The Macalope Weekly: What a letdown!
It was just one letdown after another this week! Wired pulls an exciting reveal of the finder of lost iPhones, but then he fails to try to make this into a First Amendment issue. Not one but two “iPad killers” get offed in a deadly game of “kill or be killed” and Adobe’s employees suddenly go mum when Steve Jobs speaks.
What happened to you, man? You used to stand for something!
The mysterious case of the missing iPhone is moving faster than a conveyor belt full of chocolates that Lucy just can’t keep up with! (Oh, Lucy! Will you ever learn?)
The knees of journalists and First Amendment-fan-fiction writers were exercised heavily this week as they jerked reflexively to the defense of gadget blog Gizmodo. Few jerked harder and with less understanding of the issues than Slate’s Tim Wu. Over and over again, Wu complains that Gizmodo, the publishers of the information about the iPhone prototype, should not be punished. Not once does he say what should be done about Gizmodo, the purchasers of allegedly stolen property.
And that’s the Macalope’s problem with the reading of the situation by every single supporter of Gizmodo, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As he of the brown fur noted on Twitter, he was not aware that journalists are holy, celestial creatures to whom our earthly laws do not apply. If this really is how our legal system works, then there seems to be a terrible loophole for anyone who sticks an index card that says “PRESS” into his or her fedora.
Now Wired has identified the seller of the iPhone who says he’s really, really sorry he never really tried to return the iPhone to Apple, but he likes orphans and kittens and he can’t do jail time, man, he can’t do it! Pretty guys like him get traded like cigarettes!
No, no, no! Cut, cut, cut!
Dude, you’re doing it wrong! This is your 15 minutes! You’re supposed to be standing on a soap box, going on and on about the First Amendment and how this legal action creates a chilling effect on supposed journalists who want to buy stolen property to increase page views!
It’s almost as if the guy feels like he did something wrong. But that can’t be the case, of course. How silly. The First Amendment nullifies felonies!
The Macalope’s not sure this case rises to the level of police involvement we generally reserve for spies, terrorists, and pedophiles. But at the same time, he’d better not hear anyone from the EFF ever complain about lack of police interest when someone breaks into their house and steals their Linux netbook.
After all, the thief might be a journalist.
And then there were still zero
It was just a few weeks ago the Macalope highlighted the iPad’s worthy competition (disclaimer: actual worth not included) and already the landscape has shifted.
This week came news that Microsoft has cancelled the Courier, the tablet as mythical as the horny one himself. The Macalope wonders how one goes about canceling a series of concept videos, but if anyone could do it, it would be Microsoft.
Meanwhile, word on the somewhat unreliable street is that HP has killed the Windows 7-based iPad-killing tablet that Steve Ballmer announced at CES in January. Presumably HP has told Microsoft it’s got a new bicycle now—to wit, Palm’s webOS—and it’s gonna ride it all the way into town to buy a Coke. And not one of those crappy high-fructose corn syrup-based ones, either! A genuine Mexican Coke with real sugar!
The Macalope actually looks forward to seeing the results of that ride—Palm’s webOS is a much better fit for a tablet than Windows 7. He also hopes that the canceling of Courier means a Windows Phone 7-based tablet might be in the works, because Microsoft really needs a more consistent approach to building a mobile platform. Casual readers of his work may not realize this, but the Macalope actually wants there to be competition to the iPad. Competition is good!
And right now, there isn’t any.
Who’s a Chatty Cathy?
Forget social media! All the action this year is in emailing Steve Jobs! Everyone’s doing it! It’s hotter than Twitter and comes with a built-in monetization scheme! Exclamation mark!
The Macalope’s not sure what they put in Steve’s tofu, but he’s grinding out emails faster than you can say Inbox Zero. Steve’s most recent missive was to someone who wondered if the heavy iPhone and iPad emphasis for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference meant the company was de-emphasizing Mac OS development. Steve’s response?
Sent from my iPhone
Wait, “Sent from my iPhone”? Is that some kind of coded message?! STEVE, COME BACK!
Whatever the case, there’s nothing coded in Jobs’s Thoughts On Flash. Whoo-ee. Adobe seems to have come to its senses and gone with a corporate-level response while the formerly very opinionated Lee Brimelow and John Dowdell seem to have suddenly lost their voices on the subject. Wait, what happened to “let your employees speak” and “put some skin in the game”?!
Do you mean to tell the Macalope that was just posturing?