It was just one letdown after another this week! Wired pulls an exciting reveal of the finder of lost iPhones, but then he fails to try to make this into a First Amendment issue. Not one but two “iPad killers” get offed in a deadly game of “kill or be killed” and Adobe’s employees suddenly go mum when Steve Jobs speaks.
What happened to you, man? You used to stand for something!
The knees of journalists and First Amendment-fan-fiction writers were exercised heavily this week as they jerked reflexively to the defense of gadget blog Gizmodo. Few jerked harder and with less understanding of the issues than Slate’s Tim Wu. Over and over again, Wu complains that Gizmodo, the publishers of the information about the iPhone prototype, should not be punished. Not once does he say what should be done about Gizmodo, the purchasers of allegedly stolen property.
And that’s the Macalope’s problem with the reading of the situation by every single supporter of Gizmodo, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As he of the brown fur noted on Twitter, he was not aware that journalists are holy, celestial creatures to whom our earthly laws do not apply. If this really is how our legal system works, then there seems to be a terrible loophole for anyone who sticks an index card that says “PRESS” into his or her fedora.
Now Wired has identified the seller of the iPhone who says he’s really, really sorry he never really tried to return the iPhone to Apple, but he likes orphans and kittens and he can’t do jail time, man, he can’t do it! Pretty guys like him get traded like cigarettes!
It’s almost as if the guy feels like he did something wrong. But that can’t be the case, of course. How silly. The First Amendment nullifies felonies!
The Macalope’s not sure this case rises to the level of police involvement we generally reserve for spies, terrorists, and pedophiles. But at the same time, he’d better not hear anyone from the EFF ever complain about lack of police interest when someone breaks into their house and steals their Linux netbook.
This week came news that Microsoft has cancelled the Courier, the tablet as mythical as the horny one himself. The Macalope wonders how one goes about canceling a series of concept videos, but if anyone could do it, it would be Microsoft.
Meanwhile, word on the somewhat unreliable street is that HP has killed the Windows 7-based iPad-killing tablet that Steve Ballmer announced at CES in January. Presumably HP has told Microsoft it’s got a new bicycle now—to wit, Palm’s webOS—and it’s gonna ride it all the way into town to buy a Coke. And not one of those crappy high-fructose corn syrup-based ones, either! A genuine Mexican Coke with real sugar!
The Macalope actually looks forward to seeing the results of that ride—Palm’s webOS is a much better fit for a tablet than Windows 7. He also hopes that the canceling of Courier means a Windows Phone 7-based tablet might be in the works, because Microsoft really needs a more consistent approach to building a mobile platform. Casual readers of his work may not realize this, but the Macalope actually wants there to be competition to the iPad. Competition is good!
And right now, there isn’t any.
Who’s a Chatty Cathy?
Forget social media! All the action this year is in emailing Steve Jobs! Everyone’s doing it! It’s hotter than Twitter and comes with a built-in monetization scheme! Exclamation mark!