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Day 244 - Jan 22 - Raleigh Show

The blog posts and days and shows have been all out of whack lately, I may have even lost a day or two in the confusion. I guess my attempt to catch up and blogoperate in a real time mode combined with switching to morning posting and recovering from pretty colored drinks has thrown a wrench at my illusions of clarity. Rather than attempt to fix the past, I will just add in an 'adaptor' post to line me up with the future.

To start with, lets pick up a few straggling lonely photos from the last day off, first, when I was getting all artsy fartsy with the reflection photo, I took a few others as well and the odd colors came from messing with the 'white balance' on the camera. Here is an un retouched photo where I used the pool water as the 'white' to set the cameras white balance

And the same settings with a pic of my arm

and the same arm after saturated color and a crop and rotation done in Macromedia Fireworks

and on the opposite side of the artsy fence, how about a raw production shot of the Cincinnati gig that looks almost like every other arena we do with a bit on an oversized scoreboard

When work needs to be done, it is common for roadies to take on various tasks of importance. With the arrival of our newly embraced Tiki theme, also has arrived a variety of essential delegated duties. My duty of course is blowing the palm tree up each day,

How about another meandering ponder?

**** Meandering and Boring Ponder Rant ****

Harley Davidson vs Apple Computers.

Both are corporations so I understand that ultimately they have profit motives as a purpose of existence and I am confident that the humans creating both companies were inspired by a dream of creating something unique and amazing. There are various reasons why either one may be arguably "better" business-wise than the other or whatever, but I don't care about all that. What is on my mind is the dynamics of the underlying sub currents on which these companies have chosen to base the way they sell their particular products. They both are recognizable "Made in America" brands that are culturally and passionately embraced by segments of the world population. Both brands are unique products that stand at the top of the quality heap in their particular sector. With Harley we have the 'shiny cool tough guy durable motorcycle' and with Apple, the 'peoples easy to use and attractive i-products.' Both make 'sexy' machines, both are status symbols in their realm. All of that, is all good and I enjoy the craftsmanship and quality angles that both companies incorporate but alas, there is a fundamental difference in the way these two entities financially retain the customers that embrace their products. The 'Harley Way' is to create a unique and desirable product that welcomes customization, alteration and invites the customer to embrace a plethora of aftermarket manufacturers that compete with accessories that Harley makes, should they chose to do so. A true open market, free will philosophy that empowers the buyer with unlimited freedom and possibilities limited only by the imagination of whomever wishes to contribute. The 'Apple Way' is to sell you a product that has been optimized to work seamlessly with other Apple products but also has bee cobbled in someway in order to minimize compatibility with non-Apple manufacturers. They have spent extra engineering hours designing ways to create these booby trap like incompatibilities and then pass the added costs on to the consumers. Once you buy in to the Apple Way, they do all in their power to hi-jack as much of your spending money as possible. In my eyes, Apple's business strategy represents an angle that strives to limit choices while Harley reinforces offering freedom of choice. Harley's success depends on offering quality products and accessories that are superior or more desirable than the multitude of welcomed competitors. Apple perpetuates by initially making a desirable product and then designing in incompatibilities and/or denying information that would allow competitors to make compatible accessories, whenever possible.

In my opinion the practice of designed in incompatibilities is just like SIM card locking where companies inject software that makes cell handsets unable to operate on competitive networks. Also the inkjet printer scam where they sell you a printer for $75 and the ink costs $50 for a replacement cartridge that is booby-trapped with a micro chip to block people from refilling it. Annoying, almost like giant versions of petty drug dealers giving away a samples to keep you coming back. Oh wait, did I say petty? Actually I meant international corporate conglomerate drug companies that give doctors free samples and keep huge masses of people dependant on various pharmaceuticals whenever possible. Predatory business baiting and corralling their human critters just as us humans do to sheep for their wool or cows for their milk. The company who can secure the most dependant humans wins. I accept that the predatory nature is an aspect of life and every snake needs to feed, mosquito and tigers do as well and I actually enjoy the dynamics and complexity of all of the interconnecting pieces that make up the balance of life and also I avoid unprotected exposure to hungry tigers, snakes and mosquito's whenever possible. Except perhaps if I am going fishing, hiking or many other adventures, in which case I make concessions, of course. :)

So all this rant was sparked when I read about Apple's new iPhone. Flashes of their incompatibility injections ran through my mind and reading further there was an interesting side angle. Turns out that there is some dispute over who owns the "iPhone" name and Cisco systems, a networking company focused on connecting computers together has an iPhone as well. It also turns out that Cisco Systems and Apple were in discussions over the iPhone name when Apple just vanished and released the product. Finally and my favorite part is that from what I have read it appears that Cisco's primary demand is that Apple make the iPhone interoperable with Cisco products, something that is very much against the grain of the "Apple Way" and that made me smile.

**** End Meandering and Boring Ponder Rant ****

Ok, shut up and do sound,

Dave Rat