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Crime Television Apple

How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad 288

Posted by samzenpus
from the holiday-news-cycle dept.
theodp writes "Over at CNN, Omar L. Gallaga explains how Apple's story is like Breaking Bad, the TV drama whose protagonist — high school chemistry teacher Walter White — decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks but reinvents himself as a brilliant, feared meth chemist who grows more ambitious, ruthless and cocky with each victory. 'Like Steve Jobs,' writes Gallaga, 'Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work.' Gallaga continues: 'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'"
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How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad

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  • Samsung? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 02, 2012 @09:59PM (#41210243)

    And Samsung is Pollos Hermanos or just Tuco?

    • Re:Samsung? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by binarylarry (1338699) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:05PM (#41210275)

      Google is Hank.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday September 03, 2012 @12:19AM (#41210847) Journal

        From TFA:

        'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'

         
        I am no Apple fanbois, but I had spent past few decades in the tech field

        What TFA has forgotten to list are the following:

        I. Vision

        Almost everyone in the Silicon Valley, since the 1980's, have gone through similar experiences, and have used similar gadgets.

        What Steve Jobs got, which others unfortunately didn't have, is a vision.

        From hardware (Mac to NeXT to iBook to iPhone / iPad), to software (MacOS to OS X to iOS), Mr. Jobs opted for his own path

        That takes vision.

        II. Attention to detail

        We can't deny that the one thing that makes Apple different from the rest of the crowd is their attention to detail.

        From the way MacIntosh can create smooth curvy fonts to the "feel" of the original iPhone when it first came out (as versus the offering from the rest of the cellphone industry), Mr. Jobs had taken great pain in making sure that the products that have the "Bitten Apple" mark on it come with as few bugs as possible

        As I said, I am no Apple fanbois, and I do not own any Apple product
         

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Jobs' vision. [makeuseof.com]
        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Monday September 03, 2012 @07:20AM (#41212239) Homepage

          Vision? Apple just waits for technology to reach a point where they can stick a really good UI on it. I wouldn't deny that they are good at it, but Jobs didn't have some "vision" of creating a HDD based MP3 player or phone and then go out and invent all the necessary technology. He just waited for other companies to have the vision to develop the necessary hardware and open up new possibilities which he then exploited (very well).

          Even most of the stuff Apple claims to have "innovated" has been demonstrated to have prior art. Even though you can apparently get a patent on it just by doing it on a phone or a tablet does not make it highly innovative or the product of vision in my book, merely an obvious transference of technology.

          I'll give you attention to detail, just a shame much of it goes into locking the user in to Apple products. I'd say the font rendering on MacOS is actually one of the worst aspects of the design too, funnily enough.

          • by SethJohnson (112166) on Monday September 03, 2012 @12:38PM (#41214627) Homepage Journal

            Vision? Apple just waits for technology to reach a point where they can stick a really good UI on it.

            By this myopic definition of 'vision' no company in the technology industry has it.

            Every company out there is taking advantage of economies of scale for their components. Sure, they could invent their own processor from scratch and put it in their own laptop they designed from scratch and satisfy your definition of 'vision'. Production of the CPU will be on such a small scale for the device, that the per unit cost will be very high. Then the device based around it will be unattractively expensive. Few units would sell.

            Here comes Apple with more money than anybody else. They bring a feasible economy of scale to this problem. If they want a custom LCD display that is non-standard per the rest of the industry, they front the manufacturer the money to build the factory and staff it with enough resources to churn out millions of displays per year, thereby making the per-unit cost of the LCD's fit with the pricing model of the device designed around it.

            The only other company that can do this is Samsung, and that's why Apple is trying to curb-stomp them in the courtroom. Samsung makes displays, CPUs, memory, etc. and was drafting off the scale of Apple's orders from their factories to produce their own price-competitive devices. I suppose your definition of 'vision' would have Samsung as a visionary company.

            Seth

        • by Dishevel (1105119) on Monday September 03, 2012 @09:18AM (#41212835)

          II. Attention to detail

          We can't deny that the one thing that makes Apple different from the rest of the crowd is their attention to detail.

          From the way MacIntosh can create smooth curvy fonts to the "feel" of the original iPhone when it first came out (as versus the offering from the rest of the cellphone industry), Mr. Jobs had taken great pain in making sure that the products that have the "Bitten Apple" mark on it come with as few bugs as possible

          As I said, I am no Apple fanbois, and I do not own any Apple product

          Paid attention to every detail but how people want to hold a phone while making a call.

      • Re:Samsung? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jhoegl (638955) on Monday September 03, 2012 @12:27AM (#41210867)
        Why do I feel like I am watching a bunch of hens clucking?
        Worst article and post followup in the history of slashdot....
        This is not News for Nerds, its Drama for Dorks
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quenda (644621)

      Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.
      So Jobs is more of a Gus, i think.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pieroxy (222434)

        Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.
        So Jobs is more of a Gus, i think.

        Apple doesn't make stuff? Where have you been hiding for the last 36 years?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Apple designs stuff. Foxconn makes it.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          They make some stuff now, but only because they bought the companies that were making it. They don't have their own big factories making components or assembling products, except for some CPUs. Foxconn does a lot of the work.

          The GP's point is valid I think, they don't really make that much stuff and they didn't invent most of it either. It has been commented that this is a weakness before since if their products ever fall out of favour they don't have much else.

          • Re:Samsung? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday September 03, 2012 @05:22AM (#41211845) Homepage

            Don't you think that NOT having multiple plants to produce all their phones is a strength if ever they can't sell a phone anymore? How can you put that in their weakness list?

            Let me tell you one thing: They build phones. They just outsource the mass production. This is completely different.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.

        But most of all, Apple does design - "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like," Jobs told the Times. "That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

    • Re:Samsung? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oakgrove (845019) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:51PM (#41210747)
      Okay, seriously. This is getting a little over the top. Apple primarily makes smartphones, tablets, and laptops. If they fell off the face of the earth tomorrow people would just buy all that stuff from somebody else barely missing a beat. Yes, they are successful and yes, they make a lot of money. However, the level of philosophical importance that is being attached to the company is bordering on ridiculous. I'm not trying to be a hater but a ton of mindshare is devoted to this company completely out of proportion to their impact in the grand scheme of things. I get the amount of press that Microsoft gets as the computing world really does revolve around them but Apple? Really?
    • by DaFallus (805248)
      Obviously Samsung is Madrigal Electromotive...
  • by siddesu (698447) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:02PM (#41210263)
    Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?
    • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:08PM (#41210287)

      Ya I'll be honest I was going to come on here and write some intelligent insightful comment on how the article was wrong and stretching in it's comparison but that seems like pointing out the sky is blue or water is wet.

      This article is just so dumb I'm amazed it is on the front page of slashdot, sometimes stupid stuff gets on the front page but typically it isn't something like this that has no substance at all.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:19PM (#41210347)

      Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?

      tl;dr. Condensed version: "Rich people are right because they're rich and you're not."

    • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:26PM (#41210381) Homepage Journal

      Short answer: no.

      Recently on Slashdot, somebody called Neil Armstrong "one of the greatest men of the last century". (I think Armstrong would have been livid at that description; like you, he hated minimizing the contributions of a lot of nameless people.) When I pointed out the absurdity of that description, I got flamed up the wazoo.

      People need heroes.

      • > People need Kool-Aid TM.
        FTFY.

        Heroes are for a group of people (i.e. fans) that are unable to unify themselves so they use an artificial means. i.e. sports fans, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that, the problem is people like to stroke their ego by saying "I'm in this club, and you're not."

        You got flamed because the group think doesn't want to hear the truth about themselves.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          You got flamed because the group think doesn't want to hear the truth about themselves.

          Who does?

      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        Neil Armstrong was one of the greatest men of the last century, but so were a whole heap of other people, including the men and women that made his flight possible.

        I agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't diminish the contributions of the nameless people, but neither should we those of the renown people.

        • by psiclops (1011105)

          Neil Armstrong was one of the greatest men of the last century

          so what did he actually do that would make one call him great?

      • by Grayhand (2610049)

        Short answer: no.

        Recently on Slashdot, somebody called Neil Armstrong "one of the greatest men of the last century". (I think Armstrong would have been livid at that description; like you, he hated minimizing the contributions of a lot of nameless people.) When I pointed out the absurdity of that description, I got flamed up the wazoo.

        People need heroes.

        I may have been the person you are blasting because I referred to his accomplishments as among the greatest in human history. It's one thing to do the math to send a man to the Moon but it's another to strap your ass to the rocket that sends him there!!! Armstrong will still be remembered long are your mods are forgotten! Science aside some one still needs to show the courage to climb into the rocket and flip the switch. Apollo 13 should have ended this argument. These guys kept their cool when faced with n

        • by psiclops (1011105)

          his accomplishments as among the greatest in human history.

          you should probably learn more history.

      • by ildon (413912) on Monday September 03, 2012 @02:48AM (#41211327)

        Armstrong's humility is part of what makes him so great.

    • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:40PM (#41210457)

      There is a large group of hard working people working for each of Apple's competitors too.

    • by Grayhand (2610049) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:41PM (#41210471)

      Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?

      How soon they forget. When Steve Jobs came back Microsoft was having to prop up the company to avoid monopoly charges and Apple was still trying to sell slower technology for twice the money. Say it takes a team all you want, without Jobs Apple would have likely gone bankrupt so I'd give him some credit for their success.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Monday September 03, 2012 @12:17AM (#41210839)

        Ya I'll be honest I was going to come on here and write some intelligent insightful comment on how the article was wrong and stretching in it's comparison but that seems like pointing out the sky is blue or water is wet.

        This article is just so dumb I'm amazed it is on the front page of slashdot, sometimes stupid stuff gets on the front page but typically it isn't something like this that has no substance at all.

        Easy. Apple stories sell. Why did you think Gawker Media went apeshit two years ago with the iPhone 4 prototype they purchased? They probably made tons of money off that series of articles that they kept rerunning it for months afterwards. (Alas, they seem to have decided to waste that money on site redesigns that are worse than ever before and even unfriendlier to users which has steadily decreashed until the only ones left are trolls and such).

        Slashdot knows that any Apple article would generate 300+ comments, even if it's something along the lines of "Apple announces nothing today, again." That's guaranteed advertiser gold. (It's Apple's turn - even all the flamewars and generally pro-Android sentiment still generates enough page views to be profitable. Enough that even pro-Android articles don't make so much money.).

        How soon they forget. When Steve Jobs came back Microsoft was having to prop up the company to avoid monopoly charges and Apple was still trying to sell slower technology for twice the money. Say it takes a team all you want, without Jobs Apple would have likely gone bankrupt so I'd give him some credit for their success.

        Well, Microsoft's investment was $150M. Apple bought NeXT for $430M. The money Microsoft put in could be far less (they could've bought Be for half that or so, which was using Gassee's inflated value of the company).

        No, what Jobs did with Microsoft was basically pure investor relations. Investors tend to be like sheep - if a company is going downhill, investment money may not flow even if you come up with a killer product. By naving Microsoft BUY $150M worth of Apple stock (Microsoft never put money into Apple, they just bought stock), it signalled the markets that Apple was a company worthy of investment.

        In addition, by having Microsoft re-invest in their Mac business unit, it signalled developers that the Mac was worthy platform to develop for, not another one to ignore.

        Jobs' credit was basically counting on the ability of Apple fans to look the other way - this was a time when anti-Microsoft sentiment was high, that the Mac was merely the underdog in the Windows war, etc. So that keynote where Bill Gates towered over Jobs (on the large screen), it was a well-choreographed marketing moment - signalling developers and investors that Apple was viable, and hoping that the fanbase won't be alienated.

        That would be all she wrote, except for being in the right place and right time with the iPod - being able to produce a device as big as a flash-based player, but the capacity of a hard drive player that could be loaded in minutes, not hours, and doing so just before MP3 players became commonplace, effectively being there from the get-go when the market took off. (Then having the RIAA embrace digital album sales...).

        The switch to Intel came after Apple basically got spurned by both Motorola and IBM over PowerPC chip supplies (PowerPC AIM Alliance - Apple, IBM, Motorola). Motorola found it far more profitable to sell lower-end chips to the military, and IBM for embedded systems, and Apple always couldn't buy enough.

      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        Much of Apple's success should be attributed to Jonathan Ive. It's the iconic design of the iThings that initially (and even now, with those lawsuits) distinguished and propelled Apple forward.

        What Steve Jobs did right was to give the design reins to Ive. In other words, Jobs was a businessman, and a savvy one at that, but he's not the all-around genius who singlehandedly restored Apple from near destruction as is often claimed.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Yes. Also this certainly falls in to the top 10 worst stories Slashdot has ever run. This is supposed to be News for Nerds, not Reddit's "what if" subreddit. Story quality has been sliding downhill pretty rapidly as of late.

  • Is that why there have been so many deaths surrounding the manufacture of Apple products?

  • Shocking! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail.LAPLACEcom minus math_god> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:06PM (#41210279)
    It is shocking how putting effort into producing a good product actually pays off from time to time.
    Nowdays it takes a real outlaw to put significant effort into appealing to customers.
  • Slow news day?
  • It's totally true! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:12PM (#41210315) Homepage
    Walter White didn't invent anything! He just packaged up his meth in blue crystals instead of boring white ones and the spinners were all like, duuude, I'm only going to buy your meth!
    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail.LAPLACEcom minus math_god> on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:07PM (#41210583)

      Walter White didn't invent anything! He just packaged up his meth in blue crystals instead of boring white ones

      You are rated insightful more than funny, so even though this is meant as a joke:

      Walter White had challenged the general attitude of "they are stupid junkies, they'll smoke whatever we give them" by insisting that a higher-purity product will sell better. It is actually not the worst analogy to, say, Microsoft (you'll get our new OS with your new desktop and like it) vs. Apple (let's make our OS so that users like it).

      This is completely orthogonal to discussion of which may be better. It is simply a fact that achieving monopoly status leads to complacency towards customers.

      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:22PM (#41210631)

        Walter White had challenged the general attitude of "they are stupid junkies, they'll smoke whatever we give them" by insisting that a higher-purity product will sell better.

        I'm not sure if the attitude you are espousing is really all that common. Not really caring about quality is present among junkies, but junkies aren't going to be the most profitable customers, sometimes relying upon sexual favors in lieu of cash. Also, due to the contraband status of drugs, there is a significant advantage to having a concentrated product. Having less on you is preferable for not getting caught, so more profit per gram is highly advantageous. What Walter brings to the table is knowledge and expertise, which isn't really an area where Steve Jobs fits the parallel.

        • by khallow (566160)
          What makes you think that Steve Jobs didn't have knowledge and expertise? He founded multiple successful companies. That alone indicates a great deal of knowledge and experience. Plus, he apparently had a great deal of design and usability knowledge and experience that applied directly to the products of his businesses.
          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            That makes jobs the "Gus" of breaking Bad, probably quite appropriate consider both were charismatic likable people on the surface and real evil sons of bitches in actuality. the walter white would be wozniak.
      • I'm totally in agreement with you. The butt of my joke wasn't meant to be Apple or Walter White, but the people who claim that Apple only succeeds by marketing or mind control.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Walter White had challenged the general attitude of "they are stupid junkies, they'll smoke whatever we give them" by insisting that a higher-purity product will sell better. "

        There's not a lot of attitude to challenge. I can't stand to watch Breaking Bad due to experience dealing with meth addicts. I had an everything addict roommate for a year who slipped up and started doing meth again, and after he split on the rent I had to cover that and clean up the mess he left behind...2 liter bottles of piss
    • by mug funky (910186)

      season 9 no doubt will be a protracted courtroom drama where everyone gets sued over the blue crystal design patents.

    • by linatux (63153)

      Betcha can't do just one!

  • True (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Walter was a cunt as well.

  • by MogNuts (97512) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:26PM (#41210383)

    Really? This article is just dumb. And ridiculous. And link-bait.

    Stop with the BS "like Apple" stories and OMG Apple-is-amazing stories!

  • KISS for real (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:30PM (#41210397)
    People always blah blah about KISS. But when it comes to most products it usually ends up being too many cooks. Years ago I built a website for a telco. They wanted two things. One was online bill viewing and the other was to promote this new thing called DSL. Website was supposed to cost around $50,000. So we cook along and they keep adding more and more to the website with nearly every department in the telco getting their little bit in; one part being a what's happening at the local universities. After the budget blew through $200,000 they started to suggest that we cut the online bill check part along with the rate card. One of our people stood up in the meeting and said, "Those are the only two things on the whole damn site that people will want. Cut those and you have $200,000 worth of dog shit."

    But it gets even worse. This new DSL was being introduced at a time before cable modems. The highest speed connection of any geek I knew was a 128k ISDN line and this new DSL was going to give you 1Mbs for $40. Then as I did up the specs for it for the site I realized that the whole business model was a stupid Novell system of renting applications such as Microsoft office. Internet was way down on the list of features. I called up the Product Manager and he said, "Well we might not even offer connectivity to the internet initially." I told him that if they were able to offer 1Mbs for $40 when all the competition was offering 56kbs for $20 they were going to clean up. He told me that there was pressure from their own dial up to not offer internet via the DSL. I think what may have saved it was that I told him he would be out of a job if he didn't offer internet and they would be out of a job while he would ride a wave to the future if he did.

    Now think about the above. This is the big telco in my area taking business advice from a tiny web shop. Good advice if I say so myself.

    So how many companies don't have a single man who can stand up and say "whoa there cowboy. That might look good on a spread sheet but our customers will want to ram it up your ass.... sideways....covered in the juice from a ghost pepper."

    From what I have read about Steve Jobs is that people brought shit to him with a great story and they left his office crying. Then they came back to him with something less shitty and left crying again. This would happen over and over until it just wasn't shitty anymore.

    It is hard to tell an employee that what they just spend a lot of time on was crap. It is unpleasant for most normal people. So I suspect that where Steve Jobs' genius lay is in somehow being an ass right up to but not beyond the point where everyone quit. Beyond that he was probably just pretty smart.
    • by GPierce (123599)

      Byt when Steve Jobs wanted the Next to appear as an exact cube, it wasn't shit because he was the boss. Similarly, his Mac developer rules were not shit because he was the boss. And it wasn't shit when many developers and some of his more brilliant employees quietly walked away without crying,

      When Apple wound up with a 10% market share and almost went out of business, it wasn't shit, it was just Jobs.

      • Byt when Steve Jobs wanted the Next to appear as an exact cube, it wasn't shit because he was the boss.

        What was wrong with the cube? I always thought that was kind of cool.

        • Re:KISS for real (Score:4, Interesting)

          by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:11PM (#41210601)

          Little manufacturing secret: making a perfect cube (all angles 90 degrees) is nearly impossible to manufacture. It's easy to do near-cubes (91/89 degree trapezoids), but a perfect cube will not slide out of the mold, and requires extremely expensive technology to do. Every single other computer that looks like a cube will have a very shallow angle to it for those reasons. After all, why jack the price up a ludicrous amount for something you'll never really notice unless you regularly go around measuring angles on your things.

          Jobs insisted on a perfect cube, which (from what I've read) only a single foundry in the United States could manufacture at the time.

          • by goldcd (587052)
            and they didn't shift nearly as many as they expected, once most people had worked out that they could buy the same actual Apple functionality in a more 'normal' box for a fraction of the amount.
            Oh, and then the cubes all started cracking as form had over-ridden function and every engineer who said it was a stupid idea was proven right.
            Conversely though (and I'm not an Apple customer a few ipods aside), it did looked awesome, got placed in art/design museums AND as I look back over the thousands of comput
      • Re:KISS for real (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:32PM (#41210661)

        No one said he was perfect. There's a big difference between cultivating great ideas and coming up with great ideas. He seems like the type that was good at seeing the greatness in someone else's rough idea and helping them to polish it until it truly was great, but wasn't always so good at coming up with it on his own, since there are plenty of stories about him making utterly ludicrous suggestions and thinking they were the best thing ever. Thankfully, most of his stupid ideas (though not all of them) were shot down by those around him, since he apparently tried to make a point of surrounding himself with people who weren't yes men.

        And your second paragraph is not factual. For one, Apple was down to around 3% when they nearly went out of business (they only got back up to 10% within the last year or two). For another, Jobs hadn't even been at the company for over a decade when all of that was happening, since he was booted out back in the mid-80s, as you'll recall. Blaming the near-collapse of Apple on Jobs is like blaming Julius Caesar for the fall of the Roman Empire. Of course, unlike Caesar, Jobs actually returned later on and saved the thing he had started.

        And what Mac developer rules are you talking about? Stuff that happened back in the '90s when he wasn't there? Stuff that happened recently? I can't think of anything causing issues recently, other than some minor growing pains with sandboxing and the Mac App Store.

    • The problem as I've seen it is that so many product managers tend to be promoted from sales because they were such great salespeople, and great sales people make their career being able to lie to themselves about how great that product is even if it stinks; if you want the customer to believe (and buy) then you have to believe. Great sales people also are very good as saying "yes" to anything.

      A really good product manager needs to be able to be honest with him or herself and be able to say "our product suck

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:39PM (#41210451)

    There were times when Microsoft could have decimated Apple by pulling its Office software from the Mac platform or choosing not to invest $150 million in the company, as it did back in the '90s. Instead, Microsoft let Apple continue and, in refusing to see Apple as a serious threat, lost the mobile phone, portable music, online video and tablet markets to Apple. It's increasingly ceding ground in computer software as well.

    It wasn't about underestimating Apple, but rather, needing a visible competitor to not be broken up via an antitrust suit. Also, in what universe does apple have the 'online video' market?

    • by mug funky (910186)

      apparently people watch movies on their phones now.

      i don't understand that one, either, considering the ludicrously big TVs everyone owns.

      that said, it's not wise to compete with youtube on the low-res front. iTunes needs to push HD and true SD (not this hobbled 640xwhatever shit that they insist on).

      also, DRM.

  • Fiction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:40PM (#41210459)

    The difference is that breaking bad is fiction- it doesn't actually demonstrate anything. The writers decide the outcome, and the results are imagined, not real.

  • by rjames13 (1178191) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:41PM (#41210469)

    For the "I hate Apple week", has it already started?

  • by theodp (442580) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:46PM (#41210485)

    Steve Jobs (Wikipedia) [wikipedia.org]: According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the offered $5,000), and that Wozniak's share was thus $350. Wozniak did not learn about the actual bonus until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and had said he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him.

    Breaking Bad ("Say My Name" Recap) [latimes.com]: When Walter tries to browbeat Jesse into staying, the young man will have none of it. He even walks away when Walter tells him he won't get a nickel.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @10:49PM (#41210513) Homepage Journal

    Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks

    Out of character? You haven't been paying attention, especially in the current season. They made it clear from the very first episode that Walt is not a nice guy. His anger issues cost him his share of the startup that would have made him rich, and sent him off to a teaching job he despises and that doesn't pay the bills. Later, he refuses to accept help with his medical expenses from his former partners, obviously still pissed at whatever issue forced him to break with them.

    He wears a mask of a mild-mannered suburban nebbish, but his sociopath side becomes evident early on [youtube.com] and gradually becomes the only face he shows to his colleagues in the drug business. More and more, people suffer because of Walt's lack of moral center, sometimes just because he's mad at them. (So long Mike!)

    Mr. Wizard [youtube.com] was always a front. Now he's Nero [youtube.com].

    Jeez, what a great show. I look forward to the final 9 eps with anticipation and dread.

    • Dread is right. BB is one of the few shows I've watched where I'm actually afraid to find out what happens next. Not in the horror movie sense...in the trainwreck sense.

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      I think you are looking at it from the wrong Angle, The out of character risks Walter takes is putting his partners life ahead of his families and his own in many cases, basically it wasn't his nastiness that was out of character, it was the selfless acts. This is always the part that annoyed me and was really out of character with how he is portrayed.
  • is this the new ' car analogy' trope? The ' breaking bad' trope!

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:06PM (#41210579)

    "Apple's story is like 'Breaking Bad' in that I really don't care about either of them, and am tired of people always bringing them up and telling me I need to be watching it"

  • by amoeba1911 (978485) on Sunday September 02, 2012 @11:23PM (#41210633) Homepage

    "If you want to know how Apple's epic run turns out or how its ongoing battle with longtime rival Microsoft is resolved, you can watch the series, which ends its current half-season of eight episodes with a finale Sunday night."

    It sure sounds like an advertisement to me... either that or CNN really has completely run out of news to create. My expectations from CNN are very low, so this doesn't surprise me much. What surprises me is that this is on Slashdot. Perhaps the story title should be "CNN ran out of news" instead.

    My favorite part on the CNN page, on top it reads: Filed under: Innovations ... How this is innovation?

    • CNN really has completely run out of news

      News is very slow right now. Huge news teams were tied up reporting the GOP convention, which is over, and Hurricane Isaac, which is over. So there wasn't much in the TV pipeline. Neither CNN nor Fox has anything substantive today.

  • Jobs' sense of his specialness and his rush to get things done before he died was there way before the cancer was found. I rely on the Isaacson book for this tid-bit.

    Meanwhile, Jobs is not Apple and Apple is not Jobs. Addictive, as in products, is a clumsy metaphor. Addictive as in meth is a physical and psychological state which reveals itself in isolation, anti-social behavior, and health decay.

    Facile, featuring convenient memory holes, and poorly thought through. Yep, CNN all the way.

    • Jobs' sense of his specialness and his rush to get things done before he died was there way before the cancer was found.

      This.

      On his return to the company, he revamped apple -- very solidly and successfully -- before he was diagnosed with cancer. That he continued to do so ANYWAY is a tribute to his already held belief in himself and what he was doing... not a result of some kind of psychological compensation because he had a terminal disease. Sorry, but but in our macroscopic world -- at least at our current level of technology -- you cant take something that happened after time t and say it caused something before time t

  • A better analogy would be that Apple is like the Little Red Hen [http].

    "Who will dare to make a computer that gets rid clunky serial ports and is USB-only to drive development of USB as a platform?" asked Apple.

    "Not I" said Dell.
    "Not I" said Gateway
    "Not I" said Compaq.
    "Not I" said Acer.

    "Then I'll do it myself" said Apple. And she completely broke backwards compatibility to make the iMac.

    "Who will make a minimalist music player without a billion clunky extras that product managers want to add and that has a really

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      REALLY? Posts written in a condescending tone that mimicks a children's story is now getting modded insightful on slashdot????

  • by outsider007 (115534) on Monday September 03, 2012 @04:09AM (#41211609)

    Because the signal is always breaking and the voice quality is bad :(

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Monday September 03, 2012 @06:35AM (#41212059) Journal

    Maybe it's just because I've seen every episode of BB.

    Who is so desperate to keep Jobs' name in the press that they'd stretch things this far?

  • by StripedCow (776465) on Monday September 03, 2012 @07:42AM (#41212351)

    I've never seen "Breaking Bad", but if it is about a genius nerd (Woz) being exploited by an arrogant businessman, then I think the comparison is spot on.

  • by milkmage (795746) on Monday September 03, 2012 @09:58AM (#41213161)

    ...so Tim Cook (get it.. cook?) is going to arrange to whack google, htc, motorola, samsung and LG in the same 2 minutes. /I really liked Mike.

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