The Macalope Weekly: People hate clowns

And with good reason. But where would the Macalope be without Forbes? The magazine that provides “Information for the World’s Business Leaders” who are waiting in dentists offices is like a pundit clown car: Hilarious, dopey entertainers spill from it in an unending stream and circle back around to spill out of it again. This week, the Forbes equivalent of Koko, Bozo, and Krusty are here to give the world’s business leaders the inside scoop on Apple’s security problem and how the company is nothing but a house of cards built on desperation.

Enjoy!

Or not.

Probably not.

In your face, strawmen!

First up is Tim Worstall, who says “Yes, Apple Really Does Have A Serious Problem With Computer Viruses And Malware” (tip o’ the antlers to Shawn King and Matt Deatherage).

As you may have heard, “a limited number of” Macs at Apple were compromised from visiting an external iOS development site. The vector of the attack? Java. Apple quickly provided an update to protect against the vulnerability.

As those with memories stretching back a couple of decades will recall the various forms of computer malware, the viruses, trojans and the like, were things that affected Microsoft Windows users. Mac users, those using Apple‘s integrated systems, could just laugh and giggle at those poor fools who were using the wrong equipment.

Yeaaaaah. Those were good times.

Now yes, we can say that this is only one example, that it’s been cleaned up already …

Right. We could say the truth. But let’s make a huge deal out of it instead!

But it brings us back to a long running point of mine. Why is it that Apple’s machines weren’t getting attacked?

Because they weren’t worth the trouble, since there weren’t as many of them and Windows XP was soooo easy to attack.

We’ve done this already. We’re all on the same page about this. But for some reason Worstall feels the need to continue to tilt at straw windmills made by straw men.

… with the growth in popularity of the two Apple architectures the bad guys are going to see that it’s worth trying to create viruses for those architectures: thus we’ll see an increase in them.

Wait, the two architectures? Well, that’s going to be substantially harder on iOS, where executables have to come from the App Store.

Plus, didn’t we just determine that attackers prefer to target a larger installed base? The Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve heard, Tim, but since Android is “winning,” it has the larger installed base by far. Of course, it’s possible that their users’ inherent reticence to pay for anything will protect them from losing their credit card information. Still, it’s worth noting which platform has been referred to as “a malware cesspool” and which “the most secure OS, period.”

Yes, I do think that MAC OS [sic] and iOS are more secure than Windows was, certainly, quite possibly more secure than it is.

Gosh, who would have thought Worstall would be one of those people who wrongly capitalizes “Mac”? There’s a shocker. The Mac OS is probably not quite as secure as Windows is now, but it’s gotten a lot closer. iOS, as noted above, is not perfect, but it is unparalleled.

Quite apart from anything else there isn’t the ecosystem of anti-virus software writers as there is for Windows.

Uh, yeah, there’s a reason for that. Also, if you’re relying on third-party anti-virus software, you’re already doomed.

The Macalope hasn’t always thought that Apple has put its best foot forward on security matters, but of late its responses have improved dramatically. And the company’s done its best to remove two primary vectors for attack: Flash and Java.

Worstall acts like he’s discovered something here that smug “MAC” users didn’t know. But the horny one has been on this topic for over five years. And, well, not to toot his own horn, but, he’s no slouch in the field of being a smug Mac user.

Nonscience fiction

Jeez, are we only through one of these? Ugh.

Well, as Willie Wonka said, “Oh, you can’t go back. Gotta go forward to go back. Better press on.”

Clem “Chowder” Chambers has taken his science-fiction medicine road show to Forbes yet again to tell us how doooomed Apple is.

“Is Apple’s Future BlackBerry, Microsoft Or Amazon?” (tip o’ the antlers to the Jonathan F*ing Ive parody account on Twitter).

How about “none of the above?”

I’ve stuck it out calling Apple (AAPL) a bubble for quite a time now and I can wag my finger at the “Apple will be $1,000 a share” fan-boys and say “told ya so” but shouting “sell” is not what I’ve been doing.

A bubble. With a P/E ratio of about 10 and enough cash to buy Visa, Cisco, or Intel. This is where we are with the level of discourse about Apple. People just say things that make no sense as if they’re analysis, and publications like Forbes say “Can you make it even crazier? What if … just thinking out loud … there were aliens? Hmm?”

What I kept saying is not “SELL APPLE” but “do not have too much Apple in your portfolio.” Be diversified. This is still the case.

Yes! And on this the Macalope agreed when Chambers last darkened his doorstep.

Apple isn’t the only thing Chambers thinks is a bubble, though:

Human population is probably a bubble and it might burst, as I postulate in my latest science fiction medical thriller The First Horseman.

You know, this column would probably work better as fiction. Just a thought.

Chambers then throws up some charts showing how Apple might fare as BlackBerry, Microsoft, or Amazon, leaving his article a tawdry sex scene away from slash fiction.

It seems unlikely that an Apple iWatch is going to levitate Apple hundreds of billions of dollars in market cap …

Well, that’s it, then! Drag out the giant novelty fork and stick it in the company!

If Apple breaks its recent lows the equilibrium point is going to be in the mid-$300s.

The Macalope used to scoff at these ideas, but it makes about as much sense as the way the market has treated Apple to date, so …

Unless Apple can amaze again with something great this year, then like Microsoft, its ascendancy will be over.

Apparently there’s some sort of critical momentum to ascendancy, and if you lose it then it’s gone forever.

Are we sure we’re not talking about one of your science fiction plots, Clem?

What’s that smell?

At long last our four years of auditing clown college are drawing to an end and our dissertation shall be on Nigam Arora’s piece for Forbes, titled …

“Apple iWatch Leaks Drip With Desperation” (tip o’ the antlers to iHKDesigns).

Speaking of odors, the desperation of a company with $137 billion in cash smells like candy, in case you were wondering.

Apple has been secretive in the past about new products. Rumors about what’s ahead usually originate in Asia from checks with Apple suppliers, but recent rumors about iWatch were a departure from the past.

You know what the word “usually” means, right? You should, because you just wrote it.

Did Apple leak information about an iWatch? Heck if the Macalope knows. And heck if Arora does, either.

The question is, “Why is Apple departing from its past practice?”

If you don’t know that Apple’s never done something, just say that it never has. It makes writing an article so much easier. And it’s not like Forbes cares.

One theory is that Apple is acting out of desperation.

Another is that Tim Cook is possessed by evil spirits. A third one is monkeys! Not that monkeys released the information or caused it to be released. Just monkeys! In little vests and fez hats. Smoking.

Monkeys.

Hey, if we’re making stuff up, why not make it fun?

Apple is a huge and wildly successful company at the top of its game. And yet Nigam Arora and Forbes want us to believe it’s acting like a down-on-his-luck drunk with no place left to go.

Like BlackBerry.

The other theory is that Apple found out about a watch-like product that Samsung is working on.

Which will have 10,000 buttons. Until Apple releases an iWatch, and then it’ll have none.

A Korean website, Ruliweb, has leaked screen shots of Samsung Altius; many consider this to be equivalent of iWatch.

Which they would know because … uh …

You know, monkeys make more and more sense every minute.

Is Apple becoming more proactive, or is Apple getting desperate?

Good question, Nigam! Hey, by the way, have you heard of this thing called “a title”? It’s at the top of your article and seems to emphatically answer the question you’re now asking at the very end of the article.

Forbes: pretending to ask questions that we already screamed our answers to in the headline.

Honk-honk! [seltzer bottle] [pratfall]

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