The month of Apple bugs…


I started writing this blog to outline some of my personal experiences of the Apple experience, in the hope that I may shine a light on the reasons why people such as myself choose Apple whenever they can.

I rarely comment on wider Apple-related tech issues, because they are usually well documented already, on blogs and Mac-tech sites far more eloquently than I could manage.

But this time I feel that I’d like to air my views on a small group of people who have made the Apple-headlines recently.

I’ll briefly go into some history (as you probably, as a Mac-user, know the details of this extensively already).

Last year a group of security experts highlighted a potential security threat with Mac’s and their wireless capabilities. They showed a Mac being hacked over a wireless network.

Now, this is about as bad as it gets in terms of security, and the entire Mac web rose up in alarm.

But then cracks started to appear. They started with the fact that the hack did not occur with the built in wireless card, but a third party one. Now, most Mac-users clearly pointed out that you would not install any third party hardware as a perfectly good wireless card was already installed by default.

Okay, said the protagonists, but you can hack the Apple-card as well, we just won’t show you that bit.

Hmmm. Coupled with a remark that they would like to stub a lit cigarette out in Mac-users eyes, most of the Mac-web (and even the more neutral sites), brushed off this ‘threat’ as minor at best.

Fast forward to late last year, and these same ‘security experts’ proposed a media event entitled, “The Month Of Apple Bugs”, to highlight one Apple bug per day, thus proving that all Mac-users live in a dream world and they are just the people to shatter that dream.
It’s now approaching the end of that month and what has been the result? Well, a little mixed. Some of the bugs are serious (Quicktime & Disk Image bugs), some pointless (cause the application to crash), and some bizarre, (using third party applications with no connection to Apple).

I have no problem with them highlighting these bugs at all. I think the work they are doing is valid and needed.

I would argue that their precept (that all Mac-users think that the Mac is bulletproof), is deluded and is created by anti-Mac press trying to give us enough rope to hang ourselves with, but that’s really not my point.

My point, or points are:

1) The motivation to highlight these bugs in the first place is suspect, and

2) The execution in highlighting these bugs is downright dangerous and childish.

Their reasons for doing this work has never been sufficiently explained. It seems to me to be born out of a frustration with Mac-users. They seem to think that we are somehow deluded in our choice of Apple, and that the software that Apple writes is just as full of security holes as Windows (which is arguable). I think they’ve spent far too much time on digg and slashdot personally, and have an axe to grind.

Whatever their reasons, their execution is, as I’ve said, is dangerous and childish.

The way it usually works is this: you find a security vulnerability and you inform the manufacturer first, before releasing it to the public. You can add a time limit on to this if you want, but it’s good manners to give the manufacturer a little breathing space. Once the manufacturer has released a fix, you get a mention in the release notes – kudos to you.

That’s it. That’s all you get and that’s all you should want – public praise for your effort, which will increase your standing in the tech community. You shouldn’t want any more praise, because hey, this is all about helping and safeguarding users by informing the manufacturer of bugs and strengthening the OS isn’t it?

It’s not about your ego, is it?

The person that uncovers a previously unknown bug isn’t the bad guy, are they?

And here is where their execution stinks. Their execution, by not informing Apple before releasing the bug into the wild actually hurts the users, damages Apple, and only gives them more ammunition for their egos.

This is all about a childish attempt by a pissed off Windows user to get back at Apple users because for some reason, the fact that there are a few stupid Mac-users on Slashdot who keep on saying that the Mac is bulletproof, he feels it is his duty to stub a lit cigarette out in our eyes (metaphorically speaking).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Windows users are really screwed up people.


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