AMITIAE - Monday 2 November 2015

Cassandra: The Tweet that Won't Die - AppleInsider and the Suave Image of Bond

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Every morning after breakfast I go through a ritual of checking email, reading Twitter messages, then looking at overnight news feeds (I use NetNewsWire, v. 3.3.2). Any useful links in any of those sources may be saved for later; or I may look at them right away, depending on several factors, including how hot the coffee is at that moment.

I looked at several - local and international - before opening an item by Daniel Eran Dilger. His items are always worth a read, particularly the long ones in which he tears apart, layer by layer, whoever his current target is: particularly those who forgot to check their facts.

A title involving James Bond seemed worth a look and "Daniel Craig resisted Android phone placement in "Spectre" because "James Bond only uses the best"" was not a disappointment. Sony or Android phones were not Bond-worthy.

Apple devices I like Bond movies and I think that Craig is the best since Sean Connery, with both rawness and displays of human weaknesses that other Bonds could not muster. Roger Moore showed some promise as Ivanhoe, but since then has only seemed to repeat his best role of playing himself; while Piers Brosnahan came across as far too unctuous, with only a sideways glance at what Bond is.

The opening scenes of Casino Royale - Daniel Craig's first examination of the role - returned Bond to the gritty violence that should always be just under the surface.

Bond is rough, but also likes the right technology to do the job, which may be why "Q" - played for so long by Desmond Llewellyn and more recently by Ben Whishaw. The range of cars that Bond has used includes BMW, Lotus and Aston Martin: a brand that totally identifies with Bond since Goldfinger and the DB 5. It is clear that Bond demands the best so the director, Sam Mendes, and Craig were keen not to have "Sony or Samsung Android phones because it could tarnish the suave image of James Bond."

As I had not seen the AppleInsider item in my Twitter feed (it came out at 3.47pm PT which is just after 6am here: no wonder I missed it. That also meant a number of users in this region might also have missed this and it was amusing enough to share. I posted the title and link on my Facebook page and on Twitter.

Like no other message I have posted, this one kept being retweeted: 12 hours later and it is still going. The low level of comments suggest that either users are equally amused or they think like me.

Apple devices There were three or four slightly negative comments, including one that suggested Bond would have neither Android or iPhone because of security: it would be a Blackberry. That sort of misses the point about what a Bond movie is; and in any case nothing would advertise the fact of "government operative" more.

Another comment produced exactly the pro-Android, pro-Samsung comment I had feared, when I asked what the poster would recommend instead. I had tried a Samsung phone. It was not exactly State of the Art, although it pretended to be.

I bought it because my mother had acquired one and was trying to work it out. I tried quite hard, but (like my mother) kept being thwarted by the need to register everything with Google when all I wanted to do was use the phone.

Bond is licensed to kill, not Under license to Google.

I have suggested over and over that my parents try the Apple smartphone but they are now so put off by this attempted foray into modern technology that all such devices are tarred with the same brush, despite several members of the family enjoying their own iPhones.

To be fair, with a new iPhone, the user is asked to login with the Apple ID, but once done (or ignored) the phone can be used. I gave up with that Samsung thing and donated it to a friend.

iPhone 6s

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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