That’s None of Your Business or “The Apple’s Sense toward Privacy”

That’s none of your business,  is the rather crude concept Apple has chosen for an iPhone advertising campaign. The video is all about a “stay away” attitude and portrays signs of banning, shredding documents and – in the end – a padlock that turns into a bitten apple, the company’s trademark.

From a subject whose only (legitimate) objective is to sell as many products as possible, one cannot expect him to take into account the complex debate on the nature – and even before that on the very existence – of the right to privacy, and therefore one cannot complain that he has used a concept that is obsolete and unsuitable in our times.

What matters, however, is that Apple’s choice to support the thesis that “privacy” is equivalent to “secret” reinforces the claim of the detractors of this right according to which supporting privacy means helping paedophiles and terrorists to commit their wickedness. Ola Bin’s arrest is one of the most recent events that fits dramatically into this debate.

But why would – or should – a company be concerned about the human rights implications of an advertising campaign?

What do matter is to sell, not to philosophize…

There ain’t no such thing as a Russiagate

At the time of the events, Linkedin and the general media were flooded with comments on what was only a hypothesis (Russia’s involvement in conditioning the outcome of the American elections), with the plethora of implications on armies of trolls remotely controlled  to manipulate consciences etc. etc.. It was a fake, but the damage caused by that news is more than real.

I refer, in particular, to the embarrassing institutional declarations on the gravity of a non-existent fact, not at all mitigated by the inevitable “if confirmed, the news would be serious”.

Fortunately, international diplomacy is still sufficiently keen to avoid the consequences of the “social media frenzy” that has also infected the institutions and that pushes its representatives to speak too quickly.

From the communication perspective, however, the interesting aspect is that the news of Russiagate was not false, but was presented and received for what it was not: a certainty, instead of a hypothesis. And in the minds of journalists and readers, from likely it became true, and therefore certain.

Looking at Russiagate’s story from an academic point of view, one could provide many lectures on the role of journalism and professional information, on what it is, how to build and how to spread a piece of news and how, by now, the news of suspicion equals the confirmation of the conviction, without investigation, without trial, without rights.

Looking with what we could call the “cynical eye”, from another side,  one perceives a different image, made up of disinterest in facts and a greedy search for “numbers” (clicks, like, share) and “fame”. Or more prosaically, of “return of investment” in advertising.

To put it short: who really cares if Russia manipulated the American elections?

“Problematic” or “inappropriate” content: a Rose by Other Name

Self and pre-emptive censorship against non-illegal contents. This is the “other name” of the politically correct wording chosen by Facebook and Instagram to support their content removal policies.

Mind, as private companies Facebook and Instagram have the right to do whatever they want with their own services. And if they decide that perfectly legal contents have not to be accepted that’s absolutely fine.

One would expect, though, that they would have called the Rose with its own name: Censorship.

The Battle of Copyright-Fishes

Contrary to the public opinion, copryight’s abuses don’t belong to “pirates” only.

Using the “weight” of his business size, singer Ariana Grande allowed photographers to participate to her show only if they surrender their copyright over the picture they shoot.

That’s rather interesting and disturbing because to criticize this decision, f the photography industry “shouted fire” claiming an infringement of the freedom of press.

But  the Arianagrandegate is about money, not freedom, and it is unfair – to say the least -to invoke free speech to protect a pure business interest.

So, it will be interesting to see how this will evolve: copyright fishes that peacefully swim in the same pond now discover that friends has become foes.

End everybody knows what happens when a smaller fish meets a bigger one.


If software were a military weapon

Software manufacturing is often compared to car building, and there are plenty of such analogies available, ranging from jokes to serious analysis.

A less considered match is the manufacturing of military weapons in contrast to sport weapons.

The history of the US Army contest that led Beretta to a winning over the German-Swiss Sig Sauer, thus securing the Italian company a rich supply contract of the “92” (renamed “M9” in the US Army naming system) is revealing.

The M9 was “the” most reliable gun in the market, being able to fire thousands of bullets without malfunctions, though enough to stand against the harshest environmental conditions and easy to both operate and maintains. Soldiers could rely upon this weapon to have the job done and not being let alone in critical moments.

How many software (from firmware, to operating systems, to platforms) are built like a Beretta M9?