Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch

I am a bit frustrated with Apple's policies, but this one looks like it's going to take the cake: Jobs is apparently working with Murdoch to come up with a new digital "newspaper" specifically and exclusively for the iPad.

It's not enough that, for instance, the iPad has very limited communications, such as restricted Bluetooth access, or that the iPhone was (outside of France, where the company's policy was ruled illegal) only sold along with a specific range of data packages from a single mobile provider – and the phone does not officially support tethering.

No, the deal with Murdoch is not just a nuisance, but potentially a threat to democracy. Fox, of course, is the network that practically called the 2000 residential election between Bush and Gore. At a time when the state of Florida was saying that the election was too close to call and that discarded ballots would have to be recounted, the network announced that "Florida goes to Bush," and the other networks then repeated Fox's claim. In effect, Gore was on the defensive from that point on.

A few years later, Fox played the drum roll in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. I wrote about the matter back in 2002 in German, but even if you don't read German you will enjoy the screenshot here, which shows how Fox was claiming that the death of Saddam Hussein would somehow boost stock prices.

If this deal comes about and Apple begins to promote Murdoch's minions, I'm going to reconsider future purchases of the company's products.


  1. I always say that Rupert Murdoch has created a vast empire built on hate, and I'm glad that his publications have little influence here in Germany. Even BILD, for its vileness, doesn't come close.

  2. I should admit that I bought an iPad last week and actually enjoy it a lot. But the artificially restricted functionality (no card slot, no tethering, restricted file management and generally restricted external access) is completely unnecessary. But I bought it because of a number of specific music apps, and I find that a number of other apps are also interesting.

    It is worth noting, however, that BILD does not let you log into Bild.de at all from the iPad. You are redirected to an ad for the Bild app. I find this equally untenable. Why should I not have the ability to surf the web on my iPad the same as I can from my laptop?

    I also took a look at Murdoch's Daily (without buying it), and it doesn't look interesting for me. I am inundated with news anyway.