The Macalope started to write a longer piece about this that went into some of the history of the “wireless controversy” and had charts and graphs of the key players with circles and arrows and drew humorous conclusions that were, at the same time, very thought provoking and whole thing wrapped up at the end leaving the reader more enlightened and somehow more sexually potent.

But then the Macalope though, eh, screw it. We’ve been driving around and around in this neighborhood for months and we’re no closer to finding the freeway. “Indeed” should cover it.

  • John Muir:

    Keynote presentations: the next wave in Mac punditry and rebuttal.

    Or just leave it to da Groobs.


  • Nick:

    I’ve not been inclined to doubt everything David Maynor says. There was much that remained unclear about the episode, and I kept thinking he’d have more say and more to show, and things would become clearer. It never seemed to happen.

    And, as far as I can tell, despite what David Maynor implies, John Gruber has acknowledged that the affair is clouded, has paid attention to what David Maynor has said, and not has assumed that Maynor was taking everyone for a ride. I recall a fairly recent column where Gruber asked whether that the third-party card was a “McGuffin” – implicit in that question … well, one doesn’t have to spell it out. But Maynor never delivers the goods.

    What does he say now?

    “I keep hearing about this straw man argument from the Mac faithful but the real straw man argument is that he has the technical skills to even discuss these issues.”

    It’s a poorly constructed sentence, and one has to wonder whether David knows what a “straw man argument” means, or whether it’s just that he’s impatient and lazy when it comes to setting down exactly what he means in writing.

    He’s also doing here what he’s done before: making an “appeal to authority” – viz, his own:

    Such an appeal is not a non-rational claim, as some believe. But it can’t always bear very much weight; and David has leant his on it pretty heavily more than once.

    He concludes:

    “Of course the reporters that will cover this will be called Microsoft zealots and they have an agenda against Apple. Lets put an end to that now, even if they did, does it make the story any less true…”

    Reading this one has to wonder just what a reporter would have to do for David to acknowledge that the reporter had slanted the story _against_ Apple. The possibility doesn’t even seem to enter his purview.

    He’s not making a logical argument here. He’s using a rhetorical device. In effect he’s allowing readers two options: accept whatever “the reporters that will cover this” say; or accept that “the story” is true. It’s a false dichotomy. “The reporters” is a verbal sleight of hand meant to distract us from the obvious fact that some reporters will report this differently from others. As for “the story” being “true”, which parts of whose story?

    He’s failed to even acknowledge a whole range of possibities:

    * What about a reporter who omits mentions of the time frames?

    * What about a reporter who fails to mention that the exploit only happened after the conditions were relaxed?

    * What about a reporter who doesn’t simply report but who throws in gratuitous and questionable interpretations?

    * What about a reporter who fails to mention that link between Microsoft and CanSecWest?

    And perhaps most telling of all:

    What about a reporter who is eager to quote the Microsoft tool Dragos Ruiu:

    “You see a lot of people running OS X saying it’s so secure, and frankly, Microsoft is putting more work into security than Apple has.”

    That is a staggeringly misleadings statement. As Daniel Eran Dilger pointed out:

    “Of course, the reason why Microsoft has been forced to ‘put so much work into security’ is because of the infamous reputation the Windows platform has earned as a security nightmare. Microsoft was entirely blind-sided by the Windows security crisis, and was forced to attack its security problems out of embarrassment.”

    Ruiu has just given them a free pass on that.

  • T Money:

    What Maynor doesn’t seem to understand is the reaction to him and his “exploit” did not occur because he claimed he found an exploit. It occured because he claimed it, passed it off to a flame-baiting reporter and then continually backed down from all challenges to prove the assertation. The only people who knew anything about his “exploit” were him, his partner and a couple reporters who had seen backroom demonstrations but couldn’t tell anyone anything they saw (“nothing up my sleves”). It was this continuous smoke and mirrors show with no validation and no reasonable response, coupled with his own flame-baiting and then Apple’s own responses that turned it in to a disaster.

    Contrast this to the current exploit. Many (besides the interested parties and reporters) have seen it. Others have verified it, and it’s for the most part open. All the details aren’t out yet, but the authors are forthcomming and behaving resonably. And the reaction has been quite different. Everyone is watching with interest, not becasue they want to destroy this, but because it’s real and they can see it. There will always be attempts at mitigating the damage shown, it happens all the time. But no one is jumping in on and name calling or mud slinging because everything going on now is on the up and up.

    The reaction to this exploit, and the reaction to Maynor’s “exploit” were exactly the same on the day the story broke: “Neat. Tell us more.” The difference now is how the tell us more part has been handled. Perhaps Maynor should take a lesson. Civil dicourse is met with civil discourse. Mudslinging will be met with mudslinging, and loss of credibility.

    On a side note, does anyone else feel like reading Maynor’s posts is like reading 1337 h4x0r script kiddies talking about pwnzing their highschool’s computer?

  • dogfriend:

    It seems to me that the strawman here is the assertion that Mac users will disregard any security problem. I don’t think that any but a tiny minority of Mac users would stipulate that the OS is without flaws.

    In my case, I have been amazed for quite some time that exploits have yet to appear. I don’t believe in the security thru obsurity theory.

    My interest at this point in time is to understand any vulnerabilities at least well enough to take action to keep my computer and personal info under my control. I can’t speak for others, but I would bet money that most other Mac users are trying to do the same.

  • addicted:

    Despite his obvious lack of expertise in the area of security, Gruber’s unchanged stance was he was not going to believe that Apple had conducted a smear campaign, until he was provided with evidence. Occam’s Razor would back Gruber on that.

    The problem was that Maynor demanded that Gruber believe him because he was ‘teh expert’ and the other ZDNet guy constantly promised evidence, but again insisted he could not release it because of ‘evil, apple evil’!

    Gruber held a position which any sane and rational individual would, considering the lack of information he possessed. On the other hand, the CanSwecWest exploit has been verified, and besides Artie McStrawMan, no mac user is either surprised (because we all know nothing is perfect) or rushing up and down to prove why it is not important.

    What Maynor claims RDM is jumping up to downplay the exploit, is nothing but RoughlyDrafted criticizing poor reporting (rather than the exploit itself), and explaining that MS’s extra security work is not a result of their large heart, but rather necessitated by the barrage of exploits windows has suffered from.

  • On a side note, does anyone else feel like reading Maynor’s posts is like reading 1337 h4×0r script kiddies talking about pwnzing their highschool’s computer?

    Again, indeed. Not everyone should blog.

  • Nick! That is a bit more than indeed. Let’s leave it.

    John! I call him The Groob. I wonder if anyone else has any other variations on the theme.

  • Nick:

    “… passed it off to a flame-baiting reporter …”

    I don’t think that’s a fair description of Brian Krebs at all. His columns seem pretty straight to me. I have difficulty imagining him sitting in his office at the _Washington Post_ dreaming up dishonest ways of driving traffic in the Dvorak manner.

    I think he just said what he thought he saw – and what he did see is anyone’s guess.

  • umm….

    Brian Krebs is not “straight”

    He has a long track record of botching stories. He is a consumer advice columnist, not a security columnist, and also sucks up to sources.

  • The Mac is invulnerable to security concerns, so obviously the CanSwecWest exploit is faked.

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