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Tainted Love: The Apple Fanboys
They're a disease for which (as with AIDS) there's no known cure.
But switchers to Apple's OS X are most often unaware of a rather curious sociological phenomenon in the Apple camp: the 'fanboys'. Sociology normally should not be a consideration in matters pertaining to computer science, but here it's crucial.
Even though most people would gawk at such behaviour and be totally incapable of understanding it, muttering to themselves 'BUT PLEASE IT'S ONLY A COMPUTER', things don't work that way in the Apple Maccie camp. The world outside IT has its share of fanatics - in Clearwater and Jonestown for example - but nowhere has the same violent insanity been so prevalent as in the 'cult' around Cupertino.
And the arguments of Bill Gates may be no reason to balk at use of OS X but these people are. Sooner or later - more likely sooner - you're going to run into these morons and one fine day you're going to wake and be worried they're going to rub off on you. At which point you have but two alternatives.
- Get that Ubuntu distro you were thinking about.
- Throw your computer away and go back to deep sea fishing.
Running a cult is good business. You get people to empty their pockets for trash. You get unquestioning loyalty. You get people who are willing to commit seppuku for you. Most importantly you eventually get journalists who are willing to lie for you. These journalists are very important, as cult mechanics require stirring the pot continually.
One year ago the Maccie world got (justifiably) hit by Oompa Loompa. The worshipping Maccies for whom Apple (and Jobs) could do no wrong were suddenly hysterical. The author of Oompa Loompa revealed exclusively to this website that he wrote the exploit to teach the Maccies a lesson. And they cried, they whimpered, they begged for mercy - and they ran. Activities not normally associated with day to day computer use. This website has ample references to the incident and ample quotes from these eloquent individuals for those who need to refresh their memory.
Jon Ellch and David Maynor found a number of generic exploits in wireless drivers and planned to go forward with details of their discoveries at Black Hat and DEF CON. Apple intervened. After soliciting an agreement with the researchers to not reveal details of the exploits they began a smear campaign orchestrated by their contacts in the Maccie media.
As Ellch and Maynor had already been in contact with independent journalists with reputations beyond reproach, it became necessary to attack these people too.
Maccies have gone so far as to harass people at their workplace - which in at least two documented cases has led to people being sacked - simply because they voiced contrary opinions about Apple, Apple products, and the Apple fanboys. Maccies are still trying to get Brian Krebs sacked and have attempted to shut this website down.
Maccies are a disease and there is no cure.
MOAB: The New Rabbit Hole
A year since everyone fell down the first rabbit hole Kevin Finisterre and 'LMH' launched their 'Month of Apple Bugs'. Contrary to the lies you will read in the Maccie press, this was a very successful research project which produced not only a plethora of child's play root exploits but also pointed the finger at egregious design flaws in OS X capable of surrendering the machine in similar fashion.
Throughout the month Apple remained totally silent, the message to the Maccies being 'this project does not exist, Kevin Finisterre and 'LMH' do not exist, and the bugs these people who don't exist have published in that project that doesn't exist - they don't exist either'.
Yet a curious few were overcome by panic. Again, it's important to understand that for these people 'it's not just a computer'.
[If it's not just a computer, then what is it? This is the question being asked from Singapore to Sausalito. Some experts in abnormal psychology suspect it's a sexual inferiority complex as most Maccies are male: penis size or fear of an inadequate penis size or apprehension at overall sexual inadequacy as the root. Others dismiss it as just another example of fanaticism. Yet whatever the case, this fanaticism, unlike other manifestations, is materialistic in nature: they perceive the world around them as attacking a 'box' - a physical device - unattached to themselves they're prepared to train kamikaze to protect. Ed.]
And so Apple effectively committed the ultimate industry crime: they let dramatically inept fanboys supply the fixes instead.
Tainted Love: The Quotes
All through the Month of Apple Bugs the Maccies kept a low profile, hiding behind their psychological lean-tos. And coincidentally 'Mister' Bill got an unexpected opportunity to appear on The Daily Show and to be interviewed by MSNBC.
And naturally the convicted monopolist let all the stops out - naturally he capitalised on the findings of the Month of Apple Bugs project. But no one takes Bill Gates seriously - no one that is except the Maccie fanboys. And now the threat of a further trouncing at the hands of the MOAB crew has receded it's time to come out [no pun intended] and huff and puff all over again.
And given enough time, insane ranting, and mutual support and these 'defenders of the faith' will begin to feel secure again.
Also to be factored in is the fact it wasn't only the fanboys who were afraid to 'come out' during MOAB: so were Apple. It's no secret Apple's security support budget is shoestring and their PR budget is astronomical. MOAB continually met media attacks orchestrated by Apple PR with new exploits - but now their work is done. Time to reassemble the troops and work in building fanboy morale back up.
Very bad form Bill. Isn't it interesting that the 'month of Mac OS bugs' coincided with Vista's release? Could there be a connection? I wonder who funded the project.
I'd like to see ONE Actual report of an Actual breach of a Mac, that resulted in Actual data loss or Actual security breaches... enough of this theoretical stuff.
If it's so easy to poke holes in OS X, where are the real life exploits to prove it? The short answer is: there aren't any. Companies like Secunia, whose business is selling security software, would like you to believe that there are, but there has never been even one documented Mac-specific exploit released into the wild and passed from computer to computer. Not one.
So are all those evil-eyed hackers out there just being nice to Apple? Even though Apple brags to the whole world that Macs don't get viruses? Why has not even a single hacker taken up the challenge and earned himself (or herself) a little glory? Could the reason be that it's not as easy as all the Windows drones out there have been led to believe? Could it be that Microsoft keeps telling its customers 'Macs are just as vulnerable...' specifically to prevent them from saying 'Enough is enough!' and abandoning ship?
And your in a Mac forum, why, exactly? You can let me know when I'm not safe when a virus or worm in the wild has actually attacked my machine. I'll be happy to installed the needed protection software at that time, thank you.
That's a good one Mr. Bill. Only problem is that it was Windows with the major exploits and break in's. Not OSX which hasn't had any such thing happen since it came out 5 years ago in beta format. Oh yea there have been 1 or 2 claims they broke in. Later the truth came out and they had local accounts and access to the physical machine. All FUD as no one has broken OSX security for real. It looks like Mr. Gates is another FUD spreader as well.
OSX was based on NEXT OS which was developed with BSD. It was still NEXT code which Apple purchased and still uses. Not thrown out.
I'm a bit disappointed that nobody seems to have looked at MOAB's funding. After all, where did their idea of exposing a bug a day - theoretically - in OS X, for the MONTH LEADING UP TO THE VISTA LAUNCH, have come from? From a company that has practically invented the use of 'astroturf' in their grassroots? That funded the lawsuit of SCO to the tune of $22 million?
What company has perfected preemptive wars and dirty tricks and FUD? Well, guess.
By the way, exposing a zero-day flaw without notifying the company and giving them time to react should be a felony, no? If they catch you with burglar tools, you go to jail. You don't have to be caught breaking in or selling the tools. Possession of the burglar tools is enough.
If not a felony, they should have some civil legal exposure. And if MS funded them, that would make them co-conspirators.
Macs are not immune from exploits, but there hasn't been a real exploit 'in the wild' that has every been a concern for Mac users. That's not to say that it can't happen, it just hasn't yet. The example you provided is no different. For the exploit you referenced to happen, an 'intruder' would have to already have a login on your machine. Prior to Vista, the 'layers of security' was largely a foreign concept to Windows users. Perhaps you can find another example for us?
A quick comparison with other forums such as those hosted for Ubuntu also demonstrates a perhaps not surprising fact: compared with most computer users (and forum posters) these Maccies are demonstrably uneducated, seemingly incapable of crafting grammatically correct sentences, spelling correctly, or using a computer keyboard with any semblance of agility.
Which all goes hand in hand with the first rule of demagoguery: keep the masses uneducated and stupid.
Ye Who May Switch
For a site known for its integrity and run by people known for the same it becomes incumbent to state what now should be obvious.
Although Microsoft products are not now and never will be an alternative, if your only feasible option is to purchase an Apple computer, it might be better to get off the net.
Find something else to do. Buy some stationery and a few stamps and learn to write with a pen again. Enjoy your lives instead.