Tag Archives: iPad

Friendships with Corporate Persons

The only upside I can see to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow corporations to fund political campaigns is the phrase “Corporate Persons”.  Every day American corporations are a humanized by the media and their own advertisements.  It’s flat out weird.  The entire concept of giving a big, scary, money-loving corporation the same rights as me is so bizarre I feel like the world has gone mad(der).  Hey, here’s a question, if corporations get the same rights as individuals, can a boy corporation marry another boy corporation?

Rather than discuss the horrors (or merits as some argue) of this ruling, I think it would be more fun to imagine what my life would be like if I actually had to be friends with the corporations I deal with on a daily basis.  I’m not a big consumer, so lucky for me I wouldn’t have as many corporate person-friends as some others.  But here are the ones I would have, and how I imagine our relationship would go.

Boost Mobile

Yes, I’m an owner of a boost mobile piece of poop cellphone.  As both a poor man and a frequent traveler, it helps not to be tied down to a contract.  I usually have my phone on me, even if I often screen calls.  So Boost Mobile would always be hanging out.

Appearance: I imagine a rather surly, methed-out yokel in their 20s.  Androgynous, spaced out (possibly tripping on some psychedelics that are not safe) but for the most part harmless.

Most Annoying Habit: Boost Mobile friend would be like my secretary.  Now, imagine the person described above trying to relay messages to me.  First, half of the messages I get s/he would keep to him/herself, or reveal them only after they were no longer relevant.  S/he’s even worse at sending out messages.  When I send him/her on a mission to text a friend, s/he often screams the message and pretends it urgent, even if it’s not.  S/he also is fond of putting in words or characters that I did not include in my original message.  And sometimes when I give him/her a task, s/he puts up his/her middle finger at me and goes to sleep.

Best Characteristic: I really can’t think of one, other than without Boost Mobile people would have a harder time trying to find me.  Boost Mobile would have no games, no style, no personality and no ability to troubleshoot him/herself.

Boost Mobile’s Twitter: WHERE U AT *3943* URGENT MESSAGE USER CANNOT BE REACHED WTF OMG LOL

Apple

I may as well be surgically attached to my iPod touch and my MacBook.  Because I work inside the internet, my old and tired laptop is my livelihood.  When not hunched over like an ape editing, I am probably walking or biking somewhere and listening to my iPod.  Even when I’m on the toilet I do crossword puzzles on my iPod.  Lovely image right?

Appearance: I think Apple would probably be a sort of sexy, nerdy, smug…oh wait.  It’s this guy.

The guy on the right. The guy on the left and I aren't on speaking terms anymore. But I kind of miss him.

Most Annoying Habit: Well, Mac and I have made the poor choice to mix friendship and business.  So half of the time we have a GREAT time hanging out, listening to NPR and chatting with our other friends.  We also have been known to get rather intimate, though it has yet to go beyond watching porn together.  But, on the flipside, he can be really slow and irritable.  He also is great at distracting me from actually producing any actual work.

Best Characteristic: He’s a know-it-all, and acts like he better than me.  He’s incredibly smart, but he’s very secretive about where he gets his information.  All-in-all a mostly OK guy.

Apple’s Twitter: I command my followers to be really annoying about the iPad.

The Salvation Army

I try not to buy too many clothes; I prefer comfy and familiar clothes that I can pack up quickly to hoards of really stylish stuff.  Hence I always look “good” but I rarely look “great!”  Most of my clothing comes from human-friends or second-hand corporate-friends that deal in as The Salvation Army.

Appearance:  Dumpy, possibly insane Christian.  Overbearing in almost every way.  Her style is questionable, and perhaps unsafe.  Her hair is a mess.

Most Annoying Habit: It’s a tie between her unmistakably terrible odor (my mom says it’s the smell of humanity) and the fact that I know she witnesses for Christ and hates gay people when we’re not hanging out together.

Best Characteristic: She gives almost constant fashion advice.  %99.9 is so far off the mark that I usually just laugh at her.  Like that time she suggest I wear pleated 49 waist pants and a floral blouse.  But occasionally she gets something right, and comes up with a sweet t-shirt or a surprising pair of jeans.

The Salvation Army’s Twitter:  YELLOW TAG- 10% OFF, BLUE TAG- %50 OFF, ORANGE TAG- SOILED

LL BEAN

Though most of my everyday clothing is second hand, I have 3 essential items that all come from the great Maine icon LL Bean: My amazingly light, warm, green and frumpy winter coat, my amazingly light, warm, purpleish-gray and frumpy winter boots, and my used LL Bean bright blue backpack with the name “Arjun” inscribed on it from a previous owner.

Appearance: Definitely a true Mainer, but one of the better looking ones (if there is such a thing).  Fit but sturdy, reserved but practical, and probably staring down at me disapprovingly from a sailboat.

Most Annoying Habit: Sweatshop labor.

Best Characteristic: Definitely makes sure I’m warm and comfy.  Not as concerned with style, but it won’t let me leave the house without a snuggly outfit.  Actually, this kinda sounds like my mom…

LL Bean’s Twitter: This sleeping bag is also a hiking stick, shoe insert, fishing pole, hat and water bottle.

SallieMae

Oh the sordid, twisted web of a relationship I have with my primary loan agency, SallieMae.  Basically my college forced me to use this evil organization (instead of other more responsible loan companies) to pay for my obscenely expensive college education.  I’ll be paying off SallieMae for the rest of recorded time.

Appearance: A big, fat man in a pin stripe suit with a cigar in his mouth laughing evilly, mixed with a really unhelpful woman with a Florida accent wearing a headset who refuses to speak proper English or make compromises.

Worst Habit:  SallieMae is the worst friend ever.  She waits until I get paid for working, then she takes all of the money to her house and sits on it.  She’s one of those friends who has too much money, but still requires more and refuses to share any.  She’s constantly suggesting that I may have made a big mistake, despite my insistence that she shut the fuck up.  She’s also constantly screwing over a bunch of my friends.  She comes from a family of companies, many of whom are awful, some of whom are OK, but none who are as evil and sick as Sallie.

Best Characteristics: She paid for my life in college.  However, she constantly rubs this fact in my face, and when I compare her to some of her international brothers and sisters I just want to kick her in the genitals.

SalliMae’s Twitter: GIVE ME UR FIRST BORN CHILD 2MORROW OR ELSE.

Some Questions for You, Ms. IPad

"Someone ran over my iPod touch."

Well, that didn’t take long.  Everyone was expecting Apple to come out with a tablet computer in 2010.  Here we are, 27 days in, and Steve Jobs and his friends are already on stage practically cumming in their own pants about how awesome it is.  And I’m sure that I too will be at least mildly aroused when I see my first one in the flesh (or in the metal, as it were).  It looks pretty freaking sweet.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some serious questions about it.

Before I get to far into this, let me give you some of the best links and videos I’ve found while searching through the web like a starving and curious chimp for more information about the iPad.

  • The New York Times is of course live blogging the event.   The blog is pretty funny, especially the part when Steve Jobs pulls up the New York Times technology section, and the NYT blogger fears that if he clicks on the live blogging link, the space-time continuum may be destroyed.
  • First, click here if you want to learn almost nothing about the iPad, but get a sense of the awkwardly self-masturbatory feel of the press conference where it is being released.
  • CNN actually has some of the best videos so far.  I usually hate CNN, mostly because I think they’re mixing up Anderson Cooper with Jesus.  Here’s CNN’s best video so far.  A comprehensive look at the iPad, not to mention a video of a dog on a surfboard(?).
  • This advertisement from Apple (it will be a while before we see an opinion of this item that isn’t from its creators), makes the machine look like heaven.
  • CNN also has this interesting video hosted by an unsettling woman that gives the history of tablet pcs, which apparently predate me in age.

I’m no stranger to Steve Jobs’ technological wizardry.  I bought my first Mac about 4 years ago in college, and I’m still using it, even to write this blog post right now.  Though my computer is a little wheezy, I have to say this machine has lasted longer (at a high speed) than any other computer I’ve had.  I’m also a big fan of my iPod touch, which I bought after a man made me feel bad about him stealing my old iPod in Chicago.  So, considering my past experience with Macintosh Machinery, I have the following questions about the iPad:

Why in God’s name is it called the iPad?

I my opinion, the word “pad” has its place in the common consciousness, and it’s not with you, Apple.  I don’t want my computer to remind me of feminine hygiene products.  Sorry ladies, but it grosses me out.  I’m not the first one to make this connection:

Furthermore, I think it’s too close to iPod.  When you say iPad it kind of sounds like you made a speecho, which is a phrase my sister coined for when your tongue gets tangled while talking.  I’m wondering, how many people over at Apple sat around a big glossy table or on comfy couches with lattes and brainstormed before they came up with this name.

Are we being locked into a world where there is no Apple Alternative?

Recently my computer, which is full of crap I need for work, informed me that in order to access the iTunes store to download my free NPR podcasts, I had to install the newest version of Safari, Apple’s internet browser.  Beside the fact that I don’t use Safari because it kind of blows, I can’t fit it on my computer’s hard drive.  So, even though I paid for my iPod and laptop, Apple has made it so that I can’t use iTunes to the fullest extent.  It is shameless self promotion.  Judging by the videos of the iPad, this device is pretty heavy into software.  It runs on apple software exclusively; instead of shaping their machine to fit the usages already out there, companies and innovators have to shape their products to fit Apple’s hardware.  So, where does this leave us?  Well, I fear it leaves us with a monopoly of sorts.  It’s not hard to imagine that this computer will not open doors, but limit you to what you’re able to do.  If a company doesn’t conform to Apple standards, then that company has no place in the newest and hottest wave of technology.  Is that right and fair?

Is this a Computer Klutz’s nightmare?

If there are two things I’m good at in life, they are falling down and spilling drinks.  This computer seems like it doesn’t jive with these two skills.  The only reason my laptop has been able to survive for so long is because I can fold it in half, thus protecting its precious innards from my frequent battles with gravity.  The iPad seems like it’s wide open and begging for me to spill any number of sugary drinks all over it.  As a freelance writer, my computer is my lifeline, so I need something durable.  This baby is pretty, but can I fall on top of her twice in one day without buying 2 new iPads?  Fortunately, they do offer a case that covers the iPad, as well as keyboard and dock for upright usage.  Which brings me to my next concern.

What exactly is your definition of “accessory”, Mr. Jobs?

Must have.

Everyone in the media, myself included, is stoked about the price of this machine.  Though apple could charge upwards of $2,000 bucks for this machine, they start at just $499.  That is awesome!  I can afford it!  Of course, I wouldn’t dare to buy the first edition (see below for more on that).  However, what you are paying $499 for is basically an iPod touch that looks like it may have been put through the taffy stretcher.  It’s just like my iPod touch in so many ways, except that it doesn’t fit in my pocket.  No 3G network, no ability to make off the internet phone calls.  Without the ability to slip this puppy into my pocket on a walk, I’m not sure I’d want it.  What Steve Jobs is arguing is that this is not just an iPod touch, but more than that, and more than a laptop too.  Well, in order for it to be more than a laptop, it has to be easy and comfortable to use; this means that it has to sit upright so you don’t have to hunch over like a Neanderthal, and it has to have actual keys for good typing.  Which means you need to buy accessories.  Which means that the $499 price may be a tempting myth.  Which reminds me…

What kind of planned obsolescence does Apple have up its sleeve?

Some of the people I feel it is most justified to laugh at are those who line up early on the first day of the release of a new item.  In a world where technology is only new for 15 seconds, what is so important about being first?  It’s not a sign of pride.  Companies nowadays use a little technique called “planned obsolescence“.   For those who aren’t familiar with the term, you are familiar with its benefits.  This term describes the way in which manufacturers makes a product that, after a certain amount of time or usage, will become useless either because it’s broken or because it’s uncool.  Apple is the biggest offender of this.  That’s why there are so many different kinds of iPods.  So consider this:  The iPad doesn’t have a camera built in.  You can’t take video or pictures.  Do you think it’s because Apple doesn’t have the technology to put a video into the computer?  No, it’s because in about 6 months to a year they will release the iPad 2.0, which will have camera and video technology.  Then all those schmucks who lined up for the first iPad will throw theirs out and line up for the new one.  Then in another year they’ll release an iPad that can play adobe player.

I suggest waiting a year or two.  Then they’ll have everything on the computer that is necessary, and the accessories will be available on amazon.com for a discounted price.

I don’t want to sound too cynical, but I do think it’s dangerous to get too worked up about a product that is essentially a big iPod touch.  Let’s wait and see what happens, ok America?