Laguna Niguel

We should let Steve Jobs take over the world.  At least it would WORK!  And
we’d be able to USE IT!

I won’t bother lauding the advantages of OS X, you Windows people are never
going to believe.  You think that anything that looks beautiful, that is not
industrial and ugly, must be a TOY!  The fact that, as Steve so eloquently put
it, the OS X interface is good enough to LICK, is a negative in your book. 
Keep clinging to that IBM notion of life.  Then again, IBM is no longer in
control.  Geeks who never leave the house, who think you should innately know how to
use their contraptions, are.

Let’s take the light switch.  All I wanted to do was turn on the overhead
lights here at the Ritz Carlton.  Now I’ve been doing this all my life.  You push
the TOP of the button for ON, the BOTTOM for OFF.  But not here.  It’s like
these light switches were designed by engineers frustrated they couldn’t get
gigs with NASA.  The switches look like that giant launch panel you saw in
"Apollo 13".  Or, in the alternative, a 64 channel SSL mixing desk.

Turns out you push the BOTTOM button for both off AND on.  The top button is
for RESET!  To bring you back to just the amount of intensity you wanted, that
you dialed in with the ADJACENT narrow dimmer strip switch.  But, before you
get to your personal comfort zone, when you push the top button the whole
thing goes through its entire CYCLE!  The lights dim and then get BRIGHT again. 
Which, of course, takes you many flicks to figure out, because, as the cycle is
playing out you’re furiously pushing every button in this godforsaken system
to STOP IT!  God, if I wanted to be a lighting designer I would have
apprenticed with Josh White at the Fillmore East.  What’s wrong with just on and OFF? 
Was this really an international crisis?  Were people really dissatisfied with
light switches?  Did I just not get the memo?

And, of course, there’s one damn light that won’t turn on at all.  Turns out
the switch for the CENTER light is on the other side of the bed.  You get the
left and right wings by the table lamp, but if you want the spotlight in the
center, you’ve got to dive to the other side of the sleeping apparatus.

And, who declared that the goal of every guest is to play "Once Upon A
Mattress"?  If you don’t get anything from me tomorrow you’ll know that I fell off
the bed and cracked a rib or got a concussion.  Really, I might need oxygen,
the altitude is so high.  Dropping back to the floor is akin to taking a
freestyle ski jump at the Olympics.  Either I’ve got the room designed for Yao Ming,
or something’s sorely amiss here.  I mean how much padding does one man need?

SIMPLICITY!  VCRs did much of what TiVo does, but people just couldn’t figure
out how to record.  TiVo makes it easy.

And what’s up with all those buttons on home theatre receivers?  I mean
that’s somewhere I want control, but couldn’t they cut out about nine tenths of the
options for the REGULAR person?  Why does every product have to be sold with
INFINITE options.  Hate to tell you, I never alter my desktop theme.  Blue is
good enough.  Does it really get you off to change the colors and fonts of
your desktop?  Does that really make you feel good?

I’m down here for this tech summit.

On one hand I feel unqualified.  But the dude who tracked me down said they
wanted someone with PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE!

Make no mistake, everybody’s trying to score a buck.  And they’ve got some
weird idea that intellectual property is something you buy at the grocery store.
 Just pay the freight and go into business.  They don’t realize you can’t buy
this shit if nobody wants to SELL!

Look at what’s happening Down Under.  Sony BMG won’t license its wares to
Apple for the Australian iTunes Music Store.  Do tech wizards and investment
bankers really think entertainment honchos are going to grant THEM licenses? 
People with no track record, and a fraction of the charisma of Mr. Jobs?

It’s a funny conundrum.  That these tech guys think they own the world. 
Bullies like Bill Gates.  Who wanted HIS licensees to guarantee that their MP3
players wouldn’t.  That they’d ONLY play WMAs.  Until someone said the government
wasn’t going to sit for this, in light of the company being adjudged a
monopolist.  Then again, Bill Gates’ kingdom is BUILT on software.  You’d think HE’D
be able to come to an understanding with Hollywood content owners.  But HE
walked away from the record companies, unable to make a deal on his terms.

What I’d like to see is these tech gurus and savants creating CONTENT!  To
stop bitching that they can’t get licenses, and start seeing how expensive and
difficult it is to create desirable entertainment.

Then again, that would be stupid.  For everybody involved.  You see the
content companies SHOULD grant licenses.  They’re going to make a FORTUNE!  But
they’re so inured to the old ways, so worried about being the people to squander
the franchise, that they’re paralyzed, they won’t move.  Which, ironically, is
going to insure that they lose power ANYWAY!  Because some THIRD party,
neither the techies NOR Hollywood, is going to come up with new content and license
it to everybody, destroying their monopoly.

Credit Steve Jobs.  He’s destroying the past in order to create a better
future.  He discontinued the iPod Mini for the Nano.  Hold one and you’re sold. 
It’s so LITTLE!  It’s so COOL!  It’s so GOOD!  And, so easy to use!

Sony will never beat Apple.  Because they don’t have a team of computer
software engineers.  And those engineers they DO have are responsible for those
incomprehensible remote controls and home theatre gear.

Just give me one button.  On and off.

If you must include flexibility, put it off to the side.  Hell, you used to
have to dig down through the menus to shuffle all the tracks on your iPod, but
then Apple put "Shuffle Songs" on the TOP menu.  You see it as soon as you
turn the machine on.

Please.  Put the choice most of us want at the top of the main menu.  Make it
easy for us.  If we can USE your product we’re more likely to become
addicted, tell everybody about it, purchase more of your gear.

Meanwhile, how much can one complain while sitting on a cliff astride the
Pacific Ocean?  At least the Ritz Carlton company was smart enough to put the
hotel HERE!  Where the switch for nature is permanently ON!

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

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