Weekend bitchmeme: the three people Steve Jobs should fire (can someone else exploit these?)

It’s a weekend, and that means it’s time for a bitchmeme.

It’s not often that I call for someone to be fired, but, well, when it comes to Apple I have been giving that company more than its fair share of cash lately and there are some things that it’s done that totally piss me off. Here’s three. If I was Steve Jobs I would be ashamed and would make these three people pay:

Apple's worst design decision of past five years. New iMac and Cinema displays don't line up!

1. Whoever designed the new 27-inch iMac and the new 27-inch Cinema display should be fired. Why? They don’t line up! Is it too much to ask that two monitors from the same company should line up perfectly when placed on a desk? Keep in mind these are both brand new products, both purchased in the past week.

2. Whoever designed the new Airplay on iPads should be fired. Before we get into why, first let’s cover what Airplay does since so few of you use it. If you are using, say, the TED app on your iPad and you say to yourself “gee, I’d like to watch this video on my big screen” you can use Airplay to do exactly that (if you have an Apple TV). This is the coolest new feature introduced to my world this year. By far. So you think I’d be totally praising the person who did it, right? No way. This is Apple and if something isn’t done perfectly heads must roll. So, what’s wrong? Well, easy. If you use the TED app and push airplay it indeed starts playing on your big screen. One MAJOR F***ED UP PROBLEM: you can’t minimize the TED app. You can’t even watch a different video. This isn’t a problem with the TED app either, it’s a problem with Airplay (same thing is wrong with other apps that use Airplay like Squrrl or ShowYou).

3. Whoever decided that the new Final Cut Pro wouldn’t have multi-camera support should be fired. Listen, anyone who does pro videos uses multiple cameras. We do over at http://building43.com. Whoever decided that Final Cut Pro could ship without multiple camera support decided to ship an incomplete product (and my producer says it’s not the only feature missing from it). Why didn’t you just call this iMoviePlus or something instead of pissing all over the Final Cut Pro brand and users?

Anyway, it’s so rarely that Apple just does things badly, but there’s three cases where heads must roll. At least if Steve Jobs wants to send a message to the others left at Apple that they better not ship crap on his watch.

What do you say Steve?

UPDATE: I’m wondering if someone else can exploit these mistakes. Certainly Android could exploit the Airplay problem, if it had a clue. But the monitor problem? I wonder if HP or Dell had a clue about how to exploit these problems? As for Final Cut Pro, my producer, Rocky Barbanica, is already switching to other editing products. He’s partial to Adobe Premier so far, so maybe Adobe or Avid will get a ton of business because Apple just signaled to pros that it doesn’t care about them anymore.

UPDATE #2: writing this article has caused a LOT of pushback. Here’s some samples:

Neven Mrgan Tweeted: Hey @Scobleizer, that post about employees Apple should fire is idiotic, mean, and ignorant. Shame on you.
AgentKyle Tweeted: Wow. @scobleizer just posted the most asshole article I’ve seen in a long time.
Chronic tweeted: one person Rackspace should fire: @Scobleizer

I’ll keep updating with more updates.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble


  1. that’s some harsh words Robert yet many other resonate similar sentiments.. specially Final Cut. I’m sure Apple will release an update soon to fix these issues. Being a former Microsoft dude, don’t you feel way better living in the land of OSX though..?

      1. I don’t believe you use or know Final Cut Pro. As the most verbose, stream of conscience, diaherra of the mouth individual I know, it’s clear you don’t know how to edit, especially for clarity.

        1. I DO know FCP  VERY WELL – since ver 3 – This X is junk – You obviously don’t dive deep and use editing software VERY superficially  iMoviePLUS is for you then.

      2. Jumping ship, then bashing from the outside is nothing to hang your hat on…though you have.  I would have been more impressed had you stayed and tried to fix the issues you frequently post about.  While you have inside perspective that’s all you have.  Why wouldn’t you hold MS to a higher standard, provide unique perspective that is helpful to MS?  Possibly because you know nobody at MS cares what you have to say?  When was the last executive interview you’ve done at MS?  Why? 

      1. While I don’t think anyone should be fired, I agree it’s pretty lame that the displays don’t line up. That’s a detail that Apple should have caught.

        1. In fact, I cannot think of any reason that they should not be form factor identical. Shouldn’t Apple at least attempt to achieve common platform in their lean manufacturing strategy. Or are they a company dependent on silo organizations? Perhaps their 42% gross margins make them complacent? 

          1. Depends on how you measure. My Toyota gets twice the gas milage of your BMW, which I sold you, remember? If it was so great I wouldn’t have sold it. 😉

          2. I sold my 27″ Apple Display because of this issue. It was literally distracting for a person like me with OCD.

            I don’t think someone should be fired (you know, LOSE THEIR JOB, AND FINANCIAL SECURITY) but I do think that updates need to be made to fix this stuff.

            Robert, I like your content and such, but titles like this and the extreme tone indicate that you live in a bubble, and it’s shrinking, even in the circle of early adopters that you write about and for.

            Said with respect…

          3. Dude, if I wrote a headline that said “things I’m slightly miffed at Apple for” would such a large response have happened? No way.

            Amazing that you sold your monitor because of this, though! Did you see this solution: http://t.co/u41blmx

          4. Hey man, I read your stuff because you are a good interviewer, and I feel like you do thorough posts, I don’t need the sensationalist BS 😛 

            I care about your opinion on things, because you’ve earned it with your readers by being fair, and smart. Not cause you can right BS titles like FOX News or CNN 😛 

            Yeah, I did see that, but it really really bugs me, and I am very OCD. Like to the point that I eat broken chips first, then unbroken chips… ya, nutz. 😛

            Also, to be fair, I had an iMac and 2 27″ Apple displays… it got to the point where I couldn’t focus on my work. I am now on a 15″ Macbook pro and 10x more productive 😛

        1. It drives me insane. I run a trading platform on multiple monitors and the alignment just bugs the crap out of me. There are other issues, but at least the hardware is bullet proof. Three years running and no crashes. 

          Now, if the town of Danville can get more reliable network service.

        1. Heheh. Depends on how you set the aspirational goal. The BMW was more fun to drive than the Prius. The Prius gets better milage, though.

          1. Milage is overrated. My wife bought a Prius and the car didn’t come close to the stated MPG’s. She bought a MINI Cooper Convertible and garages the Prius. WTF, duh, I think I’ve been snookered.

          2. I drive like a madman in my Prius, and always go over a 2,000 foot mountain, too. I get 45mpg consistently, which is less than the stated, but the car is a lot nicer than a Mini in terms of space, etc. It’s also twice what my BMW got and more than twice what our minivan (a Toyota Sienna) gets.

      2. I do own a BMW and the seams are not perfect. Also, I don’t like it that my 5 series looks like a Toyota. Maybe Audi, though they are looking like Fords. Anyway, I am more into my older 60’s vehicles, my wife really like the newer things, yuck.

        Btw: why do your comments section get squeezed as the replies deepen?

        Btw, Btw: Nice blog, or article site. Not sure what it is, but it’s a nice read.

  2. If Rocky likes FCP so much, why not just wait for them to re-add multi-cam like they said they would? Did his copy of FCP7 magically expire when the new shiny came out? I didn’t think so.

    1. I do still use 7 – the addition of MultiCam is just the start if they ever do it – Workflow is amateurism. No EDL export – 10 years of backward compatibility GONE – Give me a break – This is an abomination

  3. I like the new Final Cut Pro, it feels like when Photoshop moved in CS or other software did similar moves everyone says how they hate it for 6 months and then complains about new updates. People just need to learn the new interface, many features were missing and are now added.

  4. I believe he means when you send AirPlay video to an AppleTV, you should be able to leave the app on the iPad but have it still send the video to the ATV.

    I could have sworn I’ve done that though…

  5. Open the TED app. Play a video. Now click the Airplay button and push it to your Apple TV. Now, what if you want to open a different video on your iPad. After all the first video is playing on your big screen, why shouldn’t you be able to poke around more on your iPad? Or, better yet, why shouldn’t you be able to open up the Twitter app and read tweets while watching the video on your big screen? You can’t. Of course I solved this by buying two iPads. Your milage may vary.

      1. I can use Air Video to stream porn from my iPad to my AppleTV, then read web pages in Safari on the iPad, so I’m not sure where you’re coming from. As far as playing a second video on the iPad, the hardware decompressor is designed to decompress one video at a time.

          1. Aa I noted, I use Air Video (download at the App Store) to stream flv’s from my iMac to my iPad and then to my bedroom TV. I always like to use the latest tech in the pursuit of porn.

          2. Aa I noted, I use Air Video (download at the App Store) to stream flv’s from my iMac to my iPad and then to my bedroom TV. I always like to use the latest tech in the pursuit of porn.

    1. I think this is an issue with the TED app and not Airplay….the TWiTpad app used to have the same issue, but they’ve updated the app to allow it to airplay in the background while you’re using other apps.

    1. Because they are not asking me as the user to ‘allow’ the access (e.g., SimplyZesty) such as when one signs up for klout for example. SimplyZesty is displaying my data in another domain outside of twitter and i did not give them ‘allow’ access (again e.g. #klout). Imagine what that can turn into w.r.t. abuse for the user…

      1. Oh, give me a break! Everyone knows when you use Twitter your data is public and usable by developers. If they don’t they should have their heads examined.

        1. Its b/c you’re not taking the time to think about the issue(s) for the user…which is fine. You’re worried about monitors not lining up…  Basically what you are saying is “stop the process of asking the user to ‘allow’ third parties like klout to gain access to one’s data”  and that now “it is okay to open the flood gates…” which is saying the user does not matter…if one allows the follow button…imagine what could be next…think about it. We do need your voice for the user.

          1. I personally like Klout’s model of showing everyone’s data. It IS user friendly. Especially for Twitter, where EVERYONE’S DATA IS PUBLIC!

          2. Yes, me too. Twitter is a domain within which i have given klout access to my account; further, it is in my fb too. But i had to allow it…in both places. Not SimplyZesty through Twitter’s ‘follow’ button functionality (which is more than a follow button; its a marquee also…).

          3. Since you’re so brave (here i am @TradingSmiles on twitter). You get lots of response from your usership, and i could use the exposure :) It’s nice to see that you’ll post some most controversial postings! It’s like you’re roaming the range huh mustang lol. Thanks for the replies Scoble. Hang in there.

          4. I’m not sure what the Twitter follow button has to do with Scoble’s Apple rant, but if someone doesn’t want their TT stream to get scarfed by a third-party, make your account private.  Problem solved—by the user.

  6. When my server went down at Rackspace because an engineer mis-applied a router software patch, should he have been fired? As a customer, I never would have asked for that.

    Mistakes happen and product decisions are complex in a big company like Apple.

    Your complaints are interesting but suggesting that people should be shit-canned is ridiculous.

    1. Well, that was a single mistake that anyone could make. These products were thoughtfully designed by teams of people. Not the same thing.

      1. Well, the RS engineering process shouldn’t have allowed it to happen – also many layers between testing and deployment… but you’re right – mistakes happen.

        Rackspace killed Slicehost and really put a lot of people out with that decision, maybe that’s a better example. I know many folks very upset about that too.
        My point is that saying someone should be fired (i.e. life potentially ruined) is ludicrous and if this isn’t just hyperbole, it’s pretty insane of a statement.

        1. Steve Jobs has fired people for far less. It’s why Apple is what it is today. I know one guy who was fired after he couldn’t answer this question very well “how are you going to make Apple great?”

          As for Slicehost I can’t comment much on that but the way it was decided on and communicated pissed off a lot of people, both inside and outside the company.

          One last thing for you to think about: sometimes getting fired isn’t the worst punishment possible and, yes, it’s a bit of hyperbole. That’s why I marked this as a “weekend bitchmeme.”

          Speaking of which, if I really wanted to fire these folks I’d take my business elsewhere and I haven’t yet. It’s the customer who really decides whether people get fired or not. No customers and no one has a job anyway.

          1. You really believe Apple does great work because the employees are scared of being fired by Steve?

            Apple does great work because they have many talented people who want to do great stuff, brought together by a very talented set of leaders.

            When you’re motivated by fear of being fired, you do just enough work to not get fired.

          2. The first thing Steve Jobs did when he came back was fired idiots who weren’t working to make Apple great. That BOTH instilled fear (and there IS fear at Apple!) and also got rid of people who made stupid decisions, which made making good decisions a LOT easier!

          3. So what happens to Apple in a year when Steve Jobs is dead? Not sure I would be buying their stock.

    1. FCP X is not ready for everyone’s workflow, but its definitely not a toy. I could not do the finishing on FCP X to my producer’s satisfaction, with FCP X, not only can I do it, but do it in a reasonable time compared to a Symphony.

  7. They have said (many times now) the missing FCPX-functions are coming and just keep using FCP 7.x alongside X until then. FCP7 is kept intact after installing. Personally I love FCPX. Stop listening the the mob on the net.

    Airplay. There is nothing in the protocols that says you cant have the app in the background. AppleTV/Airplay play any URL you hand over, even directly from the web (probably iCloud in the future), and in that case the data dont even pass through the app on the ipad. The app has just a control connection. So it is a problem in the app if it doesnt work (or a limitation in the iOS4 API:s).

    1. Why release an incomplete product to the market? That’s like BMW shipping a car without wheels. “Oh, sorry, we decided to ship the car now, but you’ll have to pick up your wheels in a month.” Very lame decision, personally.

  8. You have to remember this is the way Apple has always worked, take everything out and slowly add things back in. That’s how they sell products over and over and over, just look at the iPhone.

    iPad 3 will likely be out before Win 8 tablets will be out, yet have minimal functionalty compared to a Win8 tablet.

    1. You are absolutely wrong there. Windows 8 won’t have many good apps that are designed for the ground up for touch. That’s ALWAYS been the problem with the Windows tablet strategy. Look at Excel. It looks like, and works like crap on Windows 8.

      1. Worded that a bit wrong, more so meant the ability to extend it further, more APIs, more ways to develop for it, more form factors, etc. Apps will take a while to mature but they will come and they will be better than iPad apps.

        Tablets are more for consumption versus production, if I can read and make a few minor edits in excel on a tablet it’d satisfy 99% of people’s needs.

        I don’t really see it being MS fault that apps are not touch designed, it’s app developers problem. An ipad has icons, so does my desktop both are very touchable, it’s up to app developers to make their apps touchable. This is exactly how it will work when iOS apps are in Lion, Lion itself isn’t any more touch friendly than Windows (less so probably even), so why will it work there? Because app developers designed for touch. Once Win. developers design for touch it will take off no problem.

  9. Why not buy the cheapest iMac27 and use it as secondary monitor. They support that. See, that wasnt so hard to solve was it :-)

  10. The monitor and iMac not lining up is unfortunate. I mount my monitors so its not an issue. But that’s definitely not ONE person who made that call. That’s two different teams not getting coordinated. 

    AirPlay isn’t even a year old. It’s a product no one else is even close to providing. To appreciate Apple’s ability to execute is one thing. Especially over iterations of a product over time. To expect perfection from Apple is something else, and mostly unreasonable, and unrealistic… no one’s PERFECT. At least wait till AirPlay is a year old before calling for someone’s head.

    I’d say the same thing about FinalCutProX. It’s essentially a new product; yes it uses the same name and is a video editing app. But its a complete rewrite. It doesn’t install of FCP7. Was your editor happy with FCP7 and actually switching to Avid/Adobe because s/he’s not happy with FCPX? Stay with 7. Give it time. And You. You should at least formulate your own opinions of products YOU ACTUALLY USE. Why are you complaining about a product you don’t use?


    1. Yeah, I’m solving the monitor problem by using Ergotron arms and mounting the cinema displays vertically, it’s just that it’s pretty lame for two teams not to communicate about these things, especially for a company that cares so deeply about design, like Apple does.

      I do use Final Cut Pro. I actually like it because for me it’s an upgrade to iMovie (which is what I use), but that’s not who Final Cut Pro is marketed toward.

      1. Louis Vuitton have people who ensure their products within a range integrate perfectly. ie. A LV messenger bag will always fit on the rails of LV luggage, a LV shoe shine kit will always fit snugly in LV luggage, the LV diary fits perfectly into pockets, etc. It’s a pity Apple’s 27″ iMac display and cinema display don’t line up. Not quite a fireable offence though :) But it is annoying: when I pay a premium, I expect perfection.

  11. ” I cannot think of any reason that they should not be form factor identical.”
    Well. One is a monitor. Another is a computer AND a monitor. I guess Apple could make the cinema display bigger. I doubt the iMac can get much smaller. However Apple rarely makes things bigger; certainly not for cosmetic reasons. Most importantly there’s a real design reason why they don’t look the same: They’re NOT the same. A unique product should look like a unique product, and that’s what Apple wants to make. iPod Touches don’t look like iPhones. 

    1. That is the lamest justification I’ve ever heard. Sounds like the kinds of excuses that lead to horrible design decisions all the time, including this one.

  12. Hah! Still has an optical drive, though. Come to think of it the old Steve Jobs would have gotten rid of that and said “upgrade it over wifi.”

  13. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. Now that FCPX is in the Mac App Store, its hard to argue that its purely marketed towards professionals. 

    You don’t hear many people celebrating the huge price cut that FCPX just got. $1000+ to $300. Why? Because professional editors are often working for a shop that’s buys it for them. They don’t care either way. The $300 price tag is for people who haven’t used it before and will and will love FCPX.

  14. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. Now that FCPX is in the Mac App Store, its hard to argue that its purely marketed towards professionals. 

    You don’t hear many people celebrating the huge price cut that FCPX just got. $1000+ to $300. Why? Because professional editors are often working for a shop that’s buys it for them. They don’t care either way. The $300 price tag is for people who haven’t used it before and will and will love FCPX.

  15. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. Now that FCPX is in the Mac App Store, its hard to argue that its purely marketed towards professionals. 

    You don’t hear many people celebrating the huge price cut that FCPX just got. $1000+ to $300. Why? Because professional editors are often working for a shop that’s buys it for them. They don’t care either way. The $300 price tag is for people who haven’t used it before and will and will love FCPX.

  16. I don’t know if that’s true anymore. Now that FCPX is in the Mac App Store, its hard to argue that its purely marketed towards professionals. 

    You don’t hear many people celebrating the huge price cut that FCPX just got. $1000+ to $300. Why? Because professional editors are often working for a shop that’s buys it for them. They don’t care either way. The $300 price tag is for people who haven’t used it before and will and will love FCPX.

  17. I think you misunderstand design. And certainly misunderstand Apple’s design aesthetic. I’m not arguing that the displays shouldn’t line up. I’m arguing that the two products shouldn’t have the same form factor. THEY SHOULDN’T. Not according to Apple’s design aesthetic; which you clearly generally love because you’re so passionate about it in your post.

    Name two different apple products (different as in one is a computer and another is a display) that look the exact same? 

  18. Interesting how many people are running to defend Apple when you have some legitimate points about the display lineup and multi-cam.

  19. To line up the monitors, just use your C# or 2600 book like you used to. They’re on your bottom shelf now.

  20. While I can’t get on board with wholesale firing of those involved with these issues (I’m not Steve Jobs and either is Robert), but I do think it says something about Apple that this is even being discussed. You would assume and in many cases accept this from other hardware designers. Some things just don’t go out to market with all things considered and perfected. We actually do expect more from Apple, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these very issues are addressed in the future (although no comfort to Robert here).

  21. Maybe the Apple design team are less well integrated now that they’ve gotten so big and there is less communication between them. Have the screens always been different or is that a new thing?

  22. As if these are the first poorly engineered products from Apple, pff… it appears that some people are finally coming down off the kool-aid… keep your head down…plenty off trippers still running around the forest… lol

  23. The Final Cut Pro issue seems pretty legit: a professional tool missing a key feature. I’d switch to another brand pretty quickly.

    Isn’t the AirPlay issue more related to iOS’ lack of real multitasking? You are streaming video to the Apple TV. Normally, iOS doesn’t think of video as something that’s supposed to be in the background.

    I can’t help but thinking that your first complaint is a little extreme. Apple may try to be perfectionist, but they do miss some details sometimes.

    1. Funny, http://plizy.com/ solved this problem by making its own Airplay protocol (that uses the cloud). Why can a small developer solve the problem and Apple can’t?

    2. Funny, http://plizy.com/ solved this problem by making its own Airplay protocol (that uses the cloud). Why can a small developer solve the problem and Apple can’t?

      1. You are right that Apple should correct it, but Plizy wasn’t built by a “small developer”. It was founded by Jonathan Benassaya who is the co-founder of Deezer. One of the biggest music streaming platforms in Europe. And Plizy has multiple offices in the US… 

  24. I can appreciate you passion and I agree (for what that’s worth) about your critique, but firing people might be a bit harsh. In a large organization like Apple sometimes one persons preference just isn’t considered as important as the team’s preference. I don’t know the reasons, but I would think Apple will have something to say about your comments. Maybe an explanation by Apple would be enlightening. 

    1. I seriously doubt that anyone from Apple would comment on this. Unless I emailed Steve Jobs and even then it’s only a 1/1000th chance he’d answer me, if that.

  25. I don’t think Steve will fire anyone over these obvious missteps.  Hey, he didn’t fire Gray Powell.  Remember him.  The Apple engineer who left the prototype iPhone at a bar.  However as you alluded to something ought to be done.  There is nothing worse than bad product design/execution, especially if you are Apple. I also don’t think you should be fired Robert, not that your job was in jeopardy anyways.  I say blog on!!

    1. Gray Powell made a bad, but understandable mistake that actually added to the hype for the iPhone 4. Whoever was responsible for Final Cut Pro X may have just destroyed Apple’s position in the professional video editing market. Huge difference.

      1. Steve could very well fire those responsible, but I don’t think he will.  If they are listening, they will put in a fix ASAP.  If not, they were warned, and then people should probably be fired.

        1. Randy Ubilos is the Chief Video Architect & is in charge of everything video (Final Cut & iMovie) at Apple.  He’s been at Apple for at least a decade and is one of the leading video software guys in the industry.  

          I highly doubt he’s being fired or going anywhere.  If that were true he would’ve been let go after the iMovie 08 rewrite & backlash that occurred. This guy is wicked smart.  Give it time.  If there’s anyone who knows what they’re doing it’s him.

          1. Even God isn’t perfect. After all, she or he designed California with its beautiful mountains and Yosemite and all that and then designed Nevada. I highly doubt anyone is gonna get fired at Apple because of what some blogger wrote either. That said, he did mess up pretty badly with the pros. Should have spent some time thinking about branding.

  26. Totally understand Scoble’s gripes! It would piss me off if I paid premium and didn’t get what I want!! He’s been an Apple fanatic all along, give him a break!
    btw my MBPs’ lid and body don’t line up when closed (never did)!!! Add the MBP Unibody manufacturers to the firing list ;-)…

  27. Hope its a pun on Steve Job’s past firing people to ask for 3 more firing Robert.

    The article picks up steam only at the point where you say how competition can exploit it, why not expand on it further that would be more interesting read.

    1. Apple made a BIG deal about the new iMac supporting TWO external 27-inch monitors. That’s why I bought it. What’s worse is I already had a 24-inch monitor, but that one flickers. Yet another thing I’m arguing with Apple about, but that one I’m trying to get replaced since it’s defective.

  28. @scobleizer. I have always respected you immensely. In sum total, I think the negative comments are saying that your “fame has gone to your head.” 

  29. I’m with you on Final Cut. What’s more, they made it a silo! In this day and age of increasing collaboration, Apple made a tool that doesn’t allow you to collaborate in one of the most collaborative art forms. Meh!

  30. Mr. Scoble…

    I hope you weren’t offended by the tweet I fired off. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you – I have read absolutely beautiful, brilliant thoughts on your blog, in your Twitter feed, and in other services. Consequently, I hold you to a higher standard.

    This may surprise you, but I applaud your three reviews.Apple made three crappy decisions here and you are astute for picking them out. To steal words from @tjmanotoc:disqus, you called ‘a spade a spade’. My issue is that you called on the people responsible for these decisions to be fired.

    What happens if they actually get fired? Will engineers/UX types/business people/PR types start to fear for their jobs? Will they start giving the big scoops to the journalists who call the steaming piles of crap ‘gourmet cuisine’? Will mid tier journalists start losing sources if they get a reputation for calling a spade a spade?

  31. Interesting points here. To set background, I am not an Apple fan
    although I love my iPad.
    On the screen height issue. I know that I would find this immensely
    annoying. 2 screens should line up. Not everyone is as anal about stuff like
    that, but I agree. If my mouse moves from one screen to the next, I’d like it
    to move in a straight line.

    More to the point though is why the monitors and Macs are not height
    adjustable. In the modern workplace ergonomics and correct seating position in
    front of monitors all day is a big HR consideration. It’s like Apple said you
    can use our products, although only at the height we want you to 😉 I’d sack
    the team that decided not to make them height adjustable so that they could
    look beautiful instead.

    I have not played with AirPlay much, but agree that playing on the TV
    and using the iPad for something else would be very handy.

    There have been lot of comments in the thread about the appropriateness
    of the demand to fire people. Maybe a little insensitive (if I was an AirPlay
    engineer sitting at home with a bottle of red reading this on a Friday night
    I’d be a bit worried) but that’s not the point. On blogs like this it is a
    great place where companies can see how people use their products, what annoys
    their valuable customers, and gain some insight into what needs to go into the
    next version. For too long we have been told by large companies what we need.
    Discussions like this allow us to tell companies what we want.

    Yes the headline is a little sensationalist, but no one at Apple is
    going to fire some anyone over it. But maybe reading through the comments someone
    at Apple will think “Hey. How’s my consumer going to feel when I make that next
    design over function decision?”

  32. Perfectly reasonable article. The screens not lining up is a take your product back to the store and get a refund. 

    There is too much focus on airplay with ipad. My macbook 11 air is much better device than ipad and i want  to be able to push my screen to a tv

  33. the reasons for airplay not being able to play another video while it is pushing the content to another device are pretty simple. First,who would really want to do that? Not many people..  Second, pushing the video stream to another device is not a “free” operation. It takes significant i/o and packet processing to relay that data, and there may even be some transcoding going on. Pushing one stream while decoding another is probably too much to ask of the A4 or A5 SOC. It also violates the iOS policy on what “background” apps should be doing. 

  34. I saw the tweets before I read the article. I thought the article was going to be way worse. After the read, the tweets seem really funny… but then again, you bashed their religion so I guess I get it.

  35. Whoever designed last year’s refresh of the MacBook should be fired.

    * The front edge, where the palm rests, is sharp, cutting into the palm.

    * The two USB ports are too close together, so that a wide connector can’t plug in next to a regular size one. (Easy solution: have one USB port on either side of the computer.)

    * The rubberized bottom easily gets gouged and dirty. (Apple provided free replacements recently, but the new ones have the same problem.)

    I laugh when Apple designer Jonathan Ive does his feel-good videos about “handling materials in order to get to know them intimately.” Clearly, he’s never handled a MacBook.

    1. +1 

      The sharp edges are a pain to use for any length of time. And iMacs have them too. I literally cut myself on the edge of my late 2009 iMac when I was unpacking it.

      Sometimes I really don’t think Ives or Jobs use their products.

  36. I don’t actually have anything to say, I just wanted to see if the reply could go into an even smaller column…

  37. The new Google TV update to Honeycomb is going to make Apple TV look like a silly aluminum box – is that enough of an “exploit”?

  38. Dell has a fix for your monitor problem, adjustable height monitors.  Every Dell monitor I have bought in last 7 years is adjustable height.  It is great for businesses or homes for that matter that have people of varying heights so that the monitor can be placed appropriately.  I guess in Apple’s world every desk, chair, human is exact same height?

  39. I 100% agree with you. How can you possibly work for Apple and not be able to keep your work up to par with the reputation of the company?  Especially for such programs that are so important and widely used like Final Cut pro.  My name is Amy and I’m a “PC”, but people are “Macs” for a damn good reason.  Borderline perfection.

  40. Fascinating Robert. The most criticized companies are generally the best ones.

    We enjoy their excellence and we EXPECT them to ship our expectations. The fact that we’re having this conversation about Apple and not some other company proves how awesome Apple is. Criticizing a bad company is a waste of time. Ironic, is it not?

      1. With that logic you would say that Microsoft must be one of the BEST companies in the IT space…possibly THE BEST based on this logic.  I think MS is a good company…has it’s challenges, as all do.  I think the logic is failed.  People take sides, always have favorites and will criticize their favorite’s competitors.  So bias or someone’s own personal agenda regarding their criticism of any company doesn’t indicate the quality of that company.

  41. Well, you don’t fire people for not thinking of every possible use, scenario or set up. You’d really have us believe that tossing out talent because of simple mistakes is cause for job termination? If so, shall I recommend that your company’s clients begin reviewing your work?

    1. Steve Jobs fired people when he came back for EXACTLY not making great products (which is how he setup Apple to be so successful today). These are NOT great products. And, I’ll never apologize for asking for products to be perfect. That said, if I’m not doing the best job of learning about new technologies of anyone in the marketplace, I expect to get fired too. I work in an at-will state, where my boss can fire me for combing my hair the wrong way. That said, Time magazine named me one of the most influential twitterers out there, and Financial Times named me one of the top five most influential twitterers, I’m the most followed on Quora, I’m one of the top independent tech bloggers, etc etc so I must not be doing too much wrong. If you can make a case for me being fired, go ahead and make it. My boss is always listening at http://twitter.com/kr8tr and I’ll be happy to give you his email and phone number too.

      1. Wow…how full of yourself are you?   How is tweeting 160 character blurbs about already posted news considered influential? Influential to who? Who is being influenced by a tweet?   

      1. At 29.57, I think Steve summed it up very nicely on his philosophy of making great products. The part I actually liked was in the beginning of the video where he talks about the fact Apple should not have spent so much time trying to “be different” in the 90’s rather they should have focused on being the best in the market.  

  42. Don’t know if it’s been mentioned (comments tl;dr) but your gripe with the TED app is an app problem, not an Airplay one. AirVideo (http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/) plays video over Airplay and can be run in the background so you can do other things. Perhaps the authors of those apps don’t want you to background their apps. 

  43. As and editor myself who cuts 50/50 Avid and FCP, if you’re switching I’d suggest Avid Media Composer. They have a very good multicam edit system that’s similar to nature to fcp (better in my opinion). I’ve cut multicam TV shows and music videos on both and I prefer Avid.

    That said… I know you shoot a lot of stuff on the 5D and h264 which Premiere actually handles very well because of the importing. However, you’re not going to get great multicam performance out of that — not the least because decoding multiple h264 streams is pretty heavy work. Premiere is currently the best for DSLR footage though because Adobe worked with Canon to figure out the best way to decode the Canon shot footage.

    On Avid, it’s better all rounder though, and what most people use in movies and TV shows I know. The interface can sometimes look a little scarier to beginners because originally the interface was more keyboard driven (originally only built for professional environments with expensive hardware). Now it’s software, and they’ve redesigned it a bit, there’s really not much difference in the interface from FCP, when you get used to it. It is very fast and easy once you’re used to the change – and doesn’t take up as much memory or processing power.I don’t know if you’ve seen but FCPX has been a massive disaster among professional editors… Even Conan O’Brien made a parody video about how bad it is.

  44. So far, I still haven’t heard from #disqus within twitter where i msg’d them… They seem to be very active there, but still no msg. Although this guy msg’d me with what i think is a bad solution – he said that “one could limit the sub msg depth or no.of sub msgs within a post.” It gets to be not such a good idea when one gets as many comments as this blog has gotten…

  45. I made a mistake in my last reply. After looking closer, @ckj from @disqus did reply to my tweet for help on the bunching up of posts herein their product…

  46. I’m hoping that Steve Jobs will think about the ‘User’ more (which i’m sure he will) than Twitter and Facebook have (i.e., e.g., with their attempted reach beyond their respective domains – you know, buttons…’Follow,’ ‘Share,’ ‘Link,’ … ). I’d say something like “Steve, we as users want to be more involved in the relationships initial formings; as domains come together to form larger, loosely coupled cohesive entities (domains) interacting.” … Twitter and Facebook are going into IOS, right…

  47. How’s the saying go? Something like… “one can slow cook a frog if he puts the frog in cooler water to begin with, but if the water is hot to begin with, the frog will immediately jump out.”

    Me: “…and Steve, we’re being slow cooked right now (by fb and twitter), but I’m counting on you to do things correct and not slow or fast cook us, okay :) Thanks Steve.”

  48. People disagree with the comments based on the harsh sentence. I think most will agree that Apple made mistakes here and should fix it. Fixing three people won’t fix it. In the end checks and balances in the structure of the company should have prevented Apple from making the mistake

  49. Instead of wanting them to get fired, why not just buy another product? oh, that’s right, because you are a mindless sheep who insists on iProducts as status symbols. Lammmmmmmmmme.

  50. Instead of wanting them to get fired, why not just buy another product? oh, that’s right, because you are a mindless sheep who insists on iProducts as status symbols. Lammmmmmmmmme.

  51. Pardon me if this has already be mentioned.

    Another person to be added to the list.  The dummy who determined that when transferring a backup from one iPhone to another that iTunes would refuse if the recipient phone had an older version of iOS than the donor.  I just switched from ATT iPhone 4.3.x to Verizon 4.2.x and it was a MAJOR pain instead of the easy flip I had expected.  Granted there may be some items or settings that can’t be moved but 95% of it should have been no problem. Hey Apple! I’m buying a second iPhone from you.  Don’t make it hard to spend my money.  I will be holding off on my wife’s switch from ATT to Verizon until this is fixed or Verizon versions catch up to ATT.

  52. As other commenters say, the TED app is at fault here. I use Airplay quite frequently and can multitask with video on the TV and other media on the iPad. What bothers me about that is that it stays on AirPlay for the next video. Watching a movie on AirPlay, pause it and leave the roon, load another video and now you just re-queued the TV to play something else. But, is that better than hitting the button every time?
    And the monitors- I agree completely. It’s the ABSENCE of design “flaws” like this that we pay top dollar to Apple for their products.
    Keep speaking your mind. People are listening 😉

  53. The iMac monitor thing is criminal. Even a mm would drive me mad. I’m getting more and more fed up with Apple stuff. I’m thinking of trading my MBP in for a Win 7 laptop. Already ditched the iPhone for an Android handset and haven’t looked back.

    I do miss the games on iphone though.

  54. Very strange move with Final Cut Pro. An editor I talked to a few weeks ago (I live in LA) said the same things, it’s just not usable for professional editing anymore in favor of ameteurs and hobbyists. Not sure the strategy other than they must feel pro tools aren’t as profitable between price & feature introduction. I’m not a Mac user, just an iPad user, but I would look at other Pro rated tools on Mac and see if this is a signal.