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Apple, Inc. and the Lack of Creativity at the Highest Levels of Our Government

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: A couple things here about Apple, Incorporated. One of them personal. Yesterday was a big day. I have been waiting and hoping (without knowing) for an upgrade to my chosen computer that they sell. It's called a Mac Pro. It is their fastest, most-powerful computer. I have two of them: One here, one at home. I used to have four of 'em, back when I had New York apartment and a New York studio. But I'm down to two of them. They have not been modernized in two years. The last refresh was June of 2010.

In those two years, massive improvements in data-transfer technology have been invented, created. One of them is called Thunderbolt. It's a data transfer protocol that is much faster than USB, much faster than FireWire. Every Apple computer in the last year has it. The top-of-the-line Apple computer never has had it. I have been waiting. There has been no word. In fact, there were rumors that Apple is going to discontinue my computer. It's not their biggest seller. It is their most expensive.

It's used by video professionals and graphics professionals who need a lot of processing power. I don't need all the power it has, but I want it. So, I had it. I have a lot of data. I have a lot of video files. I have a lot of audio files. And even though the Mac Pro comes with eight terabytes of built-in storage, I only have two of those terabytes actually available for storage because the other six I use for backup. I have two different backups. One is their Time Machine backup, and I've unified two of the four hard drives into one four-terabyte drive.

It has four two-terabyte drives in it. The other two-terabyte drive I use for the other backup. So I've got two terabytes, and it's on the verge of always being filled. So what I wanted to do was get an external RAID array, and I have them. I've had 'em in there for two years waiting. It's called Promise Pegasus. There any numbers you can get, but you can get 'em from anywhere from four terabytes up to 12 terabytes that connect via Thunderbolt, and they become external storage for whatever you want to use it for.

I was gonna use it for storing all of the audio and video because I'm always up to the edge on my two-terabyte hard drive. I know it sounds weird to have eight terabytes in the machine and use only two, but backup is crucial. Power failures where I live -- power surges, glitches -- happen. The data is too important. I'm backed up everywhere, as insurance. So there's a way around it. But there was no Thunderbolt, and I didn't want to connect via FireWire or USB because it takes ages to transfer data.

So I've been waiting ... and I've been waiting. And in these two years, word leaked out that maybe they were gonna discontinue the computer, but they never said anything. A bunch of Mac Pro users actually started a Facebook petition simply asking Apple just to tell them: "Are you gonna modernize it or you gonna get rid of it? Our business depends on it. To hell with your secrecy! It's not like you have any competitors here that you gotta keep this secret. Just tell us!"

And they wouldn't.

They had as many as, I think, 16,000 or 17,000 signatories to this Facebook petition. So yesterday was the Worldwide Developer Conference, and there were rumors leading up to it claiming that there would be a refresh. And everybody was singing "Hallelujah!" and "Hunkadora!" and everything. Then the Worldwide Developer Conference happens, and they don't say a thing about it. So we all go to the Apple Store after the keynote address is over and we find, "Whoa, looky here! They've upgraded! All right! They've upgraded the Mac Pro."

And I started look at the specs. And they're not even using the brand-new, latest-available chips that came out in March! The upgrade is insignificant. There is no Thunderbolt in their top-of-the-line machine. And I was ready to come here today and say, "Steve Jobs would have never permitted this. What in the world are they thinking?" Your top-of-the-line computer, if you're not gonna get rid of it, why not...? I mean, Thunderbolt's been out a year. Why can't you include it? Anyway, I was going through all this, and I'm fit to be tied 'cause I've been waiting to expand.

There are other options. I could go iMac. It's not as fast. It does have all the internal storage, but it would work fine. I could connect my external drive to it and solve my problem, but I've been waiting. So last night on an Apple blog I discover that David Pogue, who is the tech blogger and writer at the New York Times, posts a little piece that says an Apple executive told him that the Mac Pro and the iMac are both being redesigned and face major upgrades. But not until next year. I said, "Ah, well, here we are back to where I started two years ago: Waiting."

But Apple hasn't officially said this.

It's just some nameless exec talking to the New York Times, and we know how that can go. It's the New York Times. So now I don't know what to do. I'm sitting here with a two-year-old computer, which is unacceptable. The upgrade is not worth it. It doesn't make any sense to do it. (interruption) What I have now is 12-Core. The speed bump is not that big. It's not. Without the Thunderbolt, without USB 3.0, without some of the other little things that other Macs have. The MacBook Airs, these things that cost 900 bucks have Thunderbolt!

I don't understand it. I don't understand the marketing. I don't. I know they may be redesigning it. They've got their explanations, but they never tell anybody. So I'm sitting here not knowing what to do. And I don't want to wait a year! But here's something I know: If I go ahead and do something as a substitute (get another Mac), and they do upgrade it a year from now, I'm gonna sit there and say, "Why didn't I wait?" And I'll get it anyway and I'll find some homeless guy to give my system to. Like Snerdley.

(sigh)

Well, look, I could spend all day talking about this. The 15-inch Mac Pro, apparently it's to die for. It's just great. There's nothing like it. Apparently it's gonna wipe out all the other competition. That's fine. That computer's gonna cost close to four grand if you max it out. A 15-inch laptop is gonna cost four grand if you load the thing up. So I don't know how many of them they're actually gonna sell at the maxed-out configuration. So, anyway, I'm sitting here and I have no clue what to do.

And Apple will never tell you what they're gonna do with this, even though they don't have to guard this one with secrecy. There aren't any competitors at the Mac Pro line that they gotta keep secrets from, but still... So I'm sitting here frustrated as I can be. I really want Thunderbolt! (laughing) For those of you... I know you think I'm nuts, and they offer it on every computer. But they don't offer it on a computer that is wicked fast and can handle all that I put a computer through. The computer is my life. It's my primary form of communication.

So that's one thing. But then on the other side of it, there's a story at Business Insider. I want to relate to you aspects of it and try to bounce it off of Obama and Axelrod yesterday saying that we need more policemen and firefighters and teachers, and that's how we're gonna grow the economy. Because in this story from Business Insider, this guy, the writer... I don't know his name; his name didn't print. His piece here is about how Apple is actually trying to kill Google.

And remember Steve Jobs, before he passed away, said that Android is a stolen product and he would go thermonuclear war to destroy Google. At the time, Apple had $40 billion in the bank and he pledged to spend every penny of it to destroy Google. And this guy's theory at Business Insider is that with the announcements yesterday, it has begun. The effort to destroy Google, by Apple, is underway. Now, this is the essence of private sector competition and so forth. And I just want to share a little bit about this story with you.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Now, let me give you another analogy here, folks.  Here I am, El Rushbo of the EIB Network.  I have money that I am willing to put into play.  I want to put my money in play.  I don't care what Apple's gonna charge for this new computer; I just want it.  But I don't know if they're even going to make the thing.  As such I don't know that I'm gonna spend another penny with Apple until I do find out whether or not they're gonna do it, and they may not tell me.  I don't know.  I got money sitting around here.  It's on the sideline.  In a way, my little, quote, unquote, problem is a microcosm for what's going on throughout the American economy, as small business and other business sit around and wait until they find out what's gonna happen with taxes and health care and Obama and the presidential election. 

I don't think it's a stretch.  I'm sitting on money I am willing to spend, that I want to spend, but there's uncertainty out there.  I don't know if it's gonna make sense for me to spend it on something I'm really not crazy about getting instead of waiting for what might be coming.  I don't know.  In fact, I'm a little bit afraid to spend something on what I don't really want because what if they do make what I want available?  The same thing is happening throughout our economy.  Businesses large and small are sitting on growth.  They are standing by.  They are idle because they don't know whether Obama's gonna be reelected, and then they don't know what their taxes are gonna be.  They don't know what the punitive costs of hiring people are gonna be.  They don't know what their health care requirements are gonna be.  They don't know.  So they're sitting around, and they have no clue how to spend their money yet. 

And I, El Rushbo, am in the same situation.  I'm sitting on money.  I'm willing to spend it.  I have it.  I want to spend it.  But not on something that I don't want.  Now, this story, the title of the story:  "Apple Really Is Going To Try To Kill Google."  I want you to keep in mind, Obama and Axelrod are out there saying, "Jobs. We need to rebuild this economy, teachers, firefighters, and police officers."  Excerpt from this story: "Apple's Passbook," which is a feature that they announced yesterday for their mobile operating system. "Apple's Passbook has the potential to be a better version of Google Wallet. Apple and Google are in a battle to own the next generation of payments through mobile. Apple has 400 million iTunes accounts with credit cards. So, it has a good starting point to build something with payments. Passbook is a template for companies to build applications for users.

"The Passbook applications are like 'loyalty card' programs. It sounds silly, but Starbucks is already doing it. We can load up our Starbucks app with money to spend at Starbucks. Then when we buy a coffee, we just wave our phone at a Starbucks scanner," and it's deducted.  "Now, imagine if we didn't have to load up money. Imagine when the money just pulls from our iTunes account straight to Starbucks." This guy's speculating if Apple gets control of this, the mobile payments market, the phone becomes your wallet, they own it. They own the mobile payment for whatever you want.  A restaurant, whatever store, you wave your phone at their cash register, and your iTunes account is billed on one credit card and you get one bill for all this stuff and Apple gets commission. Apple owns it and that's one of the ways they're gonna try to put Google out of business, and this guy claims that the thing they announced yesterday, this feature called Passbook puts them way ahead of the game. 

There are no payments yet.  What this Passbook does is put all your boarding passes and your movie tickets in one place. When you have to show them electronically they're there.  But it's the template.  It is the beginning.  "Also, Apple showed that a Starbucks app could send us notifications about when we're near a Starbucks."  So you're walking around, you're driving around, you pass a Starbucks, your phone tells you, "By the way, if you want a coffee, there's Starbucks."  Starbucks would pay Apple for that notification.  And any other company would pay Apple for a notification.  If you're driving by anything, a Fry's, "By the way, you're driving by Fry's, we've got a deal here on this." You could be bombarded with notifications.  I mean you could filter the ones you don't want.  But the point is it has the potential to be a huge, big, disruptive opportunity, and Google is gonna get nothing from it.

I'm speaking too fast.  The point here is there's a reason Apple's the number one company. There's a reason their market cap is what it is.  This kind of innovation that's happening in just their mobile operating system, I don't think Obama and Axelrod have the slightest clue this kind of stuff goes on.  I don't think they have the slightest clue understanding it when it's explained to 'em.  I don't think they have the slightest clue of understanding the value of it, because they're stuck in a Marxist, Leninist paradigm, where employees are workers and nobody has careers; they have jobs.  And they don't really like their jobs.  All they want to do is position themselves so that the government treats them right and they get their benefits here and their benefits there. 

Meanwhile, real economic growth, innovation, Americanism, exceptionalism, is going on despite them.  You may not have any interest in any of this. It may not titillate you at all.  I don't have a Starbucks app. I don't buy Starbucks coffee.  It's not the point.  I'm still fascinated and intrigued by the whole concept here.  And I do know that Facebook is having problems with their mobile ads working.  Apple is gonna beat them, too.  They just partnered with Facebook, by the way, that was announced yesterday, too, and that's another assault on Google.  Basically Google, despite everything they do they make their money on searches.  Advertising on search pages.  And Apple just expanded Siri yesterday, and this guy's point is that Apple is gonna make the Internet irrelevant.  Internet searches are gonna be irrelevant, replaced by apps for everything you're interested in, you're no longer gonna have to search.  It's a long way off but it's the kind of forward thinking that is just fascinating to me. 

It blows my mind people have the ability to make this happen, to conceive it, and I can tell you that the people running our country are nowhere in that class and nowhere in that league, and they couldn't stop this if they wanted to. They may try to punish it and so forth, but the contrast here is mind-boggling.  The people we have running this country, the Democrat Party, we may as well be living back in the 1930s and driving Model A's and Model T's, that they want to replace with hundred-year-old electric car technology.  It just boggles the mind, the lack of caliber, the lack of creativity, ingenuity that we have at the top levels. 

Our commerce secretary ought to be all over this kind of stuff, promoting it, just like Bob Mosbacher was with HDTV back in the day when he was the commerce secretary for Bush 41.  Now our commerce secretary has a car accident and we learn for the first time we even have a commerce secretary.  'Cause what we've got is a series of czars, unappointed, unelected, and unknown running around gumming up the private sector works.  And Obama doesn't even have any curiosity about any of this stuff.  Hell, he's still using BlackBerry, and I don't know if you know, but it's not looking good there. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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