Letters from the Lunar Outpost

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
- Peter F. Drucker, American-Austrian Management Consultant (born 1909)

apple

This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

This is what I see when I see an iPhone.

I really have hated Apple and all their iCrap devices ever since the iPod came out and my mom was so sweet to get me that pricey little device as the hottest Christmas gift of the year and I can remember I was so excited as I plugged the USB connecter from my brand new iPod into my PC and I began dragging and dropping my mp3s over from my PC and . . . what? What’s this? You mean to tell me I can’t drag and drop my mp3s over just as simple as you can with any other USB storage device that’s ever been made? You mean to tell me that I have to install that bloatware known as iTunes just to do something as simple as a file transfer? Eff you, you effing control freaks.

That was 2001.  Flash forward 16 years later and the tyrants at the Apple regime still make it just as ridiculously convoluted for me to get my wife’s pdf resume from my computer to her iPhone. All these years later and still the authoritarians at Apple won’t allow a simple drag and drop, so the next three options are iCloud and AirDrop – both a bunch of iCrap only available on iOS, and then there’s iTunes, I already swore I was not going to be forced into installing that garbage on my PC, the final solution was a third-party app (Documents 5, thanks Readdle Inc.!) which allowed my wife to get access to the pdf attachment from her browser-based email. Seriously, what a load of crap.

Forget about the fact that Apple outsources all their manufacturing to the cheapest slave labor factories in China and then slaps on their products the most over-inflated price tags imaginable. Far better to buy stock in the company than complain about that, but what I want to know is when will Apple stop ruling their design process with a money-grubbing iron fist that squeezes out the state-of-the-art technology their customers deserve?

How long are iPhones and iPads going to stick with that outdated single button beneath the screen when both Androids and Windows devices have a much more useful set of three permanent buttons? On Android phones, you have a permanent back button just to the right of the home button, on Windows Phones, you have a permanent back button just to the left, but for some reason, Apple is stuck on this lame idea that one button somehow makes things simpler. Because of this, the all-important back button could be in the upper-left of the screen or the lower-left or wherever the developer might want to put it. Listen Apple, pig-headedly sticking with one button beneath the screen does not make your phone any more functional or aesthetically pleasing. It just sucks.

And when will Apple give people the same ability to upgrade their device storage with the MicroSD slots that every other phone has had for over a dozen years now? I know Apple’s all about fleecing their fan base and forcing them to shell out the big bucks if they want more storage on their devices, but did they ever stop to consider that from a historical perspective, their phones and tablets look ridiculously behind the curve when it’s 2017 and they still don’t have something as basic as a MicroSD slot?

Just the same as I wouldn’t begrudge Yves Saint Laurent for finding a way to convince the masses their bags are “status symbols”, to the point where people are willing to pay way more than any bag should be worth because everyone else knows how much they paid for that YSL bag, I also won’t begrudge Apple for finding a way to convince their loyal fans to pay a premium price to make their own fashion statement. You have to hand it to Apple for managing that one, but when it comes to the capabilities and the technology of their devices, don’t ever let anyone tell you Apple isn’t squeezing it out.

Apple Squat

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Before we get to the 2014 predictions, let’s do a quick recap of the . . .

2013 Prediction Results

Prediction: Despite blatantly breaking D.C. gun law by waving around a high-capacity magazine in front of live cameras, anti-gun nut David Gregory will face no charges in doing something that would land any other American in jail.

Result: Nailed it, D.C.’s attorney general refused to file charges against Gregory, yet another example of how it’s one set of rules for the media elite, another for the rest of us.


Prediction: On February 3, 2013, Peyton Manning leads the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

Result: Missed it, but I think only by a year.


Prediction: Slight decline in global temperatures in 2013.

Result: Nailed it.


Prediction: Windows 8 makes modest but steady inroads on phones, tablets and hybrids.

Result: Missed it.


Prediction: Apple will release an iPad / laptop hybrid with slide-out keyboard.

Result: Nope. Still a great idea, though.


Prediction: Mama June of Honey Boo Boo will get lap band surgery and lose 100 by season’s end.

Result: Missed it, but the prediction still made for one of the better gifs of the year.

Mama June Gets Lap Band Surgery


source: http://www.mikecornelison.com/predictions-for-2013

Okay, nailed a few, missed a few, but I am feeling especially clairvoyant this year, so without further ado, let’s dust off that crystal ball and get to it!

2014 Predictions

  • Jodi Arias releases a sex tape from prison. It will be some pretty hot stuff (at least, that’s what my friends will tell me.)
  • In February, Peyton Manning makes good on my 2013 pridiction and brings home the Lombardi trophy to the fans in Denver.
  • Manti Te’o gets a girlfriend – a real, live girlfriend! They even meet face to face and go out on a date!
  • The economy will continue to improve despite Obamacare, but Obamacare will continue to disintegrate before our eyes with public approval even lower than it was at the beginning of the year.
  • A Chinese investor buys the New York Times. Irony reigns supreme as it takes a new owner from Communist China to help pull the Times from the far-left fringes of American politics.
  • Having tapped the well dry with the twerking and the skimpy outfits, Miley Cyrus finds a new way to grab headlines by checking into a rehab.
  • Republicans not only gain seats in the November election, they gain even more seats than they did in the 2010 landslide. Obama struggles to find a word even more emphatic than “shellacking” to describe it.
  • From taking office with a sky-high approval rating of 76%, Obama ends the year in the 30s. Still holding fast to their belief that all who disagree with the president do so because of race, Obama lovers struggle to explain how the same country that elected Obama has miraculously transformed from 20% racist to 60% racist.
  • Less than 10% of Americans will make good on their new year’s resolutions.

and while I pray that I’m wrong on this, here’s my final prediction for 2014:

  • Iran tests its first nuclear bomb. Obama blames it on Republicans.

Iranian Mullahs Get the Bomb

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David Gregory Breaking the Law on National TVOn his last Meet the Press appearance of 2012, host David Gregory broke Washington D.C. gun laws by waving around a high-capacity magazine in front of the cameras, after NBC had already requested and been denied permission to do so by D.C. police. The prediction for 2013? Despite over 16,000 signatures on a White House petition to press charges, anti-gun crusaders higher up in government will convince the police and the D.A. not to seek charges (after all, those anti-gun laws were always intended for the little people, not the ruling elite, right?) So much for equality under the law, Gregory breaks the law on national TV and walks away scot-free.

On February 3, 2013, Peyton Manning leads the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl XLVII. In what looked like a risky trade in putting all the Broncos’ hopes on the surgically repaired neck of an aging veteran, John Elway ends up looking like a genius. A great cosmic wrong is also righted in Peyton’s having had only one Super Bowl ring to brother Eli’s two.

After global temperatures have been in standstill for the past fifteen years, we will see a slight decline in global temperatures in 2013. Even with temperatures declining, global warming alarmists will continue blaming each catastrophic weather event on man-made emissions, shelving their former term of “warming” in favor of the all-encompasing “climate change”. We could point out to the alarmists that hurricanes and floods and droughts have been ravaging the planet for all human history long before there ever was an industrial revolution, but what would it change? There will always be a group of people making a racket out of blaming the weather on all the other people. Before the industrial revolution, these same kinds of people would go around telling anyone who’d listen about the undeniable evidence that we were praying to the wrong gods or the clear consensus that we weren’t sacrificing enough virgins.

2012 saw the death of Twinkies as Hostess was unable to work out a deal with striking union workers to keep the company solvent. 2013 will see the brand sold to a Chinese company. Unlike urban legend might lead you to believe, the actual shelf-life of a Twinkie is only twenty-five days, so the company doesn’t ship from China but instead buys bakeries in Mexico. The former American icon will then be owned by the Chinese and shipped from south of the border. Thanks, unions!

Microsoft Window 8While Windows 8 was released to rave reviews from many users of touch devices, many PC users were less than thrilled over the new operating system, with the step towards a tile-based interface and an emphasis on single-screen apps causing some to quip that Microsoft’s new OS should be called Microsoft “Window” instead of “Windows”. 2013 goes a long way to vindicate Microsoft’s strategy of a unified platform between all devices however, as Windows 8 makes modest but steady inroads on phones, tablets and hybrids while PC users begin to adapt and see the wisdom of one OS to rule them all.

After Microsoft flooded 2012’s holiday TV programming with ads for their Surface devices, Apple will focus their efforts in 2013 to address the one thing that keeps the iPad from being an all-in-one replacement for desktops and laptops, namely, the lack of a self-contained keyboard. 2013 will see Apple release an iPad / laptop hybrid with slide-out keyboard, just in time for the holidays.

Mama June Gets Lap Band Surgery

 

While many complained that 2012’s breakout TV show, Honey Boo Boo, marked a new low in reality show exploitation, the televised exploitation pales in comparison to the meager $5,000 per episode TLC was paying the Boo Boo Clan for the channel’s highest rated show. Give credit to TLC, however, they stepped up after season one and approached the Shannon / Thompson family with an offer giving them a raise to between $15,000 and $20,000 an episode. It might not curtail the family’s love of dumpster diving and coupon shopping, but it sure beats a sharp stick in the eye! So what’s in store for the family in 2013 and what will they do with all that newfound wealth?

Mama June’s buying lap band surgery and by season’s end, she’ll be almost one-hundred pounds lighter and totally unrecognizable.

 

Looking back on 2012, we may have survived the Mayan apocalypse (as I predicted we would) but we also were witness to tragedies we won’t soon forget, from Aurora and Sandy Hook to the natural and man-made disasters of Hurricane Sandy and Obama’s re-election. But 2013 is a brand new year, it’s the only year numbered 13 most of us will ever live to see, so call it a lucky 13 and make it a good one.

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Special Operations Speaks, Facebook Censors

From Breitbart:

Over the weekend, Facebook took down a message by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) which highlighted the fact that Obama denied backup to the forces being overrun in Benghazi.

The message was contained in a meme which demonstrated how Obama had relied on the SEALS when he was ready to let them get Osama bin Laden, and how he had turned around and denied them when they called for backup on Sept 11.

I spoke with Larry Ward, president of Political Media, Inc — the media company that handles SOS postings and media production. Ward was the one who personally put the Navy SEAL meme up, and the one who received the warning from Facebook and an eventual 24 hour suspension from Facebook because Ward put the meme back up after Facebook told him to take it down.

Mark Zuckerberg may have more money than God, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the Facebook of today is tomorrow’s MySpace – the way the Internet evolves, even though it really wasn’t all that long ago, you almost have to think back hard to remember when MySpace was cool. It will be the same thing with Facebook, a place in the social media world that was, back in the day, a cool place to hang out at – a billion accounts that will become used less and less and ultimately the whole Facebook phenomenon will be just a be a period of time that will be remembered with a quaint nostalgia, a trend that came and went on the Internet.

Facebook’s flash in the pan may last a little longer than MySpace, but that’s exactly where they’re headed and that’s a good thing because their whole existence is based on selling out you and all your personal data and not just the data they’ve accumulated from the time you’ve spent on Facebook, but from data they compile on you from all corners of the Internet.

Max Schrems, 24, the Austrian law student who sued Facebook for its complete record of his personal data was recently astounded to receive 1,222 pages of information. As Steve Klingaman says, “Some of it made sense – old Wall postings and photos – but some of it was material he had never even entered into Facebook. His action spurred more than 40,000 requests for Facebook data in Europe.”

It’s not as harmless as just watching your habits and then offering you up relevant pay-per-click ads the way Amazon does, it goes way beyond that. Facebook’s revenue from pay-per-clicks is miniscule compared to what they get selling you and your 1,222 pages of info to third party aggregators who then sell you and your 1,222 pages to lenders, credit agencies, insurers, prospective employers, the IRS, you name it.

The one thing you can say about Facebook is they timed their IPO perfectly when they were at the height of their hype, but when you consider that whoring out your personal data is their only real profit model and when you consider that there should have been some lessons learned from the dot com bust, I feel no pity for people who bought into Facebook’s IPO at $38 and now see their shares at $21. The company that has lost about $50 billion from its original value of $100 billion at its IPO is never going to see that money rematerialize.

Apple is the richest company on the planet because they sell tangible things that consumers crave. Same with Cisco and Amazon who both survived the dot com bubble, losing about 90% of their value only to reclaim it and then some in the decade that’s followed, but Facebook has all the same characteristics of every other company people lost their asses on during the dot com bust – Facebook is all sizzle, no steak.

As a person who has laid myself bare to the world on the posts all over this blog, the privacy issues are obviously not the main source of my disdain for Facebook as it is for many, and for most people, Facebook will fall out of relevance for the simple fact that it’s already peaked and there will be new places to move on to. For me though, it’s incidents like this – Special Operations Speaks, Facebook Censors – that will make me enjoy every moment of their slide into lesser relevance on the Internet.

UPDATE: Facebook reversed itself, but they still suck.

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When he was running for president, Obama the Candidate tried to tap into populist anger at rising gas prices by proposing a windfall tax on oil companies to give every American a $1,000 rebate check. Hey everybody, let’s all vote for Obama, have ourselves some free spending money and stick it to those evil, greedy oil companies!!! He ran TV ads in 18 states touting the idea and slammed John McCain for campaigning against “taxing their windfall profits to help drivers.”

Within a week of Election Day however, Obama’s promises of a windfall tax were dropped from the website and never taken up again. Here it was just one week after being elected president and a full two months before he would even start the job and Barack Obama was already on course to breaking his first campaign promise. Much like the first week of his presidency when he signed the executive order to shut down Gitmo and then never followed through, we were better off because he broke his promise, but it was yet another broken promise nonetheless.

The truth is, a campaign promise from Barack Obama is about as empty as the bathtub of a Frenchman on any given day.

So as the 2012 election nears and we see gas prices under Obama rising higher than they did even during the odd and even days of Jimmy Carter, I have no doubt that once again, the man who will never take any share in any of the blame will try his best to agitate the masses and focus people’s anger over high gas prices against the villains of big bad greedy oil.

But as Barack Obama and his surrogates in the Obama State Media try to shift the blame for the pain at the pump away from his failed presidency and against the evil greed of BIG OIL, consider a simple fact represented here in this cartoon:

Big Oil Is Evil

You know, if Apple was selling gas, with a 25% net profit in Q2 of 2012, Apple would be making a net profit of $1 on every $4 gallon of gas sold, but hey, forget picking on Apple, we all know how much liberals like their iPads and iPhones and iEverythingelse so never mind picking on them or suggesting anything about excessive greed over at Apple or a need to tax their windfall profits, let’s go back to the more important matter of demonizing BIG OIL.

The only thing is, looking back on that cartoon, if BIG OIL is evil, doesn’t that make your state and federal government nearly five times as evil? Worst of all, the taxes they place on gasoline are regressive taxes meaning the pain at the pump and the drain on the wallet hits the poor and the working class the hardest!

But this Obama guy, I’ll tell ya! This guy who came to the presidency as The Great Uniter, a guy who told us he did not see red states or blue states but a United States, this guy’s only hope left now is to try to divide the country in on itself and hope that he can scrabble all those little pieces together into something over 50%.

Without any shame he will take an industry employing hundreds of thousands, an energy industry that provides the lifeblood of our economy, and he will try to divide America and turn the greater share of Americans against that industry. Make no mistake about it, he’s going to do it, he’s going to aim the blame at BIG OIL and point his finger to the BIG OIL castle on the hill and say, “Hey America, I’m with you, I’m just as angry about those high gas prices as you are! Let’s grab our torches and our pitchforks and let’s climb that hill and storm the castle and stick it to those greedy bastards!”

Yeah, so much for The Great Uniter.

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin