A small addition to Steve Cheney's Apples vs. Google article

Steve Cheney wrote up an excellent article on how Apple vs. Google, represented through iOS vs. Android, are evolving into two, totally different paths. Here are two highlights.

Android is now the operating system of the world. It dominates any non-Apple, non-PC application. We still think of Android as a smartphone OS. But almost everything truly smart will run Android – new TVs, IoT devices, your home appliances etc.

Apple has a drastic advantage with wearables because it owns not only the OS, but also the semiconductor stack, the branding, the industrial design, the stores, and more of the direct distribution—wearables aren’t subsidized by carriers. So in a world of attaching computers to your body, the better metric is performance per watt per volume (or size).

He talks a lot about network effects and what how Apple manages to continuously secure that developers build applications first on iOS despite the fact that there are so many more Android devices out there.

A couple years ago, I made the switch from Android to iOS and I don’t see myself going back on that decisions. The most important reason: the services and features that make Android into a remarkable operating system are very tightly bound or provided by Google services. As a user, I really do not care for more of my date being exploited in a way that is not in my control. I use other – also cloud based – services. I like to distribute things a bit more.


On the narrative of Berlin and Germany being anti-surveillance

There is this narrative, mostly used by Americans, that Berliners and through them Germans are historically a) more acquainted to being surveilled and b) through that are naturally against it happening again. In some cases, like today, where Bruce Sterling was seemingly het up about the fact that Berliners didn’t seem to embrace the Snowden’s of the world to the German capital and thus doing something about surveillance.

I find that somewhat amusing, because most of the time this narrative is being used as much in front of the people who have been personally effected by the Stasi as Startups of this city hire unemployed Berliners to be part of Silicon Valley 2.0.

The core of what the narrative encompasses doesn’t live inside the Ringbahn. It got pushed aside by Generation Easyjet, who – if it comes down to it – would rename Rosa-Luxembourg Platz in to Acne Platz. It probably wouldn’t help the narrative to walk around in Berlin-Mitte and embrace the full-frontal core of the political movement that this soon-to-be-like SoHo area radiates. This is not self-righteousness, I chose for my office to be there not by pure accident. Truly, I have a hard time believing that anybody takes the effort to go to Marzahn or Hellersdorf to take their message to the address to which it may mostly apply. Than again, they would have to learn how to give speeches in the local tongue instead of expecting that everybody in the room speaks their language.

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Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor

It’s easy to grab my attention by referencing Refused in the title of a post and David Banks did so skillfully in his The Network of Things to Come on The Society Pages Cyberology.

His essay hit so close to home. I have to refuse to quote the whole thing, also I wouldn’t mind, if Dezeen would pay him handsome money to reprint it in their magazine. Just tweeting about it wouldn’t do it justice, so here are some of my favorite passages that will surely make you want to read it all.

In other words, MIT’s Stata Center designed by Frank Gehry made an imperfect transition from bits to atoms: Gehry has made a name for himself by designing buildings that are only possible in a world augmented by computers, but seems to have spent precious few hours considering how social the birth and life of buildings truly are.

What Goderberger is missing is that Silicon Valley as we know it today is a product of a virtual world, not the creator of it. Virtual in the sense that suburbs are meant to be interchangeable, universal substrates upon which we graft our hopes, dreams, and preferred geographic genres. The same sub-development, with a few alterations in color scheme and road signage, can sufficiently represent the natural flora and fauna that its construction displaced; whether it be Prairie Bluffs in the southwest, Flamingo Cove in the South, or Eagle’s Landing in the northeast. It is in this infinitely pliable world that the Internet thrives. The ‘burbs is the social web’s natural habitat. These headquarters aren’t the product of ignoring “what real buildings and real towns should look like” they are a deliberate if not conscious choice to house the work of building networks within the progeny of Le Courbusier’s modern vision of total living machines. The Cold War’s promise of mutually assured nuclear destruction not only spurred the computer network research that eventually turned into the Internet we know today, it also demanded that dense cities be abandoned in favor of sprawling suburbs.

This latest iteration of networks and built environments is earmarked by company campuses sitting atop long term or permanent tax free land operating fleets of private shuttles instead of investing in public infrastructure. It is a classic case of socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Just like an iTunes to iPod connection, it’s a closed ecosystem but it “just works.”

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