Does Google Have Any Social Skills At All?

Sam Biddle, at Gizmodo:

Everything new from Google is prima facie fantastic, and served with the best intentions. Google is a monolithic company, sure, but it's filled with geniuses who want to make your life easier through technology. Nobody's faulting their ambition, or questioning its motives. But we have to wonder: Are these new things meant for regular people, or the data-obsessed, grace-deficient Silicon Valley nerd vanguard? As much as we wish it weren't so, the answer seems a whole hell of a lot like the latter. That the company responsible for Android is still building for robots. In each case, Google has balanced on golden fingers a product—clearly with a lot of time, thought, and money behind it—that just doesn't seem to jibe with the way we actually live our lives. There isn't any lack of effort or innovation here, but rather a gaping disconnect between the way data geeks and the rest of us see the world. What happens when you fill a company with socially inept software engineers and allowing essential things like design take a back seat to engineering. That you can get the light bulb to work is not the ultimate goal. People have to want to use the light bulb.

China Not Only Makes Counterfeit Apple Products, But Entire Stores too!

An almost unbelievable account posted on a blog called BirdAbroad:

Being the curious types that we are, we struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple. I tried to imagine the training that they went to when they were hired, in which they were pitched some big speech about how they were working for this innovative, global company – when really they’re just filling the pockets of some shyster living in a prefab mansion outside the city by standing around a fake store disinterestedly selling what may or may not be actual Apple products that fell off the back of a truck somewhere. Go read the entire post. The lengths they went to copy 90% of the details of an Apple store is amazing, however, any regular, perceptive, Apple Store customer can spot the parts they got wrong if you look at a few of the photos hard enough.