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Author Topic: NSFW: Special Magenta Snowflake  (Read 468 times)
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« on: December 20, 2014, 09:00:25 am »

NSFW: Special Magenta Snowflake

<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href='' title="NSFW: Special Magenta Snowflake"><img src='' />[/url]</p> <p>NSFW is a weekly op-ed column in which I talk about whatever's on my mind. Sometimes it'll have something to do with the technology we cover here on iMore; sometimes it'll be whatever pops into my head. Your questions, comments and observations are welcome.</p> <p>Every few weeks, T-Mobile USA tries to shake the cage for attention with its "Uncarrier" announcements. It did so this week, reminding everyone that T-Mobile is a very special magenta-covered snowflake. It's rubbing a bit thin on me. Read on for more on T-Mobile, Continuity complaints, and Sony musings in this week's NSFW.</p> <!--break--> <p>In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a T-Mobile USA customer. I switched to T-Mobile in 2013 and have seen their service since improve in leaps and bounds. I've also taken advantage of previous "Uncarrier" announcements, like free streaming offers for music services like iTunes Radio.</p> <p>The big announcement from T-Mobile this week involved "Data Stash," a long-overdue idea that I'm happy to see implemented. In short, T-Mobile is doing for data what carriers have done with talk time: Data Stash, available for most T-Mobile customers enrolled in their Simple Choice program, rolls over your unused data from month to month.</p> <p>I have absolutely no complaint about the concept. It's a great idea, and T-Mobile deserves major kudos for creating it. As I said at the outset, however, sometimes T-Mobile's marketing rubs me the wrong way. This is one of those times.</p> <p>I'm not quite sure why T-Mobile thinks that every time it offers its customers a new feature, it has to announce it with another "Uncarrier" iteration. It's up to 8.0, and begins to lose meaning after a while.</p> <p>We get it, T-Mobile, you're a very special magenta snowflake. Now get back to work improving your actual network, because I'm getting really sick and tired of dropping to one bar of EDGE coverage if I'm not in a city or on a major interstate highway.</p> <p>T-Mobile may be first to the punch with "Data Stash," but they certainly won't be the last: AT&amp;T has already filed a trademark on "Rollover Data," a more plain-spoken marketing euphemism that I think is a lot clearer than "Data Stash."</p> <h2>Plus ça change</h2> <p>President Obama wants to normalize relations with Cuba. Among other things, the White House said, "We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result."</p> <p>That's how I've begun to feel with Continuity, especially on OS X Yosemite. I can't help but feel that "just good enough" is starting to become a thing in Cupertino, which isn't the way it used to be. I won't channel the tired, old "this never would have happened with Steve Jobs" trope, though, because it's simply not true: Even when Steve was around, Apple shipped some real turd bombs.</p> <p>Here's the thing: Continuity is a great concept, but I don't feel like it's fully baked yet. I have way too many problems getting it to work right. Some features work between specific devices, others don't. Getting AirDrop to work between my iPhone 6 and Mac, for example, is damn near impossible to keep working consistently.</p> <p>Having said that, I think Continuity is a total game-changer for those of us who use both Macs and iOS devices, and it's a net positive for both platforms. I just hope Apple can iron out the kinks in this current software iteration.</p> <h2>The lunatics are running the asylum</h2> <p>Sony decided to kill distribution of The Interview, a new comedy featuring Seth Rogan and James Franco that centers on a CIA-led attempt to assassinate Kim Jong Un. A hacker outfit with alleged ties to the North Korea government called "Guardians of Peace" is partially responsible for this mess: They hacked Sony's computers, stole documents and leaked them to the press, then intimated there'd be violence at movie theaters that showed the film. As a result, several major American movie theater chains decided not to show the movie, forcing Sony to shelve it.</p> <p>I think it's a bad move by both Sony and the theater owners, because it chills freedom of expression. Not just that, but it does so for all the wrong reasons: They're not concerned for their moviegoers; they're scared of getting sued if something does happen — like the wrongful death suits that are still pending against theater chain Cinemark in the wake of the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting.</p> <p>I couldn't possibly have cared about The Interview prior to this controversy. But I'll be damned if I'm going to let some anonymous hacker on the Internet dictate what I can and can't watch. So I'm bound and determined to find the movie by whatever means necessary. If Sony won't release it digitally and let us pay for it legitimately, I fully expect that sooner or later a screener will make its way to a file sharing site, assuming it hasn't already.</p> <p>The Interview may be an extreme example, but it's typical of an ugliness that's become pervasive in online culture: The idea that one group can intimidate another into quiescence by intimidation, bullying and provocation. That's not just bad for freedom of expression. It's bad for freedom of thought as a whole. We can have rational, civilized conversations with each other and disagree without resorting to threats and violence.</p> <p>Wherever you see it, do what you can, in whatever way you feel comfortable, to push back. No one — no state, no anonymous online group — should be able to control the way you think or the way you express those ideas.</p> </div></div></div><div id="comment-wrapper-nid-29044"></div><img width='1' height='1' src='' border='0'/><br clear='all'/>

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