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Who Really is the "Director" of Dashboard? 92

MacManX writes "Does the director of Apple's upcoming Mac OS X feature, Dashboard, have something to hide? Or does he wish to remain hidden? Or are we just reading into this way too much? Rick has an excellent observation over at MacMerc. The evidence will astound you."
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Who Really is the "Director" of Dashboard?

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  • Another Meaning (Score:5, Informative)

    by Angry Monkey ( 306817 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @06:46AM (#9660110)
    An 'Alan Smithee' directed film also refers to a film that turned out so bad the director demanded the removal of his name (instead of having it taken away from him, as the IMDB quote in the article states).

    Example: the theatrical "Dune" movie was originally a David Lynch film, but subsequent prints bear the Smithee label.

    Fun fact: "Alan Smithee" is an anagram of 'i.e., the alias man.'

    Implication in context: rather than implying that Dashboard is so bad Apple took the project from its director, perhaps it means the project director doesn't want his name associated with it. Go Woz!
    • Re:Another Meaning (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You mean "the alias men" not man.
    • Apple's has been making the film industry a target market. Why not use a name from the movie industry?

      Apple like playing with names BHA.

    • Re:Another Meaning (Score:4, Interesting)

      by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @07:59PM (#9663459) Homepage
      Much to my amusement, there's an "Alan Smithee Restaurant" in one of Edmonton's cineplexs... a diner so bad, the chef demanded the removal of his name!
    • Nope. Only the extended TV version of "Dune" says Alan Smithee, the theatrical-length release on home video still says David Lynch.
    • If you look at Apple's ad text, you'll notice that they've adopted "Alan Smithee" as their replacement for "John Doe". The whole Apple Works example uses a ficticious Smithee family, and other you can see the name Alan Smithee in screenshots.
  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @07:19AM (#9660180)
    In the original cut the lead widget and widgetess were supposed to spend their lives apart, in exile, each dying thinking the other betrayed them, not realizing they really disowned the other to save the other's life.

    But the studio made them change it so they lived together in a cottage in exile after the King's wife told him she'd leave him childless if he sent them apart forever.

    Stupid Hollywood.

    (sheesh, the Alan Smithee conspiracy seems a bit far-fetched--if the guy in charge of the project didn't like what he was doing enough to go pseudonymous in a keynote, he has to be either really, really stupid, or hoping to be fired (or Steved, by some peoples' lexicon). My guess is that it's just Apple's new version of "John/Jane Doe").
  • by Hackie_Chan ( 678203 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @07:50AM (#9660232)
    What did the article prove? Nothing. This is in my opinion a waste of space on the Slashdot's first page. Mod me down if you want, but the fact that Apple employees put in a fake name in a demonstration movie is no 'conspiracy'. Have you considered that maybe they just don't want people to peek at real people's profiles/names?

    A nice little thing to notice, but using it as proof for the one who designed Dashboard? That's stretching it...
    • by 0x20 ( 546659 )
      But... Slashdot only has one page...
      • No it doesn't. Several stories are shown on individual category pages that don't show up on the main page (unless you're logged in and have your preferences set otherwise.)
    • by Jord ( 547813 )
      This isn't on /.'s first page. Might want to check your preferences. It is in the Apple section where all of the stories about Apple go.

      Perhaps you want to go into the BSD section next and complain about one of the stores in there?

    • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Sunday July 11, 2004 @12:30AM (#9664514)
      You're on to something here. Apple has a new rule against easter eggs or other hidden credits containing programmers names. The rationale is that Apple doesn't want to publicly release the names of specific programmers that worked on any specific project, it makes it easier for headhunters to poach critical personnel.

      So don't get your panties in a bunch over the smithee pseudonym. Obviously someone got bored creating demo data with the same old names like John Doe and decided to have a little fun.
  • Now that everyone knows, it doesn't really make sense for companies to allow Alan Smithee to be associated with their productions. So what's the new alias? I'm guessing that if there is one, it's David E. Kelly.

    Alan Smithee is one of those little pieces of knowledge that people know because it helps make them feel elite, which is weird because everyone knows about it by now. It's like the way mullets were a big joke a while back.

    But really, odds are, if you know about it, then it's not hip and you're c
  • riiiight... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by admiralfrijole ( 712311 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @08:40AM (#9660325) Homepage
    just because they used a fake name in there instead of using steve's name in there, there's a deeper meaning behind it.

    people just seem to want to always find hidden meanings that, most times, aren't there at all.

  • by SandSpider ( 60727 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @09:21AM (#9660418) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, this article: not so funny. However, since we're talking about Dashboard, I recommend going to Surfin' Safari [], the weblog of Dave Hyatt, lead programmer of Safari. Since WWDC, he's been talking about Dashboard, what it really is, and the development path they're taking.

    Dashboard is actually going to be a WebKit application, with some HTML Extensions to let you do things like put a transparent mask over the window and call local code. He's discussing putting the HTML extensions into their own default namespace right now, as well as submitting them for standards approval (well, some of them). It's a very interesting weblog, and certainly worth having on the RSS feed if you're at all interested in the development of Safari and webkit.

    • by PierceLabs ( 549351 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @11:55AM (#9661140)
      I'm more concerned with whether or not this will be as easily exploitable as Active Desktop which is its closes kin - not Konfabulator.
      • I don't think it will, but I haven't done complete reading on the subject. Check out the Mozilla Foundation Announcement [] on the new plugin architecture that will be shared between Safari, Opera, etc.

        I think that because it's because it's a plugin architecture rather than a dynamically loaded code that the means of exploitation are less. However, poorly designed plugins will likely still be a problem.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @09:59AM (#9660578) Journal
    Includes The O.J. Simpson Story (1995).
    So maybe there is something going on here.
    Apple is innocent...
    O.J. is innocent...

    :Puts on his flame suit: it's only a joke. i swear!

  • by xanderwilson ( 662093 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @10:31AM (#9660729) Homepage
    Didn't Apple along with a bunch of other software corporations stop putting credits in their software a few years ago, to help prevent large competitors in or around Redmond from paying whatever it took to make ridiculously generous offers for those employees to work for them? Wouldn't it be prudent (if that is their policy) to avoid trumpeting all those people's names as well? What if this person didn't turn in the NDA yet?

    • > Didn't Apple along with a bunch of other software
      > corporations stop putting credits in their software a few years
      > ago, to help prevent large competitors in or around Redmond
      > from paying whatever it took to make ridiculously generous
      > offers for those employees to work for them?

      I've heard this, too, but I think this might be related to two other facts. First, it's impossible for everyone who is involved in delivering software to have their names included these days. Second, Jobs has mand
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Any programmer on Apple has CERTAINLY signed an NDA, well-before they were even allowed to touch a 1-Infinite-Loop keyboard.

      I'm an Apple campus representative and had to sign one.
  • Dashboard looks like a pretty sweet application. With each successive release, Mac OS X becomes an even more impressive desktop OS. They keep throwing stuff in it that boosts productivity (Expose, Dashboard, Automator, etc) while still maintaining its slick appearance. With all these productivity enhancements, sometimes I have to wonder why they don't put together a less-expensive G5 tower (i.e., less than $1500, let alone $2000 without a monitor) and target the business market. Even at $2000+/system, i
    • Don't worry, you'll be just as poor after graduation... or worse! Unless you're one of those foresightful individuals who major in business or accounting or something. Bastards.

      (Liberal arts my ass. Two degrees in music and I work in a frickin' bookstore. But I'm not bitter!)


      • Re:sweet app (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mjpaci ( 33725 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @02:29PM (#9661888) Homepage Journal
        College isn't votech. You don't go to college to learn a specific trade or subject. You go to learn how to THINK. Once you know how to think, you apply that to any field.

        The subject you major in is just the vehicle you use to learn how to think. I majored in Chemistry and now, 10 years later, I manage a technology group at a financial services company. I have yet to set foot in a lab for work since I left college.

        I find the kids these days that major in business (MIS, whatever) don't really know a whole lot outside of their discipline. Liberal Arts gives you exposure to different fields. If you use your college experience properly and learn how to THINK, then you can use your off-major classes as practive for the real world.

        In the past few years I have interviewed ~30 students from the MIS program at Northeastern for internship positions in my company. i have found that most of them have no idea what MIS is and are a bit suprised when they realize they will be working the help desk or desktop support as one of their first jobs out of college.

        • I suppose I should clarify that I don't actually think ill of a liberal arts education, or indeed of my music degrees. It's just a sardonic joke I have with my wife: how much easier would things be right now if we had taken career paths with more immediate tangible rewards?

          I don't expect music (or writing, foreign languages, film studies, etc...) to make me rich, but I do expect to find the life we lead more rewarding long-term in intangibles like contentment, creativity, personal pride in accomplishments,

          • This is why so many liberal arts majors contemplate law school sooner or later. It's one of the well paying careers for which a liberal arts education prepares you.
          • True. I sometimes wonder where I'd be today had I majored in Comp Sci instead of Chemistry; or had taken a risk and majored in something like Philosophy or History. I majored in Chemistry not because I wanted to be a Chemist, but because I liked it and was comfortable in it (not to mention I was 4 credits into it due to the 4 I got on the AP). I started college with 20 credits from 3 APs (Chem, BC Calc, and Physics B) and it STILL TOOK ME 4 years. (That's because I never needed to take more than 13 credits
        • by Anonymous Coward
          "You go to learn how to THINK. Once you know how to think, you apply that to any field."

          Companies want people who know X 5.0, Y Enterprise Edition, and Z 3.0 Server.

          Thinking? Feh.

          Generalists. Who needs em.
  • by Fritzed ( 634646 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {deztirF}> on Saturday July 10, 2004 @04:13PM (#9662484) Homepage
    If you look in the last couple of frames as the things fly toward the screen. You can see Alan Smithee's phone #, how about somebody calls him and asks him what's up. It is also the number in this [] article about opendoc, but that was in 1996 so maybe it got reassigned.


    -> Fritz
  • Good lord (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jahf ( 21968 ) on Saturday July 10, 2004 @05:42PM (#9662937) Journal
    This Smithee guy must be a genius ... IMDB states he directed his first movie the year he was born [] and has been writing, directing, producing, composing, designing and editing many dozens if not hundreds of shows since. Now he's a keynote-quality software designer.

    Good show old chap!
    • It gets better. Although not quite confirmed, some IMDB members claim he directed "The Indiscreet Mrs. Jarvis", which was released 1955, 12 years before his birth.

      We can only assume one thing: that in fact, he was not born, but *re-born* on earth in 1947, in Roswell, New Mexico, and that IMDB's claim of a 1967 birth was sponsored by the illuminati.
  • i work in the entertainment industry so it stuck out as odd to me. but don't we all think steve jobs, who also happens to be the ceo of a major movie production studio, would know the significance of that phrase BEFORE he demo'd dashboard? most people in the entertainment field know what that means. i seriously doubt he would be caught unawares.
  • Alan Smithee is no news. Everyone knows about it. Having that name in something previewed by Apple means nothing - and you should all have better things to do. Egads, I mean come on and get a life!
  • Speculation is certainly not equal to hard facts, which are typically what evidence is made of.
  • I spelled it out to those soulless suits. Plain as day:

    Use that ridiculous dropshadow on my calculator widget, you no-talent bean counters, and I'm taking my name off the project.

  • by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Monday July 12, 2004 @11:03AM (#9674804)
    That this posted by someone masquerading under the pseudonym 'Pudge'. Clearly he is deeply deeply embarrassed by this post. ... or somehing.
  • "Cupertino, start your photocopiers!"

    Funny that Apple would put out "Redmond, start your photocopiers" tag when everybody knows what happened to Watson, and now Konfabulator.

    What goes around comes around.
    Enuff said.
  • There is a long-standing Apple rule that says that none of the people in a project may put their names into the project anywhere, including in Easter eggs. (And, in fact, if you do manage to get an Easter egg into an Apple project, you'll be in a lot more trouble if your name is in it than if it isn't.) The alias here may just have been someone complaining that Apple wasn't letting him sign his real name. Or he could have put his real name in it and someone at Apple with a sense of humor enforced the pro
  • Let me quote the article:
    Apple's controversial Dashboard
    What's controversial about 'Dashboard'?
  • ...and so's my wife!
  • Intersting stuff here. []

    Dead Nancy


    For all of the armchair critics who claim to know that Apple "should have" bought Konfabulator to serve as the basis for Dashboard, I ask:

    Have you used Konfabulator? If so, have you measured its memory consumption?

    Do you think Apple's OS engineers should be concerned about performance and resource consumption?

    Do you think you know more about performance and resource allocation than Apple's engineers?

    Do you believe reasonable engineering opinions can be dr

Real wealth can only increase. -- R. Buckminster Fuller