As lithium:heroin, is iPhone:Crackberry?

Listening to this week’s MacBreak Weekly, the Macalope found himself shouting “iPod! iPod!” at the lovely Merlin Mann and the talented Scott Bourne.

Discussing why a Blackberry user would be inclined give Apple the benefit of the doubt on the iPhone, the suggestion was that they’d only do it if they were also Mac users.

Well, the Macalope suspects not many are going to because they’re so thoroughly entrenched in the platform, but they don’t necessarily have to be Mac users.

They could just really like their iPods.

The Macalope knows some Trojan horses and, frankly, they’re kind of pissed that the iPod stole their shtick.

The other shoe

Computerworld reported yesterday that the Mac’s share of U.S. computers surfing the web doubled in the last 8 months.

Computerworld talks about what this means for web developers, but it also has implications for content providers and advertisers. Mac users want to read about Macs and they want to buy Mac products.

And people are seeing dollar signs in their eyes.

The Macalope’s hairy ears have picked up interesting portents of late. When Jason O’Grady was hired to blog by ZDNet, it seemed to be mostly just a publications that doesn’t really care for Apple taking an obnoxious shot at the company by hiring one of the targets of its famous “Asteroid” lawsuit.

It also fit in with ZDNet’s blog strategy which seems to be “we don’t care if it’s good, just get us some hits.”

But O’Grady’s not the only one. The Macalope has watched as large media outlets have been trying to increase their presence in the online Mac community, sometimes through acquisition of online talent or partnerships (see: Fake Steve and Wired). Finally, we apparently count for something.

How about "10 Things We Hate About List-Based 'Journalism'"?

Well, PC World decided to go ahead and publish its 10 Things We Hate About Apple (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Kramp via email) but included an accompanying 10 Things We Love About Apple piece.

You can read their explanation of the decision here where they say it’s all just a joke.

As far as these craptacular lists go, this one is really not that offensive — most of the complaints are factual and, therefore, rather minor. And like the rest of these craptacular lists it’s exceedingly banal.

Right off the bat it seems PC World can’t even come up with 10 as number 1 and 2 are about basically the same thing: Apple’s secrecy.

Number 3 — Apple’s jibe at Windows when it shipped virus-infected iPods — is spot on, but number 4 — we don’t like words that start with a small “i” — really scrapes the bottom of the barrel.

Number 5 — where’s the Blu-Ray? — well, blah, blah, blah, where are my 18 flash card ports, blah, blah, blah, where’s my DVD RAM drive, blah, blah, blah. Number 6 starts off OK — the hockey puck mouse was unforgiveable — but degenerates:

Don’t forget the Shuffle audio player, whose lack of a screen or other discernable navigation aid Apple has successfully spun as a “feature.” (Yes, we know that the Shuffle is wildly popular–and yes, we’d still rather buy a player that can tell us what it’s playing.)

Ah. “We know the shuffle is wildly popular and is being imitated by the other vendors in a desperate attempt to claim the scraps of market share that might be left, but we don’t like it.”

Sort of like “We know that cupcakes are tasty treats that are enjoyed by young and old alike across the globe, but we don’t like them.”


Numbers 7, 8 and 9 have some truth to them while playing a little loose with certain facts but, really, this list is so mundane the Macalope’s having a hard time really caring at this point.

Number 10 is the silliest but is in territory that’s been so well covered already that there’s no point going over it again.

You can give credit to PC World for not resorting to base Enderle-ism and just making things up, but the list is so yawn-inducing that what it really shows is that there just isn’t that much to complain about.


Why make a list?

Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all

On his new blog, Walt Mossberg (tip o’ the antlers to Michael Gartenberg) talks about how Microsoft and Sony are gettin’ themselves some o’ that old-time Apple religion: making the whole widget.

Those of you who, like the Macalope, lived through the 1990s where every yahoo analyst and oh-so-well-meaning Apple basher swore up and down that the company needed to license or die can feel free to bask in the schadenfreude.

Of course, they’re still doing it, but not nearly as much.

Information Weak

InformationWeek’s John Soat’s got 10 Indications Apple’s Headed for a Fall! (Tip o’ the antlers to Gene Moreau via email.)

Aaaaaiiiii! Say it isn’t so, John!

It’s list time! The list is a journalist’s best friend–easy to write and very popular online.

Well, at least you’re being open. So, you’re lazy and you’re trolling for hits. Good to know.

Let’s forge on. Tell the Macalope: why is Apple headed for a fall?

10) The same reason the Dow won’t stay at 13,000–gravity.

That, John, is effectively saying the same thing as “evil spirits”. Boy, you really are feeling lazy today.

And, unfortunately, the rest of the list isn’t much better.

9) Just about everyone who might possibly want an iPod has one.

Well, yes, iPod sales growth is tailing off, so it’s a good thing Apple makes other products. They also have this thing coming out called the iPhone. You might have heard about it. It was in all the papers. At least the ones where the journalists don’t fall back on lists all the time.

8) Apple hasn’t refreshed its computer line in a few years.

A few years? OK, most of the lineup hasn’t been refreshed since mid-2006, but the Mac Pro just got eight cores. That ain’t too shabby.

7) When an online impersonator of the CEO is more interesting than the CEO himself, that’s not a good sign.

Now you’re just making things up. Sure, we all love Fake Steve, but is he really more interesting than real Steve? If real Steve had a blog, whose do you think would be read more?

6) Apple opened seven stores last quarter, for a total of 177 worldwide, and a third store is planned for Manhattan. Are there enough thin, cool, good-looking young people in the world to staff them?

Ha-ha! Ahhhh…

C’mon. Tell the truth. You couldn’t come up with 10 real problems. Maybe these list things aren’t that easy. Or you’re even lazier than you think.

5) Everyone is getting tired of those “I’m a Mac … And I’m a PC” commercials.

Well, some people are. Like Bill Gates. The Macalope bets he’s real tired of them.

4) There’s increasing speculation the iPhone will flop.

Uh, yeah, but Steve Ballmer’s opinion isn’t exactly unbiased.

3) Windows Vista is better than it’s getting credit for.

Yes. So is broccoli. Don’t expect a rush on it.

2) That pesky stock options backdating thing won’t go away.

1 out of 10. Monkeys could do better.

1) I just bought an Apple iMac, which carries with it my personal version of the Sports Illustrated cover curse.

Ah, so the whole thing is just a build-up to a joke about your poor personal buying record?! Awesome!