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Steve Jobs Sometimes Lies to You (zachholman.com)
306 points by holman on July 28, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments



My wife: "Will you take the trash out?"

Me: "Yeah, for sure. I'll take it out tonight."

Tonight rolls by and the next day she tells me "You didn't take out the trash. You lied."

Did I lie? Or did I have honest intentions of taking out the trash with circumstances getting in the way? Maybe I just forgot?

I don't presume to know Jobs' intentions but without a history of lying during presentations I'm going to assume his were true. Maybe the team pushed back? Maybe he just changed his mind? Maybe they are still working on it?

"Steve Jobs Lies" just attracts allot more clicks I guess than "A Year Later, FaceTime is Still Just A Tech Demo."

I would have preferred the later.


It took me too long to figure this out. There are some people to truly, and passionately, believe something they say to you, and realistically they personally can't make it happen so you can't really bank on that 'promise.'

I used to think those people were lying to take advantage, but as I've gotten older I have come to recognize that these 'yes' people get promoted a lot. And for some of them, they really do believe what they are saying.

As an engineer I've found that once I can 'calibrate' someone's 'yes-ness' I can then work with them, understanding that they only make 'wishful' commitments rather than 'reasoned' commitments.

So when someone, like Steve Jobs, says "we're going to make it an open standard!", my first question then is "Great, I've got your support in making this an open standard so I can count on you to wield your position influence to aid me when folks line up against that effort, right?" If the answer that that question is no, then they were lying.

The difference is subtle of course but important. Steve clearly doesn't go to standards meetings and vote etc, but if Manager Bob gets push back from accounting that he's going to exceed his travel budget by sending 5 guys to the Open Video Chat Working Group which is championing the Facetime protocol as an open standard, then Manager Bob goes to Steve and says "I need your help here, these 5 guys are needed to argue this standard and keep it from being turned into a turd by the 5 guys from Google who are going to attend." and then Steve whips off a one liner to accounting that says "Get off this guy's back we need this." Then its all good. If on the other hand he says "We gotta save money, send one guy." well in that case I'm more sympathetic to the accusation of prevarication.


Good point in general, but Jobs can "personally make it happen".


Unless Jobs personally wrote the stack in Facetime all I can think of is patents, patents, patents.


but I assume you are speaking of those 'patents, patents, patents' being owned by Apple. If so, Apple can open the standard and still own the patents.

If others own the patents, Apple can still open Facetime with the requirement the anybody who wants to use it has to go to the patent holders before it can be made into a product.


Unlike voice, video calls is a real minefield. Think about how long voice calls have been around. Most of the patents for voice calls are on the compression algorithms. Most of the video call patents are for the act of making the video call.

And they could open source it and leave it to the community to handle licensing but you'll eventually end up with fragmentation as some clients implement features that others won't.


Your analogy isn't quite accurate.

Suppose your wife is less prone to accusations (admittedly you know her better than I). Instead of calling you a liar straight off, she simply reminds you, "You didn't take the trash out."

You ignore her.

She then asks, "Are you still planning to take the trash out?"

You ignore her.

She starts getting irritated. "Look, you said you were going to take the trash out. Obviously, you lied. And I'm really upset you won't talk to me about it."

You could try to say that you just hadn't gotten around to it yet, or that you had better things to do than explain this to your wife.

But you're still probably spending the night on the couch.


That's pretty much what happens!


I agree that "lying" is incorrect. However your analogy in turn massively underplays what happened. Context matters.

A casual reply to your wife is not the same as walking out on stage in a high profile event as a CEO for a company and stating "I will take the trash out". External third parties don't depend on you taking the trash out either. Investors aren't making decisions based on you taking the trash out. Consumers aren't buying phones based on you taking the trash out. All these things matter and that's why CEOs become legally liable for things they say and commitments they publicly make.

I think on this count there would be room for a class action from consumers who feel they bought iPhones on the basis that they would be able to video chat with other phones and now find that they can't because Apple has failed to make good on a public commitment.


I view it more as a broken promise than a lie. I do, however, think that both are, morally speaking, on a similar level. Lying is worse but a broken promise isn’t all that much better.


Where does linkbaiting rate on this scale?


Linkbaiting? Harmless.

Also: I’m pretty sure that the author of this article actually believes that Jobs was lying. It’s not linkbaiting if the headline reflects the author’s beliefs.


People will stop linkbaiting once people stop being more attracted to linkbait. You can either use unsensational titles in protest, or write a title that will make people read your story. I apologize ahead of time for being realistic.


It could still be linkbaiting, just a slightly less bad version of it.


If I stand up in front of millions of people and tell them I'm going to take the trash out tonight, and then I don't take the trash out tonight... I'm not trustworthy. It's not lying. I don't know if he used the word "promise" so maybe he broke a promise or maybe he didn't. The bottom line is that he can't be trusted.


You either lied or failed at your commitments, which are effectiveley the same thing when addressing the public, in a professional capacity, on behalf of a large corporation.


Yup, because if Steve Jobs wants something but the team pushes back, he'll abandon the idea.


There's a pretty big difference between talking to your wife about moving a few pounds of garbage, and speaking to the world as the leader of a company with $360+ Billion market cap.

I'm not a FaceTime user but seems like a year after "we're going to start tomorrow on an open standard", it's not unreasonable to expect more to have happened.


On Steve Jobs lying during presentations: http://sivers.org/itunes


To be honest, I have a hard time believing that Apple doesn't have an internal protocol spec for FaceTime and created the protocol willy nilly. Which makes me question how hard it could possibly be to submit an open draft to a standards body. Changing your mind is usually okay, but when you push being open as a big feature and then don't pursue it, people can't help but feel baited and switched.


I have a hard time believing that Apple doesn't have an internal protocol spec for FaceTime and created the protocol willy nilly.

You can design something very intentionally without ever having compiled a spec for it. There are certainly design notes, e-mail conversations, and, of course, the code itself to document the protocol for internal purposes.

Which makes me question how hard it could possibly be to submit an open draft to a standards body.

Assuming FaceTime has an internal spec, that does not mean it is in any shape ready for public consumption. For example, the spec could leave unspecified various things that Apple's particular implementation did not have to address. It could be written very informally. It could have fallen out-of-date as the protocol evolved.

None of this would mean that FaceTime was designed "willy nilly." There are processes less than ideal but still perfectly acceptable.


And more importantly, FaceTime has only been out a year... Right now apple has the clout to force a protocol upgrade on everyone within 1 or 2 software revisions. Opened, they'd lose that, and my guess is that they want to be _sure_ before they release it.


Of course he sometimes lies.. duh! Of course he will say whatever they believe will maximize profit. Often this means telling the truth (kind of), sometimes not.

But I agree the article is underwhelming. I wish someone would compile a list of the best lies Apple (and other companies) have told the last decade.. would be entertaining.


> I would have preferred the later.

Sure, but then no one will read it. Sensational headlines is the way the internet rolls.


"Ryan forgot to take the trash out" wouldn't get many clicks, while "Ryan lies to his wife" can enjoy some traffic for few days.


Your's an awful analogy. He lied.

Your wife didn't bought products based on your well intentioned promises to take out the trash. There's laws against that.

If you buy snake oil from the back of a wagon because the seller truly believes it cures cancer and hangovers, suit yourself.


You lied. You said something that turned out to be a lie (an inaccurate or false statement) and although people have trouble hearing the word, it doesn't make it any less true. You do not fit a few of the definitions of "lie" but you fit at least one.

edit: to all the downvoters, pick up a dictionary


If someone asks me a question, I give them an answer based on my understanding, and it turns out not to be so, I am not lying. At the time, I thought it was to be so.

By going along a strict definition of a lie being "an inaccurate or false statement," I think it is misleading especially compared to the other definitions: "a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood" or "something intended or serving to convey a false impression;"

These other definitions relate to intent, which is a factor in determining whether a statement is a lie or not.


If someone asks me a question, I give them an answer based on my understanding, and it turns out not to be so, I am not lying. At the time, I thought it was to be so.

No, whether you like to hear it or not (which you clearly are a person who does not want to hear it) you lied.[1] There is no other noun/verb in the English language to describe the act of telling a false statement.

Naturally, telling a false statement with intention to deceive is morally unethical, whereas just being the bringer of false statements is not. I think that's where you and everyone else gets hung up on the word "lie" because you firmly attach the notion of intent to the word. That is not the case with every lie, and if I need to reference the dictionary to show that you are wrong then so be it. It is just often the case that a lie said with intent to deceive, but it by no means is the rule.

If people would work as hard to remove the negative connotation around the word rather than trying to do mental gymnastics to get out of being labelled with it we would all be more honest and better off. We all lie sometime, after all, but what we can always avoid is intention of deceit. Doing some mental gymnastics to try and avoid being labelled a liar actually, in itself, makes you deceitful.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lie


Here's one for you to look up: connotation.


Just because there is a negative connotation around a word doesn't make it less than true. Connotation has little if anything to do with technicality.


The connotation at hand is "willful" not negative per se. Anyway, the important thing is what the communicator means. You can't just open up a dictionary and say, "look, one of these definitions invalidates the thesis of your sentence."


lie: An intentionally false statement.


Yeah well, that's what I said by the logic being faulty and got nicely down voted.


I don't think the trash is a good analogy. I think the proper analogy is something like:

Me: I'm going to start working on my PhD tomorrow.

My wife, tomorrow: Did you finish your PhD yet?

Me: Lol wut?


I think it's interesting that Steve Jobs has earned this much credit with most of us (I think most). He has a history of saying stuff that is either clearly true at the time or turns out to have been surprisingly frank in hindsight.

My guess is he was shooting from the hip and then discovered that it was a much bigger pain in the ass than he realized.


The right thing to do when you make a promise without fully thinking it through is to still follow through with it, no matter how big of a pain in the ass it turns out to be. This is how people (should) learn to keep their mouth shut and stop over promising and under delivering. Jobs is not one to over promise so this instance is interesting.

edit: wow, lots of grammar errors.


A business cannot run that way.


A business also cannot be run by its CEO shooting from the hip.


Some do. Epic Systems, for example, is quite well known for this attitude.


' “Open” isn’t just a buzz word. People like the word “open”. Marketers love it. '

A very valid point, everyone these days in jumping on the open bandwagon.

This problem isn't limited to just Apple unfortunately - several companies have been guilty of twisting open to suit their needs (HTC not releasing some modified Android code which was under GPL a while ago, and Google not releasing the Honeycomb source come to mind).

Not that any of these are wrong from a legal standpoint (OK, maybe the HTC one was) but it's still twisting the nature of open standards & platforms to suit business / marketing agendas. Open is quickly becoming the next Web 2.0.

Apple & Google have both done great things for the open standards community ( Webkit, Android etc.) but there is always a conflict between 'true' openness & business interests. Never forget, corporations exist to serve their shareholders - embracing openness is simply a means to that end.


It was an especially 'we are more open-ish' WWDC from a PR stand point. Former Apple evangelist Matt Drance wrote [1]:

The introduction of Bing as a search provider for Safari on iPhone had been rumored for some time. Naturally, everyone saw this development as an attack on Google. But the presentation itself sent just as much of a message. Jobs used the word “choice” six times in less than twenty seconds during the Bing announcement. While Apple’s addition of Bing was a shot at Google’s core business, the announcement was a shot at its melodramatic PR.

The announcement that FaceTime would be an open standard was another surprise. Would Apple have done this without the pressure Google and Adobe have been applying? Maybe. But we certainly wouldn’t have seen a slide with a giant “OPEN” on it.

[1] http://www.appleoutsider.com/2010/06/15/wwdc10/


What I heard on the Google/Honeycomb was that they released it earlier than intended. Part of it was the Xoom driving it, some was to compete with iPads, but it wasn't so much of a planned release. Google actually requires you to sign a license agreement if you want to release a 3.0 device, from which I've heard, requires for you to not change your hardware for X years. The next release, 3.1 Ice Cream Sandwich, is the planned release and will be open source.


Which is just as damning. "This software is so bad we won't show you the source code."


3.1 is still honeycomb, they haven't announced the version for ice cream sandwich still i think


> several companies have been guilty of twisting open to suit their needs

Not just companies. Many individual are wont to try and blend "open" into "open source" or "free software", which as far as computer standards go, is at best revisionism.


I might care more if I'd ever actually observed someone using FaceTime. I have 3 MacBooks, an iPad, an iPhone 4, my coworkers and girlfriend and friends have FaceTime compatible devices too, but I've never seen anyone use it. Maybe they don't open it because it is a dead product.


Of course of course, because if our own circle of friends are all [x] then everyone everywhere must also be.

Ever since Facetime came to the iPod Touch, I have used it routinely with my parents on the other side of an ocean, and it remains the only video solution I've seen that actually WORKS. Skype video and Fring video on the iphone are just horrifyingly bad in comparison, occasionally comically bad, with seconds per frame blobs of color that vaguely resemble heads). Facetime just works, with quality that matches the output when you record an HD video on the device.


My family uses it a lot, but only between family, and mostly at home. It's a more personal form of communication, so I feel like it's more likely to be used in a private space.


Pretty much my entire company has iPhone 4s and a handful of Macbook Airs, and I know that other than the first couple of weeks when it was still novel, nobody uses Facetime.

All those pronouncements about videochat being something nobody really uses are more or less true.

However, I've heard from some other folks that they use it purely for inter-family communications, where appearances don't matter nearly as much.


I've used it a few times (for international video calls, easier and more reliable than Skype). My anec-data is that many people don't know what it is or what it does. I've introduced it to about half a dozen iPhone 4 users.

There's also the anec-data for me that video chat is just meh. I'm about to jump onto a skype call with an international colleague - do I want him to see me in my t-shirt on the couch? No. Do I want to shave, suit up, and head to me home office? No. So voice call it is for me in a majority of situations - only I believe FaceTime is either video or nothing, with no voice-only option.


They don't use it probably because it's too damn hard to find. From the Mac, Facetime is another app, double-click in your dock or application folder. From the iphone, not nearly as simple. First you have to open the phone app then select a contact, then select Facetime.

Unlike Skype, you have no indication that this person has a facetime compatible phone. Just to get it to call the desktop is problematic because my phone has my phone number as the username and my PC has my email as the username so your never sure where a facetime call is going to end up, and that is if it picks up.


My cell reception at home and work is flaky at best (thanks, AT&T!), so when I call my parents (both of whom also have iPhones), I'll usually do it over Facetime, which uses the much stabler WiFi.


If people did use it, it would be a competitive advantage. "FaceTime, an enchanted service that changes your life. Only on iStuff."


Its great to keep in touch with family when travelling. I use it a lot that way.


I use it when I need to speak with my parents (them being in the UK and me in US). Skype is a bit over the top for them so Facetime works great.


Reading this makes me think of the iPhone commercial about FaceTime. http://youtu.be/EmAIptWS7Mk

"If you don't have an iPhone, you don't have FaceTime on your phone."

Perhaps it was the marketing department that was not informed of Steve's intentions to open up the FaceTime protocol, or maybe Apple really has changed their position on opening up the protocol.

I really wish they would open up the protocol. It would be very cool. And just think, all these android users would have to get iTunes accounts.


And just think, all these android users would have to get iTunes accounts.

I don't think you will find a international standards-body which will standardize anything which requires an iTunes account. I may be wrong, but I sure as hell hope not.


True, but I wonder if Apple really needs to have a standards body overseeing it. They can still open up the protocol without going through a standards body, which is probably in their best interest.

Then third party developers would develop FaceTime apps for Android, etc.

But then of course you won't get the seamless user experience.


My understanding of the situation has been that most of the FaceTime technology is indeed in the open just because they mostly used already existing technology. What is not in the open is the cryptographic key that is used to sign all the FaceTime client keys. So technically you could create a FaceTime compatible client by following open specifications and filling the gaps by reverse engineering, but Apple devices wouldn't want to talk to it without Steve's cryptographic signature.


You have a great point, sir, and Apple (along with other companies) does need to be called out when they say they will allow the general user access to something and they do not put it into practice. What can we do about it, though?


Whatever gain (if any) they had from claiming that FaceTime would become an open industry standard must certainly dwarfed by the embarrassment of being unable to actually make that happen.

Or, to put it another way, had Steve Jobs known that their attempt of making FaceTime an open industry standard would fail (for whatever reason) he would never have said that Apple wants FaceTime to become open. It just wouldn’t make any sense.


I dunno, they got a great deal of press when they announced FaceTime, and a huge amount of it harped on the "open standard" feature. A year later, no one really cares. It's not an embarrassment. It's a shrug.


Oh gosh, I'm glad all these good people on HN have lined up to defend Steve Jobs, I don't know what I would do if I found out that he, at any point in time, lied to me. I would just... I would probably faint. Just thinking about that possibility has made me all lightheaded. I need a fan. I need to sit down. Steve Jobs will not lie to me! He is a good man! He makes the devices I crave! Electrolytes!


I sense a bit of disrespect for the community in which you opt-in in order to participate here. In general, HN is the most logical and reasonable internet community I have ever come across outside of NNTP (certainly on the web). Please don't make this community "snark-central".

EDIT to add: Curious what the counter arguments to mine look like.


What are your thoughts on this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facetime#Standards

It would appear that FaceTime is built on top of open standards, is Steve more explicit than that in the original presentation (for example, does he say that access to Apple's FaceTime servers will be available openly, etc.)?


If you watch the actual presentation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1edQuxclUs&feature=playe...), Steve makes a clear distinction between being built on open standards and what they plan to do. What he means by going to standards bodies and making Facetime an open industry standard isn't really clear, but it is clear they didn't do that.


There is a direct quote in the article that says they will be taking it to the standards body.


This can be said of almost every single video implementation ever. Nearly every single one utilizes H.323, SIP, RTP, H.2XX codecs, NAT traversal (ICE, STUN, etc), SDP, ISDN, etc.

Each one of those protocols has many optional characteristics and properties that don't operate together unless they're planned or someone has created the super-stack which is fully compliant with every deviation from the specification. Even then, many of the specifications aren't truly specifications (SIP), and even some of the specifications have portions for customization (SIP) that don't require adherence to specification (recommendation).

This literally means nothing other than you could probably reverse engineer it and create something that would work with it. Until they change it.


Here's the only information we have publicly about what happened with the FaceTime open standard: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/05/11/facetime-standar...


"Steve Jobs Sometimes Lies to You" but following other posts... "Does he respect you in the morning?"

I'm sorry, but re: FaceTime, not opening it up is old news. There is probably more traction in following what is going on in the RTCWeb world than there is in any particular company's opening of their video calling API. Keeping eyeballs in the realm of the proprietary app is key.

Many companies are in paying attention to WebRTC, but it's not there yet. Some companies, I suspect, like Apple, probably don't care (at least for now). It's better to focus on the primary customer experience.

Speaking of experience, I haven't researched, but how do the assorted non-facetime apps compare w/ facetime?


Most people have a motive for lying. I don't really see that here. What does Apple have to gain by suggesting FaceTime would be an open standard? Did lines of people show up to buy iPhones because FaceTime would be an open standard? I doubt it. Quite the opposite I think. If you could only FaceTime between iOS devices (and Macs) that might be a competitive advantage. My guess is they simply calculated it was not worth the effort in the end. Making something an open standard and supporting centralized authentication/etc is a nontrivial thing for what purpose?


Well, the motivation is not the issue here, is it? Nor is whether opening FaceTime is a competitive advantage. The issue for the author is that a promise was broken.


I'm genuinely curious why it even matters whether it's open or not. I get that he said it would be open and now it's not. But beyond that why does it even matter? I can use Tango, Qik, Skype, etc. I think there's an iOS app out there that does Google Talk video. They are even easier because I don't have to explain to my parents how to connect the phone to wifi.

Maybe with the proliferation of all these other video chat apps opening up Facetime became a lower priority?


None of them inter-operate. So, when you have a friend on Tango, a friend on Qik, and a friend on Skype, you have to install Tango, Qik and Skype.

We don't have a single protocol for everyone to standardize on, and we don't even have enough access to the various protocols to build a Trillian-like client that supports everything.


That makes sense, but opening up Facetime doesn't necessarily solve that problem. It has to be open and all these video chat vendors have to decide to embrace it, possibly abandoning years of investment in their own protocol.

In general, I prefer open protocols and standards. I'm just not sure opening Facetime meets any pressing demands of consumers. I suspect this is a matter of not wanting to allocate resources to something no one is asking for. I can't say I'd blame Apple for that decision if it is, in fact, the case.

I'm a new iPhone user so I haven't necessarily kept up to date with App Store developments until recently, but I believe that prior to Facetime Apple was a bit reluctant to approve video chat apps. Maybe that played into the announcement to open it up.

If people start clamoring for open video chat standards I'm sure someone will step up to the plate.


Obligatory xkcd link: http://xkcd.com/927/


We don't have a single protocol for everyone to standardize on, and we don't even have enough access to the various protocols to build a Trillian-like client that supports everything.

I thought both XMPP and SIP were supposed to solve that problem. What happened?


XMPP won. See Facebook, GTalk. The problem is, that you can (ab)use XMPP and disable some of the open parts (federation). The protocol is still the One True IM Protocol imho, but the biggest hosters suck.

I'm less familiar with SIP, but my take here is:

SIP seems to be a good thing, but then you notice that it doesn't do thaaat much and end up in hell afterwards (Okay, we've got a session. Which (open?) codecs are we going to use now?

What I'd have loved to see is jingle taking off. Give me XMPP based voice/video. The problem? For a long time Google fucked that up. There were lots of problems because of differences between the 'standard' and the implementation on GTalk. Til today the clients don't support video or audio conferences (unless you're counting the G+ hangout feature. I wonder why it is possible there, but not elsewhere. Why can't I just video call two of my friends, G+ or not?) and they still fail to support mobile phones.

Android 2.3.4 supports audio and video, but only for a limited set of hardware, because their support is tied to a specific platform. Using a different chipset (although in a powerful phone, with all hardware capabilities and Android 2.3.4? Bad luck).

So - I'd love to see XMPP win. But for now the implementation is mediocre. There's not enough support to push it, from what I can tell.


Defaults are very powerful. You won't get a button in the middle of a call that takes you directly into Google Talk on an iPhone.


At least Apple's failure to deliver on their promises on Open FaceTime leaves an opening for other folks to deliver (e.g. http://jointheseen.com/sdk)


Good point. Skype haven't been too quick about innovating anywhere lately, but companies like Tango and Fring, would be all over it if it was open. And maybe Google too, given GTalk, Android, and Google+.


The lack of any apparent activity regarding an open FaceTime protocol is pretty annoying. Has anyone emailed Steve to ask what the holdup is?


wrote this a while ago. might be relevant for the debate - http://www.funkykaraoke.com/2010/10/on-facetime.html


You cannot successfully run a business without lies.


"Open" does not always equal "Open Source."


"Open" at the very least means "interoperable". FaceTime is neither open source nor an open standard right now.


It does imply at least a spec, however, and there is none available.


Didn't Apple do something similar when they forked KHTML? I think it took them a few years to make it completely open source after they said they would.


They still take up to a year to release the changes they made to khtml for a given iOS release.


He's not in political office. He's not beholden to your or me. Unfortunately they didn't open it. It would be great if they had. But it's just a dead feature. Steve Jobs actual legally binding responsibility is to the share holders that he will make Apple money. Why not reverse engineer FaceTime and release a OpenSource version?

Anyway,if you REALLY want someone to dilly dally with the term "Open", you should get an Android phone.


[dead]


You in San Francisco? I'd love to buy you a beer and talk about myself. Serious offer.


Why are you reading 'Hacker-Wannabe-Script-Kiddie-Failed-Businessman' News anyway?


one cent for every lie, and i'd be millionaire by now..

(this had to be said and will be worth the massive downvotes)


Also, on a more serious note:

Why isn't there a website for all those massive marketing lies about every company throws at the customers, it's sickening.


Sounds like a weekend project. Add rankings and this site could actually change shit


i am actually just searching for a domain right now


I picked up companylies.org

Fairly simple and straight to the point.


i registered two.. it really should make a nice weekend project :)


See also the work done by the Chasers with their "Ad Road Test" segments.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ad+road+test+cha...


Sickening? ITS MARKETING. The promise that something will make your life better is rarely true, but we deceive ourselves into thinking so because it helps fulfill the prophecy being told.


There is a difference between saying "FaceTime is awesome!" and "We’re going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we’re going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."


[deleted]


> What is the difference?

Do you honestly not know the difference, or are you just trying to make a point? Because, and I feel justified in saying this, any reasonable person would look at what he said, and what has happened, and realize that he hasn't done what he promised.

That it was part of the marketing for the product as well doesn't help matters. Part of the reason I got the iPhone and got excited about FaceTime was precisely because it was supposed to be open. That it's not would have played a big part in purchasing decisions.


the point is: There is good marketing and good advertisements and then there are plain lies and false promises.


Good idea. =)


[deleted]


I don't think that a calculated decision not to deliver something indicates that he lied in the moment. Its faulty logic. It means that he set out to deceive rather than made a mistake, spoke too soon, didn't consult with his team or whatever the case may be.

Downvote away, but its true. What may be a lie after the fact was not a lie in situ.


The downvotes probably indicate that you should have posted this instead of a weak snowclone; take them and learn from them.


I don't understand. What logic is faulty? Steve made a statement and hasn't followed through, over a year later. That sounds like a lie to me. It's not like he said "We might look into interoperability" or something, it's pretty damn cut and dry from the quote.

I remember being giddy about it. Now I'm giddy about WebRTC instead.


What you're choosing not to understand is the operative definition of "lie":

lie [lahy] noun, verb, lied, ly·ing. –noun 1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.


Sigh, a snarky reply based on a hand chosen definition that is rather irrelevant to the conclusions drawn from this article... An alternative definition that is also commonly accepted, likely listed right next to the one you selected: "an inaccurate or false statement."

It crossed the line when there was no clarification or retraction of the statement. It still stands, and as far as I'm concerned, people making claims on a stage while announcing "visionary" magic, ought to deliver on those commitments, and failure to do so is wrong. Call it lying, call it talking out [his] rear, the point really is the same as far as this discussion is concerned.

Jobs got a lot of positive and excited attention when he said FaceTime was going to be open (with the implication of interoperability). It feels wrong and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If you want to call it something other than "lying", that's fine.

For example:

http://www.google.com/search?q=facetime+to+be+open+standard

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1411352


Uh, no. It wasn't snarky, despite your downvoting. And no, it wasn't a "hand-chosen" definition. It's the commonly accepted definition, which is why it's listed first in any dictionary you can find. Everyone knows that a statement made in good faith about something like this, which later turns out (perhaps temporarily) to not come true, is not a "lie". A lie necessarily includes intent to lie, in this situation. Once again, you are being intellectually dishonest by not accepting this. It's difficult to debate with those who won't debate honestly.

Do you have any evidence, of any kind, that Jobs did not intend, in good faith, to follow through on his idea of making FaceTime an open standard? No, you don't. If you did, you would post it. Just who is being snarky here?

Let's try another tack: do you even have any made-up theory as to why Jobs would make such an announcement, if he had no intention to follow through? Apparently not, or you would post that, which you haven't.

Lose the ad hominem and participate in the discussion. And no, downvoting is not participation.


I have no interest in "arguing" with you in this manner. I wasn't rude, or certainly not intentionally or as much as you are. Besides, you've brought nothing new to discuss and the "label" of the untruth (but not lie) of his statement is irrelevant.

And you should know, it's not possible to downvote child comments, nor would I have anyway.


I think Facetime is already open. You can use it on your Mac, on your iPhone, on your iPad. Looks like this is open to Steve Jobs, open to all your iOS devices. Why would you need to have another kind of device anyway?


You make an important observation. I recall an email exchange[1] between a reporter and Jobs about "freedom." He does not define words the way we tend to define words. He defines them as a CEO in the corporate world whose company uses marketing to its benefit.

[1] http://gawker.com/5539717/steve-jobs-offers-world-freedom-fr...


Is this fucking Scientology, where we replace the meaning of words with their opposites?! The fact that Apple is the only provider of FaceTime software and it's only available on Mac and iOS means it's proprietary. Jobs said they're going make it an open standard. They didn't. There's no third party client, there's no FaceTime for Windows or Android.


I was being ironic.



oh ok didn't sound like it, you never know with the Apple cultists around here


There are plenty of (insert absolutely any apple product here)-killers that are loudly touted by the manufacturer, and any apple-hater that we have never heard of since. Do we whinge that there hasn't been more proof that the iphone/etc are best? Silence isn't incriminating, it's silence.

How open is Honeycomb, or Ice Cream?


> How open is Honeycomb, or Ice Cream?

Do you have any idea how much crap they are getting for that? People made a stink, and they learned their lesson.


And it's a cool thing. I hope Apple learns their lesson too, with articles like this.

My guess is that, in both cases (Honeycomb and FaceTime), it was more a problem of corporate inertia or laziness rather than evil.


Sounds evil to deliberately allow anyone to see the 2.x source but not the 3.x which is only a continuation, not a rewrite.


Honeycomb remains a closed source system. ICS is still unpublished in any form; Google's claimed that it will be open source, but (as with FaceTime) words mean nothing until they're backed up with action. I'm not ready to say they've "learned their lesson" until they've actually /done/ something about it.


This strikes me as an affront to Jobs' integrity a little more severe than his failure to deliver a white iPhone in a timely manner. In other words, this author is going to need to write an article of PG-level insight before I read another word of his. This is almost as bad as the "5 reasons why exercise makes our startup awesomer" guys.




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