“The Daily has taught us all an important lesson — which is that tablets in general, and the iPad in particular, are actually much less powerful than many of us had hoped. Far from being able to offer richer content than can be found on the web, they actually find themselves crippled in unexpected ways.” — Kudos to Felix Salmon: The impossibility of tablet-native journalism for his acute and rhetoric-free assessment of the demise of the Murdoch iPad newspaper, The Daily. Some have taken this opportunity to vent against the old media titan, but there is no doubt that this product always felt like an uncharacteristic romantic flourish — something of a PR punt — rather than a hard-nosed investment. I suspect that admiration for Steve Jobs clouded judgement at News International, but the rapid closure underlines how the Apple tax on content was set ludicrously high (and remains so), relative to the earning potential of news applications. I cannot pretend to know how the process unfolded, but from afar it appears that Rupert Murdoch missed a valuable trick when he did not use his authority as a global publishing figure to ensure that the “most profitable company on earth” did not abuse his enthusiasm, and his industry’s anxiety, and negotiate a better deal for content suppliers. Instead he seems to have allowed Apple to set their own terms and funded a product which in its two years served the purposes of the iPad manufacturer far better than those of News International. And as someone who loves news products and can barely stomach the myth of Steve Jobs and Apple, (I prefer my flawed bosses to have ink-stained hands) this feels like a great shame.
* What everyone who will have shares in Rupert Murdoch’s NewCo should know writes ( @MichaelWolfNYC )
Now Apple want to make us believe they “own” round corners. If only an apple could talk its first words would be: “Bite me!” US patent law has become ridiculous. [ The Verge ]
Kottke wrote in 2002: “What if Apple had won the battle of the PC and was the largest company in the world? People would hate them. Why? Because they would be using the same tactics as Microsoft to stay ahead and keep every bit of that advantage in anyway that they could. Apple is the way it is because they are the underdog …” BOOM! [ Kottke remembers ]
@NickMotown: “So Apple have apologised for their awful maps upgrade & have asked that all complaints be sent to their Wolverhampton office in Nicaragua.”
Hollywood actor Bruce, Willis woke up one fine morning and realised what a bunch of greedy so-and-sos are the folks at Apple. But unlike the millions of other customers shafted by the company he is in a position to consider legal action against the technology giant over his desire to leave his digital music collection to his daughters.
Willis has discovered that, like anyone who has bought music online, he does not actually own the tracks but is instead ‘borrowing’ them under a licence. Willis – who occasionally sings with a blues band and has appeared in a video for Damon Albarn’s band Gorillaz – has apparently spent thousands of dollars downloading music on to ‘many, many iPods’, so unsurprisingly, he wants to be able to pass it on. And you thought celebs weren’t just like the rest of us … [ Daily Mail ]
The sheer value and power of Apple, says Michael Wolff, means it is fast morphing into a nationalistic icon, benefiting unreasonably from being THE beacon of profitability in an American political economy on its uppers.
So identified as American, indeed, is the brand now, he argues, that like the country its exceptional status of primum inter pares cannot be allowed to be challenged by anyone, especially if they happen to be a foreign outfit (like Samsung). The company’s litigious self-righteousness, Wolff predicts, will in time erode the brand.
Beh?! Provocation is Wolff’s stock and trade, and as such you can respond to this challenge as your brand tribe would require, but when the discussion moves to the subjects of copyright and patent law we come to an area where greater objectivity and consensus ought to be possible.
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