Apple Goes Semi-Pro (Part Two)

Last time we looked at Apple’s conversion from a computer company to a phone company that also makes computers. We considered why Apple doesn’t give a damn about enterprise sales, which explains their embrace of third-party enterprise components like Microsoft’s Exchange Server. Now we’ll look closer still at what plans — if any — Apple even has for personal computers in its future.

With impeccable timing, Mrs. Cringely last week stood in line four hours at the Apple Store to get her new iPhone 4. The line was cheerful, she said, Apple provided umbrellas to protect customers from the sun, bottles of water, and even pizza. I […]

Apple Goes Semi-Pro (Part One)

In January, 2007, just days before announcing the iPhone, Apple Computer dropped the word “computer” from its name. Pundits noted the passage though it didn’t seem like much at the time. But we were wrong. Apple had consciously and very deliberately entered a whole new era without our even noticing. It was a change toward phones and content distribution and away from computers. We couldn’t know it at the time but Apple was also forsaking the professional customers who had kept it alive in the company’s darkest days — those desktop publishers, artists, musicians, and moviemakers. Apple was no longer their company.

Mac sales today represent just under 24 percent of Apple revenue with 40 percent coming from the iPhone alone. Apple is a phone […]

Doing the Right Thing

Accidents happen to the best of companies.  It is how those companies respond to big industrial accidents — how they learn and change as a result of those lessons — that shows the quality of an organization.  One of the many readers to comment to me this week on BP’s situation in the Gulf of Mexico put it in the context of his own experience working as an engineer at Monsanto Chemical.  His lesson is so compelling that I have reproduced it below in its entirety — Bob.

In 1947 a tanker blew up in Texas City harbor, ironically the same city where BP had a big refinery accident in 2005.  The 1947 explosion leveled Monsanto’s […]

I'm with stupid

Readers reacted strongly to yesterday’s column about how to use Google AdWords/AdSense to punish BP through its web advertising effort aimed at influencing public opinion. Rather than respond through the comments I think this subject warrants a column of its own because I’d rather address the AdWords/AdSense click fraud aspect of the subject and leave BP and oil spills out of it for now.

The crux of reader concerns come down to the idea that a publisher asking readers to click on ads violates Google’s terms of service and risks that site being banned from AdSense. It probably does violate Google’s terms of service, but then so do many things that happen on the web and […]

BP AdWords cashectomy

Financier George Soros became famous for breaking the Bank of England. You can do the same thing right now to BP and help clean oil-covered birds in the process.

Soros’s gambit took place on September 16, 1992. At that time there was a huge spread between British and German interest rates which ought to have forced down the value of the pound sterling. But the Bank of England was determined to defend fixed exchange rates. The head of the Bank said he would spend up to $15 billion buying pounds to accomplish this. Soros saw this as the bank metaphorically spitting into the wind.  So he took the bank up on its threat, selling short $10 […]