I registered my displeasure with Apple late last week with my post: the scales of justice don’t, often enough, balance out against evil. There, I criticized Apple for potentially influencing an over-hyped-up thug-squad task-force in bullying a blog-focused journalist because he apparently bought an (stolen, misplaced, found, misappropriated?) iPhone prototype and reported his findings.
I still think law enforcement from a sleepy California town over-reacted. And, if it turns out that Apple pressured them to do so, I’ll be more than disappointed. However, as I’ve settled down a bit, I understand that the journalist and the fellow that found the iPhone prototype at a pub MIGHT have broken the law. Boundaries around ethics were likely blurred. I feel that the “finder” should have turned the handset over to the bartender – that’s what usually happens, as in lost-and-found. However, it turns out he went to a twenty-seven year old buddy in graduate school that had served in the intelligence arm of the US Navy, and together they shopped the, now (possibly) stolen, device to a handful of media sources. Gizmodo wrote the check, and the rest is becoming the stuff of historical precedent.
By the way… Another engineering friend of mine, sent me an email with the news that the majority of updates promised on the new iPhone have already resided on Nokia phones for almost two years.
Question: Was this all worked-up into a play for media attention and publicity?
Here is a check-point summary:
The kid who is an product development employee at Apple was irresponsible and lost the prototype at a pub. Another kid, whom was apparently raised wrong, essentially stole it while he was at the same den of inequity. Some self-entitled journalist who has now lowered a completely different bar, chose to advance the bad behavior. A veteran intelligence specialist, acted like a terrorist by trafficking the technology. A lower court Judge (who probably barely passed the bar) did not ask enough questions and approved the demolition of a door – as opposed to simply issuing a subpoena for records. A local task force (i.e. bored peace officers), leveraging God knows how many tax dollars and steroids (as if California has enough of those to spare) overreacted. And, Apple got a bunch of press around an upgraded piece of technology that might already be a bit tired in the terms of raising the technology bar.
So… Everybody involved is wrong, in-part, and must needs share blame, or judgment. …bar none (sorry).
Thusly, it’s gut check time.
What happened to us, as a people where we find ourselves, collectively obsessed with Jessica Simpson’s teeth (she apparently prefers not to brush them) and the not-so-amazing features in the next iPhone? So…Check… It’s got a camera on the front and the back… That’s really it mind you. Now, you can take a picture of Simpson’s artificially white teeth, in California. And, it (the iPhone) might allow you to multi-task (the Nokia and Android handsets already do this*). How can this (and, the press make us feel) be critical when we’re occupying two countries in the Middle East, unemployment is cresting at civil unrest levels, and Goldman Sachs raped and pillaged our lower-income and middle-class American-dreamers – then got bailed out – with the help goofey President Obama; a man that’s never held down a real job during his adult life, and whose trusted advisors are Goldman alumni. NOTE: I understand Goldman leaders are now facing investigation and possible indictment. But, the same fraternity that enabled their behavior will quietly cuts deals that will pad, other, future political careers – and, allow for the type of examples we’re setting where corporate juggernauts, like Apple, can abuse the system as a publicity stunt.
Welcome to Microsoft’s world, Apple.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters
Brian Patrick Cork
* ALERT: (and, you likely read about it here first) Apple’s next-generation iPhone could move video calling into the mainstream. Expect a wave of new products by Christmas.