Credit Where It's Due (12/1/99)
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The Internet press is a funny thing: rumors seem to become official "news" once they get reported by news sites instead of rumor sites, even if the news site's primary source is the rumor site in the first place. (Did that make sense?) Case in point: a few days ago, Mac the Knife whispered that Steve Jobs had sent an internal memo to Apple staff banning named credits in all future Apple products. Now, as far as we're concerned, anything Mac the Knife says is officially rumor; even if he says "water is wet" (or, more likely, "Water is wet. Holy Esther Williams in a kicky one-piece!"), we're going to want confirmation from at least two reliable sources at the Federal Wetness Bureau and a signed affidavit from the World Society of Water backing up that statement before we accept it as fact.

But then the San Jose Mercury News picked up on the credits ban story, and even though their article cites the memo "posted in part on the MacWEEK Web site," now we haven't the slightest qualm about believing that the era of "signed" Apple products is over. To be fair, the Merc did the standard journalism thing, trying to get confirmation from Apple, only to get a metric ton of "no comment" unloaded on their doorstep. And they also brought up some interesting possibilities for Jobs' alleged credits ban, aside from Uncle Steve's claimed desire not to leave anyone out. First of all, there's the security thing. What better way for a nefarious organization to ferret out some juicy info leaks than by tracking down Apple employees on a named basis? With ready-made lists of Apple team members embedded in, say, the Mac OS Finder, it's a simple matter to dig around and try to match those names up with home phone numbers and outside email accounts. The next step is to contact those people off "Apple time" and see if they're willing to play the leak game...

The other possible reason for the credits ban is to prevent job-poaching. Say some other company takes a look at QuickTime and says, "Hey, that's really cool. The people who worked on this must be top-notch talent." Well, if a credits list complete with names is available, then that company has an easy way to try to hire away some of that Cupertino talent. So while we're bummed that credits lists are going away, we can understand the rationale. It's still lame, though, like having to pre-pay for gasoline-- a few scumbags ruined it for everyone.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/1/99 episode:

December 1, 1999: Clear the runways-- AirPort has landed at AtAT. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs' ban on named credits lists in Apple products becomes "official" by virtue of a "real news" article, and Apple Expo 2000 is finally laid to rest...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1945: Ready For Takeoff (12/1/99)   You're aware of how many Apple-bashers in the press are adopting kindler, gentler attitudes these days? Well, we figured it couldn't last, but longtime Apple critic Hiawatha Bray continues his newly-Mac-tolerant ways in his latest Boston Globe column, as reported by faithful viewer Zach Leber. Sure, Bray gets his licks in as he describes his new iBook, but many of his points are completely valid. We haven't had the opportunity to try to use our iBook on a plane like Bray did, but given how cramped we were even when using our much smaller Duo 280c, we can imagine it's no picnic. Yes, it's big and relatively heavy-- heck, that's our main criticism, too. Yes, we wish Apple had made at least 64 MB of RAM standard in the iBook's shipping configuration. In fact, the only statement with which we flat-out disagree is, "why bother with a built-in handle?" (We love...

  • 1947: End Of An Error (12/1/99)   Stick a fork in it-- it's done. Apple Expo 2000, the UK Mac trade show to end all UK Mac trade shows, has just, well, ended. After Apple recently reneged on a promise to attend and bring along Steve Jobs to deliver one of his fabulous keynote addresses, the whole show began to crumble, until finally it vaporized completely...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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