Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orwellian Apple Censorship

Here's my comment on the story about Apple censoring its Discussion Boards over Consumer Reports refusal to recommend the new iPhone 4 based on reception issues. Part of the reason for this blog is document my own troubleshooting efforts and problems I've had with Apple hardware and software.

Apple discussion boards have done this for years. They have devoted stormtroopers on there who will edit or delete your posts in a flat second, if they deem the posts unflattering to their products.

What’s unfortunate is that I’ve had several negative things to write in those forums, usually about hardware. My Powerbook’s lower memory slot went out and I never got it fixed because mine wasn’t in the “range of serials” that Apple deemed to be the problem; no one told my Powerbook that. My current Airport Extreme has to be reset usually once each day…again, Apple’s response to me is to make an appointment and bring it in to the Genius Bar (not sure how they are going to replicate my issue there, since it’s random). If you Google it, however, you’ll see that it’s a common problem, and people get inconsistent help (some get products replaced straightaway while others don’t).

Same sort of censoring happened when Apple decided to remove pdf manuals and hardcopy manuals from Logic Studio and replace them with the cumbersome Apple Help system. Apple finally relented and quietly brought back the pdf files after all the complaints. But they never acknowledged the complaints.

I think Apple would do well to have a revamped hardware testing division: A group of folks to test a product for six months thoroughly, before Apple releases it. They’ve always relied on users and developers to QC their software just before and right after release, but it’s a mistake to use that model on hardware. There are certain things in hardware that simply can’t be fixed after the genie is out of the bottle. I’m afraid what happens is that users end up being guinea pigs for the hardware a lot of the time; Apple simply (quietly) fixes the issues discovered in the next iteration, but the original buyers are left out in the cold.

[From Apple Censoring Discussion Forums Ref. Consumer Reports | Cult of Mac]

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