No, I don’t have shares in Apple. I came so close to buying some as an act of defensive defiance in the early 90s when every industry insider and expert in the field agreed that Apple had six months to go before going bust. But I didn’t. If I had done I could now afford to buy you all an iPad. Yes, I do like and have tried to champion OpenSource software. How can I square that with my love of Apple? I’m complicated. I’m a human being. I also believe in a mixed economy and mixed nuts. I love our National Health Service and the National Theatre, but I also love Fortnum and Mason’s and Hollywood movies. “Apple,” Steve Jobs said, “stands at the intersection of Technology and the Liberal Arts.” This statement confused non-Americans who are not familiar with the phrase Liberal Arts (you can look it up here) but I think shows the fundamental cultural seriousness of Jobs and Apple which in turn explains their huge success and impact. He might perhaps more accurately have said that Apple stands at the intersection of Technology, the Liberal Arts and Commerce.”
You may or may not be in the queue for an iPad in March, April, May or June. Or you may decide to stay your hand for version 2.0 or 3.0. But believe me the iPad is here to stay and nothing will be quite the same again. You should know, however that plenty of industry commentators disagree with me. They have pronounced themselves less enthralled. It is perfectly possible I will be proved wrong about its enduring, game-changing place in the landscape and that people will gleefully rub my nose in this blog in two year’s time. I’m certainly not wrong about how soul-scorchingly beautiful it is to use though. And that, for me, is enough.
Dear old Google. Sounds silly to feel sorry for them. But their text transcription service has a long way to go. I was asked to do a Skype interview for the BBC’s Newsnight programme today and I gave the producers my Google Voice number. This Google service isn’t available outside the US, but is basically a phone number that you can use as one number that directs itself to all your phones. It will call your handsets, whether landline or cell, send SMS texts and voicemail to accounts and so on.
Anyway, one of the Newsnight people left this message on my phone:
Hi, Stephen, it’s Natasha from BBC Newsnight in London. Just to say I’ve sent you two texts. One is to say that we could do it at eleven am your time after the launch, or any time sooner after the launch, or we could do it at midday as we suggested earlier. I, er, if you could text me back about that, and I’ve sent you the details of Skype that you need to do too. If you could give me a call back. Enjoy the launch and I’ll speak to you after that. Thank you Bye.
I’ve transcribed it from the voicemail sound file that resides online on my inbox on the Google Voice site. All fine. I have also ticked the option for Google Voice to send me a text transcript of any voicemail. Below is their interpretation of Natasha’s message… it’s rather endearing how hopelessly wrong the largest company on earth gets it.
Hi Stephen. It’s Jeff from BBC needs in nuns. And just to say I sent 80 tax, one, if to say we could do it. I left in i a m your time off to go into any time soon, or the court and full we could grab me today as we suggested at. A. F. I. If you could text me back byebye. I’ve sent you the details of skylights that you need to 3 T if you could give me a call. Bye. Enjoy the loans. I’ll speak to you after that. Thank you. Bye.