Apple and Facebook are Doomed (Again)
- Blog Post by: James Lileks
- February 7, 2013 - 12:53 PM
A “Spartacus” video game would be pretty cool. You could play as the slave-revolt leader, or Crassus. You could win as either. But what would the box art look like? This gamer in Kenya knows:
In Nairobi, there is this shopping center called Diamond Plaza. It is the natural conclusion of a city that doesn’t enforce building codes. It is a beautiful, terrible place, perhaps my favorite in the city. And they sell games here, the sort of games you would expect in a place where only some of the rooms have a floor. Which is to say they are delirious hacks of old, pirated PlayStation 2 standards, from all over the world, with cover art that is uniformly amazing.
For example: the greatest-named game in the world.
There’s also a GTA in which they just dropped the puppet from SAW:
By all means, favor them with a visit. If you tried yesterday and found it busy, it seems to be working today.
Speaking of Crassus: imagine if Bill Gates rose and army and invaded Iran to boost his chances of being President. Eyebrows would raise. That was Crassus. Writers of historical fiction akways have trouble with him; they can't get a handle on his personality. Never a fun-loving guy, let's just say that.
WEB Today’s “Facebook is doomed” story comes from here:
More than half (61 percent) of the members of the social network have taken a break from it from time to time, and more than a quarter (27 percent) told researchers they planned to spend less time there in the future, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Internet Project.
In addition, a fifth of online adults who were not Facebook users said they had used the network at one time but deserted it and never returned, Pew's researchers found.
We’ve really hit the apex of a non-taxing leisure society when people grow weary of something as minimally demanding as Facebook. I do wonder what comes next, though. Something simpler. Right now if you look at your Facebook page, it is possible to realize that you can safely ignore everything you’re seeing. Forever. There has to be a way to minimize the chaff and make a few things seem essential.
TECH Additional proof that writing about Apple for the sake of pageviews makes people insane. Here’s an opening paragraph that’s describing an alternative universe:
It’s hard to like Apple. To the dismay of conventional thinkers everywhere, the fruit company sambas to its own tune: makes the wrong products, at the wrong prices, for the wrong markets, at the wrong time. And, infuriatingly, wins.
It’s hard to like them, unless you like their products or held their stock. Otherwise, such a punchable mug that company has. They make the wrong products - and people buy them! What manner of sorcery do they employ, exactly?
Some of Apple’s ill-advised moves are well known. When other PC companies were shuttering their retail stores, Apple opened dozens in the most expensive locales.
And flourished, because unlike most of the dim ugly nerd-caves, they made it look like a shoe store.
During the post-dotcom crash, instead of layoffs, Apple spent millions to hire and boost R&D.
Hard to love a company that sinks money in its future, I know.
To the “Show us a $500 netbook, now!” amen corner Apple gave the un-netbook iPad, not at $999 but $499.
Again, it’s almost impossible not to hate a company that does not make the fad product other companies are pumping out, and does not sell that non-product for the arbitrary price of $999.
The App Store and iTunes are still not open.
By “open” he doesn’t mean “accessible to the consumer,” but “composed of open source code anyone can use to insert their products into the store, bypassing Apple completely.” I think that’s what he means. Unless he means you have to use the App Store and iTunes to get apps and media on your computer. Which you don’t.
Google hasn’t been given the keys to iOS devices yet…
Macy’s never tossed Gimbels the keys to the front door and the list of upcoming sale prices, either. Result: Macy’s is still in business. I don’t know what “keys” means, either. There are four Google apps on my phone. Not bad for a competitor.
Clearly, this is a company that hasn’t learned the market-share-über-alles lesson from the Wintel era and is repeating the same mistakes, again.
Apple isn’t after market share. Apple is after profit. Two different things. But does her mean they are repeating the lesson of Microsoft, or their own behavior in the 80s and 90s?
Then it hits you: since everything so far was either inane or an inversion of reality, this is a parody. This is how people make fun of people who have Serious Theories about what Apple should - nay, must do. Whew.
Then you read on. Nope, he’s serious. Some of them are mere wish-list items, some are hilariously trivial - Apple is too committed to PDF! - and others come with self-refuting graphics. Like, Apple should make this:
They should also make styluses and issue their own credit card. Because that's what Apple does, right? Move into a pre-existing category and try to make some money there. Criminey.
© 2015 Star Tribune