Am I picking on AppleInsider again?

Two little tidbits..
Just a touchpad and a screen: A grand unified theory of Apple’s next big move

Chuqui 3.0: Firefighters respond to fire at Apple’s Cupertino campus:

Appleinsider called the building “one of the most famous buildings on the Apple Campus, as it is known to house a number of hardware-based research and development projects that are underway at the company”, which puts their journalistic ability in perspective (again), given it’s not on campus, and it hasn’t housed any significant hardware R&D since the 68000 processor teams moved out.


I got an email asking me why I was picking on AppleInsider, suggesting I was being harsh.

guilty as charged. Why? because I can.

There is, however a deeper aspect. Sites like Appleinsider play the “We iz Journalists. We’z Kul!” game, but there’s often very little substance and depth, which ultimately turns it into fanboy crap. And that’s YOUR fault, loyal readers, because you give them credits way beyond their abilities. When they get it right, everyone falls over twitching and drooling over having found out some inconsequential detail earlier than Apple wanted you to — but they get a lot of stuff wrong, too, and everyone forgets that stuff. Of course the site’s not going to remind you, so the end result is people think these sites are a lot more insightful and accurate and “rumortastic” than they really are.

I’ll give you a little hint here: some of us, back when I was inside the fruity compound, occasionally held contests to see who could get the weirdest, most funky and outrageous, rumors posted to one of the major rumor sites. The easiest way seems to be to find one of the marginal fanboy sites and convince THEM to publish it, and then watch it ripple across all of the boards and mutate as other boards create their own scoops based only on reading other boards… (attribution optional, of course).

And yes, some of those photoshopped prototypes and other fun and games came from Apple people — and a few beers. Remember that next time one of these fanboy sites touts some fascinating new “leak”. After a few beers, lots of things tend to leak, ya know? (Asteroid, FWIW, wasn’t one of those leaks. The fanboy sites that think it was a set up by Apple to get them have way too high a view of themselves in the food chain. Asteroid was — well, that’s a story for a bar and a beer, not a blog…. Sorry)

FWIW, I think some of the rumor sites do a decent job. Yes, they get stuff right. Yes, they sometimes piss off Apple big time. Yes, they sometimes screw the royal pooch, too. And they also encourage people to violate their NDAs and other agreements, so they’re also a key reason why developers (and others) have such tough times getting information out of Apple, so there are negatives to all of this, too.

Oh, and to the developers who feed information to these sites… A few years back, my boss and I came up with a way to track down exactly who’s doing the leaking. it’s very simple to implement, it isn’t hard to do, would be invisible to the developers so they’d have no reason to be careful or realize Apple was tracking them, and it’d be accurate, and the leakers wouldn’t know it was happening until the hammer fell. At the time, though, the ThinkSecret case was still ongoing so it wasn’t implemented. But it could be, some day, if Apple decides it wants to.

So realize not that you’re being too smart for Apple, but that Apple’s decided it’s not worth the hassle and PR to catch you. And hope that doesn’t change…

This entry was posted in Computers and Technology.