FORTUNE -- "There's a nihilistic streak in tech journalism that I just don't see in other fields," writes Daring Fireball's John Gruber in 2013: The Year in Apple and Technology at Large. "Sports, movies, cars, wristwatches, cameras, food — writers who cover these fields tend to celebrate, to relish, the best their fields have to offer. Technology, on the other hand, seems to attract enthusiasts with no actual enthusiasm."
"The most that Apple could think to do with the new, faster processor in the iPhone 5S," Mims wrote, "was animate 3D effects that make some users feel ill and a fingerprint sensor that solved a problem that wasn't exactly pressing. Apple's new iOS 7 mobile operating system, which felt "more like a Microsoft release," crippled many older iPhones and led to complaints of planned obsolescence."
Gruber almost didn't know where to start with what he termed "a sad pile of piss-on-everything cynicism."
Where he settled -- and where he spent 1,000 of those 1,900 words -- was on the "pernicious lie" in the last sentence: The conspiracy theory promoted in the New York Times by Catherine Rampell and promulgated by Mims himself, that Apple has booby trapped the iPhone so that older models slow to crawl and stop holding a charge just before new ones come on the market.
"The whole 'planned obsolescence' thing was a pile of horse sh**," Gruber writes, pointing readers to Brian Barrey's debunking in Gizmodo. ("You think your iPhone 4 is slow? Try a Samsung Fascinate. Batteries degrade over time. Software capabilities improve. Saying Apple plans the obsolescence of iPhones is like saying Dole plans the obsolescence of bananas.")
To which Gruber adds his own evidence against Rampell's so-called Apple Trap theory: "Used two-year-old iPhone 4S's can be sold for $300; three-year-old iPhone 4's still sell for $200 or more. What other companies make cell phones that retain any value at all after two years?"
"It's a damned if they do, damned if they don't scenario for Apple," he writes. "If a three-year-old device doesn't qualify for an iOS upgrade, one could argue that Apple is excluding it out of spite, to pressure the user to buy a new device just so they can run the latest software. But if Apple does provide an update for a three-year-old phone, and the upgrade proves problematic for some of them, then they're accused of booby-trapping it, suckering users into upgrading their iPhones to a version of iOS that makes them run worse, so that the users will run out and buy a new iPhone."
For a more comprehensive indictment of Apple's press coverage this year, see Daniel Eran Dilger's editorial in AppleInsider: 2013 was a terrible year for both Apple's competitors and its media critics.
If the Japanese love the iPhone now, could they have hated it in 2009?
FORTUNE -- The most salient fact about Brian X. Chen's Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone, written for Wired.com in early 2009, nearly three years before Chen joined the New York Times, is that the editor's note responding to Chen's excoriation in AppleInsider is longer (at 751 words) than the original (678 words).
Daniel Eran Dilger, who wrote the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 28, 2013 12:12 PM ET
The New York Times' website and its corporate site were both down Wednesday afternoon. Speculation of a hack ensued. The company says the problem is 'internal' and will be resolved soon.
FORTUNE -- The New York Times' (NYT) Web site is entirely offline, along with its corporate site, leading to speculation that the newspaper of record has been hacked. The Times, though, has now said in a series of tweets that MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Aug 14, 2013 1:14 PM ET
The social-media-like products being planned by Dow Jones and Bloomberg are not attempts to take on the social media giants.
FORTUNE -- What do the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have in mind for the business-oriented social networks they are each reportedly launching? Probably something less ambitious than "taking on LinkedIn," as several accounts would have it.
Lex Fenwick, the Wall Street Journal's publisher and the CEO of Dow Jones (NWSA), didn't MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jun 5, 2013 7:09 AM ET
On the New York Times Op-Ed page he calls Apple CEO Tim Cook a liar.
FORTUNE -- I met Joe Nocera once, and he seemed like a nice guy. Over his long career as a business journalist -- including more than a decade at Fortune -- he's done some first-rate work on Apple (AAPL). "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs," a profile for Esquire of the entrepreneur at age 31, may MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2013 7:24 AM ET
Next week we'll find out what a Senate probe of Apple's taxes has uncovered.
FORTUNE -- According to the New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning iEconomy series, Apple (AAPL) has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid paying its fair share of taxes -- well beyond the usual tax reduction strategies U.S. corporations have long considered fair game.
"Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the 'Double Irish With a Dutch MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 16, 2013 9:07 AM ET
Once again, the paper twists itself into a pretzel to find the Apple-is-doomed angle.
FORTUNE -- Readers who remember the New York Times' 2012 investigation of conditions in the Chinese factories that build iPads and iPhones for Apple (AAPL) -- the article that described Apple as "reprehensible" and "morally repugnant" -- may be surprised if they open Tuesday's business section and read this lead paragraph:
"Terry Gou did almost everything that Apple could ask MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 7, 2013 7:45 AM ET
Attacked in the a.m. for not stopping cellphone theft and in the p.m. for not paying taxes.
FORTUNE -- Honorable men and women can disagree about whether a front page story in Thursday's New York Times, blamed Apple (AAPL) for the epidemic of cellphone thefts or merely accused the company of not doing all it could.
But there's no getting around the fatal problem with the sentence in Floyd Norris' Apple's Shuffle MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 2, 2013 5:53 PM ET
"This is a crime that could be easily fixed with a technological solution," quoth a D.A.
FORTUNE -- Slipping back into a lazy editorial stance that it rode last year all the way to a Pulitzer Prize, the New York Times has crafted a front page story about the growing problem of cellphone thefts that manages to shift the blame from the thieves who steal them to the carriers that subsidize them and MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 2, 2013 6:47 AM ET
The paper wins journalism's top prize for zeroing in on high tech's fattest target.
FORTUNE -- I hate to say I told you so, but I predicted back in January 2012 when the New York Times followed since disgraced monologist Mike Daisey's lead and sent a team of reporters to write about the working conditions in Chinese iPad factories, that the paper was going for a Pulitzer.
It didn't matter that every MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 16, 2013 6:33 AM ET
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