The Macalope Weekly: From bad to worse
It?s interesting that Nocera doesn?t get at the one thing Jobs might have done better, which is selling it. But even Jobs couldn?t fool all of the people all of the time. (See: Apple?s original ?sweet solution? for iOS development.) Still, as Jean-Louis Gassee notes, Apple should have done a better job on communicating that there would be problems.
Now it is Apple?s turn to be king of the hill?and, not surprisingly, it has begun to behave in a very similar fashion. You can see it in the patent litigation against Samsung, a costly and counterproductive exercise that has nothing to do with innovation and everything to do with protecting its turf.
Counterproductive?! In what wacky alternate timeline is forcing your biggest smartphone competitor to hand over $3 billion and getting a ban on its products counterproductive? Oh, you can say it?s a waste of time, you can say it?s beneath Apple, but counterproductive? No.
?Oh my god,? read one Twitter message I saw. ?Apple maps is the worst ever. It is like using MapQuest on a BlackBerry.?
MapQuest and BlackBerry.
Uh-huh. Well, let?s not let ?anonymous Twitter guy? have the last word. Let?s let this guy on Twitter have the last word:
Should I write an article about what Steve Jobs would have done?
A match made in heaven
OK, who got Dan Lyons in the Macalope?s Gizmodo?! Who got Gizmodo in the Macalope?s Dan Lyons?! Yes, it?s two horrible tastes that go terrible together!
?Steve Jobs? Reality Distortion Field Lives On? (Gizmodo and Dan Lyons? Oh, you?d better believe there?s no link to that, but tip o? the antlers to AgentKyle).
Trite Apple meme in the headline? Oh, you know it, girl.
The Macalope is confused because he thought Lyons wrote for Newsweek. It seems he still does, according to his bio on the piece, but Newsweek apparently won?t let him publish his personal vendetta notes, so he must turn to Gizmodo?and possibly the Weekly World News?to lash out at his critics, of whom MG Siegler and John Gruber are just two.
The rule of thumb for following Apple is that if you want to know what Apple PR?s official line is, you just need to read the top-tier Apple apologists like John Gruber and MG Siegler.
And if you ever want to know how to get a situation exactly backwards, read low-tier sensationalist rags like Gizmodo, now with more no-tier writers like Lyons!
They?re pretty much operating as unpaid Apple spokesbots.
Unpaid?! Has Lyons seen how much Gruber reportedly makes?
Apple briefs these guys, but instead of having the balls to do it on the record?
Stop the way the technology industry works, Dan Lyons wants to get off!
If we could Dan, we would love to so we could be rid of you.
?Apple feeds them some spin with the condition that they will write it up while attributing their info to ?sources who are familiar with the situation.?
As opposed to the other publications that got information from Google ?sources who are familiar with the situation and vewy, vewy sad about how mean Apple?s being [pouty face],? who are impeccably unbiased.
Both fail to discuss the suckiness of the maps app itself and instead spin the story to one about timing.
There?s no spin here. Both Gruber and Siegler have acknowledged that the data stinks; they?re answering the question of why Apple would use it. This offends the tender sensibilities of the artist formerly known as Fake Steve, because the only rational reaction is for us to all lose our foul-word-for-composure because the data on one app on Apple?s latest mobile operating system isn?t accurate in many instances. Someone needs to be frog-marched out of One Infinite Loop!
And, of course, in this version of events, Apple is doing the right thing. And, of course, the villain is Google.
Lyons pulls no quotes from Siegler or Gruber and offers no refutation of points either have made. Lyons just says ?Of course they come down on Apple?s side because they?re in Apple?s pocket.? Ipso facto ergo sum allakazam! They?re guilty.
Here?s an actual quote from Gruber:
Apple wanted turn-by-turn and vector map tiles. Google wanted more control over the Maps app, more branding, and more identifiable location data. So Apple moved.
Apparently, laying out what was a business decision by both Apple and Google is shilling in Lyons?s book.
Let the Macalope be clear (again): Bad on Apple for shipping an app with crappy data. Discussing the very real business reasons why the company did so, however, does not make someone a shill.
It?s called misdirection, and it?s mostly used by magicians and PR people.
Yes! Understanding why things happened is misdirection! Don?t try to understand things, just brow-beat Apple!