What, No Cher Edition? (12/11/02)
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Okay, folks, we're back-- and for those of you who thought we'd be here earlier than this, we should clarify: on Monday morning when we said we'd return "tomorrow," we were speaking in a historically Jobsian time frame, e.g. "available now" equals "shipping in two weeks," "shipping in two weeks" means "available next month," "available next month" means "pre-order right this instant and if you're almost divinely lucky you might get it before super-intelligent apes rule the planet's surface," etc. In other words, by "tomorrow," we meant "whenever we finish watching all the backlogged stuff on our TiVo." For the record, we said we were "calling in sick"-- not that we were sick. Although, granted, one of us is teething something fierce, which is having roughly the same impact on production as, say, a local malaria epidemic.

Wait, this is supposed to be Apple-related or something, right? Sorry, we accidentally watched fifteen minutes of a mid-'90s Pauly Shore movie. It does something to the grey matter.

As it turns out, it's a good thing that we took a couple of days off, because that means we're bringing a fresh perspective to Apple's latest innovation. We're relatively well-rested, less jaded than usual, and far better equipped to evaluate new technology in an objective and balanced manner. And that's why, after careful consideration, we can calmly state without fear of exaggeration that Apple's new celebrity signature iPods are a million times more amazing than all previous iPods combined.

Granted, the new iPods have exactly the same specs as the older models, but as faithful viewer Vortech was quick to point out, they bear the laser-etched signatures of Madonna, Tony Hawk, and Beck-- and that makes all the difference in the world. We've yet to receive word from our sources whether or not those three über-celebs are individually signing each 'Pod themselves, but given that the autographed units run forty-nine clams more expensive than plain vanilla ones, we think it's pretty safe to assume that Apple wouldn't charge $49 for something as gauche as a machine-etched iPod. We're guessing that Steve Jobs has all three personages stuffed in a closet somewhere (wow, did that image make anyone else flash on Sartre's No Exit?), personally autographing iPods with special laser pens each time a new order rings up.

But if you want one of these puppies (and how could you not?), you should act fast; the word on the street is that Apple is only making them available until January 8th-- and they could dry up even sooner than that. Sources close to Palm indicate that the company is in the process of filing a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the BeckHawkMadonnaPods infringe upon Palm's patent for "Lame Celebrity Editions of Existing Handheld Devices." Palm alleges that Apple is unlicensed to use technology formerly employed in such products as the blue Claudia Schiffer Palm Vx and the Michael Jordan line of Palm organizers. Expect the suit to be filed by the end of the week, and if Palm manages to secure a preliminary injunction, well... let's just say you might want to get that order in sooner rather than later.

For our part, the only real disappointment at this end is the notable lack of a Mollie Sugden iPod. Maybe next year... litigation pending, of course.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/11/02 episode:

December 11, 2002: Apple introduces limited edition celebrity signature iPods, just in time for Christmas. Meanwhile, Edinburgh considers issuing laptops to each of its schoolkids after seeing Maine's middle school iBook program, and AtAT has a cunning plan to retrofit your older TiBook with a slot-loading SuperDrive...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3884: Inspired By Actual Events (12/11/02)   By now our regular viewers have surely noticed that one of our favorite topics for anxiety and dread is Apple's continually shrinking share of the education market; indeed, whenever we feel that the show needs a little extra dose of sturm und drang, nothing gets the job done quite like a quick mention of the increasingly rare School-Dwelling Macintosh, a species that's unfortunately on the endangered list until Apple figures out how to turn things around...

  • 3885: Never Said It Was Cheap (12/11/02)   Lately, we've been hearing a bit of grumbling from PowerBook owners experiencing a twinge of buyer's remorse. These are the folks who just happen to have purchased their titanium beauties shortly before Apple introduced the latest models last month...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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