Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Public appeal to Bill Gates: Save Windows!

I do remember when XP came out in the fall of 2001. It was magic. 

Finally PC software was entering the era of user-friendly software, I even thought that Microsoft CEO Bill Gates had been enlightened by the study of Leonardo's Codex Leicester, which is basically a pamphlet that centers its attention on the human being's possibilities. 

As a matter of fact with the coming of XP Microsoft overcame Apple with the most intuitive OS I' d ever seen before. I was happy, we were happy. With the coming of XP, users felt to be like kings, we were in absolute control over our PC machines, you run a command and there you are. You got what you were looking for.  

Everything started from the magic Start button:  programs, accessories, control panel, but the very magic was Customization. 

And that's exactly what Microsoft lost along the years: Customization. 

After the huge success of XP these genius developers started to think in narcissistic terms and like in the worst tradition of big mistakes along human history they relied on themselves and stopped thinking about the Windows final users. 

Recently I just bought a new PC and I have Windows 7 installed because I don't even want to think of having to deal with that nightmare of Win 8. The simple fact they removed the start button it makes you immediately realize of a Microsoft Developer's psychological eviration.  

Windows was the START button

By removing it, Microsoft developers evirated Microsoft not only of its masculine properties but of its own identity and consciousness. 

At each new version that was released after XP, Microsoft seemed like it wanted to destroy every good thing they have been developing with XP. Since then, they completely changed their attitude of willing to realize great software. 

Like in a pseudo-philosophical shift they stopped thinking to the final user, the Microsoft customer, and started thinking on how to destroy the lives of millions by making every single thing more complicated. 

Take Windows 7 for example, there is no "Show Desktop Icon". Why? Why they did remove such a crucial thing for any PC user? 

Let's take another example, the internal search engine. XP had the BEST search engine ever. It showed you three options that included the most common categories of files you might be looking for: Images & Movies, Documents and text or all  files. It was just magic. It was easy!

Here in Windows 7, you have a simple box over the start button, and it makes everything much more difficult because if you look for a movie you have to put the file extension, but file extensions among videos are of several types, they can be .avi, mpg, mpeg, .mov, wmv, so if you don't know the extension you must make 5 searches instead of one and obviously other than making everything more difficult you feel completely exhausted thereafter. 

Why? Why deteriorating a perfectly working system? 

Let's take the tray icons, which in Windows 7 you can't customize it. No matter what. You always have that arrow-up that hides all the tray icons and puts a further step between yourself and the notification icons. Why? 

Why I cannot have my tray icons that can be customized the way I like? The only option you have is to turn all the icons on or to select to have some of them but in that case they are being hidden again by that  arrow that for some reasons is hiding all my tray icons! Why you make an icon tray if you then hide it behind an arrow which I have to click on to see what's happening? Why putting further limits on your own functions? Why Microsoft Developers are putting new limits not only to the CUSTOMIZATION of my software but to those functions that perfectly worked before this? 

Why I am not free to customize the way I love my Windows functions? Can you explain me why please? Do you realize that every single action that prevents us, the Windows users from customizing our own PC is a limitation of our personal freedom other than making my time completely wasted because I have to try to solve by myself the problems you created with no apparent reason but to put me in trouble and most of the time with no solution to your mess? 

Let's talk of Office Word 2013. Did you see it? It's a nightmare. They changed EVERYTHING. They completely destroyed a software that was absolutely perfect. 1) They changed the menu names, completely. They spread all the icons around like if they threw them. If you click on file it even opens A NEW PAGE!!!! Hence when you click on the file menu a NEW PAGE POPS UP!!!! And you have to find the way to go back to your document and see where you left. Don't you realize this is completely crazy and idiotic? 

Why did you make such an idiotic mess? Why destroying a perfectly working Word format software?   

This is a personal appeal message to Mr. Bill Gates: Mr. Gates, could you please tell your retarded developers that when a software works there is no need to change it? Could you please take over the development of Windows 9 by personally supervise its development? 

Do you realize that PCs are the very basic tools for the evolution of our species? Don't you realize how important is this? Do you realize what kind of responsibilities you have? Please take action now!

I am using Windows 7 and I am going through a real hell to perform my daily tasks. I won't ever use Windows 8, that's for sure and I am seriously thinking of going back to XP even if by following this genius policy of Microsoft there won't be new updates for XP. 

Mr. Gates, I warmly invite you to think about this situation which I would define as desperate. What your developers need is a totally change of their mindset, of their attitude of their objectives in terms of software usability. We, the final users are those who use your software not you and your developers, whose minds showed to be absolutely corrupted as the products they put on the market in the past few years. 

E Pluribus Unum

Gianluca D'Agostino 

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Gianluca D'Agostino worked for CNN in Washington DC and for Associated Press in Rome and Tirana. 
Holds a Ph.d in Theory of Information and Communication and worked as Researcher at the Department of English at Stanford University / Visiting Scholar at Media & Communication Dpt of Fordham University and @ the Film Studies Program UC Berkeley
twitter: @giallucad

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why Apple Itunes restricts Property Rights and props up Slavery?

Today I want report the effective state of Hellish Slavery that any Itunes user has to go through while trying to handle his/her own personal music, (read Property)

To be honest with you, I never experienced a more nightmarish interaction with any electronic device than when I tried to simply transfer my mp3 collection (herein defined as "Personal Property") from my PC to my Iphone.

The main problem is that  ITUNES doesn't allow us, its customers, to use  our own property, represented by our personal collection of music. Itunes does not allow me to handle MY music the way i like but it tries with every possible mean to restrict my property rights.

For example if I want to use an mp3 from my personal collection (as I hope I still have the right to choose what to buy and from where) Apple tries to restrict my freedom and make my choice ineffective in every possible way. To manage your own music collection, Itunes requires an extremely complex procedure, including hiding files, hiding directories, forbidding drag & drop, requesting to rename files from m4r to m4a and many other devious tricky means,  that any poor guy, even someone who can be defined as PC literate, is literally forced to give up.

Because after hours of attempts you feel completely drained, especially when an alert pops up saying "Itunes can't find your song" or "the song you are looking for does not exist in the library". The Itunes system is a "control-freak software" and it goes against every possible free initiative taken by its user or any intuitive action like drag & drop for example which is absolutely forbidden.

Why is there no “Edit” function? Instead, you have to click “Get Info”, then click the “Info” tab. This might seem a little thing for you, or someone could say: "well this is a software product sold in a free market, go buy another one". Well the problem is that Itunes occupies a dominant position in the music software and if you want to transfer music files between apple devices you must use this control-freak software who takes over your freedom and runs the show for you.

This is a Monopoly regime that restricts our freedom, it might seem a little thing to you, but it's not.
This kind of control-attitude reminds me the horrors of totalitarian communist regimes of the past that forbid people from dealing with their own private property. Besides, the idiotic but complex bureaucratic-like approach that Itunes has, is the same that South American governments used back in the 50s to keep people away from exercising their rights. And when the game gets too hard, people usually tend to give up. 

Every time I connect my iPhone,  iTunes pops up and asks me to register all over again. Every single time! How many times do I have to register the same iPhone? And maybe I don’t want to use iTunes; maybe I want to use the more familiar Winamp or Windows Media Player. This is a major restriction of the user's freedom and her/his basic rights.

Why do we need to tell iTunes about every single MP3 we add to our music folders? Worse, why does iTunes try to reorganize the folder without asking? Why I have to undergo your rules when it's about of MY PROPERTY!!!! This is the worst sociopath attitude that a brand could possibly adopt in terms of customer engagement. Mr. Cook you have to remember that Freedom and the Bill of Rights is not suspended on the Internet. Internet users are people who are exercising their rights, so you have to surrender to the basic principle of Democracy as well stated by the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We, the people, who also happen to be YOUR customers we are FREE to decide on how to handle our PERSONAL PROPERTY the way we prefer. Do you understand the situation Mr. Cook? 

Mr. Cook I warmly invite yourself to stop trampling on my property rights, I want to use my property the way I like the best. I would like you to think about it.

After having been through the hell of Itunes, I searched On-line and I found dozens of forums in which desperate Itunes users were trying to understand how to escape the restrictions of the apple software.

For every single and simple operation you want to make on Itunes there is a tutorial of several pages created by some compassionate souls (not by apple) to solve your problem.

Check this out: this is a tutorial on how to make a simple operation like setting up any of your song as Iphone Ringtone. I followed the whole path of steps but I didn't succeed. And I consider myself a PC literate person, so I want you to think to the people with disabilities, to the elderly citizens and in general to all those people who are not apple software developers

                            2.710.000 people had a hard life dealing with ITUNES

What do you think of this situation Mr. Cook? Do you think this "policy" can be defined as inspired by Freedom? Why apple hates its customers so much? Why they restrict our freedom so badly? Why they trample on our basic rights like our Property rights?  

Mr. Cook you saw the numbers reported in the screenshots I reported within this article. Hence this is not a news article anymore, this is a Public Petition that aims at stopping your illegal conduct.

The apple attitude towards its customers is inspired by the worst form of Totalitarian Regime where Personal Property is not only restricted but forbidden and slavery is the rule. 

The Itunes system developed by apple computers on how to manage your personal property is against the very idea of Freedom which is instead acknowledged and promoted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other than by the U.S. Constitution.

I understand apple went through a lot of pressure by the music industry and you want to sell their records through Itunes store but that's not my problem Mr. Cook, and in no way it must not interfere with my freedom and my rights to access my property in any form. Hence what you have to do now is to go visit your marketing department and squeeze their minus habens brains to find a less restraining system. Have you ever heard of Customer Engagement? Itunes could be the most popular music software on the planet but in terms of Customer Experience is stuck in the Stone Age. 

You are certainly aware that under the Common Law people are not required to obtain a permit before they can use their property—no more than people today are required to obtain a permit before they can speak freely.

Property is the foundation of every right we have, including the right to be free. Every legal claim, after all, is a claim to something—either a defensive claim to keep what one is holding or an offensive claim to something someone else is holding.

John Locke, the philosophical father of the American Revolution and the inspiration for Thomas Jefferson when he drafted the Declaration of Independence, stated the issue simply: ‘‘Lives, Liberties, and Estates,
which I call by the general Name, Property.’’ And James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, echoed those thoughts when he wrote that ‘‘as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.’’

Abusing your dominant position to force people who are also YOUR customers, undergoing such a devious path only because you are strangled by debts or you desperately want to sell your friend's records is not simply immoral, but under the United States Law it's illegal!  

Restricting the freedom of people by limiting their access to their own personal Property is not only a crime under the U.S. law, but a modern example of the worst form of modern Slavery. And this is made by Apple Computers. Under the U.S. Federal and State Law only government officials can restrict access to a property and only under the specific cases provided by the Law. 

Under the general provision of Common Law you can't abuse of your dominant position to restrict my property rights. Besides, your to say the least "counter-intuitive and non-logic slavery system" is making YOUR customers losing hours of extremely valuable time to exit from the labyrinth cage you built for us. Hence, not only your communist system restricts the use of my property rights but it is causing an economic loss that can be quantified by the time I have lost to understand your idiotic Itunes rules without succeeding. 

This is unacceptable. This is Illegal. This is immoral. This must end now.

In comparison, the Microsoft antitrust case is nothing, because the devious path you built by making such a complex procedure to use MY PROPERTY s is not only illegal but it's against the very basic idea of Freedom upon which the Founding Fathers built America.

I am a PC literate and I while using ITUNES am unable to manage MY PROPERTY RIGHTS. 

Now I want you to think the sort of hell a disabled person or an elderly citizen would experience if they try to carry on such a supposed simple operation

                          UNPOPULAR: 16.400.000 results for ITUNES SUCKS

Let me tell you that people have now realized the hell they went through the use of Itunes was not because of their fault nor because of their lack of computer literacy but it was because of your systematic will of making their lives the hardest possible. Who cares if they are disabled people or elderly citizens or people who are not familiar with technology? We are apple. We are genius. 

You are everything but genius because your lack of empathy, your lack of consciousness and your lack of awareness, places your company at the lowest level in terms of real Evolution. 

You represent the Stone Age of Consciousness and because Consciousness is the most meaningful sign of Evolution, you still are at the stone age.

In the past few months I have been studying Microsoft products in terms of Customer Experience and how do people relate to Windows and I discovered some major problems in terms of access and easiness to use but after the Itunes experience I almost feel sorry for them as I was not aware there was such a thing as the Communist Slavery Regime of Itunes.

Hope you understand this attitude will lead apple nowhere but to confront itself with the public opinion as the worst example of abuse of dominant position other than complete lack of Consciousness. 

A situation that is much worse than the one that led Microsoft to be indicted by the DC Court of Appeal and the European Union .

Your policy and your attitude are simply shameful and I warmly invite you and your company to take some decision before your customers will be able to make themselves a more clear idea on how Itunes is restricting our Freedom.


Gianluca D'Agostino

Credits: I want to thank Roger Pilon and his excellent work "Cato Handbook for Policymakers" at the Cato Institute from which some reference on property rights have been taken.