Announcement: iPhone 10th Anniversary Not A Celebration But Instead Reason To Admit Defeat. Or. The iPhone Represents How The Old Economy Won.

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

The thing I remember most from Steve Jobs presentation of the iPhone ten years ago wasn’t the device itself. No. The thing I remember most were three words that he said: “Internet Communication Device.” Nothing else in that iconic corporate presentation remains with me. I don’t care how the thing looks, what colours it comes in, how the edges are designed or how they put the on/off switch exactly opposite of the volume switch (on the iPhone 6s) which means every time you try to adjust volume with one hand you also turn it off.

The concept of an internet communication device is as profound now as it was then. The difference being, Apple missed the boat on making it. With that in mind, I’m still waiting for an Internet Communication Device. I’m still yearning for it, too. I’m still dreaming, like in Star Trek, all I gotta do is tap my chest and I can place a call to anyone simply by saying their name. Put another way: building an internet communication device is as far off now as it was ten years ago. Put yet another way: we should be over and done with words like cellphone, phone network, AT&T, Verizon, GSM, signal strength, etc., etc. Yet we’re not. Instead we’re still stuck and hung out to dry by the old economy that has won the battle. The iPhone is the device that proves: old beats new. The new bows its head in submission. Old farts rule the world. Gee. Turning over in your grave, yet, Steve? No. Of course you’re not. You didn’t really know what you were doing when you claimed that the iPhone was something more than just an old economy toy. Or?

Was Jobs and his über arrogant company fully aware of the significance of the third denominator they/he had put into their gadget but have long since abandoned? It was a phone, it was an iPod–or a music player–and it was an internet communication device. The phone meant nothing to me. Since the advent of carry-around phones only one thing stands out about them (all). The cellular networks that they depend on are shit because they are ALL run by dinosaur companies that should die. Talk about a chain only being as strong as it weakest link!

As far as carry-around music players go, even though I have an extensive digital music library at home, the idear of lugging thousands of songs around with me is just stupid. Alone the misery of music through headphones–an extra frivolous cost to an already frivolously priced gadget–should motivate people to curb their music listening habits. Music, like wine, shouldn’t be consumed in a plastic cup at a baseball game in order to wash down a krappy hotdog. (Or should it?)

At the least, the phone and the iPod aspect of the iPhone should not be celebrated after an initial decade of extravagant nothingness. Like everything else in the tech industry iPhones are nothing more than widgets in the vastness of monopolies and corporate do-nothing humdrum of an old economy that won’t die. So little is innovation in a world where screens get smaller, cameras get fantastic-er and computing capabilities in handheld devices get super-er. Seriously. What is there to celebrate when, even after all the pageantry of gadgetry, we’re still stuck like a crumb in an old man’s beard that is being eyed by a distant seagull?

I got my first iPhone at the end of 2012. Even though I admired the look and design of the device from afar, the cost of it is just stupid. How much does stamped-out, glued components, made by slave hands in Asia cost! As far as cellphone usage goes, I used to buy cheap, regular cell phones (where the f’n battery lasted a week) and even today my new iPhone isn’t any better. And with that same iPhone I still use prepaid phone service–because of how much I hate cell phone providers. The contracts one has to sign with old economy corporations in order to afford a new-fangled, fancy smart phone is at best a cruel joke. Why do people put up with this shit? But that’s neither here nor there. My wife likes iPhones. When she gets one, she’s nice enough to buy one for me, too. Who am I deny her that pleasure?

But get this. Even though I can afford to pay around seven hundred dollars for a phone every few years, I still think they are frivolous, extremely overpriced, and have yet to meet my expectations of what/how technology should be. Indeed. There should be no celebration of the iPhone because its invention has only lead to convention. Fcuk Steve Jobs! Fcuk the iPhone! Fcuk closed eco-systems. Fcuk iTunes. Fcuk app developers. Fcuk all you well paid useless corporate minions that keep dinosaurs alive.

As usual, I’m off subject. My point of this post is to simply state that Apple has missed the boat when it comes to technology. We see this in 2016 and how the company is regressing with its products. The new MacBook Pro line of laptops is a joke. The AppleTV, probably the first product they’ve ever made where it got bigger instead of smaller, is also a joke. iPad sales are down because the iPad Pro creates an unnecessary product line in an already overpriced product line. The Apple Watch… Oh, the Apple Watch. You’ve got to be kidding me. Should I even mention the headphone jack issue in a device that was initially brought to market as a music device? Apple is not a technology company as much as it is a smart-ass, sell shit to suckers, fashion-marketing company–designed in superficial California. Btw, when is that earthquake gonna finally sink California?

What is an internet communication device? Simply put, it is a device that is not the iPhone, Apple and an eco-system that locks one into nothingness. At the time Jobs said those words while introducing the world to his new gadget, he was deep inside his distortion field. Either that or he was tripping on acid. Wait. Are they both the same thing? Nomatter. Obviously I can’t criticise the iPhone too much. It is part of the gazillions of dollars that Apple has in offshore accounts and lots of people use the device for crazy things like making films and taking pictures and and and. And that’s the only thing that matters anymore. I guess. But then again, like the Swedish pop band Abba once said: money money money in a rich man’s world.

Fail upwards.

Rant on.

-t

Prince v Metallica, Deposing The Middleman, Boxsets In Heaven

worst boxset

First A. This post is NSFW. First B. The window of opportunity has closed. We are screwed because moneyed interests are the new Gods of art, creativity and life. Or. I would really like to see a change in the music industrial complex now that Prince is gone.

Second. I am a child of two mothers. The first mother is the cold fucking war. And what a cold bitch she was. My second mother was the fucking music industry which, to this day, I wish I would have never suckled her teat.

Third. Not that it matters, but here are a few artists that disillusioned me in a grand way.

– Elvis (he never gave me a Cadillac and I met at least three of his illegitimate children and they were all assholes)
– Charlie Chaplin (communist bastard)
David Mamet (boy is this guy a loon in reality)
– Prince (I even refused to copy his box set–don’t see pic above)

Fourth. Not that it matters even more, here a list of artists that illusioned me.

– Elvis (because if god was a man (and she wasn’t) this is what he would sound like)
– Charlie Chaplin (you fucking communist)
– David Mamet (thank you mother may I have another)
– Prince (short guys need a break too sometimes)

Moving on.

It took a lot of years for me to be a able to afford music. Reason? Well, money, of course. I’m sure, like many others, in my youth I had to prioritise expenses. That meant that through my late teens to early adulthood the only music I ever owned was a few vinyl albums and a small collection of cassette tapes. Indeed, through this “ownership” I was able to enjoy Elvis, Kiss, Barbara Streisand, Johnny Cash, etc. The only way to listen to new music was to listen to radio or, get this, share with friends. Eventually listening to vinyl was replaced full-time by cassette tape. Reason? Friends. And. I couldn’t copy vinyl–in order to do something as simple as listen to music. And get this. I listened to cassette tapes until my late 30s–well into the 1990s. Reason? You guessed it. Money.

By the mid-80s I was living here or there and trying to go to this college or that college and all the while being influenced, whether I liked it or not, by music. Music was everywhere. Once, while enjoying an evening out with a bimbo on a cheap date at some dive-bar, I asked her: “how is it we can listen to the music in here without paying for it but if I want to listen to it at home it costs me an arm and leg?” (I know. It’s a naive question. But go with it for now.) She didn’t understand my question. At the time I was in a second year economics course where the music industry and its profits was our topic of study. She was learning the science of space engineering–or something like that–which was kinda cool since I can claim to have spent some time at a college that produced two NASA astronauts.

The reason I asked such a question about music was because, other than fucking really smart college bimbos, I liked listening to music. Yet I couldn’t understand why, if music was everywhere, it was so expensive to have with me at home? Indeed, dear worst-reader, my bitterness at not having any money to afford the simple things in life (other than really cheap dates) started early. I guess being an American I was spoiled. (No duh!) I had to put gas into my car so that I could drive to work but I when I worked I didn’t earn enough to pay rent, gas, college and have the luxury of music at home? Seriously? I never liked the idea of music being a commodity. Obviously it wasn’t food or water but it was part of life. For that reason, I hated radio because it was more a bombardment of boredom and redundancy than it was a medium of artistry fucked by commerce.

Cassette tapes at the time cost somewhere between $5-$10 but you could get them real cheap used or, better yet, pay nothing by copying them from friends. Anyone out there remember those double cassette decks? Needless to say, by the time I skipped town on the freak show–i.e. jumped the ugly blossoming #americant ship of Reaganomics–I had a nice collection of cassette tapes with music from the 60s, 70s and even the confused 80s. Cassettes, btw, are the reason I prefer albums over singles. I feel as though, from the 70s on, certain musicians cultivated the album almost as though they were writing a novel. To me, buying singles is just stupid. Fucking Buddy Holly, bless is soul, is dead, man. I want an album that tells a whole story. But I digress.

By the time I was a young adult–scavenging through this consume to survive life–I had become so disillusioned with the bullshit of the music industry that I practically gave up on it. I was satisfied with my old collection of tapes–including a few tapes by Prince. When I moved to Europe in 1989, the only stuff I took with me, other than clothes and a bunch of used paperback books, were, among others, the Batman soundtrack.

Throughout the 90s I was working and traveling in Europe. During this time I entered into what I call my dead music years. That is, I can’t remember buying one album or artist during the whole period. By the late 90s, though, there was something happening that beckoned my return to music consumption. One cool thing about working and traveling around Europe was that jazz bars were usually pretty easy to find in all major cities. I fell in love with live jazz music whether in Stockholm, Madrid or Paris. Once the traveling started to wane (by the end of the 90s), I yearned for this music evermore. Having met some audiophiles here and there, I quickly had a collection of burned CDs of jazz galore. I think I got my first CD player and stereo system in 1999. Enough about my stingy music preferences.

Like I said, when it came to buying music–actually paying for it so I could listen to it while in the bathtub or jogging or fucking some bimbo–I was skewed. I gladly paid money to hear music live but when it came to the ridiculous cost of owning it and then having the means of actually playing it through a decent sound system–fuck that! By the turn of the millennial my skepticism and cynicism for the music industry was at a pinnacle. The music business was more of a scam than ever before. I mean, come on, here’s a question for ya, dear worst-reader: how often has music been paid for twice (if not more) as people moved from analog to digital? What? Never thought about that? The music industry certainly thought about it. Ka-ching!

Cassette tape was my favourite way of listening to music for more than twenty years. All the while, it never crossed my mind that I was in anyway duping a musician when I copied a cassette–or made one of those fancy compile tapes. Did I care that ultimately music was/is a business? Fuck no. It’s just fucking music and if you don’t play it so that people can listen to it, well, go make your money elsewhere. Do I espouse an arrogant point-of-view? Damn right I do. But I assure it’s no more arrogant than those rich middlemen or lame-ass “artists” that think getting out of bed requires a price paid. My point is, damn right I’m arrogant about how the music industry has screwed us (all). But as I write this, I stand by it. And in my re-awakened anger, I’m also getting ahead of myself.

Maybe a third of my cassette tape collection up to the point of giving up analog music around 2005 was copied music. That meant that well into the era of Compact Discs, I was still listening to analog music–most of which I paid for. As far as what I didn’t pay for (directly), I no longer copied cassette to cassette but CD to cassette. The itch of digital was there; the itch of convenience, as well. In the early 2000s I think I downloaded three songs from Napster. The mp3 quality at the time sucked. Then Apple bought SoundJam which they turned into the music greed monster iTunes. When Apple declared that one song download would cost .99c, I quickly started to hate Steve Jobs for changing the music industry the wrong way. Do you know how many .99c I would have to pay to download my music collection? In fact, the whole music industry, with the help of Jobs–as far as I’m concerned–is the first human endeavour to actually immortalise what should have been a dying middle-man, top-down driven industry where the price of an album or song is the same as it ever was (if not raised) yet the costs of distribution has been moved to almost nil. Indeed. The old-economy of music won. The rest of us lost.

For most of my life I got to listen to a lot of music by ways other than compensating the middleman of comfortably contracted musicians. Does that make me a criminal? In the eyes of certain musicians, I am most definitely a criminal. In the eyes of misconstrued law making by government that is owned by moneyed interests, I am also most definitely a criminal. My response to being labelled a criminal, though, is thus: fuck you. With the recent passing of Prince, I feel compelled to say it again–but this time not out loud and not, out of respect, to him.

Allow me to interject a new fiend: Metallica.

I recall vividly Princes’ fight with the company he signed a contract with. This fight was so stupid that he even changed his name to a symbol in order to avoid that contract. Even though I was and will always be a big admirer of him and his music, he really lost me when he did this krapp. It’s not that I don’t think he deserves ownership of his music. Of course he does. But he, like so many other artists, signed it away. I suppose I could have some sympathy for him if he were an artist that came out of nothing. But his “career” started at a very young age. He was well schooled and learned in the industry by the time he signed with a record company. When that record company decided to sell boxsets of his music–because it was trying to greedily offset what it considered losses from internet downloads–he suddenly took a stand. A stand for what? As far as I’m concerned, the stand he took against his contract ruined his musical career. Or maybe he had already peaked. Whatever. He should/could have enjoyed his days but the bitterness ate him up from the inside. Or maybe not.

Of course, Prince is not alone. The other musician(s) I love to hate because of their reaction to file sharing, the Internet and modernity: Metallica. Talk about jerk-wads and greedy little cock-suckers that play their guitars and wave their long hair as though their dicks are their mouths! Since I won’t say it to Prince right now, this goes out to musicians who put their bank accounts before the ears of those who will listen. Fuck you Metallica for being the pricks you are when it comes to kids just wanting to listen to your music and don’t give a shit about what contract you signed with the devil to make you popular! Fuck you double!

One last thought. I hope Prince Roger Nelson sees the truth about the music industry and how it screwed not only him but everyone who deserves to admire his art without the coercion of greedy middlemen. And fuck Metallica thrice.

Rant on. -Tommi

How/Why Your Vote Doesn't Matter: Money Is (Above) The Law.

stained flag

Read some legislation this morn. I guess I woke up feeling patriotic. But that soon waned. Indeed. Get a load of this krapp. A couple of Senators–you know, those guys in government that are the dirty hands and unwashed feet of the corporate and military industrial complex–have drafted yet another useless bill that is supposed to prove they are where they are because of democracy. Or is it idiocracy? Nomatter. The bill starts out with this phrase:

No person or entity is above the law.

Now, I don’t know about you, dear worst-reader, but there is something akin to an oxymoron-thing going on here–the likes of which have been seen before. This is how the puppets running the freakshow that is (the current iteration of) #americant prove everyday how incompetent and inept they really are. Gee, which begs me to ask: who votes for these people?

“No person or entity is above the law?” WTF! Above the law, like, banks are obviously above the law? Or above the law, like, how the US Treasury can be plundered for war mongering and that plunder can be shifted so that the middle class–decimating it in the mean-time–pays for the plunder? Or how ’bout above the law when it comes to dumbass religious beliefs that suddenly can be turned around using fancy text (that is above #americants third grade level reading capacity) and thereby legislate reverse discrimination laws that allow really, really stupid white people to continue their hate (in the name of the law) of people who think and act differently?

Above the law = stfu and just go buy something (and if you can’t, stfu even more). Other interests are at work in your government. Or something like that.

Anywho. Two fourth grade level senators recently put together a bill that would help government deal with the reality of digital encryption. Keep in mind there are conflicting realities here. On the one side there is the all-powerful, authoritarianism of government (over people) that lies to us when it says that law enforcement is for our own protection. On the other side there is the fact that the digital economy of the future can’t function without strong encryption. I mean, come on. Almost every time you access a website where you want to buy something or register something encryption is used. To make legislation that enables the government to be above that encryption–in the name of law enforcement–is Orwellian at best and detrimental to the future (economy) at worst. And all this (effort on the part of inept politicians) just because Apple stood up to an arm of big brother–the FBI. Wow.

And so the lie goes: there are most definitely some above the law and there always will be. Inept third grade voters elect inept fourth grade politicians. And there we have it.

Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

  1. For a simple clarification in all things-stupid in #americant law making | re/code
  2. Or you can read the bill yourself | draft legislation via scribe

At Odds With Our Government

three dollar bill apple logo (low res)

For posterity’s sake below is worst-writer’s transcription of Tim Cook’s tell-all, ask-all and all-around cute little keynote speech before he starts hocking gadgets to the world and thereby protecting the bottom line, March 2016. I’ve listened to this speech several times. Each time I listen it gets under my gander more and more. But enough of my anti-corpo cynicism. Or maybe not.

Thanks for joining us.

Blah. Blah. Krapp about selling a billion products. Blah Blah. More Corpo krapp. Blah. We’re the best in the universe. Blah Blah Blah. Amazing.

Before we get started today I’d like to address something. We built the iPhone for you. We know it is a deeply personal device. For many of us the iPhone is an extension of ourselves. About a month ago we asked American’s across the country to join in on a conversation. We need to decide as a nation how much power the government should have over our data and over our privacy. I’ve been humbled and am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support that we’ve received from Americans across the country and all walks of life. We didn’t expect to be in this position at odds with our own government but we believe strongly that we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and your privacy. We owe it to our customers and to our country, this is an issue that impacts all of us and we will not shrink from this responsibility. -Tim Cook, Apple Inc.

Is this churchillian? I mean, does it motivate one to fight or believe (in something)? Is this profound? Will we take it with us through life’s trials and tribulations? Is it the mind of a sage? Perhaps such wisdom will save us someday. Or is this a new level of bullshit-pure never before heard? Is it a mind that makes a movie? I don’t know why this churns a feeling of hostile indifference in me. It’s the same feeling I get when I hear conspiracy theorist’s churn about how a flag can wave (or not wave) when supplanted on the moon. Even though some people think this little diddi by Tim Cook was worth every brief word, I profanely disagree. Fu*k! I think Tim Cook and Apple are shameful and out of order and the company should be punished for insubordination (to humanity). I also think it is an example of how low the corporate world can go–without even knowing it’s reached new lows. But that’s the world we live in, eh! That said, I also think the FBI should be disbanded and should have never been created in the first place. The NSA is just another krapp government agency and also deserves to be in the trash heap of authoritarian, war-mongering government history. These types of law & order and war-mongering institutions, set along side greed-mongering corporations, should be proof enough of the neo-feudalism that so many are confusing with fascism. Yet nothing happens. At beast, all the hordes of corpo automatons think is that the government is not the same as a private corporation. Really? Private corporations deserve to make money, they say. Government is there to protect us, they add. Etc., etc. In fact, in a healthy democracy, these entities, these institutions, would look quite different. And there we have it, eh, dear worst-reader? Do we live in a healthy, functioning democracy? But I digress. §As I worst-said here, Apple taking a position where it tries to protect its bottom line–and let’s face it, if Apple were to lose its ability to secure and encrypt its iPhones the ramifications on its bottom line would be horrendous–and thereby turning the government into the boogyman seems like a stretch at best and yelling fire in a crowded theatre at worst. Who does Apple and Tim Cook think they are? And let me reiterate one more time. I’m not defending the FBI or the government here. It’s just that the reaction to this cute little bullshit speech about Apple’s bottom line has opened a door of sympathy when a door of hostile disapproval should be ripped off its hinges. But I guess with all the dysfunction ruling our lives, it’s hard to see through the mirror of self annihilation. So let Apple continue to move jobs abroad, hide tax revenues from the American people, have the poor of the world make its products in sweatshops and covering it all up in rose-gold. Rant on. -Tommi

Designed In Ain't Made In #Americant

designed in aint made in

Upon his death (or joining Elvis) Steve Jobs left behind one of the most successful companies the world has ever known. Almost five years later Apple Inc. is still a behemoth of cash and profits. Which begs worst-moi to ask the following: is it me or does it feel like Apple is riding on laurels? Every event, like the one yesterday, brings with it a swath of news and debate that has never before existed for any company. There are rumours and speculation about Apple’s products and services months before these events take place. Apple pundits and tech journalist in and out of silicon valley seem to know exactly what to talk about–and talk they do. Yet, what about the customers? The what? §You know, it’s one thing to be a crazed biker and put a Harley tattoo on your arm showing your devotion to a brand. It’s another thing for a brand to create a rumour-industrial-complex where everyone is waiting to hear what’s next, what’s new, how much money can I throw at you. With that in mind, would I rather tattoo a pic of a Harley Davidson low-rider (with Pam Anderson on it) or an Apple logo on my ass? For one thing, even though Harley’s are based on totally outdated technology, people are devoted to them as though they’ve never been warned about golden calves. Coolness has that effect, eh! What? Am I claiming that Apple isn’t as cool as Harley Davidson and not worth the/a tattoo? No. I’m not worst-saying that. What I’m worst-saying is that the buyers of big and loud Harley’s know that the suits running that business can only fuck with them so much. Harley was/is as much a company made by its customers (just study up on what it means to “chop” something) as it was/is made by #americant. Plus, Harley’s can still be associated with Made-In America, baby. Apple Inc., on the other hand, is Designed in California. Even though I know exactly what designing something means, why Apple had to go there is a mystery. But then again, when one considers who runs the show these days, maybe it’s not such a mystery after all. With all the ageing and über-lucky college-grads running Apple–who look more and more like slimy used car salesmen that discovered GAP or Banana Republic after winning the lottery–it’s no wonder they have no qualms about fucking with customers till the cows come running–by design. Hence, your products are not made with blood, sweat and tears–in America. Anyone jump to his/her death from a Foxconn rooftop lately? §Let’s talk some reality here. We buy Apple products so that Apple can make them obsolete. Period. Which brings me to recycling and robots. I can’t believe Apple presents a recycling robot yesterday as though it’s corporate culture of lies and compulsive behaviourism are two different things. Take my word for it. I’ve been one of Apple’s sucker customers for most of my life and I’ve work in compulsive behaviourism, too. I’ve tried to treat an old Mac Classic and a Mac Colour Classic as though they were a ’57 panhead. But I ended up throwing both of them away as though one day I saw the light. Obviously I would never have done the same with a Harley. And there, perhaps, is the difference between brand loyalty and brand suckerism. In the tech world, for me at least, Apple is the best of the worst and far from the best of the best! Harley is not even a fucking motorcycle–it’s a Harley! But I’m off subject. §After giving up on the corporate career dream-nightmare (compulsive behaviourism) and thereby adjusting my life so that my only major expenses are buying mostly used or refurbished Apple products, I feel comfortable claiming that for the last few years Apple is the same as mediocrity. On top of that, Apple is still riding the luscious wave its hippy guru Jobs left it (laurels). Which begs the question–even though it was one of his last wishes that no one ask it: what would Steve do? More on that in a sec. §I’m even more comfortable saying that since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, with a slight uptick due to the iPad, Apple has delivered absolutely nothing worth mentioning in years. Now that it’s brought back the iPhone 5s in the form of the 5se, I’m shaking in my old biker boots. The light at the end of this tunnel is shinning at me with the hope of a digital alternative to my/a Apple future. Come on, Apple! You couldn’t at least redesign the new iPhone 5se? You know, make it thicker, stronger, more battery life? And that’s not all. Why is the new AppleTV bigger than the old one? Where is a new Mac Mini with discrete graphics! I’ve even read that the old 5s cases will fit the new 5se. What? Heck, my mind started putting together the irony of Apple’s new recycle robot and the same phone they’ve been making since 2012. I thought: wow, now we know what Apple is up to. “Recycle” is code for putting new guts in old phone with a bit of added bang-boom-shazaam. Ingenious–for profits? Disgusting–for innovation! Boring–for customers. But I digress. §I suspect Steve Jobs was an Ayn Rand loving neoliberal. If that’s true, what would his reaction be to where Apple is today? I bet he would shake the fucking house down. The confusion of products (Apple makes watch bands!), the mess of iTunes (Apple Music), and most Macs sold don’t even have discrete graphics, says everything–if you understand the issues that customers need to face in the digital economy. Graphic capability is the reason Macs survived at all–with or without Jobs return to the company. But I suppose all that is beyond most sucker customers. §Which brings me to the issue of Apple reacting to the government in its fight against the FBI while trying to sell laurels. The fact that Tim Cook even addressed the issue at the beginning of yesterday’s event blows my mind. Are you serious, Apple? I wonder if Steve Jobs would have made such a lame-ass speech as Tim Cook did yesterday. Even mentioning government while trying to sell gadgets at this level is mind-boggling to me. Is Apple to blame for that or is government, failed democracy, The Donald, or college grads who never learned to think for themselves? It would have been just as good if Tim Cook would have said nothing about one of the greediest human entities in history and its greed-fight with greed government over something as stupid as an iPhone 5c which was used by a greed religious nut. Which brings me to reality. §Tim Cook, you lucky dog–for there is nothing else to call the college grads that behave their way to the top and when they get there all they can muster is mediocrity, #americant, and a whole bunch of nothingness. It cannot be said enough, dear worst-reader, this world is run by these college grads, i.e. joksters and fools in well tailored casual outfits. So it’s no wonder that the angry Harley guys out there are finally getting their voice in/via The Donald. But, again, I digress. Rant on. -Tommi

Everyone's Day In Court Will Never Come

justice FBI apple

Subtitle: Juxtaposition of Hope v Change v Consuming v Survive v Gee, I don’t know, …Orwell?

You know, recently, before our move to India, I floated the idear that we should probably update our ageing digital devices. My wife’s iPhone 5S was looking pretty beat up and my iPhone 4S was almost a brick due to Apple’s draconian iOS updates. It only made sense to consider updating this stuff before our move as India is a pretty expensive place to buy tech krapp. My wife half-joked not to worry about it because we could just take a flight from Bangelore to Malaysia. “It’s a only quick flight”, she said. “Malaysia’s the cheapest place to buy tech krapp,” she added. But all worst-bourgeois joking aside, my floated idear was taken seriously and we ended up buying, without contract, new digital devices before our move. I bought my new iPhone 6S in the US during a recent visit and my wife bought one too while we spent a last weekend in Europe, albeit in London. All in all, with trade-ins, selling of old devices, exchange rates, we’re pleased with our status as über-consumers. And let me add that we got these devices without those crazy-as* phone cell contracts. Which means, we paid full price for this krapp! Does anyone know what full price is these days as we finance, lease, perpetually rent everything? But I digress. §Recent developments in the tech world have made me worst-think twice about our purchase. Conclusion (so far)? There is, obviously, another immense hidden cost of owning a piece of The Digital World. Let’s face it. Beyond the reality of there being a tech cabal out there made up of a few companies who have managed to monopolise everything–screwing consumers royally–what is the real cost we’re paying for having a connection to The Digital World? Enter the recent debacle of the FBI v Apple. It’s one thing that we are forced to pay such manipulated, unjustifiable prices for this krapp. I mean, come on! How much does it really cost to make this stuff? I’ll wager it costs next to nothing to make an iPhone. Considering that incremental updates to the device have been taking place since its intro, and the profits Apple has made since then, yeah, Apple has to create the illusion that it’s expensive. Apple is good at illusion (and distortions fields). But, again, I digress. §So what about the issue of whether or not government will use these devices as tools of oppression? I mean, how far are we away from the retina scanners of Minority Report? Isn’t that what the whole debate is about right now? In the movie Minority Report we see retina scanners doing their thing in order to sell us krapp. Of course, when a rogue agent is being hunted by religious and conservative nutbags, those retina scanners serve a completely different purpose. That “purpose” is so immense that people even gouge out or replace their eyes to prevent government spooking. And so. When I hear the FBI–the largest and best funded police agency in the frickin’ world!–bitch & moan like a spoiled girly in spring-time that it can’t crack an iPhone 5C, I start to tear up. On top of that, just watch the mongrels from the FBI laud their reasoning for breaking some seriously good encryption that the private sector has spent a pretty penny developing. Indeed. As much as I hate the technology cabal that manipulates markets, subverts free commerce, treats consumers like dirt, the encryption technologies that have been developed are worth every bit of praise. Encryption for the masses is supposed to be part of being free–not just preventing hackers from accessing your paypal account or your sexy selfies. And so. It’s not tears that come out of my eye ducts when I hear govt./FBI bitch & moan like only conservatives can, it’s puke that comes out. Or, put another way–after taking a deep breath–I’m flabbergasted at what’s going on between the federal government and a private corporation in the land of the free. Or course, as we all know, it’s the land of the free to be stupid, right Donald Trump followers? Which means, it’s not expected that the masses actually comprehend what’s going on in our digital world. That’s why I believe the FBI went public with this issue. The FBI knows that #americants are stupid and will react to this issue based on populism, patriotism or who yells the loudest. These lemmings have long since been driven off the cliff’s edge or rational thought. In fact, when you consider the forum in which a debate about privacy and freedom is taking place, i.e. the united mistakes of #americant, where The Donald, a psycho maniac, is leading the republican party down the path it was always meant to traverse, it’s no wonder that a legal precedence is about to be made regarding liberty and individualism? A precedence that favours government power and the collusion of big tech. Wow. With all that in worst-mind, I’m wondering if 2016 will go down in history as a moment of truth. Based on what we’ve experienced from government up till now, combined with the greed mongering of monopolistic industries who obviously haven’t paid off their government reps enough, we already live in the Minority Report future. Time to figure out how to remove your retinas, baby. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

 

This vs That And Something Above The Snowball(den) Effect

As usual, dear worst-reader, worst-writer is shocked. (But I’m not surprised.) I’m shocked that #americants once again just don’t get it. I mean, come on. Do you really believe that Blackberry died such a tragic death because the Canadians are so bad at managing a corporation? Or could the whole demise of Blackberry have something to do with the fact that it lost its edge in security? Ok. Ok. I have absolutely nothing to substantiate a claim that Blackberry went under because it lost-out on the secure-phone game. But I can say this: the fact that Apple has to answer to the US government because it made products that are secure enough to prevent a multi-billion-dollar funded security apparatus from cracking customer passwords…. Yeah. ‘Nough said. With that in mind, let’s do a worst-writer run-down of what’s happened here so far.

  1. Yet another horrific murder spree takes place in San Bernardino, CA, USA. This murder spree is different than any other murder spree because, well, it was committed by… (wait for it) “terrorists”.
  2. One of the murderers possesses an iPhone, which, btw, was issued by his US employer.
  3. After the murder spree and during the subsequent criminal investigation of it, it’s determined that the culprit shut off the auto back up settings of his US employer issued iPhone.
  4. When the US authorities discovered that a few days of backups were missing they decided that they needed that information in order to further their investigation.
  5. The US authorities, via court order, requested that Apple provide a means to crack the security settings of their iPhones. In other words, Apple has to rewrite its iPhone operating system so that US investigators can attempt to re-install the new operating system on the phone they want to crack. If that works, then US investigators will attempt to “brute force” cracking the iPhone and its user’s access password.
  6. Brute-forcing a password means nothing more than being able to submit millions upon millions of password inputs on the phone. Preventing multiple inputs of passwords is the fundamental means of securing the device.

Ok. I’ll stop there. But if you get a chance to see the video I’ve linked to in this post (see above), heed this: the entire conversation about this issue is wrong. The fact that Apple’s security methodology is being discussed means nothing more than the US has failed after it has invested multiple trillions of taxpayer dollars into a system that was unable to do anything about… the Boston bombing, 9/11, London, Madrid, Paris…

Once again, #americant and the automatons that are part of its hugely expanded government protection apparatus have failed. But then again, failing upwards is winning. And so. While failing all one has to do is tap into the ingenuity of corporatist that don’t fail (as much) and all that taxpayer waste will be fine. Or maybe not. Good luck suckers. And…

Rant on. -Tommi