Rotten Apple

According to Newsday, Apple is involving two bloggers in a suit that concerns the disclosure of “Asteroid,” a secret product. Glenn Reynolds and Bill Hobbs are dismayed, with the former commenting: “[N]ow when people ask me why I don’t own a Mac, I can blame Apple’s heavy-handed tactics.”

This story is indeed unflattering for the company — and it comes at a pretty bad time, at least in the case of this consumer. I recently began using iTunes. By accident, I created two accounts. When I decided to delete one of them, I had the hardest time figuring out how to do it. I eventually had to consult this site, in which one poster just happened to receive correspondence from the Customer Service Department. Apparently, “[a]t present, it is not possible to cancel an account.” That didn’t make me feel too secure. Later, when I tried to use PayPal for a purchase, iTunes refused to recognize it, despite the three or four confirmations from PayPal itself. And, just last night, my wife learned that an iTunes gift certificate for her brother had not been received. She reached a customer representative, but received very bad service — enough for her to say, “Boy, that reflects poorly on them.”

So, within a span of about two weeks, Apple’s compiled a rather unsatisfactory record in my book. It coincides with news today from Harvard computer services that my beloved IBM laptop is gone for good, putting me in the market for a new machine. Last month, I was bound and determined to make my next purchase an iBook. Today, I’m quite uncertain.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Science & Technology, Uncategorized, , , ,
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. bryan says:


    this is from Declan McCullough’s mailing list, a reply from a former Apple employee who runs a Mac-related web site. Newsday is being a bit loose with the term “bloggers.”

    [blockquote]I don’t know if anyone is deliberately attempting to conflate the Macintosh rumor Web sites with “bloggers” for PR purposes, but if we want to report the story accurately, we need to untangle that.

    First, Apple is not suing “bloggers.” Apple is suing Think Secret, a professional, ad-driven Web site whose media kit boasts of its “nearly … 100% exclusive” track record of “inside Apple information” and “previews of forthcoming software.” It is the primary media property of “The dePlume Organization LLC,” where you’ll find lots of bragging about how broadly the business, technology, and mainstream press covers its rumors.

    http ://
    http ://

    Think Secret may not have the resources of a newspaper or top-tier media site, but it is a professional site, one that sells its exclusives to advertisers eager to reach “Macintosh professionals.” (In fact, the Harvard Crimson reports today that Think Secret’s owner is a Harvard freshman who’s been running the site since he was 13, and who hasn’t hired a lawyer because he can’t afford one.)

    http ://

    This is all an interesting First Amendment debate as well, but it’s not one about “bloggers.” It’s about professional media.

    Second, EFF is not representing “bloggers” either. They’re representing AppleInsider and O’Grady’s PowerPage – both of which are also professional, ad-driven rumor sites trying to draw eyeballs to sell to advertiers. The difference is that Apple is not “suing” those sites – it has subpoenaed them as part of a previous lawsuit against unnamed individuals who allegedly leaked Apple’s confidential information to rumor sites.[/blockquote]

  2. bryan says:

    All of the above should have been in blockquotes. Don’t know why it didn’t carry over from the paragraph to the next.

  3. James Joyner says:

    For reasons unbeknownst to me–even though Kathy Kinsley tried to explain it to me once–blockquotes don’t work right in the comments and can’t be fixed.

  4. bryan says:

    And I didn’t notice that it was Robert Tagorda who posted this, either. Sorry, but I’m so used to this being a solo blog. 🙂

  5. No problem, Bryan. Thanks for that information.

  6. Dan says:

    You’re between a rock and a hard place, my friend. Apple is in your bad books, but you can hardly buy a laptop powered by Microsoft’s software (how evil a corporation can you get?).

    My Apple PowerBook is the best computer I’ve ever owned in my entire life, without hesitation. It is a gorgeous device and will bring you years of satisfaction. So what if Apple likes to smush excitable bloggers? (And I’d take issue with your anxiety, at least a little bit.)

    Get an Apple.

  7. Paul says:

    Robert- FYI there are a number of “inaccuracies” in this story. Many people in the blogosphere are getting it way wrong.

    I’m headed out the door but I’ll make a post on Wizbang later.


  8. Well, Dan, it’s just how I’m feeling right now. I could be persuaded out of my dissatisfaction. I’ll look more into that option.

  9. bryan says:

    BTW, Robert,

    I also recommend the Apple Powerbook. I’ve had two running OS 10, and they are a dream to use.

  10. Daver says:

    “You’re between a rock and a hard place, my friend. Apple is in your bad books, but you can hardly buy a laptop powered by Microsoft’s software (how evil a corporation can you get?).”

    Well, you couldn’t get more objective advice if it came from Dan Rather, could you?

  11. Daver says:

    Why the blogosphere doesn’t click to the fact that Apple is in every way and every day the analog of the Democratic Party is beyond me. Just think about it for a minute. Okay, for starters, try the phrase “self-appointed elites”. Go from there to “smug, condescending, self-righteous,…”. Oh, and don’t forget the fact that since they pay much higher prices, they figure everyone should too. Someday we will all drive Volvos like we are supposed to, right?. (I drive a BMW because I work really goddamn hard and it goes like a fucking rocket and if you don’t like that TS.)

  12. bryan says:

    Comments like yours remind me why PC/MS evangelists are the analog of the democratic party. They trot out failed programs, crony businesses and shoddy products and try to push them on the American public. When someone points out that something doesn’t work, they ignore the complaints and blame the competition.

  13. Marilyn Able says:

    The Dems (dims) should be so lucky. I bought Apple at $12 and look at your comments as sour grapes. Don’t buy Apple. But the bug-prone, worm-ridden, virus-attracting Micro(teeny)Soft(flaccid) stuff. I will laugh all the way to the bank. What a pity party!