The Macalope Weekly: Executive business

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[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

Sad news this week as Apple announces that Steve Jobs will be taking an extended medical leave of absence. The Macalope wishes him the best and wants him to know that if he needs anyone to provide cutting replies to his e-mail while he’s out, the horny one is more than willing to step in. While Jobs’s leave had a negative effect on Apple’s stock, shares of “idle, wild speculation” were up, up, up. Then, just like with Android and the iPhone, Google did its best to copy Apple. Seems kind of silly to the Macalope, but nothing’s sillier than Gawker’s “reporting.”

A failure of imagination

Farhad Manjoo at Slate thinks daddy’s gone out for cigarettes and isn’t coming back. Why? Having delivered the iPhone and iPad…

What more is there left for Jobs to do?

Truth be told, the Macalope has wondered the very same thing. The three Holy Grails of Apple myth were the set-top box, the phone, and the tablet. Jobs Apple has delivered all three. What’s left?

That’s it! Shut it down! It was a nice ride! Everyone remember to tip your server!

Right. Look, the Macalope has no insight into Jobs’s state of mind. He doesn’t know if Jobs is easing his way out the door permanently any more than Manjoo does.

But the mythical and fuzzy one would advise that it’s a mistake to underestimate Jobs’s drive and vision. Will he be back? Jobs himself may not know the answer to that right now. Speculation at this point is nothing more than wankery in the third degree.


Anything you can do I can do better

If the Jobs announcement struck fear into the hearts of the frightened kittens of the investment community, they were reassured somewhat by Apple’s quarterly numbers.

The timing was a good, if obvious, ploy by Apple. Anyone knows that when someone asks if you want the good news or the bad news first, you always take the bad news. The “Jobs takes medical leave” headline was quickly replaced by headlines like “Apple retakes mobile OS lead, ships 366k iOS devices a day”, “Apple now largest mobile phone provider by revenue” and “Anne Hathaway to play Catwoman in next Batman movie.”

Whoops, wrong tab.

Not to be outdone, Google decided to play musical plush-executive chairs this week, too. Days after Apple announced Jobs’s extended leave, Google announced that Eric Schmidt was being demoted up and co-founder Larry Page would be taking over as CEO.

Guys, guys, guys! This isn’t a competition!

Well, it is, but you know what the Macalope means.

As John Gruber noted, however, it’s a weird competition.

It’s a weird rivalry because Google people like Macs, iPhones, iPads; Apple people like Google search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube.

This is true. You know who gets hurt the most when mommy and daddy fight, right?

Next up: who’s gay?!

People who out people…
Are the crap-piest people…
In the worlllllllllld…

So, congratulations to Gawker and Ryan Tate for maintaining a consistent low in technology journalism by (apparently) outing an Apple executive as gay. The Macalope’s not providing a link (you can find it yourself if you absolutely must know) and he’s not going to mention the executive’s name.

Which is a terrible disservice to Macworld readers because if there’s one thing that people need to know, it’s the sexual orientation of all the executives of the company that makes their phone or their computer.

Gawker includes some pertinent stats on the executive such as age (baby boomer), wealth (really, really wealthy), background (working class) and sexual orientation (GAY, GAY, GAY, OMG HE’S GAY).

[the executive], a famously quiet and collected person, will find his backstory, both personal and professional, the topic of increasing interest and discussion in the tech community.

Particularly by bottom-feeding gossip hounds like Gawker.

A former college classmate described him as “not a real social person…He just never seemed that interested in other people. I’m a hugger and a kisser, but I’d never feel comfortable giving [the executive] a hug or a kiss.”

That’s it! The Macalope’s switching to a company with more demonstrative executives!

If [the executive] is in a long term partnership, he’s kept it well hidden.

Nothing in his garbage gave us a clue as to who he might be dating.

Given his brutal work schedule, though, it’s hard to imagine how he’d find time.

Golly, somehow the straight executives seem to do it. Maybe not very well, but they do it.

Seriously, try to imagine any of this being written about a straight executive. What year is it? Where is the news value in this story? OK, sure, it’s kind of a dumb question to ask about a Gawker piece, but this is beyond trolling for hits. It’s discriminatory and it’s a childish invasion of someone’s privacy. “Next up on Gawker: Andy Rubin’s kids! We’ll corner one at the playground and see if we can make him cry!”

Frankly, the Macalope has no idea if Google’s Rubin has kids because, like the sexual orientation of Apple executives, he just doesn’t care.

The most gag-inducing part—where Gawker tries to play executive matchmaker—is not fit to be quoted. If you’re the kind of person who likes to imagine these highly competent professionals as all going to the same high school (which you go to, too!), then, by all means, go read the piece. The article is even set up like a yearbook entry—”Romantic interests”, “Darkest moment”, “The future” (seriously)—which kind of makes sense, considering Gawker has all the gravitas of a yearbook committee.

If the tech world really is one big high school, Gawker is that creepy kid who just stares at you a lot without saying anything and then one day, when you’re having trouble getting into your locker, blurts out “It’s 17-32-28.”

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