Are You Hooked On iCloud?

When news is boring it’s OK to just make up the news. Jonny Evans claims to know what Apple wants. Addiction to iCloud.

Apple gives you just 5GB of space for free. Use more than that and you need to pay.

This quantity of storage is no way large enough. Just think about it; if you take 1,000 2MB images while on vacation (easy to do) then you will use just under 2GB of your free iCloud space. If you happen to make a PDF book of the best of them to share via iCloud Drive and iCloud email (stored in the iCloud) you can wave farewell to more space…

Good grief. Nobody should be backing up email in iCloud. Settings? Yes. I’m a heavy duty Apple user and I just topped 3GB of the 5GB Apple gives iCloud users for free. 99-cents a month gets you 20GB of iCloud storage. I tried the 200GB option but it took days to get everything worthwhile on my iPhone to backup (a problem with online backups).

Samsung Galaxy S6 Goes All Out To Beat iPhone 6

Jay McGregor can’t find factual news so resorts to the Good Ship Rumor Mill.

Samsung might ditch the plastic design that has long served its flagship S series, in favour of a more premium metal finish. It’s done so with the Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha series – to critical acclaim – and the South Korean company is looking to capitalise on this success by bringing it to its flagship line.

Maybe. What took Samsung so long to figure out that metal feels more premium than plastic? In other news, Samsung might leave the smartphone market in Japan after being soundly trounced by the iPhone. Or, was it that Japanese don’t particularly care for Korean phones made in China?

Very Cool Selfies

Some of these selfies collected on Brainjet are clever and that will lead to even more selfies.

Who hasn’t snapped a selfie? It is so common today that selfie has its own entry in Webster’s Dictionary and was the 2013 word of the year!

My favorite.

Selfie

A Few Words On Apple As Record Company, Book Publisher, And Television Network

Have you ever wondered why Samsung, Google, Microsoft and other technology giants stick their respective greedy little fingers into so many pies that are so far removed from their core businesses?

Samsung is a bit different, of course, but seemed to have little issue with competing against one of its largest vendors, Apple, in smartphones. Google, on the other hand, is a search engine advertising company (over 90-percent of revenue and profits), but, when it comes to diversifying new features, has struck more than Reggie Jackson.

Microsoft doesn’t fare much better, either. Windows and Office accounts for most of the company’s revenue and profits, both enormous, but diversifying attempts have left a string of failures through the years.

Apple’s diversification efforts have met with better success, as each product line seems to grab customers from other lines (iPod halo effect helped the Mac, iPhone halo effect helped the iPad, etc.). So, what if Apple decided to diversify beyond the basic hardware lines and get involved in new products; specifically the content which gets stored, used, and played on Apple’s many devices?

We may think of Apple as the world’s largest music store and media mall, but what if Apple decided to become a record company and signed up independent artists instead of waiting for traditional record companies to do the deed?

Apple’s iBooks is a good book publishing and distribution platform, but Apple itself isn’t really a publisher in the traditional sense, right? What if Apple changed that and expanded the iBook business to include signing bonuses, advance payments for writers in exchange for exclusivity?

Apple could easily drop a billion dollars into the television content business with exclusive TV shows and movies for streaming on iTunes?

Granted, such scenarios make for a lot of ‘what ifs’ but Apple has more money than the entire television and movie industry, the music industry, and the publishing industry combined, so why not grab as much of that business as possible and make it exclusively available to Apple’s customers on Apple products?

Antitrust issues aside, Apple would be presented with the Samsung quandary (not exactly a quandary for Samsung, though) whereby it competes against the very partnerships that exist to make Apple’s content business what it is. Lucrative, yes, but a requirement to help sell the devices where the content is displayed.

Content creators want and need a stage for their creations, and a revenue stream to fund more creations. Is Apple willing to do what Netflix and Amazon are doing and fund independent content, exclusive to their platforms?

I don’t think Apple has a choice.

iOS 9’s Best New Feature

Are you tired of trying to figure out how to use new features on your iPhone; features that are troublesome to use and don’t always work right? Apple feels your pain. Darrell Etherington on what Apple plans to put into iOS 9 to assuage your pain.

The major update for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for 2015 is expected to take a step back from the rapid release of new features in favor of building on the existing framework to make sure everything already offered works more consistently.

Mac users often point to a similar project which birthed OS X Snow Leopard, one of the most stable versions ever. What’s the problem with iOS 8?

iOS 8 was perhaps one of the most ambitious updates ever launched by Apple for any platform in terms of new feature additions – it made a number of new tools available to developers, giving them more freedom than they’d ever had before, for instance. It also laid the groundwork for cross-platform functionality via Continuity, enabled Apple Pay, and included the building blocks for Apple Watch compatibility. Compared to most launches, those combined introductions represent a huge change in even the fundamental building blocks of the OS.

iOS 8 also experienced a slowdown in penetration among users, taking far long to achieve 75-percent usage than iOS 7.

Dumbest iPhone App Ever Is Brilliant

Zack Epstein sums up why LookFor is so stupidly brilliant and why almost everyone I know uses it now.

LookFor is an application that’s so straightforward, when its founder Logan Riley set out to crowdfund the app so he could pay a developer to build it, he only had to raise $1,000. The Kickstarter project ended up exceeding its goal and Riley raised just over $1,500 to build his app.

$1,500 for an app? That’s ridiculously low. What’s it do?

Brilliant. So is the video.

Can Lollipop Save The Samsung Galaxy?

If the headline of an article ends in a question mark then the answer usually is no. Ewan Spence on how Google’s Lollipop version of Android might save a few of Samsung’s moribund Galaxy smartphones.

Lollipop is an important stepping stone for Android, as it makes the jump to 64-bit computing while retaining compatibility with 32-bit hardware. Preparing the lower levels of code to accept code higher up the stack that will run on the various hardware configurations is key. Lollipop running on existing hardware allows that hardware to stay relevant for longer, and of course that means that users of current smartphones (like the Galaxy S5) will not be left behind. Converting existing users to buy another Samsung device is a key marketing strategy for the South Korean company.

It’s interesting to note that Samsung began the rollout of Android Lollipop in Poland (ostensibly, so nobody would notice if there were deal breaker problems). Also, Lollipop penetration has yet to top 2-percent of all Android smartphones while iOS 8, released about the same time, is pushing 75-percent adoption among iPhone and iPad users.

Neil Armstrong, Moon Memorabilia Thief

Robert Z. Pearlman on astronaut and first moonwalker Neil Armstrong’s memorabilia stash.

The first man to walk on the moon kept a bag full of small parts from the lunar module “Eagle” that he and his Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin famously piloted to a landing at Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969. The stowage bag was discovered by Armstrong’s widow after he died in 2012.

What was in the bag?

Armstrong’s waist tether, utility lights and their brackets, equipment netting, an emergency wrench, the optical sight that was mounted above Armstrong’s window and the 16mm data acquisition camera (DAC) that recorded the now iconic footage of the lander’s final approach and Armstrong’s descent down the ladder to take his “small step” onto the moon.

Armstrong kept the bag and its contents hidden for more than 40 years until it was found by his widow.

What If Apple Worked The Same Way As Google, Microsoft, And Samsung?

Each of the major technology giants in the Apple sphere of influence have their own management, development, and marketing styles. Yes, everyone steals from one another, though Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are more blatant about it than Apple.

Apple designs and builds computers, smartphones, tablets, apps and services that work well together in a cohesive ecosystem. Google is a search engine advertising company that dabbles in technology. Microsoft makes money on Windows, Office, and royalties from Android device sales, and not much else. Samsung is a technology conglomerate, a goliath that sells everything from washers and dryers to smartphones to chips.

Trials and tribulations aside, each of these companies does business much as they always have.

What would happen if Apple decided to conduct business the way Google, Microsoft, and Samsung conduct business?

First, Apple would launch Apple Search, a proprietary search and advertising business that would immediately dwarf Yahoo! and Bing in the mobile segment of technology, just based on the number of iOS devices that use the web. Out with Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In with Apple Search.

Apple has the money and technical chops to do search Apple’s way and the impact would be immediate and serious (especially on Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s respective stock prices).

Second, Apple would port iWork apps– Pages, Numbers, and Keynote– to Windows and Android, along with FaceTime and Messages. Yes, that would be a stupid thing to do and of little benefit to Apple, but can you tell me how Google benefits from apps on iOS? How does Microsoft benefit by putting apps on Android and iOS? No one makes much money doing that, but Apple has more money than Google, Microsoft, and Samsung combined, so why not?

Third, unlike the trio of titans it competes against, Apple has enough money to go on a really big shopping spree. What would Apple buy up? Chip foundries, screen and display companies, device manufacturing companies, and the entire television and movie industries. Hey, Amazon and Netflix are funding original content, so what better way to compete in an area where it doesn’t belong than buying the whole shebang, and leaving each segment to rot on the vine, right?

That’s what Google, Microsoft, and Samsung tend to do with their purchases.

For whatever the reasons, and I suspect fear is a motivator, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung feel the need to involve themselves in any business segment that touches their core operations. After spending many tens of billions to diversify, Google and Microsoft are much what they’ve always been. The former a search engine advertising company with a technology hobby, and the latter a purveyor of a moribund PC operating system and office suite (both in decline). At least Samsung was a diversified conglomerate before deciding to steal designs from Apple and compete against a customer.

Conversely, what would happen if Google, Microsoft, and Samsung decided to conduct business the way Apple does? Despite deriving an increasing percentage of revenue and profits from the iPhone, Apple is a diversified company with many very profitable product lines.

That’s what Google, Microsoft, and Samsung have been trying to do for years.

Google Has What Apple Does Not (or, does it?)

Google is mostly a search engine company that makes money by selling advertising. Apple is a gadget maker and makes money selling products. Google is trying hard to do what Apple does but the effort has come up short. Is it time for Apple to do what Google does? Jacob Siegal thinks the time is right.

Apple has recently posted two job openings for a mysterious project called Apple Search.

Hmmm. An Apple search engine? Here’s the wording of a job summary ad Apple posted.

Apple seeks a technical, driven and creative program manager to manage backend operations projects for a search platform supporting hundreds of millions of users. Play a part in revolutionizing how people use their computers and mobile devices. Manage operational projects that support groundbreaking technology and the most scalable big-data systems in existence.

Google’s share of the search engine business can only go down, which means the profitable advertising business is at risk.

Amazon Losing Billions

Wait. What? Just days after Apple announced the largest profits for any company ever on planet earth, Amazon’s stock rose after the company posted an unexpected profit of $214-million on $29.33-billion in revenue.

How is that losing billions? Timothy Green explains:

Free cash flow has long been the metric Amazon points to as the best way to measure the company’s performance, and Amazon certainly delivered on that front. But there’s a problem with Amazon’s free cash flow numbers: They ignore billions of dollars in spending that the company is financing through capital leases. Despite the impressive-looking free cash flow, Amazon is actually losing a tremendous amount of money, no matter how you slice it

Uh oh. Emperor Bezos is not wearing any clothes.

A funny thing happened during Amazon’s conference call a few days ago. Instead of just touting its free cash flow figures and moving on, as it usually does, the company actually mentioned these massive capital leases, pointing out that it finances some of its spending in addition to the capital expenditures reported on the cash flow statement. The biggest piece of this financing is for Amazon Web Services.

Amazon. Hiding losses in plain sight since 1994.

Android Malware Alert

Andy Boxall with the apps that Google removed from their Play app store because they were maliciously infecting millions of Android smartphones.

If you’ve downloaded a card game called Durak from Google Play, you may want to delete it from your phone or tablet. Durak has been identified as one of three malicious Android apps hiding in plain sight inside the app store, which have now been removed from sale by Google… The app contains adware, but to catch people out, it remains dormant for a short period of time and until the phone on which it’s installed is rebooted. A series of pop-up ads, sometimes presented when the device is unlocked, will then start to appear, leading the unaware to third-party app stores.

The other two adware malware are from Russia. Surprise!

6 Things You’re Spending Too Much Money On

A.J. Smith:

No matter how tight our budgets or how stringent we think we are with our spending, it can seem like our money just evaporates. Instead of cutting out whole aspects of your life, it can be a good idea to consider specific things you consistently overspend on and try to cut back or find cheaper alternatives.

Duh.

Here’s the official Spoiler Alert!

  • Banking
  • Water (bottled)
  • Insurance (not health)
  • Medication
  • Cable TV (amen)
  • Debt (interest rates are low)

Why isn’t Verizon on the list?

Apple’s Secret Isn’t Really A Secret (it’s just difficult for anyone else to replicate)

What’s Apple’s secret to stellar revenue and profit growth, despite being an already huge company? Any CEO running a company with a few billion in annual sales will tell you just how difficult it is to grow 25-percent a year. That’s another new business of $500-million that needs to appear from somewhere. Apple seems to be defying gravity as both revenue and profit have hit stratospheric levels. Again.

How?

Apple has a secret to success that actually is simple to understand, but difficult to implement, and not easily replicated by competitors; whether smartphone, tablet, or personal computer makers.

Customers have a special relationship, a bond of sorts with their Apple products, therefore, an allegiance with Apple itself; one that transcends typical store-to-customer, or product-to-customer relationships, and it’s a bond that is neither easily broken, nor easily created by Apple’s many competitors.

Microsoft, Samsung, and Google can put up store-within-a-store retail operations in Best Buy, but those do not equate to Apple’s retail stores which feature associates who do not work on commission, instant assistance without obligation, and technical service to repair what’s broken, and to show customers how to use their products.

Who else does that?

Whether it’s iOS or OS X, iPhone or Mac, Apple forgoes the laundry list of bullet point features in favor of usability. My iPhone will not do nearly as much as can be done on my friend’s Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but what my iPhone can do is done easier, faster, simpler, and with less headache, speed bumps or hiccups.

That ease-of-use and dependability breeds an ongoing relationship that is positive, grows, and benefits both Apple and the customer.

What’s the relationship that PC users have with Windows? For many, if not most, it’s antagonistic. Windows doesn’t make their computing lives easier. If anything, for many users, Windows is in the way.

What’s the relationship that smartphone users have with Android? A few love the complexity, but for many, if not most, it’s overkill, more complexity in an already overly complex world. That explains why iOS usage for smartphones and tablets far outweighs Android devices, despite Apple’s much smaller marketshare.

Apple’s customers get more usage from the company’s products because they’re easier to use, do what customers want, and iOS and OS X are less ‘in the way’ than Android or Windows. That relationship and trust between device maker and customer takes time to build, is constantly nurtured and cultivated, and just cannot be replicated as well by Apple’s many competitors.

Apple’s secret isn’t really a secret in the typical sense, but it is not understood well by technorati elite, market prognosticators, competitors, or Apple’s critics.

When The ‘Right Thing’ Is The Wrong Thing

OMG. Marriott’s CEO, Arne Sorenson, uses PR speak to explain the company’s ridiculous position to block Wi-Fi hotspot access.

We have withdrawn our petition to the FCC on cybersecurity – an initiative we thought was the right thing to do. However, in the face of disagreement from both regulators and our customers, we see that the effort was doomed.

Mostly doomed because it was the wrong thing to do, as evidenced by the public shaming from media, customers, and government for a self serving action disguised as a benefit.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3: $100 Off

This seems like a good idea to me. It took three tries, but Microsoft finally seems to be gaining some traction in the marketplace for the Surface Pro 3 tablet notebook hybrid. Lance Whitney with the caveats:

Microsoft is temporarily dropping the price on most of its Surface 3 Pro tablets for US customers.

The sale, which ends Saturday, cuts the price of four of the five variants of the Surface Pro 3 by $100 and throws in a free protective sleeve, which holds just the tablet. The sale includes the 128GB and 256GB i5 models and the 256GB and 512GB i7 editions.

Oh, so it’s not a permanent reduction in price? Too bad. All those TV commercials poking fun at Apple’s MacBook do not seem to have slowed down Mac sales.

The Craziest Things Ever Said To Flight Attendants

From Sid Lipsey:

If there’s any group of people who have seen and heard everything, it’s flight attendants. Maybe it’s the recycled oxygen, the access to booze, or the cabin pressure, but air passengers say the darnedest things. And they usually say them to flight attendants.

Among the best:

  • I’m going to write a [complaint] letter about you! You like to read? Because obviously you don’t like going to the gym.
  • I was … um … using my lighter to see something
  • This soup is cold (it was yogurt)

Apple, The Oil Company?

Great piece by M.G. Siegler on how Apple is looking more like an oil company all the time.

$18 billion. Profit. One quarter. Pure insanity.

How insane? It’s the highest earnings for a company in a quarter… ever. And it sets Apple up to post the most earnings for a company in a year… ever.

Sounds like an oil company, right?

Forget Apple going bankrupt. Forget the iPod being silly. Forget the Apple Stores never working. Forget the iPhone going nowhere. Forget the notion that Apple won’t make it without Steve Jobs. Forget the calls to fire Tim Cook. Apple now sits firmly atop the business world with no peers.

But Apple is beginning to look much like other successful companies in the past.

So the question is: where does Apple go from here? My old joke was that they’d have to become an oil company. It’s not so funny anymore.

Oil company? Right now, Apple’s business is oil in the sense that a formerly diversified company is becoming less diversified. Apple needs another big product to prevent it from becoming like an oil company. What product?

Or it’s possible that it does exist right now and it’s a market waiting for the catalyst that the iPhone was for smartphones. And it’s fun to think about what it could be. But it’s impossible to know. Even Apple didn’t know how big the iPhone business would become.

It won’t be a watch. Maybe the product itself isn’t a product at all. Ecosystem?

Apple And The Encore: ‘Time To Put Up Or Shutup’

On Wall Street, a company’s performance is only as good as what it is expected to do next quarter, not what it did last quarter. For Apple Inc, last quarter was one for the record books; record revenue and profits, record unit sales; more profits than any company has ever seen in a single quarter. Ever.

What’s next?

What can Apple do for an encore that will satisfy Wall Street’s naysayers, members of the technorati elite, market prognosticators, and critics busily grinding their axes at Apple’s expense?

It won’t matter what Apple does. It’s in the company’s DNA to do what it does, regardless of what the stock market, critics, or competitors do. Is that arrogance and hubris? Or, is it simple confidence that the road less traveled still needs to be traveled by someone who knows where they’re going?

For much of the past few years Apple has done the impossible. It’s considered impossible for a company to grow itself organically (vs. buying another company to increase revenue by a large percentage). Average selling price of the hot selling iPhone should have gone down as market share and unit sales went up. It did not. ASP went up, too. iPhone sales increased by almost 50-percent in a single quarter.

That’s crazy.

Just as crazy is Apple’s severely conservative guidance for the current quarter, typically the company’s softest of the year. iPhone and Mac sales remain so strong that even this quarter and next quarter look positive.

For Apple’s many critics and doomsayers is it ‘time to put up or shut up?’ Forbes contributor Peter Cohan is already on the offensive with yet another list of why Apple is doomed. It’s filled with the usual suspects, too; many of the same ones that have been trotted out after every successful quarter Apple’s had in the past five years.

  • Stock is too expensive
  • Smartphone prices are falling
  • Margins are declining
  • iPad sales are dropping
  • Apple Watch overhyped
  • Inability to innovate

Allow me to do a quick walkthrough of each one so you won’t be tempted by another member of the so-called Forbes contributor network which gives the likes of Cohan free reign to embarrass themselves in public.

Stock is too expensive. Oh, puhleeze. Have you seen Google’s stock? Or, Microsoft? Or, Facebook? Or, any other competitor that has a single product line vs. multiple successful product lines? Which company wouldn’t trade places with Apple’s financials in a heart beat?

Smartphone prices are falling. Except at the premium segment of the market; the one ruled by Apple. Have critics not learned anything about the Mac’s business model?

Margins are declining. Except at the premium segment of the market; the one ruled by Apple. Have critics not learned anything about the Mac’s business model?

iPad sales are dropping. Remember, the iPad is Apple’s most successful new product, selling more units in less time than even the iPhone. So many iPads remain in use that it owns the usage statistics. iPads are hand-me-down products which makes it more like a Mac than an iPhone. Apple’s challenge here is how to make it better than nearly perfect. Still, which company makes more tablets than Apple makes iPads?

Apple Watch overhyped. By whom? Apple? All we’ve seen so far of Apple Watch are a few videos, some webpages, and… well, plenty of critics who call it a failure without wearing one. Will it be as successful as the iPhone? No. Better than iPad? Probably not. But longer term, capable technology will be that small and that useful.

Inability to innovate. That canard? If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, Apple innovates differently. Instead of pie-in-the-sky R&D promotions, Apple makes products that people can buy and use. Each product receives what I call iterative innovation; steady improvements over time. Crazy-assed ideas– passed off as innovation– that never see the light of day are not Apple’s style.

What is Apple’s style is disruptive innovation. Apple disrupts markets with new products. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, App Stores, as well as innovation that seldom gets viewed by the public and certainly not by the likes of Forbes’ Peter Cohan– manufacturing innovation. Apple is an expert at building high quality products that cost the same to make as do cheaper imitations. That gives the company tremendous flexibility and higher margins, greater profits.

Isn’t it time for the critics– so much embarrassed by being so wrong so often about Apple– to give it a rest and just shut up for awhile?

Apple’s Blow Out Numbers

Josh Lowensohn with a look at the numbers that matter in Apple’s huge financials.

Led once again by record sales of new iPhones and holiday sales of iPads and Macs, Apple posted earnings of $18 billion on $74.6 billion in revenue, far above what it forecasted back in October, and marking the highest quarterly profit in its history.

Or, the highest quarterly profits in any company’s history. Has any technology company with revenue and profits that high ever grown– revenue or profits or both– that much in a single quarter?

The big takeaway from the trends is that larger screen iPhones cannibalize iPads. iPads don’t have a typical, expected purchase cycle, iPhone cannibalized most of the iPod business.

Oh, one more thing. The technorati elite, market prognosticators, and industry analysts don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

How To Be A ‘1-Percenter’ By State

Danielle Kurtzleben with a graphic on what it takes to join the 1-percent club, by state. Connecticut is tops at almost $700k while Arkansas is easier at $228k.

It takes around $385,000 of annual income to get into the US’s top 1 percent. But if you really want to count yourself among the 1 percent in some way, you could always move to Arkansas. There, it takes only $228,000

By state:

1-percenters by State

The Women Of ‘Ghostbusters’

Gregg Katzman on a remake of a classic.

Director Paul Feig is bringing the Ghostbusters back to theaters, but he’s bringing the franchise back with twist: the team is all-female! Over the past several months, there’s been plenty of rumors about who will put on a Proton Pack and trap some ghosts, but now the director is putting an end to the speculating by announcing the four leads!

Spoiler Alert!

  • Kristen Wiig
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Leslie Jones
  • Kate McKinnon

July next year.

Future Of The World

Great cartogram and visual on where the world’s future lies. From VOX:

One neat thing about this one is that unlike with some cartograms, the basic shapes of the countries are very recognizable. Such low-population, large-area Anglophone nations as Canada and Australia nearly vanish from the map, though, while the nations of the Indian subcontinent swell enormously. Russia also shrinks from being a giant of land mass to only a mid-sized country as judged by population. You can also see that Nigeria really dominates the West African landscape in terms of actual population in a way that conventional area maps don’t reflect.

Is it any wonder why Apple has so much business in China? Next up? India.

World Cartogram

Apple, My Mac, My iPhone, And How The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Sundays are my day to crash; sleep late, grab the newspapers, and dig into someone else’s look at the condition of the world around us. From what I can tell of my nearly 20 years as an adult, not much has changed.

Microsoft is still losing money on everything but Windows and Office (and it’s giving those away mostly for free on mobile devices), completely missed the mobile device revolution, but all that turmoil has pushed the stock higher. Google is trying desperately to be like Mic– Microsoft. How? By sticking its nose into every potential money losing business opportunity while remaining what it always has been; an advertising company.

Elsewhere around the world China has become Apple’s biggest iPhone market. Government officials in the U.K. and U.S. have declared war on privacy while crying ‘national security‘ but threaten to jail anyone who can expose their own secrets and misdeeds. And, speaking of misdeeds from the last century, repeated in the 21st century, the Russians are invading neighbors– again– while crushing freedom of speech, press, and religion– again.

Truly, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.

Sony has become the poster child of companies which ignore the perils of cyberterrorists while the most advertised product in the Mac community is called malware by users who paid for it but now are trying to get rid of it. The U.S. has become more third-world-like with crummier and slower Internet service at higher prices than much of the developed world, and a state legislator in Missouri wants to pass a law that requires customers to provide a driver’s license for additional identification when paying for goods with Apple Pay (or any smartphone with wireless payment built-in). Oh, and merchants would have to record the license number and attach it to the transaction. You know, just to be sure, to avoid liability, blah blah blah.

What’s changed in the world since 1956? Not much, apparently. Phones are cooler, though, but people seem to be much the same greedy, thoughtless, infantile bastards they’ve always been. And let’s not blame it all on government officials. Somebody brings those folks back to office in election after election. A case in point is that the President’s proposal to ensure workers get six week’s leave each year is opposed by the elected officials who get 33 weeks of paid leave each year. They get paid $174,000 a year to keep in line those who get paid $15,000 a year.

Back in the day– my day, not necessarily your day– the Mac was my refuge against the trials and tribulations of those handcuffed to their Windows PCs all day. Today, not much has changed except my Mac remains a refuge, but now I have an iPhone and iPad which keep the digital gremlins at bay. The rest of the world should be so lucky.

Truly, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.