October 04, 2012
There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, April 30, 2007
Like all the other 7,038,044,512 people on the planet, I've been waiting for my iPhone 5, but now I think I might wait for the iPhone 6 instead.
I worry that if I get an iPhone 5 I'll drop it and break it.
But, if you're smart and you wait and get the iPhone 6, it won't matter one bit if you drop it – because you won't be able to drop it: I read the other day that, with the iPhone 6, if you drop it, it won't fall to the ground and break – instead, it will just hover in the air beside you, thanks to Apple's new anti-gravity protection feature that will be introduced with that phone.
So, with the iPhone 6 – unlike with the iPhone 5 – if it does slip out of your hand, then you'll just need to reach over and grab it, since it will be sitting there in mid-air just waiting for you and it will be fine.
All this commotion over the iPhone 5 has also brought the usual long line of Apple detractors out of the woodwork once again. You know the people, the ones who unabashedly bash the world's only perfect company every chance they get. You've all met them before and – just as there will be poor always – there will also be Apple detractors out there always.
Just to take one example, when the iPhone 4 came out, the Apple critics made a big deal about "antenna problems" with the phone, and they even called it "Antenna-gate."
Only, here's the kicker: Before those people started complaining, and news outlets picked up the story, they all forgot one thing – They forgot to check with Apple.
And not much later, the critics of the phone ended up with egg on their faces because, after reporters talked with Apple, it turned out that there wasn't anything at all wrong with the phone – it was just that people were holding it wrong.
So, how dumb must all those complainers have felt when they found out that there actually wasn't any problem with the phone itself – the problem was with them; they were simply holding the phone wrong.
But what are you going to do? There are always going to be naysayers.
Anyway, every reporter and writer in the world has written about the iPhone 5 for the last three months straight, so I'm not going to keep writing about Apple and iPhones in this column this week. I'm going to move on to some other topics for a change …
Hey, speaking of the iPhone, I heard my very first iPhone 5 joke the other day. It was tweeted out by Wired magazine. It goes something like this: "An iPhone 5 walks into a Genius Bar and the genius says, 'Hey buddy, why the long face?'"
Speaking of walking into places and raising questions, this year's award for doing that goes to David Villalobos, who leaped from a monorail at the Bronx Zoo in New York into the cage of a 400-pound Siberian tiger that he wanted to pet.
If you think back over news reports in the last few years, you'll notice that there's been an alarming trend of people jumping into tiger cages as well as cages of other large wild vicious animals that can tear you apart limb from limb.
Anyway, it's become so common that New Yorkers have come up with a term for the practice: They are now calling it "attempted zoo-icide."
However, according to police, Villalobos said he was in no way attempting to commit suicide; instead, he told police, he simply wanted to pet the giant Siberian tiger, and he added, "I wanted to be one with the tiger."
You know what, people laugh at that statement, and say that's a crazy dream he had, but, if you think about it, he really did come extremely close to being one with that tiger.
Hey, is it just me, or do Islamic extremists seem to be really touchy people?
I saw a Republican strategist on TV on Sunday, and he was talking about the presidential election, and he said, "The question we want everyone to ask themselves is, 'Are you better off now than you were four years ago?'"
So I did that. I said to myself, let's see, hmmm, four years ago? That would make it Sept. 30, 2008. And then it hit me: I remember exactly what I was doing right around that time.
I was standing in my kitchen at night, talking with my brother and mother, and I remember the conversation very clearly because it had such an amazing and surreal quality to it. There's no other word to describe it but "surreal," and I truly remember it like it was yesterday because it is burned into my mind.
In the conversation, we were trying to decide if we should all go to the bank as soon as it opened the next morning and withdraw all our money in cash and hide it somewhere in the house – or perhaps, under the cover of night, dig a deep hole in the backyard and hide the money there.
But then one of us – I can't really remember who – raised the question of, if we tried to get our money out of the banks, would the banks even actually give us our money. Because, based on the news reports all over television and the internet that night, there was a question about if the banks had the ability to pay out any money and, in some other parts of the country, there had been fights and riots in the lines in front of the banks because the people couldn't get their money out.
And we realized that everyone else had been watching those same news reports, so, then, we questioned whether it would be safe to be in the line tomorrow.
When my mother pointed out that those accounts were guaranteed by the FDIC, my brother and I reminded her that the FDIC insurance was only as good as the US government, and it looked as though the federal government might fail and go into bankruptcy – so it might very well be that that FDIC insurance wasn't any good, because the government of the United States of America wouldn't have any money to pay those claims if it went bankrupt in the morning.
Hey, listen to what happened to some friends and I the other day while we were playing pickup basketball. This is really crazy. It was a nice day – sunny and cool, perfect for being outdoors. So a few friends and I went out to Troy Johnson Park and we were playing a game of half-court basketball.
That day for some reason, we were really on – you know, we looked good, and most of our shots were falling. While we were playing, a long black car pulled up, and four men in dark business suits got out and watched us play for a while.
It was somewhat odd, but we didn't think much of it. But then one of the men came up and introduced himself as John Swofford, the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Mr. Swofford said he and the other ACC executives had been driving by and had noticed us, and stopped to watch us play, and he said he wanted to invite our team to be a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference....continued on page 2