January 10, 2007
Why do you read pundits?

Yesterday was MacWorld, where Steve Jobs announced some great products. I've already ordered my Apple TV and will likely give the iPhone a serious consideration. I like many things about Apple, but some things still baffle me about the Apple fanatics.

What I found hilarious was the Apple Punditry and their predictions and reactions to the Keynote. In an IRC channel I was in during the Keynote, someone typed 'Applegasm' to reflect their feelings.

Why does Apple create such zealotry? I have no idea. But I find it hilarious.

Take the case of Daring Fireball, written by John Gruber, who as far as I can tell, has a career writing down his thoughts about Apple. I've never met John, but I'm sure he's a nice guy that I would enjoy having a beer with (so if you read this John, I owe you a beer, or maybe a whole six pack). He's regarded as a leading Apple Pundit by the blogsphere.

Let's look at his predictions for Macworld Expo 2007:

New User Interface Theme to Replace Aqua in 10.5 (wrong)
iPod Mobile Phone (correct)
New MacBook Pro Form Factor (wrong)
New Sub-Compact MacBook (wrong)
iTV, Along With Apple-Branded Flat Screen TVs With iTV Built-In (½ right, Apple TV yes, flatscreens no)
Dual Quad-Core Mac Pros (wrong)
Demo of Adobe Photoshop CS3 Beta (wrong)
Roz Ho From Microsoft’s Mac BU - universal binary versions of the Office (wrong)
’07 Updates to the iWork and iLife suites. (wrong)
Higher-Speed AirPort Based on 802.11n (½ right, launched, but not in keynote)

So, out of 10 predictions, 1 fully right, 2 about ½ right. Batting .200 there John. Not enough for the big leagues. And he's considered one of the top Apple pundits.

Again, nothing against John, but the web punditry and second guessing of every move by tech companies is a bit silly. Not only do the web pundits make silly predictions, they find reason to try to tear apart every new tech announcement with smug certainty.

Zune didn't kill the iPod in 3 months? No 1080p on the Apple TV? Product is not open-firmware, open-source, and under $20? OMGWTFBBQ!

My professional life has been one long study in what technology can and can't do. I have found that focusing on what hardware and software can't do is basically useless. Focusing on what can actually be done and works is the only real way to examine technology.

Too often I hear smart people say things like "I won't buy X because it doesn't have [vaporware stage technology]", instead of looking at working features and how they fit the actual needs. Kinda of like refusing to buy a car because it doesn't fly and you 'really want a flying car' even though no flying cars exist. Don't get me started on the silliness of people buying 1080p TVs under 60"...

My only guess is that web punditry is a form of tech porn that some people enjoy. Based on nothing, their opinions seem to be worth about the same.

Posted by michael at January 10, 2007 07:44 PM


Agree on the comments but I'd like to correct a couple of things on the mac side (you know how bad I am with these machines and I will order my AppleTV as soon as landed on the new continent)
- New User Interface Theme to replace Aqua: If you look closely at the iPhone and at its version of Safari, the UI looks more like a unified version or a blueish version of the UNO UI, which looks really close to what could be a new UI
- Universal Binary of Office: Well, we all hoped for Office 2004, but MS have announced the Universal Binary of Office 2008 this year (and the filter to work with Office 2007 on PC 2 months later)

And please, let us, Mac Aficionado, carry on with our rumor sites and dreams of s perfect OS... :)

Posted by: tryphoon [http://www.tryphoon.com] on January 11, 2007 4:06 AM

It's silly to make technology predictions you say? I won a dollar off a certain "pundit" who made big claims about Voom...

Posted by: Mister P. [http://misterp.blogspot.com] on January 12, 2007 10:20 AM

Hey ! I just bought a 37" 1080p monitor. :P

Posted by: Scott [http://embiggen.blogspot.com] on January 12, 2007 12:11 PM

We don't listen to pundits for their accuracy in predicting future Apple announcements.

It's the stuff they do the other 95% of the time when you PC guys are off downloading drivers or scrubbing off spyware, or rebuilding your machine that we care about.

The pre-convention guessing is a bit like shaking the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.

I sense a little jealousy...Mac heads get a Christmas. The rest of you have to settle for festivus. :P

Posted by: BillB [http://squidly.com] on January 14, 2007 6:24 AM
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