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A Movie… Predicting Technology?

It’s Monday… is it time to refuel?

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I know… I am being crazy. I didn’t want to seem mean with that picture. I really can relate! In the past, I can remember “rewarding” myself with cake. (and maybe cheesecake too) And how can you be angry at cake?

Now… on to some smart stuff:

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OK, some real smart stuff.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is turning 50 years-old next month. (Wikipedia) It was the highest grossing movie of 1968. In 1991, it was described as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

But how did the writer/director (Kubrick) and writer (Arthur C. Clarke) see into the future of technology and predict the iPad and flat screen televisions?

In the movie, there are flat screened tablet computers. Of course, this was long before there was any talk of flat-screened televisions. It did not make the final cut of the movie, but the original plan was to even include a touch screen. Here is a shot from the movie:

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These “tablet computers” were called “Newspads“. They looked portable in the movie, even though they were welded into the tables for special effect purposes.

So how did they do it? Kubrick and Clarke met with an MIT cognitive scientist, who was also an artificial intelligence pioneer. The artificial intelligence computer in the movie is named “HAL” which stood for “Heuristic Algorithmic”. That meeting, coupled with their own thoughts is part of the history of how they did it.

The Wikipedia attachment does more justice to the production and legacy of the movie. In fact, I was going to compare some of this technology to Facebook. Then, I read about how this movie was included in a recent lawsuit. (Wall Street Journal article that requires subscription, so not attached)

It is probably not surprising that the lawsuit involves Apple. The first iPad was released in 2010. Samsung released a sim­i­lar de­vice about a year later. Then, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung’s defense to the lawsuit alleged that Apple did not invent the iPad. The proof was that the device was already in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Right in the pleadings! You did not invent what was shown in 1968.

Sam­sung’s movie defense included photos attached to their answer, as well as YouTube links from the film.  The judge ul­ti­mately ruled that the photos and links were in­ad­mis­si­ble as ev­i­dence. But, this just added to the mystique of the movie and Kubrick’s vision of the future of technology.

I have always been fascinated with Steve Job’s determination about that lawsuit:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” —Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson, March 2010.

Here is more information on what happened in the lawsuit. (here) How about that?

And for pic o’ day, I searched for a “smart picture and we ended up with… more smart pups:

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Johnny Cab… It’s Electric

I was watching CNBC as they began to discuss rumors that Apple was working on introducing cars to the market. The host of the show was interviewing an analyst about the possible news. A picture flashed on the screen of CEO Tim Cook, as he appeared to be climbing out of a car.

The analyst went on to say that maybe Apple would introduce an electric car to the market in a matter of weeks. He indicated that maybe Apple had been secretly getting it ready to compete with Tesla and their electric cars. Then, he mentioned that the cars might be even “driverless”.

A few days later, Apple announced that they expected to start delivering electric cars in 2019. (Wall Street Journal) They did add that these cars will require a driver, but should be compatible with its other products.

Right now, there are cars that can assist you in parallel parking. When I heard that analyst on Apple, I wondered what personal injury would be like with a bunch of cars on the road… without drivers.

I remember an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall, where you could jump into a waiting taxi called Johnny Cab. IMG_0309

In the movie, the writers summed up a car “without a driver”.

 

  • Johnny cab: Hello I’m Johnny cab, where can I take you tonight?
    Doug Quaid: Drive, drive!
    Johnny cab: Would you please repeat the destination?
    Doug Quaid: Anywhere, just go, GO!
    Johnny cab: Im not familiar with that address, would you please repeat the destination?

So, I guess I should also wonder if Johnny Cab has insurance. Yes… the future is in the future! Does that sound like Yogi Berra?

And for pic o’ day, here is some happiness:

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An Apple to Court

Apple has announced that it will start delivering its Apple watch on April 24.

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I know that Apple wants us to get all excitedIMG_1467

but my initial reaction was to simply ignore it. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to watches. I consider a watch as part of the outfit.

The watch’s sellling points include the ability to send messages, update such sites as Facebook, interact with the searching information Siri, and operate all the apps that become available. Plus, you can use it to exercise and it somewhat allows us to avoid carrying the phone in the purse or pocket.

Ok, I will stop sounding like I’m selling this watch for Apple  because I still am not sure if I will ever buy one. However, it does take me back a bit to what used to be allowed in the Courtroom.

There was a crossover time of technology. For the longest time you could not bring your cell phone to court. Some courts still have that sign. Then, phones became more than just phones. Lawyers carried their calendars on them. When the Judge would try to schedule a trial, most of us would have to say that we didn’t know if we had those dates available… because we could not bring our phone to the courtroom.

Moving forward, iPads became the item of planning choice including the ability to load trial presentations and depositions instead of bring huge boxes of files. Of course, the iPad is still in use and I skipped several technology steps including the introductory Blackberry that got us all started with emails. It became irritating to watch lawyers who couldn’t help themselves and just continually checked their emails.

The point of all this is that I wonder if that device on the wrist will be replacing all that. Will a judge be leaning over to ask someone to stop viewing their Facebook or pinning on Pinterist?

Life is changing and so is technology in the court! Calendars and quick legal research might be just a click away… on the wrist.

And for pic o’ day, just asking for friendliness between rock, paper and scissors!!!!

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A Working Blog

I felt like I spent all weekend downloading the new Apple update. Every device would remind me that I had downloaded on another device. The update took so long to download that I felt like answering each device with… no kidding. Yes… I know that the iCloud is on the other device. Just my quick Apple rant!

I titled this  A Working Blog because it includes  “work stuff” variety. Here are two pictures from our TV production last week. First is from the spot that we shot for a UNOS TV spot. It has Lisa Shaffner, public relations director for UNOS, and me. We are doing a commercial to advertise the upcoming UNOS event supporting Donation and Transplantation. As soon as the spot is ready, it will be on the website.

UNOS AD

And then a shot while I was filming one of our 15 second Joel Bieber Firm TV spots. I am always fascinated with the green screen and how barren that a TV production studio feels and looks. After the magic of production, they can put any background in there they want, and it makes it look like I am standing in front of a bunch of books or an office overlooking some grand window. The finished product always makes me smile. Maybe someday they will even make it look like I have hair!!!!!

JB AD

And since we have been hiring additional paralegals, assistants and lawyers, I thought this was firm timely. Here is a funny interpretation of the interview process:

Job interview

I hope it’s a great Monday! As I say at the conclusion of each of our attorney meetings… Carpe Diem!

Breaking Bad Lawsuit

Apple is being asked, “Can you expect to get what you pay for?”.   The case of Lazebnik v. Apple was filed last week in the Northern District of California with the claim that Apple “affirmatively misrepresented” that a season pass of the hit show Breaking Bad, should entitle purchasers to all 16 episodes. (The Recorder)

According to the lawsuit, customers paid a one-time charge of 21.99 to watch the show in high definition.  Now, Apple is facing a lawsuit over what they are defining as season 5 of the show.  When lead plaintiff Dr. Noam Lazebnik purchased the season pass, he soon learned that his episodes ended at 8 instead of 16.

The show took a programming break between episodes 8 and 9 to build some momentum for the ending. Then, several months later, the AMC channel came back with the final 8 episodes that are airing now.  Apple through its iTunes is treating the final 8 episodes as a 6th season. So, because they have classified it that way, they are requiring purchasers to buy the “6th season”.

The plaintiff’s attorney described why they are filing suit, “When a consumer buys a ticket to a football game, he does not have to leave at halftime.” The complaint goes on to say, “When a consumer buys an opera ticket, he does not get kicked out at intermission. When a consumer buys a ‘Season Pass’ to a full season of a television show on iTunes, that consumer should get access to the whole season.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Hmm.

For our DID YOU KNOW, let’s travel back to early flight days. In 1930, the heaviest that a female flight attendant could weigh was 115 pounds. They also had to be unmarried nurses.

And for pic o’ day we also “travel” to signs that say it:

time travel

 

 

 

The Apple Contract Story

This is a story of a missed opportunity. Get ready, you will shake your head at what this contract really means.

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On April 1, 1976, Apple Computer was founded. (Motley Fool) It really was no amazing feat because all that really meant was that three friends met in a bedroom. That is a little different than the story of folklore that it all started in a garage.

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, formed Apple. Jobs had given Wayne a 10% interest in the company. Jobs had decided that he needed Ronald Wayne to help serve as a tie breaker over conflicts between Jobs and Wozniak. They apparently were notorious in their arguments.

Wayne got nervous when they all had to go into debt to fulfull an order for computers that were being sold to a company called the Byte Shop. All three were going to be jointly responsible for the business loan.

Wayne had just come out of a difficult financial situation, so he got nervous over being possibly personally responsible for the  business loan. In his mind, he was thinking that it would cause him to go bankrupt. So, he renounced his ownership of the 10%, for a one-time payment of $800.

When Apple went public, its market value at that time was 1.6 billion. Easy math tells us that Wayne’s share would have been 160 million right then. Of course, it would have gone into the billions if he had not sold his shares.

Now, here’s the kicker. That picture that started this blog is the contract for the $800 sale. At the end of 2011, that original contract sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $1.35 million. Unfortunately, Wayne did not even own that. The contract was worth more than his share of his Apple ownership stock.

Today, Wayne lives off Social Security and receives some income from his hobby of stamp and coin collecting. Ironically, he has never owned an Apple product.

He came to a fork in the road back then… and he took it.  Choices.

I knew that this story would just make you shake your head. Well, I’m not sure it will make you put on your Superhero costume,  but… yes, shake your head.

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And for our DID YOU KNOW from the computer world.   Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was a college drop out.

And for pic o’ day, I call this some advice on barking: (the most interesting dog in the world?)

advice

Best of Bieber- Round 2

 

The Rich and Their Rules

Steve Jobs was famous for wearing black turtleneck shirts, New Balance sneakers and blue jeans. As a business man, he looked the part of a rule breaker.

In his biography, Jobs claimed that he ended up wearing the black turtlenecks, because his employees complained loudly when he announced that he wanted to have a “wholly original” uniform, and it was going to be a nylon jacket. When that didn’t go over well… the turtleneck “uniform” was the choice of attire.

If you read his biography, you’ll learn that his outward appearance was an indication of his life. During his lifetime, if you ventured on to the Apple parking lot, it reportedly was not unusual to see his Mercedes parked in a handicapped parking spot.

His Mercedes SL55 AMG was photographed may times over the years. In each picture, there is never a license plate. Do you think that he wanted to maintain his privacy; which caused him to quickly run up and take off the license plate  before each photo?

You know that’s not the answer because you continue to accumulate amazing information by reading the Joel Bieber blog! You have the combined intelligence of the CIA coupled with cat-like instincts.  You search farther and refuse to take No for a Yes. You don’t even have to stay at Holiday Inn Express. (snagged an old advertising campaign there)

There was never a license plate in the pictures because Jobs was a rule breaker. But, he wasn’t a law breaker. In fact, he learned about an unusual loophole in California law. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix a license plate to the back of their new car.

Jobs worked out a deal with a local leasing company. He would always get a new Mercedes during the sixth month of the lease. So, at no time did any of his cars fit outside the time requirement of affixing a license plate to the back of the car. It wasn’t the intent of the law but it was the letter of the law. And, it made the leasing company happy. Plus, someone out there kept buying 6 month old cars, after Jobs was turning them in.

Pic o’ day, “What are you missing?”

The Rich and their Rules

Steve Jobs was famous for wearing black turtleneck shirts, New Balance sneakers and blue jeans. As a business man, he looked the part of a rule breaker.

In his biography, Jobs claimed that he ended up wearing the black turtlenecks, because his employees complained loudly when he announced that he wanted to have a “wholly original” uniform, and it was going to be a nylon jacket. When that didn’t go over well… the turtleneck “uniform” was the choice of attire.

     If you read his biography, you’ll learn that his outward appearance was an indication of his life. During his lifetime, if you ventured on to the Apple parking lot, it reportedly was not unusual to see his Mercedes parked in a handicapped parking spot.

His Mercedes SL55 AMG was photographed may times over the years. In each picture, there is never a license plate. Do you think that he wanted to maintain his privacy; which caused him to quickly run up and take off the license plate  before each photo?

You know that’s not the answer because you continue to accumulate amazing information by reading the Joel Bieber blog! You have the combined intelligence of the CIA coupled with cat-like instincts.  You search farther and refuse to take No for a Yes. You don’t even have to stay at Holiday Inn Express. (snagged an old advertising campaign there)

There was never a license plate in the pictures because Jobs was a rule breaker. But, he wasn’t a law breaker. In fact, he learned about an unusual loophole in California law. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix a license plate to the back of their new car.

Jobs worked out a deal with a local leasing company. He would always get a new Mercedes during the sixth month of the lease. So, at no time did any of his cars fit outside the time requirement of affixing a license plate to the back of the car. It wasn’t the intent of the law but it was the letter of the law. And, it made the leasing company happy. Plus, someone out there kept buying 6 month old cars, after Jobs was turning them in.

And for St Paddy’s Day, we turn pic o’ day focus to a strange Leprechaun:

 

Apple Agreement Falls From Tall Tree

     Suppose I said that I’ve been all the way to the end. I’ve traveled all the way to the end of the Internet and guess what I saw? A man was sitting there with a Trump-like comb over. He was wearing nothing but pointy Llama skin boots and a t-shirt that said “Ice Cream for breakfast”,

     If you listened closely you could hear it. He was playing a Ukulele and was singing “Insane in the membrane; Insane in the brain”. Yep, at the very end of the Internet. 

     Now,  before you click away because you think you are experiencing a psychedelic drug, or that I must be blogging from the dessert while taking a cactus supplement; let me tell you where we are headed.

     I thought I would warn you of all the boxes and checks that we now agree to, when we purchase and download on the Internet. CNN pointed out that Apple makes you click “OK” to a 56 page document, when you want to download something from iTunes. As one comedian said at the White House correspondents dinner when speaking about Congress, “I think you guys vote on bills in the same way that the rest of us agree to updated terms and conditions on iTunes”. Basically, passing legislation they never read.

     It’s the state of affairs. We don’t want to wait to read the whole agreement and companies know that. In Pharmacuetical litigation, Drug companies regularly point to their multiple page and multiple folded warning, and claim that the consumer knew or should have know what they were doing, when they picked up the prescription at the counter.

     Look at the Merck drug, Vioxx. Merck had  initially claimed that people that took their anti-inflammatory drug for muscle pain, accepted the risk of stroke or heart attack, because they had the warning and still took the medication. The number of filled prescriptions, 60 million, proved it.

     I suspect that no one sits at Walgreens and reads the warning before signing the sheet and leaving. Very few probably ever read those terms and conditions, before agreeing to acknowledge their acceptance.  And, if there is anyone that has been to the end of the Internet;  I think that it must be Apple.

     For the iTunes agreement, the above attached CNN article has a great Cliffs Notes Version of their agreement. Terms like, it’s your loss when you lose and download. Once downloaded, it’s your responsibility not to lose it.

     The terms also remind us that when we buy those products, services or graphics, we don’t really own them like buying a book; we only own a license to use them. By checking and allowing the Genius feature, Apple is saying that they are collecting information to make recommendations. They just aren’t coming right out to say that “we know where you are through your IP address and we track everything that is trackable, like your purchases and your entire history”.

     I never did a blog on the recent Supreme Court decision  that said that provisions of an agreement that required arbitration, could be enforced. The Court said, by a 5-4 decision that if you and a company agree to it, then you are to be bound by it. You don’t necessarily have a right to a jury trial if you wave it in the agreement.

     In the Apple agreement, or anything else that you are clicking “O”, you might be saying that if you don’t agree with something in the future, or your think that you have been overcharged, then you might be agreeing to settle it in California. You might be agreeing to your damages being the price of a song.

     Plus, since the opinion wiped out the potential of a class action in those instances, you might find it hard to hire an attorney for the cost of a download overcharge. I don’t know who is taking cases for $2.99 nowadays. It’s terms like that which explain why the agreement get longer and why companies don’t just show us their amendments, when they make changes to the agreement. Instead, they just make us agree to the whole agreement again. They are counting on us to be in a hurry.  

     This is one of those blogs that hopefully makes you think, the next time you are clicking one of those boxes. Plus, maybe it all boils down to how far a company can go in the free enterprise system, without repercussions, because “you did click that you read and agreed”.

     After reading this blog, does it make you want to pull out a Ukulele. Maybe you’d like to just sit down and have a bowl of ice cream for breakfast and just hope that nothing bad happens.

The iPAD Is Hot

     As I was waiting for the jury verdict yesterday, (I throw that in so you know why the blog got a little stale), I pulled out my ipad and started catching up on some work. My client said, “Is that an ipad? Those sure are cool”. I do think they are cool. Now, I have learned that there is a lawsuit that also says that they are hot.

     Bloomberg  reports that Apple is being sued over claims that the ipad tablet overheats and fails to operate properly, in warm conditions. The case is styled Baltazar v. Apple and is filed in the Northern Distict of California. (Oakland)

     I remember when steakhouse restaurants started getting sued, because people were slipping on  peanut shells, left on the floor. The next thing that happened, no more  free peanuts. I remember saying, at the time, that I understand that restaurants had a duty to make sure that the shells got cleaned up; I just hoped that they wouldn’t stop serving the peanuts. Sure enough.

     Anyway, I’m still fascinated with what the ipad can do. That doesn’t include the fact that there is still a lot that I have to figure out.  I hope that there really isn’t a problem; If there is, then maybe it will just take a warning that says “don’t take ipad to the beach” or “stay out of the heat, even though these things are pretty cool”.

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