A lot of people dislike Apple. Europeans have called me a fascist for using Apple. Yahoo Answers is home to a long history of bewildered people trying to figure out why they are being hated on simply for using an Apple computer. The amount of threads on Yahoo Answers alone goes on for more or less 15 pages on Google (I got tired of clicking through). The Facebook community called I Hate Apple has more than 32,000 members.
It’s safe to say the people in the US, aside perhaps from Wall Street investors, have a tepid relationship with Apple -at best. Maybe this relationship explains the poor showing of not one, but two Apple-related films out of Hollywood in the past year.
On Yahoo Answers, numerous people have asked this same question. Some have even been harassed for using Apple products. Even the Big Bang Theory has made fun of Apple on its show.
This person claims to have been insulted simply for using Apple products:
This guy claims to have an answer:
In this “Big Bang Theory” clip, the Apple geniuses are called “not really geniuses.”
And in this one Steve Wozniak is called a lead character’s “15th favorite technological visionary.” That’s six spots above Steve Jobs.
Maybe this love-hate relationship America has for Apple explains the poor performance of the new movie “Steve Jobs” at the box office. “Steve Jobs”, which cost $30-60 million to produce, grossed only $7.3 million its opening weekend
The film tanks on the heels of numerous other hits put out by Universal: Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Minions. It did not do much better than the Ashton Kutcher led “Jobs,” which made $6.7 million in its first weekend.
“Steve Jobs” figured to make as much as $19 million its opening weekend, but failed to meet these goals. Variety writes the film won’t profit for the studio. To break even, the film needs to make $120 million.
The track record suggested the film could have done very well, as “The Social Network,” another film about tech, opened to $22.4 million. Further, in its limited release, “Steve Jobs”was nearly breaking records.
Instead, the Matt Damon-led “The Martian” held the number one spot at the box office.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Eidoo Ethereum Wallet Takes Out Full Page Ad in WSJ to Troll J.P. Morgan
A Swiss-based Ethereum startup has taken out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal to troll J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who only last month called cryptocurrency a “fraud.”
Eidoo Launches Digital Wallet
Eidoo took out the ad on Wednesday, the same day it launched its digital currency wallet for users of Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The company also plans to launch a debit card allowing people to spend ether and bitcoin.
The WSJ ad, which is a clear PR stunt ahead of the company’s launch, reads: “Maybe Jamie will fire you. But, you’ll be free to trade in the crypto-world.”
J.P. executive Jamie Dimon came under fire last month after declaring bitcoin a fraud. It later came to light that the Wall Street bank is trading bitcoin for clients.
“It’s worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well. Someone is going to get killed,” Dimon said at a conference hosted Barclays. “Currencies have legal support. It will blow up.”
Dimon’s criticism was ill timed, and not just because his firm was facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. Well-known figures on Wall Street and beyond are starting to embrac blockchain technology. Chief among them is Goldman Sachs, which recently announced that it i considering a bitcoin trading operation.
Morgan Stanley CEO recently said cryptocurrency is “more than just a fad,” but didn’t disclose any plans to launch a trading operation. Like other banks? Morgan Stanley is exploring the potential of blockchain applications.
Cryptocurrency Market Regains Momentum
After a volatile month of September, the cryptocurrency asset class is once again attracting strong bids. The total market cap for all digital currencies is approaching $155 billion, with bitcoin accounting for more than half the total.
Ethereum briefly traded above $310 before paring gains all the way back down to $300 where it currently sits.
Digital currency wallets like Eidoo have grown in popularity as investors look to safeguard their tokens from cyber breaches.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Wants Augmented and Virtual Reality Tech to “Encourage” Human Contact
So far, Apple has been the slowest of the big boys to getting an augmented or virtual reality product to market. The company’s iPhone is the single most popular smart phone on the planet and its computer products enjoy relative popularity (in early 2014, they were almost 9% of the market, a quadrupling from turn-of-the-century numbers). On a trip to Tokyo this week, CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed that he believes there is “no substitute for human contact. And so you want the technology to encourage that.”
Cook also said he thinks augmented reality can be “huge.” And if the numbers from the recent phenomenon of Pokémon Go are any indication, he’s absolutely right. Apple’s various platforms add up to a big opportunity, but their phones in particular could pave the way for the company making a serious play in the augmented and virtual reality space.
In many ways, modern humans are already experiencing many of the things previously only dreamed of in science fiction. One can walk down the street and have a video call with someone a thousand miles away. Perhaps the next step on this path will be the spectre of hologram calls. Back in 2013, Skype told the BBC that it was already capable of as much. Apple would certainly make waves if it were the first major platform to make this Star Wars-esque technology an everyday reality.
Other potential exists on the hologram front. Video entertainment and gaming could reach a whole new level. The Apple TV is one of the less successful ventures the company has ever launched, but the advent of holographic television shows taking place in one’s living room might revive interest.
Apple has made a number of acquisitions that point in the direction of holographic, augmented, and virtual reality technology. The company which created the original Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensors, PrimeSense, is now owned by Apple, along with Faceshift, who provided real-time motion capturing for Star Wars productions. The two main reasons to acquire a company are either to stop it from competing with you or to make use of its assets, and Apple presently has no major dog in the augmented reality/virtual reality fight. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that somewhere in Cupertino, someone is working on something for the future.
Cook also said that he doesn’t think virtual reality is as “broad-based” as augmented reality. The company has been in meetings with immersive technology companies such as Jaunt, a company which makes films compatible with virtual reality technology. Cook seems most interested in the communication aspect of AR and VR, saying that conversations could be made more productive.
I think that things like these are better when they’re incorporated without becoming a barrier to our talking. You want the technology to amplify it, not to be a barrier.
Perhaps Cook, like many, fears a future of people walking around with helmets, totally immune to their surroundings, and would rather find ways to boost traditional communication and technological capabilities. More of a Google Glass than an Oculus approach to the thing, as it were. In any case, it does seem that virtual reality, augmented reality, and even holographic communications are just around the bend for consumers.
It’s important to remember that just a decade ago, a smart phone in every pocket was hard to imagine, so the rise of these technologies could happen faster than anyone expects. The success of Pokémon Go was only a preview of things to come.
Images from Shutterstock.
KickassTorrents Domains Seized, Alleged Owner Arrested
The world’s largest torrent website has been seized, with its alleged founder arrested by US authorities, in what is a comprehensive blow to the domain and the wider torrenting community.
Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukrainian national and the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, the largest torrent website in the world was arrested in Poland yesterday. The US Government is seeking his extradition.
Following his arrest, US authorities have charged Vaulin with criminal copyright infringement and have seized multiple domain names associated with the website.
The complete list of charges are:
- One count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement
- One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering
- Two counts of criminal copyright infringement
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R.Caldwell made the announcement, revealing that Vaulin had set up servers in multiple locations around the world and moved his domains several times due to several law enforcement seizures and lawsuits.
Vaulin is charged with running today’s most illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials.
The criminal complaint against Vaulin alleges some intriguing numbers behind the world’s most popular torrent website.
- The website gained over 50 million unique visitors per month.
- It was also the 69th most frequently visited website on the internet
- Its net worth is estimated at over $54 million.
- Its annual advertising revenue was in the range of $12.5 million to $22.3 million.
- The website operated in nearly 28 languages.
Furthermore, the website was already ordered to be blocked by courts in various countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia, the complaint alleged.
As things stand, KickassTorrents and a number of its domains, all of which can be found in its very own server-status page, are all offline and unreachable.
The arrest and the subsequent takedown is certain to leave a void in the torrent community, as KickassTorrents was even bigger in the popularity stakes than the Pirate Bay.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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