradox of THE STEVE. To keep Apple (in the current non-specific meaningless politic-speak vernacular) ‘moving forward’, Steve can’t look back at the slow Macs that won’t run Oh Ess Ten, or the hundreds and thousands of dollars of peripherals we own that don’t work with TEN, or the frustrations of the HUGE BASE of existing Mac users, at the cool OS 9 stuff that is missing from EX, or some of the really stupid ways that EX bumbles around its interface.

Steve can’t look back. He has to look forward. It’s his job to get us excited about the UNIQUE design of the new iMac, at the freedom and ease of wireless networking, and at the awesome capability of FREE software such as iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and iDVD. His is a forward-looking perspective reflecting the words of OUR PRESIDENT (Bush II), ‘I think we agree, the past is over.’

From UnpredictableMac Issue #41, March, 2002,
“It’s a new millennium.”

Apple Flashback 1996: “Powered by Macintosh”

Email_from_Guy

Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago, Apple was a renegade. Corporate IT departments hated Apple because Macintoshes were different. Steve Jobs had been ousted from his own company, and Apple was floundering under a slow parade of unimaginative leadership. The media, smelling blood as Apple stumbled, piled on like a swarming mass of leeches on a fallen water buffalo, never mentioning Apple without also using the word, “beleaguered”.

“Evangelist” Guy Kawasaki, using a new and powerful marketing weapon called “the Internet”, and assisted by a ragtag band of Mac enthusiasts known as “EvangeListas”,  promoted the Mac and kept the spark of life in Apple until the eventual return of “the Steve” and the introduction of Apple’s premier “Think Different” product—the first iMac. Those of you who have only been using Macs for the last ten years or so may find this hard to believe, because Apple is such a successful consumer electronics company and its products are so awesome, but it nearly died, and that’s the truth.

I was an Evangelista, and now and then one of my ideas appeared on Guy’s Evangelist. We fought the good fight!

MadeOn_lime.jpg

What’s in a name? The Oh Ess Ex Files

TEN, TEN, TEN!! OSX!

It just doesn’t work guys! Expecting our brains to look at three characters and pronounce one as the letter ‘OH’, and the next as the letter ‘ESS’, and then the third as the letter ‘EX’.  NO! NO! NO! (See what I mean?) The third as the ROMAN NUMERAL ‘TEN’!

Only a stubborn genius like Steve Jobs could have insisted on OH ESS TEN. Even the most simple minded Marketing person at Apple must have foreseen what a royal pain this name was going to be. Did any of them have the cajones to tell Steve? Probably not. Even if they did, he’d say,

“Hey, I was right about disk drives, wasn’t I?”

And they’d say, “Let’s call it ‘AQUA’ Steve, people will like that!”

And Steve’d say, “No. Don’t you get it? Generation ‘X’, uniX. It’s gotta have an EX. It’s a marketing thing!”

And they’d say, “Leave the marketing to Marketing, Steve, that’s what you pay us for!”

And Steve says, “I pay you? Everyone says the worst thing about Apple is its marketing. They’ve said that for twenty years! Have I been paying you for twenty years? I wonder what our market share would be if you were working on commission!”

“Steve, you want them to think EX but say TEN. It’s too complicated.”

And Steve would say, “You bozo, I killed Newton, tell me that was a mistake! We’re profitable!”

And they’d think, “Palm and Handspring, they’re doing well…” but they’d say, “How about we just SPELL it ‘OS 10’?”

And Steve would reply, “Are you still working here? OS/2 is IBM’s Operating System. Do you think I want ANYONE to have the slightest perception that OH ESS EX – damn it! – OH ESS TEN, is in any way related to some antique rubbish code from IBM??”

Well we know who won that argument. The  Steve won. The product was named “OSX”,  and properly pronounced “Oh Ess Ten”. But he lost the battle. Because to this day you can hardly find an Apple-Store-Newbie-scruff, much less a GENIUS, who calls it anything but “Oh Ess Ex”.

From Unpredictable #18, May 14, 2001