The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

media is History

August23

my unabashed umbrage with the media is no secret to readers of this blog.

I’ll submit, and without reservation, a simple truth:

I feel that the irresponsible media is the greatest cause for a bad history that repeats itself. they abuse their position in our society and fail to use their powers for good, all too often. history books are spun by people with the perspective driven by agenda. so, history certainly does repeat itself for many a reason.

so, to be clear, bad examples are often replicated because the media fails to give us accurate information. they also leverage opinion where it is not understood.

so, bad history repeats itself because the media tells it to.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

lowering the bar

May3

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.

Hellooo…

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.

the iPad will change the value of a dollar

April10

The iPad had a great opening week and will have a gangbuster first year as it “…changes media” as many pundita are want to crow. But it’s not about this first year. It’s also not about saving the media business, which it won’t.

As most of you know, I’ve evangelized Apple and it’s products for twenty six years. I’m an early adopter of all things Apple, and I have owned several hundred desktops and mobile devices (laptops, iPhones, etc) across my personal life, family and business.

Now we have the iPad.

I’ve found it to be a useful “peripheral computer”, a unique device that complements, rather than replaces, existing computers and smartphones. It also extends Apple’s mobile, touch-based platform (iTunes 9.1 on Mac or Windows is a pre-requisite to set up an iPad, connecting via the device’s dock-USB cable (or an optional iPad USB dock). You also must be running Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) or later; the iPad won’t even talk with iTunes 9.1 on Mac OS X 10.4.), adding even more energy to a vibrant “ecosystem,” which is controlled from top to bottom by Apple but also benefits from the creativity and hard work of a growing army of third-party developers.

Aside from serving as a media repository (for music, movies, podcasts, photos, audiobooks and ebooks), iTunes also makes backups and controls software (firmware) updates, provides iPad-to-Mac/PC file exchange with selected apps (including Pages, Keynote and Numbers, and some third party apps such as OmniGraffle), and keeps your calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks and mail account settings in sync with your Mac or PC.

All that said, mind you, there are two revolutionary and profound things going on here:

  1. The iPad’s price
  2. The way in which the iPad is likely to be used, which is fundamentally different than how both computers AND mobile gadgets are used

On price, I don’t mean the price for the full-fledged 3G 64G iPad version ($829), which is way too expensive for a big mobile device (especially with the $30/month AT&T contract). We mean the price for the stripped down WiFi-only 16G version: $499.

And it’s not today’s $499 price that’s important… $499 is still too expensive for what the iPad is. From my vantage point, it’s where the $499 is headed over the next couple of years.

If iPad prices follow the trend of iPod, iPhone, and other gadget prices, we should be able to buy the low-end version for $299 in two years and $199 in three years. At $199, especially, the whole game changes.

Why?

Because of the way the iPad is likely to be used.

One of the primary use cases for the iPad is consuming media and puttering around the house. It’s not walking around (mobile) or working at a desk (office). The iPad is not about productivity benefits (the sales pitch for most PCs and laptops) nor communications benefits (the sales pitch for most mobile computing gadgets). It’s about media consumption and entertainment for the home.

In three years, when the low-end WiFi-powered iPad costs $199, many households will buy 3 or 4 of them and just leave them lying around the house. These iPads won’t be “owned” by any one member of the household, the way PCs and cell phones are. They won’t live on desks, the way desktops do, and they won’t be carried everywhere, the way mobile phones are. They’ll just be there, around the house, on tables and counters, the way today’s books, magazines, games, and newspapers are, booted up, ready to use.

You’ll be able to play two-person games on them (also revolutionary for a handheld device). You’ll be able read newspapers, magazines, emails, books. You’ll be able to tap out and send short messages. You’ll be able to research and shop. You’ll be able to keep and share family calendars. You’ll be able to sit around the breakfast table with each member of the family scrolling through one, the way many families still do with newspapers. You, your children, and your guests will, most importantly, just be able to walk around your house and pick one up.

At $199, Apple will eventually be able to sell tens of millions (eventually, hundreds of millions) of them a year ($199 x 100 million = $20 billion, not counting app and advertising revenue). Eventually, every household will have them. And as long as long as the iPad becomes a platform in addition to a device, the way the iPhone has (and it’s well on its way to doing this), Apple should be able to maintain a very healthy market share.

Eventually, in other words, the iPad should blow away even today’s towering expectations. And it should be amazing for both consumers and Apple shareholders alike.

The iPad, today, is a “peripheral computer” — a highly portable, touch-based, but limited-capability tablet. It is designed to be a companion to a larger, traditional personal computer that provides printing, software updates, media storage, backup and other services that are missing from the mobile tablet.

But, conceptually, the iPad is a blank canvas. The big screen becomes whatever it needs to be. It’s a transformative experience, and it enables the iPad to be something that the iPhone and iPod Touch never could be  – a creator’s tool.

By the way… I’ve been telling you to buy Apple stock most of my adult life. You’ve been reading that on this Blog. I’m saying it again. At $240, it’s still a bargain. Apple creates products you did not know you could not live without until you have them, literally, in your hands. Few companies can say that. Few will try. Apple will likely keep doing so for another twenty six years.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

food for thought

February27

If all of the media was controlled by one group, and they chose to replace all images of skinny or athletic people with images of people who were more chubby, would we start to find fat attractive?

Obviously some people do, already… But I’m talking about the majority, who don’t.

Could majority opinion be swayed by the glamorization of portliness? If Tom Cruise were replaced by John Goodman, and Angelina Jolie by a Hairspray-era Rikki Lake, would we begin to fancy flab?

John Goodman’s a much better actor than Tom Cruise. However, he’d never have fit in the cockpit of that fighter jet in Top Gun, though, so I suppose movie plotlines would have to be adapted to accommodate the new regime.

Just food for thought (sorry).

Peace be to my brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





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