How many reporters do you know? I happen to know one or two writers for the NYT that make a pittance of a salary. Yes, they get reasonable expense accounts. Most journalists in this country would be lucky to have *that*.
And why do they get expense accounts? Why does anyone in any industry get an expense account? For one thing, it enables (in principle) the worker to perform their job better than they otherwise might. For a journalist, it's the opportunity to meet people over drinks and lunch, make connections, learn about things. You may consider this superfluous, but there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for journalism that realize it isn't.
Second, the accounts are a perk, yes. And why shouldn't they be? News and journalism works in free-markets like everything else. In every sector, you have people who do mediocre work, bad work, good work, and amazing work. Companies and markets strive to compensate them accordingly. So if you're a top tier journalist, who's to say a company shouldn't offer you an expense account to do your job? You can argue again that it's a waste, but you'd better toe the same line when it comes to every other business sector under the sun.
Journalists, editors, publishers, all are individuals who do potentially rough work (not in every case, but in some) that serves broader society in a way that is both practically relevant and creatively compelling. They deserve to be compensated, compensated well in some some cases, and not just by someone looking to make a buck off an ad placement on a blog.
I appreciate your comments and I'm sure you know a lot more about underlying security mechanisms than I do. That said, the proof is in the pudding - I've never seen a Mac hijacked by malware, and almost every PC I've seen at some point or another has been.
The market share argument is total bullocks. For a security expert you seem somewhat ignorant of the "not-a-zero-sum-game" principle, by which there is (throughout broader society) no demonstrated correlation between the preponderance (market share) of targets and the quantity of attempts to attack them. Hence, despite the fact that the wealthy only represent a small fraction of human society (I dunno, like 5%? Smaller than Apple's computer share, to be sure), they are still targeted *more* often by thieves than the huddled masses, etc: Why? Because even though there are far more average people (with or without in-home-security) to attack, the wealthy present a compelling opportunity. Why only try to steal from one when you could steal from both? You can apply this argument almost anything; go wild. Remember also that malware has been written and circulated for nuclear plant controller system software (I forget the details, but I think the total install base for this particular package is like 5 or 6 units - but still represented a "compelling opportunity" for someone).
Further, by virtue of the fact that Mac's aren't loaded with 3rd party security software, that their users don't expect malware, that there is NOTHING else in Mac malware space, and that the demographic of Mac users is financially "elite" - if I were a hacker, I can tell you which niche platform I'd have my eye on. It's pretty obvious. Not worth the effort? Really? Says you.
This is a good point, and also speaks to the fact that Apple is really quite unique in many ways.
Personally, I think Apple is currently valued properly. I think Jobs is remarkable, and I'll be very sorry to see him leave Apple (and here's hoping that it's on his own terms, years from now) because it will have a huge impact on the character of the company. As far as the stock goes, it will take a hit, probably not more than a few percentage points, but it will also be poised to resume rapid growth as long as the company continues to produce, certainly for the forseeable future.
I also think Apple's market opportunities in the next few years are literally unprecedented in business terms. There will be competition, but Apple products are undenyling uniquely compelling to a lot of people, it's very possible that in five years the majority of people on this earth could be carrying around iPhones in their pockets, all funneled by Apple's content offerings, locked into their content models. Many look at this cynically, personally I don't, but no company has achieved that kind of placement to date. They have an eco-system, and people go wild for it. Exxon is currently the largest publicly held company; I don't know what margins are on barrels of oil, but consider your relationship to your smart phone versus that to your local Mobil station. Sure, we use lots of oil, but it very people fall in love with the "magic" of a brown viscous sludge
Apple is huge already, and eventually they'll loose it - but it could be 5 years, 10, years, it could be 20. In tech companies have so far risen and fallen very quickly, but as the market matures, things will stabilize a bit, the landscape will change. If Apple is already almost as big as Exxon in 2011, consider the implications of having invested in Exxon (Standard Oil) company at the onset of the industrial age - and having held that stock through today. Apple is poised for massive growth.
If it is good marketing, so what of it? How is "we think" a manipulation of words? Do you not think that the design and development departments at Apple don't in fact agree with this statement - the collective "we" being Apple? How is this misrepresentative?
One way to say it is to say "assume consumers are stupid and like shiny things.". Equally true however, would be the observation that throughout human history, people have appreciated objects that reflect certain aesthetic principles (design), are thoughtful, and reflect a high degree of precision in their conception and execution. The world's great thinkers, artists, and engineers are not simply, in my opionin, stupid consumers who like shiny things.
Both Apple and Google use "open" when and where it suits them - and not a smidgen further.
They both harbor incredibly protected secrets and "closed" information loops.
The only difference is that Apple makes no bones about it. Google makes an ad campaign of waxing poetic about "open", despite the fact it is just as closed as Apple when it comes to *the products that actually make it money*. Techies and others lap it up.
You know, say what you will about Apple and control. We all know there is ONE company that controls the world's information flow, and it ain't Apple. Nor is it a democracy, or transparent, or accountable to..... anyone.
It's only my opinion, but Wu is incredibly naive -- and all you have to do is look at the words of Eric Schmidt to know that Google sees the web of the future as a closed, authenticated platform - hardly the opentopia described be Google's many devout.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein