Just out of pure spite: Things that blow up in Steve Jobs’s face.
Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers
Apple continues to amaze. Iíve never seen a company have a technical meltdown in front of the eyes of the world the way Apple did today. Yet when my son got out of the store after three hours of hell inside the store (we were snuck to the front of the line by someone who gave us cuts so that we could be among the first to get one, so that we could document what it was like for him to walk into the store and be #1 ó he waited for two days) he said he still loved Apple and still loved his 3G iPhone.
That said, no other company in the world has so much brand love in reserve that it can get this reaction. Any other company in the world would have seen riots after it took more than an hour to process even a portion of the first group of 20 people to enter the store.
Here’s a frustrated Scoble caught by Venturebeat:
I can easily imagine what would have happened if, say, Microsoft had announced a major update to an application or an online service, only to see its servers blow up on the big day. Otherwise, just sign up to Twitter and see what happens when the service heads for the fjords.
Apple fanboys love this video of Windows 98 going blue in the face on Bill Gates. Too bad Steve Jobs wasn’t caught on camera Thursday or Friday. It is also pretty interesting that Apple’s “Hot News” page doesn’t mention Thursday’s and Friday’s problems at all. The company was incommunicado – the biggest no-no according to communication specialists.
For your information, I do not have an iPhone – if you call me, I will pick up a Nokia 6233 – but I spent most of Thursday with a very shaky (to say the least) connection to
dotmac MobileMe and also had to deal with some mysterious semi-update.
As a media user I live by the rule that if a newspaper, tv or radio story involves either sex, drinking or suicides (preferably, from the perspective of media editors a mix of all three) and “the internet” or “social websites”, I should be really cautious. And so should you.
The problem is that adding “the internet” and these days (because everybody have access to the internet) “social websites” is the modern day version of “out in the deep forest”. In the 21st century mythical creatures like trolls, vampires and leprechauns and their equivalents have moved from the moors and dark forests to the internet.
Take the story of Amanda Hudson and her 15 year-old daughter Jodie. Jodie threw a party, and boy, did she throw a party. It was the biggest thing this side of Caligula with teenagers consuming alcohol galore, having copious amounts of sex and – best of all – ripping a luxury house completely apart. In the end a massive police force had to intervene to stop the destruction. But my guess is that this wasn’t what made editors orgasmic. It was the fact that the party had been announced on the social website Bebo, made infamous by the Welsh internet suicide pact.
…Mrs Hudson says the party was anything but a drunken riot. In her letter before action to the newspapers, her lawyers say that the Hudsons employed private security guards to help supervise the private party on 3 May. The letter adds that nothing was stolen; no alcohol was served or permitted; none of the guests took part in sexual acts; the police were not called; and only minor damage was caused to one of the doors. Mrs Hudson also denies “punching or otherwise chastising” her daughter.
So where did the story come from?
Well, first young Jodie had been a bit … let us say creative when she posted an account of the party on her Bebo profile. She may have a big career as a tabloid journalist ahead of her.
Second, the story fitted nicely into the narrative that the internet in general and social websites in particular is an inherently dangerous place which will ruin the life of your children. Set up an account on Bebo and within a couple of weeks the average 15 year-old will have turned into a suicidal sex-crazed alcoholic pursued by just about every sexual predator in the world.
Lawyers now warn that the Hudson story will have consequences for media. According to The Independent:
The case is expected to have far-reaching consequences for third parties who use or publish information from social networking sites. Lawyers say it could place a duty on all second-hand users to establish the truth of everything they want to republish from such sites.
Oh dear. Unlike bloggers, professional journalists will have to check their sources in the future. If we could only ask them to be critical of modern myths as well.