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Apple Businesses

New Apple Column on Ars Technica 54

Steve Cowan writes "A new Apple column by Eric Bangeman, called Mac.Ars, debuted at Ars Technica. The first edition is an insightful, unbiased take on the current state of Apple and its offerings. The author discusses Panther, the G5, consumer hardware offerings, Premiere, Microsoft Office, the 'Switch' campaign, the effects of Apple's relatively recent purchases of products like Logic and Shake, Apple's position in the server market, and lots more." What's the fun of being a Mac pundit unless you are biased?
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New Apple Column on Ars Technica

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  • don't forget linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iksowrak ( 208577 ) on Thursday July 31, 2003 @07:40PM (#6584083)
    Ars also launched an Linux.Ars column shortly after Mac.Ars -- not too shabby either.
  • bias? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Thursday July 31, 2003 @07:48PM (#6584132)
    > What's the fun of being a Mac pundit unless you are biased?

    What, you mean like Slashdot's bias for anything Linux or Open Source? :)
    • I would argue, quite seriously, the the /. crowd is biased in favor of what works. We're not biased against Microsoft because it's Microsoft, or in favor of Linux because we think penguins are cute. We're biased toward products and services that we feel provide good value for the money and/or work required to use them, and against products and services that are overpriced (in either money or time) for whatever value they may provide.

      This is why /. is very enthusiastic about both Linux and OS X. They pro
  • Where's the beef? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Thursday July 31, 2003 @08:00PM (#6584188)
    I dont' understand the reason for writing that article - it was a big introduction with no keynote speaker.

    I got from that article that the writer:
    - Intends to create a column for in depth technical review where other rumor sites fall short.
    - Feels the Switch campaign didn't work out for Apple because the consumer line can't be customized
    - Feels Apple's software development strategy yeilds great results but might present a probelm if Apple is the only one developing for the market
    - Feels there is no market for the Xserve but there is a market for Panther Server (...though there is no market for server grade hardware?)

    SO WHERE IS THE IN DEPTH TECHNICAL REVIEW? The author basically did a feature review. There was nothing new - a few opinions about consumer's desire to have faster graphics card - but no in depth anything.

    I sure am glad I have and to read because Ars' Apple column won't be on my list again.
    • Re:Where's the beef? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WatertonMan ( 550706 ) on Thursday July 31, 2003 @09:27PM (#6584606)
      Did anyone else notice that all the columns seemed to be summaries of active discussions in the Ars Forums? Not that this is a bad thing, but there was strong sense of deja vu to the whole thing.

      I was kind of hoping for more along the lines of Hannibal's amazing 970 guess work or the insightful analysis of the OSX Finder. There are plenty of other things open to analysis.

      I'm hoping for more than Forum summaries that aren't too terribly novel or informative.

      How about an analysis of the StartUpItems method of startup scripts and the still present bug that stop commands don't work at shutdown! How about an analysis of the upcoming UI in Panther along the lines of the guesswork Hannibal did to the 970 and was done for OSX as a review? I can name a half dozen such things that I could have written.

      • I enjoyed it, however, I am not on ArsTechnica's forums, and don't have the time to stay current with another message board right now. I think it is a good summary of where Apple is now, and what they might need to do differently in the future, or what the consequences of some of their actions might be. A lot of the stuff I've read on ArsTechnica was way to technical, and didn't really get to the point. Maybe I was reading the wrong articles, but I believe this to be a nice little concise summary.
        • The could have called it Light.Ars instead.

          That being said, while it didn't tell me anything I didn't know from reading elsewhere; it did still keep me from being productive on a Friday :)
  • However they will be shortly. Until I can run to the local (dallas, tx) Apple store and pick up a G5 running Panther, it is a future offering.

    Just come out with the new powerbooks already. I'm probably just going to buy a notebook from PowerNotebooks [] instead since I've already got a 900MHz iBook and a G4 Tower. I was looking forward to a new powerbook. Oh well...
    • So you aren't really in the market for an Appel anyway.

      If a couple months wait is more important that selecting the hardware and software platform you use for the life of the device, then an Apple laptop just isn't for you (no matter what you SAY you have already purchased).
      • Go to and read "Any day now" for the 15" Powerbooks for 9 months. Have the cash in hand and just wait. I'd actually prefer a Ti one with one exception, chipping paint. Plus I just bought a 900MHz iBook for my wife (which she doesn't use at all so it's mine now!!!). I want 1 laptop that is high end and wide screen (this makes coding much easier as my long ass lines tend to fit better). I'd prefer a 15.2" from Apple but the 17" Sager one is nice too (plus I won't have to wait a year or longer fo
        • Re:Right (Score:2, Troll)

          by Mikey-San ( 582838 )
          So let's see what's up here.

          A rumour site keeps stringing you along . . .

          You get angry at Apple for not releasing unannounced products . . .

          Yeah, go buy a Windows machine.
        • So why don't you buy the 17" PowerBook? You say it has what you want correct? I have a PowerBook G4 and I have never had chipping paint issue. Mine was the first generation 400mhz which is still plenty applicable two years latter running Jaguar. I anticipate replacing it with a new laptop in another two years at teh earliest. Its just so relevant still.

          Come on, if you know how it goes - as you said if they release it today it won't be available for 3 months - then why wait? Is there a technology you need t
    • Our Apple rep is claiming that there will be a revision of the 15" PowerBook in September. A long time to wait, but it'll go nicely with the release of Panther, which has been an amazing preview release thus far.
    • From PowerNotebooks' site:

      We live to serve Him, and you!

      That would make for the Best... "Switch" ad... ever.

  • Who's biased? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Thursday July 31, 2003 @11:38PM (#6585307) Homepage Journal
    Ignoring the heavy anti-MS bias here on Slashdot, why the fuck was Daring Fireball mentioned? Looks like a cheap and perhaps biased shot to me. ng .html _script _for_bbedit_redux.html 2003/01/safari.html 3/05/interface_detail s_itunes_vs_safari.html /2003/01/scripting_safari _urls.html

    If those article gives you an idea of what you'll find there sometimes, you'll see that the stuff posts isn't just rabid OMG APPLE RULZ!!!1 kind of stuff.

    It's a Mac user talking about Macs and Mac stuff. That doesn't make it biased on that basis alone.

    Can we start moderating comments in story summaries? Please?
    • Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xenex ( 97062 ) <xenex&opinionstick,com> on Friday August 01, 2003 @12:11AM (#6585452) Journal
      Daring Fireball offers well-written opinions about Apple-related topics. It would have been nice of pudge to provide a few links to supposedly biased pieces that Gruber has written, instead ignorantly pointing at the front page.

      Of course, it can be difficult linking to things that don't exist...
    • Daring Fireball is an excellent and very informative blog.

      Whoever submitted the article calling John G. (heh, Memento!) a biased person, just because he covers macs, should go purchase himself a fucking clue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 01, 2003 @12:32AM (#6585551)
    Like their operating system poll []:
    "Now, a number of people were pretty amazed to see such high OS X numbers, and some even alleged that the ballot box was being stuffed--either from a third-party site encouraging Mac votes, or by "multiple voters" or some other evil scheme meant to over-represent what must surely be a dying breed *cough*."
    The moment many of their readers claim to use OS X, and they suddenly accuse Mac users and other Macintosh sites of ballot-stuffing!

    So they follow it up with data from their server logs:
    Windows - 66.42%
    (unknown) - 15.06%
    Macintosh - 11.46%
    Linux - 6.49%
    And potentially, a huge chunk of that unknown value are Mac. They even state that themselves:
    "I suspect that a significant number of the "unknowns" are either Mac users, or Opera users on either platform."
    So they begin doubting the poll results from their readers, so they check their server logs. They're then shocked to find that there really is (potentially) over 30 percent of their readers using Macs.

    They then pull out their server's browser logs, which show that Safari is the second most used browser by their readers (unsurprisingly trailing Internet Explorer).
    "I do think it's pretty interesting that, when analyzed as combos of OS and browser, the next biggest combo after IE on Windows 2000 and XP is MacOS X and Safari, even ahead of Mozilla on Windows, or on the Mac."

    It took all this trawling though their logs, and yet they still wouldn't admit that the poll's results could be somewhat accurate. Perhaps this new section is Ars actually admitting, in a very backwards way, that many of their reader do actually use Macs. Not they they want to admit it.

    Say what you will about other sites [], but claiming that ArsTechnica are unbiased is a joke.

  • Every article there on anything remotely Mac has been biased.... Ars Technica is more anti-Mac than Slashdot is.

    The "We're not biased" attitude (And tone of voice) should not fool anyone... after all, how many people here think CNN and Fox news are totally objective? (They're both biased, just in different ways.)

    Ars Technica excells at selling FUD wrapped around plausible sounding and "technical" analysis. Its one of those things that unless you are proficient in the technical area you won't recognize t
    • by Senjaz ( 188917 ) on Friday August 01, 2003 @04:37AM (#6586292) Homepage
      Ars Technica excells at selling FUD wrapped around plausible sounding and "technical" analysis.

      Considering their excellent articles on the G4, G4e, and now the 970. And also on the Mac OS X finder I think many people would disagree with you.

      Its one of those things that unless you are proficient in the technical area you won't recognize to be FUD
      You should check who actually writes the articles and hangs out on the forums there and what they do.

      Many of them are engineers, there are those involved in processor design and also programmers and not small fry either. (Check out the about box in Photoshop then look for Chris Cox at ars he can tell you a thing or two about optimising stuff for altivec and the bandwidth constraints of the old PowerMacs), then take the time catch up on the Perpetual CPU thread GPUL and look at all the analysis done that when Hannibal was able to actually speak to IBM turned out to be almost spot on

      Yeah the signal to noise ratio gets pretty low sometimes but it's pretty much self policing and without a moderation system too. There is no doubting that Ars tends to attract a more knowledgable person.

      As for being biased Ars, like Slashdot is a hang out for technical peeps, and the old Mac OS didn't register on their radar except as perhaps a thing to make fun of. Things change, the Mac is now interesting to geeks. It may not do what we all want but you can't deny it has an attraction to pull it to pieces and see what makes it tick.

    • "Ars Technica is more anti-Mac than Slashdot is."

      As a loyal Mac user and a regular /. reader, I have not found an anti-Mac bias here. While /. seems to be more concerned with OSS and Linux (somebody has to do it), coverage of Apple has been taken seriously. The reports of Jobs' "delivery" of Panther and the G-5's were near orgasmic. I have never been ridiculed here for my choice to use the Mac platform, and I would ask the above poster to provide examples to support his/her claim of an anti-Mac bias. O
      • As a loyal Mac user and a regular /. reader, I have not found an anti-Mac bias here. While /. seems to be more concerned with OSS and Linux (somebody has to do it), coverage of Apple has been taken seriously.

        I suspect you have your comment filter set to 3 or higher. There's a lot of anti-Mac statements, but they're always from trolls or people who obviously have no first-hand experience, and never get modded up.

    • This particular artical seemed biased to my but do not judge Ars Technica as a whole. It consistantly had the BEST coverage of OSX. I did not use OSX as my primary OS until about a year and a half after it came out. But I hit the ground running, because 2 years prior I had read Ars's in depth analysis on all of the Developer Previews and I practically knew the OS Inside and out. Thier 10.2 analisys was spot on as well.
  • by ProfKyne ( 149971 ) on Friday August 01, 2003 @10:58AM (#6588107)

    What's the fun of being a Mac pundit unless you are biased?

    Pudge, was that a shot, or just good-natured ribbing? Gruber writes the best-written (and yes, most opinionated) columns on Apple-related topics anywhere, on the web or in print. In other words, it's not just a diary with a few sentences about whatever came into his head on the way to work that day, nor is it hype-mongering drivel [] about Apple, but rather they are extremely well thought-out and tightly-written articles. Pudge, you're a smart guy (I've heard you speak and read your own blog/mail list posts), you don't need to be reminded that all news media contains bias. I'm glad that Gruber has the sack to acknowledge this, and write what he really thinks rather than tone down his writing [] to get syndicated on some mainstream Mac site.

    I don't agree with everything Gruber says, but his feed is at the top of my NetNewswire client and I look forward to his content every week. I think a lot of people will take your comment out of context -- care to explain?

  • True objectivity - like some think should be the norm - is in all practical sense non-existent. And every true attempt at it is boring - except for the holy wars that follow.

    Facts, figures, comparisons, great stuff. But - in this context - meaningless without some extrapolation, guesswork and creative thinking...

    I look for a bit of bias in everything I read and view, if only to check or offset against my own. It's fun. And the sites mentioned don't seem to claim to hold the holy grail of platform objecti
  • I think this is a welcome addition.

    This site has a good reputation for good content and none of the biased crap that is found on other tech sites and *gulp* Slashdot, or Dvorak's arse talk.

    And one thing I've always said: if it's not on Ars Technica, it's not worth reading.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers