Social networking software

Facebook Shame, Apple Flames, and Other Good Dish

I've been getting so much reader mail lately it's hard to keep up, so I thought for today's entree I'd serve up a little Cringe Smorgasbord, brought to you piping hot from my inbox. Today's sampler menu includes an Apple/Adobe cobbler, a Facebook filet, a soupcon of Steve Jobs, and more.

As an appetizer, let's start with frequent correspondent B. B., who writes in response to my posts about Lower Merion High School District and Webcamgate:

[ Want to cash in on your IT experiences? InfoWorld is looking for stories of an amazing or amusing IT adventure, lesson learned, or war tale from the trenches. Send your story to offtherecord@infoworld.com. If we publish it, we'll keep you anonymous and send you a $50 American Express gift cheque. ]

Of course those SOBs at that high school deserve to be pilloried and jailed, and it's good that you are reporting on this issue so extensively. I think you'd be doing your readers a public service by devoting a few words to the pervasiveness of webcam spying. One can buy the programs that do it, and some malware installs this capability at no charge.

Now for the first course: Some Cringe flambé from ticked-off reader M. T., who has a few choice words to toss at me (rookie, clueless), Gizmodo (slimeballs, dumb), and Jon Stewart (not credible) regarding my post about the feds investigating Apple and its rejection of Adobe. Here's an excerpt:

Poor defenseless little Adobe runs crying to the FTC and the DOJ, whose attorneys are always ready to [censored] on the table so they can imagine themselves looking like big tough guys with badges. Because God forbid Adobe would just compete for customers in the free market!

Except there's one tiny element missing from this scenario .... a MONOPOLY. Apple doesn't have one. Not even close - and they are protecting their own property. The government has no cause to mess with them over this, and will waste millions of our taxpayer dollars if they try. Because Apple Legal will kick their cans good and proper. As you should well know, if you research your stories.

(Can you say "Apple fanboy"? I knew you could.)

If that didn't ruin your digestion, here's the meat dish, a lovely shank of Facebook from I. W. in Christchurch, New Zealand, in response to my post about Facebook and its many privacy problems:

Facebook started out...pioneering what a social network app could be. It seemed to be helping me, the user. Now my feeling is different. ...It reminds me of the difference between a good movie and an infomercial. The good movie is there to tell me a story that relates to me. ... The infomercial is clearly there to benefit the product, and convince me to want something I didn't want. Facebook is starting to feel like a giant interactive infomercial where I am being sold and being sold to. Clever idea if you want to sell things. Pretty lousy otherwise.

Fruit and cheese plate anyone? In response to my post about people misinterpreting President Obama's speech about the distracting nature of iPods and Xboxes, reader S. S. had this to say:

I may be too biased as a dyed in the wool techie, but any president of the US dissing the tech industry seems like poor judgment. Seems to be one of the few competitive industries we have left, we'll never grow our way out of debt without it (and may not with it!!!). Try putting Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Google, etc into other countries and recalculate the GDP and GDP growth.....I think this speech was bad tactics and bad strategy.

And because I always save the sweetest for last, here's this glob of sugary goodness from Cringe fan M. C. for dessert:

YOU are a distraction….from the insanity of the popular media, intentionally distorting people’s words to gain reader’s or viewer’s attention. Thank you for bringing clarity to much of the popular media mis-information.

Aww shucks, thanks. But if you really liked me you'd pick up the check now and then.

What's on your mind? Share it with the world below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This story, "Apple flames, Facebook shame, and more delicious dish," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog.

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