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Shake-up at Apple: Forstall Out; iOS Executive Fired For Maps Debacle? 487

Posted by Soulskill
from the should-have-called-it-artistic-license dept.
New submitter noh8rz10 writes "Apple's Scott Forstall, who grew iOS from its inception, is departing the company. Rumors say it's because of the Maps debacle, and problems with Siri as well. Jony Ive is taking a larger human interface role, which means he may kill the skeuomorphic interfaces he hates. John Browett, head of retail, is out as well; he never won the trust of the community. What does such a major shakeup say about Tim Cook's leadership?"
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Shake-up at Apple: Forstall Out; iOS Executive Fired For Maps Debacle?

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  • jony!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:19PM (#41813353) Homepage

    Hopefully, we'll get better UI designs

  • by GoatCheez (1226876) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:20PM (#41813361)
    It seems more and more each day that he really was the glue that held the vision together.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:26PM (#41813399)

    The rats are being thrown off the sinking ship.

    This is more like bilge water being pumped out of a ship, after the damage to the hull has been repaired.

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:28PM (#41813419)
    [Apple] Steve's gone. Let's turn the page. We'll stop being dicks, no more lawsuits.

    [Google] Sounds good. We'll give you maps with turn-by-turn navigation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:29PM (#41813427)

    What does such a major shakeup say about Tim Cook's leadership?

    He is going to lead and hold people accountable?

  • It Says ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Compulawyer (318018) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:32PM (#41813447)
    ...that Tim Cook has firmly taken the reins and is going to start running Apple the way he sees fit, with his team - not the team that was there when he took over.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:33PM (#41813453)

    i don't even know how to interpret that.

    Apple and the trust of the community?

    Apple, so far as I have seen, is either loved unconditionally, or disliked for various reasons.

    Was there a part of "the community" that was waiting to be won over? Community CUPS devs?

    It's a cute notion, like the way children believe in Santa Claus. But corporations are not compatible with any real sense of community. Corporations are perfect tyrannies. Real community means people who share, it's a give-and-take that enriches everyone who participates. Corporations seek only to enrich themselves. All of them, not just Apple. That's why they have to spend so much money on marketing to appear otherwise. It is not their natural undisguised apperance at all.

    Fanboys aside, pragmatists aren't very fond of Apple. Pragmatists aren't suckered by hype. That is why they realize how strongly Apple resembles Microsoft in its heyday. Apple is perhaps worse - until recently Microsoft didn't so strongly control what could run on Windows the way Apple controls their walled garden. Apple is just more talented at appearing innocuous. Their marketing is more effective. No one proudly sported Windows the way some Apple fans show off their iDevices. Still doesn't change the nature of the corporation though.

    And the way this cult of personality surrounding Jobs lives on long after the man's death is just plain disturbing. He was an abusive control freak and generally not a very nice guy at all. He didn't design anything. His only genius was making money. I don't see investment bankers getting this kind of love and adoration, for good reason. People like him being in charge of everything is part of why the world is so fucked up. Now lots of emotionally puerile types get all upset when you throw cold water on their hero fantasies and dare to suggest that their idol wasn't the first perfect person, that a man who appeared larger than life was still just a man. So be it.

  • Re:Clang Clang (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:33PM (#41813455) Journal

    So you want something like METRO instead?

    I am in favor of things looking pretty and familiar. It doesn't make sense to have an awesome GPU which runs an OS where you have only 8 colors to choose from and no different than Windows 3.0 on an EGA card. This is the 21st century.

    The problem is the anti skeupmorphic folks have terrible outdated looks and some of the functionality is missing that people are used to for the last 20 years.

  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:35PM (#41813469)
    So if you head over to macrumors.com, the posters are gleefully proclaiming the death of skeuomorphic design in iOS and OS X. This is a good thing. The leather stitching, the ridiculous animations in ical, the stupid contacts list, the game center that made me feel like I trapped in some creepy casino with chain smokers and octagenarian gambling addicts: this is all gone, and good riddance to bad rubbish. However, on the other hand, if you read this article [fastcodesign.com] with the following very interesting passage:

    Inside Apple, tension has brewed for years over the issue. Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction. "You could tell who did the product based on how much glitz was in the UI," says one source intimately familiar with Apple’s design process.

    After reading that, I realized that this was indeed true and in fact there has been an alternate philosphy besides the skeuomorphic design which is the "war on color" in some aspects of OS X (e.g., the flat gray scroll bars, the gray linen background for the virtual desktop manager, even the world map for changing the time zone). So, now I'm wondering if the skeuomorphic faction led by Forstall has lost the debate, was Ive and the other minimalist design people behind the "war on color" and if that's true, is that what we'll see in future versions of the OS with Ive leading the interface design? I'm not sure how I feel about that, I really don't like using an OS that is drab and boring, it's depressing (I actually liked Aqua for the most part, which was also Forstall's invention I guess). Either way, it's good to know that Apple isn't afraid of rocking the boat still. That skeuomorphic crap might have been good for increasing everyone's vocabulary with regards to interface design, but it was annoying as hell to use.

    Now, if only Apple would admit they screwed up the document versioning system beyond repair and give us a proper "Save As..." since the dawn of the computer (or thereabouts) I would consider Apple as having fully realized the error of their ways and moving decidedly in a less terrible direction. But alas, Federhigi is still in charge and they haven't brought Serlet back from retirement unfortunately.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:38PM (#41813487)

    Sinking ship my ass. They are rolling in money.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:40PM (#41813497) Journal

    Actually, true of most companies - let alone technology companies.

    Most companies just want to be successful and don't give a shit about the quality of anything.

  • by afgam28 (48611) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:40PM (#41813499)

    It's well known that Scott Forstall didn't get along with the others. He's been called a "mini-Steve (Jobs)" and described as "maddeningly political":

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/scott-forstall-the-sorcerers-apprentice-at-apple-10122011.html [businessweek.com]

    If he was ousted, it's probably due more to the others thinking he's an asshole. The Maps debacle provides a convenient excuse, but I doubt it's the real reason behind this. This is just another political backstabbing, that's all.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:40PM (#41813501) Journal

    Indeed. The maps fiasco is more like something that came out of Redmond than out of Apple. I can well imagine Ballmer going "So it doesn't work? Well fuck it. Release it anyways." Basically he's done that on a few occasions. But Jobs, egomaniacal control freak that he was, would never have allowed it to go to production like that.

  • Re:Clang Clang (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Horshu (2754893) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:42PM (#41813517)
    So you'd rather have the OS chew up cycles than let the apps have them?
  • by hahn (101816) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:50PM (#41813575) Homepage

    Fanboys aside, pragmatists aren't very fond of Apple. Pragmatists aren't suckered by hype. That is why they realize how strongly Apple resembles Microsoft in its heyday. Apple is perhaps worse - until recently Microsoft didn't so strongly control what could run on Windows the way Apple controls their walled garden. Apple is just more talented at appearing innocuous. Their marketing is more effective. No one proudly sported Windows the way some Apple fans show off their iDevices. Still doesn't change the nature of the corporation though.

    Have you ever considered the possibility that some people actually *value* a walled garden? Like nearly everyone who isn't a tech geek? Which is like 99% of the people buying these devices?

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:01PM (#41813637) Homepage Journal

    Color is fine in a UI as long as it means something. If it's just decoration that creates cognitive load with no user benefit. Apple abandoned this idea back with pinstriping, Aqua, and whatever that look they had was called that was supposed to look like metal stereo components. I happened upon a System 7.6 machine the other day. I really felt much less frenetic than the modern machines.

    Oh, the same goes for animations. They can be useful or they can be glam. Glam wastes my time and focus.

    BTW, good idea, Apple, announcing a top floor slaughter while Wall St. is closed and a natural disaster is playing out.

  • Re:Clang Clang (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lucm (889690) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:16PM (#41813737)

    Never under estimate the value of eye candy.

    Skeuomorphic is not eye-candy, it's an obsolete approach that was never pretty to start with. Not sure if the colored squares in Metro or the 2-color palette in Office 2013 and VS 2012 are the answer but at least it does not look like korean cars fake wood panels.

  • Re:sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:18PM (#41813751)

    This means Jack Shit, it's standard mokey politics for an incoming boss, sack a few high profile monkeys and the other monkeys will fall into line. A boss who isn't noticed and can't hand pick his entorage is a figure head, not a leader.

    When you are insecure and/or can't earn the genuine respect and admiration of those around you by means of your talent, expertise, and inspiring leadership, I suppose you might become desperate enough to resort to such Machiavellian tactics as this.

    If he can't be better than a monkey, he wants to be the biggest monkey. What a shame that so many don't understand this is not real respect. Not even close. Of course it's not realistic to expect basic wisdom from the kind of dehumanized sociopaths who tend to run corporations, but I can dream.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:20PM (#41813755) Homepage

    The "but this is a beta" approach with Maps wouldn't have been good enough. Siri was something that was portrayed as new and innovative. It wasn't something where they were trying to create a higher level of vertical integration by replacing an already well established feature.

    There are important distinctions some times. Apple fans sometimes miss those.

  • by TheLink (130905) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:23PM (#41813769) Journal
    The difference was not using Siri was less of a problem. Decent maps and map functionality have become a requirement for many smartphone users.
  • Re:Clang Clang (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:23PM (#41813771) Journal

    So you'd rather have the OS chew up cycles than let the apps have them?

    You have any idea how fast a modern computer is? An icore7 has 70,000 mips (millions of instructions per second!) For a comparison the 1984 Mac had 3 mips. Your computer you are reading this on is 20,000 faster than the first successful graphical computer.

    Now lets talk about the GPU. I do not have hardcore numbers like I did with the CPU but 10 to 100s of billions of pixels rendering a second has been the norm for years and this is true even for a crappy intel integrated graphics.

    In 1990 yes, your argument made sense as 8 colors could substancely lower the cost and increase the performance of your system. Today 32-bit graphics use 16.7 million graphics per pixel! This is regular standard Windows 7 colors as designers on workstations use up to 48-bit.

    So I want my AERO, compiz, and pretty eye candy since I have this awesome supercomputer and it is asthetically pleasing much the same way of having nice interior does not signficiantly slow down the performance of your car due to the extra 7 pounds it adds. I love text that flows smoothly on my Android phone and hate how browsers are choppy on a full powered desktop unless I go in and tweak the 3d settings and smooth scrool. Though, Firefox and IE 10 are getting better.

    I like the current system because it is what I am used too as well and see no need to replace it. Only difference is I use Google to search for things instead of using a gui, but that is it.

  • by causality (777677) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:27PM (#41813793)

    Have you ever considered the possibility that some people actually *value* a walled garden?

    Some people highly value smoking crack. This alone is not proof of merit.

    Like nearly everyone who isn't a tech geek? Which is like 99% of the people buying these devices?

    If you are claiming that only "tech geeks" could possibly appreciate unrestricted freedom of choice, that is interesting. I would be willing to entertain your reasoning, but so far I haven't seen it. Personally, I think it's a nice euphamistic way of saying that most people are far too stupid to be trusted with choices. The funny thing about that, is that if stupidity is universally expected, it tends to become the norm. When it's viewed as pathological, it tends to be limited to only the few who really can't do better.

    I also have doubts that it's healthy to design everything for the absolute beginner, rather than viewing "newbie" as a transitory and most temporary stage along the path to at least some small degree of competence. But it's difficult to have this conversation around here. Few seem to recognize that "small degree of competence" does not mean "expert" due to some strange tendency to go to extremes. It's a bit mysterious, since it's inconsistent with any contact with reality and its myriad shades of grey.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:31PM (#41813823)

    Down 15% in 6 weeks. Apple definitely qualifies as a sinking stock. As to whether the ship itself will sink... one can only hope. Realistically I expect that we will be stuck with Apple and its bad acting for quite some time to come. However a humbled, smaller Apple will definitely be easier to tolerate that the current arrogant, destructive corporate bully.

    Continuing the ship analogy, Apple board would be wise to make Tim Cook walk the plank without delay. But it is a safe bet they will continue to act their typical, domesticated and irresponsible selves and just keep banking that free money for showing up at the annual meetings with their mouths zipped shut. Which is great for the rest of us, because that's the absolute worst thing that could happen to Apple.

    While I'm in here, some advice to Tim Cook: lose the black turtleneck. Steve Jobs could pull it off, you can't.

  • Re:sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:35PM (#41813851)

    Remember that the dehumanized sociopaths running companies are competing against other sociopaths. If a new CEO shows any weakness, the other sociopaths will conspire to oust them. Just as Kim Jong-Un had to purge a bunch of his father's old advisers in order to solidify his grip on North Korea, so too must new CEOs purge a board member or two in order to prove they're the boss.

    It's not about what's best for the company. People who genuinely have the company's interests at heart won't be able to compete in that world. When you realize what sort of people these are, and what sort of world they live in, it's utterly unsurprising that their actions make no sense to us. They're practically a different species.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:38PM (#41813869)

    Down 15% for good reason, it was overvalued. The entire market is. The Dow shouldn't be above 10k as long as unemployment is above 8%.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:39PM (#41813881)

    [Apple] Oh, and we trust you'll shut down that silly little Android thing you've been doing.

    [Google] Sure no problem, just sign here to buy your ads from Google from now until eternity.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:45PM (#41813931)

    Oh, you're definitely correct, but you also need to remember that the Maps issues getting the most press are the ones where the new 3D view is showing something bizarre, like the Brooklyn Bridge looking like a sine curve or something of that sort. If you rendered those issues moot by having set the bar a bit lower, you would have taken a good chunk of the wind out of the sails of the people complaining. Though you'd still have people complaining about location data being incorrect, the volume would not have been nearly as loud without the other issues to reinforce them.

    I'm not suggesting Maps is bug-free or something of that sort. All I'm suggesting is that they could have handled the situation a lot better than they did, and that that's exactly what Steve Jobs did when he last released something that he knew was buggy.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:59PM (#41814019) Homepage
    Nobody is talking about the icons... they're talking about the applications themselves. You're arguing against a point that nobody is even discussing...
  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:01AM (#41814029) Homepage
    Right, but handicapping OSX so that it more closely mimics IOS is absolutely idiotic. Like limiting spaces to left/right only and removing up/down. That still outrages me to no end. I HATE not having up/down.
  • by Tough Love (215404) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:03AM (#41814041)

    Down 15% for good reason, it was overvalued.

    A superficial claim devoid of analysis. A company that consistently turns in 20% annual growth would normally be rewarded with a far higher earnings multiple than Apple's current 14. This is a clear signal: the smart money does not expect Apple's earnings to continue to grow at anything like that. In fact, even 5% annual growth would be worth a multiple of 25 to 30 if there was any confidence it would continue. A multiple of 14 in fact reflects a significant perception that Apple's earnings will shrink. I'm with that camp, and that's not just wishful thinking, it's because Android and at-cost products from Google and Amazon mean the high margin party is over. This is plain enough to see.

    BTW, that's all just elementary risk/reward analysis. It's not hard. Everybody who consistently makes money trading stocks understands it well.

  • by harperska (1376103) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:17AM (#41814117)

    No, he's going to purge the previous leadership and replace them with his friends and/or lackeys.
     

    If that was the case, he would have canned Ive, and wouldn't have bothered convincing Mansfield to come back when he wanted to retire this summer. And Federighi, who was promoted to SVP by Cook this summer is an insider who worked at Jobs's NeXT.

    No, Forstall was canned because he didn't get along with the rest of the executives, pushed for over the top skeuomorphism that everyone else in the company and even the rabid fanboys hate, and fucked up the maps thing. He was holding the company back.

  • by ahankinson (1249646) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:39AM (#41814239)
    If we were to replace the word "computer" with the word "washing machine" or "refrigerator," then you might start to see how people don't even _want_ to seek even the smallest amount of computer competence. You're essentially asking them to re-install the OS on their washing machine, or re-wire the heating coils of their dryer for some abstract goal of "increased knowledge" and "freedom".

    The computer is an appliance. You press a button, it sends an e-mail. You press another one, it plays music for you. If it breaks, you call someone to fix it or you toss it to the curb and get a new one. I'm not saying these people are stupid, I'm just saying they have different priorities.
  • by ahankinson (1249646) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @12:48AM (#41814295)
    If Forstall refused to sign the letter apologizing about Maps and instead forced Cook to do it so that they could have some public response, that's not a very smart move on Forstall's part. Making your boss take the heat on something that was your screw-up is never a good play, especially at the executive level.
  • by mozumder (178398) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:03AM (#41814377)

    If you are claiming that only "tech geeks" could possibly appreciate unrestricted freedom of choice, that is interesting.

    "Freedom of choice" is actually a bad thing.

    The more freedom you provide, the more work must be done.

    The goal of software isn't "freedom". The goal of software is to get things done. Freedom just adds an additional degree of complexity.

    Why have "freedom" when you can have "done"? I don't want to waste time picking among different apps that do the same thing, I just want the end result done.

    The problem is that geeks exist for the computing environment. To them the computer is the end, not the means.

    Most people use computing as something transitory, and not as the end result. I can't imagine a fashion illustrator caring about linux, for example, when Adobe's software on a Mac works just fine.

    Please help support closed environments. They are better for computing.

  • by countach (534280) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:21AM (#41814483)

    The "smart money" thought the same thing when the stock was at $50. Now its north of $500. The smart money aint too smart.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:35AM (#41814569)

    Microsoft is/was evil.
    Google only knows evil because of their advertising mindset.
    Apple is evil because you can't do whatever the hell you want.
    Linux sucks because there's no unified vision of how things are supposed to work (both in UIs and APIs).

    What am I supposed to use? FreeDOS? WebOS? AmigaOS?

  • by Dracos (107777) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @01:36AM (#41814579)

    The computer is an appliance. You press a button, it sends an e-mail. You press another one, it plays music for you.

    In instances like what you describe, the computer is merely an appliance. The average user will treat it like an appliance because that's all they know.

    To technical people, the average /.er, the computer is a tool. You code something, the computer does it.

    Apple (and Microsoft) don't want the average person to realize the tool potential of a computer, because then Open things happen, and they don't want the same loss of control to happen on mobile devices that happened on the desktop. Think what you will of Google, but their approach with Android is much closer to that which allowed all of these companies to grow and thrive in the first place... and that strategy is working.

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:02AM (#41814717) Homepage Journal
    No, such people often consider the benefits to be worth the trade-offs. We've had 25+ years of machines getting owned by unsigned code able to be run from any source with the windows desktop. Android is heading that way already.
  • by anyaristow (1448609) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:14AM (#41814763)

    And most people recognize that it's odd that tech geeks care so much about choices other people make, and about products they don't own.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:18AM (#41814779)

    Apple and Microsoft couldn't give a flying fuck about the average person figuring out the full range of possibilities that computers offer. Any more than the head of Maytag stay up at night with nightmares of everyone suddenly deciding to become washing machine mechanics in their spare time.

    There is no conspiracy. There is no great shadow hovering above and preventing people from waking up to what their computer can do. Most of them have a pretty good idea of what computers can do. They often don't have the vocabulary or means to make it happen, but if you have ever dealt with a user figuring out a new task they tend to have a very realistic idea of what is possible (at least in the abstract) and then once they figure out their new thing that go back to ignoring everything else.

    Because there is an opportunity cost to computers. And most people don't enjoy paying that cost. They get far more enjoyment out of playing in a local baseball league or building model trains or learning to cook or take dance lessons or just watching movies with friends.

    Every single possible roadblock could be removed and the vast majority of the population would not care and could not be made to care. Because they are busy doing more interesting (to them) things. And for people who are already interested in computers there are no roadblocks worth speaking of.

  • by slew (2918) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:30AM (#41815053)

    Actually, no. Stock price is simply an instantaneous measure of the relative attractiveness of a stock vs it's peers.

    Historically, potential attractiveness is measured by some folks as proportional to projected future earnings (PE ratio), but that is a created reality, not anything fundamental. Simply because others think that is an appropriate measure, it becomes a somewhat usable measure (in that it approximates the "attractiveness" utility function of people competing to buy the stock). In the '90's bubble, when net earnings per share for some hot companies weren't high enough to justify high prices via the PE metric, the stock papperazzi dug up an old out-of-favor metric called Price Earnings to Growth (PEG). By dividing by growth, the that made these low PE, high-growth companies suddenly appear more attractive. That didn't work for firms with negative net earnings, so they made up new ways to measure potential earnings (e.g., normalized revenue with sustainable margins). This just goes to show that the measures of attractiveness of a stock can and will change over time.

    Another big factor in a stock price is the total amount of money being invested in the stock market. As more money pours in, stocks get boosted somewhat in proportion to their relative attractiveness, so even in projected future earnings are the same, the stock price will go up. As 401k and pension funds have more money to invest or if say bond interest rates hover at all time historic lows, more money will pour into the stock market. In this environment, stocks will go up regardless of changes in measures of earnings (same supply of stock, more demand results in higher prices). To help satisfy this demand more companies will issue stock (e.g., IPOs, secondary offerings, etc) to attempt to sastify demand.

    Of course a stock price or and index has little to do with unemployment, but because of money flow pressures, a stock price does bear some relation to an index (which is a rough measure of money flow into a basket of stocks). If you believe that a stock is priced "efficiently", projected corporate profit is "built-in" to the stock price and thus it's relative attractiveness. Only if stocks "crush" or "miss" their projections, is there a forcing function to change attractiveness.

  • Re:sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 21mhz (443080) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:57AM (#41815163) Journal

    Seriously? From the debacle that is the product just released at $work, with huge rounds of all-levels-of-management congratulations for getting the product out the door, I'd say that nothing matters other than the date. Not functionality, not quality, not employee retention (12-16 hour days, 7 days a week, for 3 months?). Nothing other than that date. It was going to be delivered come hell or high water.

    This, precisely, brought Nokia to where it is now. Failure to acknowledge quality slips early and take action to fix the dysfunctional development culture that caused them. Any company that allows it will destroy itself in the long run.

  • Re:Clang Clang (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:00AM (#41815173)

    So I want my AERO, compiz, and pretty eye candy since I have this awesome supercomputer

    That's great, but we're talking about mobile. Performance and battery life are inversely correlated. The more powerful GPU you need, the more memory you need, the less time your battery lasts. You might not care when you're using a supercomputer that's plugged into the mains, but it has a big, direct effect on how people use mobile devices.

  • Re:sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gordo_1 (256312) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:08AM (#41815193)

    I'm not surprised that you got modded so highly for the old 'everyone above me on the corporate ladder is a sociopath' meme, as it certainly sits well among the 'downtrodden' Engineering types so common around these parts.

    Could it also be possible that when part of a hierarchical organization fucks up really badly, someone near the top of that part of the organization should be ultimately held responsible, because it was that person's *job* to ensure that they'd hired the right people under them and put the right processes in place in order to avoid publicly embarrassing failures?

    Or does believing that bit of 'business common sense' also make me a sociopath?

  • iOS is done. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:48AM (#41815315) Journal
    Not in the "doomed" sense, but in the code complete sense. A guy driven to innovate that isn't going to be happy maintaining it. You need a whole other KIND of guy for that. If you can't give that guy a new mountain to climb he will wander off in search of it himself.
  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:36AM (#41815509)

    Not everyone finds spending their time geeking out on their phone to be rewarding, interesting, or something they have any real interest in doing. That isn't smoking crack, it's simply a different priority.

    Most people limit the amount of cognitive overhead they have to shoulder when it comes to things they don't find terribly interesting or important. In the case of people who prefer a walled garden for their devices, this can be one of those things. One place to go for software, one pace to go for support, and they don't have to waste time thinking about all those options.

    Some people do this with clothing or food. I know a lot of geeks who wear essentially the same outfit on a daily basis because they just don't care enough about clothes to bother thinking about it past "does it pass the sniff test?" I know a lot of people who eat roughly the same thing for breakfast every day because they just want fuel for their body and don't want to have to think about what they're eating. There's nothing wrong with doing this, and we all actually do this to some degree or another,

    Let me throw a challenge to you: I want you to think about the clothes you're wearing. Think about the materials used - where did they come from? How are they made? Why were those materials chosen instead of some other set? What about the design - who designed each piece, and why did they make the choices they did (buttons vs. snaps, handling of seams, style of collar etc.)? What were their influences - what was the evolution of each item and how it came about from a series of iterations throughout the history of couture? What about the colors - what kind of dye did they use and why? What was your decision process when you bought it, what about your decision process when you picked it out to wear today?

    Is it fair for me to say you're smoking crack because you probably don't geek out on fashion?

    To you, I'm guessing clothing is just something you wear because you have to and you don't want to think about much.. To people who prefer a walled garden for their various devices, gadgets are just something they use because they need something to do that stuff, and they don't want to think about much.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @07:24AM (#41816033)

    Probably that he's not the right person to be in charge (sorry, Tim).

    Ive is an industrial designer (make it pretty).
    Forestall is a software engineer (make it work).
    Cook is an industrial engineer (make it cost less).

    Steve was able to balance the trade-offs in these interests because he was the 800 pound gorilla. He also had Avi (technological visionary) and Bertrand (better software engineer than Forestall (again, sorry Scott; he was much better at managing simultaneous projects with radically different requirements)) to rely upon before that.

    Tim is very good at optimizing supply chain, because it's instinctual for him: control access to supplies of at least 6 key components of products to prevent copycats and third-shifting by the Chinese factories; hold a knife to the throat of key suppliers like Sharp for displays to control costs; etc.

    The latest iPhone display is a bean-counter decision, not a Steve decision; changing the aspect ratio relative to all previous iPhone models because "that's what there was a lot of in the warehouse" when Apple still has a knife to Sharp's throat was a horrible mistake. Unless it wasn't a mistake, in which case I have to say "good job monetizing the App Store by requiring application rebuys": still a bean counter decision, and not a Steve one.

    Personally, I fault Steve himself for never working to develop a protege within Apple, which is how the COO got turned into the CEO by default and power vacuum.

    Some people have pointed to Apple's 20% increase in year-over-year profits as portending the future value of the company; however, I would have to say the rapid decline from 20% year-over-year innovation is probably a better indicator.

    I have to say, I actually did expect a faster decline due to recognition of new_product = previous_product++ by the larger world, but that much money can't just evaporate overnight, and neither do good employees, despite who is at the helm (with the exception of the large option/RSU cliff timed exodus following the "Steve is stepping down" announcement).

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @09:29AM (#41816981) Homepage

    Gotta love those customer-oriented schools that dictate the use of specific brands of tools.

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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