The Macalope Weekly: Oh, that word

If there’s an overused word in our online lexicon, it’s “fail.” Fail, fail, fail, everything is fail. It’s so overused that people need to use the adjective “EPIC” so you know they’re really serious this time about something being “FAIL.” Not surprisingly, Apple has this four-letter word hurled at it a lot. Plus, a major netbook vendor admits to failing in the shadow of the iPad and Flash? FAIL.

Where are the inveterate jerkweeds now?

ComputerWorld’s Preston Gralla wants to know where are “Apple fanbois” now that Apple’s the “most reviled brand on the Net.”

Apple has long been known for its fanatic fanbois, who attack anyone online who even hints that the company or its products are not perfect.

Well, Preston for starters, most of these “Apple fanbois” are in your fevered imagination, right where they’ve always been. But if you also mean those of us who happen to like Apple products while still reserving the right to criticize the company for its random App Store policies, capitulation on DRM, and Steve Jobs’s parking in handicapped spaces, we’re over here trying to figure out what you’re yammering about.

Pro tip: when you have a stupid argument to make, preface it by branding anyone who might take exception to it as a “fanatic.” Now you’ve inured yourself from attack! You can say anything, no matter how stupid it is!

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See, Preston, that’s the thing. We don’t mind reasoned criticism of Apple. Heck, we make it. What we don’t like is inflammatory link-bait that has no basis in reality.

Which gets us to your “point.”

Now the tables have turned: Brandwatch has found that Apple has become the most reviled brand on the Internet.

Really? Is that what they found, Preston?

Turns out, no, not really! What the article Gralla linked to says is that Apple was the “most criticised brand in blogosphere” (emphasis the Macalope’s). That’s slightly more accurate, but still not right. No, what Brandwatch found was that…

Apple is the brand most commonly linked to the descriptor ‘#fail’.

That’s it. There are other ways to criticize a company, but they’re hard to identify. Tracking the #fail tag is easy!

The progression of stupid here is what’s so annoying. “Apple most associated with fail tag” is turned into “Apple is most criticised brand” is turned into “Apple is most reviled brand”.

Congratulations, to Preston, though. He was the final recursive call to the function getStupid().

From the horse’s mouth

A noted netbook maker has admitted what’s been widely speculated for months: netbook sales are slowing because of the iPad (tip o’ the antlers to TUAW).

Asustek Computer saw sales of its netbooks in the second quarter fall short of expectations mainly due to competition from Apple’s iPad, and has downward adjusted its target shipments for the third quarter, the traditional peak sales period, to 1.4 million units, according to company president and CEO Jerry Shen at an investors conference on August 13.

Marco Arment provides a recent history lesson, pointing out that the smartphone market looked like crap (hey, a lot like netbooks!) as the sun rose on the morning of January 9th, 2007. Three and a half years later it looks, oh, exactly like the iPhone.

Marco asks:

How do you think the subcompact, inexpensive computer category will look in three years?

For the slower members of the class, the answer to this rhetorical question is “a lot like the iPad.”

What we have here is a failure to innovate.

Flash fail fun

Laptop Magazine’s Avram Piltch drops the f-bomb on Flash:

Mobile Flash Fail: Weak Android Player Proves Jobs Right (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball).

Ouch! That doesn’t sound good for fanatic Flash fanbois. (See what the Macalope did there?) Scroll down to the comments and you’ll see:

John Dowdell Says:

Wait, John Dowdell? Adobe’s John Dowdell?

THE MACALOPE’S GONNA NEED SOME POPCORN OVER HERE, STAT.

For those of you who haven’t followed the Flash/iPhone showdown, Dowdell is one of Adobe’s loose cannons with a penchant for holier-than-thou sermons that just happen to conveniently intersect with his paycheck. Oh, he doesn’t have the eloquence of Lee “Go screw yourself Apple” Brimelow, but he’ll do in a pinch.

Ever helpful, Dowdell has a troubleshooting question:

First things first: are you using legit versions of software?

“And a follow-up question, where did you steal this handset?”

Before Piltch could answer, Dowdell published a post on his own blog lamenting the promotion of the piece (yes, why would anyone want to know about Flash performance?!), complaining that it took a couple of hours to get his comment approved, and reiterating his contention that the only thing that should cause problems is hacked software.

Piltch has since verified that, yes, he is using official software and, as of this writing, Dowdell has not responded with any further helpful hints about how Piltch must be doing it wrong.

And maybe he is! The Macalope certainly doesn’t know because he’d rather have a paper cut on his eyeball than use Flash. What’s so funny is watching Adobe’s vaunted “open culture” making the company so many friends across the Internet.

We need “FREE LEE BRIMELOW” T-shirts.

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