Definition: Slow News Day (8/2/00)
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The infamous "Apple Vacuum" has struck, and we're not talking about some translucent, swoopy Jonathan Ive-designed carpet cleaner that generates suction via fanless convection cooling. (Although that does sound cool; anyone up for an Apple-Oreck collaboration?) We're talking about the complete and utter lack of interesting Mac news that always settles in after the Sturm und Drang of the Expo. Most people assume that the deadly lull blankets the scene right after the show closes; not so. Typically there's plenty of fat to chew for about a week to ten days after the Mac faithful drag their weary and swag-laden mortal coils home from the convention center, and then whammo-- utter silence, like that awkward pause on a date when you both run out of conversation.

It's always right about this time that we really start feeling sorry for newspeople tasked with covering the world of Apple. Your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff is not tethered by any pretensions to journalistic integrity, so we can always just make something up about Steve's addiction to Atomic Bowling, or digress unmercifully into a detailed analysis of whether or not Tobey Maguire can really pull off the Peter Parker/Spider-Man role in the upcoming movie. Real news shows are instead stuck scrabbling for crumbs in the barren aftermath of the Expo's feeding frenzy. Want proof? Exhibit A: a CNET article about how Apple doesn't ship any Macs with CD-RW drives. Now that's hitting rock-bottom.

Yes, kids, it's an actual thousand-word article that breaks this shocking news: Macs don't come with CD-RW drives. If customers want to make their own CDs, they need to buy an external drive, which is apparently unthinkable because it turns "the all-in-one iMac into a two-part affair." This startling news is followed by statistics and sales figures revealing CD-RW's exploding popularity, quotes from no fewer than three analysts who weigh the pros and cons of Apple's evident anti-CD-RW stance, and the fact that "Apple failed to respond to repeated requests for comment." Repeated requests. These guys actually called Apple multiple times asking for comment on the Great CD-RW Scandal of 2000. All that's missing are big USA Today-style pie graphs showing the ramifications of Apple's no-CD-RW policy on the price of pork bellies, the weather patterns in Nevada, and Leonardo DiCaprio's career.

Note that we're not saying that Apple shouldn't build CD-RW drives into its iMacs. We'd like to see it as a build-to-order option at the Apple Store, though personally we'd rather have an integrated DVD-ROM drive, ourselves. It's just that CNET's latest is a terrific example of what happens two weeks after the Expo when reporters on the Apple beat still have to crank out stories. And thank Steve they do, because at least it gives us something to write about...


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 8/2/00 episode:

August 2, 2000: Slow news day? CNET's Mac reporters are so desperate for news that they actually wrote an in-depth report on the lack of CD-RW drives in Apple computers. Meanwhile, an outfit called GlobalPC decides to raid Apple's ad cupboard, and columnist Hiawatha Bray has clearly been absorbing just a little too much RDF lately...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2455: 2000 Is JUST Like 1984 (8/2/00)   Okay, it's not like we should be surprised when a PC manufacturer rips off an Apple innovation. It's practically an industry membership requirement these days. We should even be used to those PC guys stealing something Apple came up with several years ago; after all, Apple's usually pretty far ahead of the curve...

  • 2457: Steve Is All, All Is Steve (8/2/00)   This scene was originally scheduled for yesterday's episode, but Steve Ballmer's public declaration that "Linux = Communism" posed far too great an opportunity for us to pass up. So, like the National Spelling Bee champion waiting in the green room when George Clooney does a surprise walk-on appearance on Leno, it got bumped...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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