ScrewYouApple – Indiegogo Funding Campaign

Saturday, 16 March, 2013

ScrewYouApple - official Project Pix

Please support my  Indiegogo Funding Campaign for my second documentary “ScrewYouApple”!

ScrewYouApple – Indiegogo fund raising promo

Documentary ScrewYouApple - Director’s Summary

ScrewYouApple is a tiny Pentalobe screw-inspired film of action that plans to formally ask Apple to stop screwing customers & Think Different again! ScrewYouApple will explore Apple’s multi-billion dollar cash-generating machine (possibly including the powerful App store) and also document my journey to formally ask Apple to stop screwing customers and get Apple to return to the inspiring ideals set out in Apple’s iconic Think Different “The Crazy Ones” Ad campaign. In a creative manner for a documentary, I intend to use a Shareholder Proposal as defined by the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (specifically Rule 14a-8) to formally ask Apple to Think Different again!

Please support the making of ScrewYouApple by choosing a perk on the right of the screen to join us on this epic journey, to try to change the world for the better.

(NOTE: If you are in China & unable to access YouTube video link, please try Youku.com.)

ScrewYouApple - Director’s Statement

If the 1989 documentary “Roger & Me” could be simplistically summed up as a film about director Michael Moore pursuing General Motor CEO Roger Smith to confront him about GM’s harm to Flint, Michigan, then may be ScrewYouApple could also be simplistically summed up as a feature-length documentary about crowd funders & supporters of ScrewYouApple combining our voices to try toformally ask Apple senior executives and shareholders to stop screwing customers and to Think Different again.

The creative spark for ScrewYouApple came from the tiny Pentalobe screws inside a MacBook Pro (see picture). I wondered what design/engineering purposes would the five-pointed Pentalobe screws have in serving Apple or its customers? After doing some research (CNet & iFixit), I learned the tamper-resistant Pentalobe screws (now used in wide range of Apple devices including iPhones) are there to stop customers from performing simple upgrades/repairs like replacing a battery, etc (in a sense to “screw” the customers) so that Apple can make more money. These tiny screws can be viewed as tips of Apple icebergs floating on top a sea change.

Pentalobe Screw Y✿u Apple

With your support, ScrewYouApple will explore the Apple’s multi-billion cash-generating machine (possibly including the powerful App store) and also document my journey toformally ask Apple to stop screwing us (one possible question: stop the use of Pentalobe screws) and get Apple to Think Different again (returning to the inspiring ideals set out in “The Crazy Ones“). (more about “formally ask” in Q&A #2)

Specifically, ScrewYouApple will include a look at the changes/evolution happening in Apple from the 1997 Think Different days to the 2013 Apple of today holding billions of cash. And to reach out to “screwed” Apple customers/former fans to hear and collect some of their stories. By makingScrewYouApple a crowd-supported feature-length documentary, the film aims to transform our singular voices into something loud and clear enough for Apple to notice. The making of ScrewYouApple can be viewed as an example of Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote, “The Medium is the Message.” (more details in Q&A #3)

Please support the making of ScrewYouApple by choosing a perk on the right to join us on this epic journey, to try to change the world for the better. The film’s current target completion date will depend on when I can “formally ask” Apple but you will receive many updates and video clips to watch from me along our epic journey if the fixed-funding campaign goal is met by the deadline!

Thanks for your support in making this film possible,

Kempton Lam (director & producer)

P.S. I don’t hate Apple. In fact, you may be surprised by Q&A #1.

Kempton’s filmography

Leung Kwok-hung (nickname “Long Hair”)

In 2004, Kempton single-handedly directed, produced, shot, and edited his documentary directorial debut “Long Hair Revolution“. The 71 minutes Long Hair Revolution is a film about the then newly elected Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (nickname “Long Hair”), a Che Guevara t-shirt wearing rebel/activist. In 2005, Long Hair Revolution world premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival.

In 2009, Long Hair Revolution was acquired by the Canadian government’s “Library and Archives Canada” permanent collection where it “collects and preserves Canada’s documentary heritage, and makes it accessible to all Canadians.

“Long Hair Revolution” (長毛革命) selected to be part of Library and Archives Canada collection

Questions & Answers

Q1) Do you hate Apple? Have you ever bought any Apple products? Read the rest of this entry »


Scuff marked iPhone 5 deceptively promo as “finely crafted watch” precision?

Monday, 24 September, 2012

precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch

iPhone 5 was launched yesterday to the usual Apple products launch frenzy. But already, there have been many iPhone 5 users reported they are having scuff marks right out of the box (brand new).

First of all, I will set the stage by laying out what Apple has claimed in its online marketing and promotional material. And then I will write about one particular Canadian user’s iPhone 5 experiences and what happened to him once he found the “scuff marks” problem and reported it. (note: see set of five scuff marked iPhone 5 photos here plus also posted at end of article) And then I will talk about cases of other users reporting similar problems. At the end, while I am NOT a lawyer I will briefly draw the readers’ attention to Competition Bureau Canada’s online resource “False or Misleading Representations and Deceptive Marketing Practices Under the Competition Act” in case they find they need some help to decide if the Competition Bureau can help.

Apple’s marketing and promotional claims

It is important to note that in Apple’s marketing and promotional page (design) for iPhone 5, Apple is claiming and advertising (emphasis),

“iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted watch - not a smartphone.”

You see, potential iPhone 5 buyers are actually told NOT to expect the level of precision of a smartphone but the of a finely crafted watch! I don’t know about you, but I have yet Read the rest of this entry »


Patent Wars Are “Pain in the Ass,” Says Apple CEO Tim Cook (Video)

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012

Setting aside my love/hate of Apple, have a watch of Apple CEO Tim Cook at AllThingsD.

Kara Swisher asks about the patent wars (video). “Is it a problem for innovation?”

Cook says “Well, it is a pain in the ass. Is it a problem for innovation?” Then Cook thought and waited for 7 long seconds before continuing, “From our point of view, it is important for Apple not be the developer for the world,”Do you think Tim Cook is right or he overstates Apple’s case?


RETRACTION re Apple Factory story – This American Life

Saturday, 17 March, 2012

RETRACTION re Apple Factory story (This American Life, streaming + free mp3) – Worth a listen by Apple fans/foes, journalists, and aspiring journalists.

*** Before I listen to the show ***

As a journalist, I aspire to be the best I can be. No more, no less. I just hope to have the moral fiber to admit to my own past/present/future mistakes & apologize fully when the times come. At this moment, I feel the pain of Ira Glass and his colleagues.

*** After I listen to the show ***

First of all, I appreciate Ira‘s honesty and accept his apology. Secondly, after listening to Mike Daisey‘s second interview/chat with Ira re his fabricated Apple Factory story, I can no longer trust his words. Mike famously said,

“I think you can trust my word[s] in the context of the theatre.”

Huh, “in the context of the theatre”? What about things he said on TV with news media like CNBC, etc. What the heck? Was Mike serious or was he really thinking we couldn’t tell the difference between lies and truths? Under the Wikipedia journalistic scandal entry, I recognize and have followed the stories of Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass. I am wondering under what category should Mike Daisey‘s name be placed? May be under a lesson about ethics and integrity for journalists and aspiring journalists.

Update: WaPo, “Performer Mike Daisey scrubs his monologue about Apple and sticks to the facts after criticism” (emphasis added)

“Daisey portrayed his work as fact during a media blitz to promote his critically acclaimed show, and he misled dozens of news and entertainment outlets, including the popular public radio show “This American Life,” The Associated Press, The New York Times, MSNBC and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Read the rest of this entry »


Sadly @googlenexus challenge shows Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in its DNA – Challenge #1 solution explained

Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Androids' message

Because I am looking to buy a new phone, I was initially excited by the @googlenexus challenge: 10 chances in 10 days to win a Galaxy Nexus and even retweeted it. [HT MS] I thought it was a cool way to generate buzz for the new Galaxy Nexus. But then my excitement quickly faded once I saw and then struggled for hours with challenge #1 (see above message). Which lead me to think about the problem with this promotional challenge #1. See later this post for my challenge #1 solution explanation.

Logic or Love?

In the Galaxy Nexus Oct 19th launch video, a presenter wondered out loud and wished that Galaxy Nexus is more LOVED! Unfortunately @googlenexus challenge #1 clearly showed, to me, Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in DNA. How so?

If Galaxy Nexus is to be loved, it can’t just cater to the geeks (or super geeks)! Should a promotional campaign be enjoyable and solvable by your average Grace & Gary? Or should the challenged be fun and solvable only by super geeks? To be honest, who the heck had any idea what the beep this picture mean? I was pissed off enough that I tweeted with the #fail tag and used “stupid” to describe 99.9% of us fans,

Is @googlenexus too smart for its own good? Why make its first #GalaxyNexus Challenge so hard that 99.99% of its fans look stupid? #fail

Hey @googlenexus We are just happy fans trying to have fun & win a $500 #GalaxyNexus phone right? This is not a job app for #google ? #fail

You see, the challenge was hard enough that Google had to post a hint! Given the hint, I looked up the Flag semaphore and soon realized there can be many combinatorial variations and one can’t really solve the problem easily without spending a ton of time or even writing a computer program!

One such non sensible interpretations of the symbols I came up with is,

(1,2) to indicate number, then “689 944” then (1,3) to indicate letters, then “PICO ALIE CHILAM

Challenge #1 solution explained

What I managed to do was only to verify someone’s answer! For beep sake, the challenge shouldn’t be this hard that it frustrated 99.9% of people who tried to give it a shot!

#GalaxyNexus is well-traveled, coming to @googlenexus from What did J Cook call Hawaii

Process to verify solution:

Converting pictures to Symbols (from left to right)

(note: top flag is the position 1, then clockwise count from 2 to 8 to convert all flag positions)

Symbol #1 (1,2,3,5,6,6,7,8); Symbol #2 (1,1,5,5,6,8); Symbol #3 (1,3)

Symbol #4 (1,5,6,7,7,8,8,8); Symbol #5 (2,2,5,5,6,6,6,8); Symbol #6 (2,3,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,7,8,8)

Verification

What did J Cook call Hawaii

WHAT – W (2,3) H (6,7) A (5,6) T (8,1) [Sources of confusions: (5,6) can also stand for the number 1, also (1,2) can also stand for an instruction for "Numerals"]

DID – D (5,1) I (6,8) D (5,1) [Sources of confusions: All these combinations can also stand for numbers.]

J (1,3)  [Source of confusion: This time, (1,3) also stand to indication coming are Letters!]

COOK (  (5,8) (7,8) (7,8) (1,6) )

CALL ( (5,8) (5,6) (6,2) (6,2) )

HAIWAII ( (6,7) (5,6) (2,3) (5,6) (6,8) (6,8) )

Challenge #2 – Any more love?

Well, challenge #2 has now been posted,

* “Challenge 2: Make something geeky & edible. Include #deliciousness & @googlenexus in your submission

* “Challenge 2 entries evaluated on creativity, originality & use of humor. Rules: http://goo.gl/5dpAK. Can’t wait to see what you concoct!

At least contestants will be judged on their “creativity, originality & use of humor” but the challenge itself stills want entries to be “geeky“!

iPhone vs. Google Nexus

I think it is safe to say iPhone is loved my many people. People don’t LOVE things logically! And I just can’t imagine Apple will be insane enough to try a contest like challenge #1. Sadly, the @googlenexus challenge #1 shows Google Galaxy Nexus seems to be unable or unwilling to broaden its appeal to the general public. If you are not a geek (actually they mean super geek), we are not interested in catering to you or have you interested in our new phone!

It is hard to inject LOVE into Google’s DNA when it is so much built on logic and calculations.


Drive Different – How Steve Jobs Legally Drove Without a License Plate

Thursday, 27 October, 2011

Mystery solved - Here's how Steve Jobs drove without licence plates

Love this Steve Jobs drove without License Plate story for a Friday. See CA DMV law section 4456 (c) (1) &(2) at the bottom of the page.

Drive/Think Different

See also my Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” series.

HT these articles which gave partial answers (without the legal reference).


Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” – Think Different, Jobs as iCEO

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

I am adding “Chapter 26 Think Different, Jobs as iCEO” to my Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” series.

Think Different has a very special place in my heart. I wrote this many years ago,

“Here’s to the crazy ones”,
a timeless Apple Computer advertisement that showcases
the core DNA of ideas Revolutionaries.
We aspire to Think Different

This chapter now completes my knowledge of the back story re the creation of the Think Different campaign. For this alone is probably worth the price of the book for me as I’ve spent many hours (without success) to find out the info in this chapter.

See is my personal “best of” in the “Think Different, Jobs as iCEO” chapter (click to read the high res capture).

Steve Jobs biography review/best of - Pix 03 - Think Different

To me, this excerpt in the Think Different chapter is very telling in Jobs’ thinking (emphasis added),

Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with Dreyfuss. [...] When morning came, Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”

Steve Jobs narrates The Crazy Ones

Richard Dreyfuss narrates The Crazy Ones

Walter Isaacson talks about “The Leadership of Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs biography review/”best of”

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

I admire Steve Jobs and have bought many Apple products over the years but I am not an Apple “fan boy” as I removed Apple from my list of admired companies last year.

Steve Jobs biography - Pix 01 - Start

But I still eagerly picked up a copy of Steve Jobs (biography) yesterday so that I can learn from it. I think Steve Jobs is an important book that it should be made required reading for all serious and self-respecting competitors of Apple. There are many good insights that entrepreneurs and business executives can learn from Apple and Jobs. It will be foolish to think we can replicate and copy Jobs but it will be stupid to not to try to understand, to learn, and may be to be inspired.

In this post, I’m doing a review/”best of” Steve Jobs similar to my extensive review/”best of” The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life). I will start the review/”best of” with the chapters that intrigue me the most.

*******

Here is my personal “best of” in the introduction chapter (click to read the high res capture). I will include links to other chapter’s entries (some with video clips, etc) to this post later.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction chapter (emphasis added),

‘She [Laurene Powell, Steve Jobs' wife] is one of the smartest and most grounded people I have ever met. ‘There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” she told me early on. “You shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”Read the rest of this entry »


Steve Jobs memorial at Calgary Apple Store

Tuesday, 11 October, 2011

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Steve Jobs: iQuit

Sunday, 9 October, 2011

Steve Jobs - iQuit

Well, Chinese communist party-run English newspaper Global Times decided in its journalistic “wisdom” to title Steve Jobs‘ obit as Steve Jobs: iQuit!

Creative may be but creative about someone’s obit?! Yikes, too much!!!

P.S. It has been a sad few days since Jobs’ passing. I hope Steve Jobs: iQuit put a smile on your face in the expense of the communist party-run English newspaper Global Times! :)


Goodbye Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)

Goodbye Steve.

Here is an excerpt from my favourite 2005 Steve’s speech (text),

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

[...] Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

News media reports: CBCNYTReutersCNNCNet, Bloomberg, The Guardian, THR.

Oct 30, 2011 Update:

* THR, “Steve Jobs’ Sister Recalls the Apple Co-Founder’s Final Words

Mona Simpson, Steve Jobs‘ sister, gave a moving eulogy for the Apple co-founder at the memorial service held on Oct. 16 at the Memorial Church of Stanford University, which the New York Times posted in full.”

Oct 24, 2011 Update:

Sir James Dyson: My ‘Apple Moment’

Steve Jobs, part 1 – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Steve Jobs, part 2 – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Nov 2, 2011 Update:

* Kevin Roberts, “Absence Defines Presence

Jan 27, 2012 Update:

* The Telegraph, “Bill Gates: ‘I wrote Steve Jobs a letter as he was dying. He kept it by his bed’” [HT Apple Insider]

“The atmosphere changed in 2007 when Gates left Microsoft to set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. “Steve and I did an event together, and he couldn’t have been nicer…I got a fair bit of time with him in his last year. Some months before Jobs died, Gates paid him a long visit. “We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future.” Later, with his old adversary’s death imminent, he wrote to him. “I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know.”

That last gesture was not, he says, conciliatory. “There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness.” After Jobs’s death, Gates received a phone call from his wife, Laurene. “She said; ‘Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed.””


The Great Mobile Patent War – Are your popcorn ready?

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

Bloomberg, Sept 7, 2011, “Google Hands HTC Patents to Use Against Apple

“HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is using nine patents bought from Google Inc. (GOOG) last week to pursue new infringement claims against Apple Inc.

Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago, with four of the patents originating from Motorola Inc., three from Openwave Systems Inc. and two from Palm Inc., according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, wouldn’t discuss reasons for the nine transfers to HTC.

HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”

From ZDNet, Sept 8, 2011, “Mobile patent litigation: A game with too many playing cards – Summary: Patent litigation in the mobile space is out of control. It has become a game with too many playing cards for anyone to win.

From Fortune, Sept 8, 2011 “Google gets its hands dirty – Android’s purveyor crossed a line when it sold arms to be used against Apple

P.S. I tried, without success I have to say, to get a blog friend to share his insight re this patent war, he wisely declined and told me it would be more fun to watch from the sidelines!


Colourful and durable carbon fiber devices

Thursday, 1 September, 2011

Interesting innovation from Apple.

Apple Insider, “Apple interested in creating colorful, durable carbon fiber devices

US Patent Application, published Sept 1, 2011, 20110210476, “Composite Laminate Having An Improved Cosmetic Surface And Method Of Making Same”


Third Apple co-founder Bloomberg interview

Sunday, 28 August, 2011

Have a watch of this rare interview via Apple Insider, “Third Apple co-founder sold 10% stake to avoid paper pushing, risk


Missouri School of Journalism Method, a “learn by doing” approach

Tuesday, 9 August, 2011

Missouri School of Journalism - Apple Mac Book pro - promo

Although I’ve never set foot in Missouri School of Journalism, I am getting to know the Missouri J-School via KOMU-TV ‘s Sarah Hill and Jen Reeves. To me, the Missouri method, a “learn by doing” approach, seems like the right way to go.

Check out this Apple in Education promo for a cool video and text info.


Central, Hong Kong Pretty Girls – courtesy of HK newspaper Apple B.B. Daily (a lesson about freedom of press)

Friday, 5 August, 2011

*** Hong Kong Pretty Girls ***

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 13

I am a keen observer of pretty girls in HK and around the world. Unfortunately today, against my better judgement, I will argue the Hong Kong newspaper Apple B.B. Daily should voluntarily stop taking photos of some of these pretty girls (中環我至靚) in Central, Hong Kong. Yes, some of these photos taking and publishing has to be stopped!  Especially many of the photos that I love the most. Isn’t this paradoxical?

Lets look at some of the photos of the pretty girls in Central, Hong Kong as reported by Apple B. B. Daily. And see if you notice a very important pattern.

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 01Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 02

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girl - pix 03Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 04

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 05Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 06

??? Have you noticed a pattern yet? Lets look at some more pictures.

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 07Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 08

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 09Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 10

Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 11Apple Daily HK Central - Pretty Girls - pix 12

If you read Chinese, you can see the full Flickr set which I also posted the original Apple Daily text that goes with the photos for added context.

*** Observations ***

As you may have noticed already, the pretty girls in only 3, yes three, out of the above 13 photos actually post for the photos! And as you can read from the Flickr set, only those 3 photos have people’s names attached.

As you see, the other photos are of people talking on the phones or walking on the street simply going about their businesses. I have no indication that these people actually has or has not given Apple B.B. Daily permission to publish their photos on a column dedicated to photos of pretty girls in Central, Hong Kong!

Is this ethical behaviour? How will you react if this is your newspaper? Or if this is practiced in your city/country?

And if you live in Hong Kong, what do you think about this?

*** The Freedom of Press Paradox ***

While I don’t know the specific Hong Kong law but I suspect what the photographers of Apple B.B. Daily have done here are safely within the boundary of Hong Kong law. And I bet a Canadian dollar that a Canadian newspaper can legally take and publish photos of pretty girls standing on a public street too (although I can’t be sure).

The brave men and women of Apple B.B. Daily are truly the pioneers of newspapers and poor-tastes. At the end of day, no one can blame them for their total pursuit of making money through sex and smut at the same time as speaking truth to the powerful Chinese Beijing and HK governments.

Yes, seriously, Apple B. B. Daily do fight for democracy at the same time as they insert B. B. (bouncy breasts) of ladies in bikinis into completely serious news article!

*** Concluding Thoughts ***

Hong Kong is a really vibrant and strange market for newspapers, for both paid and recently free newspapers. Apple B. B. Daily bossman Mr. Jimmy Lai is one of the most intriguing and interesting entrepreneurs in Asia unfortunately the way he runs his newspapers (or allowed his newspapers to be run) just make me sick.


Consortium of Nortel patents purchasers: How much they paid and what they get (according to anonymous internal sources)

Monday, 4 July, 2011

After writing about Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications, it is good to read some details. According to internal sources with promised anonymity by “I, Cringely” (emphasis added)

“Here’s the consortium participation as I understand it. RIM and Ericsson together put up $1.1 billion with Ericsson getting a fully paid-up license to the portfolio while RIM, as a Canadian company like Nortel, gets a paid-up license plus possibly some carry forward operating losses from Nortel, which has plenty of such losses to spare. For RIM the deal might actually have a net zero cost after tax savings, which the Canadian business press hasn’t yet figured out.

Microsoft and Sony put up another $1 billion.

There is a reportedly a side deal for about $400 million with EMC that has the storage company walking with sole ownership of an unspecified subset of the Nortel patents.

Finally Apple put up $2 billion for outright ownership of Nortel’s Long Term Evolution (4G) patents as well as another package of patents supposedly intended to hobble Android.

At the end of the day this deal isn’t about royalties. It is about trying to kill Android.”

Bob has been in the industry for a long time, so there are probably some elements of truth in his report and worth considering. [HT Digital Trends]


Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications

Sunday, 3 July, 2011

I love patents. I love auctions (the strategies and its economic implications, etc). So I will try to spend some time to share my thoughts about the news of Nortel 6,000 patents and patent applications sold for $4.5 billion.

Here is some fun facts but more interestingly some details of the auction process itself. Note that the winning group of companies (see Apple, Microsoft, RIM) are not exactly friends, to put it diplomatically,

“A group of six companies — Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony — won the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents and patent applications with a $4.5 billion bid.”

Here is EuroNews report of the news.


Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

Friday, 1 July, 2011

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 1

People don’t usually win by betting against Apple as Apple has shown the world so many great products in recent years. But I am going to join a critical Oscar editor and take my chance and bet my $1 against Apple. I say Apple may have materially damaged its Final Cut Pro brand/lovemark by giving Adobe and Avid some meaningful chances into retake some of the long lost market share. Assuming Adobe and Avid have good products and execute their plans well.

In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say Apple is giving “losers” Adobe and Avid new chances to refight their Battles of Waterloo in the field of video editing software. In the battlefield, your opponents are usually not too kind in letting you fight again and learn from your previous mistakes.

I think Apple has very much underestimated the influence of professional editors on prosumers and new beginning editors. For me, I remember years ago one of the reasons I took Final Cut Pro seriously and bought into it was because of FCP was being highly regarded and used by the professionals.

OK, NBA players have been locked out, but imagine if a brand of basketball shoes have been founded to restrict certain shots/moves by NBA players thus making them unable play their best games, will you still buy the shoes?

As my friend like to say, the following is my brand of poison/observations. Readers beware.

1) Adobe SWITCH Campaign

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 2

Adobe is smart and quick to launch a Premiere SWITCH campaign (note: press release here50% off Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro “if you own Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer with offer code SWITCH. Offer ends September 30, 2011″) making its Production Premium software costing $850 and Adobe Premiere Pro software costing $400 respectively after discount. [HT Apple Insider] Update: See also PC World review of software.

2) Full function Production Premium group of softwares at significant discount

The Production Premium software has quite a number of useful & powerful softwares and can be a good fit for professional/prosumer FCP7 users. Given Apple‘s willingness to give up its professional users, it makes sense for professional to buy and learn it for risk mitigation/management purpose. Of course, at $850, it is a bit out of reach for people who can only afford the FCPX $299 prices.

3) Adobe Premiere Pro on SWITCH discount at $400. Why $400?

Now moving on to Adobe Premiere Pro, if Adobe is smarter, they should just lower its price to $299 to match the FCPX price for new purchase!

We are talking about business strategy to regain long lost market share! A market that has been dominated by Apple Final Cut Pro for a long time. I don’t understand why Adobe Read the rest of this entry »


Final Cut Pro X is “just not set up to be used professionally” – Kirk Baxter, Academy Award-winning editor

Thursday, 30 June, 2011

EW has a great article “Is Apple’s Final Cut Pro X first rate or a big mistake? An Academy Award-winning editor weighs in“, read it in full. Here is a brief excerpt from “first rate or a big mistake“,

““There’s a little too much hating,” [Kirk] Baxter explained. “The guys from Apple came out and showed Angus Wall and myself [the program], and a lot of it I thought was absolutely amazing. It really, really was smart. It just seems they’ve basically put the software together for laptop users, which I understand — I’m sure every student in America is going to have one, just not the industrialzied world. It seems to be very clever and user friendly; it’s just not set up to be used professionally.

Baxter was also clear about the problems with the editing platform: “It needs a few key things. In order for us to do a [David] Fincher film on it, you’ve got to be able to switch between multiple cameras, so with that right there, we can’t use it. Secondly, it only has one viewer monitor, and we use source material, select material, and then our edit material, so we use three monitors. You can kind of force yourself to change, but why? Read the rest of this entry »


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