Two tech news headlines caught my eye this week. The first was about the iPhone and the now infamous ‘error 53‘ which, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Roswell, NM or Area 51, but that would be way cool if it did. No, error 53 is nothing quite so exciting unless your iPhone suffers the strange error. Why? Error 53 can brick your iPhone.
It seems that third party repair facilities inadvertently caused the iPhone to go into the brick status after receiving service but only after the iPhone user upgraded to a new version of iOS, which then triggered the ‘error 53’ and bricked the device.
It’s the kind of thing Apple can fix, of course, but guess what? Lawyers are involved. And that means money is involved. Yes, iPhone users with error 53 bricked iPhones have a right to be upset, especially if the repair work was done by an authorized Apple repair service and the device was bricked anyway. Bricking is not cool, man.
Neither are lawyers, and it took literally just a few hours for lawyers to scramble into action to collect error 53-infected iPhone users to prepare for a class action lawsuit which is designed to do three things.
First, remove some money from Apple’s coffers of tens of billions of dollars. Second, get all of the removed money to be transferred to the lawyers coffers. And, finally, share a little of the leftovers with the iPhone customers who suffered the bricked devices.
That’s the way a capitalist society works, right? Everyone wants a piece of the action, and Apple is a big, big target.
Remember communist Russia? It was all the rage back in the last century. Funny thing. True story. Communism does not and did not work very well so now what was once communism looks very much like good old capitalism where powers that be find money to be extracted, regardless of the source.
Russian CEO (I know he has an official title, but that’s close enough) Vladimir Putin has a new Internet Czar (they still have those in Russia) and guess what he wants?
Why? Well, first of all, what government does not want more money? Second, oil prices are down to the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, so Russia could use another revenue source, and finally, Apple is a good revenue source for more taxes.
That’s right. Apple, Google, Microsoft and others refuse to hand over customer data to law enforcement requests from Russia’s capitalist dictator’s minions, so, retribution is in order. More taxes for Apple, Google, Microsoft and any other western company that does business in Russia and that may compete with the country’s own technology firms.
It’s only fair, right?
Lots of money is leaving Russia and the government just wants some of it back. How is that different than the U.S. government which wants to tax Apple on earnings from other countries (which have already been taxed, though maybe not as much)?
I have a theory.
In a capitalist society, everyone is out to get your money. Whether it’s a company raising prices to gain more profit, or putting pressure on wages to keep personnel costs low, everyone wants a slice of your money.
The Russian government and ambulance chasing lawyers are not much different.