Android vs iPhone – behind the scenes

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From the front, the user space, this argument is tired. Both smartphones do whatever you can imagine at this point. Both are amazingly thin and packed full of sensors and features.

Behind the scenes though…. things are very different. Why does each OS exist? Who are the companies behind them, and what are their goals?

With Apple, you have a traditional computer retailer. They are a public company but very private and generally keep quiet about where the platform is headed. One thing is clear though, you can spend a lot of money with Apple. They have most of their own ecosystem – you can get the iCloud, buy stuff from their real stores or their virtual ones, get additional storage, service plans, accessories, classes, etc..  You know how Apple makes their money because you have to give it to them to get involved.

With Google, the people behind Android (since 2005), you don’t ever seem to give them any money. How can google be everywhere, doing everything, and no one is giving them any money?  It’s all targeted advertising.

Really? Ad banners make that much money?  Well yes and no.  It’s alot more than ad banners. Every bit of your movement online and on the phone is being tracked, packaged, and sold to the highest bidder. Then it’s repackaged and sold again and again. Google make untold amounts of money doing this with none of it going back to the user.

Facebook uses a similar model, without the phone hardware that google has.

It’s been claimed that Android represents choice. I take issue with that phrase.


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Your choice is to have your profile and all your habits, purchases, locations, and interactions tracked by Google.

Your choice to have your profile sliced, diced, grouped, normalized, and sold to every Google revenue source (advertiser) possible for the rest of time with no revenue sharing going to you.

Your choice to have your history continually sliced, diced, labeled, invaded, and shared with every advertiser possible for the rest of time with no revenue going to you.

I prefer to make the advertisers work a little harder to find and profit from me. Google is ‘cool’ and hate on Apple if you want, but I trust Apple with my private digital life far more than millions of google advertisers.

Android was an awesome idea and I’d probably have one by now if Google never bought it. iPhone is an expensive rig and I barely use it anymore.

The charade here about freedom while using Android is ridiculous.

Bad guys will occasionally get into Android and iOS. Patch and business as usual. But the “good guys” are who you really have to worry about with the Android ecosystem.

Anyone can advertise with google, so nearly anyone can pay enough to access you whether you care or not.

Your future is being determined in private meetings between Google sales and 3rd parties from around the globe. None of this has anything to do with user space.

Android user space is the biggest private data collection scheme ever shipped. Which is why google paid g i i i i i i i i i llions for it when they saw it available.

Google is the biggest pay-no-attention-to-the-advertising-advertisering agency in the world, with Facebook being the 2nd. Call them search engines or social media if you want, but the scale and pace that those two data mine our personal business FOR PROFIT is alarming to me.

I either want a piece of that cut (make it non-profit so the tech is maintained but the users are paid) or give me old-fashioned private companies like apple and microsoft that I can own stock in without selling user’s souls to the wolves.


Google isn’t going to show you how/where/when they sell your data and they won’t share how much it’s worth to them.

Call it what you want…. profile, habits, demographics, searches…. it’s your online life, it’s who you are and what you do, and they have it for their own exploitation until the end of time.

“Targeted advertising” will become much more than what we think of it as now. They are just collecting all the data for free now, while they still can, and over the next couple of years will start to roll out the ‘customized content’ to sell us even more crap.

I’d rather have one point of concern/failure with my personal data, and do business with a company that derives revenue from everything else besides my private likes, dislikes and habits.

You can read google’s policies, apple, MS, whoever, and choose to opt in or opt out. You should also know that google doesn’t exist without targeted ad revenue. Apple exists just fine (fully profitable) as long as they keep you buying and subscribing to their stuff.

It’s simple to me — companies have a purpose which is to make money. They usually only have a couple of ways to make good money. Some promise free and find a way to profit beyond your control. Others just expect you to pay as you go, and with that they don’t have to hide the fact that they profit from your data, not your purchase.


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Trapping Ignorance

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I’m generally against tracking and monitoring of innocent people, and I support the 1st amendment (and the rest of the amendments, and the constitution) so I’ll probably argue with myself about this one, but….

It would be so easy to identify racism, sexism, and other hatred using comment posts. Half of the commenting systems aren’t even anonymous (Facebook, google+, etc.) so it’s just a simple database back to their social security number. The fake-name systems really aren’t anonymous unless the user uses extra tactics to make them so.

We could build some community policing system so that when Dave Smith from Lubbock, TX posts raw hatred that really crosses a line for you, you could downvote or flag the guy and offer a reason.  [Sorry to other Dave Smith browsers or robots that were brought here by a search engine, it’s a made up name]


 

I’m already arguing with myself here though —  I don’t want to give you all the power to give me trouble for my opinions. In My America, if you don’t like what I’m saying you basically have three options: you move on, and/or you form your debate in words, and/or you spend your money elsewhere.

So would it be worth it? If we could flag and rate people based on how much Hateraid they spit at the world, would it be accurate enough to improve our overall performance?

The end result would be some rating, like a credit rating on how much hatred you post.


 

This is the result of me thinking about Peeple, that horrible idea of a social network also made by optimists. They just want everyone to post nice things so you can better determine who to do business with, or dammit, even be friends with.  An online reputation manager that looks like Facebook. Multiple-vector attacks are forcing them to modify their system.


 

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Also – I doubt a machine can detect snark.  Can it sort through irony, examples, and mockery? This would need to be people-based, and then, who are these people? Why would I trust them? I get banned from sites that I should be honored at which proves it’s not easy to read a virtual room.

 

Taylor Swift verses Streaming

Recently Taylor Swift made news by pulling her latest album from Spotify and other streaming music services. Her statement calls these new services “a grand experiment” and said she doesn’t feel comfortable putting her music into that system as it’s currently set up.


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I agree with her. Taylor is smart to negotiate with her record being a hot commodity right now. I believe this comes down to royalty rates, not a full retreat from streaming pop music.

Before streaming/mp3 – Old Way– you heard a new song/artist either from a friend, browsing, or on the radio. If you decided you must hear it on-demand, you bought a copy for yourself. You’d pay $10-20 for a hard copy complete with artwork and case and take it home.

How did this system sustain for 50+ years?  Old Way

1 – Radio payed royalties for every track they played, based on their total listenership. The radio earned their money from advertisers based on listenership/ratings.
2 – The $10-20 you paid for the album/cd/cassette was split up amongst the various parties that got that music to you: about $5 to the store, $5 to the record label, $3 to the distributor/warehouse,  and maybe $1 made it back to the artist. This changed based on the deal the artist had, but no artist earned below $.25 per album sale.
3 – This gave us a functioning network of music stores, music distributors, music labels, and popular recording artists that could earn a decent living from their succesful recorded work.

The streaming system works very differently: New Way

1 – Radio is still around and paying royalties, but listenership has declined steadily for 20+ years, reducing ad rates and royalty payments.
2 – If you add Taylor Swift to your streaming favorites and can hear her songs whenever you want, Spotify pays royalties at the level of $.0005 per song streamed. Let’s use this to project some earnings. Taylor Swift now needs 100,000 streamed plays to earn the same as selling 1 single CD. New Way

Out of 10k fans, if half buy the new album that earns her $5000 Old Way. To earn that from streaming she would need 10 million plays from those 10k fans, or 1ooo plays per person (20 per week) all year.  5k fans that would have bought the CD would need to stream her song 40 times a week for a year to equal the same earnings from the CD years. New Way

3 – It’s not just Miss Swift’s bank account – think of how many other jobs are removed in this model — the music store (most are long gone), the music distributor (also going extinct), the music label (down to 2 majors left), the professional music studios (paid for by the labels), all the artwork and packaging, truck drivers, etc. and on top of that artists can no longer earn the same streaming hits to people. That’s a lot of jobs wiped out by online distribution of music.

I agree that streaming won’t go away any time soon, so the major artists will continue to negotiate over rates. I don’t buy any of the crying from the streaming companies about how expensive it is to license songs. You are launching an entire business on the art/content of others and you should have to pay a rate that allows your content creators to not just survive, but thrive.

I have legally streamed my music to at least hundreds of thousands of people and I have earned < $1 in all that time. It is not a sustainable model, convenient or not.

Snark Attack

Internet snark has become a major annoyance. I often long for the days when only nerds were on the internet. If you haven’t heard it before, snark is the term used for sarcastic, asshole responses in the comments at the bottom of every story and in every thread you are interested in following.

Snark, when done right, is a quick bit of ignorance or obviousness to lighten up the discussion. It’s the typed version of a quick dumb joke. It is often targeted at a poster who is ranting, repeating, or working with false assumptions. Good snark is the elephant in the room.

When the nerds had the internet all to themselves snark was often technical and sometimes obscure, and the effect was often endearing because it represented a frustrated nerd cracking wise. Nowadays with every member of the general public posting daily, their little Facebook faces crowding up the entire web, snark has become the standard language of the internet, and the way it is practiced these days is downright unfunny if not horrible in it’s completeness.

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Seemingly every discussion on the internet (okay about 75% in my experience) has someone posting garbage insults, opinions, and false information. It’s like the ignorance of mankind on full display. We are treated to people who can type but not spell, people who must not have made it through 6th grade grammar, people who’s hatred drives them to post horrible things under their own name, often times with a picture of them and their unfortunate offspring. Making fun of people’s appearance is something the nerds never bothered with, that was against the rules.

I shudder to think how much snark has affected people’s psyche. The early internet featured nerds having nerdy discussions, so snarky comments just added to your nerdy battles. People weren’t discussing nearly as much emotional content back then.

The fact that the modern internet includes insulting snarks in the comment section of stories about death, disease, and tragedies makes it a pretty horrible place. So much ignorance and insensitivity being posted to this amazing resource known collectively as the internet. Someone posts something nice, someone else posts that they have bad teeth and seeing their teeth was so horrible that it has altered their worldview. Original poster has to deal with that.

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Are you guilty? If you log into a single service (like facebook) and cruise around the web posting short, opinionated slams on people or the subject at hand, you are probably snarking. If your posts aren’t funny and could hurt people’s feelings you should know you are pooping in the hallway and you need to get some manners.

Stop insulting people online and move it offline. Have fun sitting at the bar telling people their flaws to their faces. The cute baby in your photo won’t help then.

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Modern American Racism

It’s the end of 2011 in America. Some say post-race. I say BS.

Some of us were raised to treat people based on the value of their character, while some use skin color and cultural differences to separate. Don’t believe me? Here’s some names used regularly to describe President Obama and first lady Michelle, pulled at random from the comments on any right-wing web site:  Continue reading