The Macalope Weekly: Familiar territory

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The iPad is now available for purchase and iPad sales figures are available for loose speculation! Microsoft phone fans find themselves in familiar territory and what’s that Braying sound?


After the Macalope’s romp through the worst of technology journalism last week, the iPad launch brought out some more “don’ts” this week. Take this piece, which chooses to accentuate the negative about the iPad’s apparently successful pre-order launch:

Apple iPad orders drop sharply

After the initial burst of excitement on Friday that saw iPad pre-orders coming in at the rate of 25,000 per hour, there was a dramatic fall-off over the weekend.

No way! You mean pent-up demand was actually pent-up? What’s up with that?!

On the flip side of the coin, The Wall Street Journal choose to serve up its prime real estate to undisclosed sources.

Since the iPad became available for pre-order last Friday, Apple has seen strong demand and sold hundreds of thousands of units, say people familiar with the matter. One of these people said Apple could sell more iPads in the first three months than it sold iPhones in the three months after the smart phone’s debut.

So, someone, probably from Apple or a partner, said the company could sell more iPads in the first three months than it sold iPhones. Off the record. WOW!

It would be a very positive sign for the iPad if Apple were able to do that and the supposed initial sales figures certainly make that a possibility, though it's worth noting those figures are pulled from places not precisely designed for such a purpose. But color the Macalope brown and unimpressed with off-the-record comments from people with a vested interest in pumping up the platform.

Read more…

Brother, can you spare an argument?

Some disappointing news about Windows Phone 7 Series might sound familiar to long-time iPhone boosters. Briefed journalists confirmed that the initial release of Microsoft’s new phone OS will lack copy and paste. You know what that means. Yes, it’s time for another visit with our old buddy, the Winotaur!

MACALOPE: Hey, I know it’s not out for a while yet, but I wanted to congratulate you on your new phone OS.

WINOTAUR: Oh, yeah? You like that action? Your little iPhone’s not the only game in town now!

MACALOPE: Or, well, six months from now.

WINOTAUR: That’s right, pal! You mess with the Winotaur, you get the horns!

MACALOPE: Uh, sure. But, dude. No copy and paste? That’s awkward, isn’t it?

WINOTAUR: Hey, the iPhone didn’t have it when it shipped either and you Branch Jobsidians were falling all over each other trying to come up with excuses for that. Consider it an homage.

MACALOPE: That was three years ago! Way to capture the zeitgeist. Of the Bush administration. We didn’t like the fact the iPhone didn’t have copy and paste when it came out, but the interface was light-years ahead of any smart phone at the time, so it was worth it. In 2007. You are familiar with the linear nature of time, right? That it moves forward?

WINOTAUR: This is you: dur dur dur dur dur dur.

MACALOPE: Very mature. Here’s another question: how familiar are you with the adage about skating to where the puck is going to be instead of where it is? Or where it was three years ago?

WINOTAUR: If it weren’t for the hooves I’d be flipping you off right now.

MACALOPE: Oh, man, don’t you hate that? Anyway, maybe you haven’t noticed, but the Macalope’s actually been fairly positive about Windows Phone… whatever it is.

WINOTAUR: Windows Phone Series 7! Sheesh! It’s not that hard!


WINOTAUR: Wait, that’s… not right. It’s um… [reading] Windows. Phone. 7. Series. Windows Phone 7 Series.

MACALOPE: You guys are so awesome. If you didn’t exist we’d have to invent you.

WINOTAUR: I don’t know what that means.

MACALOPE: Of course you don’t. Adorable!

When the Macalope gets his TV deal, he wants Patrick Warburton to play the Winotaur.


Tim Bray, the “Father of XML,” announced this week that he was moving to Google where he’ll presumably be paid to rail against Apple. Nice work if you can get it!

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.

I hate it.

The Macalope would normally dive into this antlers first, but it’s already been handled with such aplomb by several others that he’s going to crowdsource this one.

That’s lazy hipster talk for “link to a some other pieces and enjoy the rest of his Saturday.”

First off is Coyote Tracks (tip o’ the antlers to Marco Arment), which gets to the inherent flaw in Bray’s argument: conflation.

As much as I’ve always reflexively loathed the “FUD” acronym, if it quacks like an SCO lawyer and all that. As I said, Bray’s not stupid. When he refuses to distinguish between the iPhone App Store and the Internet, he knows what he’s doing.

But, hey — that’s about the way that Google approaches “don’t be evil.” So he should fit right in.


Counternotions notes that Google is playing the old Microsoft game (again, tip o’ the antlers to Marco Arment), yelling about “openness” that simply sells a lock-in to something else, whether it’s Windows or Google Ads.

The bludgeon Google uses against Apple is a familiar one: choice. And we have seen this movie before. In fact, over and over again in reruns for nearly two decades. It came from another monopolist, Microsoft. Just as it’s now with Android, it was then “One OS, many hardware manufacturers.” That is, you could build and sell anything as long as you acquiesced to be married to Win32 APIs and other proprietary Microsoft technologies.


Apparently, “open” platforms are wonderful as long as they help fuel the platform originator’s proprietary cashcows.


For the coup de grace, let’s go to Panic Software’s Neven Mrgan, who points out anyone can skirt the App Store entirely by developing Web apps for the iPhone.

Now, JavaScript is no Cocoa, and CSS is no Core Animation. I’m not saying web apps are peers of native apps, on any current system. But you know who is saying that? Google.


None of these guys invented XML, but they sure made short work of Bray’s argument. Are you sure this is what you want to spend your money on, Google?

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