Consumer Reports, Bitten by the Apple Bug?

When iPhone 4 was first released, Consumer Reports issued a buy recommendation. Now, a few weeks later, they finally get around to testing it. Oops. It has a design flaw, don’t buy.
I expect this sort of behavior from the tech press. But to see Consumer Reports taken in by the Jobsian Big Fat Lie is pretty depressing…I expect more from them. If anyone is going to avoid the hype and give you an honest assessment, one would expect it to be Consumer Reports. Unfortunately, they were not paying attention.

Some choice quotes from the new blog post:

Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4’s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that “mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.”

The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4’s much-reported signal woes.

We did, however, find an affordable solution for suffering iPhone 4 users: Cover the antenna gap with a piece of duct tape or another thick, non-conductive material. It may not be pretty, but it works.

Ha Ha!  Put a piece of duct tape on your $600+ device??  I would imagine clear nail polish would also do the trick.  This is a pretty basic thing for a new antenna design, it seems unbelievable that Apple would not think to test it.  And Apple’s response to the issue is the biggest joke of all.  To sum up (and paraphrase) Apple’s response: There is no problem, we’ve been lying to you for years about signal strength, we are preparing a software fix to change that.

I must confess that it is a joy to see that pompous ass, Steve Jobs, getting the much deserved face smack, I am equally disappointed in Consumer Reports for being bowled over by the hype.  I trust CR as an unbiased observer in almost every case, I dismissed the antenna problem when CR did because I trust them.  That trust got a little weaker today.

Edit: That’s gotta hurt, CNNs current front page:

From Drop Box
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Apple, Gizmodo: Redux

The Christian Science Monitor has an oppinion piece up entitled: iPhone, Gizmodo, and moral clarity about crime

Following is a comment that I sent the Monitor concerning the essay.

Stuart Green provided interesting commentary on the ongoing Gizmodo iPhone outing and its aftermath.  In his essay Green asks, “what explains the apparent sympathy” for Gizmodo “and hostility toward Apple and the San Mateo police”? I would like to provide another possible answer to the 4 conjectured by Green.
To my understanding, neither Apple nor Hogan[sic] reported the phone stolen until after it was returned. Weeks after it had lost the phone–and after the phone was returned to them–they reported it stolen. The next day the San Mateo police broke down the door of the Gizmodo editor’s house while he was out and about. It has been widely reported that the computer crime unit, REACT, led the raid. It has long been known that Apple sits on the steering committee of the REACT Task Force. (See http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2009/05/18/story2.html).
More likely than Green’s conjectures, is that people are reacting to the disproportionate response and to the appearance that the police are taking their orders from Apple Inc. While Apple may not be directing police behavior, it is clear and evident that they are getting special treatment. Many, myself included, reject this as outrageous; this rejection is then interpreted as sympathy for Gizmodo.

After the Hype

After months (years?) of speculation and hype, the veil was finally removed, Steve Jobs showed off Apple’s newest schlock.  I am going to withhold judgement on the device.  Nothing seems over whelming about the device, but it is early.  I will wait until it is out in the wild before judgement.

When the iPhone was released, I had two initial comments, 1) $500  is a lot of money for a phone with a 2 year contract, and 2) I doubted that Apple had the ability to make light weight software.  The price soon fell into line with other smart phones and Apple showed that it had the ability to write light weight software.  The iPhone still is nothing that I would desire, I like my computing open and free.  Still I can respect that it turned out to be a good and solid entry into the phone wars.  Even though I would not get an iPhone, everyone benefits from it being out there and setting the bar.  I am a certified geek, but Apple’s gadgets and kitsch do nothing to incite the lust that so many other gadgets do.  I guess that the thought of a gadget that I must jailbreak to make usable, just doesn’t do it for me.

It is not clear that Apple will make more sales from this device, or just cannibalize the existing iPod touch.

Not much more to add…other than that god-awful name…the iPad?  Who thought that up?

If I was into a $500 tablet, I would look to Asus.

Edit: Rarely do I find a thoughtful person who sums up what I believe, without hyperbole or sarcasm, just the unvarnished truth, check out this blog on Silicon Valley.

Splintering the web…one phone at the time…

Trying to ignore the iPhone, I didn’t pay much attention to this phenomena in the past.  But now I have a crackberry and see it everywhere.  What is “it”, you ask?  “it” is the splintering of the web caused by a propietarty company extending web standards on their own and  causing web developers to code specifically for it, and it is done by Apple Electronics, Inc.  It comes down to a repeat of IE 4.  If it was wrong when MS did it (and who can argue that?), then it is wrong when Apple does it.  I first thought of it the other day (yes I am slow) when one of my business tech magazines mentioned that the browser wars are on again.  It made no sense at first, after all we have the mobile net and the regular net, what is the beef?  The beef lies in that Apple has extended CSS and is asking developers to build sites “for the iphone”.  Remember when sites had stupid logos that said Made for IE?  Well now they have stupid logos made for iphone.  The same people who bitterly complained about MS are embracing Apple.

The problem is not that Apple added proprietary extensions to CSS, the problem is that web developers use them.  That is the issue.

Nothing original here, I was just out to lunch, the meme has been around since Apple announced the iPhone.

Wired Blog
TUAW
Schmitt

Michael Robertson on Apple’s Whiff

Michael Robertson . com

Interesting commentary by Michael Robertson (of Linspire fame) on the Apple Phone. A must read for anyone considering an Apple Phone.

I won’t repeat it here, go read it.

What I think is important is to take what Robertson says and place it into the past 10 years of (i)Mac development. Is the Apple Phone the future of the Mac? Personally, I don’t know. But if you project recent trends into the future, take them to thier logical conclusion…you get your own answers.

A couple of comments on the iPhone

This subject has been beaten to death in the last 24 hours.  All I have to add is: Bullshit!

There ain’t no fuckin’ way.

Let’s start with the price of $500 – $600 WITH a two year contract.  This makes it worth what?  $800?  $900?  $1000?  For a phone?  For a version 1.0 phone?  Right….they will be lining up for that.

My other point is that I don’t believe it will work as shown.  Apple is not famous for the ability to write light weight apps.  My computer, 3 GHz P4 with 1.5 GB of RAM and a 256 MB Video card can not push iTunes as it scrolls through album art.  What kind of hardware is going to go into the phone?

Excuse me for being somewhat skeptical, but don’t bomb my comments with hate….remember it is all opinion…we all have to wait for June to see if I am wrong.