The Macalope Daily: Draining

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Gosh, it seems like months since we’ve had a “-gate” scandal about the iPhone. Well, never fret, Apple followers! Our drought is over! Welcome, Batterygate!

First of all, let the Macalope be clear that this battery issue is indeed terrible, and he would surely be very worked up over it were he not convinced that it’s going to be solved sometime soon with a software update.

That said, let’s move on to Zach Whittaker’s ‘Batterygate’: Apple’s latest iPhone controversy? (tip o’ the antlers to Harry Marks) which is a double threat. Not only does it attempt to create a scandal from a software bug, it also confirms the validity of Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, which states that “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no.’”

The last piece of Whittaker’s that the Macalope remembers reading was this gem, which told us what a failure the iPad was… five months before it was announced.

With a success like that under his belt, it’s a wonder that Zack still feels he can speak about Apple without summarily being laughed off the Internet.

Within a couple of weeks of last year’s iPhone 4 launch, a significant number of users had noticed decreasing cell bars on their phone display if the handset was held in a particular way.

The Macalope wonders how Whittaker decided the number was “significant,” since he has no way of knowing the total number or percentage of affected users. Just trust him, OK?! It’s significant! Ugh, why do you have to be so literal about the meaning of words?

Apple remained quiet, refusing to offer an explanation as to why the iPhone 4S was ‘losing’ power.

And, as we all know, silence is tantamount to an admission of guilt.

Apple reportedly got in touch with a number of iPhone 4S users—perhaps an unusual step for a company to make—yet actions taken by the Cupertino giant which, as Steve Jobs reiterated during its ‘Antennagate’ press conference in July, may not surprise many of Apple’s die-hard fans.

The Macalope’s really not sure what the insinuation is here. Possibly because this sentence doesn’t make any sense.

A senior Apple engineer “apologised” for the bug that he reportedly admitted to existing in the iPhone 4S, noting that they “aren’t close to finding a fix”.

Interesting use of quotes. Does Whittaker think that there’s something phony about the contriteness, or that it’s questionable that it even happened? Maybe he just doesn’t know the meaning of the word. After all, to the best of the Macalope’s knowledge, he never apologized for what he said about the iPad.

Depending on the prevalence of the issue, where data metrics collected by Apple will no doubt show—should there be a press conference like Antennagate to address such issues, Apple may wait until other ‘issues’ can be rolled into the update.

A press conference. For a software bug. Seriously. He suggested that.

Or, you know, maybe they’ll just release a software update.

Or, having said that, it may just appease the mass hysteria conjured up by journalists, bloggers and frantic customers and issue a sugar-pill-like patch, to at least calm the often overly-hyperactive media.

Like, say, Zack Whittaker and ZDNet.

The Macalope does find it pretty amazing that Whittaker is suggesting that Apple might release a placebo update that actually does nothing. That’s, at the same time, a very serious charge and completely laughable.

In fact, I cannot think of a time whereby an operating system has not had post-launch updates rolled out to users’ within say, a month after it was first released.

And yet you think this situation warrants a jaunty name that conjures images of the largest political scandal in American history. Not to mention a bunch of weird accusations and innuendo.

As part of this collective, I accept our innate flaws of wanting to reach the headlines.

Well, that’s good. Because the first step toward curing an addiction is recognizing you have a problem.

“Hi, I’m Zack and I’m… I’m addicted to sensationalist headlines.”


Look, if you want a reasonable way to approach this issue, take a page from the Bouffant of Knowledge (you may know him as Chris Breen) and actually try to fix it yourself. Spewing out a thousand useless words about something and then tut-tutting about people who spew out a thousand useless words about something does not absolve you.

[Editors’ Note: 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.]

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