Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hustling the cloud: McDonald's hot spots and the internet jackals of the Apple Store | Capital New York:

This was the future a lot of dystopian sci-fi authors warned us about, where a private, profit-hungry corporation could make itself feel like Mom's house. I loved it. For the ridiculous amount of money Apple had raked in during its stellar iPod/iPhone decade, it was willing to let a few stragglers abuse their sample products, maintaining an aura of Californian liberality. All that was missing was a counter for dispensing sandals near the entrance, bowling alley-style.

On these weird late nights, actual Apple customers sat on bar stools near the Genius Bar, waiting like worried pet owners for their sick machines to come out from the back, fully restored. We, the internet jackals, never mingled with those credit card-wielding V.I.P.'s, but I figured any sensible abuser felt just as grateful toward the Apple true believers as I did. It was their insatiable lust for each new iThis or iThat which provided for us all. Both Steve Jobs and the booty-shake dude would be out in the cold without them.

In this one store, Jobs had given us a shimmering, utopian welfare state, where even those of us who would have had to sell blood to keep up with the iJoneses at least got to sample the glory.