Apple Harvests Old Bell Tel Ideas

December 14, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

I am not a Bell head. True, my team did work at Bell Labs. In mid project, Judge Green’s order was enforced; therefore, the project morphed into a Bellcore job. I had opportunities to buy a Young Pioneer T shirt. Apple’s online store has “matured” that idea. The computer platform was one of those inviolate things. Apple is into digital chastity belts too I believe. Lose your iTunes’ password, and you are instantly transferred back to the world of Bell Tel hell if you “lost” your Western Electric 202 handset.

So what?

I read “Apple Shutters Third-Party Apps That Enabled iMessage on Android.” In my opinion, the write up says, “Apple killed a cross platform messaging application.” This is no surprise to anyone who had the experience of attending pre-Judge Green meetings. May I illustrate? In one meeting in Manhattan, the firm with which I was affiliated attended a meeting to explain a proposal and the fee for professional services. I don’t recall what my colleagues and I were pitching, I just remember the reaction to the fee. I am a dinobaby, but the remark ran along this railroad line:


A Fruit Company executive visits a user. The visit is intended to make clear that the user will suffer penalties if she continues to operate outside the rules of the orchard. That MSFT Copilot. Only three tries today to get one good enough cartoon.

That’s a big number. We may have to raise the price of long-distance calls. But you guys won’t get paid until we get enough freight cars organized. We will deliver the payment in nickels, dimes, and quarters.

Yep, a Bell head joke, believe it or not. Ho, ho, ho. Railcars filled with coins.

The write up states:

The iPhone maker said in a statement it “took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage.” It added that “these techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks.” The company said it would continue to make changes in the future to protect its users.

If you remember the days when a person tried to connect a non-Western Electric device into the Bell phone system, the comments were generally similar. Unauthorized devices could imperil national security or cause people to die. There you go.

As a resident of Kentucky, I am delighted that big companies want to protect me. Those Kentuckians unfortunate enough to have gobbled a certain pharma company’s medications may not believe the “protect users” argument.

As a dinobaby, I see Apple’s “protect users” play as little more than an overt and somewhat clumsy attempt to kill cross platform messaging. The motives are easy to identify:

  • Protect the monopoly until Apply-pleasing terms can be put in place
  • Demonstrate that the company is more powerful than an upstart innovator
  • Put the government on notice that it will control its messaging platform

Oh, I almost forget. Apple wants to “protect users.” Bell/AT&T thinking has fertilized the soil in the Apple orchard in my view. I feel more protected already even though a group fired mortars at a certain meeting’s attendees, causing me to hide in a basement until the supply of shells was exhausted.

Oh, yeah, there were people who were supposed to protect me and others at the meeting. How did that work out?

Stephen E Arnold, December 13, 2023





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