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Just say BO-NO: Mark Hosler of Negativland on Apple’s ‘U2rusion’
09.12.2014
01:44 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Apple
Negativland
U2
Mark Hosler


 
A guest editorial from Mark Hosler of Negativland on Apple’s ‘U2rusion’

1) Of course it’s very entertaining and amusing to me to see the backlash that U2 is getting for doing this.

2) I actually like some of U2s music, and always have. Yet have no interest in paying to hear what they are up to now ( I think I’ve paid them enough! About $45,000, to be exact. That is how much their lawsuit against Negativland cost us), so getting it for free sounded fine to me.

3) The way they are “forcing” it on the users of Apple products is actually a very curious thing! Certainly *someone* was going to do this sooner or later, at least as an experiment, so I am not surprised. That a band this large is giving away its music to pretty much everyone who will want it and many who won’t (regardless of what Apple paid them to do so, which is a separate issue) is also curious as a “business” model. For Apple, perhaps it’s the largest “loss leader” in history. And curious that something that is digitally free is made to look like the test pressing of a real world vinyl LP. How many folks out there even know what a test pressing is or looks like?

4)  Given the endless ways we all often willingly grant these corporations and our government access into to our lives by how we use and sign up for these fucking devices and apps, I am unclear as to why so may folks are so shocked and angry about this. We all get SPAM and we delete it, so… .. is this any different? Maybe it is. Or maybe not.  I am still pondering that one.

5) I use iTunes as a music player and a way to store a bit of the music I listen to, but I have never signed up for their service and never purchased anything from their store. So…guess what?  When I opened iTunes and looked for the dreaded U2 intrusion ( a U2rusion) into my iTunes app, there was nothing there. So this felt to me more like I had unwittingly opted out of being on iTunes mailing list, whereas all of you have signed up for it have opted in.  (BTW, my understanding is that what gets dropped in to your player is a playlist of U2’s new album, but not files. You still have to click something in to download the files.  A nuance, possibly, but one that is being missed in all the hoo ha).

6) Regardless of what anyone thinks, I’ll be curious if the overall outcome is seen as good or bad, plus or minus, by Apple and U2. WIll Apple do this again as a way to push product, or will it seem like such a bad press headache resulting from such arrogant tone deafness that they never do it again?
 

 
Below, Mark Hosler discusses Negativland’s adventure with U2 and their lawyers:

 
Mark Hosler and Negativland were famously sued by U2 and their record company. The upcoming Negativland album, the two CD set It’s All in Your Head, comes packaged in a Holy Bible, with a limited edition Koran also available. (Reviewed here)

Here’s “Right Might” from the new album:

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Even the Westboro Baptist Church wants the new iPhone, despite picketing Steve Jobs funeral
09.11.2014
08:07 am

Topics:
Belief
Science/Tech

Tags:
Westboro Baptist Church
Apple


 
I tend to avoid writing anything about the Westboro Baptist Church, simply because they’re just not that funny anymore. The futile comedy of right-wing fringe always eventually wears thin, as hateful (yet largely impotent) antics eventually become repetitive and predictable. Sarah Palin said something vicious, yet totally ignorant? Of course she did. Glenn Beck deluded himself into another xenophobic conspiracy theory? Wow. Really?

Since the ole’ WBC has protested the funerals of everyone from dead marines to Matthew Shepard to Ronnie James Dio, it’s hard to imagine a context where they won’t rally, brandishing their trademark “God Hates Fags” signage in a grotesque, redundant performance. It’s ugly, but it’s a cliché, and an increasingly dull one.

However, recently the Westboro Baptist Church took a visit to New York City, and I’ll-be-damned-to-gay-hell if the kooks didn’t surprise me! The lovely folks at Animal New York reached out to them as they picketed…I dunno, cronuts or something, only to learn that the parishioners are avid Apple fans! (Perhaps they sensed the disinterest of famously unflappable New Yorkers—we often see weirder shit than the WBC in the freaking Financial District.) Cult leader Steve Drain, emailed Animal this ringing endorsement:
 

The iPhone 6 will allow us to preach to this sinful nation more effectively than the 5s! Bigger screen to see our signs more clearly—like ‘Repent or Perish’ or ‘Fag Marriage Dooms Nations’! More people will mock our using of the phone, citing (incorrectly) a hypocrisy in using a device designed and marketed by a man whose funeral we picketed for his idolatry, then atheism, and adultery (Steve Jobs). Which device do you think our ‘Why Did God Destroy Sodom?’ will display best on? iPhone6, Galaxy 5, or HTC? I bet the preaching will be effective, by God’s hand, as viewed in all of them—don’t you think?

 
Yeah, you read that right, but Grindr looks better on the new iPhone, too. Instead of picketing the Chelsea Apple Store with signs that say “iPhone 666,” or “Fag iPhone Enabler,” the Westboro Baptist Church has decided their use of this chic new tech will spread their unholy message—and they’ve come to this conclusion despite having protested Steve Jobs’ funeral in 2011. Incidentally, they announced their plans to do so over Twitter… on their iPhones. I know very few of us can presently escape the clutches of global capitalism and all, but isn’t there some biblical reference to a bad tree being unable to bear good fruit?

Then again, the Westboro Baptist Church has never been very big on fruits…
 

 ;
Via Animal New York

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Behold Apple’s hilariously AWFUL fashion line of 1986
07.30.2014
07:10 am

Topics:
Fashion
History

Tags:
Apple

Apple Collection
 
You know, I watched that whole movie about Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher a few weeks ago, and not once did the movie address Apple’s 1986 attempt to show the fashion world how it’s done. This move made perfect sense. Apple had already brought a heightened sense of style and functionality to the worlds of computers and… well, computers, so it was a natural to assume that the world was waiting to see what Cupertino had to say on the subject of Kevlar-reinforced sportswear.

As stated in the catalog—swear to god—“After a rough day windsurfing, the Apple sweatshirt is just the thing.” The catalog also included fashions for tots, a toy Apple semi as well as a bitchin’ sailboard that ran a cool $1100. 
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
Apple Collection
 
After the jump, selections from the Apple Collection catalog…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Before ‘The Simpsons,’ Matt Groening drew cartoons for Apple computers
03.28.2014
08:10 am

Topics:
Advertising

Tags:
Apple
Matt Groening


 
You might remember my post from a while back on Hunter S. Thompson’s truly weird Apple computer commercial, but I think I’ve found something to top it. Apple’s branding strategy has usually been to flatter those who fancy themselves “outsiders” or “rebels”—basically everyone in the entire world. But with this 1989 attempt to woo Generation Xers, the company took a more subtle approach, with a pamphlet illustrated by Matt Groening.

At the time, Groening had plenty of underground cred with his uber-angsty comic strip, “Life in Hell.” As the name suggests, the theme of his work was much more along the lines of “surviving post-modern desperation” than “hot blonde chucking a sledgehammer at Big Brother.” But Gen Xers had a reputation (whether earned or not) for capitulating to the daily grind, and Groening’s nervous, insecure art probably felt like a perfect fit for engaging with disaffected young people preparing themselves for the job market.

The brochure was passed out in college bookstores and in between the pages selling computers as the newest college necessity, Groening’s cartoons provided a few funny, self-effacing prototypes of disoriented students. I’m sure they kept prospective customers’ attention. Groening also did a couple of posters for Apple, including one titled “Bongo’s Dream Dorm,” a fantasy of college life for his “Life in Hell” lead character. Shortly after, The Simpsons took off, and Groening’s been free to mock Apple’s “culture of innovation” ever since.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Vintage Zen

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hunter S. Thompson hawks Apple’s Macintosh computer in 90s commercial
03.19.2014
06:15 am

Topics:
Advertising

Tags:
Hunter S. Thompson
Apple


Ah yes, this is more what I’m used to
 
Apple products have always branded themselves as counterculture and cutting edge—the technology of “creative types.” But it’s still a little surprising to see Hunter S. Thompson on a commercial for computers. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve never been too judgmental when it comes to artists schilling this doo-dad or that widget to make some extra scratch. It’s not like he’s tap-dancing for Exxon or Halliburton, and there are no clean hands in a dirty world—getting pissy at an anti-capitalist for making money under capitalism is like getting pissed at an environmentalist for breathing smog. And Hunter had notorious bouts of writer’s block; it’s very possible he just needed the money.

Or maybe Thompson just wanted a free computer. Supposedly, he received a Mac in the 80’s from an editor. Since his assignments were perpetually late, everyone hoped the new technology would speed him along. That might have worked, had he not became irritated and blown the poor machine away with a shotgun… supposedly. Say what you will about PCs, I could shoot three before they cost as much as one Apple.

He’s still a pretty fucking hilarious choice for a spokesperson—did that famously speedy mumble (accompanied here by butt-rock guitar) really entice the Gen X-ers to rush our and buy Macs?
 

 
Via Open Culture

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
1976 Apple computer made of wood
12.24.2012
06:28 am

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
Apple
computers

wooden console
 
Indulge me a little romance for technology long past. I generally avoid waxing nostalgic over the time before people like me got to live on the Internet all day, but there’s something so compelling about the primordial technology that served only brief, esoteric purpose.

Long before computers were mass-produced, you had arcane wooden lovelies like this one, hand-made by Steve Wozniak himself. There’s undeniable warmth to the console, and not just because of the organic materials; the wood-shop quality reveals a creator, and the personal touches connect us to a craftsman, as well as a programmer.

A model like this one (only 200 were made) originally sold for $666.66, though collectors now pay up to $50,000.

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The World according to Apple iOS6 Maps

A_World_Apple_iOS6_1
 
While Apple admits they are just getting started in improving their iPhone Maps App, a tumblr website The Amazing iOS6 Maps has been collating users pictures from the App displaying bendy bridges, missing locations and plain wrong directions.
 
A_World_Apple_iOS6_2
 
A_World_Apple_iOS6_15
 
Via Daily Telegraph and The Amazing iOS 6 Maps
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Carved face in apple bong
01.19.2012
03:09 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Food

Tags:
Marijuana
Bongs
Pipes
Apple


 
Here’s a mildly entertaining DIY apple bong with a face carved on it. You’d probably have to use that sucker fast though, before oxygen turns it all brown.

Click here to see larger image.

(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Look, I’m on television!’: Steve Jobs preps for the big time

image
 
Six years after he graduated high school, and four years after the LSD experiences that he’s called “one of the two or three most important things I’ve done in my life,” and less than two years after he co-founded a company named after a fruit, the biological son of graduate students Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Simpson prepped nervously for his first TV interview.

Ya gotta figure most game-changers have found themselves “deathly ill and ready to throw up at any moment,” right?
 

 
Thanks, Cameron Macdonald!

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
iPhone4 vs HTC Evo: “I don’t care!”
07.08.2010
10:52 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animation
Current Events

Tags:
Apple
iPhone
HTC Evo

 
WARNING: Not for Apple fanboys!

Thank you Sean Fernald!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Criminal gang stakes out Apple stores in Manhattan Beach
01.11.2010
09:18 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Pop Culture
Science/Tech

Tags:
Apple

image
 
A report on the LA Now blog indicates that police in So Cal are dealing with a group of criminals who “think different”:

The suspects sought by Manhattan Beach police had a specific method of operation, Brown said. They stake out an Apple store and choose their target. Then they follow their prospective victims when they drive to another shop or a parking spot near their home. If computers are left unattended inside the vehicle, the thieves strike.

His department issued a warning to consumers Tuesday not to leave computers or other expensive items in their vehicles in plain view.

“It’s a highly preventable crime if people don’t leave computers in their cars,” Brown said.

But law enforcement officials said despite the arrests in Orange County, they believe these follow-away burglaries are the work of a larger ring that has taken more than 100 computers in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

I was trying to come up with a punchline about Justin Long, but couldn’t and you just don’t want to force these things.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Stupid iPhone Apps
01.05.2010
05:54 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture
Science/Tech

Tags:
Apple
iPhone

image
 
Maybe David Letterman should retire his “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment in favor of a new one called “Stupid iPhone Apps.” Is it just me or are the below apps pointless time (and money) wasters? And a couple of them seem highly likely to cause actual damage to your iPhone. Apparently Apple sells 350 apps per minute from the iTunes app store—over 3 billion since it launched—but surely, soon, we’ll all be suffering from “cute” novelty burnout when the useful ideas have been used up ... or maybe not. Never underestimate the American consumer, eh?
 
Exhibit the first: Happy Dangy Diggy. This whimsical app allows you to blow virtual kisses to the object of your affection cyber-stalking. Although this might’ve come in handy were we in the midst of a full-blown H1N1 pandemic (you know, like the one that was supposed to happen), in the absence of a public health crisis, it’s just plain goofy. If you need an iPhone app to flirt, well, dude, you’re pathetic!
 
Next up: the iSteam app, which will fog up your iPhone with realistic digital fog. Someone showed me this at a party recently and I just shook my head in bored disbelief. You can simply breathe on your iPhone for free to fog it up, but at least that’s all that the app costs anyway. It’s gratis for now from the developer—which is about what it’s worth, if you ask me. Cute? Sure, but who cares?
 

 
Moving on, we have the iPhone Blower, which will push air out of your iPhone speaker. Enough to extinguish a candle. Big whoop. Watch the demo video:
 

 
If you don’t think this will cause damage to your iPhone ... then move on to the next two, the iHandWarmer (who thought that name up?) and Pocket Heat. The iHand Warmer actually kind of works by using up 100% of your CPU and draining the battery, but does it give off enough BTUs to really warm your hands? Doubtful. Pocket Heat, on the other hand, is admittedly mostly just a gimmick that’s meant to look like a space heater, rather than perform like one. Now that’s really pointless.
 

image

 
Via Gizmodo, Krapps and Brand X

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Is Apple about to launch all-you-can-watch monthly iTunes subscriptions?
11.03.2009
02:53 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
Apple
Steve Jobs
Hulu
iTunes
Quincy Smith

image
 
Interesting murmurs are emanating from Cupertino this week about Apple’s alleged plans to offer an all-you-can-watch television buffet for the princely sum of $30 a month. It’s about time. The days of the public buying a single song or downloading a single show for $2.99 are waning; they’d prefer to buy digital media the way they buy pens or Twizzlers from Staples, in bulk. With savvy senior citizens figuring out how to illegally download movies and music, it can be said with some confidence that iTunes has served for many as the “training wheels” for illegal Bit Torrent downloads. (It’s not a great leap—first step: download stuff from iTunes; a year later: download the same stuff for free). This alleged reasonably-priced Apple service would probably keep these folks within the paying fold. Why? Because the price is right and it’s convenient, and for no other reason.

2009 is the year when many cable customers (I’m one of them) cut the wire for good. With it being so easy to get the things they want for free online, why should consumers be obliged to spend $90 a month for 500 channels, 490 of them that are never, ever watched? Paying just $30 for the things you do want to watch is a no-brainer. You won’t need the DVR either, saving you an additional $12 a month.

And then there is what could be called the “Hulu problem” which should theoretically make this service more attractive for the networks (although it might take a while to get them there): Hulu execs make a big deal about selling out the advertising inventory for Hulu, but as CBS’s outgoing digital CEO Quincy Smith stated bluntly to All Things D, “You and I can say all day long, ‘We?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment