Tag Archives: Computers

Not a tribute to Steve Jobs, just a sad note. Nicola Tesla or Thomas Edison?

I’m more than a reluctant adherent to Apple technology, and am personally saddened at the death of Steve Jobs. Was he only 56? I assumed by his accomplishment that he was decades older. But my sadness is probably selfishly motivated, as a suspect of Apple acolytes, believing that Apple’s fruitfulness was owed chiefly to its larger-than-life leader, so a return to Jobless Apple means no more candy. But Jobs wasn’t larger than life really, he seems to have led less than a life. The fact that Steve Jobs was unable to discuss his cancer for fear of rocking the markets and hurting his company’s stock value, betrays the preoccupation he had with the bottom line. One of the richest persons in the world, who’d influenced so many lives in an incredibly personal way, went to his death a mystery. And while convention may hold that’s it’s too early for heresies before the wake, accelerated Twitter lag means a post mortem enforced deference for Steve Jobs has probably already expired.

Was Steve Jobs a visionary? Only for business models. He appears to have been a workaholic dedicated to the singular goal of building a better mousetrap. I suppose to give him his due, he built some swell ones, even as we catch on very slowly that the promise of computers enhancing our productivity has resulted in compounded labors, not savings, the mouse in question was us.

The sum of Apple’s product line was basically a self-enforced electronic ankle bracelet.

Steven Spielberg probably meant to honor Steve Jobs by comparing him to Thomas Alva Edison. Interesting, because those of us more familiar with history know that’s probably accurate for reasons Spielberg did not intend. Edison was not an inventor, instead he jumped on the scientific discovery of electromagnetism and maintained a sweatshop of scientists to innovate applications. It’s well known that Steve Wozniak invented the first personal computer, his friend Jobs simply marketed it. The Woz went on to invent the universal remote, so we have to credit Jobs for having a vision beyond the barcalounger. No disrespect of Wozniak intended.

If the Woz had an Edison contemporary, it was Nicola Tesla, renowned mad scientist, robbed of the credit and profit for inventing Alternating Current. He was Edison’s nemesis actually, and Edison lobbied against AC for a national power grid in favor of his patents for Direct Current. Probably by now everyone has heard that Edison would rush to circuses when they had to publicly execute an elephant for insubordination. Edison would electrocute the animals to demonstrate the lethal properties of AC.

So how does all this relate to Steve Jobs, the secrets of whose proprietary technologies we have yet to explore? Whose industry record high profit margins were dependent on cheap Chinese labor, factories which suffered high rates of suicide? Even the most ardent Mac addicts had a hard time championing Apple’s iTunes direct attack on peer to peer file sharing.

Let’s be honest. Steve Jobs was a Hamiltonian elitist when it came to Open Source. The Mac was never intended for everybody, it was trickle down technology and where software designers gave you what they knew was good for you. Hard to argue with much of it, including Jobs’ personal crusade to free his users from porn. But the business model also resembled a table top jukebox, where users paid, through the nose if you figure the charges compounded, for every ounce of content. The Apple became a virtual parking meter bluenosed into your bank account. Following the Java model meant Jobs got you to pay for the apps themselves.

Imagine if Steve Jobs had applied his visionary acumen to the $99 Laptop Project to fight poverty and lift the third world into the information age. Yeah, hard to imagine. Maybe after his death secrets will leak out about a philanthropic visionary Steve Jobs. Too bad we never knew him.

As innovative as Jobs appeared, compared to PT Barnum innovation-retrograde Bill Gates, Apple technology may likely prove to be the DC that has holding the internet back from open source radical transcendence.

$35 iNDIApad running Linux reveals iPad users pay for intellectual property

While MIT has been racing to design the world’s first $100 computer, India has performed an end-run at a third the price, and it’s a tablet no less. Running with open-source software, as genuine volks-werks will, the iNDIAPAD will reach third world schoolchildren for $35, developers at the India Institute of Science hope even as low as $10. Absent keypad and hand crank, but with camera, touchscreen and wireless. Which begs the question of course, what indispensable features drive Apple prices? Bill Gates earned his fortune on them. Patents.

For the Climate Deniers…

Bill O’Lie-ly said this January was the coldest on record. Perhaps he could learn a little science, specifically mathematics. If not then he could learn how to ask people whose business it is to provide scientifically sound information to for instance the Shipping Industry, farmers and the U.S. Military, none of whom are much noted for Radical Left Wing thought processes. Like NOAA, who reported that the average global ground temperature Increased by very nearly a full degree C.
The IBM corporate model is founded in a mission statement they made back in 1945. When they got the funding to build the first “supercomputers” (Analog Calculators, actually, the “AC” part of their names) ENIAC and UNIVAC. That they would be able to predict major weather events a year in advance.

This on “computers” which had less calculating power than this “dinosaur” 10 year old desktop I’m typing on right now.
It’s a spectacular example of Corporate Welfare gone terribly wrong. Bill-ionaire O’Reilly knows quite a bit about Corporate Welfare, but as it’s his beneficiary on the Gilded Road to Hell, he’s not going to squeak about it very loudly. Or, at all.

So they extended the accurate predictions for major weather events from 5 days to 7. Big Hairy Deal, yes? Well, in a way.

The failures of that business model, (for which they’re still drawing royalties, an interesting economic term in what’s supposed to be a “free” market) led to some pretty remarkable mathematic theories and applications of Chaos Theory. One is that not only the Earth but the Universe is a closed mathematic system. Finite. Iterations of what are supposed to be infinite variations, repetitions and patterns where the Patterns would have fallen apart if the system were infinte. So, how does an established pattern in a finite system develop such a major rift?

But all that is above the heads of Bill-do and his demented fans. They’re instead pushing the provincial notion that a small portion of the small system (relative to the universe) that hits us with snow in winter?

The notion that snowstorms in winter would actually have become so anomalous that it’s newsworthy should be a clue. But the Dumbass Patrol can’t get a clue if somebody rubs their noses in it.

I’ve got relatives. Of course. Some of them live in an almost Medieval Backward Poverty Zone called Cleburne, Texas. There’s a joke in Cleburne on the lines of the maps you get in Johnson County only show Johnson County, and at the county line the world drops off. On the mythical maps the edges around the county line are filled with notations like “Terra Incognito” (Thet thar’s where them Terrists live, boy) and “Here Be Dragons!!”

There are people in Johnson County who have never made the arduous journey to Ft Worth. Ft Worth city limits are like two miles from the county line. Dallas is a myth they use to frighten their kids (Eat your vegetables and go on to bed. You know what happens to kids who stay up late and don’t eat their vegetables? The Boogie-Dallas gonna come in and get you!)

Ok, so that’s an extreme example of Parochial Thought. So is the notion that the entire world is limited to the United States. Or that the verified and closely recorded Climate Change, especially the warming of the seas, which is even more extreme, and more important, than the warmer temperatures on land… couldn’t possibly affect weather patterns in America. Nay, verily, the world isn’t even round like them thar smarty pants libruls say it is. Even though the very round nature of the world would be the only way the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles could possibly work.

That’s the reason the Tea Party pulled their kids out of any schools that didn’t allow themselves to be bullied into not showing a speech by the President of the United States urging them to not be a bunch of backward Retards, get an education, learn how to think rather than just believe the ignorant rantings of people like Fox News.

They’re scared of education…. Imagine that if you will.