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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

Better Business Bureau Targets Apple's G5 Ads 595

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the half-truths-in-advertising dept.
deathazre writes "The Council of Better Business Bureaus has suggested Apple Computer withdraw its claims of the world's fastest, and first 64-bit, PC after a complaint by Dell. However, even having one of their ads banned in the U.K. didn't stop them here in the States."
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Better Business Bureau Targets Apple's G5 Ads

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  • Dell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chunkwhite86 (593696) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:40PM (#8689210)
    Now whay would Dell of all people make this claim? Dell doesn't even offer a 64 bit PC??
  • by arashiakari (633150) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:45PM (#8689237) Homepage
    Fastest at what? (No, seriously...)

    Fastest selling? TRUE!

    Fastest falling? Maybe (Looks aerodynamic...)
    Fastest obsolescence?
    Fastest at one particular kind of mathematical operation?
    Fastest mobo latency?
    Fastest design and fab process?
    Fastest repairs? (Easy access panel...)

    Heh. Who the hells knows what any ads are REALLY about these days. Lies, Damn Lies, and Advertising. I'm not a Mac-hater, writing this from my lovely 12" iBook G4.
  • by froschmann (765104) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:45PM (#8689238)
    While truthfulness in advertising is important, this is one of those times where an advertiser made a claim that is kind of hard to prove. A computer that is faster at one thing is not necessarily faster at another. Besides, when you hear "world's best hamburger," you don't automatically believe them solely based on the ads, do you?
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <`ku.oc.nez' `ta' `senoj.selig'> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:47PM (#8689253)
    Do average consumers really care about the speed of a computer? most of them are more likely to be looking at the cost of a computer and what they can do with it.

    Now a business is more likely to consider a fast computer if it increases productivity, but then a business is more likely to be clued up about hardware and not be believing the claims of an advert.

    Ultimately the selection of a computer will be based on if it can do what you want for the right price, there are certain pieces of software that aren't available for non-Windows systems and so speed counts for nothing if you need that software.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Epistax (544591) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {xatsipe}> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:48PM (#8689258) Journal
    They offer faster computers though. I don't recall the ad in question when 64 bit was mentioned. The only obvious lie I've hear in an apple ad is the world's "fastest, most powerful" computer.
  • by skidde (670293) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:53PM (#8689286) Homepage
    A company making misleading claims? That's never happened before. [zdnet.co.uk]
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jexx Dragon (733193) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:54PM (#8689292)
    Big Mac is third, so thats not that wrong.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScottGant (642590) <scott_gant@NoSpAm.sbcglobal.netNOT> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:58PM (#8689315) Homepage
    I must have missed that story where the 3rd fastest super computer in the world is made up of Dell computers.

    Oh right, silly me!

    But seriously, if Dells are faster, and cheaper...why didn't Va Tech use those instead? They didn't get a deal from Apple you know...they bought them all right through the online Apple store.

    I'm not trying to confront you or anything, I honestly don't know. I hear claims of faster and fastest all the time from people, but when it comes down to people using them in applications, it kinda goes out the window.

    So why didn't VA tech use Dells or simular?
  • Fact or opinion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:58PM (#8689316) Journal
    I have never ever seen a benchmark that can truly give a consistent, unbiased speed comparison between 2 different architectures. Many benchmarks wil run at different speeds if run twice on the same system, and it's always possible to bias a benchmark towards a certain processor simply by choosing the operations that can be performed efficiently by that processor.

    Given this, I tend to consider speed to be opinion rather than factual information. The fact that a factoid looks like a fact, doesn't make it one. Because of this, I don't see it as a great crime to make semi-substantiated claims iabout speed in the advertising.
  • no pain...no gain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:09PM (#8689367)
    Whatever gain/loss there was from the ad is water under the bridge. It's too late now, since it can't be taken back. Surely we don't have to remind...

    "Any publicity is good and good publicity is even better"

    This news is just more publicity...and they didn't have to pay a dime to get it in front of you today. I'd call that making out :)
  • Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0x0d0a (568518) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:10PM (#8689374) Journal
    I find false marketing to be one of the more upsetting things that companies can do, and I find it a little disturbing that so many Slashdotters seem to feel that it's all right because *it's Apple*. Were it Dell or Compaq or God knows who, people would be up in arms.

    It's pretty obvious that Apple's "fastest computer" claims aren't true and were intended to mislead consumers (even the most generous of readings would admit that they were valid for a very, very limited subset of carefully chosen tests for about a month, far less time than the compaign ran for, and only applied to single-processor computers). There may not be all that much damage caused (heck, the net effect may be positive), but there's little doubt in my mind that Apple was trying to implant fairly bogus information in people's heads.

    The way I see it, even if someone's taking on Microsoft and we want them very much to do well, holding them to a lower standard of integrity (or anything else) is ultimately a losing strategy. Those people will ultimately take advantage of that leeway, and end up producing a worse product/service. If Red Hat puts out a crummy program or makes a decision that negatively impacts me, I will happily complain vocally and publically. Apple deserves to be held to no lesser of a standard.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:11PM (#8689376)
    They need to stop focusing on the Apple "touch"

    Absolutely not! Would you ask Porsche to fight for market share with Honda and use cheap, generic components? After all, a car is a car.

    The 2% are buying Apple for flawless quality and design and paying good money for that. This kind of reputation is hard to build and easy to lose.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:12PM (#8689385)
    Those computers' ability to work together has NOTHING TO DO with being "the world's fastest, most powerful personal computer." Apple made no claims about cheap clustering supercomputer solutions for universities. Their computers get regularly spanked at any reasonable benchmark that isn't cherrypicked by Apple's marketing department.

    The point is not whether Dell clusters are cheaper or faster, or even if Dell makes faster computers than Apple. The point is that APPLE LIED.

    But if we look at your mentality, I suppose for personal use, PCs are about 30x better due to market share. WHy don't those people chose Macs? Case closed.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:14PM (#8689390) Homepage Journal
    The thing that bugs me is that it takes a complaint from a competitor. Haven't individuals been complaining to BBB and other organizations about Apple's ads? The thing is though that Apple HAS been saying "personal computer" all along that I remember so I don't understand the BBB's comments.

    Intel's "wireless everywhere" ads don't mention the need for a base station, not the likelyhood that such a station won't be found on a freaking mountain for that matter, despite what some of the ads imply.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:16PM (#8689402)
    But making out implies some positive outcome, not some potential future positive outcome. G5 sales are down, and look to disappoint again this quarter.

    Can you show any positive effect, rather than 'any publicity is good publicity?' As well, this is bad publicity, showing they lied about their advertising.
  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@NoSpam.pacbell.net> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:20PM (#8689419) Homepage
    It's pretty obvious that Apple's "fastest computer" claims aren't true


    You know, that is *obviously* not true.

    Else the ads wouldn't be an issue.
    Else no one would blink an eye.

    Like the Microsoft ads where the kid starts flying. OBVIOUSLY not true.

    These ads, if OBVIOUSLY untrue, as you claim, then shouldn't be a problem.

    The real problem here, and why Dell is complaining, is that when they were released, they were VERY true.

    It was the most powerful 64bit computer per dollar; that is why Virginia Tech chose the G5 over all other competitors (including Dell) for their supercomputer. No one was cheaper. No one was more powerful.

    Today? No, not THE most powerful, nor the cheapest, offered by an OEM.
  • And Microsoft..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericdano (113424) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:21PM (#8689426) Homepage
    And Microsoft says it's operating system is safe and secure and the best. I don't see anyone taking issue with that when it's totally not true.....

    Apple makes excellent computers.

  • by w3weasel (656289) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:23PM (#8689438) Homepage
    Apple has made no false claims... The G5 is claimed to be the worlds first 64 bit Desktop . Common arguments such as "Sun was there first!" or "Alpha has been around..." are not accurate, since both of those product lines were marketed as servers or workstations . A workstation is not the same as a Desktop PC, at least as far as marketing is concerned.

    As far as claims about 'Fastest'... people... please please please learn what marketing is. "Fastest" is a subjective term, becuase no reference is made to the scale of measurement. If I strap a TI-80 to the fuselage of the X-43 being tested today, then that TI-80 would be the worlds fastest computer.

    Marketeers twist the english language more than any lawyer, and can say one thing, but cause you to think something entirely different. Need an example? You probably know someone who collects Beanie Babies as an "investment".
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:26PM (#8689455)
    You're arguing a completely different point than what the BBB (and others) are annoyed about. Apple claimed they were the first 64 bit desktop computer. They were not. Period, there is no ambiguity.

    The devil is in the details. Was Digital's Alpha, which happened to be 64bit and came out in 1992, a personal computer? Could your grandmother run her favorite applications and check her email on it?

    If not, then it's not a personal computer. It's a server/workstation. Now I would dispute Apple's claim, if Windows 64bit was out, bundled with new retail computers. At the time it wasn't even ready. The claim, is semantically correct by all means.
  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:27PM (#8689465) Homepage Journal
    It's pretty funny to me how a computer maker with only 3% of the total computer market can garner so much attention over one little statement.

    As others have pointed out there have been just as many other biased, false, and outright ridiculus claims such as faster inernet thanks to a processor, dancing flourescant colored clean room suits, and all sorts of stuff.

    yet intel's marketing arm, er, Dell decides they need to file a complaint with the BBB over it and they hold the #1 spot for desktops?

    Things that make you go hmmm.
  • Oh come on! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GFLPraxis (745118) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:27PM (#8689466) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft: Windows is the best operating system!
    Microsoft: MS-Office is the best Office program!
    Dell: We have the best deals on our computers!
    Apple: We have the fastest computer!


    BBB: Apple, you're not allowed to say that...
    Fair?

    Come on, why does everyone pick on Apple...
  • by Cruciform (42896) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:27PM (#8689468) Homepage
    There's one things PCs are *much* faster at.

    Depreciation.

    I could buy a G5 and a fully loaded PC for the same amount today, and try to sell them both in 3 months. The PC would be nowhere near the original purchase price.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:28PM (#8689474)
    A number of years ago a friend of mine got ripped off renting a RV from a rather shady firm. The license tabs had expired, sticking her dad with a ticket. The RV was so poorly maintained, it broke down twice on their trip. Last but not least, the firm promised to take care of the ticket for the tabs and didn't, so the state threatened to take away her dad's license. A competitor confirmed to me that the firm had a long reputation for shoddy business practices.

    Just the sort of thing the Better Business Bureau handles right? Think again. When I called the BBB to complain and see if others had similar problems I was told that my friend HAD TO PAY THE BBB to make a complaint. Pay to complain? That was adding insult to injury.

    My conclusion at the time: The BBB isn't about better business. It's about collecting fees for services provided. Dell paid; Dell got the sort of "service" the BBB provides. End of story.

    There's perhaps a reason for the long delay between the ads and this bit of publicity. Dell spends virtually nothing on research or innovation. It's almost totally dependent on what Microsoft and Intel do. With OS X and IBM's marvelous new chips, in the past few months it's becoming increasingly clear that Apple is a growing threat to Dell's core businesses, somewhat in schools and very definitely in the profitable server market.

    You saw the extent of the challenge when Apple G5s beat out almost twice as many Intel boxes to become the world's third faster computer. And if I remember that story right, the Virginia team that built that computer concluded that Macs gave them more bang for the buck than Dell.

    Someone might want to watch Dell and, when they have advertising that's dubious, complain to the BBB and see what happens. Then let us know.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr. Piddle (567882) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:29PM (#8689477)
    They offer faster computers though.

    You mean less time between breakdowns, right? Dell is the Wal-Mart of computers. For hard day-to-day work, I would seriously prefer something from Apple or Sun before Dell.

    Also, as far as benchmarking goes, P4/Xeon score well in integer performance, but comparatively are middle-of-the-pack in FP performance. So, depending on how the statistics are manipulated, everyone is a winner.

  • Re:Dell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by w3weasel (656289) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:30PM (#8689486) Homepage
    Please know what you are talking about... OSX is and always has been a 64 bit enabled os, by virtue of the availability of the appropriate libraries for use with a 64 bit processor (<cough>BSD</cough>). Why would anyone want a 64 bit os? At least, not untill the average joe needs to move, copy, and edit terabyte sized files.

    what we want, and are starting to get, is 64 bit applications that run on these 64 bit platforms... the OS is just the host, not the workhorse.

  • by Cid Highwind (9258) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:36PM (#8689520) Homepage
    Anyone who is into cars will tell you "fastest" without some sort of qualifying statement isn't a factual claim either. A computer that's "fastest" on one benchmark may be among the worst at another, just like a car that would win one type of race easily would have no chance of finishing a different type.

    Consider a race between a top fuel dragster, a 1960s Chevy Chevelle SS, a Honda Civic SI, and a 4x4 Nissan pickup. In a straight 1/4 mile drag race, the top fuel dragster would beat the rest easily. However, if the race were longer than 2 or 3 miles or had sharp curves, the dragster would probably fall apart or crash. In that race, the Chevelle would win. In a thousand-mile road race the Civic would stand a better chance, because it can cruise almost as fast as the Chevelle, but gets 30 miles to the gallon instead of the Chevelle's 7. Depending on how long gas-station stops take, the Honda may have an edge. In any sort of off-road race, the 4x4 pickup would be the only vehicle to finish. Which one is "the fastest"?
  • by www.fuckingdie.com (759660) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:41PM (#8689562) Homepage
    So what if Apple claims they have (had?) the fastest 64 bit consumer PC in the world. It isn't like they are the first company to claim that they have turned rotten apples into gold.

    The claim that they were the first however, well that is neither here nor there. It is all a matter of perspective I guess. I sure as shit wouldn't have considered anything that was available prior to the G5 (in the 64 bit PC market) a consumer product. But some would.

  • Re:Dell?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JPriest (547211) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:43PM (#8689573) Homepage
    True, Linux would probably be a worthy testbed to benchmark the G5 against the Opteron.
  • Re:BBB = SCAM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by base3 (539820) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:48PM (#8689613)
    Protection racket is more like it. They're an organization that exists solely to lend an air of legitimacy to questionable business and to mollify customers with complaints to delay their escalation to the courts or politicians.

    I regard the display of a BBB plaque in a place of business as a warning label similar to the Trust-E seal.

  • Re:Dell?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slack3r78 (596506) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:52PM (#8689640) Homepage
    You do realize that moving software to 64 bit just for the sake of 64 bitness is NOT a way to improve speed. In fact, on RISC architechture such as the PPC, a 64 bit binary will generally be slower than a 32 bit binary running identical code.

    The reason for this is the PPC architechture doesn't get any of the boosts such as increased register availablity that x86 does with x86-64 by going 64 bit. The only difference is it can address a larger data set. Unless you're doing something which directly benefits from 64 bitness on a PPC CPU, you'll be better off with a 32 bit binary.
  • by Trolling4Dollars (627073) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @01:57PM (#8689678) Journal
    While I agree that Alphas were probably THE best platform out there, this is all very silly.

    Looking at the rest of this thread I have to say that the designation you give a machine should be based on the appication, not what the boneheads who market the OS call it.

    PC (as in PERSONAL COMPUTER): You run home user type stuff: games, web browsing, e-mail, music and video, word processing

    Workstation: You run business software (ugh) and productivity applications: web, e-mail, office suite, field specific applications like CAD/CAM, Video NLE, Audio NLE, MIDI composition software, Scientific applications. Typically a little more horsepower is needed because of the fiel specific apps.

    Server: Backends. Basically, web servers, file servers, database servers, mail servers, groupware servers, application server (thin client really is the best model) etc... Users don't interact directly with the servers, they just work with the clients.

    So screw what Microsoft has to say about it. If you run Windows XP Professional or Windows NT4 Workstation at home and use it for games, music, web and mail and never run field specific apps, then it's NOT workstation. I knew a jackass who used to run a Windows NT4 Server as his desktop. All he would do on it is play Quake. For some horribly retarded reason, he was under the delusion that it ran better than NT Workstation. If there really WAS a difference, then why was Microsoft so quick to keep people from hacking the registry to change Windows NT Workstation into Windows NT Server? Sorry... but that's just lame as hell. Just a couple flags in the registry of the OS maintains this illusion of a difference between the versions? Bah.

    Anyway... the way I see it I have Linux running on all of my boxes. They all perform "server" functions of various types (ssh, nfs, etc...), but as far as I'm concerned, they are just thin clients based on how I use them (Remote VNC sessions with my application server). I have two machines on my network that I *DO* think of as servers because they do REAL server stuff. Both of them are Linux boxes. One does internal and external DNS, Samba (WINS, PDC), mail, web (internal and external), VPN. I don't run apps on it or play games on it It doesn't have sound capabilities or a GUI. The other box is my application server/file server. It also doesn't have a GUI on it but gdm spawns eight VNC servers for multiple GUI based remote logins. Think Windows Terminal server and you've got the idea. I do run apps on it like games, music, video, web, mail and office type stuff, but tht's what makes it an application server. Note the use of the word "SERVER". So, the designation of a machine has little to do with marketing and EVERYTHING to do with the role. Know your role!!! ;P

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:10PM (#8689760)
    Apple claims to have the most powerful, first 64 bit personal computer. That is debatable but they do have numbers to back it up. Now there will always be debate about what numbers to believe and how slanted the benchmarks are . . . yadda, yadda, yadda. The point is that their claim is debatable, but not false. *cough* SCO *cough*

    I don't know about you but is there bigger fish to fry out there when it comes to truth in advertising. If the BB wants to make a statement, why not go after all those diet pill advertisers who claim to help you lose wieght in 30 days without diet or exercise. Or make thousands of dollars working from home in 30 days. To my knowledge, the BB said nothing when movie studios put out raving reviews of their movie by non-existent movie critics.

  • by JamieF (16832) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:14PM (#8689775) Homepage
    > If you want very specialized fast floating point performance for certain scientific applications, Itanium is where it's at.

    Then why did VT actually go through the trouble of pricing out a cluster and find that G5s had the best price/performance? It's fun to speculate and all, but they actually priced it out and in reality the G5 systems had better price/performance.

    Or were you referring to single-CPU performance?

    >If you want the fastest computing cluster, you'd probably have to go with UVA's Mac cluster.

    I think you meant VT. VT and UVA are arch-rivals.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:26PM (#8689845)
    OS X has 64-bit extensions which is a hell of a lot more than Windows currently has (Not counting the 64-bit beta). There's little need/reason to have an OS entirely 64-bit and it also introduces compatibility issues with the existing 32-bit machines. Why have two separate OSes when one hybrid 32/64-bit OS does what you need it to do.
  • by w3weasel (656289) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:30PM (#8689865) Homepage
    As outlined in my original comment, both assertions are factual... since 'Personal Computer' != 'Workstation' != 'Server'. 'Fastest' == "whatever best suits the marketeers" =P
  • by bfg9000 (726447) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @03:05PM (#8690090) Homepage Journal
    This is about honesty. Just because you can cite examples of other people being dishonest doesn't mean Apple should be allowed to be dishonest as well. That's like saying that since your dad speeds and gets away with it, the police should have no right to pull you over. That's not a justification, that's an excuse. And as Trump says on his show, "I don't. like. excuses."

    If Apple is dishonest, they should not be defended. You're not defending Apple, you're defending lying. If you are an Apple Zealot, you're not unbiased. Take a step back, find someone who is and let them look at the facts without your propaganda slipping in. If you're an Apple zealot, you're not acting in the best interests of society (or even yourself), you're acting in the best interests of Apple. The Better Business Bureau IS unbiased. If Microsoft makes claims like this, they will be censured as well. Overall, the system works. You have no problem when our enemies are caught and punished, but when we are caught and punished, we attack the system. That's what's happening here.

    Everybody here is trying to defend Apple based on technicalities: they said "desktop", not "workstation"; other people lie too; the BBB is a corporate shill; this wouldn't happen if Clinton was in office; there's an anti-Apple conspiracy!

    No matter how much you love Apple Corporation and want to promote their products, it is unethical and irresponsible to break the rules our society is based on. If you actively promote false advertising for your own selfish interests now, you have NO RIGHT to complain about others doing the same thing. What this means is that everybody will race to be the most dishonest, so that the right to complain about others' dishonesty will not matter, because you gain more from your dishonesty than you lose by allowing others' dishonesty. This is NOT where we want society to go.

    If others are dishonest, call the BBB, don't join them in dishonesty. Apple loves their PR. They spend nearly as much on ads and promotions as on R&D. Lying should hurt their reputation. They should be punished for deceit. But there are people here acting as damage control to help Apple lie without being hurt by it. This is evil.

    Dell are the good guys here. Apple is often right on the edge of deception with their ads; this time they went a bit too far and had their wrists slapped for it. I don't care about Dell computers, but I care about honesty in advertising. If Apple noticed Dell blatantly lying and called the BBB, we'd claim it as another example of Apple's glorious belief in truth and goodness. Because that's what we choose to believe. But the sword cuts both ways. It has to. If Apple lies, they should face consequences, just as Dell should when they lie. Someone's mom will see these ads and possibly get scammed into buying the wrong computer based on a lie. That's not good. Apple will lose in the long run, and the customer will lose as well. The best customer service I've ever seen is when an Apple sales guy told me to buy Windows XP because a Mac wouldn't work as well for what I wanted it to do. He was right, and he was honest. And it made me love Apple because they gave a damn about their customers and didn't want to screw me over just to make a quick sale. There are people on this board without that ethic; who cannot see the long-term problem of millions of angry customers who feel they've been lied to, badmouthing Apple to 20 people each and costing Apple many potential future sales. If the Apple guy had pushed me into the wrong solution just because he'd make a commission, I wouldn't have gone on to buy a half-dozen Macs, iPod, software, etc. and helping out on forums doing technical support for Mac newbies. Apple would have lost ME by lying.

    And because they're lying now, they're losing someone else. Someone who cares about the truth is the best salesman you can have on your side. He will push you to be the best you can be when y
  • Workstation v. PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nedron (5294) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @03:46PM (#8690310) Homepage
    The complain by Dell and others is more a matter of semantics (as is the add itself).

    Dell claims that the term PC can apply to a workstation as well, rather than simply being used (as in the Apple add) to indicate a personal computer.

    I never hear the word PC and think workstation, so I don't find Apple's ads misleading.

    It's like a color printer add from a couple of years ago that said, "somewhere between black and white is silver, which is just one of the colors between the colors that the color printer can print." Note that they never claim they can print silver, just that it's between two colors they CAN print. Misleading? Not if you actually pay attention to what they're saying.

    That's what marketing is all about.
  • by Interested Spectator (670344) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @03:51PM (#8690330) Homepage
    I agree with you about "lying" being wrong and companies have a responsibility to be honest about their products. But, from what I read, I agree with Apple's approach. They tried to compare apples with apples by choosing a compiler that could be used on both machines. They used a third party vendor to perform the test. They tried to configure both machines to model "real" world use (keyword "model"). Not some pristine lab condition with techies fine tuning the machines to perform optimaly, but more like my computer here at my house, using it the way I'm using it right now. To me, that kind of test, one that models the real world, is more meaningful than one that you'd have to be in a clean room to duplicate.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Saturday March 27, 2004 @04:47PM (#8690612)
    ...Dell claiming that they were the first [macobserver.com] to ship integrated wireless and antennas in a laptop, even though Apple in fact did it more than a year earlier [com.com]?

    Maybe someone should "act on behalf of consumers" to notify them of these "inaccuracies".
  • Ay yes, Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Eminor (455350) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @04:54PM (#8690670)
    So the Council of Better Business Bureaus goes after apple for running ads to promote there product.

    I've seen car ads that imply that there car is the safest ("That's why I drive a Toyota."). I can't see any reason why one brand of car would be inherently safer than another. Do Toyota's fair better in a collision with an 18 wheeler?

    Then there's the Microsoft ad that implies that they make software the make your children do better in school. It implies that your child will do better. But logically, If they are helping improve every child, then relatively speaking your child cannot do better than the other children who would have done better otherwise (since it improves everybody).

    That's my $0.02

  • by theLOUDroom (556455) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @05:14PM (#8690824)
    Any publicity is good and good publicity is even better"

    Repeating something a million times doesn't make it true!

    Certain publicity is 100% BAD. Like Ford ignition switches busting into flames.
    There's no positive angle to that. Even if you didn't know who Ford was, is that news going to make you want to do business with them? Are you going to think, "Gee, I'd like a car that might randomly burst into flames. I should go check out my nearest Ford dealership!"

  • by inkswamp (233692) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @07:43PM (#8691729)
    CNet is officially Dell's little bitch.

    The "world's fastest" thing is just marketing hype. Who can't see that? It may or may not be true, but who really cares one way or the other? I never have. Is it really so hard to figure that out? Has there been a rash of people rushing out to get G5s only to find out they were sorely duped? This is such a non-issue.

    Clearly, Dell is run by a bunch of whiners who would rather gripe and complain than come up with their own attention-grabbing ad campaigns. And it's so nice to see CNet letting themselves be used as Dell's little bitch--no surprise there given CNet's notorious history of Apple bashing.

    I'd love to see how many folks at CNet have Dell and/or Microsoft stock. That would probably explain a few things.

  • nitpicking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zpok (604055) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @08:12PM (#8691919) Homepage
    I think that it'd be a nice waste of time to take some of Dell's claims under consideration and report any false information. After all, they've been "first" in so many things Apple actually beat them to, that it shouldn't be too hard to find something to report.

    I'm not especially vexed by Dell's move, Apple's claim is dubious, although I personally think they make their point: they've got the fastest personal computer you can buy off the shelve. OK, maybe not anymore, next month maybe again, etc etc, who cares, they still make the most pleasing computer afaic, and I don't mind it being fast.

    I am however surprised America reacts to this type of hyperbole. Your presidents get elected on this, all the goods you buy are sold on this, your news is full of it ... Maybe we should be pleased that there's at least some regulation in place.

    Me, I'm still waiting for the "I can't believe it's not Windows" campaign for Linux ;-)
  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @10:12PM (#8692615)
    No individual customers complained to the BBB about Apple


    Well, I am an individual customer and, although I'm too lazy to complain to the BBB, I certainly have an issue about Apple advertisement.


    They always claim to be "faster" than Intel hardware, based on very dubious evidence. When you compare 2+ GHz CPU's, you should alwasy take into account the fact that such hardware is idle 99% of the time. It's misleading to state that Apple is "faster" because it uses only 0.854% of CPU time in normal office use, instead of 0.911% in a comparative Intel CPU.


    When it comes to applications that really need CPU, secondary issues do not matter at all, in the end it boils down to raw clock speed. Intel, AMD, G5, they all do 4 32-bits floating-point ops per clock. The only true and valid comparison is CLOCK speed and nothing else. AMD is, perhaps, even worse than Apple, since thay call their 1.8GHz CPU a "2200+", which is clearly misleading.


    Of course, depending on the exact applications you run, YMMV. But everything else can be optimized, except for raw clock speed. If you are already running the best known algorithm and you're still not satisfied with your CPU performance, there's pretty little you can do except for getting a faster CPU, no matter which CPU you have.

  • Re:Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@NoSpam.pacbell.net> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @01:24AM (#8693786) Homepage
    When the G5s were announced and the ads ran, there weren't any OEMs (competitors) shipping any Opteron systems for Apple to compare against. Yes, Boxx had an Opteron system, but there were no desktop PCs from IBM, Gateway, Fujitsu, Sony, HP, or Dell with Opterons. As far as I can tell, when Apple published their test results on June 30th 2003, no OEM was shipping a 3.2GHz P4 system for Apple to test.

    They don't have to test every other PC; only the representative of the most common, it's a scientific process called 'sampling', and it reduces the need to keep track of *everything*, since it is physically labor intensive and nearly impossible to keep track of everything. It's how humans process tremendous amounts of data, our brains happen to throw away things we think aren't important.

    As per the testing itself, you are satisfied then that it was all documented and regular, even if you are unhappy with the way the tests themselves were executed?

    Apple has no choice but to use a different OS; they don't have Windows, and they sell OS X. Rather, using any other OS (like Linux or BSD) is stupid. Apple furthermore has no choice about gcc; since that's the compiler on their platform, OS X. In that way, it was kept 'fair' between platforms.

    Anyway, the point remains; that it wasn't *OBVIOUS* that Apple's claims were false, any more than it was OBVIOUS that Apple's claims were true, and we can argue either way. That is exactly why they did the benchmarking, but there's no point talking about the benchmarks because no one is satisfied with the methodology. Or, to phrase it scientifically, "All irrelevant data was discarded during the experiment," which is exactly how science works... and benchmarking, and anything else to do with statistics.

    The original grandparent post is all I questioned: It isn't OBVIOUS that Apple's claims were false. My own beliefs may not be true (that Apple's claims were true), but I'll say it again, it isn't OBVIOUS that Apple was wrong, either.
  • Re:Dell?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @02:47AM (#8694081) Homepage
    When you make a fair comparison with both machines using gcc

    Whoa...that's not a fair comparison. gcc isn't the same on both machines.

    A fair comparision is to use the best compiler available on each machine.

    IBM's best published official SPEC results for integer are with a Xeon, and for floating point are with a POWER4, which beats the P4 by 3% (and is trounced by Itanium2).

    BTW, official SPEC results aren't limited to the CPU manufacturers. Dell has plenty of published results, for example. There is nothing stopping Apple from getting the best compiler they can find, doing the benchmarks, and submitting them.

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @09:32AM (#8695160) Homepage
    PC=PERSONAL COMPUTER

    Not Workstation nor Supercomputer, PERSONAL COMPUTER and its really the first 64bit personal computer.

    There is still a difference between "workstation' and personal computer.
  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday March 28, 2004 @12:54PM (#8696084)
    My point was that Intel uses a circuit that's exactly as efficient as the G5: a P4 does four floating point add/multiply operations per clock cycle, just like the G5. When it comes down to absolute performance, using a well optimized compiler and the same algorithm, there's no difference between a P4, Athlon, or G5. I have actually tested this, using some linear algebra benchmarks that really depend on CPU power. Apple and AMD are lying when they claim superior performance.
  • by leandrod (17766) <l&dutras,org> on Sunday March 28, 2004 @02:07PM (#8696450) Homepage Journal
    >
    there were entire floors in the building with 64-bit Sparc Ultra 1 boxes on the desk in each cubicle

    I wonder which application software did they run... StarOffice, Applixware?

    >
    It a cult thing, as it has been for decades now.

    To be fair, Apple's are first machines to be targeted squarely at MS Windows machines. Sun's were marketed more as low-end workstations.

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