Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Are You Calling Me A Dummy? Apple Is Right To Pull All Dummy Books From Its Store Shelves

You know, I don't see what people see heavy handed about Steve Jobs telling Apple Stores to remove all the titles by Wiley & Sons press... because it plans to come out with an unauthorized & inaccurate biography on the life of Steve Jobs.

Many are stretching this into a pattern that is growing at Apple about being "Big Brotherish" like Microsoft - referring to the Rumor Site lawsuits and to the crackdown on the peer to peer network distribution of OS 10.4 developer prebuilds.

Wiley & Sons is the popular publisher of the Dummy Series of books. I have NEVER liked the demeaning titles called [SUBJECT] For Dummies

Believe it or not, quite a few people have never heard of such a book ... I have always found it insulting to a customer for them to find a book in a store that implied they are a dummy!


As reported by MacMinute:

Apple Stores pull Wiley books over Jobs biography

Tech book publisher John Wiley & Sons says Apple has removed all of its titles from the company's retails stores in retaliation for an upcoming biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The author of "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business," Jeffrey S. Young, said Wiley's books disappeared from Apple Stores last week after "a month of increasingly contentious discussions about publication of the book," according to the Mercury News. "It became increasingly clear that Apple was not happy with the publication of the book," Wiley executive Kitt Allan said Monday. "Recently, the meaning of that became clear when Apple told us that our technology books were immediately being pulled from their Apple retail stores. But, of course, Wiley stands behind our authors."


As for the San Jose Mercury News being the source material for this interview in the report above ... what the heck has happened between Apple and The Mercury News? They are becoming as bad as about insulting Apple and Apple Fan intelligence. Apple fans in the area should cancel their subscriptions. Besides, a relative of mine says it's more bias than the LA Times and isn't a good paper anyway!

Recently, the San Jose Mercury News was one of the first papers to side with Think Secret and The PowerPage - by writing an open letter to the judge in the case - stating that bloggers are journalists and have the 1st ammendment right to publish Apple Trade Secrets.

Of course, Jackwhispers readers know the facts:

1) Neither Think Secret or The PowerPage are BLOGs - they are full blown commercial websites

2) Think Secret cannot, by law, report SPECIFIC information due to the UTSA

3) Think Secret is partnered with the former Apple resellers who are filing suit with Apple

4) The PowerPage & Think Secret are related in some way

5) The 1st Ammendment was originally meant as a law for redressing the goverment and does not truly grant free speech

6) The Think Secret lawyer at the EFF has a longstanding beef with Apple over iTunes and is the lawyer for an Apple hating website called


Honestly, I wish Apple would have pulled the Dummy Series of books a long time ago and just kept David Pogue and O Reilly's How To Books.

I forsee a lot of customers in the Apple Retail Stores this Friday - possibly the biggest crowds EVER for an OS launch event. I'm glad none of the potential shoppers will have to look on the shelf to see the word "Dummies"!

UPDATE: A post on Slashdot also brought up an interesting point ... the title conciously and subconciously portrays Jobs as a con man with the word "iCon" as the title.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to comment on your opinions, but they don't make enought logical sense to do so.

Why is it that your dislike of "for Dummies" books make is okay for Steve Jobs to act like a corporate dictator? I kinda missed that...

What does the your tirade in the second part of the article have to do with the first part? Kinda missed that too, and I don't read "for Dummy" books.

Maybe optinions do not become useful or even interesting just because they are posted on a blog.

FYT said...

"I'd love to comment on your opinions, but they don't make enought logical sense to do so."

The grammar and lack of explanation of this complaint also makes no logical sense.

"Why is it that your dislike of "for Dummies" books make is okay for Steve Jobs to act like a corporate dictator? I kinda missed that..."

Then you are blind... if it were MY store and someone was selling a product that offended me and I was selling their entire line - I would remove that entire line from my shelves too!

Also, it's not like the Apple Store doesn't have a dozen or so OTHER how to books - the fact that the Dummy titles are offensive and subconciously demeaning is yet another reason to remove them.

"What does the your tirade in the second part of the article have to do with the first part? Kinda missed that too ...

I specifically explain that the source that brought this subject to everyone's attention is the San Jose Mercury News. The Mercury was also the FIRST site to write about the Think Secret litigation being a first ammendment issue (which it's not) and one of the papers that cosigned an open letter to Steve Jobs to drop the litigation against the "Apple Fan Sites"

I was pointing out that no one should even pay attention to such a ridiculously irresponsible paper who editorialises rather than reports the news.

"Maybe optinions do not become useful or even interesting just because they are posted on a blog."

I don't even know what this means ... I'll assume you've read this

Or I'm assuming you are speaking of your own opinion being unimportant, because I certainly don't see it useful to this conversation.

Anonymous said...

I posted a long comment about this, but somehow, it got eaten in the process and now it's gone.

My point, however, was that you said nowhere how these two things (San Jose Mercury News and you not liking Dummys on a book cover) relate to the issue at hand. Apple did not remove the books because they don't like the title, but because they don't like another book from the same publisher. They have the right to do so if they want to, of course.

And whether you like the newspaper or not with which they have an interview, well, how does this relate, again? Unless they made it up (if you believe they did, say so!) they are not responsible for this thing happening, are they? Not even if they get the law suits wrong.

By the way, I never felt offended by the Dummies books. The title clearly says that this book adresses absolute beginners who have no problem with a bit of humour.

The articles here are often interesting, but often I get the feeling that you are a little to strict with everyone who does not do only good to Apple. Sometimes you're right, but in my opinion, in cases like this, you're not.

FYT said...

Torsten, your first comment was deleted because it was mostly off topic and non sensical.

I DO draw a parallel between this topic and the San Jose Mercury News. They were the FIRST to report this (removing of Wiley Press books from Apple Stores). It's not news. In their article, they mention how Apple continues to be heavy handed and mentions the suing of Apple Fan Sites as another instance where Apple is being like Big Brother and censoring Apple Buyers at the corporate level. The Mercury was also one of the newspapers that signed an open letter to Apple not to sue said sites due to 1st ammendment rights of bloggers - it is my contention that such a right does not exist nor is this even a first ammendment issue due to the type of property involved. Again, Apple had every right to remove it and it's such a non issue that it shouldn't have been reported - seeing since their are 4 BETTER how to books that I know of that are also inside Apple stores.

I mention that I would pull the entire line of items as well; if I disagreed in the slightest with any of my suppliers. I am doing them a FAVOR by distruibuting their product. If I ask a favor of them. I expect reciprocation - no reciprocation - goodbye!

As for your understanding of the dummy book series - that is YOUR opinion. Many people have never seen these books. I think it's a minor point, but a point none the less - if a customer sees the word Dummy in the corner of their eye it may have a subconcious affect on their visit to the store.

I made the following example to a friend:

Say I was an older retired man, I was taking my brand new iBook into the Apple Store for a meeting with the Apple genius at the genius bar. While in line, out of the corner of my eye, not looking directly at it, I saw the title Macs for Dummies . I may feel like I am a dummy for being there or a dummy for making a purchase in the store. Also, I dislike the sentiment of any of my customers who have low self esteem and try to mask it with humor ... calling themselves a dummy on a certain topic. No one is a dummy. If you have that attitude, you are telling me that I am such a genius that I should charge you more or that I can charge whatever I want to - because a dummy will never be able to get things right and dummy will do whatever I say.

Lastly ...

"The articles here are often interesting, but often I get the feeling that you are a little to strict with everyone who does not do only good to Apple. Sometimes you're right, but in my opinion, in cases like this, you're not."

This is my site ... I am never wrong here. I don't have to make sense or have consistency. I think it makes sense and that's all that matters. I get lots of emails congratulating me for the content here (as most people choose not to post in the forums) I don't command anyone to do anything - but I am a very smart businessman, a wise financial person, and I am also very successful ... I must be doing something right - and I want to impart my opinion so that others may also reap the benefit of experience and expertise.

I'm not an Apple fan boy. Apple does a lot that is wrong. BUT, and this is a big BUT ... Apple is probably the best run company in the world ... as far as management skills. They are unparalleled in business sense and corporate integrity. Most people who disagree with them don't have the facts, aren't businessmen (and women), are ignorant, are Apple haters, or just flamebaiters.

I'll give you two good examples:

I think Apple made a big mistake in the pricing of the MacMini: The unit would sell (in my opinion) 2/3 more if they would price it at $399.99 and $499.99 respectively. I also think they should bundle airport and bluetooth inclusive. The Mac Mini is one of Apple's highest profit margins EVER ... at 42%!! Apple's typical margin is 27% - they do 22% on the iMac and 19% on the eMac. These margins are too high (in my opinion).

Now, yesterday ... Apple was criticized for having overpriced displays, eventhough they dropped the display prices by $200. Several comparisons were made between the Dell 20" and the Apple 20" - Dell's display = $450 Apple's =$800. They both use the same LG/Philips panel. But here's the difference.

The Apple display has an elegant aluminum bezel with both firewire and USB hubs built in. The Dell display is plastic and black with no hub. The Apple display has a much more expensive and better quality custom controller from Samsung - this increases overall color gamut and response time -- the Dell's is the generic controller that comes standard from the factory. Apple Displays also have a better film overlay that makes Apple displays look like a magazine or a CRT display ... while Dell monitors look a tad washed out - just like any other stock LCD.

So, yesterday ... people were bashing Apple and using an Anandtech comparison that said the displays were same as their fodder ... they were wrong!

FYT said...

And you need to read this

This is the rules of this forum - any critique of the way I write or your opinion of the site posted to any article here that doesn't specifically talk about the Jackwhispers site is off topic and will be deleted.

My opinion is .. if you like it, read it. If you want to ... participate. If you don't like it ... don't return ... more and more readers are coming here every day!

Anonymous said...


I suppose you think Macworld tells you what to do too

Don't read the San Francisco Chronicle according to them

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about my first post, it was really over the line. Please excuse me.

FYT said...

It's not a problem - I am happy to have you here and providing insightful critique