From the Editors
Best in Blogs: Best and Worst iPhone 5 Rumors, Apple & Google Go Nuclear, and a Cure for Apocaholism
Here we go again! A new iPhone is imminent from Apple, and everyone who ever fingered a one-button mouse is wondering what it will be like. "Rumors swirling around the iPhone 5 have gadget watchers dizzy with anticipation. Bigger screen size, thinner display, Siri song-and-dance numbers -- when will the madness stop?!" says Mashable, which links to a "leaked video" that supposedly explains it all but which is in fact a withering parody by adamthinks.com. Folks just love a good Apple rumor, or a bad one. Let's just say it's not the first time someone has been tempted to take an Apple bite that turned a little sour. In case you missed this one: Swedish design firm Day4 exploited Applemania in a prank to demonstrate how easily fake information can become big news online. As ReadWriteWeb reports: the design company "produced a mock-up image of a screw with an asymmetrical head, ostensibly designed by Apple to prevent users from tinkering with their devices. After posting it to Reddit, all they had to do was sit back and wait for tech reporters to take the bait." Yep, soon, "Apple-watching blogs and news sites across the Web" were off and running with the screwy news. Saps!
But one bad Apple leak doesn't spoil the whole bunch, girl. A guy named Justin who works at SmartPhone Medic, where they medicate busted phones, made a sneaky video showing real iPhone 5 parts of the future, which the public hasn't even had a chance to break yet! "The biggest noticeable difference is definitely the screen size [larger] and the home button size," Justin says. Then it gets pretty graphic: he shows "flex cables." Business Insider has embedded this momentous iPhone 5 parts preview video for posterity and says: "What really struck us was how the new iPhone looks compared to Samsung's flagship phone, the Galaxy S III. Even with a larger screen, the iPhone 5 looks tiny in comparison." MacRumors, meanwhile, says "observers are still waiting for a good look at the most crucial part of the device: the logic board." Well, that's logical.
Speaking of Samsung, it's becoming clear that the little "i" at the beginning of Apple products stands for "intellectual property." The company's late cofounder Steve Jobs once vowed to "go thermonuclear" to destroy Android because he called the whole idea stolen. Now Apple is pursuing patent lawsuits against Samsung across the planet. For gripping tech-patent-law drama, you can't beat Cult of Mac's blow-by-blow live blog from proceedings in the San Jose courtroom: "4:10PM: We dig into the world of modes one more time. Attorney: Can a device have more than one mode at once? Srivastava says no." Stay tuned for the thrilling verdict. Also, as VentureBeat reports, "Motorola, the phone company Google acquired this year, filed a patent infringement suit against Apple that effectively seeks to ban the import of the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod Touch to the U.S." So there's that. "Google could e trying to change the momentum in a battle that until now made Google's Android look more vulnerable than Apple's iOS platform." A VentureBeat columnist says "Google vs. Apple equals WWIII: How's that for thermonuclear? ... It's the clash of empires ... The open mobile operating ecosystem versus the closed, vertically integrated ecosystem. The propeller-heads versus the designers."
But don't worry about World War 3 or 4 or thermo-nukes. The world really isn't ending. So says Wired in its August issue in an article by science author Matt Ridley: "Prophecies of doom on a colossal scale have become routine ... we are now, in writer Gary Alexander's word, apocaholic. The past half century has brought us warnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, sex-change fish, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophes. So far all of these specters have turned out to be exaggerated." Of course, bloggers are seeing this argument through the refined lenses of their own arguments. Castnetting says "not so fast, ... If I were a random guy, say waiting in line at Whole Foods, and skimmed this magazine cover, I'd feel relieved that WIRED told me I didn't have to worry." But "lumping today's climate crisis" with those overhyped threats of the past "has just thrown thousands of extra battle droids in our path towards [educating] people about climate change." (Battle droids? Why drag Google into this one?) Coming from a different angle, On the Mark sees the Wired feature as an indictment of "Big Science" and "State Worshiping collectivists" who might suggest a concerted global effort against, say, climate change: "They are green on the outside and red on the inside - watermelons." Whatever you think about global warming, or the likelihood of apocalypse, you have to admit: that may one of the best melon metaphors all week.