Apple wars February 15, 2011 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Trying to divert the ongoing derail about bias in apple criticism in this thread out of the blue, and into here.

As seems unfortunately usual in apple threads, Blazecock Pileon has gone on the offensive, implying that Artw's phrasing of the post is misleading, and that any cricitism of apple is due to bias from companies like Conde Nast, and thus commenters - including myself - are either biased, or taken in by the biased spin by such publications.

Rather than continue to respond to such aspersions that are derailing in-thread, I thought better to bring them here.
posted by ArkhanJG to Etiquette/Policy at 11:52 AM (114 comments total)

Whenever people mention apples, I think about pie.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 AM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


My understanding was that Blazecock was questioning the veracity of the source, not necessarily of the poster. Which isn't an unreasonable thing to do, depending on how you go about doing it.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:02 PM on February 15, 2011


Since this is my first ever meta, I thought prudent to quote what seem to be the relevent posts - parts in () are quoted, in case mods perform some form of cleanup, and/or so that this thread makes some kind of sense in and of itself.

Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.
posted by Blazecock Pileon


---

(Unless the last link in the FPP is lying)

I won't ascribe motivations of dishonesty to the parties involved, but the post is not quite factually correct, on the whole.
posted by Blazecock Pileon


---

(I won't ascribe motivations of dishonesty to the parties involved, but the post is not quite factually correct, on the whole.)

Blaze, if you're going to outright call me a liar please take it to meta. Other than that I'm going to make no response to you because, well, you're a very silly person.

(So basically the point of a "Hey Apple did this new thing" post is so half of us can say "cool" and the other half can say "OMG WTF???" 'cause that seems to be what always happens with these threads, no matter how much effort is put into making them look like a "hey let's talk about Apple" post.)

Well, there's always the fun MeFi platforrm wars aspect, as Blazecock demonstrates, but I think you're seeing the iPad as a significant factor in digital publishing, and I certainly do, then it's hard not to see Apple's mandate that all in App purchases must wither be through them or have an equivalent method that goes through them, at the same price with them taking a chunk, as kind of a big deal.
posted by Artw


---

Blaze, if you're going to outright call me a liar please take it to meta.

I went out of my way not to call you a liar, actually. I don't think you're lying, but I do think your post is based on an incorrect understanding of what is actually, factually true, which is what motivated my citation that explains the real policy.

(Well, there's always the fun MeFi platforrm wars aspect, as Blazecock demonstrates)

The personal attacks are unnecessary. Apple's own announcement appears to contradict your post, that's all I'm saying.
posted by Blazecock Pileon


----

(I fail to see the difference between the apple official statement, and what Artw put in the head.)

(Artw: [P]ublishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% "Apple tax")

Apple: Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app.

These two statements are not congruent.

It might be worthwhile to read what Apple actually says, as opposed to what filters through third parties, one of which has a bit of a conflict of interest on the subject.
posted by Blazecock Pileon


---

However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.

Publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% apple tax

Seems fairly congruent to me. You sell subs? You *must* sell subs via in-app, and such sales *must* go through Apple, paying the 30% apple tax.

Which bit of that is hard to follow?
posted by ArkhanJG


---

(Seems fairly congruent to me. )

You're not responding to what I cited, which is fairly straightforward and clear language. Other than that, I'll suggest that people who plan on forming a strong opinion on this — one way or another — would do well to read what Apple actually said, instead of getting their opinions from a third-party giving a factually wrong summary of what this is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon

posted by ArkhanJG at 12:02 PM on February 15, 2011


Ugh. Do people still eat pie? Sure, I thought pie was decent in 1995, when I was too young to know any better, and when pie had a virtual monopoly on the American dessert scene, but ever since I discovered cake I haven't looked back. And seeing how cake's had such an amazing decade, I actually doubt it will be long until we stop eating pie altogether, and it's a dessert that only old-timers remember — but not fondly.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:03 PM on February 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I just re-read the thread, and I can't really tell what the argument is against Blazecock Pileon. I believe they're saying that publishers can get around the tax by getting users to sign up and pay outside of the app. Is that it?

And I can't tell what the counter-argument is, because that sounds like an accurate statement. I must be missing something.
posted by Tehhund at 12:03 PM on February 15, 2011


Congratulations, you've discovered Apple's MetaFilter PR representative. It's kind of you attempt to break this out of the blue post, but as it is a blue post about Apple, BP will be there until it's done.
posted by cavalier at 12:05 PM on February 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


And to be very clear, I wasn't saying that was necessarily a BAD thing, just, well, if it's Apple, there's BP. It's kind of a simbitoic thing.
posted by cavalier at 12:05 PM on February 15, 2011


I don't see BP being a jerk or even derailing. I see some debate about the accuracy of the sources or wording of the FPP, but the personal attacks didn't come from BP from what I can see. Maybe BP has been a jerk about this in the past, but I don't see it happening in this thread.
posted by soelo at 12:09 PM on February 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Pie and cake are soooo last millennium. Mochi is where it's at!
posted by kmz at 12:09 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't turn this into a pie derail. No one is making you come to MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:10 PM on February 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


I must be missing something.

An irrational hatred of Steve Jobs is my guess.
posted by nomisxid at 12:12 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


My understanding was that Blazecock was questioning the veracity of the source, not necessarily of the poster. Which isn't an unreasonable thing to do, depending on how you go about doing it.

Fair enough. I responded directly to what Blazecock quoted - Apple's own statement - and compared that to Artw's post phrasing. He accuses me of not responding to what he - and by extension, apple, have said, and that by forming a strong opinion about this that I 'got my opinion from a third party giving a factually wrong summary' - which given wired is in the thread in the article, and he's also said that wired is biased, the conclusion I take from that is that

1) Wired is biased
2) I read the wired article (which I stated I haven't)
3) since I criticise apple strongly, I have got that opinion by a biased 3rd party, i.e. wired or Artw quoting wired
4) I'm either factually wrong, or deliberately biased, as is Artw.

I strongly disagree with that assessment, but rather than continue to call Blazecock out for basically calling me a liar in thread, I thought better for such a response to be in meta.

For the record - I did respond to your quote, BP, I pointed out that Apple's own statement says that publishers must provide an in-app sub-model that apple then charge 30% for have. I have reached this opinion *entirely* and only by reading apple's corporate statement.

So if you wish to point how I'm factually wrong Blazecock Pileon, rather than biased, please do so here. I know you and I have a somewhat argumentative history on apple threads, so I'm trying to remain civil.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:12 PM on February 15, 2011


Seconding soelo. BP said something on-topic and didn't call names. He was then accused of having a pro-Apple axe to grind. The accusation may or may not be true, but that was the start of the derail.
posted by Tehhund at 12:12 PM on February 15, 2011


Yeah, I gotta say it doesn't really seem like anyone was malicious, nor was the debate about the veracity of the links that far into derail territory to merit a MeTa (with all its fighty connotations). It might be a good opportunity to shrug and say "so be it" after both sides have presented their case and agreed to disagree.

Pie and cake are both intrinsically good and one needn't compare them or prefer them. It's a logical fallacy to do so.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:12 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see Blazecock Pileon explain that waxy stuff that is on those tasteless apples I buy at Safeway. WTF BP???
posted by found missing at 12:13 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pie and cake are soooo last millennium. Mochi is where it's at!

I think every year has been called "year of the mochi" since 2006. At this point I'll believe it when I see it.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:15 PM on February 15, 2011


My understanding was that Blazecock was questioning the veracity of the source, not necessarily of the poster.

I'd say both, TBH. And wrongly so, FWIW - if you want to sell in app you have to sell through Apple, they're quite clear about that.

And though it's nice of him to put in the disclaimer that he does not "ascribe motivations of dishonesty to the parties involved".

/shrugs.

Like cavalier says it comes with the territory. It would be nice if this silliness left the main thread now though.
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on February 15, 2011


Why are cupcakes so popular? Why not tarts? Little baby pies.
posted by fixedgear at 12:21 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry about the pie thing, I guess.

Having spent the time and read the thread, it doesn't seem too personal or fighty. I don't know. I tend to agree with soelo.
posted by koeselitz at 12:22 PM on February 15, 2011


jessamyn: "Don't turn this into a pie derail. No one is making you come to MetaTalk"

That's the tersest I've ever seen jessamyn address the community -- are you all sure you want to keep talking about desserts?
posted by boo_radley at 12:24 PM on February 15, 2011


Rory Marinich: "Ugh. Do people still eat pie? Sure, I thought pie was decent in 1995, when I was too young to know any better, and when pie had a virtual monopoly on the American dessert scene, but ever since I discovered cake I haven't looked back. And seeing how cake's had such an amazing decade, I actually doubt it will be long until we stop eating pie altogether, and it's a dessert that only old-timers remember — but not fondly."

C'mon, man. Pie is retro. But more that that, have you given any thought to textural considerations? Cake is soft and bready interspersed with bits of soft and gooey. Pie can be soft and gooey and crunchy and flaky and light and chewy, all in the same pie. Cake had a good decade because people like to like things that are bad this decade. Like PBR and tie-dye. Pie will come back when people realize that cake is fake.
posted by Night_owl at 12:25 PM on February 15, 2011


Apple stuff is too expensive. That's my problem with it.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:27 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


As somebody usually on the other side from BP in Apple threads, I actually think the Meta is a bit over the top too. Maybe I've just been Overton Windowed by past Apple threads. Nobody's been called a "hater" or "troll".
posted by kmz at 12:28 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remind me never to mention pie again.
posted by koeselitz at 12:30 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well Blazecock Pileon has said he won't be responding and the prevailing opinion is that I'm the one being fighty because I don't like being called a liar by implication (sorry, 'spreading incorrect information obtained from a biased source'), so the mods might as well delete this or close it on up. Or let it carry on as a pie thread. Whichever.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:31 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have any irons in this fire, but I have to say that phrasing it that way is kind of laden with hidden meaning. Seems like it would have been much more community-minded to phrase the statement without any suggestion of motive by anyone (even if it's a negation of a suggestion, it plants the thought in the reader's mind.)

Own your message. Saying something to the effect of "I feel the wording of the FPP is misleading, because of X, Y, and Z." is always going to be better than saying "I'm not exactly calling you dishonest, but...." Why pre-load what you're saying with such an idea unless that's the real meaning you wish to convey?
posted by hippybear at 12:32 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we please not have this fucking Apple argument again?
posted by Tree of Knowledge at 12:34 PM on February 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Spreading misinformation out of ignorance is not the same thing as lying.
Calling the Wired article biased is not even remotely the same as saying anyone who has the same opinion is biased.

Spreading misinformation when you know it's misinformation, that IS lying.
posted by nomisxid at 12:40 PM on February 15, 2011


However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.

vs

Publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% apple tax


Those two statements aren't saying the same thing. Not even close.
posted by rocket88 at 12:41 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Y'all be postin in a troll thread
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:47 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Do people still eat pie?

Rory Marinich, you are DEAD TO ME.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:49 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]



Those two statements aren't saying the same thing. Not even close.


Seriously - they are the same to me. This is why I'm struggling.

Apple - if you do subs anywhere else, you must do subs through the app too, and pay apple 30%.
Artw - you must do subs through the app, and pay apple 30%.

It's a requirement to set up subs through the in-app, and give them the 30% - and keep it in-app at the same or better price than you do online - unless you don't do subs at all, or of course pull your app and do it solely via website.

I'm not being fighty, I'm seriously not seeing why those two aren't the same. Is it that it should be called a fee instead of a tax? I'm honestly not being snarky - I'm just not seeing why they're different.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2011


The OP was incorrect, BP corrected it with a cite, and now there's this? I'm going outside, I don't feel like internetting today.
posted by nevercalm at 12:52 PM on February 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The cite says the same damn thing.

Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app.

With the same rules applying to other in-app purchases.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on February 15, 2011


Can you explain that nevercalm (if you're still internetting.) I guess I'm confused too.

Is the the cite in question? I don't see how it's different that the OP statements.

--on preview Artw just posted the cite--
posted by xorry at 12:57 PM on February 15, 2011


ArkhanJG:

1.
Apple - if you do subs anywhere else, you must do subs through the app too, and pay apple 30%.

2. Artw - you must do subs through the app, and pay apple 30%.
In 1, you can do subs anywhere else, charge whatever you want, but if you sell an app through the app store you must give apple 30%.

What 2 means is "if you do subs through the app store, you are not allowed to do them anywhere else."

Basically, 1 ensures that Apple is not excluded. 2 ensures that everyone is excluded except Apple.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:59 PM on February 15, 2011


Yeah, to clarify my previous statement:

I think that BP is within his/her rights to question the veracity of the cited material.
But I also think that Artw's statement was basically correct. I went over to slashdot to see what they had to say, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of debate about the 30% going on.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:59 PM on February 15, 2011


I suppose you could argue that I should have made it clearer that as far as anyone knows this applies only to in-app purchases and purchases made via in-app links, but that seems a somewhat inconsequential caveat.
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on February 15, 2011


From the statement BP linked, from the mothership itself:

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.


Can we close this up now?
posted by nevercalm at 1:02 PM on February 15, 2011


> Can we please not have this fucking Apple argument again?

Hey, aren't you supposed to be an apple tree?

*grabs Tree of Knowledge, begins shaking*
posted by loquacious at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those two statements aren't saying the same thing. Not even close.
The OP was incorrect, BP corrected it with a cite, and now there's this?


Oh come on, his one defense is that it's not literally true. If you don't think through the implications of Apple's declaration, then maybe BP has a point. But the net effect in Apple's dream world would be that all purchases go through the store. I can sell something for $10 on the web and get ~$10, but that means I have to also sell it for $10 in the Apple store and get $7. And I am not allowed to charge more in the Apple store to adjust for the cut. Plus if my product is designed for the iPad or iPhone, Apple always has the option of shutting me out entirely. So I either go along or give up on iDevice sales.

I do have to say I love the monkish sense of being above the fray that led BP to declare he would not be party to this discussion with the proles. The unexamined life and all that.

P.P.S., food-based derails will start being funny around the 12th of Never.
posted by yerfatma at 1:04 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fourthing soelo. I've seen BP axe-grind for Apple before, and I don't think he's doing it this time.
posted by JHarris at 1:06 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


but if you sell an app through the app store and have subs elsewhere you must set a sub method up in app too and give apple 30% , while charging no more than what you charge elsewhere.

1. ensures people can set up subs for services for an app they pay 30% for, and pay apple no more for those subs that apple has nothing to do with.

2. ensures people can set up subs for services for an app they pay 30% for, and pay apple no more for those subs that apple has nothing to do with, BUT must also set a sub service in app and charge no more than elsewhere, but now giving apple 30%. Presumably using the app store charging service, i.e. in app subs are billed by apple, not the provider.

How is that not apple requiring people who do subs setting up subs in a related app that go through apple for the same price, but with a 30% cut going to apple not a mandatory 30% apple tax?

I'm not trying to be dense or a troll, but I'm still not getting the difference. Seriously, Sorry, and Argg! Is this as frustrating for you as it is for me?
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:06 PM on February 15, 2011


Also, it's advisable to simply ignore BP and a few others in threads about Apple. They do the same thing every time, and they do it with such regularity that you can reliably guess who is going to say what, and when.
posted by loquacious at 1:06 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, let's just look at the FPP's claim:

Publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% apple tax

The fact is, publishers don't have to go through Apple. They are free to sell subscriptions outside of the Apple app store. They can sell them on their own web site, for example. And they only pay 30% to Apple if the sub is made through Apple. If they make a sale through other channels, they don't have to pay Apple anything.
The only stipulation is that the publisher isn't allowed to use non-Apple subscription channels to undercut the app store price. The price must be the same or higher.

The FPP's claim is simply wrong.
posted by rocket88 at 1:08 PM on February 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oops, misunderstood your 1. and 2. there Pastabagel, so my comment makes no sense whatsoever. I'll try again.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:08 PM on February 15, 2011


And I am not allowed to charge more in the Apple store to adjust for the cut

This is how almost everything in the world has been sold for years. It's one thing Apple really didn't invent first..
posted by rocket88 at 1:10 PM on February 15, 2011


The fact is, publishers don't have to go through Apple. They are free to sell subscriptions outside of the Apple app store.

Well, yes, and to continue the Steve Jobs quote: All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app ...and pay the 30%.
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, yes, and to continue the Steve Jobs quote:

All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app ...and pay the 30%.


If all magazine publishers make it as seamless as the Kindle app, I see no reason to go through the Apple store. I enter my subscription info once in-app, publisher already has my CC info from when I subscribed online, no problem. Other than saving me 100 or so keystrokes, there's no reason to involve the bloat of iTunes when chances are I was already at the magazine's website enjoying the content I hope to someday peruse on the ole iPad.
posted by nevercalm at 1:15 PM on February 15, 2011


Agree to disagree, you don't think there is difference and BP does. It happens a lot on here and no one is going to give either side a medal for being right. The thing is, this post was about a derail and possibly jerkish behavior. Many have given opinions that it was on topic and not jerkish. Again we can all agree to disagree and don't have to be winners or losers. I don't think it was a bad idea to post this but I do think keeping the argument (same vs different) going in this thread is a bad idea. But that's just my opinion.
posted by soelo at 1:15 PM on February 15, 2011


The fact is, publishers don't have to go through Apple.

Ahah, I think I've identified the crux of it. I think they do have to go through apple - if they offer a non-apple route for subs, they *must* also create a previously non-existing in app channel, charge the same as their existing non-apple channel, but give 30% to apple for the same sub, because they sub'd through the app, rather than the website.

Previously, you could sell or give away the app on the store, give apple their 30%. Then sell subs on your website, and give apple nothing. Now, in addition to your own channel, you must also provide an apple channel in your app, for the same or lower price, and give 30% of that sub to apple, same as the app in the first place.

That's the key thing -

1. you think because people have a method to see subs that isn't apple, in addition, that it's not apple forcing anything on them;

2. I think that because they now have to have an apple channel in *addition* to their own method, which apple takes a chunk of, and has to be the same price or lower, that apple takes 30% of, that that's apple forcing app developers that do subs to give apple money whether they want to or not.

If we fundamentally disagree on 1. and 2, then yes, we're not going to agree whether artw's/wired's statement and apple's statement are the same or not.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:16 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


> *grabs Tree of Knowledge, begins shaking*

I like to obtain my forbidden fruit with one of these.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:17 PM on February 15, 2011


In the thread, ArkhanJG says:

You are factually incorrect. I thought it better to say you're being factually incorrect in the grey

I don't understand why you think calling out factual inaccuracies, in either direction, is a derail or otherwise inappropriate for the blue. Seems to me that's exactly how disagreements should happen in the blue.
posted by scottreynen at 1:17 PM on February 15, 2011


OKAAAAY I just found a nice tree outside to go bang my head against until I pass out.
posted by nevercalm at 1:20 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since this is my first ever meta

Welcome to Thunderdome. One man enters, no men leave.
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because based on BP's earlier phrasing in the thread, I took his 'factually incorrect' to actually mean biased, and quoting biased, lying sources instead of forming my own opinion. We also disagree about whether Artw's phrase and apple's are functionally equivalent. Thanks to this thread, I now see *why* he thinks that, giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Previously, when calling him out for him calling me a hater, I was castigated for doing that in the blue - I thought better to have it out in the grey this time since I felt it was a similar derail that was getting personal - on both sides, and expected it to follow many previous apple threads where people, like myself, start disagreeing with BP, and it descends into nastiness. It didn't this time, beyond the point of the meta.

As the community clearly feels I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here by taking it to the grey before it got out of hand, and responding to deliberate misquotes by Blazecock Pileon in the blue previously has just lead to an ugly escalation.

Clearly the answer is simply never to respond at all when Blazecock misquotes me in an apple thread, casts aspersions, or try to figure out a provocative statement in the blue or the grey, as equally clearly I'm the one at fault for rising to the bait.

Lesson learned.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:30 PM on February 15, 2011


Pretty much. He's special, he's allowed to do that shit. On the other hand, pretty much everybody knows that he's "special".
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on February 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I used to work for an OEM that sold products directly and through distributors. If a disributor made a sale they got a commission (it was 30%, believe it or not). If we made the sale ourselves, they got nothing. Our contract with them stipulated that we couldn't discount our direct sales. In other words, we had to sell at or above the distributor's retail price (set by us). I suspect this is standard procedure all over.
I'm no fan of Apple by a long shot, but I fail to see a problem here.
posted by rocket88 at 1:43 PM on February 15, 2011


And I see Blazecock is continuing to slander me in the main thread. Nice.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on February 15, 2011


On a hunch* I bought a couple thousand dollars of Apple stock in the middle of 1997, just days before Gil Amelio was booted from the company. Their stock price was in the crapper and I bought in at less than $4/share. It was a gamble but I thought my good experiences with their products and my not-so-good experiences with other computer companies (including my employer at the time) meant that Apple still had some life in it. Now, the share price is around $350 and I have benefited from a two 2:1 splits along the way.

Almost 15 years later that little leap of faith has become my retirement account. I still follow Apple but I know better than to get involved in online discussions about the company's business tactics because I can't be objective about it. I could try to correct every misconception, argue every little fine point, speculate over the health of The Almighty Steve, minimize and excuse their ruthless tactics, beatdown the haters and predict a rosy future. I could do this and more but I won't. I've got too much baggage tied up with that company to make good conversation.

So while the internet argues over whether the 30% Apple tax (on shit you could live without) is evil or benign, I listen for the seagulls squawking over over the boat that'll sail me into my golden years. I stay out of these discussions because I know I can't contribute in a way that enhances this community. I wish Blazecock Pileon would show the same discretion.

* Actually, my investing strategy was heavily influenced by the "some fruit company" scene in Forrest Gump and being too young to know how to manage my money but too frugal to spend it on fancy stuff like a new car or vacation.
posted by peeedro at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


"expected it to follow many previous apple threads where people, like myself, start disagreeing with BP, and it descends into nastiness. It didn't this time, beyond the point of the meta."
I understand that you wanted to keep the derail here and out of the thread. People getting personally nasty should be kept out of the thread, but I don't think it should just be brought here. It should be deleted. Of course, you don't have that power, but you do have the power to flag and move on. If I felt personally insulted by another member so much that I'd like the comment removed (which did happen once as part of a derail), I'd flag it and then if it was not removed, follow up with a note to the mods. If they said it would not be removed, I'd let it stand. Personal insults say as more about the insulter than the insulted anyway.

That said, I think BP was calling Wired "factually wrong" and did not call anyone a liar. You may think he was imply it, but you have no proof.
posted by soelo at 1:59 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan, I really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree....

j/k. 'Cause I'm a joker. And now I'm going to have that damn earworm.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:02 PM on February 15, 2011


Does anyone know what Valve/Steam makes?
posted by neuromodulator at 2:04 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pie and cake are soooo last millennium. Mochi is where it's at!

Not so fast there, pard'ner:
Pies Top 2011 Restaurant Trend List.

Getting Ahead Of the Pie Trend.

Forget Cupcakes, Pass The Pie! Get Your Slice Of 2011′S Hottest Dessert Trend
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"And I see Blazecock is continuing to slander me in the main thread. Nice."
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on February 15


I really think it's a stretch to call that slander.
posted by soelo at 2:04 PM on February 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yay for you, peeedro! :)
posted by cavalier at 2:05 PM on February 15, 2011


If it's in print, wouldn't it be libel, not slander?
posted by octothorpe at 2:05 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


And I see Blazecock is continuing to slander me in the main thread. Nice.

If either one of you would drop this, it would be dropped. When BP gets insulting and nasty, we cut him off and tell him to stop, same as everyone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:14 PM on February 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not sure if this is adding anything or if I was the only one still confused, but I was originally firmly on BC's side and now understand the disconnect.

From the thread: "publishers must go through Apple, paying the 30% "Apple tax"."

To me, that implies that the publisher cannot sell subscriptions outside of the store. So I agreed with BC that this statement is misleading, though that arose more out of a misunderstanding between the two sides.

However, having reread the thread, I realize that what was really meant was "publishers must also go through Apple, and in doing so pay the 30% "Apple tax"." You are allowed to avoid the Apple tax, Apple is just making it very likely that users will buy through Apple instead of directly from you.

Maybe that adds something - after all, I was on the other side of this earlier today.
posted by Tehhund at 2:32 PM on February 15, 2011


Blazecock is a pro at dragging people into slap fights over Apple. He's honed that skill over years of Apple fanboy extremism here. You aren't going to win when you try to explain how Apple is being shitty. The reality bubble is too thick, and he knows this fight too well.

Apple is a very nasty player in the marketplace. Trying to rationally explain that here isn't going to go well for you, largely due to Blazecock.

Best to just give up and let the reality bubble have it's way.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:38 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


An irrational hatred of Steve Jobs is my guess.

There are quite a few rational reasons to dislike Steve Jobs.

Steve Wozniak, on the other hand, that'd just be crazy.
posted by inigo2 at 2:44 PM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Confirmation Bias.
posted by a non e mouse at 2:52 PM on February 15, 2011


Isn't "Apple Tax" impermissibly editorializing in the FPP?
posted by fatbird at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pony request: If a thread has "Apple" in the tags, make it so that ArtW and BP can still comment in the thread, but nobody else can read their comments. For this to work, though, we can't tell them.

(Also, you don't need to actually implement this if everyone just pretends that you did).
posted by empath at 3:23 PM on February 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I can't find my chapstick, did anyone see my chapstick? I had it earlier... Oh never mind, it's in my pocket. So, what were we talking about again?
posted by Elmore at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2011


.Blazecock is a pro at dragging people into slap fights over Apple. He's honed that skill over years of Apple fanboy extremism here.

Usually, yeah, but he was pretty much right in this particular case. I wouldn't mind his contributions to apple threads at all if he didn't always call the people he was arguing against trolls, liars, and haters, though. People can genuinely dislike something Apple does without being a 'hater', whatever that means.

I've bought 2 iphones, an apple tv, a macbook, and a time machine, and i'm about to buy a macbook pro. I love apple products, but sometimes have negative opinions about things appledoes. I don't even bother commenting in apple threads anymore, though, if BP is involved, because he completely poisons them.
posted by empath at 3:28 PM on February 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why the hell hasn't empath chimed in with any clever ideas yet? Ho hum...

*wink wink*
posted by Elmore at 3:28 PM on February 15, 2011


Although, reading that thread, he appears to have been on his best behavior.
posted by empath at 3:29 PM on February 15, 2011


God, why is no one responding?
posted by Elmore at 3:31 PM on February 15, 2011


Oh oh, lightbulb!
posted by Elmore at 3:32 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't find my chapstick, did anyone see my chapstick? I had it earlier... Oh never mind, it's in my pocket. So, what were we talking about again?
posted by Elmore at 3:26 PM on February 15 [+] [!]


God, seriously, can we nix this shit? No one forces you to read MetaTalk -- the threadshitting with recipes and bullshit conversations drives me up a fucking wall. It's not clever, it doesn't add anything, other than to say "look at how much effort I'm expending to express how little I care." If you think MeTa is just beanplating, well then go read MetaChat.
posted by proj at 3:32 PM on February 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


Ok, I will never do it again, promise.
posted by Elmore at 3:35 PM on February 15, 2011


I have a lot of time for both Artw and BP.

That said, the people going after BP on a personal basis, rather than tackling the issues he raises, might need to step back from the keyboard for a bit.
posted by panboi at 3:37 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


God, seriously, can we nix this shit? No one forces you to read MetaTalk -- the threadshitting with recipes and bullshit conversations drives me up a fucking wall. It's not clever, it doesn't add anything, other than to say "look at how much effort I'm expending to express how little I care." If you think MeTa is just beanplating, well then go read MetaChat.

Hey! I think we can yet make this a flameout!

That was off topic too, really....your little rant there, agree with it though I might.


posted by nevercalm at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2011


Touché.
posted by proj at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2011


Oh, so now I'M touchy???





/buttslol
posted by nevercalm at 3:41 PM on February 15, 2011


If anyone wants my recipe for Apple chapstick muffins just memail me.
posted by Elmore at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I lied.
posted by Elmore at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2011


That said, the people going after BP on a personal basis, rather than tackling the issues he raises, might need to step back from the keyboard for a bit.

What issues? Dudes a troll. He's found some ridiculous way to spin me as some kind of liar and now the fucker is sitting around laughing about it.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2011


Woah, anyone reckon I Kill Giants should be nominated best anything anyone has every done anything ever with, ever?
posted by Elmore at 4:02 PM on February 15, 2011


I honestly thought that this thread was going to be about the fruit and not the company. It is awkward when things are properly capitalized except for a company name.

If Apple requires subscriptions to be available through the apps, then it seems extremely likely that most people will choose to subscribe through the app, for the sake of convenience and immediate gratification.
posted by that girl at 4:06 PM on February 15, 2011


Artw, you are part of the problem. It takes two to tango. From what I can tell, BP did nothing wrong in that thread, unless something was deleted.
posted by empath at 4:09 PM on February 15, 2011


Well, it was a post about a fruity company. Hopefully that helps and proj won't jump on my back for not tackling the intricacies of Artw's and Blazecock's weird love/hate/love/love/hate/hate relationship.

btw for those following, my chapstick is lost again.
posted by Elmore at 4:12 PM on February 15, 2011


We deleted BPs last two comments after people informed him that there was a MeTa thread and he continued to harp on the post phrasing, fyi.

Elmore: please man, knock it off.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2011


The pileon (note the irony) on BP for always taking the Apple stance is unfair and unwarranted in this case, and really shouldn't be brought up or have people saying, "Yeah, BP always does that..."

Because he was factually RIGHT regarding the wording of the post, which differs from Apple's policy, which he cited.

Now, I can understand that ArtW and ArkhanJG felt that the difference in the wording did not correlate to a difference in meaning (though I disagree), and that's fine. But you guys were really quick to take offense at BP essentially saying, "Hey, that's not how its worded." Maybe you didn't like the way he said it (and BP sounded a bit coy with the whole, I don't want to point fingers at the OP but here's what Apple REALLY said comment).

But he certainly didn't derail, he didn't get personally insulting, and I think he was right not to come into the grey and make this into OMG SUCH A BIG DEAL as you have, ArkhanJG, with your callout.

I think the real problem isn't what BP said but that it was him saying it. I think people have gotten so used to BP being Pro-Apple that they are ready to jump on him and say, "Aha! Look!" whenever he has anything at all to say on the subject, and that's a shame.

BP isn't making himself the subject of every Apple post, all those who are so quick to chime in about his opinions are doing it.
posted by misha at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Seconding empath. If you're so convinced that someone is trolling, don't feed them. You and ArkhanJG took an on-topic statement personally, and even started the name-calling in the thread.

FWIW, no, I don't think they called you a liar.

Dudes a troll.

This is exactly what we're talking about. I don't see BC in here talking about how touchy some people can be.
posted by Tehhund at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When BP gets insulting and nasty, we cut him off and tell him to stop, same as everyone.


That's absolute bullshit.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:45 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


What issues? Dudes a troll. He's found some ridiculous way to spin me as some kind of liar and now the fucker is sitting around laughing about it.

Oh come on Artw, I know BP can go off the deep ends at times, but he was making some perfectly valid counter-points to your post.

On preview: what misha said. The whole anti-Apple hysteria is as boring as "Windoze" jokes. I expect better from Mefites.
posted by panboi at 4:50 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had my issues with BP in the past (as much my fault as his). I got past them. He's a good guy.

Does he run off the rails? We all do. Big whoopdie do. My "remove from recent activity" button works just fine.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:01 PM on February 15, 2011


BP isn't making himself the subject of every Apple post, all those who are so quick to chime in about his opinions are doing it.

Several have said that we should agree to differ, and move on. I've done that, and honestly wanted to find out what the problem was without just bouncing 'you're wrong, no you're wrong' back and forth in the blue. I've now grasped that, thanks to others here.

BP has flatly refused to even accept that anyone else can disagree with him without being a mouthpiece for Conde Nast, or whoever else posts something that doesn't say exactly what he agrees with.

That thread is something I will not participate in, sorry. I cited facts that contradict the wording of Artw's post. It's unfortunate that you will not accept that, but it certainly not off-topic (in fact, it is entirely on-topic) nor is it a derail. And that is as much as I choose to say on the subject of your call-out.

There was another comment which has been deleted where he flatly said that after reviewing the facts, anyone would see Artw (and by extension) myself were wrong - that (paraphrasing) there weren't two sides disagreeing, and agreeing to disagree - there was one right person, and the rest of us didn't have a leg to stand on.

It's that condecension - that no-one else could possibly be right, that once he has spoken that anyone else who disagrees is a mouthpiece for Conde Naste, or whoever criticised something about Apple this week - who have bias against Apple, of course - that absolute refusal to accept that anyone else might have a valid opinion that contradicts him...

That, I find deeply frustrating, especially when he does it by ignoring anything you say, and then carrying on quoting you and saying you're the one that's shit slinging. I find that as damaging to polite discussion on the blue as any flatout insult is. If you don't respect other opinions, or even accept that it's acceptable to have them, how can there be civil discussion?

It's even more frustrating that on non-apple threads, or his own posts, Blazecock is a good poster, as a rule. I've favourited a number of his comments previously. I really don't have some personal axe to grind against him, or Apple.

I'm just sick of facing the choice of basically gritting my teeth, and not commenting in an apple thread because BP is going to take some small part out of context and then just stonewall me, or just post something and then point blank refuse to even acknowledge someone else might have a valid opinion. If I respond in thread, I'm derailing. If I take it to the grey, I'm just wasting his, and apparently everyone else's time when there's pie discussion to be had. So I'm just to ignore it.

So my choice is basically not ever get involved, as any number of people have advised. And if I'm going to avoid apple threads because I know BP is never going to accept that someone saying something less than lovely about Apple is not just axe grinding, what the hell is the point?

So fine. Dismiss me as a troll, or overly touchy, or a steve jobs hater, or any other fucking thing you like as some have done in this thread. I started a meta thread, and I've been here long enough to know that I should expect some cheap shots in one.

Now, I can understand that ArtW and ArkhanJG felt that the difference in the wording did not correlate to a difference in meaning (though I disagree), and that's fine.

And I'm happy that we disagree, and that you're prepared to grant me the courtesy of having a difference of opinion doesn't make me a biased plant of Conde Nast. I disagree with you, but I respect your opinion. We can agree to disagree and move on.

I've deleted about 15 different ways of ending this, so I'm just gonna stop there, I think.
posted by ArkhanJG at 5:08 PM on February 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Oh hey, an Apple thread. Sorry I'm late but this is where I get to calm the GRARy waters by explaining that phones and pads and such aren't real Apples and hence aren't worth getting Apple-fighty over, only computers are real Apples; and of these, Macs aren't real Apples, only Apple IIs (and Apple Is, if you got one) are real Apples; and that my Apple (a II+) works just fine, thanks, and that it's presently working as a command-line *nix terminal, and that I made up the gettydefs entry that makes the $ prompt pop up on the II+ screen all by my li'l ole self. (And add the new info that, due to my daughter's sudden nostalgia attack concerning Reader Rabbit on the II, I am now compiling AppII emulators for Linux to see if one of them will run RR and display hot hoppity action on the II-as-terminal screen. For those who ask Why? Why would anyone want to do that? ...um, if you have to ask, I can't begin to explain.)
posted by jfuller at 5:57 PM on February 15, 2011


I... wow. There was a lot of fighty and kooky here, far more than the misunderstanding deserved. Now that ArkhanJG has posted a pretty gracious "agreeing to disagree", could we agree that community is often frustrating, but worth it? And have a group hug?
posted by ldthomps at 6:38 PM on February 15, 2011


Some people... some people like cupcakes exclusively. I myself say there is not, nor ought there be, anything so exalted on the face of God's great Earth as that prince of foods: the muffin.
posted by flabdablet at 6:46 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I personally am very, very disappointed because there's like 24,000 words of comment so far in that thread and so far *nobody* has brought up Apple's fondness for single-button mice with weird ergonomics. It's like nobody really cares enough any more. Standards are slipping.
posted by meehawl at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


meehawl: "Well I personally am very, very disappointed because there's like 24,000 words of comment so far in that thread and so far *nobody* has brought up Apple's fondness for single-button mice with weird ergonomics. It's like nobody really cares enough any more. Standards are slipping."

The modern ones have two buttons, and have for at least 4 or 5 years. They're not visible, separate buttons -- you simply click on the right or left side of the mouse and it treats it like a right or left click, respectively.

That said, the new "magic mouse" is both frustratingly sensitive and extremely cool to work with. Sort of a combination mouse, trackpad, with properties of the iphone touchscreen interface.
posted by zarq at 3:21 AM on February 16, 2011


Apple flamewars are about the most fun computer flamewars there are. This is because:

1) Apple does rotten, nasty things, and under Jobs, is every inch as ruthless as MSFT under Gates.

2) Apple almost always screws over the devs and content providers in favor of their userbase... they're taking the side of the consumer over business. It's one of the reasons their users are so loyal.

From a content provider standpoint, the in-app purchase requirement is disastrous - from a user standpoint, it's awesome. Both perspectives are correct.

What happens when both perspectives on a massively contentious issue are correct? Flamewar. It becomes a battle of rhetoric.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:18 AM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


What issues? Dudes a troll. He's found some ridiculous way to spin me as some kind of liar and now the fucker is sitting around laughing about it.

BP's not a troll because he obviously believes in what he says and isn't just saying things to get a rise out of people. That said, he does tend to suck all of the air out of conversations about Apple by overwhelming the dialog. Sometimes he'll have as many as a 1/4 of all the comments in a single thread, basically turning it into BP vs. everyone else. It's funny because he's a great contributor to the site, and has been for a long time, except for that one subject.
posted by octothorpe at 7:24 AM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hugs for ArkhanJG.

Hugs for Artw.

Hugs for Blazecock Pileon.
posted by royalsong at 1:29 PM on February 16, 2011


The modern ones have two buttons, and have for at least 4 or 5 years. They're not visible, separate buttons -- you simply click on the right or left side of the mouse and it treats it like a right or left click, respectively.

I had the first (I think) bluetooth "magic" mouse. I hated it: I could never be sure whether the right click was going to work or not and it ate batteries at a frightening rate. I finally put it away and got a Targus with two separate buttons.
posted by timeistight at 1:41 PM on February 16, 2011


I know BP is never going to accept that someone saying something less than lovely about Apple is not just axe grinding, what the hell is the point?

I don't know what the point is, but you've identified the crux of the issue here. Criticism of Apple is irrational in his mind. And there's simply no reasoning with him. Why he feel compelled to defend Apple is similarly irrational.

You could prove the issue discussed in the original post mathematically and he would simply never accept your QED.
posted by GuyZero at 1:44 PM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, the new "magic mouse" is both frustratingly sensitive and extremely cool to work with. Sort of a combination mouse, trackpad, with properties of the iphone touchscreen interface.

I haven't had any problems with the magic mouse, and love it. The mighty mouse was a piece of garbage, though.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:16 PM on February 16, 2011


Don't get me started on the Magic Mouse. The idea is cool, but the "1000 Item Scroll" issue drives me insane.

The Finder on OSX is (as previously debated) a disaster area and probably more worthy of actual criticism and argument than having fits over corporate culture decisions.
posted by panboi at 4:52 PM on February 16, 2011


hmmm... maybe mine was "mighty" not "magic". It was neither, though.
posted by timeistight at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2011


Look folks, I know some of you are sort of pissed off but dragging other users into this who aren't here or getting into sockpuppet outing is not okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:15 PM on February 17, 2011


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