May 212010

The thing any serious performance artist fears most is being typecast. Newsweek columnist and Fake Steve Jobs pen Daniel Lyons knows this all too well. It’s one thing to be pigeonholed as a writer; it’s much worse when your hole comes off the backside of someone else’s accomplishments. Initially a clever bit of satire, the FSJ schtick is Lyons’ only popular writing, so I imagine he feels a good deal of resentment. This explains the blog’s transformation into a series of petulant screeds against Apple. How would you feel if your only professional accomplishments were entirely dependent on someone else’s success?

Daniel’s latest Newsweek foot-stomping tantrum explains why he’s moving to an Android phone. Using sound bytes from Google’s I/O keynote and a healthy dose of misinformation, Dan serves up his argument thusly:

The new version of Android—version 2.2, a.k.a. Froyo—blows the doors off the iPhone OS. It’s faster, for one thing.

Faster…how? Is it more responsive touch-to-feedback? Does it boot faster? Surely a description of a product “blowing the doors off” its competition will have some very specific performance descriptions.


What Dan is probably referring to was Google’s Froyo demo to developers, which was limited to a Javascript performance. So: a home-field demo of a browsing feature subset. Let’s be specific, shall we Dan? You write for Newsweek, after all.

It also will support Flash,

*yawn* This movie again? /changes channel

something Apple refuses to do, mostly out of spite.

Yes, that’s the reason, Dan. Thoughts on Flash is actually pretty concise, even for someone of your attention span.

Froyo also will let you buy songs over the air and download them directly to your phone. It will also stream songs from your music library to your phone. I don’t really use my phone as a music player that much, but still, it’s impressive that Google has this feature and Apple still doesn’t.

I’m assuming that Apple could have done this already, but chose not to. Who knows why? Maybe they want to keep people locked into their old way of doing things. Or maybe because they were a market leader with no real competition and just got lazy.

Ummm. This is Dan Lyons, the person who made a ton of scratch off of Apple’s success and someone who writes articles for Newsweek’s “Techtonic Shifts”, so you’d think he’d have a decent grasp of product features and shortcomings, right?

The iPhone has supported over-the-air music purchases since Day 1, version 1. There are at least half a dozen apps that allow you to stream audio – and video – over the air. The reason Apple “didn’t do this already” is because Apple’s very healthy developer ecosystem has numerous products serving that niche. Seriously, at this point in the reading, if you didn’t see this asshole smirking next to the byline, you’d swear this article lifted from the comment section of a third-rate tech blog. This is Newsweek’s top tech writer. Embarrassing is an understatement.

The Android OS is already outselling iPhone OS in the United States.

The quarter before a major iPhone release (that everyone knows about thanks to Gizmodo) and during a quarter where every other carrier is basically fire-hosing the market with buy-one, get-ones. APPLE = PWNED.

Now it’s blowing past Apple in terms of the technology it’s delivering.

You mean the technology it’s announcing. Fixed that for you.

We’ve seen this movie before. In the 1980s, Apple jumped out to an early lead in personal computers, but then got selfish. Steve Jobs, a notorious control freak, just could not play well with others.

You mean the movie where Apple ousted its CEO and then ran itself into the ground under the leadership of a Pepsi salesman? I think maybe your grasp of tech history is about as astute as your grasp of basic features of popular tech products, Dan.

Dan goes on to claim that Apple’s refusal to use flash, its revenue sharing model for apps and ads, its ban of porn (apps I assume, but it’s tough to tell with Dan’s shaky knowledge base) is all “about Apple wringing every last dime out of its ecosystem and leaving nothing on the table for anyone else”. I honestly don’t even know what that means. If I weren’t busy stuffing my ears with cotton balls to prevent my brains from running out, I’d give it a shot.

I think this hissy-fit thinly disguised as lousy journalism may signal a new phase in Dan’s hatred of Apple. Once he was content to jab at Apple as FSJ, and occasionally be funny in the process, but his contempt has outstripped his satiric capabilities. The fact that his only morsel of success has come from the work of a company he hates, only makes it worse. As a typecast writer, Dan Lyons has reached the Paul Rubens breaking point. Pee Wee wants out of the Playhouse. This article is the journalistic equivalent of masturbating in the back row of a porn theater.

  • RSS
  • Twitter