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When facts and narrative collide: Apple’s double-digit Mac growth calls out analysts’ flawed estimates

From AppleInsider:

Apple reported “strong double digit growth” in its Mac sales in the U.S., directly contradicting the earlier estimates published by IDC and Gartner that stated Apple’s U.S. Mac sales fell year-over-year in the June quarter and calling into question the legitimacy of market estimates that the tech media uncritically presents as factual.

Writing for Fortune, Philip Elmer-DeWitt shines some light on how those “estimates” are made (or made up): (via The Loop)

“So, the mantra became, preserve the growth rates; to hell with the actual numbers. Even the growth rates are fiction. The fudge is in the ‘others’ category, which is used as a plug to make the numbers work out. In fairness, we did do survey work, calling around, and attending white box conferences and venues to try to get a feel for that market, but in the end, the process was political. I used to tell customers which parts of the data they could trust, essentially the major vendors by form factor and region. The rest was garbage.”

‘Welcome to Swift Blog’

From a new Apple blog dedicated to its new programming language:

This new blog will bring you a behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it, in addition to the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer.

Who would ever have thought we’d see the phrase “behind-the-scenes” in anything coming from Apple?

Could be a very interesting blog to follow.

Also—Xcode is now available to any registered Apple Developer—even the free level.

RandomMaccess LookBack: On the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh, a look at the 20th

On the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh, RandomMaccess takes a look at how we covered the Mac’s last big milestone — its 20th anniversary. A lot has changed since then: The iPod and iPad were still top-secret projects somewhere deep in the bowels of One Infinite Loop (or its Area 51 equivalent). Apple was enjoying the explosive success of the iPod and the company’s resulting resurgence. And of course, Steve Jobs was still alive.

Although the article is now 10 years old, I think a lot of the analysis still applies to this day — although perhaps one result of Jobs’ absence is an executive team that allowed the retrospective Apple is hosting on its site today. It’s hard to imagine Steve permitting such an emotional walk down memory lane.

Continue reading

Amazon readies ‘Prime Air’

Please don’t be a joke, please don’t be a joke…

All gave some, some gave all

In years past, I had a tradition of linking to MacMinute on Veterans Day. The late Stan Flack would post “In Flanders Field,” a poem by Canadian Soldier Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

Since Stan passed away, MacMinute has ceased publication. So I’ll carry on his tradition here, with the wish that we all take a moment to honor all those who sacrificed their safety or their lives on our behalf. The politics of any war aside, it is they who pay the price; they who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way in order to secure and defend the blessings of liberty for the rest of us.

They deserve our respect and our solemn promise to do our best to ensure that did not die in vain and to work towards a time where none need pay the price they did.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The ‘canary in the coal mine’ in Apple’s transparency report

Several people have pointed out that Apple’s “Transparency” report of government requests for information contains a brilliant end run around the government’s gag order on revealing that certain requests have even been made.

At the end of the report’s Notes section, Apple states it “has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge an order if served on us.”

Sounds pretty innocuous, right? But here’s the kicker. As long as Apple never receives such a request, we can expect future reports to contain the same statement. If that statement were to go missing, however, it would be a clear message that a request or requests had been received.

Well played, Apple. Well played.

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