This comment says it best: “Actually, I think the day after the election, if Obama wins, the media will suddenly realize/care that we have a massive budget deficit, two wars, gas prices through the roof, and an expansion of the executive branch’s powers never contemplated by the Founders, and will preemptively declare President-elect Obama’s administration a failure unless all those issues can be fixed within 10 months.”
Scott found this bizarre chunk of Stephanopolous interviewing McCain. I would only add this at the very end:
Pat Berry: Senator McCain, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
So I was reading the “Ask Apple about the iPhone" challenge from FSF/Defective by Design and felt a little sorry for the Apple Store employees that were going to get the 3rd degree. I envisioned myself in their shoes and did up the chat below.
FSF:Why do all developers have to submit their applications to Apple before they can be loaded onto an iPhone?
Genius Me:Well, I can see this is going to get pedantic really quick, so I'll just go there. Technically a developer can load their application onto their own phone without submitting the application to Apple. In addition, a developer can distribute an application to other users that have a signing certificate. That signing certificate does indeed cost money. For companies we have the ability to distribute applications without any interaction with Apple. Now, to the more general tone of the question, because we're control freaks. Next.
FSF:Oh, so that's how we're going to play it, eh?
Genius Me:You came to us...
FSF:Why does iTunes still contain so much DRM-laden music?
Genius Me:It's in our licensing agreement. You may have noticed that we don't own the copyright on the music we distribute.
FSF:Ah ha! I have a follow-up! What is Apple doing to fix this?
Genius Me:Steve Jobs asked for DRM-free music to sell.
FSF:AH HA! I have yet another follow-up! If it really is the RIAA's fault, can you tell me specifically what the RIAA said to Jobs when he asked for the ability to sell DRM-free music?
Genius Me:Well, I'm paraphrasing here, but it went something like, "Steve, we're going give all these other companies what you want to try and screw you."
FSF:AH HA! Wait...what?
Genius Me:Yeah, seems the music companies figured out they gave us the keys to the kingdom and got a little miffed about it. Something about business models and unethical operations, you might not understand it.
FSF:Oh. Well. Anyway... The iPhone 3G has GPS support. How can users be sure that the GPS cannot be used to track their position, without their permission?
FSF:Yeah, man! Come on, fess up! You're watching my every move, I just know it!
Genius Me:Well, you know what they say.
Genius Me:Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.
FSF:I knew it...
Genius Me:I honestly don't know how to answer that one to your satisfaction.
FSF:Okay, point for me! I guess I'll skip the follow-ups on that one.
FSF:Onward! In 'Thoughts on Music', Steve Jobs said, "it is useful to remember that all iPods play music that is free of any DRM and encoded in 'open' licensable formats such as MP3 and AAC".
Genius Me:That's not actually a question.
FSF:Oh, right. Um, a follow-up then... If Jobs really wants to see open formats, why doesn't the iPhone play Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora video and FLAC?
Genius Me:Apple would likely be sued for patent infringement.
FSF:Ah ha! So you aren't willing to fight for your customers.
FSF:Okay, okay... Last question. Why can the iPhone 3G only be activated by Apple and AT&T?
FSF:Ah ha! Gotcha! In the United States, the Register of Copyrights has ruled that consumers have the right to unlock their phones and switch to a different carrier. How does Apple plan to remedy this discrepancy?
FSF:Ah! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!
Security Guard #1:Come with us sir.
FSF:Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
Security Guard #2:Sir, please.
FSF:Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn't you?
Me #1:So, clearly I'm missing something...how are Twitter and FriendFeed even remotely comparable?
Me #2:Pat, sometimes you're so dumb I hate being you.
Me #2:The list of things that make these services similar is long and deep.
Me #1:Go on...
Me #2:Well, for starters they are both web-based.
Me #1:You're starting off pretty strong there.
Me #2:Just wait, punk. Next, they are both Web 2.0 apps.
Me #1:So Google Maps is now the same as Twitter too?
Me #2:Can I finish? Can I finish?!
Me #1:By all means...continue. I'll hold my applause until the end.
Me #2:Thanks you oafish dolt. You can use both systems to broadcast a message to people. They both have privacy models. They both foster ad-hoc communities. They both have an API. They both offer RSS feeds! I could keep going, but I see you're already starting to fall asleep.
Me #1:Oh, what? Sorry, I drifted off on you there for a second. May I present my rebuttal?
Me #2:If you must...
Me #1:FriendFeed is an aggregator of your other Web 2.0 junk and Twitter is a Web 2.0 messaging system. They are fundamentally different in that aspect. Oh, and about that XMPP and SMS support for FriendFeed...
Me #2:I'm loathe to admit this, but you make some valid points. Still, you can't deny that you can use both system to broadcast to people.
Me #1:No, I concede that both systems do that, but until FriendFeed can send messages out over other protocols besides HTTP, I stand by my pedantic hypothesis that they are different systems. One could also postulate that the relationship between FriendFeed and Twitter (and every other system they feed off of) is parasitic. It's a stretch, but an argument could be made.
Me #2:Except for the fact that FriendFeed could still drive some traffic to the Twitter web site.