Except for her fame and money, I’m not much of an Oprah fan. I love her smile and could use a little more weight.
Recently, Oprah chose James Frey’s fictional book, “A Million Little Pieces” for Book of the Month, though it was hyped as a memoir of addiction and recovery.
Oprah ripped the guy on live TV. She was great. I want her to do the same to eWeek because their article on Intel Mac exploits is fiction passed as an article.
Kudos to Oprah. Whatever the opposite of kudos is, that goes to the editors of eWeek for the ridiculous article, “Apple’s Switch to Intel Could Allow OS X Exploits.
If there’s something I’ve learned through the years that differentiates Mac users from Windows PC users, it’s that Mac users are zealous. Zealous for truth, and zealous for making things better.
Oprah, we need you. eWeek writer Paul F. Roberts’ piece on the Mac looks like a detailed article on potential security exploits which may be uncovered with the Mac’s switch to Intel chips. It’s not. Since Mac users will be quick to point out the error of his fiction, eWeek will generate a lot of hits to their web site. More hits, more ad impressions, more revenue.
Enough with the fiction already. Mac users know better.
The very first sentence of the article says Intel Macs “could open the door” to more attacks against Mac OS X. I’ll buy that but not worry about it, because “could” is probably correct.
Sales of Macs will continue to increase, market share will continue to increase, so, hey, it “could” happen.” Then Roberts follows up the first step down the Fiction Parade route with:
It “will” make it easier? Ok, how about some proof. eWeek did interviews about the so-called mounting “pressure” on Apple to build security measures into Mac OS X. The implication in that line is that OS X does not currently have security features.
That’s bad journalism, poor writing, and factually wrong. Oprah, honey, where are you? We need to you get Paul Roberts on your show.
While Apple thoughtfully declined an interview with eWeek (see! The folks at Apple are smart; don’t feed the literary monkeys), they did say, “that the security technologies and processes that have made Mac OS X secure for PowerPC remain the same for Intel-based Macs.”
Let’s recap. eWeeks says Apple doesn’t have security features in OS X. Apple says they do. Mac OS X has no viruses, no trojan horses, and no spyware exploits despite being on the market for five years and with tens of millions of customers.
Roberts’ so-called “article” goes on a history binge of when Mac OS X was released, the difference between Intel’s CISX (complex instruction set chip) and IBM/Freescale’s RISC (reduced instruction set chip), and other pulp, including a quote from a software vulnearbility researcher.
Lurene Grenier, a PowerBook user says,
Maybe there’s a reason she’s using a PowerBook, ostensibly with Mac OS X. Nowhere can I find anything that says attackers attack the Intel chip. I thought it was Windows. Silly me.
Nowhere did I read of a specific chip exploit that will make Mac OS X function like Windows’ Swiss Cheese XP SP12. Silly me.
What’s fun about pulp journalism is the ability to write something that looks attractive on the surface, but is pure quicksand below. Once you start, you’re stuck.
Oprah, honey. We need you. You’re experienced at exposing this kind of journalistic fraud, perpetrated on the unsuspecting Windows public.
Roberts’ article goes on to say,
Aha. So there are tools to hack a Mac running PPC chips? That’s the implication, right? What’s eWeek say?
““I don’t think [Intel] will make Mac more or less secure. But there will be a ton more exploits coming out for Mac,” Grenier said.”
A ton? Let’s recap. Windows runs on Intel chips and has a “ton” of exploits. The Mac now runs on Intel chips and will have a ton of exploits coming. But Linux has been running on Intel chips for many years, right? Where’s the “ton” of exploits?
Security consultant Erik Tayler fro IOActive says, “”[Software] vulnerabilities still depend on the OS, not the underlying architecture.” Oh, that’s why Windows has a “ton” and no other operating system, Intel or PPC, has a “ton” of exploits.
It’s the OS, stupid. Silly me.
So, what would a guy who makes a living hyping security vulnerabilities in an operating system have to say on the matter? eWeek quotes Mark Grimes, an OS X security expert: “There are things you can do with OS X that are kind of scary.”
Oh. I see. And those are? Nothing. No follow up. No list. But eWeek says he says,
Again, no evidence other than, “Hey, you could install something on your Mac and it could be used to spread malicious code.” Yep. That’s hard to argue with. Let me know when it happens to someone.
eWeek concludes with, “OS X exploits aren’t uncommon. The shift to Intel could be just the change that makes it worthwhile to write exploits for them.”
That’s it. That’s journalism, investigative reporting, sifting through the facts, all eWeek style. Oprah!!
Don’t misunderstand my perspective or history. I know that ALL operating systems have exploits and security issues. All. Some are well known, some haven’t been found yet, some are used to mess up your computer.
The real issue is, “does it happen often enough to be an issue of concern?” The answer is, YES. For Windows. No, for Linux on Intel. No for Mac on PPC, and no (so far) for Mac on Intel. When it happens, we’ll hear about it. For now, those hackers have much more fun chewing through Windows Swiss Cheese XP SP 42.
Oprah, we need you. Help us out. Throw us a bone. Expose eWeek the way you exposed James Frey. Shed us a tear.
What did I tell you about your medication? Regularity, honey. Regularity.
Jack D. Miller
The article’s title seems fair enough, though somewhat sensationalist. The rest of the article is a waste of bits. All fluff, no stuff. Three pages, too.
I watched the Oprah segment yesterday. She shed tears. Again. Did James Frey look uncomfortable or what? I can imagine that the publisher is non too happy, either, what with all the product returns.
update – Tera Jean Patricks
For those who asked, yes, the selection of the photo of Oprah on the cover of TV Guide Magazine was deliberate. Anyone know why?