Scripting News for 1/12/2007

James Plamondon: “Microsoft’s PR people are distancing from my 1996 presentation, saying that the approach to evangelism that it describes was not then, and is not now, Microsoft’s policy.” 

Why should we cheer for Steve’s patents? 

Michael Gartenberg and Steven Levy together, pull the truth out of Steve Jobs on why the iPhone doesn’t run software written by developers. But it’s not the truth that Jobs would have you believe.

Anyway, it was not actually a great PR week for Jobs. All that hype from Apple about patents as if they were somehow good news for users, exposes how ludicrous the whole Apple marketing system is. That they’re now getting called on it, if not by the mainstream guys, but by bloggers, shows you how there’s a new system of checks and balances. We’re watching the people who were supposedly our eyes and ears, and finding out that they’re playing footsie with the guys they’re covering, and have been for a long, long time.

Now Apple is not only playing hardball with bloggers, they’re pushing around another giant Silicon Valley company, one with deep pockets and expensive lawyers, as they try to roll over Cisco over the iPhone trademark.

Meanwhile, the option backdating mess is still there, hasn’t gone away, and I don’t think the SEC is going to be rolled over as easily as Cisco or as the press used to.

And you gotta ask yourself when it’s going to completely flip over, when a reporter that grants embargos to big tech companies like Apple or Microsoft is going to have to explain why they never run bad news about these companies. That’s an even bigger scandal, imho, than the option backdating one. Me, I’m proud that I’m not invited to Apple or Microsoft events, as long as they’re running such ethically compromised PR. And yes, I believe there is an ethics to PR, it’s the mirror image of the ethics of reporters. Vendors must respect that reporters must write what they believe, not what the companies want them to write. That I’m not invited is how you know that I haven’t compromised. Can’t say the same for other bloggers, however. Lots of people dipping into the same poisoned well that the MSM guys did.

Valleywag is doing a great job of chasing this story, it goes deep into the culture of Silicon Valley.

Douglas Harding 

I got an email this morning from Richard Lang of saying that Douglas Harding, a truly great teacher, died last night. My view of existence, like that of many others, was heavily influenced by Harding.

5/5/97: “It’s so easy to let what we’ve learned interfere with what we can observe.”

12 responses to this post.

  1. I’m curious, why do you believe that the Jobs quote in the Levy piece is accurate or presented in the proper context. You have first hand experience with how your own words have been distorted in the press.


  2. good article. btw, don’t know if you love the beetle, but the new album “Love” is awesome. I’d suggest it.


  3. Posted by Ben on January 12, 2007 at 10:55 am


    I’m thinking that third party apps aren’t welcome becuase the development should be happening at the weblevel. Meaning that if safari can render it you can access it on the iPhone.

    Isn’t that web 2.0ish. It’s not a general purpose computer it is a smalll hand held communication device.


  4. >>should be happening at the weblevel

    >>Isn’t that web 2.0ish.

    I just wanna kill people who can’t think beyond HTTP and Javascript. This whole way of thinking, is why the valley is dying, and other companies in other countries are starting to kick our ass technology wise.

    Reasons against this:
    1) I want my information to stay on my phone; and maybe encrypted…with my encryptor.

    2) I want to watch TV (IPTV) see also venice project.

    3) I wanna do quick calculations with out having to connect to web; maybe even excel, or word…god forbid.

    4) I wanna sell/exchange property (files/info) directly with someone else…without a mediator…hint, i own one of those companies that will let you do that.

    5) I wanna do IM with something besides the standard installed which none of my friends use.

    6) I want a better media player besides iTunes (what!!! you can’t do that!!!… songbird/tamago…hint hint)

    7. I wanna do social networking without going through a central site…like only communicate with other people who have an iPhone…cause…it’s like a club.

    8. I wanna do some work on a train, in a Taxi, on the plane, and…i can’t cause the app ain’t available.

    9. I want different Email and RSS; and maybe even a different web-browser which supports different/latest/etc technologies…like fire-fox/opera/IE/etc.

    10. cause web 2.0 is dead…its died last year…just so you know.


  5. oh yeah, i forgot one…

    I1. I wanna play a game, but don’t wanna waste my minutes.


  6. Posted by Bryan Schappel on January 12, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t know if the patents are “cheer worthy” but at least they are the type of patent that the patent system was invented for. The patents are for tangible inventions — a physical product. They are not patents for ideas such as buying with “1-click” or a “method for displaying a representation of a geometric figure on a computer screen” (example — drawing a box).

    I would tend to bet that an SDK will be made available for the Apple Phone. Remember that there are five months to go before the thing is released. I’d bet that the exact hardware specs have not been settled yet. If an SDK does not exist before September then start grousing.

    As for wanting other apps for phones you probably have to wait and see how well they sell. If there is a healthy user base then the apps will appear. If only 500,000 sell then why make the apps?

    That’s my two cents at least.


  7. Posted by Ben on January 12, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    I certainly don’t want to risk my life in responding in fact I wasn’t going to respond at all but I can’t resist.

    First it’s possible you don’t want an iPhone.

    Second the websites you visit may be your own which may solve points 1,2,4,5,6,7

    points 3,8 maybe it has abuilt in web-server giving

    point 10 is silly because you knew I meant rich javascript, cause you threatend my life for mentioning it.




  8. Posted by Eric on January 12, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    The iPhone is a gorgeous device, but it’s a closed platform, and given Steve’s comments, I expect it to stay that way for a long time.

    This opens a major competitive opportunity: As long as the iPhone is a closed device, it can’t ever run custom software. And without custom software, users can switch away from the platform easily, and Apple will be locked out of many markets. (Tons of people need to run at least one custom application, even if it’s just a Javascript widget talking to a web server.) Combine this with the exclusive Cingular deal, and Apple can’t get anything like the market share they have with the iPod.

    I still expect Apple to sell a huge number of phones, but their flank is wide open in a way that it wasn’t with the iPod. But the only players who could make a convincing move here are Palm and Microsoft, and I’m not sure either can actually succeed.

    (Full disclosure: I own Apple stock.)


  9. i will buy the iphone when i can dev for it. period. But I don’t buy $600 phones…I expect the phone to be free with the service…and I did all the Palm/PDA thing back in the 90s and felt it was too much work to integrate it into my lifestyle….so, if I want a phone I want a phone…but I would be much happier with a phone and a computer, especially a mac, running OSX. That would be cool.

    “There’s a couple of devkits for Nokia Symbian phones. Which means people have made RSS readers, photoblogging applications and all sorts of things. And the machines are getting powerful enough to make portable computing more popular. Sky TV in the UK have a mobile client for programming the Sky Plus box,” by Tim Almond from


  10. These will sell like flapjacks at a lumberjack convention. Thats why cingular is worried about their network gumming up – other phones/apps haven’t had enough penetration to reach critical mass. That said it might not if they don’t get other carriers going and include developers in the picture. Its sort of a catch 22. This thing run Java? We need some 411 on the development possibilities. You would hope its a cleverly disguised way of drumming up developer attention to hold it out as a carot and get the horse moving vs. an oversight.

    There needs to be some vision here, Apple could potentially take over the planet if they do things right. If they do things wrong they’ll allow in some other microsoft – maybe microsoft :D. I could envision OS/X being sold stand alone for any computer (who hasn’t had an Apple hardware complaint), using a powerful OS/X/processor they could blow away the toy phone OS’s, beefing up datacenters (cingular should jump at the opportunity) they could handle way more traffic, beefing up flash ramand ram capacities to get more performance/abilities. They didn’t let the status quo constrain them and thats good. But they need to become a standard and do so supporting open standards at least in parallel with anything closed they have.


  11. I almost forgot. This poor quality audio of Dave sums up the patent problem in a nice way.


  12. Posted by Diego on January 13, 2007 at 12:46 am

    It may be that Apple could win the battle for “iPhone.”


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