In the waning days of 2022, it’s time to take a look back at the year and ask ourselves, how can we gamify it? Well, one way is to figure out who had the worst take of 2022 and who had the best take. And it turns out that’s exactly what we’re going to do!
So here it is! The worst and best shots of the year!
The worst takes
The FBI on Advanced Data Protection
Let’s start with our good friends at the Federal Bureau of Investigations. This year found they’re very touchy — one might even say downright touchy — about Apple’s decision to implement end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups.
This hampers our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism…
It’s a shame, and let’s be honest, it’s not like the Macalope never whined and complained about things that made his job harder. But to the extent that the US Constitution can also be said to make the FBI’s job more difficult, not all things that do are bad. He just tries to deal with it as best he can, okay?
This year has seen a glut of pleaders flock to Facebook’s defense of Apple’s implementation of App Transparency, which required the company to actually – GASP–Ask users if they wanted it to absorb all their private information and sell it to the highest bidder. And the lowest bidder and all intermediate bidders. “Someone will not think about the small businesses?!” was the ridiculous complaint.
Look, if a small business needs Macalope’s private information to survive, then maybe it’s a small business that doesn’t need to exist. Also, hogswallop. Balderdash. Ninnyhammer. (The Macalope may have invented the last one, but he thinks it’s going to take off.) They didn’t care about small businesses, they cared about Facebook. How does the Macalope know this? Why – strange coincidence! – almost all of them worked there.
Apple on unions
Apple has taken its dislike of unions in its retail stores to mustache-twirling levels and it’s a bad look for the richest company in the world. Second a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations BoardApple has created a pseudo-union to defeat organizers in one of its Ohio stores.
Now, the Macalope definitely is not saying “Steve Jobs would never have done that” in this case because he believes Steve probably would have crammed all these retail workers into an elevator and summarily fired them. In the sun. But for a company that coined the phrase “Think different” is definitely thinking just like pretty much everything else in the tech industry in this anti-working class stance. Almost everything but not quite, as we will see later.
Give Musk a chance
When Elon Musk finally took over Twitter after loudly announcing his offer and then spending months trying to back out, many people sighed heavily over what they expected to come based on Musk’s charming personality online. Some, however, including Macalope’s friend John Gruber (disclosure: the Macalope appeared on Gruber’s podcast), they were optimistic about his tenure.
They are less so two months later. Only, though, because it was an absolute disaster from day one to day sixtieth. In Gruber’s defense, he dedicated an entire episode of The Talk Show how wrong he was. Since Musk doesn’t want anyone to log in to Mastodon lest they follow the Twitter exodus, allow the Macalope to do so.
Passionate Internship Managers
One of the big disappointments of macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 has to be Stage Manager. Billed as a more convenient way to multitask, particularly on the iPad, Stage Manager ended up buggy and not that useful. So what kind of pie-eyed idiot would have suggested in June that he would be Stage Manager “a much clearer way to view and navigate multiple apps at once, as well as create multiple workspaces.” Uh, well, the pie-eyed fool who’s typing this sentence, that’s who.
Now, the Macalope preceded it with “[Stage manager] appears,” but was far too optimistic about the chances of the iPad’s struggle with multitasking becoming a thing of the past. While she’s actually using it on a machine to decent effect, it’s definitely not the panacea he’d hoped for and he regrets the mistaken optimism.
Lewis Painter / Foundry
The best it takes
Nilay Patel welcomes Elon Musk on Twitter
At the same time, others were stepping up to their computer screens to see how Elon Musk was going to save Twitter, Nilay Patel was telling his father [# ERROR – NUMBER OUT OF BOUNDS] “Welcome to Hell, Elon”, and he couldn’t have been more right. Every step Musk took was on the end of a rake. When Musk would ease up on moderation, people would flee the site. When he turned the controls back on, his fans would howl for free speech. It only took six weeks for him to be sensationally booed at a Dave Chappelle show. If an edgelord can’t make it there, he can’t make it anywhere.
Microsoft on unions
Unlike Apple and virtually every other technology company, Microsoft has promised to engage with employee unions, assuming a cooperative rather than a combative stance. This is a pretty amazing turnaround for a company that has had stack-ranking up to nine years ago. It’s like going from running a dog fight to running a doggie daycare in the same amount of time. The Macalope really wishes Apple would copy this feature from Redmond, but it seems sadly bent on scrooging its way to victory. Strange for a company that is currently streaming an “A Christmas Carol” themed show on its streaming service right now.
Whoever warned you about Epic
Let’s just say that Apple’s App Store policies are whimsical, selfish, and akin to highway robberies. That said, whoever warned you against making Epic your hero in this fight was right.
Epic Games, the creator of the wildly popular Fortnite series, is paying two of the largest Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlements in history over children’s privacy violations and ‘shadow patterns’ that intentionally tricked users into shopping through manipulative design .
Epic is not the white knight of developers. He is in this fight only for Epic and Epic. When you’re charging up a hill for the right reasons, you might want to make sure the person riding you won’t sell you halfway.
Cryptocurrency crashed and burned (the planet) big time in 2022. The Macalope finds it hard to shed a tear for most of these libertarian hucksters as their free market fundamentalism extends to continue to trade with totalitarian countries that encroach on their democratic neighbors because to do otherwise “would be against why encryption exists”. If greasing the skates that make the world a worse place is part of your mission statement, then maybe your product shouldn’t exist.
Whoever suggested it might be a scam was more or less on point one cryptocurrency company after another went bankruptuncovering a trail of fraud, embezzlement and poorly dressed CEOs. A thousand bored monkeys typing on a thousand typewriters could have easily made up this ending because it was so predictable.
Apple’s privacy moves
From App Transparency to end-to-end iCloud encryption, Apple has continued to roll the ball forward in its effort to protect the privacy of its customers. The horny one wishes the company hadn’t blown the word “courage.” removing the headphone jack because it really does take some courage to stand up to the FBI and China, assuming the company sticks to its plans. If he’s doing it because he’s the Right what to do or why it thinks it will sell more iPhones doesn’t really matter because the net effect is the same: Apple products protect your privacy more than those of its competitors. And that’s a good thing.
Another year under our belts. Are we a year wiser? Ehhhhhh.
Well, we’ll try again next year!