The Macalope Weekly: Critical thinking skills

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Everyone’s a critic this week, some with more success than others. One of our favorite pundits—if not the favorite—gets a little over-eager when bashing the iPad. Critics of Apple’s suit against HTC, meanwhile, are not hard to find. And, after some early rave reviews, a big name in design comes out against Windows Phone 7 Series.

That’s some fine analysisizing

You guys. You guys. You are totally not going to believe this.

Rob Enderle thinks Apple screwed up the iPad.

No, seriously! He’s apparently been using a Dell Mini 5 “for a number of weeks in stealth mode” (the Macalope’s not really sure what that is, but he likes to think it involves Rob dressing up like a ninja and hunkering down behind a large potted plant) and thinks that the 5-inch screen size is better.

You can put the Dell Mini in a belt pouch…

[Long pause while the Macalope stares blankly at his screen, blinking and trying to comprehend the words in front of him. They are in English, yet are incomprehensible.]

Rob’s entitled to his opinion, of course. What he’s not entitled to is spreading simple falsehoods (not that anything seems to stop him).

Clearly Daniel Tosh, who played golf with his test iPad isn’t a fan.

Boy I’ll bet that pissed the hell out of Steve Jobs.

But we’ll get to back to that in just a moment. First, let’s fast-forward down to Rob’s bio.

Rob Enderle is one of the last Inquiry Analysts.

There’s then an explanation of what an “Inquiry Analyst” is supposed to be. Apparently, “using critical thinking” isn't part of the job description in practice, because Rob thinks nothing of unquestioningly believing that a second-rate Comedy Central comedian somehow got his hands on a pre-release iPad. The horny one is no “Inquiry Analayst,” but that seemed a little odd to him, so he asked someone who might actually know.

Unlike Rob or Daniel Tosh, the Macalope’s editor, Dan Moren, has actually held an iPad and he quickly pointed out that the back of Tosh’s supposed iPad in the video isn’t beveled enough and the corners not rounded enough to be the real deal. The Macalope also noticed that when he slowed the video down and freeze-framed a couple of key sections that Tosh is not nearly talented enough to have scored a pre-release iPad. You’d think that at least part of that should have occurred to an “Inquiry Analyst” of Rob’s caliber, although he doesn’t seem to be a great judge of talent.

Rob’s bio goes on:

Currently he provides his services to most of the major technology and media companies.

One of which is Dell.



Lawsuits for me, but not for thee

It’s usually not stunning when Apple’s involved in a lawsuit (it would actually be stunning if Apple was not involved in one). This week was an exception, however, as it was Apple suing someone (HTC for patent infringement), not the other way around. Is it opposite week?

Whatever the case, the suit was enough to cause a freak-out of epic proportions. The Macalope had to check with Macworld to see if there was enough digital ink left for him to do a column this week. (It’s possible he’s not completely clear on how the Internet works.)

So, let’s get this straight.

Apple—the company once sued by people who said the iPod was “too loud” and by someone who said it was conspiring with the Italian Mafia to transmit threatening messages—has now sued someone back and suddenly it’s a crisis not only of the legal system but Apple’s creative talent?

Apple probably does want to hamstring Google if it can, but it’s not like it's a highly litigious company.

Yes, the Macalope agrees that the patent system is broken and Apple shouldn’t have filed the suit for any number of reasons. But it must be hard to work in Apple legal. You spend your whole career with any number of yahoos taking swings at you, but the minute you try to throw a punch in return everyone cries foul.

Windows Phone 7 Series fits your awkward lifestyle

Noted designer Edward Tufte weighed in with some thoughts on Windows Phone 7 Series (that just does not get any easier) and, long story short, he’s not a fan (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball for the link).

In addition to not being an “Inquiry Analyst”, the Macalope’s also no designer (his talents lie in taking out the metaphorical trash). His first impression of Windows 7 Phon—Series 7 Win—7 Phone Ser—let's just stick with Larry, shall we?—was mostly positive simply because it was different, which doesn’t mean better. Let’s face it, the iPhone interface is essentially the OS X Simple Finder with multitouch, and everything since then has been iPhone-esque. Windows Phone bladdity-blah-blah at least brings something different to the table.

PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan has a pretty level-headed review of WP7 and contradicts Tufte’s impression that things will “get buried” in the interface.

The Macalope’s a little concerned about the live updating on the home screen, though. That seems like a neat feature, but if your “hilarious” buddy from college changes his Facebook picture to oh, let’s say a famous Internet meme of an unusual anatomical talent that rhymes with “moatse,” then that's going to show up on the home screen of your phone. And if your last picture taken was for sexting to your imaginary girlfriend (remember, these are Windows Phone 7 Series users), that will show up on the home screen of your phone too. Awkward.

Hey, just like the name!

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