The Macalope Weekly: Yes, but no

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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.]

This week, join the Macalope as he looks at stunning tales that seem true, but ultimately fail from oversimplification. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) First, PCWorld wants to dispel the myth that the App Store has exclusive apps. What got that started? Was it all the exclusive apps? Then ZDNet is just looking out for the best interests of the supposed majority of Mac users, who are simple country folk that have never been to the big city. Finally, is the white iPhone thicker? Yes… but no.

Other than that closet full of suits, the emperor has no clothes

PCWorld’s Daniel Ionescu wants you to know that Apple’s Popular Apps [are] Not Exclusive to iPhone.

Even if his story goes on to show that some, in fact, are.

The Macalope’s not cracking wise when he says that good titles are hard. It shouldn’t, however, be that hard to come up with titles that are at least accurate.

But, iPhone users, did you know that the Android market has “the same selection of popular apps”? Uh… well, except for games? But who plays games on their phone? What is this, the future?! Get out of here, crazy phone-game-playing future lady with your silver jumpsuit, beehive hairdo, and conical brassiere!

Oh, and Netflix? Not on Android. Sorry. But you can get the Blockbuster movie app which is, like, totally almost the same, except it doesn’t do streaming. But Blockbuster really needs your help more than Netflix, so you’ll get the warm feeling of propping up a collapsing company. It’s like petting a dinosaur!


As Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell (who wears very nice shirts) points out, Ionescu’s whole argument ignores which platform gets marquee apps first (hint: it’s iOS) and the fact that a lot of “the same” apps are just better on the iPhone.

If you’re addicted to Angry Birds, the only big no-no for you would be the BlackBerry platform (the game is arriving on Windows Phone 7 in May).

Awesome! Waiting six months for games just increases the anticipation!

Apple’s App Store and the Android Market may always be top dogs in terms of app variety. But as the cliché goes, it’s all about quality, not quantity—and that’s true for both apps and hardware.

Yes, yes, Daniel! It is about quality! And the quality of iOS apps is just better.

And so’s the quantity.

What was your point again?

We will have to agree to both agree and disagree

After praising Adrian Kingsley-Hughes last week, the horny one is going to take exception to his invocation of Artie MacStrawman this week as he discusses the dangers of the Weyland-Yutani BOT Mac crimeware:

See, Apple is facing a problem. A large proportion of users believe that Mac is invulnerable to malware and that security software is unnecessary, despite Apple making it clear that it supports neither view.

“A large proportion”? Really? What do you base that on, comment threads?

Ed Bott also invokes our old friend Artie:

Only a tiny percentage of Macs run antivirus software, and Mac users have been conditioned to believe they’re immune from Internet threats.

You sure hear a lot about the peaceful, dull, and stupid sheep who use Macs, but to the best of the Macalope’s knowledge no one has polled Mac users to see what exactly their beliefs are about the platform’s security. The Macalope’s anecdotal experience has been that most Mac users know the score: Malware makers target Windows. It’s possible the reason that they know this is that a lot of them used to use Windows.

If Mac users are so convinced that OS X is invulnerable then the Weyland-Yutani BOT will be an abject failure, because it’s disguised as virus-detection software—which Mac users don’t think they need. Right? Can’t have it both ways, guys.

Kingsley-Hughes suggests Apple use some of that mountain of cash it's sitting on to buy a Mac security software maker. The Macalope’s not sure why they’d do that when Snow Leopard already has malware protection software in it, even if it is somewhat rudimentary. Adrian can be forgiven for not knowing it was there because, frankly, the Macalope had forgotten about it until his editor (and the author of the linked piece) reminded him about it. The reason the Macalope can be excused for forgetting Snow Leopard has such software is because he’s never seen it triggered. Which is largely because he can practically count the number of Mac viruses on one hoof.

This isn’t to say further investment in security isn’t a good idea, just that there’s no need to go outside. Apple could just focus on improving the underlying OS X technologies (like implementing full ASLR) and enhancing the existing malware scanning.

Are there wolves out there? At this point it’s more of a mangy coyote knocking over garbage cans. If this is the fabled Year of Mac Malware, it’s sure off to a slow and late start.

But you know what they say about an ounce of prevention.


Another week, another Apple scandal!

OK, technically Thickergate broke last week with the help of TiPb, but sometimes you have to let a story gel before it becomes clear that there’s more to it than meets the i-Phone.

(Did you know that Costco sells horrible puns by the pallet?)

A thicker phone?! Who wants that?! IS APPLE DOOMED? AGAIN?

Cue the unlikely entry of Consumer Reports as Apple’s white knight!

Apple’s White iPhone is not thicker than the black version

Whoa, whoa, hang on there a second, Apple-blog-that-reduced-its-name-to-an-unpronounceable-partial-acronym and venerated-dentist’s-waiting-room-magazine-from-the-1980s. See, all either of you can really say is that the white iPhones you measured are thicker or not thicker than the black iPhones you measured. Did you measure all of the white iPhones and all of the black iPhones? No, you did not. (Steve Jobs gave that job to the guy who left his iPhone 4 at the bar.)

But, lo! Gaze now in wonder upon the mysterious case of the black iPhone that was thicker than… the black iPhone! Actually, it’s Schrödinger’s iPhone, because each one is both thicker and thinner than the other at the same time and if even one of you nerds complains in the comments about the accuracy of this analogy then the Macalope will have Chris Breen ban you for 12 parsecs.

It’s certainly possible that, as a whole, the white iPhones skew a little thicker than their black forebears, but when we’re down to measuring 0.092mm differences we might well wonder where our lives went terribly wrong.

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