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Apple's New-Old Laptops

And a cloth.


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APPLE PARK WAY (Rixstep) — Remember how Microsoft released a new weird version of Windows? And (l)users were close to jumping off a Redmond cliff? And then Microsoft came out with another new version and everything was pretty much OK again?

Same difference here. But with one substantial difference. Windows stayed at the same price level, Apple really hiked things as per usual.


Apple's big event was mostly a non-event, save for the details on their new laptop hardware. The usual suspects were out right away, pimping the products of their sponsors, but a review from CNBC, of all sites, looked closer at what happened.

CNBC's Kif Leswing had a long title for his piece.

Apple listened to its most loyal customers and fixed its laptop problems from the last five years

The gist is that a great many of Apple's 'de novo' innovations, some of which, over the past five years, were obviously horrible from Nanosecond One, are finally gone. And good luck to the unfortunate who wasted their money.

√ The Touch Bar. Yes it's gone. Finally. Realistically, who did not see - at once - what a disaster it was? The Touch Bar made work more difficult, slowed everything down, and even caused backaches. While introducing yet another questionable interface - and accompanying API - that programmers had to grok. What were they thinking? When 80% of the total code already deals exclusively with the interface? No.

CNBC says the new laptops have a 'big' escape key. We shall see. Leswing then goes on to claim the Esc key is 'important for programmers'. It is? It's in the upper left. You can't miss it. Is this because a program goes wild and you gotta hit that key really fast? As in having a BIG RED BUTTON right in the middle of the box, above the trackpad for example?

√ MagSafe. It's back. It should never have been gone. Billions earned with planned obsolescence as the Jony Ives of the world try to make things paper-thin. Profitable in the extreme.

√ The keyboards. They've been horrific, and a convincing argument not to take the plunge for expensive crapware like that. According to CNBC, the crappy butterfly keyboard was part of yet another attempt to make things even thinner.

'The laptops Apple announced on Monday look more like the pre-2016 MacBook Pro', writes CNBC. Yep. Screw things up for a few years, then get things back to where they once were, and call it 'innovation'. Ka-ching.

Except there's a new line of CPUs. There are both good and things with those CPUs.

√ The good. Depending on the instruction set's similarity to Intel's, this will make it either difficult or easy for black hats to crack things wide open and creatively craft new weapons of destruction.

The great advantage with PPC architecture was that Intel shell code didn't work. Then Jobs got forced to switch to Intel and OS X became vulnerable again. Not a comfortable prospect.

Switching to non-Intel means black hats have to go back to school, if they even care. With Apple's thin demographic, chances are they won't bother.

√ The bad. Which brings us to the final point. The new CPUs are loaded to the gills with security features most users won't need. People aren't going to waste time hacking Apple.

Given this irrefutable reality, Apple will have an increasingly hard time selling their dodgy Gatekeeper system to the public, an increasingly hard time convincing consumers that the platform that was once so unreachably secure, that overnight became dangerously insecure, suddenly is super-secure again. Or get them to doubt their system was ever insecure in the first place.

And lose that grasp and Apple jeopardise a USD 60-80 billion annual revenue stream. Truly a 'money for nothing' game for them.

All need not be lost. They can still clean up on their new authentic Apple Polishing Cloth. Selling for a tidy USD 19. Nineteen dollars. And it's just a cloth.

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