The Macalope Weekly: Misplaced attention

Pundits continue to look for answers in all the wrong places, which is like looking for love in all the wrong places except it annoys us instead of the pundits. First off, reviews of Google products don’t have to be all about Apple. But when they are, at least get the comparisons right. And firing Tim Cook? Really, pundits? Are we still talking about this?

All Apple, all the time

Kudos to Steven Rosenbaum who, writing for the unintentional laff factory that is the Forbes contributor network, knows that to sell a piece it’s gotta be about Apple. Even if it’s actually a piece about Google.

“Is Google Glass A Siri Killer?” (no link for Forbes).

When, oh, when will Apple learn that there is no product it can ship that will not, through a flaw in the space/time continuum, be killed by a future product from Microsoft or Google or Samsung or Trask Industries.

The company really should have someone fix that flaw. Maybe that’s what Bob Mansfield is working on.

So, in a more-than-700-word piece that’s a review of Google Glass, how much does Rosenbaum devote to discussing any overlap it might have with Siri?

While you may not think of it at first, clearly Google Glass is a head on competitor to Apple’s Siri.

That’s right. One sentence. Twenty words. About 2.7 percent of the piece. Which would be bad enough if it weren’t also just wrong. Mountain View’s real competitor to Siri is Google Now which, by all accounts, is more robust. So, it’s not like the Macalope isn’t even conceding the point that Google’s voice-recognition technology is currently better. He’s just marveling at the fact that you have to throw Apple into this piece to really make it sizzle!

You know, just a thought, but maybe Google Glass will be a serious threat to Apple when it actually ships to the general public. Or when it merits an article that doesn’t have to ride Apple’s coattails to get pageviews.

The Macalope’s tried Google Glass, if only briefly, and he sees huge potential for it in the long term, particularly in specific industries like education, healthcare and, of course, piloting starships. How it relates to a product that Apple’s been shipping for almost two years, which is already in millions of pockets around the world, is beyond his furry comprehension. And it’s not like Rosenbaum’s piece really helped him understand any better.

Missing the forest for the trees

Don’t get Motorola’s new Moto X near an iPhone, because CNet’s Roger Cheng calls it “The first true anti-iPhone.” And we don’t need another matter/antimatter explosion like what happened in Tunguska in 1908.

This seems a little odd to the Macalope, which is actually a normal symptom of reading CNet. Because from what the Macalope knows about the Moto X, it’s Google/Motorola’s attempt to cut out the middlemen and sell its version of its phone and operating system directly to customers—kind of like how Apple does.

Rather than a tightly controlled look and feel for the device, Motorola will let customers tweak the colors and materials.

Uh, OK. In the Apple world we call those “cases.” Of which there are about a billion.

Instead of the latest specifications, Moto X employs a solid—but not cutting edge—set of hardware features.

Unlike Apple. Or, viewed another way, exactly like Apple, which doesn’t chase specs.

You’re not really convincing the Macalope here, Roger.

Instead of a proprietary operating system built for one device, it runs on an open platform available to hundreds of other phones.

“Open” with a side of locked bootloader.

So, Motorola/Google releases a phone in which it, the manufacturer, controls the whole user experience, from soup to you’re-nuts-if-you-think-you-can-run-another-version-of-Android, and it offers the customer an experience that’s not junked up by the carriers and third-party OEMs, much like, oh, a fruit-themed company whose name is eluding the Macalope right now, and Cheng calls it the “anti-iPhone.” Because it runs Android.

So, wouldn’t every Android phone be the anti-iPhone?

Where Apple is about a single experience and polished products, Google is more about throwing things against the wall to see where they stick.

But the Moto X is a single experience. It’s the Google experience. That’s the whole point of the phone.

Moto X’s customization options changes the paradigm on how phones are made and sold to consumers, giving them another way of thinking about their mobile device.

It’s not a bad hook, but the Macalope is far more interested in the better-user-experience aspect of the Moto X than he is in the wood-grain-finish aspect.

If you need any more evidence that this analysis is antimatter to the matter we call “logic,” just know that The Boy Genius Report’s Zack Epstein calls it “Great analysis.”

So, there’s that.

Fire him again!

Wait, is Tim Cook still CEO of Apple? When will someone end this madman’s reign of terror?!

Fear not, weary Apple follower, for our valiant pundit corps will continue to rail against Cook, no matter what Apple’s position might be!

Now, it’s no surprise to find Paul Thurrott claiming that Steve Ballmer’s doing a great job and it’s Tim Cook who should be fired (tip o’ the antlers to Harry Marks). Tweaking Apple fans is just Paul’s shtick. In fact, some say they’ve never seen Paul and the Winotaur in the same place at the same time. Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

But Thurrott is not alone! No, he’s in, well, the worst company ever. Trip “Always Wrong” Chowdhry says former iPod chief Jon Rubinstein would be a better CEO than Cook (tip o’ the antlers to Nick Heer). Well, sure! Look at the bang-up job he did with Palm!

OK, bad example.

Aaaand we’re all out of examples. But, come on! Second time’s the charm, right? Or is that the third time? Or is it never?

Chowdhry went on to say that innovative products, demand and industry creation are the best route to shareholder value with the company …

Gosh, if only Apple, the company whose signature style is creating innovative products that stimulate demand and industry creation, knew that!

He suggested that Tim Cook should be ousted in favor of Jon Rubinstein, the lead engineer of the iPod, while the company’s CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, should be replaced by Fred Anderson.

YES. Apple should totally bring back the guy who took the fall for the Steve Jobs options scandal. The Macalope sees absolutely no way that could go wrong.

Finally (yes, the hurting is almost over), The Motley Fool does a video interview on the question “Should Tim Cook Be Ousted?” (another tip o’ the antlers to Nick Heer). Remember, there are no dumb questions. Just dumb video interviews.

Doug Ehrman and host Alison Southwick come to the startling conclusion that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs and agree that:

“It used to be Apple could do not wrong.”

So true. Other than MobileMe. And the iPhone 4’s antenna.

Ehrman dodges the question of who he’d like to see replace Tim Cook with the deft movements of an aging and brain-damaged boxer before concluding:

“If Tim Cook were out maybe people would give Apple a break for a while while they sort of reorganize there.”

Right. Just like they’ve given Tim Cook the same amount of time it took Steve Jobs to ship new products.

The Macalope will assume the answer to his rhetorical question, “Do you even hear yourself talking?” is a resounding “No.”

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