Do you know them?
First let me start off this article with the synonyms for the word "goon" from the Nisus Thesaurus:
clod, gawk, oaf, stumblebum
goon: noun an awkard stupid person
One way I researched for this piece is by typing in the word "stupid" and "idiot" next to each of the people's names you see below. I wanted to make 100% sure I was one of the hundreds of sources that had the same consensus.
You can almost overlay this list with John Gruber of Daring Fireball's list of "Jackasses of The Week". You will see that I quote John Gruber a lot in this article. The thoughts you see before you are my own (and mixed with previous pieces I have written on this site). I just didn't want to appear to plagiarize any previous statements about the people contained in this commentary. John Gruber is also titled by one "mac goon" on the list as not being a critical or logical thinker. And that's just what a goon would say. A goon's purpose in life is to always appear to be right so they can continue to make money from their "controversial flamebait opinions". When someone as well respected as John Gruber points out their flaws, false statements, or purposeful lies, they have to cover by calling said respected person (Gruber by example) an irrational, emotional, cultist thinker or writer. In my own little world here on this site, I deal with "goons" too. Those that I do critical articles about usually lash out in some emotional "hissy fit" on their own blogs or websites or try to discredit me in some way.
The following list is in no particular order. Fact is ... a goon is a goon.
Goon # 1: Paul Thurrott
Thurrott often likes to disprove Apple pricing. He decried Apple's pricing of the iPod Mini as so expensive that it won't sell. The interesting point is that no competing player with the same amount of storage ever really came out that was priced much more agressively. The iPod Mini was also one of Apple's best selling iPod models. It was hipper amongst the workout crowd and was sold out a month before Christmas in its introduction year. It also inspired the Nano line of iPods.
Recently, Thurrott proclaimed that Apple lied when the statement was made that the Mac Pro was cheaper than a similarly configured Dell. Thurrott was blasted on Daring Fireball for "forgetting a few things" by John Gruber. Later in the week, Thurrott corrected his article significantly, not really showing or saying he editted the article for factual error.
Note: A number of readers suggested I configure the Dell as a 64-bit workstation. While that’s possible, that’s not exactly a mainstream configuration these days on the Windows side.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t quite be enough to garner Jackass of the Week honors (especially since Tiger, the shipping version of Mac OS X, only offers 64-bit support at the POSIX layer). What puts Thurrott over the top is the hypocrisy of his “64-bit isn’t mainstream on Windows” justification. Last week, regarding the vastly improved 64-bit support in Mac OS X 10.5 announced at WWDC, Thurrott himself wrote:
Daring Fireball quoting Thurott: "Thanks to the 64-bit Xeon chip that will be shipping in the new Mac Pro systems, Leopard will be fully 64-bit enabled (unlike Tiger, which is only partially 64-bit and then only on certain Power PC [sic] systems). That means that OS X will finally do what Windows XP x64 Edition did last year: Run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively, side-by-side. Good for them."
So when the feature was announced at WWDC, it was a catch-up feature that Thurrott claims put Apple two years behind Microsoft. But when it would have made Dell look even worse in a side-by-side pricing comparison, it’s “not exactly a mainstream configuration”.
Thurrott is often forced to correct his information and often does so without much apology for the mistakes.
Goon # 2: John C. Dvorak
This is probably the most blatant goon, but I will go a step further and call this guy a crooked troll. He is not a journalist. He is not a great writer. He's just a low down dirty scumball ... and I feel that's being nice to him.
(ABOVE) This is John's most famous picture - where he poses to not hear his critics. I always thought it looked like he was lifting his head off.
Of course, we recently found out that Dvorak doesn't report for the purpose of journalism. He reports on Apple Computer solely by a formula that he has realized builds hits and interest in what he has to say. He admitted to making up news and admitted to saying inflmmatory things just piss Mac users off.
A very alarming video was posted to the internet in June 2006 depicting Dvorak admitting on camera that he often made up stories just to incite Mac Users to respond and to bump up hit totals artificially.
He explains how he basically writes stories like Mad Libs, filling in inflammatory and sometimes untrue but educated statements just to be linked all around the internet.
For years, this well respected (by those who care not to really know him) reporter has defamed and in my opinion hurt Apple severely. Now he admits that he has (almost maliciously) conspired to do so.
This guy has as many bad stories about him on the internet and as many damning comments as Satan. In fact, I think Dvorak is the only person I know, that is so well known for being disliked in the Mac Community.
Here's a brief, and no where near complete, history of John Dvorak's career & comments:
Booted from MacUser Magazine for [from editor] "Routinely poor editorial insight"
Booted from TechTV for poor ratings & low advertising revenue generated during show + multiple "disagreements with management and fellow show hosts"
Dvorak has wrongly predicted Apple would be out of business in 3 years; 4 times
Dvorak has wrongly predicted the death of firewire, the 1st generation iBook, the iPod, the iLife Suite, and OS X. With each direction change or product refreshing ... he has proclaimed how right he was to back up these predictions.
He criticized Apple for hoodwinking the public and causing "Pandora's Box" to be opened by releasing the U2 Special Edition iPod.
The U2 Edition iPod ended up being such a success that Apple made the iPod Video in black and a Nano in black and has followed up with several OTHER successful Special Edition iPods and released another U2 Video iPod.
After reviewing over 100 stories by Dvorak - he used the cliche, "Pandora's Box" 12 times. Indicating, he has little new to write and that he may just be filling in stories like Mad Libs.
Goon # 3: George Ou - runs a ZDNet blog called "Real World IT"
Instantly loses credibility for making this statement recently:
John Gruber at the Daring Fireball has done this super long analysis of the current Mac driver-gate fiasco. Gruber goes on record to state that "Brian Krebs has 'dugg' himself a mighty deep hole" and that I George Ou is "going down with the ship". At first glance when you read it without carefully examining the facts, Gruber sounds somewhat plausible. But one of my readers David Burke who is a very smart legal professional took it upon himself to cross examine Mr. Gruber's analysis and it appears that Gruber wouldn't even pass a collegiate course in "logic and critical thinking.
Legal Professional? (not a lawyer apparently) What does a legal professional have anything to do with the topic at hand? Gruber not "logical" or a "critical thinker"? John Gruber is not a God and he sometimes brings a little left wing politics into his posts, but I know of no one (outside of Ou) who doesn't respect Gruber for his immense knowledge on all subjects IT and Apple. When I think of the words, "logical" or "critical thinker", John Gruber is the first to come to mind.
Ou has often been the critic of Apple's presence (or lack thereof) in enterprise
[UPDATE] Ou's credibility continues to dwindle
Goon # 4: Jason D. O'Grady - runs the blog "O'Grady's PowerPage"
This guy has done more to hurt bloggers than help them. His precedent setting case Apple vs Bloggers made the term "journalist blogger" too broad. As a blogger who likes to be called a journalist myself and thinks I reports news, I don't like that a fellow journalist blogger was let off - essentially getting away with aiding and abetting a crime - reporting trade secrets. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) is quite clear. If you know the information is trade secret you can neither solicit for the information nor report it. By allowing Jason O'Grady to get away with this from the angle of "shield law" protection, the courts have essentially turned all bloggers into vigilantes, who will have a hard time equivocating themselves respectfully with other journalists who follow a certain code of ethics. O'Grady's sole focus for writing in his blog is for money - not for reporting to his readers. He often makes news up or embellishes "consumer alerts" to increase hit totals to show off to advertisers. I am a blogger, Jason D. O'Grady is a blogger. I am embarassed to be associated in the same sentence with Jason D. O'Grady.
Goon # 5: Rob Glaser - CEO of Real Networks
Another obvious choice for this list. (previously mentioned here)
Quote by Glaser:
"The average number of songs sold for the iPod is 25, and there are many more songs on iPods than 25. About half the music on iPods is music obtained illegitimately either from an illegal peer-to-peer networks or from ripping friends' CDs, which is illegal."
This is not the first time Glaser has been at odds with Apple or its products. Real drew Apple's fire when they created a technology called "Harmony" in 2004 that allowed Real to sell iPod compatible songs through their music store. Apple later disabled the compatability, and slammed Real for "adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker."
Apple should seriously consider suing Glaser for slander and libel ... he knows that the majority of songs sold from Real's store also go onto MP3 players that may (or may not) contain files that were not purchased by retail means.
He is maliciously singling out Apple in his "interviews".
* Real Networks CEO Glaser & Microsoft's Bill Gates
Thing is ... Real Networks ONLY stays afloat because it was subsidized recently by Microsoft. Microsoft GLADLY paid this settlement because of the "knowledge of Glaser's mouth" and the fact they wanted to keep Real afloat as at least SOME competition to Apple's iTunes Music Store.
Goon # 6: Rob Enderle - posts as a self proclaimed "Tech Industry Advisor" on a website called The Enderle Group
John Gruber states:
Enderle is both:
* Frequently quoted in major mainstream media
* Nearly always completely wrong (at least regarding Apple)
One would hope these two facts would be mutually exclusive — that a self-professed industry expert whose pronouncements about Apple were nearly always wrong would eventually stop being asked for his opinion about the company and its products. But alas, no.
Enderle also misses the boat frequently on free software, open source, and trends in computing. One example is that he seems to think that "themed" laptops such as the Ferrari Acer are what all the hip CEOs will want (and currently) desire. He's dedicated a number of articles to the boring topic. As Mac users, we know the hippest CEOs have macs ... right?
Goon # 7: Leander Kahney - produces "The Cult Of Mac" blog for Wired
I recently talked about Leander here.
John Gruber recently quoted Leander from his Cult Of Mac Blog:
Granted, the system as a whole looks slick, and Jobs said he was keeping some new features “top secret” to stop Microsoft from copying them. But the sneak peek just confirmed what we already know: OS X is so mature and polished, major system upgrades are more about tweaks than big new functions. (Yeah, I know there’s a lot of technical wizardry under the hood, but that’s for the geeks).
This week’s developer’s conference is a big show for Mac nerds. More than 4,000 of them paid a pretty penny to be here this week, and Jobs’ talk is the highlight of the show. For many of them, this is the only chance they get to see their hero in the flesh.
[John Gruber's Commentary] "Kahney seems to have completely missed that this was Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, not the World Wide Jackass Non-Technical I-Treat-the-Mac-as-a-Cult-Rather-Than-a-Computing-Platform Hack Conference."
Leander rarely substantiates anything he says, rarely researches any topic, and rarely updates if his facts were incorrect or erroneous. A good example from just 3 days ago:
Apparently, Leander missed that the recall was 1.8 million batteries.
Further, Leander didn't give me credit for figuring out where Jack Miller was or wasn't. Instead he posted his own story ... even though my article came up pretty high in Google searches at the time when Fix Your Thinking was discussing it. I haven't had much respect for Leander since then. It appears to me that Leander never researches (not even with simple Google searches) for his stories.
Another example: Maddeningly [sic], the account offered by Krebs doesn't even make it clear that the MacBooks in question were running Mac OS X at the time the attack was demonstrated.
The video (although suspicious) clearly showed Krebs typing into the terminal in the Mac OS.
I wanted to throw in a few honorable mentions:
Honorable Mention Goon #1 : Bill Palmer of the blognews site formerly titled iPodGarage, and owner of the formerly titled website/service LoadPod.
Bill Palmer suffers from the truest form of narcissism. In Palmer's world, God created Bill Palmer on the 8th day.
This self proclaimed "Industry leader and pioneer" of the iPod space suffers from dillusions of granduer. His website, now called iProng (formerly known as iPodGarage) is filled with the most redundant "yet another website reporting it" news. His "iPod loading service" known formerly as LoadPod is a self proclaimed "pioneer and leader" in the space - yet wasn't even ranked by Popular Mechanics review of the services that load convert your CDs to MP3's.
Here's a snapshot of the June 2005 Issue of Popular Mechanics. You'd think that they would mention the pioneer of this service wouldn't they?
Out of everyone on this list I hand it to Bill for being an entrepreneur. For this reason, he doesn't make the top 7.
Honorable Mention Goon #2 : Robert Scoble - runs the blog scobleizer.com - a former Microsoft employee
Sometimes you just know the real reason someone is a "former" employee of any job they previously worked at.
Scoble is now a part of a startup that raised a very "this is a hot topic so let's throw money at it" 5 million dollars - podtech.net.
Scoble, well known for his rants about Microsoft, while at Microsoft - has never contributed anything of meaning to the blogosphere. He also joins the club of poor research for his entries. He blogs so much ... I'm sure he has little time to research anything. (There was even a correction within the past 24 hours of typing this article)
While we all can be wrong from time to time ... I feel it is the absolute duty of those that are "more popular and respected" in the blogosphere to give us all credibility. When a "blog star" gets slammed for "factual errors" or "ruthless defamation" it is a blow to the credibility of all blogs.
Everyone on this list owes kudos to John C. Dvorak. Dvorak figured out long ago that Mac users are typically blind faith followers and get behind issues emotionally. He realized that the web is saturated with surfers that love to "egg on" conversations about controversy in the Mac world. This point too also makes them goons ... no original journalism ... only copy cats!
* NOTE - one thing I forgot to add was this screen capture from "The Great Mac Mod Contest" Judges section:
Jason O'Grady proves he's a goon by being so stupid as to say the PowerBook 5300 is his favorite Mac. He only did this because it is actually Apple's WORST product - which had battery problems similar to the recent Dell battery debacle.
Leander Kahney picked the Mac Pro as his favorite Mac ever - this page went up two days after WWDC where the Mac Pro was introduced. How could it be someone's favorite in just two days? What a goon!
* item removed and corrected about George Ou