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  • Apple Computer Conspiracy Theories Abound

    August 16th, 2006

    It’s not enough that you can find conspiracy theories in what the government does, historical events of great magnitude, and even such tragedies as the Kennedy assassination. Now we see a growing trend towards finding some deep, dark conspiracy in the goings on even at Apple Computer.

    Every single move the company makes is evaluated with the viewpoint that they are really trying to pull the wool over our eyes, and that they have secret motives we can only guess at, aside from being profitable of course.

    The most recent rumor that had any degree of traction was influenced by the apparent behavior of Steve Jobs at the WWDC earlier this month. Now I’m not trained in medicine, and I’m not an expert at body language, but I have to wonder about the claims that he looked gaunt and sickly. I don’t recall anyone mentioning this, but I did see him talking in a perfectly normal fashion to someone in front of the stage a short time before the keynote. Minutes later, he bounded onstage with his usual flair, and I found nothing out-of-the-ordinary about his delivery, except for delegating a fair portion of the presentation to three of his corporate lieutenants.

    So why did he do that if he wasn’t ill and preparing everyone for the day that he’ll be stepping down from his post as CEO? Well, this was a developer’s conference, and although there was the usual worldwide attention focused on the WWDC announcements, let’s not forget that Jobs also said that 1,000 Apple developers were on hand to participate in the various events. And how often does he thank his staff publicly for their great work? Maybe he was just being generous to allot some of them a chance to shine before an audience of the very people they were working with?
    Another alleged symptom of his ill health was the fact that he wore tiny granny glasses, and was observed looking at his notes during the presentation. Now that’s nothing terribly new, since I’ve seen him do that at previous keynotes. Is anyone paying attention here?

    Now I understand the concerns. After all, Jobs is a cancer survivor, and I suppose it’ll take several years before fears of the dreadful disease’s return have receded. In fact, the question of Jobs’ health got so much attention that Apple’s corporate PR people were compelled to issue a statement saying that “Steve’s health is robust and we have no idea where these rumors are coming from.”

    That, however, will probably not still the concerns. Some will suggest that a corporate mouthpiece shouldn’t be believed any more than a politician.

    On the other hand, I suppose it might be a good idea to use the trick celebrity tabloid newspapers, such as the National Enquirer, employ, which is to show some photos of Jobs over the past few months so everyone can observe whether he seems to have lost weight with enough close-ups to determine if his face reveals any inkling of ill health. Of course, one could then suggest that Photoshop was used to retouch the pictures, and, no, a picture of him yelling at an employee may not be sufficient to silence the skeptics.

    I suppose if it wasn’t Steve Jobs, but Michael Dell, few would pay so much attention. But it is strange that so many people rely on Apple Computer for their products, but at the same time, they disbelieve every single company statement that comes their way.

    In the days when Apple would do onstage bake-offs featuring a Power Mac and a Dell, even diehard Mac users would complain that the books were cooked, so to speak. The Dell was crippled, and the Mac had surreptitious performance boosters to make it come out ahead.

    Is the Mac Pro nearly $1,000 cheaper than a comparably equipped Dell Precision Workstation? You don’t have to take their word for it, or mine. Do the price comparisons yourself, but match up the features as closely as you can. Right now, the numbers are correct, but vary all over the place because of Dell’s inconsistent pricing.

    But, after all, just as the conspiracy theorists know that Steve Jobs really has health problems of an unknown nature, they also know that the Mac must always be more expensive. After all, can’t you build a home-brewed PC box with those new Intel Xeon chips for $1,500? It doesn’t matter if a pair of the new 2.66GHz Woodcrest chips cost more than that on the retail level. Why let a few facts get in the way?

    Yes, I know some of you will write in and insist that Steve Jobs is clearly in ill health, and the pictures don’t lie. On the other hand, maybe I should take this whole strange discussion over to my paranormal radio show, The Paracast, where it will join the rest of the conspiracies in this crazy world.



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