Technology

Apple Not Kissing the Ring With Adequate Passion

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Shame on someone, anyway

Politico has a story up about Washington lawmakers increasingly irritated at Apple for not volunteering to testify at various things on Capitol Hill. Excerpt:

Sen. John Rockefeller and others in Congress wonder whether the company has more than technological innovations to hide.

When Apple didn't participate in an April hearing on children's online privacy, the West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, gave voice to his suspicions.

"When people don't show up when we ask them to … all it does is increases our interest in what they're doing and why they didn't show up," Rockefeller said of Apple and Google, which both declined to testify. "It was a stupid mistake for them not to show up, and I say shame on them."

Not very subtle, that.

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  1. While I don’t think much of Apple, good for them. I’d tell Congress to piss off, too.

    1. And you wonder why congress is out throttling kids on sidewalks…

    2. I was just going to say, damn. I may have to reevaluate my knee-jerk “FUCK APPLE” reaction to all conversations centered on… er… Apple.

      1. The mac mini did that for me. “Hold on….$500 and it’s the same as what you’d get in a $1000 custom-built PC? And it’s soooooo tiny!”

        Once Cap’N’Theft goes full swing, and i can’t afford the 500W load of my monster PC anymore….I’ll actually have to consider buying a Mac. Such a thought would’ve caused my brain to explode a mere 5 years ago.

        1. At least you’ll be able to play Valve games and Civ.

  2. If only more companies followed that example instead of bending over and biting the pillow.

    1. Since when do they get a pillow, ??

      1. Cooperative witnesses get to choose one from Barney Frank’s Designer Collection.

        1. A gay joke on Reason. Imagine that. (still made me snicker)

          1. Since when are gays somehow immune from being the butt of a joke?

            Oh, that’s right, you’re not allowed to make jokes about anyone if there’s the remotest possibility that their feelings might be hurt.

            Once upon a time, you weren’t doing it right UNLESS you hurt the feelings of SOMEONE SOMEWHERE (preferably if they’re a humorless douche.)

            1. butt…you wrote butt…snicker, snicker

            2. @wylie “Oh, that’s right, you’re not allowed to make jokes about anyone if there’s the remotest possibility that their feelings might be hurt.”

              Straw man. No one is saying that jokes about gays are wrong because someone’s “feelings might be hurt.” They’re wrong because their humor relies on prejudice, and not in way that brings such prejudice into question.

              Most congressional members seem to be spared jokes about their sexual lives unless they’re hiring hookers or cheating. The problem is obvious if you substitute race in these sorts of jokes.

    2. When GM and Wall street had to eat the pillow they did get better then average hooker pay.

    3. If only more companies followed that example instead of bending over and biting the pillow.

      For some reason I dont think that is a very smart or profitable strategy.

      1. For most companies, sure. But most companies don’t have a cult following. I’m pretty sure if Congress tried anything, Steve Jobs could just declare jihad and that would be it for Uncle Sam. I’m not sure whether or not that would be a good thing.

        1. Yeah, the cure could be worse than the disease. A country run by MacCult? I attended a meeting the other day in which I, the oldest person in the room, was the only one who brought a pen and paper. 10 minutes into the training, the instructor stopped and said, “Why is only one person here taking notes?” The girl to my left meekly countered, “But I have my iPhone. I don’t need paper!” She produced her wonder gadget and proceeded to input tiny notes with the tiny keys on a simulated tiny yellow pad of paper, but gave up after a minute. It was sad. Her app had failed her.

          1. her brain had failed her

  3. Proof that these so-called voluntary hearings are anything but.

  4. WAAAAAAAH WHY DIDN’T ANY COOL KIDS COME TO MY HEARING????

    1. Um, I’m still, you know, in the neighborhood…

      1. I mean, if anybody needs me…
        Hey, have you seen my oil centrifuge?!

  5. When Apple didn’t participate in an April hearing on children’s online privacy, the West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, gave voice to his suspicions.

    Maybe they just didn’t feel like participating in the crafting of fucked up legislation and answering irrelevant questions from a bunch of doddering old fools.

    1. ^HTML fail^

      Fortunately, y’all* are smart enough to figure it out.

      * Max excepted.

      1. **Excepting Tony on your behalf

    2. Maybe they just didn’t feel like participating in the crafting of fucked up legislation and answering irrelevant questions from a bunch of doddering old fools.

      But that would be foolish. By participating they would most likely be able to exert control over legislation and makes sure it doesn’t hurt their bottom line.

      Sounds to me like Apple and Google are doing their shareholders a disservice.

      1. IOW, become part of the corporatist whore system that you have loudly denounced of late?

        How does that work again?

        1. IOW, become part of the corporatist whore system that you have loudly denounced of late?

          I’m not saying I agree with it.

          I’m just saying that objectively speaking it would make more sense for them to play nice with congress rather than to treat them like an adversary.

          Look at the Bank CEOs. They know how the game is played. Go up there, let the asshats speecify (in the form of a question, naturally) and feign reverence for the speechifier and fear of the consequences. Then get your lobbyists in a room with the congressional aides and make sure that nothing in their legislation can hurt your bottom line.

          1. I’m just saying that objectively speaking it would make more sense for them to play nice with congress rather than to treat them like an adversary.

            Or, it’s possible that they posses enough business sense to know that in the long term, they’ll be able to do MORE business by not buying into a protection scheme.

            The very idea that you can Make more money by involving the gov’t should already be soundly dismissed here. Steal more, sure. Make? No. Not with all the added rules.

        2. You eventually turn into GE.

      2. I’m not sure their responsibility to shareholders extends to being required to behave unethically. And, ethics are somewhat subjective. It’s at least a defensible position.

      3. Once you start answering Congress’ little corporate booty calls then you’re hooked. Buying legislative favors only works when you’re dealing with politicians ethical enough to stay bought and smart enough to know they can’t run your business. The current bunch in charge are more likely to attempt to “volunteer” your company’s assets for national service and have Eric Holder sit in on your board meetings.

        No, Apple and Google are a lot smarter than you give them credit for.

  6. “So I had four fingers up in there – like this – and even had some wiggle room.”

  7. What’s this? A corporation that DOESN’T need a bailout and is loved worldwide? A company that benefits its customers with amazing products?

    Something nefarious must be going on…

    1. You may not have been paying attention as Apple, throughout its history, lobbied state and federal representatives to create tax breaks for provision of educational technology to school districts at substantial discount, or for grant programs that would purchase that kind of technology on the taxpayer’s dime; or, as they put the full-court press on school districts to do exclusive deals.

      Now I admit, this isn’t the same kind of thing as seeking bailouts. But if you think Apple didn’t spend an awful lot of time and resources doing it what it could to game the political/bureaucratic system in its own favor, or at the expense of its competitors, you are fooling yourself. I’m not just speaking out of my hat. I watched this kind of thing happen from close-up. Hey, it was the wild west era of silicon valley, and all was fair in love, war, and business. But to deny that the “white knight” never had — still DOESN’T have — a dark, pirate side, is to be naive.

      1. Annnnnndddddd THATS why schools started installing cheaper Dells/HPs/Compaqs around 1998…right after the Apple Educational Computing phase that gave us such lousy products as the Preforma Series of “Multimedia Machines”.

  8. “When people don’t show up when we ask them to … all it does is increases our interest in what they’re doing and why they didn’t show up,” Rockefeller said of Apple and Google

    EVERY LAST ONE OF THESE FUCKERS HAS GOT TO GO.

  9. Paid government employees like Rockefeller always seem dumdfounded when people don’t want to show up and be the only unpaid participants in some timewaster.

    1. It truly is amazing. Don’t they like free publicity?

    2. Awesome, I’m an Apple hater, and now my respect for them just went up.

      Apple and Google said ‘fuck you, we’re working’ to a national business meeting. Fuck congress and their stupid little teambuilding exercise.

      1. ‘fuck you, we’re working’

        SOMEBODY has to actually make all that money the Critters want to tax-away.

  10. Aren’t veiled threats from power-hungry scumbags great? Gives me great faith in them.

    1. When I saw “LIFE” on the photo I assumed it was his entence.

      1. The photographer chopped the “SENATOR FOR” part.

  11. Next month’s headline:

    Ex-Rockefeller Staffer To Head Up Apple Gov’t Affairs Dept

  12. I can’t feel bad for Apple on this. Back in the 90s, Apple was more than happy to sic the federal dogs on Microsoft for competitive advantage and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  13. When people don’t show up when we ask them to … all it does is increases our interest in what they’re doing and why they didn’t show up,

    I’m sure it was better in the original German.

    1. Had you made this comment on an Arizona thread you’d be piled on for days?

    2. Whenever I read that sentence, I keep seeing Umlauts and bad-ass heavy metal fonts.

  14. Google and Apple are not going broke in this recession…

    Congress of course needs to go after them.

  15. If not worth a Congressional subpoena, it’s probably not that important (it might also not be important even if a subpoena is issued, obviously!).

    1. I would expect Apple and Google’s General Counsel to advise them not to testify, sans subpoena. Why take the risk?

  16. “Animal Farm, Animal Farm,
    Never through me shalt thou come to harm!”

    1. It’s “farging”, you bastage.

  17. I wish I could claim to be at least slightly taken aback by this.

    I believe we have here the explanation for the success of “Candidate X” in South Carolina: Greene was merely a proxy for putting “Anybody but that fucker we have now!” on the ballot.

    1. Greene was merely a proxy for putting “Anybody but that fucker we have now!” on the ballot.

      Eh, nobody had heard of the other guy, either, and it’s not like Rawl was an incumbent.

  18. I’m an engineer. My parents are lawyers. So I just tell my parents that everything I’m doing at work is classified, so I don’t have to spend 20 minutes explaining complicated things to have them go “oh, well that’s nice.”

    It really saves me a lot of trouble, and Apple’s doing the same thing. Why waste time and effort trying to explain technical issues to a committee of old farts with law degrees(no offense, but in general lawyers have very little useful knowledge) who refer to the internet as a “series of tubes.”

    1. no offense, but in general lawyers have very little useful knowledge

      Offense taken.

      1. Yeah but engineers specialize in doing that. The offend gene shares a chromosome with the engineer gene.

        1. Hey! I resemble that remark!

      2. “In General” – I forgot how many lawyers were around…

        Our government is run by lawyers and trying to explain anything involving math or science to someone who majored in political science for undergrad and then went to law school is, in many cases, a fool’s errand.

        Imagine explaining TCP/IP to Congress…

        Patent lawyers are pretty cool…

        Lawyers have their uses, but trying to explain anything STEM related is hopeless.

        1. Not to mention, the lawyers who read this blog are going to be capable and intelligent, and probably have a lot of knowledge outside their field – which isn’t the case for the general attorney population.

          1. or any population for that matter.

            1. Too late man, you’ve cratered.

            2. [Opens book bound in human skin.

              Dips raven feather quill pen in blood.

              Makes note re: JEP.

              Closes book. Kicks dog. Adjusts monocle.]

              1. Sorry RC Dean. I already have first dibs on JEP.

              2. Thank you – I just LOL’d

            3. Yeah you would have been better off just calling RC a dumb ass.

        2. While I appreciate your (rarely-observed) desire not to insult the lawyers here, relax… We’re surrounded by other lawyers every day; we know exactly what you mean.

          1. Words will be the death of me…

            1. This is why you do math.

          2. I thought JEP was just responding to that comment of RC’s where he literally said “offense taken.”

            Inability to perceive sarcasm on the internet? Check.

            I think it’s time for me to pack it in for the day.

        3. Our government is run by lawyers and trying to explain anything involving math or science to someone who majored in political science for undergrad and then went to law school is, in many cases, a fool’s errand.

          Uh, yeah. That’s a pretty fair point, actually.

        4. Lawyers have their uses,

          You mean like target practice? 😉

          1. They need to be isolated and studied so that it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.

        5. Imagine explaining TCP/IP to Congress…

          I’d be happy if we could convince them that parts of the world wide web are out of their jurisdiction.

    2. No offense taken, and I’m a lawyer. We know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about very little.

    3. Why waste time and effort trying to explain technical issues to a committee of old farts with law degrees(no offense, but in general lawyers have very little useful knowledge) who refer to the internet as a “series of tubes.”

      So that they understand the reason that they need to hire you as a 500K a year technical adviser to the committee regulating your field.

      1. You fail to appreciate the direction in which money must flow with regard to such Congress-critters.

  19. “When people don’t show up when we ask them to … all it does is increases our interest in what they’re doing and why they didn’t show up,” Rockefeller said of Apple and Google, which both declined to testify. “It was a stupid mistake for them not to show up, and I say shame on them.”

    So he’s threatening them for exercising their First and Fifth Amendment rights?

    1. So he’s threatening them for exercising their First and Fifth Amendment rights?

      In fairness, if someone exercising their 5th amendment rights, than that kind of implies there is something to investigate, no ?

      I don’t think Apple or Google are exercising their 5th Amendment rights….they are simply declining an invitation

      1. In fairness, if someone exercising their 5th amendment rights, than that kind of implies there is something to investigate, no ?

        Damn, I thought it was supposed to be conservatives that dropped that line – not liberals that get all mushy over the 4th, 5th and 6th?

      2. It only implies there are things they don’t want to talk about in public and on the record in front of a Congressional committee. Given that these are businesses in highly competitive markets, that’d be pretty much everything they haven’t already decided to make public. “What they’re doing” is none of Rockefeller’s beeswax.

  20. Apple should take a page from Kearney and tell Congress to go kiss the virtual ass.

  21. When women reject me, I always reply:

    “When you didn’t show up when I asked them to … all it does is increases my interest in what you’re doing and why you didn’t show up.”

    Can Apple get a restraining order on Congress?

    1. The more you ignore me, the closer I get. You’re wasting your time…

      1. Beware, I bear more grudges
        Than lonely high court judges

  22. Nice little company you got there… sure would be a shame if something legislative happened to it…

    1. +1

  23. Which shit scum “dynasty” is worse, the Kennedys or the Rockerfellers?

    1. Yes.

    2. Has anyone ever felt the need to assassinate a Rockerfeller?

      1. Perhaps not, but they also don’t run for President – they just stay in Congress. Also, consider the NY Rockerfeller drug laws.

  24. Rockefeller’s comment makes me thing of the mobster telling a store owner during a shakedown that he’d just hate for anything bad to happen to the store, like a fire or something.

  25. I have a question for the attorneys here.

    If you’re subpoena’d to testify before the Congress, and they want you to swear to tell the truth, what if you just tell them up front you won’t promise to do that?

    In other words, if instead of having a religious objection to the oath, you had a truthfulness objection, how would they treat that?

    The oath is an affirmative statement that you’ll testify honestly. What if you just said, “I am a known liar and can’t promise to be truthful, so taking the oath would itself be a deceptive act”? What happens then?

    1. but if I were, the first thing I’d say is:” Sorry Mr. Fluffy I’m not interested in representing you.”

      1. The first thing I would say is:

        “Mr. Fluffy, our terms are retainers paid in advance. Offshore, if you please.”

    2. Contempt of Congress. I think that can entail fines and/or jail.

      1. I thought Contempt of Congress was the ideal natural condition of all patriotic citizens…? Is that the American version of “original sin,” then?

        1. That’s Contempt for Congress.

      2. Contempt of Congress. I think that can entail fines and/or jail

        They don’t have enough cells for all of us.

      3. So, if 100% of the electorate has contempt for Congress, does that justify taxes and martial law for 100% of the electorate?

      4. Contempt of Congress. I think that can entail fines and/or jail.

        Contempt of Congress is not as scary as it sounds

      5. In that case, I really don’t understand the concept of the oath as a voluntary affirmation. What does it signify, if it’s not a positive affirmation? Why can’t they just start questioning you without the pretense that you’re swearing?

    3. Not a lawyer, but I’ve often wondered this about taking the oath to ‘tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’. Moreso in a court than in a congressional hearing, one can be stopped by the judge from telling ‘the whole truth’ if he rules something you know to be inadmissable in court.

      How can I swear to do something if I believe it’s likely that the judge will stop me? Can I request a change in the oath to reflect this problem?

      Can I give this oath: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth except for anything the Court rules inadmissable, and nothing but the truth”

    4. You can’t be compelled to take an oath.

      -jcr

  26. Al Gore would have understood all this Apple/Google stuff.

    1. He invented the iMac, didn’t he?

  27. I have no use for Apple’s closed system philosophy, but I express that by NOT BUYING APPLE PRODUCTS. What good does it do anyone to have the feds trying to get into Apple’s business?

    1. You had a question?

    2. It drains the largest corporate cash pile in the world. That money gets spent on lawyers instead of the new shiny widget that destroys your company’s widget market-share starting in October and running thru Christmas.

  28. You can bet that SENATOR Carly Fiorina is looking pretty good to Jobs right about now.

  29. For the record, senator Rockefeller should get a real job. He’s not worthy of his ancestors.

    -jcr

  30. Hey Rockefeller, you shit-eating cock-gobbler, I wouldn’t show up if you called me either.

    Fuck off and die.

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