Today's special: Apoplectic over Apple, lax at LinkedIn, bearish on Ballmer

Hating on Apple? Too hard on LinkedIn? What's wrong with Ballmer? Everyone has an opinion

It's been a while since I've taken a dip into the reader mailbag. There's certainly been a ton of things to talk about -- from the future of Apple and Steve Ballmer's impending retirement to LinkedIn's turn toward spam and our nation's turn toward Big Brother. Let's dive in, shall we?

In "Stick a fork in Apple, it's done," I took a few roundhouse swipes at the Kings of Cupertino, arguing that Samsung has emerged as the technology thought leader now that the Steve Jobs reality distortion field has been powered down. As you can imagine, that didn't sit well with some readers. More than 90 comments later, people are still ticked off about it. Some of them found their way to my inbox.

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M. C. tells me he's glad I'm "a hater":

Apple is not Betamax. And with the cash hoard they have, they can acquire what they need to stay in their wheelhouse. What Earth-shattering product has Samsung brought out that changed the way we live, like iTunes did for changing the way music is distributed and listened to?

Cat got your tongue????

Don't bring a knife to a gun fight unless everyone is out of bullets!

How would you feel if I brought a cat to a tongue fight? Tweaking Apple fanboys is so much fun I don't know why I don't do it more often. (Look for more of that next week as the next Apple not-so-special event arrives.)

Endorse this!

I got a lot of feedback on my story about LinkedIn ("LinkedIn lawsuit exposes amateur moves of 'professional' network"), nearly all of it in agreement with my scathing assessment of the business network's aggressive tactics. For example, L. D. writes:

I find that the initial goal of this organization has been completely lost, and the acts they perform to increase registrations of new members harkens back to a time when magazine publishers would give away millions of unread magazines so they could tout their inflated readership numbers and raise the prices of their advertising space.

I see or at least surmise that LinkedIn is up to the same trick. There is no intention to verify skills and create an actual "professional" network, but merely to [go] after advertising revenue, with little or no concern about their members' privacy.

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