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Of Pots and Kettles, Fanboys and Slanderers

Some call the Apple zombies a disease.


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They're the 'creative class' - they're photographers, and musicians, and stay at home soccer moms, and screenwriters. And all this by day. And by night they train in the far right IT paramilitary. And no cult leader ever had it so good. L Ron Hubbard never made billions like that. Jim Jones died in a shanty drinking powdered sugared water. Real cult leading billionaires don't drink sugared water anyway - and they certainly don't let their children and friends do it either.

Picture the following scenario. Jon Ellch, on assignment to the US military, and renowned security researcher David Maynor come upon a generic flaw in wireless devices. David Maynor, already a bit of an Apple fanboy, figures he'll show this exploit on his brand new MacBook.

Apple get wind of Maynor's planned presentation and ask/cajole/harass him to not single out Apple. Maynor objects, reminding Apple the flaw exists in all wireless devices - or at least most of them. Apple appeal to Maynor's fanboy instincts and get him to transmogrify his rather simple demonstration into a convoluted such in order to confuse the issues. Maynor will use a third party device instead - but he'll still use his Apple MacBook.

Sometime before his demonstration Maynor assembles representatives of the media and shows them what he's got up his sleeve. As these are private showings he doesn't have to pretend with a third party wireless device - he just uses his MacBook 'out of the box' so to speak. And the exploit works.

Maynor records his demonstration so hackers in the audience can't pick up the traffic with their own computers.

Maynor plays back his demonstration and it causes a storm. The fanboys are in a panic. These photographers and musicians and stay at home soccer moms and screenwriters feel threatened again - the abuse never stops. Now all the Windows paramilitary are trying funny stuff again.

Meanwhile someone from Apple contacts Maynor. It wasn't clear enough that you weren't using an Apple device, they tell Maynor. But I say I'm not twenty seconds into the demo, Maynor protests in vain. Nevertheless, say Apple, you have to help us one more time: print a clarification at your corporate website.

And make sure it gets as much attention as your first announcement of the exploit.

Maynor looks at the childish wording of the clarification, waters it down and cleans it up a bit, shrugs his shoulders, and then publishes it.

And now the double cross can begin: Apple now go out and get people to make new headlines slandering David Maynor: Maynor is a fraud, these articles will say. We all thought he was using an OOTB MacBook when in fact he was using a third party device! It's not our fault we didn't really listen to his presentation!

And the fanboy readers who read about as well as the fanboy journalists listen swallow it all. David Maynor is a fraud.

Now George Ou believes in a conspiracy and David Chartier denies there was a conspiracy. Chartier says he was never contacted by Apple in this regard. He doesn't deny being contacted by Dalrymple, he doesn't admit it either, but it hardly matters: Chartier got the idea for his article from one of Dalrymple's published in quick succession at two different sites to get the page rankings and the fanboy fever up.

Now things are even worse and Chartier's is outright calling Maynor a fraud. Chartier did not contact Maynor to get his side of the story; he didn't contact any of the journalists who'd interviewed Maynor either.

He just published. And called Maynor a fraud.

Now picture the following scenario instead. Jon Ellch, on assignment to the US military, and renowned security researcher David Maynor come upon a generic flaw in wireless devices. David Maynor, already a bit of an Apple fanboy, figures he'll show this exploit on his brand new MacBook.

Maynor records a demo and goes on stage to talk about a whole new class of wireless exploits. The audience clearly understand it's nothing particular about Apple. In fact having an Apple computer in the demo is only good advertising.

Apple and Maynor and other companies and Maynor now work to plug the hole. In a short while several vendors announce fixes and Ellch and Maynor come out and tell all at Toorcon.

And nobody's the sorrier.

Photographers, musicians, stay at home soccer moms, and screenwriters notwithstanding: if Apple hadn't reacted the way Jobs did none of this would have ever happened.

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