10.28.11

Apple Lost Respect

Posted in Apple, Patents at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last journey

Summary: How and why people lost respect for the company which turned from an underdog into an attack dog

DISDAIN of Apple seems to have increased — not decreased — in recent years. It is not a matter of scale. Look at IBM for example. It is possible to be an incredibly large company with a huge number of employees (e.g. HP) yet not be envied or ridiculed much. Some companies choose to violate the law, some choose to brag and to attack their competitors, whereas some do a combination of all those things or none of those things.

“It is possible to be an incredibly large company with a huge number of employees (e.g. HP) yet not be envied or ridiculed much.”Apple reputation among non Apple followers (not the same as customers) took a hit when the company chose to create its own scandals, choosing litigation over innovation and underpaid labour in China over American workers for example. There are many reasons to dislike Apple, but this post will not make a comprehensive list (there is one for Microsoft in multiple languages). To us, Apple’s main ‘sin’ is that it is attacking Linux. We do not concentrate on labour law, environmental issues, or even the personal lives of people (or even the death of people, with exceptions where truth gets perturbed). Steve does not get much love in Diaspora, not even after his death. There are derogatory characterisations of him (reminiscent of Nazi propaganda posters) and junk patents like the infamous slide to unlock are not helping the popularisation of the company over there. One noteworthy article that we found published this week is this response to Steve Jobs’ lies:

Why Steve Jobs Was Wrong About Android Being a ‘Stolen’ Product

One of the many revelations in the biography of Steve Jobs from author Walter Isaacson is Jobs’ assertion that Android was a “stolen product.” According to Hayley Tsukayama’s report in The Washington Post, Jobs was furious about Android and vowed to spend all of Apple’s cash to destroy it. The problem is Jobs was wrong about Android. Or if he’s right, then the iPhone was also a stolen product.

The reason that Steve Jobs was wrong is fairly simple to see if you’ve watched technology product development over the years. Nearly every product grows on the work done before it and the iPhone (and iPod Touch) are no exception. Apple created a very nice design for the iPhone, a design that was innovative, included new ways of doing things and most of all was attractive. But the iPhone was a derivative of other products, and while it was an improvement over what came before it (as it should be), it still depended on the ideas developed in those earlier products.

You have to ask yourself what it was that Jobs thought made Android a stolen product. Was it the user interface of icons on a screen that launched applications when touched? Palm had that feature years before Apple ever had a phone. Was it the touch-screen? Palm had that, too, although it worked better if you used a stylus, but then, so does the iPhone. Was it the third-party applications? Several handheld devices had that long before the iPhone, including some Windows-driven phones as well as those from Palm. Was it the integration of email and the personal digital assistant? There were a lot of those out there, too, including the BlackBerry devices.

We wrote about Jobs' allegations last week. “Only Apple thinks they have the right to borrow ideas that then — somehow — become their exclusive property,” wrote Ron in USENET. He is right. Considering Steve’s lies to disown his own daughter, nobody should be too shocked. “Please leave us alone,” Jobs wrote to a college student. Why should we be exceedingly respectful to those who never respected their neighbours? Moreover, it would be sick to admire and glorify such people. Some readers insist that it is bad for us to criticise Apple and Jobs. But why should they be treated differently from Novell and Microsoft?

Notable Apple followers are currently cursing Richard Stallman (yes, still), characterising his reasonable remarks. Dr. Stallman found our what happens — at least from a PR angle — when criticising a company which acts more like a monastery led by someone deceased on a pedestal (North Korea comes to mind), only further reinforcing the belief that there is something sinister and irrational about Apple. We won’t ignore it.

“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

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6 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    October 28, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    Admission:

    DISDAIN of Apple seems to have increased — not decreased — in recent years. It is not a matter of scale. Look at IBM for example. It is possible to be an incredibly large company with a huge number of employees (e.g. HP) yet not be envied or ridiculed much.

    Thank you, Roy, for finally admitting your reasons for attacking Apple (and, presumably, Microsoft): envy.

    Yes, it has been clear this is your reason, but it is the first time I have seen you admit it.

    Envy: Websters

    painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

    Yes: Apple has many things you wish you did and wish the OSS world did: massive success, amazing innovation, hoards of cash, many very happy users. Insanely great products.

    But here is what you are missing: the open source world does have much of this, just not in the same areas. Open source has changed the world – it is amazing. There is no need for you to feel such envy. Try to let it go. Focus on the strengths of open source and, where open source has not proved itself, work to make it better.

    FUD:

    To us, Apple’s main ‘sin’ is that it is attacking Linux.

    In other words, Apple’s main sin is one you made up… one that does not exist in the real world.

    FUD:

    Only Apple thinks they have the right to borrow ideas that then — somehow — become their exclusive property

    This is simply not true. You might agree or disagree with Apple when they say Android crossed the line of “borrowing” ideas and moved into trying to be an outright copy, but do not just lie about their position.

    FUD:

    Notable Apple followers are currently cursing Richard Stallman (yes, still), characterising his reasonable remarks.

    And here you lie and pretend it is only “Apple followers” who recognized what how disrespectful and small Stallman’s comments were. You know better, Roy. You are simply not being honest.

    But now you have admitted why you are not honest: Envy.

    Yes. You are envious of Apple and of Microsoft. It shows in your every post.

    Will Reply:

    You know, putting words in other people’s mouths and setting up straw men are two of the most common tactics displayed by Microsoft boosters and perception managers.

    Michael Reply:

    Relevance? Evidence?

    And “Microsoft boosters”? LOL!

    Roy has now directly talked about Apple and the reasons “others” do not like them (he is clearly speaking for himself): envy.

    Read his comments: he talks about how Apple is “envied and ridiculed”. And that is what it comes down to – envy.

    I prefer to look at the massive “wins” for open source software and not focus on the few areas where Apple or others serve people better than open source products. Heck, without open source Apple would not be where they are today – so in a pretty large way Apple’s success is yet another story of the success of open source.

    But it is not just with Apple – look at web servers and other server room needs… look at embedded devices… look at blogging and content management… look at databases… look at web browsers…

    On and on and on. Those of us who are supporters of open source have many areas to look to with pride and respect. Even if we have not directly built these things, we have supported the philosophy in public and helped open source gain acceptance.

    Let us focus on our wins and our strengths – and our areas of challenge… but when we focus on the latter let us do so with an eye on how we can improve ourselves and not with “envy and ridicule” of others who have been more successful.

    We are bigger than that.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    @Will: trolls make stuff up because they cannot find factual errors. I wrote that “[i]t is possible to be an incredibly large company with a huge number of employees (e.g. HP) yet not be envied or ridiculed much.” It says nothing about Apple. But please, don’t feed the OCD trolls.

    Michael Reply:

    Yes: trolls do make things up… and I am very much against such behavior.

    And, Roy, your paragraph is about Apple:

    DISDAIN of Apple seems to have increased — not decreased — in recent years. It is not a matter of scale. Look at IBM for example. It is possible to be an incredibly large company with a huge number of employees (e.g. HP) yet not be envied or ridiculed much.

    You speak of disdain for Apple… and then note that it is possible to have large companies where they are not “envied or ridiculed” much. You used HP as an example of a company like that – a company not like Apple. A company you do not envy and ridicule. As you do in terms of Apple.

    Envy and ridicule.

    Your words. So back pedal all you want: you made it very clear you envy and ridicule Apple.

    And you do. For once you were honest.

    Michael Reply:

    PS: can someone please post with *anything* so that Roy can respond to me but pretend he is responding to you? :)

    Yeah, Roy: you live for such moments… just thought you should know how obvious it is.

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