Cory Doctorow Verbally Abuses 99-Year-Old iPad User

While most took the recent story of Victoria Campbell, the 99-year old whose first computer is an iPad, as a heartwarming tale of the benefits of technology, one pundit saw the insidious effects of Apple’s closed and DRM-ridden platform.

Open source and digital rights advocate Cory Doctorow — author of not one but two screeds detailing why anyone who buys an iPad is a terrible, terrible person — flew to Lake Oswego, Ore. to personally chastise Campbell.

“Apparently Ms. Campbell is happy inside Apple’s walled garden,” Doctorow said after being ejected from the Mary’s Woods Retirement Community for haranguing the nonagenarian for a full 45 minutes on the moral imperative of open systems, digital rights and steampunk subculture.

“I hope she’s happy in the infantile world of apps only approved by Apple’s jack-booted thugs,” the author of Little Brother said. “I hope she’s happy being forced into being a content consumer instead of a content creator. And when I say ‘I hope she’s happy’ I’m being sarcastic because people like Campbell really are the worst people in the world. And that includes pedophiles.”

Doctorow believes Campbell should avail herself of any one of the numerous open systems that are just as good, just as easy to use and have just as much content as the iPad.

“I explained to her how easy it is to compile and install Debian on a steampunk casemod of a tablet built by a Japanese company I know of that’s run entirely by bloody nurse cosplayers. You have to reset some jumpers and the sound card isn’t compatible yet, but you can run GIMP on it. Try that on an iPad.

“Anyway, she pretended not to understand what I was talking about. Way to buy into the ugly stereotype of the technophobic nonagenarian with glaucoma in a nursing home, Ms. Campbell.”

The staff of Mary’s Woods was beside themselves.

“This is just awful,” said director Patricia Hershey. “We’re not sure exactly how he got in. We think he might have crawled in through a heating duct that’s only a foot and half across. Although he would have had to dislocate his shoulder in order to fit in it.”

Hershey shuddered. “The staff and the residents are all terribly frightened and confused.”

Doctorow, who will be signing copies of Little Brother at the Bloomington Linux Users Group next week, was unapologetic about his methods.

“Digital rights is the most important thing ever,” Doctorow said flatly. “Way more important than cancer or genocide or child slavery. It’s not even close. They’re like way down on the graph.

“If you are not part of the solution — which is open systems using standards-based formats that allow everyone to freely create and consume openly licensed content while wearing brass-rimmed goggles, leather dusters, tightly-laced bodices and gauntlets — then you’re part of the problem. And Virginia Campbell is part of the problem.”

Hershey said that the incident has forced her to rescind her invitation to have Doctorow conduct a dramatic reading of Little Brother next month to the residents.

“That’s just typical of an organization that promotes closed systems,” Doctorow noted, slipping a copy of Little Brother into the basket of a Mary’s Woods resident’s mobility scooter as she left the facility.

Campbell and Hershey have declined to press charges against Doctorow, stating they don’t think they could bear to listen to him testify.

“I already heard him testify for 45 of the longest minutes of my 99-year life,” Campbell said, not looking up from the poem she was inexplicably creating on her closed, proprietary and DRM-ridden iPad. “That was more than enough for me.”

[Crazy Apple Rumors Site is satire. Added for the irony-impaired who are apparently sending hate mail to Cory over this piece. Seriously, people. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to do with you.]

Schiller Describes Wild Weekend

According to sources close to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, the Apple executive had a wild weekend as he followed the San Jose Sharks go from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat.

“Friday night was awesome!” Schiller told his moderately interested coworkers. “The Sharks were down five times and rallied back each time! I just about lost it when Pavelski tied it up in the last minute of regulation.

“And when Setoguchi scored the winning goal… well, me and my hockey buddies — Donnie, Automatic Tony and the Spaz — well, we just went berserk.”

Schiller sheepishly admitted he may have had a little too much to drink on Friday night.

“We partied hard after that one! After we left the [HP] Pavilion, we just hit one bar after the next! But we were on cloud nine, I tell you what. Most of that night’s a complete blur! Ha-ha! I seem to remember a goat and some clowns or… no, mimes! Oh, my god, it was mimes! Ha-ha!


The man in charge of Apple’s global corporate marketing efforts said he spent most of Saturday “sleeping it off” but then was back at it to watch Sunday’s Sharks loss with his friends in C & J’s, a Cupertino sports bar.

“Sunday was a major letdown and we had to drown our sorrows. We drank until C & J’s closed and then walked along the railroad tracks, drinking some more. The Sharks are in a hole now so they’ll just have to go out there and give it their best. That’s all they can do. That’s all any of us can do.”

Schiller paused before continuing.

“Me and my buddies, we’ve followed the Sharks through some tough times. Donnie’s divorce. When Tony got laid off at the mill. The Spaz’s repeated suicide attempts. My LASIK surgery. Tough times.

“Watching the Sharks and blowin’ off steam, that’s just how we do.”

Schiller fell silent for a moment, looking reflective on the sport and what it says about the human condition.

Suddenly his hand felt for his pocket.


“Anyone seen my phone?”


10:20 – HOLY CRAP!

The Brains managed to create some kind of time/space rip and Stock Photo Guy and I are IN APPLE 4 AT THE EVENT (but also not in Apple 4 at the event, much like Schrodinger’s rumor site editor, if you take my meaning).


What? No one asked for multitasking?


I thought…


10:25 – OK, catching up: 185k apps at the App Store, 600k iBooks sold (what?!), 1 million iPad apps sold, 450k iPads sold and the special at Caffe Macs today is poached cod.

REPEAT: POACHED COD IS CONFIRMED. There was a lot of late speculation that the smell was fish tacos, but it’s POACHED COD.

10:27 – Multitasking details: it’s actually a Mobile Me web service. You send your stuff to be “multitasked” and Mobile Me send you back a failure notice. Still… MULTITASKING! YES!

10:35 – They’re doing a Skype example. There’s an audio API apps can use to keep audio going while you switch to other apps. I can envision an App that’s just the sound of your mother’s voice berating you over and over and over again telling you you’ll never be good enough and why can’t you be like that nice Bobby Wetherstein from down the street who went into investment banking and married that heiress? Oh, Bobby’s such a nice boy and he would never get into something as stupid and unlucrative as Apple rumors. Why Bobby is the kind of boy who opens the door for his mother and sends her flowers and lives close by so she can watch her grandchildren grow up and enjoy her…

Aaaaaand I just smashed my iPhone to pieces.

10:45 – So, Voice over IP API confirmed, but we’re still waiting on confirmation of pudding over IP.

Folder will allow you to categorize the 185k apps you have on your iPhone, i.e. “Useless Time Suckers”, “Shameful, Dirty”, “Flashlights” and “Apps Recommended By Merlin That I Can’t Figure Out”.


Also, Mail will have Fast Inbox Switching.

Seriously, I don’t even know what the fuck that’s supposed to mean.

What the fuck is so complicated about email, people? I mean, what kind of voodoo bullshit are you doing in there? You get an email, you read it, you reply or not and you delete it. It’s not fricking nookleeur physics.

Whatever. Enjoy your “Fast Inbox Switching”. Assholes. Jesus. I mean… GOD.

11:04 – iAds. AWESOME. Now we can watch ads on our iPhones. YES. At long last. The feature we’ve all be asking for. Our long national nightmare is over. All hail our wise corporate overlords who always have our best interests at heart. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

OK, I’m sure it’ll be nice for developers. Who are pasty and awkward and really the only way they’ll get through life is by making gobs of money. So… there’s that.

11:05 – Man. I got jaded since the last time I did this.

11:06 – Forget it! iAds are done in HTML 5, not Flash! Ha-ha! LOL. FAIL. It’ll never work! Only Flash provides the seizure-inducing technology that stimulates the eyeball beyond the ability of your nervous system to control! Only Flash will drag the operating system down to a halt so that the user is incapable if switching to another application! Adobe Flash! Ask for it by name!

11:10 – That’s it! Actually, there’s a Q&A going on in there right now but someone finally noticed us and threw us out. Which is kind of a problem because we left our vortex in there and now I’m not sure how we’re going to get back home.

Anyone driving from Cupertino to Tacoma?