Stephen Hackett's weblog about Apple, Apple history, technology, journalism and design.

What the Freedom of Speech actually means

We all hear people complaining that their right to free speech is being taken away, or that if some jerk on TV says something terrible and is fired, their First Amendment rights have been violated by a television network.

In reality, however, the right to free speech is a contract between the federal government and its citizens. It says nothing — and offers no protection — from real-world consequences for saying something others disagree with or find inflammatory.

Colbert to replace Letterman

Merissa Marr at the WSJ:

CBS said in a news release that it had signed a five-year agreement with Mr. Colbert to take over its flagship show when Mr. Letterman retires next year.

Mr. Colbert, 49 years old, will retire the character he plays on his Comedy Central show—a sendup of Republican talk-show hosts—and will be himself as the host of the CBS show, the company said.

I truly enjoy The Colbert Report, and will miss the character, but Stephen Colbert is a genius nonetheless.

This seems like a good a time as any to remember the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner:

On the Apple TV's future, the Chromecast and headlines

When I saw someone tweet a link to this article, I thought:

Apple already has a "Chromecast killer." It's AirPlay, and it's been around for years.

Then I clinked the link and noticed the URL:


The headline it ran with is certainly more inflammatory than the slug is, and I certainly fell for the bait.

Here's Adario Strange lede:

With rumors surfacing that Apple may be working on a streaming television service with Comcast, it's only natural that some observers are beginning to wonder what form Apple's smart TV will take in the future.

To that end, Germany-based Curved has come up with a very realistic-looking take on what it might look like if Apple decided to launch an answer to Google's Chromecast HDMI dongle.

The rest of his story is filled with some product mockups of an HDMI dongle. That's it. There's nothing about the features of the Chromecast, or of the Apple TV. Nothing about AirPlay, or the technology Google has developed in its product.


On the whole 'Apple dropping Snow Leopard from support' thing

Gregg Keizer at Computerworld:

Apple on Tuesday made it clear that it will no longer patch OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, when it again declined to offer a security update for the four-and-a-half-year-old operating system.

As Apple issued an update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, as well as for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), Apple had nothing for Snow Leopard or its owners yesterday.

Keizer fails to mention that Snow Leopard wasn't affected by Apple's goto fail; bug, but hey, I'm not a security reporter. Let's move on:

Snow Leopard was also ignored in December, when Apple patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, but did not update Safari 5.1.10, the most-current Apple browser for the OS.

In that paragraph, Keizer links to this article, in which he writes:

Apple has apparently decided to kill support for OS X Snow Leopard, the 2009 operating system that has resisted retirement for more than a year.

On Monday, Apple did not update Safari 5.1 when it patched the later Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, including 2011's Lion, 2012's Mountain Lion and this year's Mavericks.

Keizer is referring to the release of Safari 6.1.1 and Safari 7.0.1, which took place in December of last year.

According to CVE Details, the issue related to user credentials and autofills weren't an issue in Safari 5.1, as were none of the other CVE-IDs listed in Apple's document.

I don't know if Apple's dropped support for OS X Snow Leopard. It would be weird for the company do it mid-stride, but Keizer's evidence of Apple's "apparent" change just don't add up.

On Steve Jobs and Macworld

Roman Loyola:

A few weeks after Steve Jobs posed for the cover of the first issue of Macworld, he changed his mind. He didn’t want to be on the cover anymore.

So David Bunnell, the founder of Macworld, used one of the oldest tricks in publishing: He lied about the magazine going to the presses.

Walt Mossberg looks back on two decades at the WSJ

It’s hard to believe Walt Mossberg has been a voice in the industry for 22 years. In his parting piece for the paper, he reflects on 12 products that helped shape the realm of personal technology.

As announced earlier this year, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher’s All Things D is leaving the Wall Street Journal. In turn, the WSJ is replacing the group with a “Personal Tech Reviewing Team.” While Geoffrey Fowler and Joanna Stern are certainly great technology journalists, they have big shoes to fill.