The Macalope Weekly: Christmas miracles!

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

“It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles, so be of good cheer…” –Hans Gruber

This week, we have three strange tales of Christmas miracles. First, remember that faux switcher who we thought we could mock for one reason before he tried to turn the tables on us? Turns out we can mock him for a whole different reason! Then, the Macalope defending Microsoft?! Crazy, right? Finally, a positive Nexus S review the Macalope likes?! Has the whole world gone mad?! And is the Macalope trying desperately to fill his quota of interrobangs before the year’s end?!

And they laughed and called him names

The community of people who happen to like Apple products got its collective feathers ruffled this week when “investigative reporter” Joshua Kors detailed his failed attempt to switch, which included any number of falsehoods about the Mac.

TUAW and Craig Grannell took the piece at face value and deftly retorted to it at face value.

But, wait!

Read more...

See, it wasn’t a lazy, misinformed rant about how Macs are inferior! It was, Kors subsequently says, comedy! How could one tell? Well, the “Comedy” button at the top of the page was a slightly darker shade of red than the buttons of the other sections. Silly rabid Mac users! You have no one to blame but yourselves and your irrational hatred of patent falsehoods!

Instead of complaining that Kors had his facts all wrong, you should have been complaining that he’s not funny. What part of a slightly-darker-shade-of-red don’t you understand?

Kors wants you to know that it was a noble sociological experiment along the lines of Michael Mann or Erich Fromm or Margaret Mead or any of the other names the Macalope just pulled off this list of supposedly famous sociologists. And, while there are no right or wrong answers in sociology, you failed the test, OK?

As my mailbag grew heavier and more acidic, I found myself thinking of Adam Lambert’s wonderful comments in Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” video series. It does get better, Lambert told struggling gay teens. But “even someone like me, someone that has recently come into some success… even I get bullied,” Lambert says.

Dude, you just compared getting negative feedback on a barely labeled and unfunny “satire” piece to being gay-bashed. Are you saying you were born to write link-bait or…?

Of course, this piece is also in the Huffington Post’s Humor section, so maybe that’s also “satire.”

By the way, Huffington Post, when did labeling something “humor” mean you can name-drop your way through any unfunny, incorrect, and self-serving thing you want?

Give peace a chance

Wired’s Brian Chen has 7 Reasons You Won’t Want a Windows 7 Slate.

You might think the Macalope is going to guffaw and give Chen a virtual fist/hoof-bump for this, but if you do then you haven’t been paying attention. For starters, the Macalope does not guffaw. But, more to the point, the horny one’s disdain for reviews of products that don’t even exist yet is on record and this, while somewhat justified, is still premature.

Yes, it’s not like Microsoft doesn’t have a completely laughable track record in this, and it’s not like their public statements have backed away from the horrible idea that full-blown Windows 7 with full-blown Office is what the kids all really want to run on their tablets (to be fair, maybe the kids are really cold and want to use their tablets to warm themselves). But there’s still a chance Microsoft has a solution to this problem.

Granted, it seems like they might have to pull some elves and magic out of their butts, but it’s possible they’ve addressed these issues. And this is what chaps the Macalope’s furry hide about so much technology reporting. Is it that hard to put “may” in the title? Is that such a hard word to use? It’s three letters! Is space really, really tight over at Wired.com or something? No, of course not. It’s just standard technology industry reporting goofballery to make sweeping statements of things that may or may not be true.

Everyone is in agreement that full-blown Windows 7 on a tablet is not the answer, unless the question is “What is a janky, intolerable user experience, Alex?”

But let’s give Microsoft the time to show us their clown-shoed attempts at trying to keep up with Apple products before we mock their solution.

The holidays always put everyone on edge

Also over at Wired, Mat Honan keyed a review of the Google Nexus S which he seemed to think would “make [Daring Fireball’s John Gruber] furious.” The Macalope can’t speak for John, but he found the review to be quite well-done and thinks Mat might be a little over-sensitive.

Let’s get this out of the way first: The Nexus S is an excellent phone. It’s not as nice as an iPhone 4 as a complete package. But it’s a great phone on its own merits, and it does even do many things better (connectivity, media-sharing, background processes and notifications). You very well may prefer this to an iPhone, but it is not an iPhone. If you want an iPhone; you should buy an iPhone. Phew. Now g’head flame away.

The Macalope thinks this is a pretty good tone to strike (perhaps minus the “flame” comment). Some editor at Wired didn’t get Honan’s message, however, and teased the story in the site’s RSS feed by saying the Nexus S will “cure even the most diehard Apple fans from a crippling iPhone addiction.” Sheesh. Talk about flaming away.

Despite what many think, the brown and furry one doesn’t need everyone in the world to use an iPhone. Or a Mac. And certainly not iDisk. In the spirit of good will to all, it would be nice if he did not have to hear his phone preference called “a crippling addiction.” Oh, well. Maybe next year.

(The Macalope’s Saturday column will be on hiatus for two weeks for the holidays.)

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