back to article Apple investors fall for CEO Cook's product-presentation prank

Apple's annual investor meetings are tightly scripted, dull-as-dishwater affairs crammed with performance metrics and vague allusions to future glories, so perhaps CEO Tim Cook thought it wise to channel his inner funnyman and add a wee bit of wackiness to Friday's proceedings. In his prepared remarks, he told attendees that his …

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Brian Chaffin of a Mac Observer gave the true story on that (got story via Daring Fireball) and, as always seems to be the case for The Register Apple stories, the actuality seems to have been somewhat negatively spun, as though Apple were arrogantly batting aside shareholders, when it rather seems the reverse was true, the NCPR were arrogantly trying to throw their political lobbying into Apple's operations.

Brian Chaffin wrote:

"Mr. Cook didn’t directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader. […] He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

The NCPPR proposal received just 2.95 percent of the vote. Not sure too many would argue Tim Cook was wrong in his response, but as usual, The Register see the word "Apple" go blind in their obsession with ferreting out the snark.

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Facepalm

re: "Mac Observer gave the true story"

What? An Apple fanzine gave this story a positive spin?

Shocking.

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WTF?

Sorry, but I cannot agree with you, not even having read the article several times. There is nothing "The Register see the word "Apple" go blind in their obsession with ferreting out the snark.". Perhaps you should check your glasses.

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Interesting that Tim Cook directly mentioned blind people. That must be a personal hobby-horse of his. iOS was already more friendly than Android when he took over, or at least so the RNIB thought - as they recommended the iPhone.

But I happen to know that he's been personally involved in a company initiative to get testers who are blind. Oddly at least some of it's being done in Blighty rather than the US.

I don't know how much Android has improved accessibility since the days of 2.3 (the last time I seriously played with it). But Apple do deserve credit for this, as they had workable accessibility stuff on the first iPad - I can't remember if I tested this before that was updated to iOS 4, but if not - then they've had it since at least the iPhone 3. And so had done a lot more, at an early stage, than Google.

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Thank You Tim Cook!

As a long time Apple fanatic, it's pleasing to hear Tim Cook directly respond to the parasitic and raid-oriented investors with a negative. Because Apple has become the biggest, most important technology company on the planet, it has attracted the riffraff of what, these days, I call Wall-Nut Street. I heartily encourage the coke addicted thrill investors to move along and leave Apple to thrive without their dullard demands and machinations for ruining the company in their image.

Thrive on Apple!

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

"Apple has become the biggest, most important technology company on the planet".

Can't make up my mind whether this is for real. My sarcasm antennae are twitching but, knowing the attitude of dyed-in-the-wool, poor misguided and brainwashed Apple fanbois, nothing would surprise me!

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

Certainly you can take issue with "most important", but you can't quibble with "biggest", because Apple is.

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Headmaster

Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

I like to quibble! You probably mean, "the most valuable". As for size, there are many companies that are bigger, like say Foxconn and their million or so employees.

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

I apologise for quibbling about a quibble, but the problem with the initial quibble is that people frequently do usefully apply terminology on a kind of kinaesthetic basis, on a basis of a feeling about the entity, without independent reference to actual physical attributes. So if I the 1930's someone had said to me "Al Capone is the biggest criminal in Chicago" I wouldn't have been confused by this and then from that point on been on the lookout for a very tall or fat mafioso (though he was to all accounts quite fat). The very fact people are not confused by such terminology illustrates there is a common basis for reference based on mood or feeling. It is frequently done and when it is done, language is not the poorer for it. Turning up somewhere new and hearing "x is the biggest game in town" is not useless information just because there is no audited definition of the size of x; it is useful for anyone who wants to know what is most prestigious, most regarded or most notorious. That's the beauty of language, it can be used to express the ephemeral, even if sometimes doing so annoys the pedant or that some of the word-signs we use (like "biggest") are used at times with scientific precision and at other times loosely and colloquially. The meaning of words changes with the context and one of the great beauties of language is how with illogical circular self contained references it can be used to manipulate the context applied. So if I say of the XBox one, "yo bruv it's sick innit," I've imparted a switch of context using "rules" or conventions that have no respect for formal logical syntax, and most people know I'm not suggesting the console is ill. That imparting meaning is done in accord with such imprecise and artful rules is often seen by us techies as an affront; we want a thing before us to be always in all contexts one thing or another but not both, but that does not change how language actually works.

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

I agree that context can alter the meaning of words, but using "biggest company" to mean "most valuable company" really stretches the concept. It leads to silly statements like "Whatsapp is twice bigger than Electronic Arts", which I believe no one would say with a straight face.

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

If you look at the Fortune 100 / Fortune 500 list, you'll see that market cap is what that industry considers as the definition of "biggest".

The "most employees" is really stretching the definition of "biggest" to something that is not the normal definition. Why not "most square feet of office space" or "tallest office building" or "CEO that weighs the most".

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Headmaster

Re: "Apple has become the biggest..."

...bunch of wankers on the planet.

FTFY.

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Happy

Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

"Can't make up my mind whether this is for real". It is real, and the problem here is that when a company gets big enough it starts to look backwards. It starts to look at the sharks approaching from behind and being in the lead give no incentive to speed forward, it is good enough to keep the sharks behind. The whole logic, dreams, incentives turn to looking backwards. It becomes less important to drive forwards than to prevent anybody to come close. All this litigation stuff that Apple is spending millions and energy on is a good example of this. Cook is not the guy who will invent or design anything new, his part is to drop the anchor as deep as possible in as many waters as possible. And for us, we can only hope that many many sharks will pass Apple eventually. If that was not true we would still live in caves.

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"Cook is not the guy who will invent or design anything new"

Tim Cook isn't paid to invent or design stuff, but to be CEO.

The fact Apple previously had a CEO who had demonstrated an ability to look at the inventions/designs of others and figure out what was needed for a successful product doesn't mean that Apple cannot function without such a position. It is useful, but Steve Jobs didn't personally invent the iPhone, and didn't personally design the Macbook Air. Apple's employees did, and just because Apple is bigger doesn't mean they've suddenly become incompetent.

The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad revolutionized the markets they were in. Apple wasn't first in any of those markets, they just set a new standard in each that resulted in opening up a new profitable market for Apple.

You can't do that sort of thing on a schedule, or just because you want to. Apple has said they're working on new stuff. Maybe they revolutionize a new market, or maybe they release a dud. If they have a few duds you can worry about Apple "looking backwards", and think that they'll never be the same without Steve Jobs.

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Biggest?

"you can't quibble with "biggest""

It depends on your definition of "biggest".

Most widgets moved? Nope.

Most employees? Nope.

Biggest offices? Nope.

The following spring to mind:

Biggest users of hyperbole. Certainly.

Biggest patent numpties. Maybe.

Biggest mark up? Doubt it.

Most profitable? Perhaps.

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Apple annual shareholder meeting ..

Is there nothing negative you can say about Cooks presentation at the annual shareholder meeting .. <sarcasm>

"the Apple TV – deemed a Cupertinian "hobby" both by Steve Jobs and by Cook – had a good year", Myslewski

"It's a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days" Cook ..

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Apple TV purchases ...

Given that purchases are shared between all your iDevices (and the macbook) how can you sort Apple TV program sales from iPhone/iPad sales as, pretty much, everyone who has an Apple TV also has an iDevice of some sort ...?

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Re: Apple TV purchases ...

By iTunes recording the type of device the item was purchased on. C'mon, that was as hard as the first round question on Who Wants to be a Millionaire with the 50/50 and ask the audience used :/

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Anonymous Coward

Wow. I thought you idiots were better than this hit piece. The Register is a joke and not in a good way.

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Trollface

Talk is cheap

"I don't think there is any CEO who talks about human rights more than I do,"

Talk is cheap. The "Human Rights" phrase is just so touchy feely PC nonsense. The Foxconn issue has been going on for many years. There is an old saying that you can't save the World but you can save part of it. This is true here. He has leverage with Foxconn. He needs to start using it.

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Re: Talk is cheap

What? Tottering Jesus man.

I don't know where you're from, exactly, but I'm absofuckingloutely certain it isn't from anywhere near actual work being done. I hear you on shitty working conditions in lots of places, but your sense of scale, your grasp of foreign politics, your understanding of commercial leverage and knowledge of manufacturing is stunningly skewed. Like, the first non-laboratory example of terrestrial gravitational lensing occurring in the wild skewed.

No customer has leverage at Foxconn. The only entity that has leverage at Foxconn are the rather stuffy fellows that make up the Chinese government. If you aren't in Tibet or Taiwan then your government isn't going to actually do anything in China, they're pretty happy with things the way they are.

Everybody likes China just how it is, including the Chinese government. They make our shit, make scads of money, we get good prices and nobody has to run around with rifles in a really nasty willy waving contest. If you were born in the last three years or so it might have slipped by you, but explody willy waving contests traditionally precede any favorable trade agreements with foreign nations. Even as perpetually fucked up as our various governments are, skipping the traditional opening round (ha!) of trade negotiations is a pretty god damn big step forward for everybody. However bad working conditions are, they're not as bad as stacking those working conditions on top of a war torn populace, who don't even like most of the shit they make.

This next bit, I know a LOT about. When you're manufacturing at scale, like Foxconn is doing for nearly every product that uses electricity, the manufacturer has as much leverage over the client as the client does over them. It takes years and years and many, many billions of dollars to get production at that scale profitable.

I am looking, right this very moment, down onto our fab floor at a $41,000,000 machine we are building that will do vibration testing on several thousand smallish electronics assemblies simultaneously (it's pretty cool). That project started in July 2012 and will be put on a ship in October of this year with full capacity online by March of next year. That machine will cut about 16 minutes off the total production and test times and will do so until at least 2025.

There is no Amazon for bespoke manufacturing equipment, you pays your monies today, we'll send along invoices every 90 days for running costs, and we'll call you in a year or two (or longer) when it's ready. There is no knob to turn if you want more, or less, rounded corners. There is no lever to pull if you want your widget in a different color, there is no fucking way any manufacturer is going to shut down the production of 83 other manufacturers products so you can cut a hole in the ceiling and airlift out your equipment because some group of women who haven't carried the torch of women's lib and gotten jobs complain because they read a story on their phone about working conditions in China and had to text and email it to all their other friends then hop on the 'social network' of the month and broadcast it to anyone too far away from a brick to shut that fucking thing up when it 'dings' because some far off tart 'liked' it.

Good luck with that pal. Hey! Maybe you can start a Facebook group and maybe do a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $7,000,000 to cut the hole in the roof and you can levitate the equipment out with enough 'Likes'. If that doesn't work, maybe those 33,000 Foxconn employees surrounding you will help! Why not, right? They've got fuck all else to do. A group of Fat Westerners has shut down the factory and nobody can even communicate with them because although the Fatties phones look just like the 3,000,000 other phones sitting on the line, the workers phone don't have a translator that understands 'wut hpnd? Thnk got nuff likes? doz bng trampld hurt?'

That's OK though. See those very confused Asian people in suits over there? Yeah, they want to know if you brought the $763,000,000,000 to pay for apparently prematurely terminating the 8 year production contracts of 5,000 different companies. They think maybe you might have eaten the money, that's why you're so fat. You can try to explain that your parents have a $500 cap on the credit card they gave you. It's probably pointless anyway. See those new guys who just came in? The tall, slender ones that are a lot darker than everybody else and who appear to be in really, really great shape? Most people wouldn't think those fellows were French, but sure enough. They got early severance, with benefits, from the French government when the HR component of Sandline was purchased by an unknown Chinese manufacturer. Well, that's kind of cool right? You know where all those mercenaries from Libya and Ivory Coast went! You better think fast, I think they've decided to look inside you and see if the money really is there. Unless you have a zipper installed you should probably just shit your pants now. They might kill you prior to looking inside if you're all covered in shit.

If that all sounds too exciting you should try visiting the nearest Chinese Consulate. You're going to want to stand out, so I would go for the sandwich board approach. Maybe 'FREE TIBET' on the front and 'TAIWAN IS NOT A TOY' on the back. You should also explain that Nixon was a crook after all and that it's really, really not cool to keep the Mongolians trapped behind that wall like some sort of zoo or farm.

Hey! You could bring takeout from the nearest Mongolian diner. I guarantee there's one within 2km of your present location. Those places really seem to thrive in areas where people have enough free time to complain about the working conditions inside Chinese factories while sipping the coffee made from beans hand harvested in South America sweetened with sugar hand cut in Haiti frothed up with organic milk that costs so much the farmer can't give it to his kids and drink it from a hand thrown coffee cup made made by orphans inside the largest wood fired kiln that uses trees hand cut by children who are working off their parents debts that really seemed to spike after the copper mine switched to a more traditional, mercury heavy smelting process that also had the nice side effect of getting all the algae, fish, turtles, newts and aquatic birds out of the river. The drinking water doesn't smell like fish anymore AT ALL!

Let me know how that goes. Alternatively, you could consider longer term solutions that people will actually listen to. Changing anything is a hard thing, changing something as huge as Chinese factory conditions is really huge. You know what happens if you boycott manufacturers like that. They ramp up production to offset the unit price losses with volume. Nothing else changes. All you did was fuck hundreds of thousands of workers over. So, that's not the route I would recommend.

You want to make things better for your fellow man. That's an admirable quality. But if you want to succeed you need to accept the fact that your grandchildren might get to see some of your efforts come to fruition. That's what it's going to take. Lifetimes of effort. If you're in for that big of a commit that's great.

But know this, you can't stop if you start. You make promises of working towards a better tomorrow and you bail when you realize there is less than zero way to support yourself & family while you're on your mission and you have permanently, irrevocably and eternally blocked any foreigner in the future from getting traction. Don't do it if you can't commit, knowing you'll die before you see big changes. You'll cause more harm than good.

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Re: Talk is cheap

That was epic, Jefe. Special plaudits for, "They think you might have eaten it" - it's that kind of attention to detail that really puts the 'smack' in 'smackdown'.

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Re: Talk is cheap

Foxconn is at the stage now where you have to pitch to them if you want them to manufacture your product. They also have various investment schemes where they will fund production runs for products they think will be a success in return for a slice of the action.

Their factories are a million miles away from the filthy concrete amateur factories that make 99% of our stuff in China.

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Re: Talk is cheap @Chris

You've nailed it. Foxconn is a very serious, very capable company. Of all the manufacturers and contract manufacturers I deal with Foxconn is, without a doubt, the best run truly gigantic company on the planet.

As you mention, they've got great financial services and their in-house engineers are truly world class. I've thought about it, a lot, and I think I know what really sets them so high. All but the youngest worked there remember thru-hole assembly with tweezers and a magnifier duct taped to a chopstick.

And pick and place machines often lived across the hall from you and had really screwed up fingers, hands and wrists.

There's also a lot of the intelligent and clever, but not formally educated, 'country' engineering going on. It's very much like the Southern US prior to NAFTA. People that have never even seen a harmonic dampener, or even know what one does, has bolted a motorcycle wheel with the tire filled up with thinned out axle grease, to the crankshaft of a machine and now the drive pins don't get pushed out and nobody has been nearly killed trying to fish the pin out of a 1,000 gallon trough of cutting coolant.

You'd never see that in a US company. Workers would sue or file a grievance with their union for even touching a motorcycle wheel and for the company modifying a machine without proper engineering.

I understand the safety concerns, I really do. But everybody in Western Europe and the US forgets that their parents and grandparents were doing exactly like the Chinese and when they stopped doing it their industry dried up almost overnight. It's done now, but I really admire the Chinese for finding solutions, not excuses.

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PJI

What gets to me about these "ROI" nitwits is their narrow interpretation of "return". They seem to think that, provided it is lots of money, the fate of themselves, their families, friends, unfortunate descendants, their environment, those workers who make them the money and the rest of mankind is not a consideration.

They are also sufficiently ignorant to misunderstand science, probability, risk, long or even medium term and personal or collective responsibility. One does wonder how, with their ignorance, they managed to get enough money and clout to be where they are; but then, under many circumstances, it is the ignorant bully with a good dose of selfishness and inadequate imagination and forethought who seems to be rewarded, à la financial experts.

The really odd thing is that, most of the measures that may be necessary if anthropogenic climate change is a fact, would save spending on energy, land loss, waste disposal etc. to the benefit of ROI after the initial investment.

With the attitudes of these people, children would still be working in coal mines and cleaning chimneys in the Western world and these people would either be beggars or be picking their way along the streets past beggars and watching their nearest and dearest dying of TB and cholera. Of course, it would be all right because they would be even more filthy rich if they had survived childhood.

One of the great advantages resulting from the British National Health Service, for instance, was the much improved health of the population for work and the armed forces. In the first world war, a great problem was the number of men physically not fit enough for military service through poor health and general condition caused by being born into and growing up in poverty or near poverty.

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"Eff you, I got mine."

Empires have been brought down by the ROI mentality.

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Indeed they have. ROI is one component of many, it is not an on/off isolated thing.

What's worse, is that the way ROI is used now, isn't how the term was even supposed to work. ROI began life as one of those 'Happiness Index' things and included all kinds of good things like improved operational efficiencies when workers weren't distracted/preoccupied with making sure their kids could get medical attention. Things like factory subsidies for municipal improvements (parks, theater, musiems, trolleys & street cars, clean water and effective sewer systems, schools, good faculty, police services like opening locked car doors or jumping a dead battery, old people care facilities, hospitals, veterinarians). Scholarships, introductions into politics (if desired), vocational schools, dress suits and formal dresses for all workers, wives and children.

It's just never ending. ROI was designed as a way to spend company money on non operational things and make it all transparent and justifiable to shareholders and compliant with regulations. From the 1960's until today that has been phased out by jackasses who only see $$$$$$. Not $$$ + loyal, happy workers who actually wanted to work there and did so with pride.

So yeah, today's ROI has become the professional businesspersons 'buy the cheapest shit you can find and stuff a diaper in that kids mouth if it won't stop crying. It's father could afford to take it to the dentist if he worked harder or cut off cable and Internet. What the fuck can he even use the Internet for anyway? He doesn't have enough money to buy anything anyhow'.

It sucks, and it's stupid. Bunch of moose dicks.

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I'm no fan of Apple

But I am impressed with Tim's response to the rape, pillage and plunder proposal.

Why anyone thinks he was wrong in his response makes me concerned.

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Unhappy

The Apple TV – deemed a Cupertinian "hobby"

So many buying into subscription viewing....

But it's NOT a TV. No screen, no Tuner.

It's just a very very cheap box with a PMP chip set, networking and video out.

Sad really.

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This article bore no resemblance to the actual news

When I read this piece originally I couldn't understand why it had been written. A curious little puff piece I thought.

[Time passes]

Then, later this evening, I saw over at the ArtTechnica web site:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/03/at-apple-shareholders-meeting-tim-cook-tells-off-climate-change-deniers/

A light bulb burnt out in my head!

I then went back and reread the Register arti^x^x^x^xhit piece and only then noticed the last two paragraphs:

***quote***

To those investors who are concerned solely with return on investment [ROI] and not with labor, environmental, or human-rights concerns, Cook was blunt. "If you want me to make decisions on ROI only," he said, "you should get out of the stock."

That last comment riled the conservative think tank, The National Center for Public Policy Research, sufficiently for it to immediately fire off an angry 1,200-word press release entitled, "Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead". ®

***endquote***

It seems that these last two paragraphs were the pertinent part in all the other news reports I've seen on this event on the tech sites I frequent; not the lame "joke" headline with a clown nose on the photo of Tim Cook on the front page of this site. That's just juvenile.

I'm really disappointing in the Register. There is a definite and consistent bias shown in the stories selected and and tone used in reporting said "facts" when it comes to climate change.

I've always assumed that "news" goes by the classical "Who"/"What"/"When"/"Where" and optional "Why" methodology but this process does not seem to be the case where climate issues are present here on the Register.

At least this site is improving. When I first started noticing the climate change articles several years ago, they were the ones which inexplicably did not have the ability to comment on, unlike, the rest of the articles on the site.

Strange that..

This has changed in the past year, but the comment sections are very much filled with inarticulate reality deniers to an overwhelming large percentage, so I wonder if astroturfing is going on?

While I might disagree with some of Apples decisions over the years, I've really got to add my own "Thank you Tim!" to standing up to the bullies and madness which seems to be rising ever higher in the media that makes it past my blacked out TV and creating an atmosphere where actual meaningful discussion becomes increasingly difficult as things progress. (Maybe I shouldn't use the term "progress".)

Our corporations should not be behaving like sociopaths which the The National Center for Public Policy Research is advocating. (Please view the documentary "The Corporation" for details. It's probably at your library.)

Also while one is at it, please view the NCPPR's statement here at: http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Apple_Tim_Cook_Climate_022814.html

I found it quite interested that they were claiming to be stock owners so had a valid interest in Apple which is how they were at the meeting, but on that page they are also soliciting donations.. Curious that. Are they some sort of non-profit lobbying group?

What was also NOT mentioned in the Register piece was that the NCPPR proposal only got 2.95 percent of the vote. Apparently the stockholders are quite happy with Apples policies under the new management. And I, not having any stock in Apple am very pleased by this position articulated by Mr. Cook; So perhaps I should thank NCPPR's involvement in venue to bring this important point in front of the public.

Apparently "rape and pillage" are not part of Apples cultural ethos.

I hope I didn't offend anyone unduly with that last but that's how I read the NCPPR's position!

"Profit is our all consuming God and is the only important thing in our earthly affairs!"

Oh yes. And finally..

http://arlohemphill.com/2011/08/10/what-if-we-create-a-better-world-for-nothing/

Hey Reg.. care to have a second go and lead with a proper news story come Monday?

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Re: This article bore no resemblance to the actual news

Do you know anyone who is well off, not wealthy, just well off. You know, they look like they are well to do, with their 3-series German sedan (it's always the 3-series. Why?) their fancy clothes, maybe a big tasteless watch (for men) or big tasteless tits and handbag (for women). They look extra fancy when they're around their friends. It's the Fat Friend Idea, but with money. Usually a little snotty and they're acting the way they think wealthy people are 'supposed' to act.

But then you look at that well off person next to a real wealthy person and it's just bad. So bad. It's obvious one of them is doing it wrong. The wealthy person with $113 million in the bank has on $25 blue jeans and a t-shirt advertising a bass boat company that says 'Support Your Local Hooker' and although it looks like mud all over their truck, it sure does smell an awful lot like horse shit.

It's just ridiculous how out of place the well off person is. It's really funny, but the wealthy person has enough class to not laugh or make fun of the well to do person. But that idea of not laughing at the well off person begins, and ends, with the wealthy person. Everybody else horse laughs about how silly the well off person looks and thanks to today's file compression technology, decent micro cameras, nationwide 3G and social networks they can really get the message out there. Let everybody know how silly the well off person looks.

That well off person is Apple and far too many of their customers. The idea that a family of mass market consumer electronics somehow somehow makes their users creative and unique is simply fucking ridiculous. It's all so incredibly artificial and stage managed and it's hilarious. I think my favorite part is that Apple just planted the idea and sort of scribbled an outline for the 'Apple Customer' and those customers eat that shit up. They just simply do not get it and it's fuckng hilarious.

We only ever spoke in passing, but I never bumped into Steve Jobs while he was wearing a turtleneck. That was for the benefit of the journalists and customers who tune in and/or actually travel to 'special Apple events'. They expected to see Steve Jobs in a turtleneck so they got Steve Jobs in a turtleneck.

Apple have perfectly serviceable (that's not really the best word is it?) acceptable products. I have an iPhone I like just fine, but it doesn't add anything to my persona. If there's a need for acceptance as a peer I've got other options that are imminently more suitable for that. And that's the rub in this.

No brand of consumer electronics should be making a statement about a person. Any statement about a person that can be made by any piece of consumer electronics is not going to be a good one. And it's going to be funny and it's going to be deserved as well.

You know they sell the fucking things at Wal-Mart right? In my nearest Wal-Mart the electronics counter is stuck randomly in sporting goods with black powder rifles on one side and artificial fishing lures on the other. There's just no way to spin that in a positive way. It's neutral, a product like any other product. If making a statement is what you're looking for I suggest you pick up a few of those black powder rifles and walk around with those. It probably won't end well, but it's cheaper, it really, really makes a statement and best of all, nobody's going to laugh at you.

But if you persist in making Apple out to be anything more than a moderately interesting blip in early 21st century civilization then people are going to laugh. And rightly so. It's hysterically funny. You want to get a read on a man look at how he treats his fellow man or how his employees think of him, the way he cares for his tools and animals (I assume there are clues for reading women as well, but I've never been very good at that.

Those things are real and can't be purchased. You're never going to get far with possessions, the $511,000 Maybach Zeppelin is pretty fucking badass until you realize those low flying aircraft aren't aircraft. They are $511,000 Maybach Zeppelins the guy just a bit further up the mountain than you uses for trap shooting. When I arrive at the Smithsonian fund raiser in my Maybach Zeppelin it's just a nice car. If I walk around acting like it says something about me then my neighbor who shoots the cars for fun and Steve Ballmer would laugh (tastefully, out of my sight) but they would still laugh. Laugh just like everybody who shops at Wal-Mart laughs at the guy with the Apple sticker on his 3-Series BMW.

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Re: This article bore no resemblance to the actual news

I've met/known a few very wealthy individuals... one of them, worth billions, comes into work everyday at the engineering company he founded. Before Christmas each year, he spends two weeks travelling to all his sites and greeting every employee - and he listens. He asked one junior assembly worker who didn't recognise him, if anything could be better, and the reply was "Yeah, the f$%king computers are a bit shite". The middle managers, who had failed to escalate the issue, squirmed where they stood, and IT services were in that assembly cell a day later, installing new kit.

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Ugh

Even for an Apple article this might be the worst comment section on this site. Sigh.

Let's try to invent an even finer hair to split on the original article guys. Think of the fanboi flamewars we could have then!

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Disappointing

Mostly I'm OK with El Reg reporting. I accept that individual writers have their own pet obsessions, and in the main these tend to cancel out. However, on this occasion you've almost done a 'Daily Mail' on us.

Fortunately I've read the coverage of this on several other sites, so am aware that Tim Cook a) has the support of the vast majority of Apple shareholders, and b) Publicly and totally exposed the NCPPRs short-term greed.

I'm also a bit disappointed by some of my fellow commentards treating the whole thing as a bit of a larf (innit).

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to all these multi-multi-paragraph writers

Do you guys have all this stuff ready to be copy-pasted into this small edit window? Or are you really typing this out?

sjeez, complain about stuff in places where it really has an impact.

Or is this just part of some package that the loyal order of global warming deniers society hands out to each registered member?

sjeez, get a job ;-)

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Re: to all these multi-multi-paragraph writers

You too can be a multi-paragraph poster. All you need to do, is learn to touch-type. 50-100 wpm should get you a few paragraphs in reasonably quickly.

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