June 16, 2006
I mean besides the one on his head.
While the video of him "confessing" to Winer how he manipulates the Mac community is being treated as an "a-HA" moment by many, the truth is, a lot of us have know this for years. It's no surprise at all that he's coldly and deliberately trolling the Mac community.
But face it, that's what people want. We want trolls, or more precisely, we want people who will write outrageous hyperbole that gets us all riled up so we can talk about it, or comment on it. People love to talk about things like "reasoned discussion", or "just stick to the salient points" but it's all bullshit. We want trolls and outrageous hyperbole and people writing to create strong emotion.
Proof the first, Politics:
We love to talk about "dirty campaigns" as if the idea was some new blight on humanity. The truth is, politics has always been dirty. There's not a time in this country's history when it hasn't, and the same goes for every other country. At its worst, it involves beheading, just ask Charles the First. At it's most entertaining, watching Taiwanese leaders bitch-slap each other. But really...who wants to watch a debate run by people who only debate the facts? No one. It's dull. We crave emotion. In the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections, both Democratic candidates were careful to stick to the facts, and ignore the attacks coming from the Republican side. They appealed to our "higher purpose". How's that working for you Senator Kerry? Yeah. Clinton was the slipperiest shuck and jive used car salesman I've ever seen campaign and he was beautiful to watch. In the 1992 election debates, when he and then - President HW Bush were asked "What do you pay for a gallon of milk, a pair of shoes and a pair of jeans", Bush just flubbed it. Clinton's eyes lit up like he'd just been handed 90 minutes with a porn star high on X, and he slipped into BubbaMode, and just eviscerated Bush. Right there. It was horrifying to watch, yet at the same time, exquisite. Right then, I knew he was going to win. He wanted it so badly, he'd do anything to get it, and the American people want that. Just like we want dirty campaigns.
Back to Dvorak, he's been doing this over ten years people, and he's still getting paid for it. Why? Because it's what you want. If you really, really hated Dvorak, you wouldn't read him, his numbers would fall, and he'd have to pick a new tactic or a new line of work. Since John is making a ton of money, we'll have to assume that someone's reading the hell out of him. It's not me, heck, I didn't even see the video. I don't have to. Ten seconds after John Dvorak says something stupid, it'll be all over the internet. Why should I give him hit counts when I'm going to find out without having to do even that much work.
Proof the second, Authors and Famous People:
Folks, if we didn't love outrageous shit, Ann Coulter would be wishing she'd gotten bigger boobs, Al Franken would still be writing for Saturday Night Live, and Michelle Malkin would be on a street corner yelling "OH ME SO HORNY, SUCKY-SUCKY TWO DOLLAS". Okay, probably not, she's a smart girl, which is why she spews hate once a week in her column. It's why Ann Coulter doesn't title books "Liberals, and why I disagree with their positions", or Al Franken isn't writing "Proof that conservative columnists are not being truthful". We want that crap. We want "Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them". Why? Because there's nothing more entertaining than a fight that you're not in the middle of. Watching the long, slow, train wreck that is Ann Coulter's or Al Franken's devotion to "reasoned debate" is even more entertaining than "Flavor of Love". (But not the reunion show. That shit rocked.) Stephen Colbert. 'Nuff said.
Back to trolls, we want people to piss us off, or create controversy. Face it, if all Scoble did was write about what he did at work today, or what his kid did, or his wife, no one would care who he is. But when Robert gets going, especially when he's wrong? Dude, you need a 64-bit counter to track the responses. While I rag on him about checking his facts better, I'm just tweaking his beard. The worst thing Scoble could have done while blogging at Microsoft was be accurate and do in - depth research before posting. Would have just killed his career as a blogger. Omar Shahine, who works at Microsoft and has a blog, wrote about his adventures in trying to find a Plays for Sure device that was a solid replacement for his iPod. Each contender was written about objectively, with all good and bad points given equal weight. It was neat to read, and hopefully, the manufacturers of the losers will jot down what Omar had to say, it was really solid. But dude, no one cared. Meanwhile, Steve Ballmer says in an interview that he's "brainwashed his kids" into hating all things not Microsoft and OMGWTFKHAAAAAAN!!! The internet explodes in a river of packets. Had Ballmer not said it that way, no one would care.
My last proof is the reaction to various things I post here. (I leave out the other places I write for, as they, not I, determine tone and content, so the reaction to that is not a reaction to "me" per se.) I know, even though it's not why I write them, that if I'm in a ranty mood, the comments are going to be an order of magnitude higher than if I'm in a good mood, or a dispassionate mood, or writing something that doesn't invite strong reaction. Even when it should invite a strong reaction, if it's not ranty, it doesn't happen. For example, my post about the passing of Mike Bartosh. I'm very proud of that one, it was quite hard to write, and if it brought any comfort at all to his friends and family, I'm glad, as that would be one of the primary reasons for writing it. 28 or so comments, 64K hits on the day after. A good-sized spike, after that, back to normal. However, after my rant on Andy Stone's bizarre take on user interfaces and how I think he's nuts, I had three days of similar spikes.
On June 6th, I post a long, reasoned article about why the anti-homosexual marriage arguments are so much crap. Not even a hint of a blip. I post about getting engaged, nothing. But holy crap, a year ago I posted my rant about hating George Lucas like David Duke hates Shaq, and the traffic was off the hook. Huge.
I've had a lot of people compare me to Dvorak, but that falls down, as:
- This site brings me no money. I think if I added up all the google ad hits I've had since I started using them, I'd be able to get a pizza. A medium one. With one topping.
- This is just where I post the random shit that my head comes up with. If i don't post for a week, oh well. if i post three times a day, oh well. It's not a job or anything.
But the computer writers of the world? You, the audience long ago showed them the path to success. So when you get ready to complain about what a horrid man Dvorak is for trolling his audience with such cold, calculating purpose?
He's only giving you what you want.
Cast out the beam in thine own eye before thou pointest out the mote in mine
You want reasoned, logical discussion? Stop rewarding its polar opposite so well.
An actual request from me
Paul Kent, IDG Vice President in charge of Macworld Expo, has initiated the Michael Bartosh Memorial MacIT Scholarship. It's going to be a scholarship that will help a deserving student come to Macworld as a MacIT attendee, and help them learn and meet their peers in MacIT at Macworld Conference and Expo. It's a fitting way to honor Michael's memory, and his passion for helping his peers along with the sometimes too - frustrating job of making Mac networks work the way he thought they should.
Paul and his staff are still working on formalizing the nomination and contribution process, but there's a signup form on the page so you can be notified once this is done. Please, anyone who wanted to do something in Michael's name, well, this is something that will be more appreciated, and live on far longer than a rack of dead flowers.
Thanks much to Paul and his staff for doing this.
June 14, 2006
Rob Enderle is an idiot, pt. XXLCMXXVII
Okay, so of course, once any intelligent and well thought out opinions on Apple v. O'Grady et al have weighed in, someone has to ask Rob Enderle, Idiot, what he thinks of it.
Yes, I know, I used Enderle and "thinks" in the same sentence, stop laughing already.
industry analyst Rob Enderle wrote in an email. "Apple is really the only firm that doesn't use nondisclosure agreements and, as a result, they stood alone in this.
NOW you can laugh.
I can't even read that whole quote without laughing.
Let me state this clearly: Rob Enderle, Idiot, is absolutely, totally, and without doubt wrong in that statement. There is no reality, universe, or even imaginary fantasy world, (outside of EnderleLand) where there is even a possibility that Apple doesn't use NDAs.
For example, once you get past the keynote, the entire Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference is NDA'd.
If Enderle was any more of a moron, he'd be in a corner drooling and talking to Narnia.
Once again, if it says "Enderle", it has to be wrong.
June 11, 2006
So, as those of you on various Mac OS X tech lists know, Michael Bartosh, one of a very few people who deserved the name "Mac Genius" died rather suddenly.
This, to put a point on it, sucks. Not just for those who were close to him, but for everyone in the Mac community, whether they knew him or not. He was one of the loudest voices prodding, encouraging, and sometimes just beating Apple to do the right thing. I may not have always agreed with him on everything, but he was always trying to do the right thing as he saw it, and he was pretty damned uncompromising about it. That is worthy of respect and admiration alone.
Even more, he knew his shit especially about Open Directory, Kerberos, Active Directory, and integrating all of it. Totally, he knew it, and he knew it better than damned near anyone else who wasn't writing the code. At the real-world integration level, he may have understood it better than the people writing the code.
Lemme put it another way. I don't take anything at face value, not tech - wise. It's rather hard for me to not be cynical about people's reasons for saying things. I'm more than a little argumentative. I didn't argue much with Michael. Over the years, Michael was so constantly right, that I got to the "If Michael said it, it must be so" level, with regard to Open Directory and the like. As I said, he knew his shit, and he was always right. I don't know how else to put how much I respected his work and knowledge.
I also liked the guy. I didn't necessarily agree with him on a lot of things, but I liked him, in a kind of paternal way. Then again, Michael was easy to like.
Damn, I hate that I have to refer to him in the past tense.
One other thing.
Because it's human nature, there will likely be people who will start to talk about him, and even think about him as a saint. That would be wrong, and Michael would have been the first one to say so. I know the impulse, (having outlived both parents, I've had to deal with it personally), and I know that people mean well when they do it. But it would still be wrong, and a disservice to him.
There wasn't a "Saint Bartosh". Michael was, as we all are, human. He was neither angel, nor devil, as anyone who had dealt with him can tell you. He had a really good side, a really wild side, a really funny side, and a dozen other sides. So when you remember him, and talk about him, give him the respect of remembering all of him. Don't turn him into a caricature, don't bury the stories that may not show him in a flattering light. To do that is to minimize him to even trivialize him, and whatever you think or say about Michael, he was never, ever, trivial or minimal.
When I found out he'd died, the following quote from Mel Brooks popped into my head, and it refuses to let me come up with any other way to describe him:
Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at [the] very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive.'
To my knowledge, Mel Brooks and Michael Bartosh never met. But that quote describes Michael so well. He was a lot of things while he was alive, but he was most definitely alive.
So long Mike.
(Update...thanks to Petard, I was able to find an archived link with at least some of the comments, so I've added them back. This is about the ONLY post I'll ever do this for)
June 7, 2006
Don't you want somebody to fear?
Ah, so the Federal Marriage Amendment died again in the Senate. Didn't even make it to a full floor vote, (Which was good, as considering it lost votes this time, it would have been even more embarassing for Dubya than it already is. I bet getting slapped like that leaves a mark).
My favorite part is this paragraph from Yahoo's article:
"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2003. "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."
In response, Hatch fumed: "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"
No Senator Hatch, I don't think he did. Nor do I think that half the U.S. Senate is a crew of bigots. Oh some of them certainly are, Rick Santorum among them, and probably their leader. But to be a bigot requires more sincerity than you see in Washington. This wasn't bigotry, this was presidential pandering to the only group he has left firmly on his side, namely the far right wing. Bush has lost the moderates, and even the generic conservatives aren't happy with him. The war is not uniting the country behind his leadership, and the growing flow of sleaze coming out of the Republican party, i.e. DeLay, Abramoff, Libby, et al, the spectacular fuckups in Iraq, i.e. Haditha, Hamandiya, Abu Ghirab, the growing unrest in Afghanistan, Katrina, etc., is making it really suck to be Dubya right now.
So what does a strong leader do? Well, that's immaterial, since we're talking about Dubya. if you're him, you invoke the normally reliable spectre of "OMGTEHGAYS!!!" and you try to get everyone scared that the gays are going to get married, and settle down in stable relationships, buy houses together, and that somehow, this will just kill every other marriage.
This is what passes for pressing government issues in the Bush White House, and the far right of the Republican Party. Hell, even the Log Cabin Republicans, long the tokens of the Republican Party can't come up with any support for this idiocy:
The Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gay rights group, said in a statement that the "Senate gave a resounding defeat to the voices of intolerance who are trying to use the Constitution as a political tool."
The lesbian daughter of US Vice President Dick Cheney has criticized the amendment as "discrimination."
Talking to Fox News Sunday last month, Mary Cheney, 37, said it was "a bad piece of legislation."
"It is writing discrimination into the constitution and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong," she said.
Note that during the 2004 campaign, Cheney himself said he felt this issue was best handled by the states. So not even the brains behind the Bush is in favor of this.
This is nothing more than fear and pandering folks. It's not a pressing moral issue. First, no one has ever suggested that religious organizations be forced to recognize homosexual marriage. This is about the hundreds of benefits and legal support that marriage confers. Marriage is no longer a religious institution, it is a binding civil contract. There are thousands of weddings that have no religious overtones whatsoever, and they're every bit as legal as the ones that are done at high mass in a cathedral by a Cardinal. My first wedding was irreligious, and my next wedding will be too. My friends Shawn and Lesa King? They had a beautiful wedding, during Macworld Expo at the Great American Music Hall, presided over by Andy Ihnatko. It's as legal as legal can be. So let's put a knife in the "Marriage is a religious institution" concept. It was once, it is no longer, not in this country. If you choose to have a religious wedding, that's fantastic. I'm not dissing religion here. It can, and does provide great comfort and guidance to those who follow whatever religion they do, and if people want God involved in an obvious way, wonderful. But it's not a requirement for legal marriage. That insinuation is stupid, and more importantly wrong.
Bush and the other panderers say "Gay marriage is a threat to traditional marriage". Show me the data. We've only had one state that allows homosexual marriage, Massachusetts, and that for just barely over three years. There's no valid data over any kind of period that can even be vaguely called "long term" to support the idea that homosexual marriage causes heterosexual marriages to fail. It's kind of a bizarre idea...how does one marriage make another collapse? Again, this is pandering to fear of the unknown. The same arguments were used to support the laws against miscegenation in this country. They were bullshit then, they're bullshit now. Maybe in 2013 we'll have some real data, but until then, anyone claiming this has no proof whatsoever, and is at best ignorant, and at worst, lying to you in an attempt to use fear as a lever. If Bush fears homosexual marriage, great, but fear is not statistically valid. Ironically, what state had the lowest divorce rate inn 2003/2004? Massachusetts. What state had one of the highest? From the same article, Texas. Even better, there's considerable evidence showing that couples who are "very religious" have pretty much the same divorce rate as everyone else.
If Bush really wants to help preserve marriage, he should worry less about homosexuals, and more about people getting married too young. From Divorce Magazine, we see that as of 1995, the divorce rate for people married under the age of 20 is 40%. For those 25 and over, it drops to 24%. Considering how stupid most people under the age of 25 are, this makes a lot of sense. Immaturity seems to be much more of a threat to marriage than the sex of the participants.
To those who say, "We shouldn't protect a status that is a choice", I again say "Bullshit, we already do". Completely avoiding the entire issue of "Is one gay from birth or by choice", the simple fact is, we do protect rights based on choice. In fact, we do so in the First Amendment to the Constitution: Freedom of Religion. There is no "Christian gene" or "Muslim gene" or Jewish gene". If there were, then converting to another religion would be a rather biologically complex process. You choose your religion. Indeed, some sects, such as the Amish, require you to make an informed decision to fully participate in their belief structure. No getting in just 'cause your dad or your mom was Amish. So we have constitutionally enshrined, and through many US Supreme Court decisions supported, a fundamental right that is based only on tradition or conscious choice. Not a genetic trait or a biological feature. Choice. Nothing more.
But to further dismantle the whole "We shouldn't protect based on choice" idiocy, here's another one: The right of different races to intermarry. Again, this is based on choice, albeit somewhat unconscious. You aren't born with any gene that determines who your mate will be. There's no biological imperative that forces people from different races or ethnic backgrounds to marry. That's nothing but a choice. You can just as easily marry someone from within your race or ethnic background. So why did we create a right based on choice? Because it's wrong for the government to tell a legal adult which other legal adult they can marry. If it's okay for David Bowie to marry Iman, (and there ain't no one whiter or blacker than those two), then the justification for banning homosexual marriage because "It's a choice" dissolves rather quickly.
Our next set of arguments is a favorite of Sen. Santorum, and the more bigoted of his bunch:
If we allow gays to marry, then why not allow polygamy, or bestiality, or pedophilia?
Ah, not just bullshit, but a strawman to boot, a double penetration of ignorance and manipulation as only Santorum can say with a straight face. However, before we call out this set of stupidity, let's clarify something. This amendment has nothing to do with "gay" marriage. Sir Ian McKellan and Ellen DeGeneres could legally get married any time they chose. They're both gay as gay can be, gayer than a gay thing that's gay. Gay, gay, gaygayGAY. But they could legally marry, and there's not bubkis that Santorum and the rest can do about it, even though it would be a "gay" marriage. So then what's this about? In the strictest terms, homosexual marriage, i.e. where both participants are of the same sex. Sexual preference is not the issue here, but rather the actual sex of the individuals. So let's call this what it is: Sex discrimination. It is only illegal for two men or two women to get married in 49 states. Not a gay man and a gay woman getting married purely for convenience. That's legal.
So, now that we have correctly defined this, what about polygamy? Isn't that discrimination? Well no, not really, not in the legal sense, and that's the one that counts here. Current marriage law is a number: Two. No more than two participants. This number is applied absolutely blindly without regard to race, age, creed, color, religious background, or (ironically), sex. In almost every case where a limitation is applied in such a manner, it withstands challenges, because it is applied equally to all, and therefore doesn't violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Bestiality is such a non-starter that I'm surprised the Santorums are stupid enough to bring it up. In the U.S., non-humans are not able to consent to really, anything, so you cannot have a legal marriage between a human and a non-human in this country, as the non-human's agreement would have no legal standing. I'd love to see you get a voluntary agreement out of a nematode. That could be fun. In any event, to enter into a legally binding civil contract, which is what legal marriage is in the U.S., both participants have to be able to legally consent to the terms, and that leaves non-humans out.
Pedophilia's a fun one, and that's based not on the spectre of OMGTEHGAY, but rather current law, even outside of Massachusetts. From Marriage Laws in the USA - by Age (as of May 2003), (Note that the entry for Kansas is no longer correct, due to a little issue with a 22 year old guy from Nebraska marrying a fourteen year old girl. That's still a legal marriage. Whew, good thing that banning gay marriage prevents pedophilia)
Anyway, in general, to get married without parental consent in the US, you have to be 18, 19 in Nebraska, and 21 in Missisippi.
If the bride is pregnant, then some states drop this to 16 or 17.
With parental consent, the marryin' age can drop to as low as 14 (Alabama). Note that Alabama's a bit of a blip here, as was Kansas. Only ten states allow kids under 16 to marry at all, and in almost all of them, to get married under 16 requires not only parental consent, but the approval of a judge.
So, let's be real...right now, kids can get married in every state in the union, and in ten, pretty young kids can get married. So what's banning homosexual marriages going to prevent? Oh yeah, pedophilia. Well, that's pretty much limited to people under the age of 14, since folks 14 and older can get married, and once you're married, the sex is legal. Great protection here. However, this is a strawman, because it's not like pedophiles are all wanting to marry their victims. That would kind of make it hard to not be known as a creepy old perv, since you're now announcing to the world that you're marrying a child. I don't know who's dumber, Santorum or our hypothetical pedophile.
Even worse for this argument is the definition of pedophilia. From the Mac OS X 10.4 dictionary, based on the Oxford American Dictionary:
sexual feelings directed toward children.
Pedophiliacs aren't wanting to marry kids, they want to molest kids, and that's already as illegal as illegal can be. There's few things more illegal in this country than pedophilia, and other than the NAMBLA prats, no one, gay or straight has any problems with this. So once again, it's a bullshit reason.
The only reason Bush is pushing this is because it's a hot button that gets people all excited, so they forget about other things that are vexing him, like Iraq, Valerie Plame, etc. It's pandering to fear of the other, and knee - jerk bigotry. It's a wish for the good old days when we could hate darkies, and kikes, and chinks, and injuns, and jews, 'cause now all we gots is fags, and we can't even lynch them anymore. It's a calculated manipulation of the American public to distract them from actual problems. To be blunt, Bush is pushing this because he thinks we're too damned dumb to figure it out.
It would be real cool to prove him wrong.
June 6, 2006
It would appear that Armageddon decided not to happen today.
Of course, I already knew this. God would never keep me from the glory that is...
SNAKES ON A PLANE'S OPENING NIGHT, 18 AUG 2006!
Now, if Snakes on a Plane opened on 5 June 2006, then we'd have been screwed.
June 5, 2006
Apple vs...oh lord, everyone by now
Okay, so I haven't been sued by Apple...<SOB> WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME STEVE?!?
Anyway, after reading the decision from the Appeals court regarding Apple and Jason O'Grady, well, it's a mixed bag, with a couple of bits that are quite bad.
First, the whole "What is a journalist" issue is silly. Pretty much, if you call yourself one, you are. That's how it's worked since Ben Franklin was one, at least in this country. That's not the same as being a good journalist. Having a web site and a dictionary doesn't make you Edward R. Murrow. The more soundly that the attempts by Apple to use the
They're not 'real' journalists argument are beaten like a baby seal, the better.
Matt Deatherage and MacJournals did a great job of analyzing this step by step, so I'm not going to repeat his good work. Go subscribe and read. (Disclaimer: Yes, i'm on the masthead for Macjournals. Go read the analysis anyway, it's solid work, and Matt should get massive props for it.)
I've no real problems with the decision, until we get to page 62. Now, remember, part of the original court decision in favor of Apple was that "an interested public is not the same as in the public interest". This is not about Apple doing things that harm people, or illegal things, or even unethical things. Those would all be in the public interest. This is about an I/O module for musicians. So the attempts by O'Grady and the EFF to promote this case to the level of the Pentagon Papers or Watergate is not only ridiculous, but almost shameful. Pandering to the MacMacs is not the same as proof that our government is lying its ass off about the status of a war. Really. There's a difference, and yes, the difference matters.
There's some quotes here that worry me greatly though.
From Page 62:
This case involves not a purely private theft of secrets for venal advantage, but a journalistic disclosure to, in the trial court’s words, “an interested public.” In such a setting, whatever is given to trade secrets law is taken away from the freedom of speech. In the abstract, at least, it seems plain that where both cannot be accommodated, it is the statutory quasi-property right that must give way, not the deeply rooted constitutional right to share and acquire information.
Now, this seems pretty clear. Whenever trade secrets come up against the freedom of the press, trade secrets must lose. Hmm. So as long as things are published, they can be trade secrets, and that's okay?
At the bottom of page 62 and into page 63 we get:
The publication here bears little resemblance to that in Bunner, which disclosed a sort of meta-secret, the whole purpose of which was to protect the plaintiff’s members’ products from unauthorized distribution. Here, no proprietary technology was exposed or compromised. There is no suggestion that anything in petitioners’ articles could help anyone to build a product competing with Asteroid. Indeed there is no indication that Asteroid embodied any new technology that could be compromised. Apple’s own slide stack, as disclosed in sealed declarations which we have examined, included a table comparing Asteroid to existing, competing products; there is no suggestion that it embodies any particular technical innovation, except perhaps in the fact that it would integrate closely with Apple’s own home recording software—a feature reflecting less a technical advance than a prerogative of one who markets both hardware and software. The newsworthiness of petitioners’ articles thus resided not in any technical disclosures about the product but in the fact that Apple was planning to release such a product, thereby moving into the market for home recording hardware.
So now the appeals court has decided that Asteroid is not technically innovative outside of integration with Apple's software. However, even though this isn't an innovative product, and even though the documents, according to the court, would not allow anyone to build a competing product, the fact that Apple was planning to release it makes it in the public interest?
We have a legal body that has now decided on the technical and innovative merits of a product, and deemed it to be newsworthy , aka "in the public interest" because it showed that Apple was planning to move into the market for home recording hardware. (We'll leave off that in the home recording market, you don't need this. I think the court meant something different here, but we only have their words to go on.)
On page 64:
Genentech thus goes astray when it attempts to compare this case to one in which an employee causes the publication of a technical secret such as a new design or process. The Bunner court declared the primary purposes of California trade secret law to be “to promote and reward innovation and technological development and maintain commercial ethics.” (Bunner, supra, 31 Cal.4th at p. 878.) Whether or not confidential marketing plans constitute trade secrets under the governing statutory language, it cannot be seriously held that their protection has any direct and obvious tendency to serve the central purposes of the law.
So now it's marketing plans that don't count. Because marketing a product is of no import to a company? So now the court has decided that only information that they feel is of significant enough technical merit, and not a marketing plan is a trade secret? Of course, that doesn't matter, since according to the court, any time a trade secret and the freedom of the press clash, the trade secret must lose.
It's the second paragraph on page 65 that just astounds me, and I'm going to intersperse my thoughts within it:
These observations are intended not to demonstrate the innate newsworthiness of petitioners’ articles but rather to illustrate the peril posed to First Amendment values when courts or other authorities assume the power to declare what technological disclosures are newsworthy and what are not.
But you just did. Starting on page 62, you decided that because it was evidence of Apple wanting to move into home recording hardware, that the Asteroid documents were in fact, newsworthy. Here's the exact sentence:
The newsworthiness of petitioners’ articles thus resided not in any technical disclosures about the product but in the fact that Apple was planning to release such a product, thereby moving into the market for home recording hardware.
If a court deciding "what's newsworthy" is such a peril, then why are you doing exactly that?
Reading on in that paragraph:
The digital revolution has been compared to the Industrial Revolution in terms of its potential impact on society and citizens. Apple is widely seen as a central figure in this cultural sea change. The online version of a leading business magazine has quoted a securities analyst’s descriptions of Apple as “ ‘the nexus of [the] digital lifestyle revolution’ ” whose products “frequently incorporate disruptive changes in technology” and whose innovations “fundamentally alter the way we li[v]e.”31 The dry technical detail that pervaded petitioners’ articles should not be permitted to obscure the fact that any movement by such a cultural leader into a whole new area of expression—as was promised by the Asteroid product—is newsworthy.
Wait, so now any new product from Apple is automatically in the public interest? Huh?
For a court who thinks that it's dangerous for the courts to decide what's newsworthy, they seem to have a curious blind spot about their own behavior. But right there, it's clear. According to this court and this decision, any time Apple does anything new, it's in the public interest. Combined with their opinion that trade secrets always lose to the freedom of the press, this seems, if allowed to stand to say that effectively, there's no such thing as a trade secret in California.
If someone steals or misappropriates a trade secret, and gives it to anyone with a web site, and it is published, well, whichever company used to have a trade secret has no recourse unless they get lucky, and find the person who gave the journalist that material on their own, because as soon as it's published, it's protected. If you're Apple, you're doubly screwed, because now, pretty much every new thing you do is in the public interest.
This is just bad. Not because trade secrets or Apple's trade secrets should always win. If Jason had published evidence of corporate malfeasance or illegal activities by Apple, that would deserve protection, as would Jason and the rest, even if Apple tried to call it a trade secret or confidential or whatever. That holds true for any company, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, or the little kid spitting in the lemonade at his stand.
But this is not about anything close to corporate malfeasance or illegal or even unethical activities. it's about some hardware and software that Apple was planning on releasing. Just like the fabled ApplePhone or Apple Tablet, it's about what might happen.
There's no perspective here. There's no sense of "This is in the public interest, that is merely cool". To casually gut the trade secret because they make MacMacs happy is ridiculous. Yes, I know, the EFF would have us believe that everything is astoundingly important. That everything published on the web is akin to the Pentagon Papers, and any attempt to say "no, it isn't" is an attack on the very foundation of this country's freedom. Bollocks to that. Every case has to be decided on its own merits. There's nothing in the public interest about Asteroid, unless we now define "avid readers of Mac rumors sites" as representative of the general public. I would hope that's not going to be the case for long, because if so, then we're in for some scary times.
I sincerely hope this decision gets appealed again, and overturned by the California State Supreme Court. Because when a court says it's a bad idea to do something, then goes ahead and does it, well, that's never a sign of a good decision.