La De-Evolución de Apple está completa.

Con su última campaña de marketin , “The Rock x Siri”, la de-evolución de Apple está completa.

Si ya es casi claro que Apple se rezagó en tecnología, sus productos ya no cambian (no han lanzado nuevos iMac, y muy poca evolución en iBook, y los iPhone solo cambian de colores) , ni crean nuevos paradigmas (iPad) ahora su departamento de marketing tomó atajos, y ya que no pueden vender nuevos productos, los empaquetan para las masas de “Fast and Furious”.

Empecemos entonces a recordarle a los post-milenials, las campañas de marketing revolucionarias e innovadoras que representaban a Apple.

En la campaña “Apple Guy vs PC Guy” juegan todos los estereotipos del Windows Vista en su contra (nerd y solo en oficina), y conectan al relajado consumidor comun y corrinente con el Mac, sin nombrar la competencia y ni siquiera mostrar el producto.

Sigamos con el comercial que lanzó los utrabooks, el MacBook Air. Con solo un sobre de manila y la canción “New Soul” de Yael Naim de 2010, transmiten todo lo que hay que saber de un ultra-book,  delgado, liviano, portatil, y que literalmente cabe en un sobre.

Y terminemos con el comercial Apple mas famoso de todos. “1984”. Altas dósis de Pink Floyd “The Wall” y George Orwell 1984, el Mac sería el primer computador personal, absolutamente revolucionario que marcaría el estándar por varias decadas. Sería el computador más usado por los colegios de los Estados Unidos (recordemos a Steve Wozniak, el Ingeniero de HP, genio informático tras el diseño del hardware de Mac, profesor de colegio, que creo el Mac para la educación) y sería lo que propulsó a la siguiente generación de Silicon Valley que creo el Internet.

Si Apple estaba perdiendo el camino tecnológico, ahora perdió el camino del marketing, ya no saben como conectar sus productos con las necesidades de sus clientes. Los productos Apple ya no son estéticos, son uno más.

Steve Jobs se está revolcando en su tumba.

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Heartbleed and Shellshock are a good thing.

In this article by the Huffington Post titled ¨Apple joins rush to fix Shellshock bug affecting the internet” it seems like Apple users are in panic on how to patch their beloved and “more secure” computers from something that they hardly understand. And at the same time Apple, says, keep it cool, you are not affected as bad as you think you are.

For once, the joke (or bug) is on us Linux users. For those that don’t remember, Apple OS X in any of their versions, have a common root, BSD. BSD, has always been the quirky cousin of Linux, and all are descendents from the Unix family tree. Bash (Bourne Again Shell), is one of the many implementations of a “shell” (Family Tree Here) and BSD as all of the Unix descendents use some sort of a shell implementation.

Now, what is a shell? A shell is a command interpreter, It’s what would be used before the times of retina displays, graphical user interfaces, and mice. In Windows terms, it’s the command prompt. Is the way a user interacts with a computer with text commands typed on a black screen. I am old enough to remember a Internet driven by commands in green-over-black dumb Hayes VT-400 terminals.

“Shellshock”, the bug that bring us here, it’s a 26 year old bug in the Bash implementation of a shell. One of the things you want in a shell is the ability to define variables (text strings, numeric values, names of files, or the return value from a program or process), the bug is that when defining a variable you can also pass along a command, that can do anything, from listing the defined users for a computer, to erasing the hard drives. Basically, by calling a compromised variable defined in a shell, you can unwillingly execute commands that can gather information about the computer or compromise its information. Bad enough is that it not only can be run locally on the computer, but also remotely, from anywhere, as long as the computer is connected to the internet, and (for example) a web page calls a shell routine in the background to do something.

Most of the operational systems out there, descendents of Unix, Linux, BSD, OSX are implementing or have implemented patches for their shells to fix this vulnerability, and that is the easy part. There are millions of devices out there that build the internet itself, switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, all components that make the internet work, all of those devices run some sort of operational system, most of them, Unix  descendents, in it’s miriad of implementations. All of those networked devices that make the infrastructure that makes the internet work are vulnerable and need to be patched.

And why “Heartbleed” and “Shellshock” are a good thing? Because it levels the field, makes us aware that there are no immune operational system, all needs to be checked, verified, and corrected; because a exposed vulnerability is better than an undocumented backdoor; because open source code can be checked, verified, and fixed by anyone with the knowledge, not hidden behind the closed doors and secrecy of a corporation.

But Apple users can sleep better tonight, knowing that there is a dedicated army of system and network administrators, around the world, testing, and patching, and working when you are sleeping, to make sure that tomorrow, you can read “The Huffington Post” securely in your tablet, sipping your espresso, in your bed.

Think Different

It was a slogan for the Apple marketing campaign in 1997.

The full text reads:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
-Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

steve jobs 1955 - 2011

So many things can be said of Steve Jobs, but my favourite quote is from his Stanford commencement speech on 2005, where he knew he was mortal.

“Stay hungry, Stay Foolish”.

College drop-out, Silicon Valley icon, he maybe the only person that embodied the “dream”, of beginning a company in the garage of your house, with your best friend, Steve Wozniak, and in the course of 10 years or so, make it one of the most profitable companies on the planet.

Wozniak was the engineering genius, Jobs was the sales rep as Woz put it in his autobiography “Woz”.  At 30, he was kicked out of his own company, Apple, only to start other companies, Pixar, which revolutionized computer animation, and Next. When Apple bought Next, and Steve was back; Next had the foundation of iOS, which is the same operating system from an iPod, iPhone to iBooks, iMacs, and X-Servers.

Everyone else in the industry, is playing catch-up with Apple; many companies wait until Apple releases a product, to try to catch-up with them.  As Tim Cook, Apple CEO, put it on the launch of the iPhone 4S, just two days ago, “Consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads”.

Many analysts today are comparing Steve Jobs with Edison and Ford.  I would add to the list Dali and Picasso.  Not only the products are technically brilliant, and consumer appealing, but they have design, beautiful industrial design, where function meets form.

If not already, MOMA should put an iPod Classic besides the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife and the Movado Watches.

Farewell Steve, you will be missed.