TV-PGNovember 25, 2002: Yes, the AtAT staff knows the difference between "AMD" and "Amd." Meanwhile, rumors of significant layoffs in Apple's education division coincide with reports that the company's PowerSchool division is axing projects, and some guy in London suffered a laptop-related injury of a decidedly personal nature...
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Acronyms Can Be Fun (11/25/02)

And the winner for Most Unnecessary Corrections Ever Generated by a Single AtAT Scene is (drum roll, please): "Is This A Flaying Offense?," last Friday's lighthearted romp suggesting that Apple's listing of "Amd support" in Mac OS X 10.2 constituted irrefutable evidence that x86-based Macs running AMD's processors are due on store shelves by Christmas! Sadly, ITAFO?, also known as Scene 3858, couldn't be here this evening because it's on location in Zaire shooting a new romantic comedy opposite ex-Bundy beauty Christina Applegate, so we'd like to accept the award on its behalf. Save the rainforests!

Why "unnecessary" corrections, you ask? Well, because contrary to widespread public opinion, we here at the AtAT compound do have two brain cells to rub together. (We pass them around as needed, like those wacky people-eatin' Stygian witches and their shared crystal eye in Clash of the Titans.) Being thusly neurologically equipped, we did in fact realize that something as massively ground-breaking as x86 support in Jaguar probably wouldn't be mentioned in a single page on Apple's servers comparing features between various Apple operating systems-- and nowhere else.

Likewise, we realized that there's a difference between "AMD" and "Amd" (though elsewhere on the page Apple also mentions "anit-aliasing," so maybe all bets are off). Lastly, we are in fact perfectly well aware of the real "Amd support" to which Apple refers, and we know full well that it has nothing to do with Athlons and Hammers. The scene was actually our hamfisted attempt to pounce upon a nifty coincidental acronym and use it as the basis for an ironical foil-- one that would paradoxically reinforce our years-repeated "x86-based Macs" mantra of "Ain't Gonna Happen Until IBM and Motorola Both Fall Through The Earth's Crust."

At the time we were actually worried that the sarcasm wasn't subtle enough; in hindsight, though, it wasn't nearly as over the top as the time we suggested that Apple had sent a team of ninjas out to disable AppleInsider's server. Or that time we announced that AtAT had been bought out by Microsoft and was being renamed "As the Sweater Spins." And people believed us then, too, so we really should have seen this coming. Now well-meaning folks in various online forums (such as this one and this one) are citing our gag as fuel for the x86 rumor fire, when it was intended to be exactly the opposite. Sorry about that. We're taking steps to strengthen our verbal irony cues in future broadcasts, and we're even evaluating some extremely experimental high-tech visual prompts (they're subtle, but we're pretty sure you'll know them when you see them) to make absolutely sure that our intentions aren't misconstrued in the future.

Meanwhile, just to close the door on this sorry state of affairs once and for all, we should probably make it 100% crystal clear that Jaguar's "Amd support" does not refer to AMD's line of x86-compatible processors; instead, as faithful viewer bjd and dozens of others unnecessarily pointed out to us, it obviously refers instead to "age-related macular degeneration." As we all know, along with other nifty stuff like Rendezvous, Quartz Extreme, and the intensely useful and overdue support for 255-character usernames (login: heyhowdoyoulikemyreallylongusernameaintitbitchin), Jaguar also incorporates Apple's industry-leading technology promoting the development of degenerative eye diseases. So now you know the real story. Okay?


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Education Goes Boom (11/25/02)

There's some pretty unsettling news floating around out there, folks, and we're not talking about the fact that Larry "Zero Shares" Ellison was on Apple's board of directors for five whole years and waited until after he left to finally pick up some stock, as Reuters is reporting. Nor are we referring to Apple's new "Jingle Bells and Whistles" promo, which brings an eMac with a G4 processor, a 17-inch CRT, and a combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive down to $999, while a classic iMac with a G3, a 15-inch CRT, and a plain vanilla CD-ROM drive still costs $799-- thus creating a price/performance disparity so vast that the very fabric of reality is in danger of being torn asunder. Seriously, it's not that, either. Although you might want to stock up on canned goods.

No, we're talking about a report-- an as-yet completely unsubstantiated report, mind you-- of a "massive reorganization effort" underway at Apple. While reorganization in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, we're hearing troubling things about Apple perhaps having just laid off hundreds of employees last week-- maybe even close to a thousand. Yes, a thousand. Now, we want to mention right off the bat that we're maintaining a nice, healthy skepticism about this rumor, mostly due to logistical reasons. Basically, we don't care how scary Steve Jobs is (well, okay, yes we do... sir!): if a thousand people get the shaft, then at least some of them are going to march straight off to the press and start blabbing about it. (What's Apple going to do-- fire them?) And yet we're hearing that these alleged layoffs took place last week, but we see absolutely zilch about any job cuts at any of the "respectable" news sites. So most likely we're just hallucinating again.

That said, though, the report we hallucinated indicated that the heaviest concentration of alleged layoffs took place in Apple's education division-- and we heard something else about Jim Marshall leaving in rather a hurry. Last we heard, Jim Marshall was heading up the education sales team, though that was maybe six months ago. And just to make this Big Ball of Uncertainty and Ickiness just a leetle bit bigger, take a gander at Think Secret's latest report on Apple's PowerSchool division canceling projects left and right like it's the hottest new dance craze. We can't help feeling that all this spells something Not Entirely Nice™ for the future of Apple's prospects in the education market. But for now, we're just going to sit tight and see if anything real actually comes of any of this...

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Ahhhhh, Sweeps Month (11/25/02)

Hmmm, now this is a slightly sticky situation. See, this here is a family show, and as such, there are certain subjects that we generally don't allow on the air during our time slot. Unfortunately, we've gotten so many requests to work this one particular angle into our plotline, we're compelled by state law to comply-- and this story has certain elements that are, shall we say, "unsuitable" for our younger and more sensitive viewers. What to do, what to do...

Oh, what the heck. Some guy in Europe burned his penis on his laptop.

No, really, you guys, shut up-- this is serious. (You can tell because it's on CNN.) As faithful viewer nateman soberly informed us, some poor scientist fellow in London had his notebook running on his lap for an hour, and the next day his doctor found that-- and this is the bit where our younger and more sensitive viewers might want to look at something else for a moment-- "the ventral part of his scrotal skin had turned red, and there was a blister with a diameter of about two centimeters." And before you ask, yes, the guy was wearing pants-- although it sounds as if he may as well have been computing buck nekkid, for all the good it did him.

Now, let's ignore for a moment the fact that this guy apparently managed to inflict second-degree burns on his genitals over the course of an hour and he didn't notice until after the damage had been done.

No, seriously, ignore it. Try real hard, we know you can do it.

Any luck?


Okay, forget it-- us neither. C'mon, the guy fried his genitals, fer cryin' out Pete's sake! How does one not notice something like that until the day after? Yeesh.

Anyway, most of our faithful viewers were pretty eager to hear what brand of laptop managed to wreak such havoc on one man's nether regions; the Reuters article at CNN doesn't say, nor, apparently, does the letter in The Lancet that sparked all this raging interest in the blisters on one man's tackle in the first place. But faithful viewer Alan Benson noted that a reader over at The Register did a little digging, and seems to have discovered the maker of the gonad-broiling computing device. Ready for this? It's Dell.

Yeah, try to contain your shock.

Note to Apple: clearly this guy is an exceptional candidate to star in a future Switch ad. We're not saying that Apple's notebooks don't throw out some serious BTUs; heck, even our trusty G3-based Pismo gets toasty enough to make our laps a tad uncomfortable. Still, we're not aware of any medical journals describing heat-related genital damage (in stunning detail, we might add) inflicted by an Apple laptop, even back when the PowerBook 5300 was amusing children of all ages by bursting into flames in Apple's labs. So seriously, Apple, toss this guy a TiBook and stick him in front of a camera. Why, we can hear the tag line now: "I'm an unidentified scientist-- and Dell blistered my privates." Move over, Ellen Feiss: Unidentified Scientist is comin' to town!

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