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Newton Rising: Is the Next iPhone Device a G3 MessagePad?

Newton 3.0
Daniel Eran Dilger
Rumor sites have long been atwitter about Apple resurrecting the Newton MessagePad. While officially dead for nearly a decade, those rumors got a boost this year when Steve Jobs rolled out the iPhone as a combination “mobile phone, iPod, and breakthrough Internet device.” The iPhone first appeared to be Jobs’ version of the Newton, but after the iPod Touch revealed Apple’s long term plans for targeting a wider range of devices, the idea of a tablet assistant gained new credence as a realistic possibility. What does Apple’s past reveal about its future? Here’s a look.


Jobs: the Anti-Newton?
The popular story has always been that Jobs hated the Newton as a representation of late 80s Apple CEO John Sculley’s vision, not his own. That folk history was used to explain why Apple canceled the product shortly after Jobs return in 1997. Reality, of course, is far more complex and nuanced.

Back in the mid 80s, Jobs and Sculley did clash over the future of Apple. Jobs had always pushed for the next big thing. As the Apple II began facing competition from more established vendors, particularly IBM, Apple rushed to deliver the Apple III; that rush resulted in a sequel so infamously disastrous that the company went back to releasing new Apple II models. At the same time, Apple’s long term plan was to deliver a major jump in desktop computing that would bring into the mainstream ideas that had previously only been limited to tech demonstrations. Apple invested tens of millions into the Lisa project, and just two years after the Apple III, it delivered the first graphical desktop in a commercial product that businesses could use.

The next big thing was making that technology cheap enough to be viable for consumers. To drive the graphical consumer desktop as the next thing, Jobs jumped into the Macintosh project, which ran in parallel with the development of the Lisa. After its high profile debut, the Macintosh failed to generate sales in line with Apple’s expectations. Jobs pushed for an expansion into business as a way to ignite Mac sales, outlining the Macintosh Office strategy to establish the new system as a networked workstation with shared file and print services.

The more conservative Sculley didn’t see the potential of the Mac, and instead pushed the Apple II line, which continued to sell profitably. The year the Mac arrived, Sculley introduced the portable Apple IIc and proclaimed “Apple II Forever!” That message resonated with people who had bought the machines, but offered no real hope for progressive development in the future. Sculley pushed Jobs out of Apple by working to narrow his influence. In 1986, Jobs left Apple in disgust to start his own company, develop the next thing after the Mac, and deliver the premise behind the Macintosh Office.

Sculley replaced Jobs with Jean Louis Gassée,who shared Sculley’s conservative outlook and worked to position the Mac as a high end PC and low end workstation while Apple continued to sell Apple II machines well into the 90s. While Gassée derided Jobs’ plans as the “Mac Oraface,” Mac sales only began to take off after desktop publishing pushed Macs into a business role. The LaserWriter had been a key element of Jobs’ Macintosh Office strategy for developing practical applications for the new technology Apple had funded.

Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers

Steve Jobs and 20 Years of Apple Servers

Enter the Newton.
Apple continued to develop advanced technologies in the spirit of the Lisa and Macintosh; many of these were applied towards the new Knowledge Navigator concept advanced by Sculley. While the company’s engineers worked to develop the technology required, the business case for the new platform was unfocused and limited in terms of offering practical applications for what Sculley proposed.

Sculley also drove the product with conservative fears, not progressive idealism. He worried that if the new platform did too much, it would eat into sales of the Macintosh, which by 1990 had grown dramatically and was creating its own weather. After Jobs departure, Apple migrated from the Apple II to the Mac not decisively, but reactively. Now Sculley was about to make the same mistake again in the 90s.

Dubbed the Newton, the conceptual product line originally aspired to do everything, serving as a tablet computer, a handheld mobile communicator, and a desktop multimedia system in various prototypes. By 1992, the concept had been whittled down to a multipurpose handheld device the size of a book. Sculley demonstrated an early prototype at the January 1992 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and referred to it as a Personal Digital Assistant.

Over the next two years, Apple’s engineers scrambled to ship the device Sculley had unveiled. Jeff Hawkins, who would later start Palm, also worked to develop a comparable product called the Casio Zoomer. It arrived first in 1993 with a $700 price tag. It didn’t work well, didn’t really try to do what the Newton promised, and ended up an insignificant failure.

The Newton MessagePad arrived in the fall for $700 to $900. Like the Apple III, it had been rushed to market to beat looming competitors. The entire industry was abuzz with pen computing and tablets, but nobody had delivered anything practical that really worked. The Newton had significant problems, but clearly led the pack from its debut through its four year existence.

Newton Lessons for Apple's New Platform

Newton Lessons for Apple’s New Platform

The MessagePads.
One major reason why the Newton MessagePads enjoyed an early lead was Apple’s partnership with Acorn to develop a custom processor specifically designed for new mobile applications. Called ARM, originally for Acorn RISC Machine, the efficient, fast processor allowed the Newton to do things that systems built from commodity parts couldn’t. Apple had earlier attempted to use AT&T’s Hobbit processors used in the EO organizer running PenPoint, but they were far outclassed by the results of Apple’s ARM partnership. Gassée later took the Hobbit chips to Be Inc. to create the BeBox before later transitioning it to PowerPC.

At the same time, Apple was also pioneering mobile laptop technology. The new PowerBook had debuted in 1991 using a design developed in partnership with Sony. The PowerBook introduced the modern laptop design with a keyboard placed near the screen and a palm rest tracking device below it, rather than the conventional design of the 80s that had placed the keyboard on the front edge of the unit. In the early 90s, Apple’s Mac sales made up roughly ten percent of the entire world’s PC sales, which enabled Apple to fund development of innovative hardware designs that pushed the state of the art.

In addition to its hardware and processor experience, Apple also had invested millions into developing intuitive interface technology on the Macintosh. That made the Newton MessagePad an incredible intersection of Apple’s latest and greatest technologies. Unfortunately, despite all the engineering and design that poured into the Newton, it didn’t really have any clear purpose. Mobile workers could envision applications for it in healthcare, transportation, and other industries that needed to manage large amounts of on-demand data in a small package, but none of those niche industries could float the development work needed to maintain that level of hardware and software expertise. Outside of gadget lovers, mainstream consumers didn’t see $700 of value in the device.

Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn't Symbian

Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian

Newton and the Fall of Apple.
The early 90s Newton wound up very much like the early 80s Mac: an excellent product demonstration with no obvious applications outside of highly specialized markets and bleeding edge enthusiasts. Once markets did begin to materialize, Apple found itself increasingly in trouble in other areas. Sculley’s insistence on targeting Apple’s Mac technologies at a small but profitable publishing and creative niche limited the company’s potential, and his signing away the rights to Macintosh technology to Microsoft back in 1985 resulted in Apple’s own sales being challenged by Microsoft’s copycat but more expensive Windows software running on shoddy PC hardware.

Sculley began ignoring Apple to pursue a political career and was finally asked to leave shortly before the Newton shipped. The company then drifted under the control of visionless managers appointed to be CEO. The tech press described Apple as enjoying a Golden Age, and historical revisionists still assert that Apple was flying high during the years when it was really coming undone, between 1985 and 1995.

By the time Apple acquired NeXT and brought back Steve Jobs in 1997, there was little room left for fanciful products with no clear market. However, the Newton was not among the first projects shelved in the merciless housecleaning Jobs began to get the company back into the black.

How CPR Saved Apple

Ameliorating the Newton Crisis.
In 1997, Jobs and existing CEO Gil Amelio saw Newton differently. While introducing the NeXT acquisition, Amelio announced plans to spin Newton off into a subsidiary that would license the technology to other makers. Motorola and other vendors were already on board, building devices like the wireless Marco based on Newton technology.

Jobs initially presented the Newton as a product with potential, but only within Apple. After the board promoted Jobs to Amelio’s position mid-year in 1997, Jobs immediately pulled Newton back inside Apple, creating the impression among many wags that Jobs was intentionally planning to scuttle the Newton out of a petty grudge against Sculley maintained from a decade prior. There are a number of reasons to think this Cringely-style soap opera dramatization was not an accurate portrayal of reality.

  • First, Apple was full of other Sculley-era decisions that Jobs didn’t attack, including the migration to PowerPC. Jobs not only supported PowerPC at Apple after his return, but had earlier planned to adopt the processor architecture at NeXT until other factors made that impossible. If Jobs were petty about avoiding good technologies just because they were associated with Sculley, surely he would have made different decisions regarding the Macintosh.
  • Another example is ARM, the mobile processor technology that Sculley oversaw in Apple’s partnership with Acorn in the late 80s and early 90s. If Jobs killed the Newton in 1998 out of petty hatred for a CEO he disagreed with, why did he embrace the use of ARM within the next two years to deliver the ARM-based iPod in 2001?
  • And what about QuickTime, a technology portfolio created at Apple after Jobs left in 1986? At NeXT, Jobs followed the lead of Sculley’s Apple in building a compatible framework called NeXTime, and after returning to Apple, Jobs promoted the technology as a key asset of the combined company.
  • Another example is Ink, the software version of the exceptional handwriting recognition technology developed for Newton 2.0. If Jobs wanted to snuff out Sculley’s vision for fragile emotional reasons, why did he resurrect the most obvious element of it for Mac OS X and promote it as a feature?

There are many other examples as well. Rather than trying to bury Sculley’s PDA, it appears Jobs worked to salvage every valuable vestige of Newton. His initial plan was clearly keep Newton afloat. Between 1993 and 1996, Apple hadn’t really offered anything new apart from some minor performance tweaks and a significant software update that fixed the early issues with its print recognizer. In early 1997, Amelio introduced a new series of Newton products including:

  • the MessagePad 2000, with a much faster StrongARM processor, networking support, more RAM, and higher resolution 480×320 greyscale screen.
  • the eMate 300, a lower cost mini laptop Newton designed for education.

After pulling Newton inside Apple a few months later, Jobs reportedly responded to a private email questioning the move, saying “the Emate has a bright future,” and “sales of the current MessagePad are brisk. [...] Don’t worry, we are pulling this group back into Apple so that we can invest even more sales and marketing resources into these products, rather than dumping the products into a small spin-off which lacks such resources.”

A month later, Apple released the revised Newton MessagePad 2100 alongside a new, simplified lineup of G3 PowerBooks and PowerMacs and a new online web store. If Jobs had wanted to kill the Newton, releasing another new model would have been a poor way of accomplishing that. However, just six months later, the Newton was canceled. Was Jobs acting out a bizarrely misleading strategy to break the hearts of Newton fans, or were there business realities involved?

The Egregious Incompetence of Palm: Newton Supernova: 1997-1998

The Egregious Incompetence of Palm: Newton Supernova: 1997-1998

Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
There are a number of good reasons for Apple to kill the Newton. The most obvious was that Apple was rapidly losing money and in difficult financial shape. In 1996, Apple had lost $816 million under Amelio. In fiscal 1997, the company announced a net loss of $1 billion, although that included $667 million in expenses related to buying NeXT. The company had to make some difficult decisions to get back on track.

Apple’s corporate image was tainted by failure. The company not only losing money, but also quickly losing brains. Talented engineers were leaving to start solo projects or join other companies, and pundits held out little hope for the company’s future. Without hardware and software talent, all that remained of Apple was a sales organization in shambles, troublesome operations and logistics, an aging software platform, huge unsold inventories of obsolete hardware and parts, and a kick me sign affixed by every wag in the tech industry.

Apple also had both a Mac and Newton clone program in place. If the Newton licensing contracts were at all similar to the disastrously misguided Mac licensing agreements, its no wonder why Apple shut things down rather than trying to pump blood from the turnip deals.

More Reasons Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
There were also problems specific to the Newton itself. It had been designed with an ivory tower isolation from reality. It used esoteric software technologies that made it highly unique and difficult for many developers to approach. Many of its features were never completed. In particular, its desktop sync software was never really finished, a serious flaw in a device aimed at being a PC companion rather than a laptop replacement.

By 1998, the half decade old Newton OS needed a significant overhaul. Maintaining it would have required supporting and fixing problems discovered by all the licensees and the various customer niches they sold devices to. At the same time, Apple wasn’t selling significant volumes of the devices, and licensing contracts couldn’t support the amount of new investment required to keep things in motion. Early 90s legacy issues would have dragged down future Newton development potential like a million tiny anchors. Apple was working to scrape legacy from the Mac with the New World USB iMac; doing the same overhaul for a device that had no significant prospects as a mass market seller would have been far less sensible.

Additionally, the Newton’s processor hardware was tied to Digital’s StrongARM, a business Intel acquired in late 1997. Intel viewed Apple as a competitor, and gave no reason for thinking that the StrongARM roadmap would be favorable or relevant to Apple and the Newton. Apple didn’t have the resources to redesign the Newton for a different processor family; given that the Newton OS was developed in the early 90s, it may have been impossibly difficult for Apple to try.

Even More Reasons Why Jobs Killed the Newton.
One of the most significant problems for the Newton’s future came from Palm, which by 1998 was flooding the market with $300 organizers. The eMate was $800 and MessagePad was around $1100. In order for Apple to compete, it would need to drop most of what made the Newton useful, and essentially redesign an alternative to the Palm Pilot.

Instead of trying to beat Palm, Apple partnered with the company in 1998, selling it Claris Organizer for use as the Mac Palm Desktop software and encouraging Jeff Hawkins’ new Handspring to support the new iMac directly using USB rather than an old serial port dongle that older Palms required. Unsurprisingly, Handspring also copied the translucent colors of the iMac in its own hardware.

That cooperation turned out to be an excellent decision for Apple, because the euphoria related to Palm in the late 90s fell like a lead balloon after the dotcom crunch dried up any market for frivolous PDA toy gadgets.

That pinch hit Microsoft especially hard, because it had done just the opposite in trying to unseat Palm’s success with WinCE/Palm-sized PC/Pocket PC. Microsoft’s billions invested in WinCE never amounted to anything. Had Apple followed suit, it would have drained off vast resources of its own, but Apple lacked the profit margins of Microsoft to sustain similar losses.

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile

Newton’s Children.
Instead of trying to copy Palm’s existing success, Apple targeted the next thing. In 2001, that was digital music. Sony and Microsoft were fighting to establish proprietary DRM fiefdoms that would lock down music playback to only their own licensed players. Apple used its mobile engineering, software, and device design experience to deliver a music player that had large capacity, fast and easy synchronization with a desktop PC, long playback, and compatibility with existing interoperable music formats.

Wags who today crow about Apple’s “DRM lock-in” and monopolization of the music industry conveniently forget to mention that the credible alternatives not only supported DRM optionally like the iPod later did, but actually required music to be encoded into either Microsoft’s WMA or Sony’s ATRAC formats in an effort to trample standard MPEG MP3 out of existence. Perhaps they’re just bitter for being made fools of for their breathless cheerleading in support of Windows Media prior to its spectacular failure.

Rather than draining Apple’s core resources as the Newton would have, the iPod helped to polish Apple’s corporate image, widen its audience, and served a critical role in rolling out Apple’s parallel retail store strategy. Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

The iPhone and Beyond.
With the release of the iPhone, Apple leveraged its ability to consistently deliver well built, battery-savvy, connected mobile devices to the mass market in a new way. The company also used its powerful merchandizing presence in retail to promote the iPhone in conjunction with the iPod and Mac products, spurring sales of each. What’s next on the horizon?

iPod Slate. While pundits keep repeating hope for Bill Gates’ vision for a laptop missing a keyboard that you write on with a stylus, a more likely alternative for consumer attention would be an entertainment tablet that acted as a larger version of the iPod Touch. It could share components and design elements with Apple’s rumored ultra portable laptop, adding economies of scale to bring prices down. Don’t expect a big Touch to cost less than the existing model. A 7“ touch screen might be possible for around $600, or perhaps less if it piggybacked onto an iPhone service plan to deliver ubiquitous mobile data service for a monthly fee that helped subsidize the upfront cost.

Buy iTunes tracks, watch videos on demand, and interact with discoverable data services patterned after Starbucks’ iTunes WiFi Store options. Stream content from Bonjour-discovered iTunes libraries and iPhoto albums just like Apple TV. Use it as a picture frame when not in active use. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and the iPod Slate would look a lot like an ultra thin, color Newton without a stylus.

iPod Slate

iPhone 08. Obvious hardware advances for the iPhone could include additional Flash RAM and support for UMTS. AT&T’s UMTS service in the US works on a different radio frequency than the UMTS service in Europe and Japan, and doesn’t yet offer the same level of coverage. Most people enraptured with the 3G buzzword are thinking of EVDO, which is common in the US but will never be supported by the iPhone because it is only offered by GSM rivals Sprint and Verizon Wireless, both of whom invested in Qualcomm’s CDMA2000; EVDO is Qualcomm’s proprietary 3G.

Among the GSM markets including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 3G means UMTS, the WCDMA standard that serves as the 3G upgrade to GSM. UMTS was intended as a joint future for both CDMA2000 networks and GSM providers, but Qualcomm pulled out to sponsor EVDO as its own system instead, dividing the US in half between UMTS and EVDO. In other CDMA2000 markets, particularly in Japan, operators are moving to UMTS instead of EVDO, prompting Verizon Wireless and Sprint to attempt to hide their dead end technology behind the 3G buzzword. Unfortunately for them, most 3G phones are so bad that they can’t even browse the web faster than the existing EDGE iPhone, despite having access to a faster network.

Both EVDO and UMTS require more processor power to decode transmissions, resulting in a major hit against battery life that was deemed unacceptable for the first generation iPhone. The iPhone 08 will likely support UMTS for Japan and Europe, and may be offered in a US/AT&T version for early adopters who want faster networking than EDGE in more places that WiFi can be found.

Pundits insisted back in January that the iPhone would have to be ”3G“ in order to sell in Europe. I predicted Apple might likely sell the existing EDGE version there this fall, and Europeans would buy it just as they bought the EDGE-only LG Prada phone, which even lacks WiFi. They laughed then, and more recently they tried to insist that Apple wouldn’t be able to sell any in the EU, but I was right and the original iPhone is selling better than expected right now, despite lacking the 3G seal of approval.

There is similarly no evidence to suggest Apple will or can deliver a 3G iPhone prior to mid or late 2008. When it does so, the 3G version may only work overseas. If Apple does deliver a US/AT&T 3G/UMTS version at the same time, it will spark upgrades among American power users and globetrotters, but it will also create a vibrant resale market for original iPhones at values far higher than any second hand mobile phone has ever seen in history. The 3G hype is highly oversold and I don’t get to repeat that often enough.

Secret iPhone Details Lost in a Sea of Hype and Hate

Macworld: Ten Myths of the Apple iPhone
Secret iPhone Details Lost in a Sea of Hype and Hate
iPhone Grabs 27% of US Smartphone Market

I’ve got more ideas for Apple in 2008 coming up tomorrow in the next article. If you have some good ideas, send them in and I’ll post the best ones.

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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84 comments

1 benlewis { 12.27.07 at 3:55 pm }

Great point about the Sony and MS vision for downloadable music in 2001. At that time, Napster 1.0 was a popular way to get music for free (yes it was stealing and it was wrong, but the threat of stealing is what changed how business was done and opened the door for the iTMS). I remember going from a 512 MB Diamond Rio to a 5 GB iPod priced at about $100 more. Sony was offering garbage players that would (as you point out) only play its own format. The amazingly great iPod cemented MP3 as the default supported format from that point on.

2 Steve Nagel { 12.27.07 at 4:19 pm }

Apple does best when it sells solutions, not just products or services. Not sure how the iSlate fits. I did read this morning that Apple has a patent for ordering, say, coffee without getting in line. Now that’s a solution: Eliminating queues. That, with an isight/ichat capability, and I am there.

3 Ashley Grayson { 12.27.07 at 4:36 pm }

I love Daniel’s deeply reasoned and historically informed essays. This one offers great context for discussing a notepad-like product. However, I believe the driver lies not in technical motives but a huge product gap in the publishing industry. Apple tends to fill unnoticed gaps of usefulness, not just extensions of existing products, like a lighter, thinner laptop. I’ve published my own hope (not quite prediction) at my blog:
http://graysonagency.com/blog
Basically, a 6 x9 or 7 x 10 or even larger slate-like product could quickly become the iPod of e-book readers because the “flick/pinch” interface of the iPhone and iPod touch is already a better reading interface than the Sony or Kindle products.

4 mikeg { 12.27.07 at 4:49 pm }

Excellent article capturing the early years of Newton. Having used a number of devices from the 90s, there were only two units I felt were useful, the Psion, and the Newton. Yeah, they had their problems, but as far as utility goes, these units beat Windows CE, Palm, and Handspring units.

With respect to a true 3G iPhone being difficult to deliver in 2008, I wholeheartedly agree. Believe me, I want this to happen, as I am one of those holdouts for the next generation of iPhone, even though I know it will be exceedingly difficult to deliver a global UTMS unit due to the diverse spectrum requirements over the various continents. That being said, I truly believe it will be Apple that will pull off this development feat.

So, what new products are we expecting at the first part of 2008? A new ultra portable laptop? Updated Macbooks? A totally new device not unlike the Newtons of old?

5 Rich { 12.27.07 at 4:53 pm }

“because it is only offered by GSM rivals Sprint and Verizon Wireless, both of whom invested in Qualcomm’s CDMA2000; EVDO is Qualcomm’s proprietary 3G.”

Luckily Verizon are going with LTE (a GSM-A standard) for their 4G network.

For all the things that are said about Microsoft, Qualcomm are on a level all of their own. When they’re not launching patent ambushes, they’re subverting standards committees or extorting money from their customers. Qualcomm make Micsosoft look like a bunch of saints.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt is business it’s that you should avoid vendor lock-in at all costs. Qualcomm demonstrate nicely why.

“Both EVDO and UMTS require more processor power to decode transmissions, resulting in a major hit against battery life that was deemed unacceptable for the first generation iPhone.”

I’m sorry, I still don’t buy this. The whole battery angle is an *excuse* not a reason for the lack of 3G in the iPhone.

There’s already 3G phones on the market, such as the Nokia E61, which manage more talk-time with a smaller battery than the iPhone.

Here’s an idea (that might already be patented) – how about automatically switching to 2G mode when the data connection isn’t active? That would give the best of both worlds. WiFi already uses a lot more power than 3G when active so it’s a win-win situation.

No, the real reason why 3G wasn’t included is because supporting 3G is a complicated and time-consuming business. Developing a 3G telecoms stack takes many, many man years. With the expertise of Nokia, Ericsson et al, Symbian’s first European 3G phone was released in
2003. It took Microsoft two whole years to catch up – a lifetime in the cell phone market. With such patchy coverage in the US, I’m sure Apple did not see it as a priority to implement either.

I assume that’s also why the iPhone only supports one Bluetooth profile. Bluetooth is another (possibly over-complicated) communications protocol that takes a long time to get right.

Time and resources, not battery life, are why the first generation iPhone lacks 3G.

“… but it will also create a vibrant resale market for original iPhones at values far higher than any second hand mobile phone has ever seen in history.”

Hmm… I’m not sure how that would work. Unless jail broken, the iPhone will only work with iPhone-specific SIM cards. I doubt many people will be willing to sell the SIM card too. Of course a lot of early adopters are tech-savvy and have probably SIM unlocked their iPhones so it’s probably a moot point.

“The 3G hype is highly oversold and I don’t get to repeat that often enough.”

Absolutely, but that’s not to say 3G isn’t useful. Just the ability to receive a call whilst downloading data is a major advantage.

6 harrywolf { 12.27.07 at 5:37 pm }

The iPhone has a combination of factors that make it great, but its not a ‘new’ device, just a much better one.
Same goes for the iPod and the Mac computer.
Perhaps Apple should be looking at what other devices could be improved so dramatically?

The GPS might be one they could improve – an Apple GPS would be a big seller.
Of course, simply adding GPS to the iPhone would be almost the same, and would sell just as well.

I think its more likely that we have to wait about 4 or 5 years before habits change and new ways to use devices can evolve.

Imagine the iPhone without google maps – it would not be so attractive.

So I am in agreement with Steve Nagel about solutions – perhaps right now there isnt a solution to be found, so Apple must consolidate and improve what they have until a problem/bad implementation needs the ‘Apple touch’. (pun intended)

Solutions that need improving/making more accessible (IMHO):

Online payments.
Online education.
Video phone calls.
Satellite phones.
GPS.
The whole eBook mess.

7 lmasanti { 12.27.07 at 5:38 pm }

The Newton was a PDA.

Two or three years ago, in a All D conference, Steve said that “it is so important to what you say yes as to what you say no”. Asked “to what you said no”, he answered: “To a PDA, we could not made the difference” [my words]

When presenting the iPhone, ‘Steve Jobs rolled out the iPhone as a combination “mobile phone, iPod, and breakthrough Internet device.”’ [quoted from the article]

So, the only think that I’m almost sure is that they would not use that acronim!

8 jp { 12.27.07 at 6:00 pm }

I want this as much as any Apple user, just because it’s cool. But as an iPhone and MBP user, I’m still struggling to see how this might fit into my or anyone else’s life.

The iPhone, especially in a 3G version, takes care of most of my browsing and media needs around town and traveling, and fits in my pocket.

In heavier duty situations, say for a long trip or at home, I’m almost always going to have my MBP around.

So when would I really need a device that I need a bag for that isn’t as flexible/functional as my laptop?

(I’m asking this honestly…I’m going to need justify walking around with this to my friends!)

9 serfware { 12.27.07 at 6:09 pm }

“Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

Yea! And Scarecrow’s brain! Hey wait! You forgot about Fox News!

Dude, these snarly interjections are really out of place in these otherwise excellent and well-reasoned articles. “Crushing” recession? Any recession is bad but it would be fascinating to hear how you figure it was crushing.

Anyhow, I have heard the Bush administration blamed for a lot of things but, until now, the iPod’s success wasn’t one of them. Next article, perhaps?

10 Steve Nagel { 12.27.07 at 6:31 pm }

“Online payments.” Services like this would put Steve in the big webby foot league with Google, getting a cent or two whenever we click. I think he would like that.

Actually, I might buy it. So I pay with a virtual credit card. Do that most days now. The payment is forwarded to a Numbers spreadsheet, with my categorization. Good. Or maybe there’s a new app called Money. And maybe it calculates in my daily stock changes, checks my bank accounts for any weirdness, and has my Americano ready when I get to the coffee shop.

Anything to eliminate Quicken from my life.

11 gus2000 { 12.27.07 at 6:39 pm }

You know, I liked Quicken. But is got increasingly complex. The worst part was when I tried to convert my data from the PC Quicken to the Mac version. There were so many caveats that it seemed simpler just to get a new Social Security Number and start over.

12 Splashman { 12.27.07 at 6:42 pm }

+1 to serfware’s comment.

Daniel, you’re obviously free to write what you wish, but if you insist on littering your otherwise excellent analyses with Kos-style moonbat guano, you *will* lose readers, including me. When I want political commentary, I know where to get it. When I want Apple/Tech commentary, I refuse to wade through the sort of crap which serfware referenced above.

13 kent { 12.27.07 at 7:11 pm }

Again – interesting technical commentary and uninformed political comment. “Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

Fossil fuels are what the economy runs on. Alternative fuels are kind of like Microsoft Vista. Maybe good on paper – completely insufficient in execution. Why the anger at fossil fuels? Daniel – do you drive a car? Do you know how Apple products get to customers? Lots of fossil fuels. An intelligent energy policy would be encouraging more exploration so we could develop our own sources, which are plentiful if we had the will and intelligence that we used to to extract them. Makes more sense than turning food source into fuel so poor countries pay more for corn. Regarding the declaration of war, the leading Democrat candidate for the Declaration for war against Iraq. So did the 2004 Democrat candidate. The war has been a good thing and is nearly won, with no help since those votes from the left. We will truly need the escape of our iPods should Hillary be elected and we are subjected to her patronizing sermons and her hideous laugh.

There, I got it out of my system.

14 HG { 12.27.07 at 7:23 pm }

Apple, since Steve Jobs returned, is like a great book. You can’t wait to read the next chapter. Where is it all going? How do all these things fit together?

The story of the meeting between NIH and Steve Jobs makes me wonder how the science market figures into the overall plan…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/jan/04/newmedia.media

The groundbreaking has begun with iTunes university and other recent developments. A large mobile networked media device coupled with these services seems to me would meet the NIH’s needs pretty well.

There can be no doubt in anyone’s minds, especially in Apple’s competitor’s minds, that there’s an organizational intelligence driving Apple today that’s never been seen before.

15 falcon27 { 12.27.07 at 7:28 pm }

Ditto the comments of serfware, Splashman & Kent. If you want to engage in political punditry, particularly of the idiotic variety, try DailyKos or HuffingtonPost or the New York Times.

16 gus2000 { 12.27.07 at 8:23 pm }

Daniel, the question you need to ask yourself is this: will convincing the Conservatards to buy Macs make them better people, or will it instead facilitate their Rightward journey? If the former, invite them into the warmth and the light. If the latter, keep poking them until they go away.

17 thgd { 12.27.07 at 8:28 pm }

To falcon27, serfware, Splashman, Kent, etc….
Last I looked this is Dan’s blog not yours !
If you want to comment on the substance of the articles please do so BUT if your only contribution is going to be feeding your own ego by posting opinions about your special view of the world, please feel free to leave your comments elsewhere.
The rest of us and maybe the rest of the world will be better off for it !

18 PerGrenerfors { 12.27.07 at 8:31 pm }

“during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. ”

This just looks oddly out of place here. Don’t reduce yourself to a third-rate political commentator. I actually agree with what you’re saying but it’s embarrassing to find talking points-style writing in your articles. I expect better, that’s all.

19 serfware { 12.27.07 at 9:39 pm }

to thgd

And last time I looked reader comments were solicited.

How on earth you can suggest any of the comments you referenced were not germane to the discussion at hand is anyone’s guess. Ego indeed.

20 Brau { 12.27.07 at 10:06 pm }

I wasn’t surprised to see Steve Jobs kill the Newton. As good as it was, it was a device before its time that tried to find a reason to exist in a world ruled by paper transfer and fax machines. I can recall trying out one myself but comparing it to the indexed notepad I kept in my shirt pocket. In comparison the PDAs were heavy bricks, slower to input and retrieve content, and because the rest of the world was not yet digitally based offered no real advantage. Only the true techno-nerds used these devices for the status they implied.

The world has changed today though and the iPhone is stepping into an infrastructure that is desperate for a good PDA. The current line of processors finally can offer enough power to operate almost as our desktop does, and indeed the iPhone’s ability to run OSX keeps the user environment consistent. Make no mistake – Steve Jobs is re-introducing the PDA as a subset of the iPhone, at the perfect time, and the world is responding as expected.

21 FloydThreepwood { 12.27.07 at 10:25 pm }

I really liked reading your historycal analysis, but I didn’t catch the point where a bigger version of the iSlate. Where does it make things better for us?

If you look into history you missed the point that the iPhone’s core features have nothing in common with the PDA and Newton systems. The Palm made its way through PIM Apps, the Newton tried dealing this with better Software and higher prices. Internet, iPod and Phone are what making the iPhone so valluable but how does that add to a 7″ UMPC? I don’t see a Market or hype for such a thing.

Further if I look at the UI of a iPhone App I cant imagine using such a interface on a much wider screen. If Apple doesn’t plan to introduce a whole new architecture in Soft- & Hardware nothing will work.

My personal Macworld hopes are more conservative, by making the UMPC a Leopard Sub and further hoping for a real update for the Apple TV wich has great potential but actually lacks a clear use in advance to Media Center. Well, and there is allways that thing nobody needs until Apple invents it!

22 kent { 12.27.07 at 11:02 pm }

TO THGD

My response was to the substance of the article. In case you didn’t notice I complimented the technical insights and disputed the unsupported left wing political commentary which was superfluous to the topic. That is what you do when you post on blogs. I happen to think Daniel has an understanding of Apple Inc. from both a technical and business perspective that is unequaled in any business or technical journals. I also believe he has a compulsion to inject odd political commentary where it makes no sense and detracts significantly from the overall quality of the articles (when it appears). It is his blog, as you say, and he is free to degrade the quality and drive away otherwise happy readers with insulting and ridiculous political statements if he so chooses.

23 nat { 12.27.07 at 11:20 pm }

thgd’s got it right. Just because you see the world through Bush-goggles doesn’t make Daniel’s political asides “third-rate.” Enjoy the last Bush you’ll ever see in the White House. Go Obama! :D

As for ’08 ideas/wishes…

iPod/iPhone/iTunes

- a slightly-modified set of iPhone ear buds. A two-way rocker would replace the single button, which would allow for going back a song, rather than only being able to skip forward. Perhaps on the side could be a volume slider.

- same as above, minus the mic, sold with the iPod touch

- same as above, minus the buds, to be used with third-party headphones

- a compact, chrome, iPhone 3.5mm headphone-jack adapter

- iPhone/iPod touch games that utilize both the touch-screen and accelerometer, made available in the iTunes app store

- iTunes movie rental service as Daniel modeled

- Better iTunes JUST FOR YOU service, which would include other purchases (movies, tv shows, podcasts, etc.) and cross-recommendation of media based on said purchases

- Slightly higher quality movies, music videos, etc.

- The first iTunes Plus movies, starting with indie films

- All songs stripped of DRM by the end of ’08. (I know it’s wishful thinking and that Apple really has no control over it.)

- 40-50GB flash iPod touch. (That’s probably two years away, but I can hope. Or perhaps I should use smart playlists.)

- The slow killing off of the iPod classic and very very slow killing off of the iPod nano. I love those iPods, I still have my iPod 5.5G, but I’ve tired of the click-wheel to a certain extent and really want the touch-based iPod and iPhone to get the most development attention.

- A Back-to-my-Mac kind of service for the iPhone/iPod touch that allows streaming of one’s entire music collection via WiFi. No need for large hard/flash drives! Yay!

Mac

- SIMPLYFY/STANDARDIZE KEYBOARDS! This has been irritating me lately. The MacBook Pro has an ENTER key to the right of the right command key. The MacBook has an alt/option key instead. The new iMacs come with media and expose/dashboard keys along the top and drop the Apple logo from the command key!
It would be great to see the new iMac media keys on MacBooks/MBPs, with each physical modifier key (command, alt, shift, control) branded with its graphical OS X representation (⌘, ⌥, ⇧,⌃).

- Bigger Apple Cinema displays with built-in iSight cameras at slightly reduced prices so Apple can promise first-party web-cam support on every Mac (including the Mac mini and Mac Pro). An HDMI port would be nice too. Add a slightly expanded Apple remote for a great AppleTV companion or a great display on its own.

- The death of the Combo Drive. It still lives on with the lower-end Mac Mini. Just kill it already.

- A little periscope jobby for the MacBook/MBP iSight so I can take pictures or video without turing the whole thing around.

- The magnet-style latch of the MacBook for the MacBook Pro. I still have a PowerBook G4, so I’m not sure if the irritating latch has been remedied in the MBPs.

- Wifi/Bluetooth standard on Mac Pros. Every other Mac has it by default.

- NO HD-DVD OR BLU-RAY SUPPORT! I’m done with discs and draconian copy-protection that’s more expensive than the last crop.

- A clickable laptop trackpad. I know current MacBook/MBP trackpads can be tapped on as a substitute for pressing the single mouse button; that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m imagining a trackpad that actually depresses like the single mouse button. It could even be on a small rocker so right and left-button clicking would be recognized. The current single mouse button, would be removed.

24 kent { 12.27.07 at 11:25 pm }

TO NAT

The political comments are third rate because they are not supported by facts. They are on the level with Rob Enderle comments about Apple. Not the calibre Daniel brings to his Apple commentary. If the political stuff is going to be inserted, at least it should include thought, not just crude ignorant assertions.

25 nat { 12.27.07 at 11:30 pm }

Ah, just realized my clickable trackpad might not be necessary. I still have to deal with ctrl-clicking on my PowerBook, but I remember now, MacBooks and MBPs allow you to left-click by two-finger tapping. That feature isn’t really talked about by Apple, so most new Mac buyers probably aren’t aware. I think my “click-pad” would be a bit more intuitive/innovative. :)

26 nat { 12.27.07 at 11:37 pm }

kent, what comments of his do you disbelieve?

27 nat { 12.27.07 at 11:37 pm }

…and what do you think of my “click-pad?” :D

28 aggie77 { 12.27.07 at 11:39 pm }

Good thing I keep politics and tech as different parts of my life or I would never buy an apple product as long as Al “tree” Gore is on the BOD.

29 kent { 12.28.07 at 12:03 am }

Nat – you asked what I disagreed with.

“the declaration of war on everything”

“economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels,”

and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism.”

The above – all ascribed to Bush, are ignorant statements. Daniel does not specify what all the Declarations of War were. Nor does he mention that 3000 citizens were killed in one morning, the financial nerve center of the US attacked by Islamic extremists and a plan foiled to destroy the Congress or White House on the same day. That may have had something to do with both the “war” declarations and the economic uncertainty, though all the blame is laid at Bush’s feet. The statement about widespread investment in mercenaries and fossil fuels is simply pointless and ridiculous. What mercenaries is Daniel referring to? Hopefully not the US military, which performs the function most basic to our constitution – national security and protecting our freedoms. Regarding fossil fuels – again no real thought is present. Is Daniel opposed to fossil fuels? How does this relate to iPods? Doesn’t our entire economy and all the individuals in it rely on fossil fuels? Why is he speaking of fossil fuels as bad, when he no doubt is a serious user of fossil fuels? By the way, fossil fuels are a gift to us that we should be very thankful for. As for the statement about the fascism and the police state, just more drivel. Was it not a police state when the FBI was killing the 90 residents of the compound in Waco? Or shooting the unarmed pregnant wife of Randy Weaver. It will take a longer than half a sentence to cover the illegal and unconstitutional activities that took place during the administration present during the 1990s. And the discussion would include real facts, not just lame assertions.

Those are the main comments of Daniel’s otherwise fine article which I took issue with.

By the way, I am not familiar with the click pad. I have a track pad.

30 sketch_bomb { 12.28.07 at 12:58 am }

kent, nat, thgd, etc – The mere fact that a large portion of the comments section for this post is taken up by various posters’ political rantings and insults perfectly makes the case for why Daniel should avoid making such statements when they have nothing to do with the subject matter. Folks like gus2000 who feel compelled to refer to others as “Conservitards” are not really elevating the debate at all.

31 Tod { 12.28.07 at 1:11 am }

Nat wrote: “- SIMPLIFY/STANDARDIZE KEYBOARDS! This has been irritating me lately. The MacBook Pro has an ENTER key to the right of the right command key. The MacBook has an alt/option key instead.”

Nothing befuddles me more than the changes a design team makes to a keyboard. As a 35-year user of a variety of HP scientific calculators I can write a book about how basic function keys were never ever in the same location from model to model. Even the arithmetic keys (+ – X / ) moved from left to right, center, and even changed positions relative to each other. Apple’s designs are nothing compared to HP’s.

32 Tod { 12.28.07 at 1:14 am }

As a lifelong democrat (voting first for JFK in ’60) I feel Dan’s anger about the born-again anti-science hawkish administration, but as an equally devoted reader of his columns, I, too, would like the politics placed elsewhere. Perhaps a separate column that is clearly labeled that it is a post of political opinions would be in order. then those who don’t care to read it can move on to the next thing.

33 nat { 12.28.07 at 1:25 am }

kent,

1) On the “declaration of war on everything,” Daniel is being slightly ironic, considering Bush never formally declared war on Iraq, and metaphorical as the Bush administration has illegally spied on its citizens, instilled FUD with contrived color-coded alerts, cut taxes on the top 2%, and recently questioned if water-boarding is really torture; that’s a psychological war.

2) On “economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels,” Daniel is noting the investment in the mercenary industry, made up of independent agents payed by corporations, operating independently from the U.S. and its laws, and fossil fuels, Iraq being a major source.

3) On “transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism,” while I don’t know about the surcharges, the fascism is there. Bush removed nearly all liberal-minded justices from the Supreme Court illegally (via Gonzales). #1 lists how we are being stripped of our rights.

People always find some form of escapism during times of despair. Ripping, mixing, downloading, and burning music was new and in a way, empowering. The iPod and iTunes were (and still are) the best for that.

p.s. The “click-pad” was an idea I posted, the post you originally responded to. Don’t steal my Click-Pad(tm)! :D

34 Splashman { 12.28.07 at 1:53 am }

Nat, if you’re attempting to defend Daniel, keep your day job. If you’re attempting to prove your Kos bonafides, hey, you had me at “fascism,” so give it a rest.

Daniel, if you really do want your comment section to look like a Kos diary, you’re well on your way. (Look what a single off-topic throwaway sentence got you.) If you’d like to retain readers who aren’t Kos aficionados, I encourage you to start a new blog (“Leftly Drafted”) in which to indulge your political ramblings. Link to it from RD. With your writing skill, I can see it becoming quite popular amongst a certain demographic.

35 serfware { 12.28.07 at 3:22 am }

nat – “thgd’s got it right. Just because you see the world through Bush-goggles doesn’t make Daniel’s political asides “third-rate.” Enjoy the last Bush you’ll ever see in the White House. Go Obama!”

And what, specifically, does thgd have right? (a) That you aren’t supposed to comment on Daniel’s political asides unless (apparently) you agree with them; (b) the bizarre assertion we weren’t commenting on substantive points (I must admit I was wowed by that one); (c) that, somehow, if we question how these asides are presented we are trying to foist a ‘special view’ on the rest of the class?

This reflexive, and thoughtless, defensiveness by some has not only become a cheerful endorsement of complete political conformity, but also underscore how they have completely missed the point: the comments referenced are grossly out-of-place and are presented with the same infantile foot-stomping Daniel rightly – and quite effectively — points out as unthinking idiocy in others. The whole thing is an unnecessary digression.

Daniel is (gasp!) a big liberal. Good for him. He is also the best tech writer I have had the pleasure to find and am glad to be a reader. He methodically destroys arguments point-by-point and gets rightly frustrated when other journalists are lazily pumping out stories the slant of which was almost certainly determined before anyone was ever interviewed.

So you must pardon us for taking issue with the occasional liberties Daniel takes with coherence when he goes off like this, but he is so darn good these, um, things stick out like a car crash. We do care! You might not believe that, but then again you might not believe “Go Obama!” counts as wearing any particular pair of goggles either.

36 blacktalonz { 12.28.07 at 4:46 am }

Quote: “Those all contributed to the company’s bottom line and helped shore up Mac sales during the crushing 2001 recession that ushered in the Bush presidency, the declaration of war on everything, economic uncertainty resulting from widespread investment in the mercenary industry and fossil fuels, and transportation surcharges related to the new police state fascism. The world needed to tune out, rip, mix, and burn just to cope, and Apple’s iPod was the best way to do it.”

I see that other have already commented, but I am not upset at what he said – but that he said it.

How many articles have we read from Daniel lambasting shallow writers for their use of volatile statements, said only to garner readership.

It’s a shame to see Daniel imitate this practice. Does this mean that a new award will be created? A “Goon” perhaps. With Daniel Eran Dilger as the first recipient!

37 Splashman { 12.28.07 at 5:49 am }

“I see that others have already commented, but I am not upset at what he said – but that he said it.”

Bingo! Thanks for stating it so clearly. I don’t want my tech analyses mucked up with political commentary of any stripe.

38 Sharp { 12.28.07 at 6:08 am }

I would LOVE an iSlate to take to the coffee shop. I’ve been using an iBook 12″, but when all I want to do is listen to my Podcasts and read, then unpacking the kit (laptop, cord, mouse) and waiting for the bootup… none of which is TOO cumbersome… but I find myself lusting for an iPod touch. I stay my hand on my wallet to buy one, cause I simply want more screen to read from.

39 FloydThreepwood { 12.28.07 at 6:14 am }

You americans surely have a problem with political criticism. I can’t remind myself when such a thing happend in germany or about Merkel…

40 Splashman { 12.28.07 at 7:53 am }

Floyd, I’ll resist a similarly ridiculous generalization about Germans and simply state that you have a problem with reading comprehension. I (and, I’ll assume, the others who share my objection) enjoy discussing politics, and I have no problem handling criticism, especially from . . . whoops, I’ll resist that impulse, too.

The subject at hand is whether politics should be casually injected into unrelated topics. I’ve been around enough to know that even in enlightened Germany, political discussions tend to inflame emotions even more quickly than in Mac vs. Windows religious wars. The opinion that has been espoused by myself and others is that in any discussion, it is counterproductive to throw in casual references to unrelated hot-button issues. Do you disagree?

41 FloydThreepwood { 12.28.07 at 9:50 am }

It’s not against politics but against off-topic discussion. The iSlade is much more important to discuss.

42 blueherring { 12.28.07 at 11:44 am }

i think it’s great to ‘throw in’ casual off-hand off-topic quips. look, if the whole article was what it was minus the co-ho-ts thrown in then what would the comments be? ph-d level discussions on the acorn’s frontside buss… no. someone would say “but how will apple do in the midst of a consumer recession?” then someone else would say “it’s all because of greenspan” then inevitably there would be a post about how it all leads back to bush.

when there is an elephant in the room, at least don’t pretend like it’s totally off topic to comment on the smell.

one of those comments mentioned something about iChat on the new patent for line jumping… there SURE ARE A LOT OF PROGRAMMING RESOURCES GOING INTO VIDEOCHAT IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, and seemingly no product that utilizes it much outside of ichatAV.

jobs knows the power of low cost international communications (see bluebox)
-][

43 sidgestion { 12.28.07 at 12:00 pm }

I like your articles. I really do.

I HATE your graphs. Most of them, like the “Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian” graph and “Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth” make absolutely no sense when looking at them.

Isn’t the purpose of a graph to reduce an idea to a visual representation that is easy to understand at a glance?

Yes, they make more sense in context of the original articles. But that just means you shouldn’t include them here.

Or, add a few more labels to make them easier to decipher.

That being said, your writing is something I always look forward to.

44 zaxzan { 12.28.07 at 12:02 pm }

Well done Dan, yet another ripper article ! A big thank you to you sir.
I would like to see more and say keep em’ coming … but are you working too hard? … Slow down and have a breather, get in a bit of R&R, go for a ride bro, because -

“…crushing 2001 recession … new police state fascism.”

I must say I felt very uneasy about those lines, not because I agree or disagree with them, rather it’s a case of the “3 P’s” – perfunctory political polemics – spoiling the flow, and detracting from the veracity of your and RDM’s raison d’être, as distinctly observed in the comments above.

The 3P’s obfuscate your regularly brilliant and elucidatory articles and the explicative commentary that you bring to old and new Mac users alike (and non Mac users as well, I suspect).

Dan, please, please, please !!! avoid the political imputations.

@Splashman, I think that you missed the sardonic tone of FloydThreepwood and the irony of the parallels he drew-up.

45 nat { 12.28.07 at 1:44 pm }

Splashman,

I’m not sure why you need to make personal attacks on people of differing political views to make a point. Also, I’m not familiar with this Kos, but I can guess its some “liberal” blog that I’m supposed to agree with due to some of my beliefs. I’m not in love with either side these days.

serfware,

Any relation to Splashman? Serf, splash… I stated how I agreed with thgd. If you see the world through Bush-goggles, how does that make Daniel’s comments “third-rate.” As for “Obama-goggles,” they don’t exist because Obama sees the world for what it is. That’s why he’ll beat Huckleberry and Hillary. :D

46 nextcube { 12.28.07 at 2:19 pm }

There’s another tradeoff made with phones like the Nokia E61/E62 or N95 – MUCH slower processors. The E61/E62 twins run at 220 MHz, and the N95 sprints along at a whopping 330MHz. Even my tired old Palm Treo 650 ran at 400MHz! The iPhone runs at 620MHz, with a larger, higher-resolution screen than the Nokia phones mentioned here.
No question, the N95 is an excellent phone, but it’s not free with a 2 year contract. List price from Nokia’s US site is $699; it’s not even available through AT&T. And while it supports UMTS, the faster internet access gets you nowhere, because the web browsing experience is (frankly) awful.
I think that Apple made the right tradeoff; allocating power to the processor rather than to UMTS pays off in many ways.

47 brett_x { 12.28.07 at 2:31 pm }

Great technical article. However, when I was reading it, the political comments really stood out as misplaced (weather accurate or not). At first, I was thinking: “Yeah, that’s Daniel, I wish he wouldn’t do that, but whatever… it’s his blog”.

But when I saw the majority of comments weren’t technical or constructive, I’ve changed my opinion. Politics should be discussed under a different heading… if for no other reason, I hate seeing the comments digress.

I also agree with blacktalonz on the issue of being a bit hypocritical.

48 serfware { 12.28.07 at 2:33 pm }

nat

“Any relation to Splashman? Serf, splash… I stated how I agreed with thgd. If you see the world through Bush-goggles, how does that make Daniel’s comments “third-rate.” As for “Obama-goggles,” they don’t exist because Obama sees the world for what it is. That’s why he’ll beat Huckleberry and Hillary.”

Um… ok… they don’t exist. Very good.

So, once again: what, specifically, does thgd have right?

49 brett_x { 12.28.07 at 2:34 pm }

I should add… that I sometimes forward these articles to people who should be more aware of the world I support (Macs in an enterprise environment). With the political commentary, it makes it much harder/less relevant to do.
Just my $.02.

50 nat { 12.28.07 at 3:19 pm }

serfware,

If your political views differ from Daniel’s, why are his “third-rate,” or invalid? Just because you see things differently doesn’t make you inherently “right” and others “wrong.” I agreed with thgd’s statement that those who simply wish to boost their egos by making personal attacks on people who don’t share their views, rather than stating their own qualms, shouldn’t waste space here. However, after re-reading his comment, I don’t entirely agree. I think it’s lame to make personal attacks in order to make one’s point, but everyone has a right to voice their opinions.

51 Steve Nagel { 12.28.07 at 3:52 pm }

Online payments. Wireless ordering. Cashless sales. Online film rentals. iTunes tagging.

Apparently Apple is onto the great Google truth: Money is the ultimate content stream.

52 harrywolf { 12.28.07 at 5:20 pm }

LOL! SPLASHMAN, you are hilarious!
(and not a little rude…but I forgive you)

‘The subject at hand is whether politics should be casually injected into unrelated topics’

How the hell do you get politics OUT of ‘unrelated’ topics?

Now that everyone has discovered how easy it is to get away with incerdible and evil scams, how can we believe anything that pretends to be ‘apolitical’?
As for inflaming passions – in the case of the hypnotised masses in the UK and the USA, that would be a damn good thing.

YES – everything we do and say involves the appalling 911 lie and the insanity and deceit of the invasions of other countries and the amazingly easy way that Bush etc. have destroyed the much-vaunted US Constitution.

I am assuming you arent being serious in wanting to STIFLE any kind of debate, are you?

It has been obvious for some time that the political divide in the world also includes the things you use, the TV shows you watch/like, the clothes you wear, the OS you use.

Thats the way it is.

Call it joining up the dots if you will; its the realisation that everything is connected and the connections can NOT be ignored.

Microsoft use illegal and nasty tactics to further their illegal monopoly – therefore any discussion that involves crime might include Microsoft, for example.

Everything is connected – thats the way it is.

To insist that political commentary should be excluded from Daniel Eran’s pages is plain wrong.
He can write about anything he wants, and I, for one, enjoy and appreciate his insights and intelligence.

If you cant see the connections, then try harder!

If you believe what a bribed-and-corrupted mainstream media (worldwide) publish, then look a little deeper.

Research, examine the evidence and present it. Here if you wish – I am reasonably sure that Dan wont erase any comments. He doesnt appear to be that kind of guy.

Which makes him, sadly, not your kind of guy.

If you think that only crazy people or left-wingers or ‘liberals’ (whatever the hell they are) are angry about the state of the world then you are plain wrong.

If my computer doesnt allow me open and free access on the Web, for example, and a company like Microsoft may try to control communication, through non-open software, then its political.

The ‘net is THE place for discussion – its wide open and its rapidly replacing the corrupt mainstream ‘Media’ and there appear to be no rules.

Well, the rules were broken/thrown aside in the first instance by Bush, Thatcher, Mulroney, Clinton, Blair etc.

Thats the way it is.

53 Silencio { 12.28.07 at 5:28 pm }

“If your political views differ from Daniel’s, why are his ‘third-rate,’ or invalid? Just because you see things differently doesn’t make you inherently ‘right’ and others ‘wrong.’”

That pretty much underscores Floyd’s observation about the sad state of US political discourse: it’s more about name-calling and contrived scandals than actually solving problems. Bread and circuses of a different kind.

And I too think the political asides are an unnecessary distraction from Daniel’s writing.

54 harrywolf { 12.28.07 at 5:35 pm }

BTW, I posted three comments:

one – about the topic under discussion
two – about the ‘should this blog be political’ debate
three – this comment

I welcome the political discussion, and I like the technical Apple stuff, too.

I believe that people are smart enough to deal with both, even if it makes them uncomfortable.

Wow, gasp, shock, horror, faint, swoon, etc. – Daniel Eran has opinions OUTSIDE of Apple Inc.
Hold the frickin’ front page.

55 Dave Frank { 12.28.07 at 5:43 pm }

“There were also problems specific to the Newton itself. It had been designed with an ivory tower isolation from reality. It used esoteric software technologies that made it highly unique and difficult for many developers to approach.”

The Newton OS was among the first true object oriented operating systems. It was indeed very different from earlier OSes, and programming for it was very different, too. But there was a thriving community of Newton developers, who produced a crop of very nifty applications that integrated with the Newton’s built-in features, and very often integrated with each other as well.

But Newton OS and programming environment had nothing (or nearly nothing) in common with either the then-current Mac OS, or with Mac OS X. It would be quite a challenge for Apple to roll these two genomes together into a single organism. But speaking as both a user and a programmer I’d love it if they did.

56 rjackb { 12.28.07 at 11:14 pm }

I certainly have no problem with a columnist expressing political opinions on their own web site nor do I feel that it detracts in any way from the article. If nothing else, it makes the author seem more human because you get a glimpse of his personal feelings outside of technology. More power to you, Daniel.

57 lmasanti { 12.29.07 at 12:20 am }

quote:
“But there was a thriving community of Newton developers, who produced a crop of very nifty applications that integrated with the Newton’s built-in features, and very often integrated with each other as well.”

Not to forget that there is STILL a strong community of owners!

58 sillyduck { 12.29.07 at 4:55 am }

A big “Ho!” to harrywolf’s (and rjackb’s) comments. Now, as seen from here, it is what it is, and those stirred by Daniel’s ‘political’ words have indeed failed to connect the dots; have failed to look deeper; have failed to look anywhere except ‘out there’; have failed to find out who cares. It’s time to stop failing and wake up. THANK you DED and good luck/grace to us all.

59 kent { 12.29.07 at 5:23 pm }

sillyduck – per your instructions I am working to better connect the dots. I say “good luck/good grace to George Bush, all our troops, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and all those who voted to defend our liberties against Islamic terrorists who attacked and killed thousands of our countrymen. We have not been attacked since and so Daniel is still free to write what he pleases despite “the fascist state” that he imagines.

60 danieleran { 12.29.07 at 7:08 pm }

@kent: good luck to George Bush? I hope you can take the time to consider that luck isn’t going to do anything to restore peace or resurrect the 4000+ soldiers killed in an assassination effort that had nothing to do with “defending our liberties”.

Let me lay this out: it’s not a war. The people of Iraq didn’t attack us or even threaten us. Iraq’s dictator was a tyrant and the US helped him to do terrible things to Iraqis when it suited US interests to do so. However, as bad as Saddam was, he also held in place a secular government that kept the “Islamic terrorists” from gaining control.

The Bush-led effort didn’t restore democracy in Iraq. It only toppled the government. It also fired the police as part of a disastrously unplanned invasion with no post-war rebuilding plan, resulting in a lawless chaos that destroyed the infrastructure of the nation and sent its struggling middle class into poverty. That put fanatical religious clerics and warlords into control, further inflaming problems for the area.

We are not safer. We are at much greater risk from a larger group of terrorists with greater reason to hate us that ever existed in Iraq before. The only way to do business in the country now is to pay right wing religious Blackwater crews to drive you around in an SUV while murdering civilians left and right.

Back at home, you seem to think we are free because I haven’t been arrested for ranting about Microsoft. Right, except that we now have a government that runs airlines like a prison, and our culture of violence has turned peace keeping police into a nation wide paramilitary force ready to tazer anyone with the same indifference to liberties as Saddam’s old regime.

Was it worth trading Clinton era prosperity, a problematic Iraq, and a largely free nation that valued centrist individualism and human rights into a uniformly fascist worldwide chaos of rabidly religious, violently hateful, sexually deviant right wing hypocrites, creating an America that is now only slightly different than the Middle East?

Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld started a conflict that will cost our children trillions of dollars and expose them to the most toxic threat of fundamentalism ever, even if we can haul them in to court for their war crimes and lock them up forever. They have screwed our future, and you congratulate them?

The other wars I alluded to are the war on drugs:

Locking up hundreds of thousands of Americans on petty drug offenses while Bush’s spiritual advisor is using meth to enhance his experiences with prostitutes.

The war on individualism and the constitution:

The Fox lead effort to establish fundamentalist religion as a state church, and celebrate a lineup of supposedly “Christian” right wing candidates that want to slaughter more people, torture suspects who are accorded no legal rights, and drive new throngs of people into the arms of muslim extremists by destroying existing governments in the Middle East and replacing them with chaotic war zones…

Then there’s the wars on science, reason, intellectual thought, the environment, state’s rights, freedom of expression, etc. I summed it up as ‘the war on everything.’

The mercenaries are Blackwater death squads, which the US pays big money to while leaving our volunteer army unprotected, under-served, under paid, in danger, and without a real plan. No amount of ‘getter done / support the troops” well wishing changes that fact.

Bush sent +4000 Americans to die in a religious crusade fantasy, supposedly in response to ~3000 victims of 9/11, and has committed unfathomable billions of the country’s resources to shore up wartime profiteering he directly benefits from, rather than attempting to serve and protect the nation following disasters from storms, aging infrastructure, and a failing educational system.

The only way anyone can support Bush is by shooting up meth, hyping up into a religious frenzy by watching a televangelist, and then pouring over right wing fascist propaganda. I just don’t think that’s healthy for the country.

61 kent { 12.29.07 at 8:18 pm }

Daniel – I believe we are safer today than we were attacked. We attacked Iraq after it refused about 19 times to comply with UN resolutions relating to terms with surrender terms in the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The entire world intelligence community agreed on the presence of serious weapons that Saddam Hussein refused to permit inspection around. The entire US congress – including virtually all Democrats – voted for the authority to remove Saddam Hussein. In war, soldiers are killed. That is the nature of war. It is also the nature of war that many strategies fail, even by the party with right on their side. There are parts of our strategy that in hindsight were wrong, but they have since been addressed. Bush did not set off to “restore” democracy in Iraq – it has never existed there before. It did seek to plant it there, and that may have been a bit idealistic. Of course we tried the same thing in Germany and Japan after WWII. The world is clearly better off for our involvement in Iraq. Time will tell if democracy takes hold.

Iraq is in a much improved security situation in the past six months due to the surge. The cost for the surge in human lives is a huge sacrifice by the soldiers which is appreciated. The vast majority of soldiers completely support the mission, sign up for multiple tours, and even volunteer to return after injuries. Most leftists don’t really like soldiers, but like to mention casualties to criticize a war they don’t like. Your comments about Blackwater employees display more ignorance on your part.

You clearly don’t understand the role of the military. Yes, I thank them for their defense of our liberty which is very real.

Regarding domestic freedoms, I travel and would prefer the TSA did not exist. Of course, I would also prefer that Islamic jihadists did not hijack four airilines and kills all the passengers. How come the world is not ruled by my preferences. Since 9-11 we have not had any attacks on US soil. Zero, like MacDaily news like to note about real viruses on Macs. Should we take the chance? Democrats following Katrina critcized Bush personally for not taking care of all the New Orleans citizens who ignored multiple evacuation warnings and exercised their constitutional freedom to stay at home and then ended up stranded by floodwaters or drowned. Given all this, I fully understand why the TSA is still there. Lots of the people who criticize it as an infringement are OK with the government telling smokers they can’t smoke, drivers that they must have airbags, home owners that they must have Federally approved toilets. Our freedoms are under an equal or greater challenge from environmental activists than the TSA.

Drug offenses – these are federal laws. Democrats control Congress. Go complain to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi if you don’t like the laws. Bush can only enforce laws that are on the books. Has the Congress been meeting your expectations?

The paragraph that starts with “The Fox led effort” is so bizarre that it can not be commented on, except to inquire if you are using hallucinogens? You must have a fever or something.

The “war on science” you refer to in a vague reference. By this are you talking about the one where scientists with peer reviewed articles and global reputations who don’t agree with the religion of Global Warming, are threatened with ostracism if they voice their opinions. That is a scary thing. Almost as scary as the morons who think Algore is a scientist. I am glad you are for academic freedom on this point.

After reading your entire rant, I think I am reading something from someone entirely different than the person who writes the articles about Apple. I think you are motivated by a very powerful hate that clouds your thinking. It is one thing to disagree; another to take a thing you don’t like, exagerate it 100 fold (as in your Blackwater comments) and then state your exagerated fantasy as the truth. I think you are a better person than that.

Finally, I truly do thank George Bush for his efforts and those of our troops.

62 Tod { 12.29.07 at 9:01 pm }

@Kent: Please take your head out of the sand and stop parroting Kristol, Limbaugh, and all the rest of the fundie right’s propaganda team.

Please note that BEFORE 9-11 we hadn’t been attacked on our home soil for decades (since perhaps the Mex-Am war but I could be mistaken) – through two world wars plus several other major actions in which we were the leading participant. We are no safer today than we were on 9/10. Bushco has not made our lifestyle any safer.

As far as science goes, Bushco represents the worst sort of anti-science since the Catholic Popes brought down Europe into the Dark Ages, a time when scientific thought flourished in the Middle East. I will not have my children or grandchildren taught in school that the so-called “intelligent design” is as much a scientific theory as evolution. It isn’t a science if you can’t test its tenets with the scientific method. Not to mention the big question of who designed the “intelligent designer” who “created” us. Anti-science extends to other matters beyond the global warming issue, which is being proven right now as shipping companies are ready to begin transit across the Arctic Sea once the ice melts and the shipping lanes are clear. Please don’t confuse “climate” with “weather.”

As far as religion goes, and our supposed freedom to practice (or not) any religion, why is it that those most visible and vocal Christians have no idea of the teachings of Jesus and Moses. Read the following and commit to memory: You can’t be pro-life while being pro-war. If the so-called right-to-lifers spent 1/10th amount of energy teaching kindness and compassion for ALL humans, especially those who have already been born into poverty and who may not see their tenth birthday, then we would be much better off. How about beginning with educating those people who have six or seven children and make $20K a year? How about teaching about contraception so the unwanted aren’t even conceived? I am reminded of an old Groucho line in his TV show fifty years ago when he was interviewing a couple that had ten kids. He asked why and the woman said that God wanted them to have a lot of kids. The husband replied that he loves his wife. Groucho responded by saying that he loves his cigars but he takes them out once in a while. Birth control and good sex ed will do more than all the protests against abortion.

Finally, did you know that Bushie has bought substantial property in South America (Paraguay I think)? I don’t have the sources at hand but will dig them up for later. His daughters are now caretakers of the property. Maybe he intends to retire down there in a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US.

And as for the war, Bushco is in a league with the Nazis in WW2 with all his abrogation of freedoms, with his controlling the propaganda (I mean the MSM), with his spending trillions without finding any source to pay it all back. Who’s going to pay for our sweet little invasion of a sovereign nation? Not you or I, of course not, our kids and grandkids will live in a starving third-rate nation after China calls in our debts. He is hiding our fallen soldiers from their families. Has has allowed our premier military hospital to decay into a pit of mold and cockroaches. He has refused to follow up on his promise to the victims of Katrina (oh yes, I’m sure that 2 million people simply ignored all the warnings, as you so flippantly state). Look at how fast federal aid poured into Rich and Right San diego County after the disastrous fires there this summer.

He is a national disgrace, still behaving like a teenaged college freshman – who in their right mind would grope a world leader at a conference in St. Petersburg? Who else would rebuf his best overseas friend, Tony Blair (who claimed that the two really needed a one-on-one) by lying and stating that he had a lot on his plate over the next few days meeting with so-and-so from this country or such-and-such with that minister, and on and on, when he actually went sailing at Kennebunkport with papa.

What about education? Huh? Are we better off? Not a bit and if you dare say that educationally we are among the top five in the world, you are the one who’s been smoking some bad weed, my friend.

Healthcare? I’m sure you’ve read about hospitals dumping patients who can’t pay next to dumpsters in unsavory parts of town. Why is it that the “Christian” nation you so much want to have can’t be charitable and help those who, for WHATEVER reason, are down and out.

You make me want to puke with your jingoistic response. FOAD.

63 danieleran { 12.29.07 at 9:28 pm }

In WWII, the US spent years planning a reconstruction effort to rebuild Germany and Japan. When Bush attacked Iraq, there was no rebuilding plan, and no real attack plan. Input from people who know how to do things–regardless of their political affiliation–was ignored. It wasn’t a ‘best effort,’ it was a desperate ploy to enrich political friends at great expense of lives and resources.

The Iraq invasion had nothing to do with peace keeping, and there was no urgency involved. This was not a WWII situation where a rogue axis of nations were colluding to support a fascist, militaristic takeover of Europe and Asia. This was a misguided detour started before the policing effort in Afghanistan was complete. Iraq also has zero to do with 9/11, and repeating the idea doesn’t make it true. The 9/11 terrorists were Saudis that Iraq’s government was hostile toward.

Iraq now has no security in place, and power has already fallen to radical terrorist extremists. There is not going to be a vote that restores the country to normalcy. No “surge” is going to do anything. Are you imagining the country is another 1945 Germany, waiting to be restored as a modern nation? It’s a violent, destroyed country taken over by extremists. Bush turned a problem into a nightmare.

You like to call me a “leftist” and dismiss me as not knowing what a military is for. You are mistaken. I’m only left leaning when compared to a fascist supporter of endless holy wars waged to benefit commercial interests. Blind allegiance to a failed, criminal, autocratic traitor operating outside of the law really has nothing to do with conservative values or “rightist” politics. It’s a gross oversimplification to describe right and wrong as R and D. In doing so, you reveal an extreme shallowness of thought.

This is not a partisan issue of democrats or republicans; the US government is run by corporations and lobbyists. There is no political debate over issues, just jingoism published by sources with clear motives of distracting people from the truth.

As long as you conceptualize the world using phrases you pulled out of an Ann Coulter novel, you will be positioned as a loser in a fight that only makes sense when you wrap it up in religious intolerance and hatred and fire off invectives at anyone more progressive minded, tolerant, and informed than you.

As long as you prefer to believe that Bush worked hard to do anything to solve the problems caused by Katrina (such as appointing unqualified retards to head FEMA), and that the TSA is preventing terrorism by shaking us down for shampoo bottles, and that the 2007 Congress orchestrated our racist drug policies and prison expansion programs (right wing prisons that both exist as fundamentalist training camps and ironically also the largest institutional anal rape programs the universe has ever seen – what does Jesus think about that?) and carefully ignore the clever political propaganda that drips from every frame of Fox broadcasts, then there isn’t much sense that can be talked into you.

Do you really think that Blackwater has the right to murder, as long as they are shooting brown people? You are a real piece of work telling me that “a very powerful hate” clouds my thinking. How is your position any different from the brainwashed guards who supported fascists half a century ago?

And what efforts of George Bush are you so thankful: stopping California from limiting emissions? Restoring 17th century religious politics? his 13th century crusades and inquisitions? Demeaning the US internationally? Grinding up those troops you support with your well wishing?

64 kent { 12.29.07 at 9:31 pm }

Daniel and Tod,

I truly think you two are mentally ill.

Kent

65 kent { 12.29.07 at 9:32 pm }

By the way, did you two get riled up when Bill Clinton had Janet Reno kill 80-90 peaceful Americans in their home in Waco?

[Wow that is an interesting characterization of a wild eyed cult that burned themselves alive. Imagine the same scenario, but involving 300,000 times as many people, and you have Iraq. Except rather than being a domestic issue handled with perhaps too much of a militaristic response, it was a sovereign nation across the world. Bush burned down a country, not a compound, killing hundreds of thousands and sacrificing the readiness of the US Army to protect the nation from real threats, not to mention slaughtering 4000+ volunteer soldiers in a misguided, unplanned attack based on false witness and covetousness. Waco was not a terrorist breeding ground after the conflagration, either, nor did it press millions of previously employed police and soldiers into a angry rebel alliance led by fundamentalist kooks (I'm speaking of Iraqis, but the same goes for Blackwater). - Dan]

66 kent { 12.29.07 at 9:39 pm }

By the way, why did the Democrats in the Senate argue for attacking Iraq before the invasion, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, etc?

[wartime hysteria? somebody said "burning the Reichstag." Also, various Democrats have no better record on issues than Republicans in terms of free, open, accountable, government. You keep trying to turn everything into a bipolar Bill O'Reilley format, and the real world just doesn't work that way. Unplug from Fox and you'll find everyone has valuable opinions and is wrong on occasion. - Dan ]

67 kent { 12.29.07 at 9:44 pm }

One last thing to make your Day:

Halliburton
Dick Cheney
Big Oil
Christianity
United States
USMC
Rush Limbaugh
Ann Coulter
Evil Drug Companies
NASCAR
Freedom
Donald Rumsfeld
Oliver North
Ronald Reagan
Michael Crichton

Now there’s a list of things to really get your hate gland pumping. Don’t forget when you put your reply together that Republicans are supposed to be the intolerant mean spirited people.

Regards,

Kent

[Christianity itself doesn't really support the idea of killing, hating, profiteering, and bearing false witness. Jesus was also opposed to hypocrisy. Mixing it in as a cover for fascist political goals is really pretty messed up. You are also dating yourself with old political scandals. Why not list Nixon? I was only making a reference to the political/economic climate since 2001. It really wasn't controversial or laced with any hate message. The US was dragged into a propaganda war and society was realigned to serve an idealized state image and grow accustomed to police state treatment, directly to benefit certain companies connected to Bush - many were not even a general benefit to conservatives, and certainly not to those worth less than 20 million. Again, its not a simple right/left political issue, so don't make it one - Dan]

68 Ashley Grayson { 12.29.07 at 10:00 pm }

Hold on folks. Remember we are computer aware here. All the rational folks (who mostly agree with Daniel) seem to have missed the point that this has not become a discourse among equals of different political opinion. Somehow, Daniel’s small tweak has attracted a swarm of Rove-bots: volunteers or paid flacks who swamp every mention of the failures of the Great Leader/Agenda with a range of put downs from “that topic doesn’t belong here” all the way to strong refutes. But there’s no discourse–just the take over of the thread. Don’t waste your time. Kent, on the other hand is really off the chart as a Rove-bot. “The goal of the party propaganda agent is to inject the propaganda message quietly into normal discourse as a simple positive message so it can be heard as a feeling, but not be recognized as propaganda,” and he has Coulterized the discussion. Karl will not be happy with him. Let’s get back to Apple. There’s no point (political or otherwise) to make against a ‘bot because there’s no one listening.

69 Tod { 12.29.07 at 10:11 pm }

@Kent: When you declare us mentally ill, it certainly looks like you are in retreat. “na na na na! You two are so rotten.” Sounds like the five year olds down the street fighting over who said what to whom that was pretty bad.

I personally think religious fundamentalists are mentally ill but I’m not abrogating their rights to be either fundies or mentally ill.

Now take your brand of extremism and knee-jerk polemics over to “Bring it On” or “Think Progress” and see how far you get in those forums.

I won’t tell you to go away because it’s your right to remain here (though Bushco would love to censor free speech blogs). What I can do is plonk you from the comments section. Whatever you post in the future will be deleted without being read. I suggest you do the same for Daniel and my posts.

70 kent { 12.29.07 at 10:27 pm }

No Todd, when I declare you are mentally ill I am making a rational observation based on your deranged statements. But you can give me some more info when you answer the question about your take on Bill Clinton’s mass murder at Waco, the civil liberties violations of the Clinton’s illegal taking of 500 personal FBI files of enemies for political use, fabricating stories of embezzlement against innocent travel office employees so Harry Thomason’s airline could be given a no-bid award for White House travel so Bill could travel without Bimbo interuptus. When I hear you come down against these documented criminal activities and violations of civil liberties, I may take some of your other statements seriously. Truth is you and Daniel have no trouble with real infringements on civil liberties as long as they are done in the name of socialist causes.

71 MartinHill { 12.30.07 at 4:46 am }

@kent
Well, I know I shouldn’t get drawn into this – I do agree that explosive political statements inserted into articles can be dangerous (witness the amount of off-topic comments in this thread), but….

I just have to express my amazement at kent’s stated point of view. I’m in Australia and haven’t encountered such a blatantly pro-war position before, one that runs counter to everything we hear and see in the rest of the world. We’re one of your closest allies, but most of Australia (and our newly elected prime minister thank goodness) is aghast at what Bush has perpetrated in Iraq (and on the climate change issue).

I am gob-smacked that you can say you feel safer now considering the hot-bed of a terrorist breeding ground Bush has created in Iraq. If you think the “Surge” will do any good in the long run, you just need to learn from history.

As far as your allegations against Clinton et al, regardless of whether they are true or not, can you really honestly put them on the same level as invading a nation (even if it had a nasty piece of work for a dictator) and slaughtering tens of thousands of civilians, killing 4,000 troops and creating a rallying cry for every militant Islamic in the world?

All for a pretend excuse of WMDs while virtually ignoring Afghanistan where Al-Qaeda was known to be. It is beyond obvious there was no link between 911 and Iraq.

I’m also a Bible-believing Christian who is distraught that Bush and Co are doing this under the banner of Christianity. I just can’t understand how so many American Christians can think of these policies as right and good. The Bible has over 300 verses about looking after the poor, the widows and the captives – issues sorely lacking in Bush’s policies.

Hey, maybe you’re a political astro-turfer after all, but I would like to think you are a person with a conscience who will at least consider an alternate point of view.

-Mart

72 airmanchairman { 12.30.07 at 6:42 am }

I’ve got to say, I’ve been reading RoughlyDrafted articles for longer than I care to admit and have loved the succinct analysis of all things Apple in particular as well as the entire history and politics of Personal and Corporate Computing in general which is one of my pet loves.
However, nothing compelled me to register, login and comment via a post here, ironically, until this delightfully off-topic roller-coaster of a political discourse that is still unfolding as we post!!!
I wondered why I couldn’t tear myself away from the obviously non-tech-related thread until I read harrywolf’s post, and he couldn’t have put it any better: “Call it joining up the dots if you will; it’s the realisation that everything is connected and the connections can NOT be ignored. That’s the way it is.”
I must declare that I gravitate to the political point of view espoused by Danieleran, Nat and Todd and do not consider them deranged in any way; by the same token I reckon Kent isn’t either, though I do think his views (as well as those of Splashman and Serfware) are more conformist and ill-reasoned then the former. Having said that, I would love all involved to take a breather, and I’d certainly like to read what Splashman and Serfware think about Kent’s latest outbursts (can I call them that) to see if the discourse can be put on a more even keel, i.e. let’s hear less invective and more reasoned arguments from the right wing of this debate.
To those of us who are a bit sad that the discussion has wandered dangerously off-topic, I say patience and let the storm blow over so we can get back to our favourite pastime of Mac (and non-Mac) navel-gazing).
Things like this always tend to occur toward the end of the Year and more importantly, the beginning of a new one.
Compliments of the Season to all.

73 kent { 12.30.07 at 9:11 am }
74 sgw { 12.31.07 at 1:35 am }

I wish politics were not included, since the reasoned arguments that we all enjoy on this site in regards to Apple seems not to cross over into politics.

“…resurrect the 4000+ soldiers killed in an assassination effort that had nothing to do with “defending our liberties”.”

This was not an assassination effort. It was an effort to topple a dangerous regime and to create a democratic government as a way to combat the growing islamic fundamentalist movement which we stood by and let grow during the 90′s.

[That's what the right wing books say, but there are far more "dangerous regimes around the world," and plenty of ideologies that are equally problematic and a threat to the US and/or their own people: North Korea, Myanmar, the rest of the Middle East, Central America - the only difference was that Iraq had oil, and Bush thought we could go in and take it, then use that wealth to rebuild the country with American contractors. Unfortunately for everyone involved, there was no real plan, just a splash and dash effort to drape the flag around a military effort and incite hysteria inflamed with supposed Christianity. That's fascism. ]

“…it’s not a war. The people of Iraq didn’t attack us or even threaten us. Iraq’s dictator was a tyrant and the US helped him to do terrible things to Iraqis when it suited US interests to do so. However, as bad as Saddam was, he also held in place a secular government that kept the “Islamic terrorists” from gaining control.”

Yes, it is a war and don’t tell that to the men and women of the armed forces who are fighting al-Qaida and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. And don’t tell that the families who have lost loved ones or those who have suffered horrific injuries.
Yes, Saddam was a barrier to terrorist gaining control of iraq, but he also supported them. He didn’t have full control of the entire country in areas such as north western iraq in which you had an al-Qaida affiliated group called Ansar al-Islam. If we had not gone in, he would have eventually died and the country would most likely fall into a civil war and would have provided a great opportunity for islamic fundamentalist to gain control, just like the taliban gain control of afghanistan in the 90′s.

[Well duh its a war zone. The problem is that I'm "not supporting the troops," but that you're scurrying away from debate about issues to suggest that I'm a bad person for not flag waving. There are plenty of horrible dictators worldwide that are like hornets nests. Kicking them isn't actually smarter than leaving them alone and smoking them out with less violent measures that don't put our volunteer army at unnecessary risk. There is nothing great about killing soldiers, so don't celebrate it. Iraq is a festering mess of instability and there isn't enough money to solve the problem in the next decade. But it will cost us just the same. ]

“The Bush-led effort didn’t restore democracy in Iraq. It only toppled the government. It also fired the police as part of a disastrously unplanned invasion with no post-war rebuilding plan, resulting in a lawless chaos that destroyed the infrastructure of the nation and sent its struggling middle class into poverty. That put fanatical religious clerics and warlords into control, further inflaming problems for the area.”

Iraq was not a democracy, it was a dictatorship, therefor we didn’t restore democracy.
Yes, post war planning was a disaster. Many religious clerics and warlords are not fanatical. In fact, many of the insurgents are secular. We are now working with many of the local clerics and warlords who are now fighting against al-Qaida.

[So says who? Iraq is a festering boil dominated by religious renegades, not a melting pot of anti-terrorism activists. You do realize that terrorism is primarily used by angry minorities who have no other option. Taking away people's livelihoods and security creates terrorism, it does not make the world safer. ]

“We are not safer. We are at much greater risk from a larger group of terrorists with greater reason to hate us that ever existed in Iraq before.
No one can say one way or the other that we are safer.”

Anybody who tells you one way or the other is a liar. Actually, al-Qaida popularity has declined, particularly in Iraq. There are two major reasons for this, first as a result of our relief effort in response to the tsunami in indonesia, and second as a result of the brutality of al-Qaida in Iraq.

[Al Qaida had no presence in Iraq before the Bush invasion, so congratulating him with its supposed "decline in popularity" is absurd. It is also not the greatest threat to peace or to US interests in the Middle East. That also has no relation to the fact that violence and instability is worse after months of "surge" that before. The US controls minor areas, and the rest of the country is divided up into fiefdoms. If the police can't clean out "bad neighborhoods" in the US, what makes you think a country of millions, unwelcome to further US-led violence, will some how be polished off by a surge in military activity? Did prolonged policing work in Vietnam? ]

“The only way to do business in the country now is to pay right wing religious Blackwater crews to drive you around in an SUV while murdering civilians left and right.”

What an irresponsible statement.

[Why, are you a shareholder in right wing paramilitary groups operating above the law? Are you a murder advocate? ]

“Was it worth trading Clinton era prosperity, a problematic Iraq, and a largely free nation that valued centrist individualism and human rights into a uniformly fascist worldwide chaos of rabidly religious, violently hateful, sexually deviant right wing hypocrites, …”

We didn’t trade Clinton era prosperity. Clinton left the country in recession. The country has seen growth the past couple of year in spite of terrorist attack, rising energy prices and an ongoing war.

[The Republican congress helped usher in a tanking economy by using a petty sexual faux-scandal to hold up any political progress throughout the end of Clinton's presidency. Clinton balanced the budget and created a business friendly environment that helped drive the Internet boom. Remember Al Gore pushing to finance that? ]

“…creating an America that is now only slightly different than the Middle East?”

How?

[The US I grew up in wasn't fanatical about inquisitions, crusades, the use of torture, and other insanely backward movements. If you don't see parallels between the ultra rich oil sheiks vs the desperately poor, the religious intolerance and fanatical fundamentalist propaganda and censorship, then perhaps you need to pull the blinders off.]

“Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld started a conflict that will cost our children trillions of dollars and expose them to the most toxic threat of fundamentalism ever, even if we can haul them in to court for their war crimes and lock them up forever. ”

No, they did not expose us to the threat of fundamentalism. Our ignoring the problem during the 90′s has exposed all of us to the threat. What they have done it take on the threat of Islamic Fundamentalism head on.

[You are so engorged with crusade brainwashing that you can't even see what's going on. Bush did not solve any problems by turning Iraq from a functional and largely benign dictatorship to chaotic war zone through sheer ineptitude. He had no long term plan, still offers no plans beyond short term spending demands, and the results of his blind stab are obvious.]

“They have screwed our future, and you congratulate them?”

No, they have not screwed our future. What they have done is provide an alternative to islamic fundamentalism and a chance for a better future. When the peoples of Middle East see for themselves what the islamic fundamentalism have to offer and what we have to offer, they will choose what we offer. Right now, many middle eastern people image of america is formed from dictators and fundamentalist who spout propaganda which is unfortunately not far from the picture that you wish to paint. But, when people such as those in the Anbar Province see for the own eye the difference between what al-Qaida has to offer and what American has to offer, it is the best weapon to combat the rise of the islamic fundamentalist.

[What chance do Iraqi people have now that they can't do business, educate their kids, and push for reform? Bush gave them one choice: cower and die or join a fanatical rebellion and try to push us out. America doesn't offer Iraq anything. Look what we've done to other countries, like Vietnam or the Philippines or Cuba or Iran or Nicaragua: we set up bad dictators that resulted in worse conditions for people, not better, and commonly that drove them into desperate revolutions. The US isn't on the verge of turning Iraq into another Texas suburb.]

“Locking up hundreds of thousands of Americans on petty drug offenses while Bush’s spiritual advisor is using meth to enhance his experiences with prostitutes.
The war on individualism and the constitution:
The Fox lead effort to establish fundamentalist religion as a state church, and celebrate a lineup of supposedly “Christian” right wing candidates that want to slaughter more people, torture suspects who are accorded no legal rights, and drive new throngs of people into the arms of muslim extremists by destroying existing governments in the Middle East and replacing them with chaotic war zones…
Then there’s the wars on science, reason, intellectual thought, the environment, state’s rights, freedom of expression, etc. I summed it up as ‘the war on everything.’”

Not sure what you are talking about here.

[The war on everything. It's what fundamentalist religious nuts do, whether they are in the Middle East or the White House.]

“The mercenaries are Blackwater death squads, which the US pays big money to while leaving our volunteer army unprotected, under-served, under paid, in danger, and without a real plan. No amount of ‘getter done / support the troops” well wishing changes that fact.”

Just a out right lie. Many of the Blackwater personal are former military. They are there to provide protection to many US government personal at great risk to themselves. The fact that you compare them to death squads I presume because the the recent incident involving civilian deaths, I find disgusting. There is a plan. The current so called “surge” involves more then just 30,000 more troops. It also includes a new strategy. It is unfortunate that General Patreas and his people we not in charge earlier, perhaps things could have been different.

[Well I agree that things were poorly planned to start with, but a mercenary is a mercenary. Blackwater is a private military paid by the US much better than our national military. You know, our socialist army, which like our socialist Interstate system, provides for the social welfare of the population. Blackwater is like a toll road for the ultra rich built on the country's tab while the rest of the nation has to sit in traffic on highways that are falling apart. Except that rather than slowing us down, Bush's private army is killing civilians using mass murder techniques and exposing our real military to greater threat. Bush is also denying our real military veteran benefits and the equipment they need to do their job. It is Bush's supporters who are "not supporting the troops" because there is more money in funneling money into right wing military contractors and hired killers. You should be ashamed to say you "support troops" while defending Blackwater.]

“Bush sent +4000 Americans to die in a religious crusade fantasy, supposedly in response to ~3000 victims of 9/11, and has committed unfathomable billions of the country’s resources to shore up wartime profiteering he directly benefits from, rather than attempting to serve and protect the nation following disasters from storms, aging infrastructure, and a failing educational system.
The only way anyone can support Bush is by shooting up meth, hyping up into a religious frenzy by watching a televangelist, and then pouring over right wing fascist propaganda. I just don’t think that’s healthy for the country.”

Delusion

“In WWII, the US spent years planning a reconstruction effort to rebuild Germany and Japan. When Bush attacked Iraq, there was no rebuilding plan, and no real attack plan. Input from people who know how to do things–regardless of their political affiliation–was ignored. It wasn’t a ‘best effort,’ it was a desperate ploy to enrich political friends at great expense of lives and resources.”

Yes, there was no plan for rebuilding. What they did plan for was for mass refugees and massive oil fire like those that resulted after the the Gulf War, none which happened.

[No they didn't. They didn't spend any time planning, and ignored the advice of people who knew what needed to be done. There was no support for refugees, and there was no support for the troops fighting. Where do you get this stuff? Oh wait, I already know that.]

“The Iraq invasion had nothing to do with peace keeping, and there was no urgency involved. This was not a WWII situation where a rogue axis of nations were colluding to support a fascist, militaristic takeover of Europe and Asia. This was a misguided detour started before the policing effort in Afghanistan was complete. Iraq also has zero to do with 9/11, and repeating the idea doesn’t make it true. The 9/11 terrorists were Saudis that Iraq’s government was hostile toward.”

Afghanistan is not a police action, it is a war. Iraq had nothing to do with the 911 attack. Iraq is part the strategy against islamic fundamentalism. The real goal was to plant the seed of democracy as a way to combat the growth of islamic fundamentalist.

[Islamic fundamentalism is a new way of saying 9/11 among right wing radicals. But Iraq was not a hot bed of Islamic fundamentalism either. It was a secular nation next to Iran, Syria, and Lebanon! Are you out of your gourd? The Islamic fundamentalists behind 9/11 and other terrorist actions were from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. The difference is that the US has contracts for Saudi oil, but no control over Iraq's oil. We still don't. Bush screwed up, it killed a LOT of people, and now you're saying it was the fault of a Islamic group that didn't have any control in Iraq? The fundamentalists causing the chaos and destruction of Iraq were rabidly fundamentalist Americans, led by Bush.]

“Iraq now has no security in place, and power has already fallen to radical terrorist extremists. There is not going to be a vote that restores the country to normalcy. No “surge” is going to do anything. Are you imagining the country is another 1945 Germany, waiting to be restored as a modern nation? It’s a violent, destroyed country taken over by extremists. Bush turned a problem into a nightmare.”

Actually this is not true, the Anbar Province which was one of the most dangerous a year ago has become one of the safer provinces. What has happen is the we are working with the local clerics and warlords to provide security in their local communities. Many of the local residents are actively going after al-Qaida elements in their community. The combination of working with the local warlords ( many were former insurgents) and the defeat of the al-Qaida in the Anbar providence has resulted in a dramatic reduction in violence in that province.

[I'm glad you think things are going so well compared to last year. The problem is that both Iraq and the US are far worse than they were in 2001. There is no controversy there. It's also Bush's fault for starting a military action with no planning and based on false premises.]

“You like to call me a “leftist” and dismiss me as not knowing what a military is for. You are mistaken. I’m only left leaning when compared to a fascist supporter of endless holy wars waged to benefit commercial interests. Blind allegiance to a failed, criminal, autocratic traitor operating outside of the law really has nothing to do with conservative values or “rightist” politics. It’s a gross oversimplification to describe right and wrong as R and D. In doing so, you reveal an extreme shallowness of thought.”

Unfortunately, your comments also reveal an extreme shallowness.

[The difference is that I can articulate a point of view because I hold it based on knowledge of what's going on, not because its been impregnated into my head by con artists. I am not advocating a failure based on a lack of planning, a series of lies to the public, and trying to hide beneath a flag and a "support the troops" ribbon.]

“This is not a partisan issue of democrats or republicans; the US government is run by corporations and lobbyists. There is no political debate over issues, just jingoism published by sources with clear motives of distracting people from the truth.”

This has become partisan issue unfortunately. Its sad that the debate has degenerated the rhetoric that I have read on this blog instead of honest debate of the issue.

[Yes, and shame on the Bush administration for ushering in a fascist "support the state or you are a traitor" mentality for that. ]

“As long as you conceptualize the world using phrases you pulled out of an Ann Coulter novel, you will be positioned as a loser in a fight that only makes sense when you wrap it up in religious intolerance and hatred and fire off invectives at anyone more progressive minded, tolerant, and informed than you.”

The reason why the anti-war movement has failed and why Congress has failed to stop the war despite the Presidents low approval ratings is because of the shallowness of many of the arguments used. There are legitimate arguments against the war and this administration policies, but instead most of the time the arguments that used are weak and dishonest.

[Easy to say that without backing up anything. What "weak or dishonest arguments" are there, besides those you offer for extending a surge and expanding war into Iran? The "anti-war movement" hasn't failed, it has brought to attention the criminal activity of Bush and his close staff, their incompetence, their Ouija-board planning, and their tremendous bloodguilt, not to mention the outrageous financial burden placed on our children for generations. ]

“As long as you prefer to believe that Bush worked hard to do anything to solve the problems caused by Katrina (such as appointing unqualified retards to head FEMA),…”

The local and state government also deserve much of the blame for Katrina, if not more.

[And why does a Federal Emergency Management Agency exist? Why shouldn't it be expected to manage Federal emergencies? Why shouldn't Bush be expected to staff it with competent people rather than retard lackeys with no experience in anything related to FEMA's mandate?]

“and that the TSA is preventing terrorism by shaking us down for shampoo bottles,…”

The reason for the so called “shaking us down for shampoo bottles” is because terrorist were trying to get liquid explosives onto airplanes. Should we ignore the threat? Return to the 90′s policy of asking people if they pack their bags?

[Right, and all those terrorist fears are solved by pouring everything into big vats in the nation's airports. And fingernail clippers, and having a few lighters but not more than 3 or 4 or whatever. Yes, they're really doing their job. What about having a flight control system that isn't archaic, so we actually know where planes are? What about investigating if throwing huge heavy cars into the air isn't the most effective and secure way to move people around? There was no major ongoing US terrorism threat prior to Bush being president, and his actions after 9/11 made no real difference in the nation's safety afterward.]

“…and that the 2007 Congress orchestrated our racist drug policies and prison expansion programs (right wing prisons that both exist as fundamentalist training camps and ironically also the largest institutional anal rape programs the universe has ever seen – what does Jesus think about that?) and carefully ignore the clever political propaganda that drips from every frame of Fox broadcasts, then there isn’t much sense that can be talked into you.”

Wow

“Do you really think that Blackwater has the right to murder, as long as they are shooting brown people? You are a real piece of work telling me that “a very powerful hate” clouds my thinking. How is your position any different from the brainwashed guards who supported fascists half a century ago?
And what efforts of George Bush are you so thankful: stopping California from limiting emissions? Restoring 17th century religious politics? his 13th century crusades and inquisitions? Demeaning the US internationally? Grinding up those troops you support with your well wishing?”

Sad,this is part of the problem.

[I agree.]

75 zaxzan { 12.31.07 at 10:50 am }

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE …

Hello, Basil Fawlty here.

“Don’t mention the war, I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it”

76 ruzel { 12.31.07 at 9:50 pm }

But why a KEYBOARD!? C’mon, that’s so 20th century. Any Apple device coming out from here on out is going to be under a lot of pressure to utilize the touchscreen technology that the iPhone has pioneered. The new subnotebook with be more like a Nintendo DS with two screens that can be folded apart as a tablet, or folded book-style with one of the screens operating as a touchscreen.

77 kent { 12.31.07 at 10:36 pm }

War is a topic that naturally stirs the emotions. War has always been with us. It is interesting to read history from the Civil War, when the Democrat party was fighting Lincoln and the war effort and even working to preserve slavery. He was called names that you wouldn’t believe and his strategy was ridiculed. He went through about six Generals before he got to US Grant, who was known partly as a drunk. The war effort somehow succeeded, if you can call it that, after about 5 years of Civil War and I think, about 600,000 lives lost. Yet Lincoln is somehow revered as a hero after having spent so much of the country’s fortune and sent so many men to their deaths. At the time he was anything but a hero as people hated him for what he did, to the point that he was assassinated.

Should democracy succeed in Iraq, which is clearly an open question, and should it help shape other countries in the region, then how will this war be viewed? The entire region to this point has been led by corrupt monarchs and brutal dictators who support terror when it coincides with their interests (see Hezbollah and Iran). Given that we are in the middle of this conflict, I think it would be good if we all least held out that wish, that the result would be good. Would you have supported Lincoln in his impossible dream halfway through the Civil War, with 300,000 still to die? Would you have been a voice for beating slavery, or would you have said let’s let slavery continue because that is the price of peace?

Of course the Byrds made clear war is a part of the plan, words adapted from the Bible -Ecclesiastes.

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

78 kent { 01.01.08 at 9:28 am }

An interesting story from AP today about the release of Sara Jane Moore, who attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford. She nearly succeeded. Read her words about why she did this. How does this apply today?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Ford in a 1975 assassination attempt, was released from prison Monday. Moore, 77, had served about 30 years of a life sentence when she was released from the federal prison in Dublin, east of San Francisco, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said.
She was 40 feet away from Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on Sept. 22, 1975. As she raised her .38- caliber revolver and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Ford’s head by several feet.

In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views.

“I am very glad I did not succeed. I know now that I was wrong to try,” Moore said a year ago in an interview with KGO-TV.

Just 17 days before Moore’s attempt, Ford survived an attempt on his life in Sacramento by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson.

Moore said that she was convinced at the time that the government had declared war on the left.

“I was functioning, I think, purely on adrenaline and not thinking clearly. I have often said that I had put blinders on and I was only listening to what I wanted to hear,” she told KGO.

Moore’s confusing background—which included five failed marriages, name changes and involvement with political groups like the Symbionese Liberation Army—baffled the public and even her own defense attorney during her trial.

79 sgw { 01.01.08 at 10:38 pm }

[...The problem is that I’m “not supporting the troops,” but that you’re scurrying away from debate about issues to suggest that I’m a bad person for not flag waving. ]

I do not think that you are a bad person and that is not my intent to say so. I just strongly disagree with many of your statements and try to counter them without degenerating down to left or right wing name calling (I’m not alway successful).

[Why, are you a shareholder in right wing paramilitary groups operating above the law? Are you a murder advocate? ]

No, not a shareholder. There are legal issue about private security firm and the use of deadly force acting as agents of the US. The main reason for the use of these security firms is there are not enough troops to do all the security jobs. But if you must know, I do know people who have served in Iraq who know people who work for these security firms. I have heard them talk about the stress and fears while in Iraq. Knowing that they may have to make split second decisions which could result in either their comrades death or their own death or possibly the death of innocent civilians. And, if they do make the wrong decision and kill civilians, its something that will haunt many of them for the rest of their lives and they know that a lot of people back home are ready to hang them for it. Its very difficult for these men since many terrorist dress as civilians, hide among civilians and use the civilians as a tool for their terror. I will not condemn all these men as a whole for any atrocities that a few may have committed, if any. So you tell me, am I a murder advocate?

[What chance do Iraqi people have now that they can’t do business, educate their kids, and push for reform? Bush gave them one choice: cower and die or join a fanatical rebellion and try to push us out. America doesn’t offer Iraq anything. Look what we’ve done to other countries, like Vietnam or the Philippines or Cuba or Iran or Nicaragua: we set up bad dictators that resulted in worse conditions for people, not better, and commonly that drove them into desperate revolutions. The US isn’t on the verge of turning Iraq into another Texas suburb.]

They have a chance and its up to them, all we can do is help. They can’t do business because of the radicals has moved in and terrorized the citizens. For a change, in regards to Iraq, the administration is not following the same old formula used by Europe and past US administrations of supporting dictatorships. We are not supporting another Saddam or Shah of Iran. We are trying to set up an elected government which most westerners enjoy, which is shared by Sunni, Shia and Kurds. This is a very difficult thing to do especially when most of the world stands by and does nothing, Iran and Syria try to undermine it, and al-Qaida make Iraq its central campaign. We are trying to protect the citizens not murder them. That is the key to the “Surge” strategy, not the 30,000 troops. Its not US military that are killing the citizens, (yes, I acknowledge that civilians have died as a result of US action) its the terrorist and insurgents which bomb the markets, kill the local leaders, and murder the citizens. Thats why the citizens of Anbar are working with the US to retake their communities back from these radicals. Thats why Anbar citizens are fighting al-Qaida and local clerics have forbidden anti-american literature posted on their Mosques. They want to, as you said, do business, educate their kids, and live and prosper, and not live under a dictatorship that is supported by the US and Europe. They want help and only a few are willing. A question one should ask themselves is what happens if this were to succeeded.

80 kent { 01.01.08 at 11:33 pm }

Well said, SGW. Here’s to a democratic Iraq in 2008 and safety to our troops and the Iraqi population, and defeat to the terrorists who are trying to prevent democracy and peace.

And a great 2008 to Apple, which makes great products and tries to bring true innovation to all of the areas in which it operates.

And a great 2008 to Daniel, who sponsors this forum, and produces the best analysis of where Apple is and where its going.

81 serfware { 01.02.08 at 3:00 pm }

@airmanchairman

Well I was quite ready to drop this thread after nat’s last response to me as it was pretty clear my posts were not being read very carefully, if hardly at all. In an attempt to bolster thgd’s sometimes bizarre assertions (I addressed this in a post #35), he claimed: I said Daniels views were “third-rate” and “invalid” (I never did); pigeonholed views as “right” and “wrong” (I didn’t); and was trying to boost my ego by making personal attacks (what personal attacks?!). I was hoping someone could explain that post to me but the discussion seemed already lost. Again, please see my post #35 to see where I was trying to go with this.

Obviously, some have simply decided to bundle me in with a few others and run with it.

So, airmanchairman, I’m more conformist and ill reasoned! Given some of vitriol and eye-popping theories floating in this thread, that’s tough talk indeed. I would love to hear more.

And please, if you could, unlike thgd and nat (and perhaps others), stay on-topic and confine your comment to things I actually wrote. That would be helpful.

82 gramby { 01.04.08 at 8:57 am }

Wow. That was was of the most bizarre non sequiturs I think I’ve ever come across in a technical article. I was almost expecting to read how the iPhone was going to fail because “Bush Lied and People Died!!!!” And even more bizarrely, the fascists seem to have come out of the woodwork the moment anyone commented on that particular aspect of the article.

The first of them telling some guy how they (and I’m paraphrasing here) should shut the hell up because it’s this dude’s blog and he can write whatever he wants. Notwithstanding the fact that this blogger allows comments.

And then the bigots show up calling people “Righttards” (sp?) and some other weird crap because they apparently don’t have anything rational to say.

As bizarre as all of that was, I just figured this guy had a few lunatic fringe readers that were incapable of having a rational discussion, but then he starts posting a defense of not only the weird connection he made between the success of the iPod and the Iraq war, but of the censors and bigots railing on the people who commented on the bizarreness of the supposed connection.

All of which really brings into question the insight and logic of the entire article. Up until that last comment, I thought I was actually reading an insightful analysis of life at Apple. Now I have to question every statement made in the entire posting. How sad…

83 kent { 01.04.08 at 5:50 pm }

Gramby,

As one of the “conservatards” I would like you to get my title right. Not “righttard”, “conservatard” and one who voted for the fascist state.

84 untitled { 01.05.08 at 3:03 pm }

Thanks Daniel, and keep up the great work!

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