Jackass of the Day: Emil Protalinski thenextweb.com

Emil Protalinski of The Next Web:

Apple today posted its second Samsung apology to its UK website, complying with requests by the UK Court of Appeal to say its original apology was inaccurate and link to a new statement. As users on Hacker News and Reddit point out, however, Apple modified its website recently to ensure the message is never displayed without visitors having to scroll down to the bottom first. […]

This code essentially ensures that the iPad mini advertisement takes up the whole page. In other words, no matter your resolution, you won’t see the statement without scrolling down the page. It’s no wonder that it took Apple so long to post the second apology; the company was likely looking for loopholes.

The proof provided for this is a small Javascript snippet which resizes the big iPad Mini image (the “hero”, in advertising parlance) to perfectly fill the height of the window, along with the four smaller links below it. The footer content then gets bumped “below the fold” (though there is no page fold on the internet) for the purpose, according to Protalinski, of hiding the Samsung judgement link.

This is utter nonsense.

The same behaviour is exhibited on Apple’s Canadian site1 Apple’s French site, their German site, and their Australian site Irish site. In fact, all of their non-US sites use this behaviour because they all display a large iPad Mini promo, whereas the US site alternates between one for the iPad Mini, and another for the fourth generation don’t-call-it-the-new-iPad. And, most importantly, none of their geographically-specific sites except the one for the United Kingdom have this judgement posted, making it clear that this snippet of Javascript is not connected to the judgement.

Why did I call Emil Protalinski a jackass? Because I expected this to remain on Hacker News and Reddit where it belongs, and not be dredged up for some cheap hits on an issue that could be easily fact-checked. And he calls himself a journalist.

  1. Updated November 5 to note that Apple has since revised their Canadian and Australian sites to use a similar style to their American site. Their European sites still use the so-called “hiding” script, though, so it’s still clearly unrelated to the Samsung decision. ↥︎