The Simpsons and “Mapple”

Last night’s episode of The Simpsons made some pretty funny pokes at Apple, or as they’re referred to in the episode, "Mapple":

In three minutes’ worth of opening sequence, they manage to get in a fair number of jabs and gags, including:

  • Apple stores’ design aesthetic: “It’s so sterile!”
  • The price points of Apple products – even the fake “myPod” earbuds cost forty bucks
  • The "silhouette” iPod ads
  • Steve Job’s keynotes and the breathless, worshipful way they’re received
  • The “cool factor” associated with Apple products
  • The “1984” ad for the original Macintosh. Comic Book Guy is the perfect guy to throw the hammer – he even has the same shorts as the hammer-throwing revolutionary.

There are many lessons that tech companies (and yes, that includes the empire of which I am part) could learn from Mapple – er, Apple – from differentiating yourself with good design to making an emotional and experiential connection with your users. It’s not just feature sets and price points. After all, even though we’ve had electric light for over a century, candles remain a $2 billion dollar industry and can be found in seven out of ten homes.

(As for Bart’s bit about Steve Jobs and Bill gates smooching on a pile of money, that’s been done before in the form of hot Steve-on-Bill slash fiction.)


Slice of Life from PDC, Part 3: The Simpsons Ride

Sign for Universal Studios' "The Simpsons Ride"

On Tuesday night, attendees of the PDC were treated to a night at the Universal Studios Hollywood amusement park, which was closed off to everyone but us. Everything was free: rides, food and drinks, and the park was dressed up for Hallowe’en, complete with horror movie characters including Freddy Krueger, skeletons and chainsaw-wielding zombies.

I’ll post more photos on the Accordion Guy blog later, but in the meantime, enjoy these photos featuring the new “Simpsons Ride”, which was very amusing. It’s one of those “ridefilms” or “simulator rides”, in which you’re placed in a ride car that seats 8 that gets jolted around in sync to an IMAX film. The basic plot:you’re trying out the new ride in “Krustyland” when suddenly, Sideshow Bob takes over the controls as an act of revenge, and hilarity ensues.

Entrance to "Krustyland"

One of the best things about the ride is that they try to keep you entertained in line with…you guess it, Simpsons cartoons. These new cartoons were made specifically for the ride, feature a number of Simpsons characters and best of all, feature writing that’s a lot funnier and sharper than the show has been lately.


Old Man Yells at Cloud

I’m not surprised that the best image to accompany any commentary about Richard Stallman’s rant about cloud computing from The Simpsons. Mathew Ingram (who had the best article title on the topic) pointed to Enomaly CTO Reuven Cohen’s blog ElasticVapor, where this gem can be found:

Newspaper clipping from "The Simpsons": "Old Man Yells at Cloud", featuring photo of Grampa Simpson yelling at a cloud