The Macalope Weekly: Talk is cheap


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Our fine friends in Redmond (disclosure: not fine, not friends) are back spreading what they spread best. Joy? Jam? Nope: manure, of course. Dan Lyons then tells us exactly why everything he wrote was eye-pokingly bad (no spoilers, read on for the exciting reveal!) and last, but possibly least, CNN shows us how to sift bad Apple news out of anything!

Still running the same playbook

You guys are not going to believe this, but … a Microsoft executive is talking smack about Apple.

What is this, 1995?

“Microsoft exec talks mobile smack, trashes iOS as ‘boring,’ Android as ‘a mess.’”

Reality, meanwhile, is trashing Windows Phone.

“With Apple, I sense a lack of urgency,” said Myerson.

Ah! As opposed to how Johnny-on-the-spot Microsoft has been with … errrr … ooooohguh.

[Pac Man “game over” sound]

Myerson was repeating contentions by others that Apple has ceded ground, not only in sales, but also in its once-unassailable position as king of cool, to rivals like Samsung.

“Repeating contentions by others.” Contentions that are, you know, crap—but contentions nonetheless.

It would certainly explain some of Microsoft’s problems of late if it turns out that its executives cannot read simple charts. Apple’s market share is steady-to-up and the company increases sales every year.

“With Android … it’s kind of a mess,” Myerson said. “Chrome [OS] and Android coming together, Chrome [OS] does not offer the flexibility of Android.”

Whoa, OK, the Macalope’s not exactly the biggest defender of Android, but the FUD being spread here is thick, rich, and highly contaminated with excessive amounts of industrial-grade stupid.

However, when All Things D’s Ina Fried asked whether Microsoft would allow Facebook Home—for now an Android-only app that sits between the user and the smartphone’s usual home and “lock” screens—on Windows Phone, Myerson dodged the question.

Awww, what happened to Mr. Smack Talk?

The BLAZZARAZZLEFLOOZZLEHOGGLE coming out of Microsoft executives of late is rather extreme. If they’re not lashing out at their competitors, they’re lashing out at their customers.

One man who seems unconcerned [by rumors that Microsoft’s next Xbox will require an “always-on” internet connection], however, is Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth, who shared his thoughts with Twitter. “Sorry, I don’t get the drama over having an “always on” console,” he said, before adding a #dealwithit hashtag.

Isn’t it nice when customers can reach out to company executives on social media? And be belittled and castigated by them? The Verge neglected to mention this tidbit:

[BioWare developer Manveer] Heir asked a number of valid questions—like, what if you live in a rural area with spotty Internet access, like Janesville, WI or Blacksburg, VA?

Orth’s response: “Why on earth would I live there?”

Get bent, rural Xbox fans! Take up meth or something, losers!

While trashing competitors and blowing smoke is still job #1 at Microsoft, and shipping compelling products that delight users in a timely fashion is Job #18 or something, mouthing off to customers is apparently a bridge too far. Orth is no longer with the company.

Quick, somebody ask again why Apple doesn’t let its employees talk shop!

Haven’t you left?

Having now officially left the media business, Dan Lyons (formerly Fake Steve Jobs, formerly funny) takes what we can only hope is his parting shot.

“Why I’ve Left the Media Business” (tip o’ the antlers to Jeff Carlson).

I’ve spent my entire career in the media business, and now I’ve bailed out.

[long, sustained applause]

I also had grown less and less enchanted with the kind of work I was doing as a “mainstream” journalist.

You’re not the only one. “These relentlessly negative stories about Apple in the face of all contrary evidence practically write themselves! When you throw out any shred of self-respect and respect for your readers, that is!”

And now, dear readers, the money quote:

I’ve also spent the past few years writing “articles” that were less and less interesting—they were basically just SEO chum thrown out onto the internet in hopes of catching traffic.

So, at long last Lyons admits he was just in it for teenage clicks. That’s nice. Must be a great weight off his sunken, hollow chest.

I’ve watched the editorial department get pushed into ever more unnatural positions to suit the demands of advertisers.

“Get pushed.” Hmm. Now, one of the things they teach you in journalism school is to avoid using the passive tense. According to Lyons’s Wikipedia entry (which needs updating, by the way), “He was a senior editor at Forbes magazine and a writer at Newsweek. He is currently editor of ReadWrite.”

Gosh, it’s such a shame the business did that to him, isn’t it? The world of online technology writing is such a meat grinder. If only there were some other way to attract traffic like, oh, writing intelligent, thoughtful pieces, maybe targeted at a particular user group or with an innovative angle.


As my friend Kevin Maney, a longtime tech columnist at USA Today who bailed out of mainstream media a few years ago, has written, “Traditional media is increasingly a bad place for a good journalist to work.”

Partly because of people like Dan Lyons.

Well, Dan, don’t let the door …

Actually, you know what? Go ahead and let the door hit you on the way out. You deserve it.


Remember, kids, if you get into punditry you have only one job: Determine how any given event is bad for Apple.

“Verizon iPhone sales tumble 33%.”


Just as an aside, does anyone fall for the Macalope’s fake cries of agony? No? OK, just checking.

You shouldn’t, of course. That would be weird. Who types out a cry of agony? Particularly with hooves? If the Macalope’s in agony, he’s calling a vet; he’s not sitting down to type out “AAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!”


Either iPhone customers are growing savvier, or they’re starting to tire of Apple’s smartphone.

Possibly the first one, certainly not the latter. As a matter of fact, the numbers that Goldman provides explicitly disprove the latter. So, it’s kinda weird he mentions that as a possibility.

Verizon’s iPhone activations fell 33% in the first quarter, compared to the fourth quarter.

It’s true! It’s also true that the iPhone’s share of Verizon sales continues to grow annually and, indeed, Verizon’s iPhone sales grew 25 percent year-over-year.

But let’s focus on this one horrible-sounding number I mined out of this report of how good iPhone sales are at Verizon.

Though each new version has brought some helpful tweaks—including faster processors, larger screens and the Siri voice-controlled assistant—the iPhone 5 isn’t dramatically different from the iPhone 4, which was released in 2010.

Totally. Oh, sure, the iPhone 5 is thinner, has a larger screen, Siri, a better camera and LTE and has an aluminum back and different coloring … but other than that, they’re identical!

In that they are both “iPhones.”

Pundits believe that today’s phones should include, at minimum, at least 24 tacked-on technologies that customers will never use. Because that’s innovation, baby.

Apple, which will report its quarterly results on April 23, has disappointed Wall Street investors lately with lower-than-expected iPhone sales

Remember, it’s not analysts that are disappointing their clients with lousy estimates, it’s Apple’s fault for not meeting analysts’ made-up numbers. Got that? Wall Street cannot fail, it can only be failed.

Playing stupid tricks with numbers and just generally naysaying Apple is not new territory for Goldman. Two years ago he was telling us that the Motorola Xoom was a better value than the iPad, provided you forgot the fact that it came with a contract. And three years ago he was bemoaning the lack of Flash on iOS and how Apple called the police when someone stole an iPhone 4 test unit.

The Macalope doesn’t really keep files of silly pundits. Who has the time for all that collating? But if he did, Goldman’s would be nearing the point where it needed to move from a manila folder to an accordion file.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon