Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Just Noise

I checked my analytics today and saw a bunch of incoming links from the Guardian, so I had to check this out. Boy was I disappointed. John Naughton writes:

Someone once said that one of the advantages of religion is that it offers security in return for obedience. This point was not lost on the late Steve Jobs, the co-founder, saviour and high priest of Apple.

Ah gee, an “Apple as religion” comparison. Maybe he should call some people “fanboys” and ask if one button is enough on our mice.1 Oh, wait:

All they had to do to find salvation was to obey the Apple way. All the important choices, including whether a mouse should have one button or two, had been made for them…

Skipping much introductory garbage, I arrive at this nugget:

Recently, the company launched the latest release of its OS X operating system, codenamed Mavericks. What happened was this: one day, while millions of the devout were tapping industriously on their keyboards, a small dialogue box appeared on the top right-hand corner of their screens. It informed them that important upgrades were available for their computers.

For members of the Apple communion, such a message has much the same status as a text from the Vatican would have for devout Catholics. So they acted upon it. And lo! It came to pass that their computers were upgraded. Many of them were then enjoined to update their copies of Apple’s iWork package – Pages (Apple’s word processor); Keynote (the PowerPoint equivalent); and Numbers (the Excel competitor) – and they dutifully complied.

John Naughton — a guy who wrote a book about the internet and another book about the internet — doesn’t understand the difference between an operating system and a suite of software. This becomes clear in the same paragraph where he links to me:

The second response is to ask why weren’t the tech media on to it earlier? Given the remarkable expansion in the number of people using Apple computers, you would have thought that any disruption, intentional or otherwise, in the software ecosystems on which they depend for work would be regarded as news. Serious, careful reviewing of changes in operating systems, for example, doesn’t require rocket science – just hard work and attention to detail, as in Pixel Envy’s review of iOS 7.

Mavericks — like iOS 7 — was available to developers well before its public release, allowing in-depth reviews to be written. And written, they were. The iWork update, on the other hand, was released on the same day it was announced. Those in-depth reviews don’t write themselves, Naughton.

Then he bites the hand that feeds:

But in general, technology sites and newspaper tech sections seem to be still obsessed with gadgets and novelties. This was understandable 15 years ago but the world has moved on. Breathless puffs for a new smartphone or yet another way of “sharing” photographs or movies don’t make up a useful signal any more – they’re just noise.

Perhaps before John Naughton accuses Macintosh users of being mindless sheep or religious cultists, he should do some research, or at least understand the fundamental difference between an operating system and software.

And perhaps before Naughton bitches and moans about the failings of newspaper tech sections, he should take a moment to consider the Apple-as-religion analogy to be dead, inane, dumb, and unoriginal.