All things to all people

It’s Thursday, and the Macalope’s up on Macworld again, looking at the tablet and re-rumors of $99 iPhones.

“There is no column so great that it cannot be embiggened by a Boba Fett reference.” – Yeats

Gettin' my guest post on

The fine folks at Securosis were kind enough to post the Macalope’s response to Ira Winkler’s call for Apple to be investigated by the FTC. You should go read it. Winkler’s piece is the kind of stuff you normally like to see the Macalope tear into. And he does.

The waiting is the hardest part

This week’s Macworld piece looks at Macs in Wal-Mart, a survey that says Microsoft has taken the lead in perceived value and rumors that the Apple tablet won’t be coming until next year.

Also, it includes several uncomfortable analogies. Reader discretion is advised.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Microsoft and Apple mix it up, the Macalope wonders who these people are who thought Steve Jobs would be at WWDC and, yes, it’s your weekly dose of netbook bashing, all in this week’s Macworld piece.

Bringing a bazooka to a gun fight

That’s what the Macalope was talkin’ bout.

(Anyone know where the Macalope’s Gs went?)

Deep thought

The Zune must really suck goat balls if it can’t compete against a device that costs $10,000.

Celebrity App Store approval process

Last week’s Macworld piece looks at Trent Reznor’s saucy complaints about the App Store approval process, the rumor about Apple buying Twitter and the Kindle DX.

Not talkin' 'bout a revolution

InfoWorld’s Neil McAllister gives netbooks a serious fluffing in his piece called “The shape of the coming netbook revolution”.

For example, did you know that netbooks are…

Cheap, portable and packed with features that cater to Net-savvy consumers…

“Packed with features”? Ah, like email and a web browser and… a screen… and, er… that other thing.

And “Net-savvy”? Really? Did you write that? Because, wow.

To support his trite argument about how super-cool netbooks are, MacAllister links to a piece on a ChangeWave survey that shows that given the choice between netbooks and oxygen, they’ll take the netbook, thank you very much, where the following can be found:

Increased notebook demand could mean good news for Apple Inc., whose market share has been slipping, according to ChangeWave, partly because it does not offer a cheap option such as a netbook.

The link here is to a piece on another ChangeWave survey (not market share analysis) of future buying preferences. It says fewer people ChangeWave surveyed said they were going to buy Macs and while that might be predictive of market share, that’s not market share. The Macalope’s not even sure if ChangeWave does market share analysis. They mostly do surveys.

But back to MacAllister who tells us what is it about these netbooks that make them so hot, hot, hot.

Netbooks’ tiny screens and cramped keyboards can be fatiguing to use for long periods, and their low-power processors struggle under heavy workloads. Business users will be dismayed by their lack of security features… And with their closed hardware designs and limited drive space, most models have short upgrade lifecycles.

Oh, Neil. You had the Macalope at tiny screens.

Flush with their intial successes, however, manufacturers have responded to these complaints with variations on the original theme. … Both Asus and Acer plan to ship netbooks with 11.6-inch screens in the near future. … Some models list for $700 or more, leaving many customers wondering where the netbook category ends and where laptops begin.

So the main appeal of netbooks is they’re small and cheap, but the problem with them is that they’re small and cheap. So companies are responding to criticism by making them larger and more expensive, effectively turning them back into notebooks.

But, still…

Netbooks! Whaa-hoo! Wave of the future! Number one! McAllister can see your house from up here!

And, hey, who ordered the IT industry group think?

A Linux-based UI may not cut it for day-to-day business computing, but for limited Web access, file viewing, and communications it should be more than adequate for most users.

Oh, really?

Look, the Linux UI is as exciting as dried toast, but is it any worse than XP, which is the operating system most businesses run (now available as a downgrade from Vista for only $50 more!)?

And how ludicrous is this complaint about the Linux desktop in a piece about netbooks? “Here’s your netbook with the glorious XP desktop from two thousand fricking one, business user! Enjoy the cramped keyboard and the tiny screen!” Right. Linux is really the drawback.

OK, this isn’t a horrible piece, it’s just silly. All this prostrating at the holy church of the netbook just strikes the Macalope as the latest technology industry paean to the flavor of the day. Remember net PCs and how we were all going to be using thin clients and, jeez, Apple better make one of those soon or it’s DOOOOMED?

Netbooks are simply cheap little laptops. But someone decided to slap the name “netbook” on them and pretend they’re some kind of innovation other than the same forces that have been at work in computers since the ENIAC, driving size and cost down. At least the net PC represented a new paradigm (or a return to an old paradigm).

This is not a “revolution”. It’s simple evolution. Cheap, plasticy evolution.

Such stuff as dreams are made of

This week’s piece at Macworld looks at the tablet thingamajiggy that is surely coming soon because everyone says so.

Word of warning

Glenn Fleishman noted this on Twitter yesterday, but Apple is no longer sending reminder emails to sign up for AppleCare. This burned the Macalope as well, who had planned to sign up at the end of the one year of warranty coverage, expected to be reminded then missed the date.

The horny one can only guess that the company has realized that charging people for repairs is more profitable than insuring them. Which doesn’t seem reassuring.

UPDATE: The comments seem to indicate that others are still receiving emails. Rather odd. The Macalope’s experience has always been that Apple sends out several notifications – strange that he and Fleishman received none.