Declare your independence from Apple, Microsoft, and hackers

Or at least flex your First Amendment rights -- Cringely's readers weigh in on Apple fanboys, Microsoft mysteries, and hacking

It's almost time to barbecue some burgers, drink too much beer, and blow off our opposable digits using cheap, questionably procured fireworks. In honor of the celebration of our nation's birth, I offer some examples of my readers exercising their First Amendment rights by responding to my rants and ravings.

Earlier this week in "The Web: Fast, cheap and getting worse by the minute," I ranted about the declining quality of Web journalism (present website company excepted, of course).

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J. M., a 21-year-old computer information systems student, agrees with me that Web content is poor and getting poorer. He writes:

I read tech "articles" daily and its so easy to see which ones are just a copy and paste of each other and which are very poorly researched and understood (lack thereof). It's hard to find true articles that dive deeper and give a full story. Some articles are so low-quality that I could write circles around the author. But I must admit I would need more than 25 minutes to write a good article.

Full disclosure: It takes me at least 37 minutes to write a typical blog post, but that includes time spent trying to find a bottle opener.

A Cringester calling him/her/itself "Webform Bitbucket" adds that the good, fast, or cheap (pick two) model extends to more than just the Web.

I spent 25 +/- in IT and wore just about every hat there was to wear. The "good, fast, cheap" trade-off manifested itself on every project. The pointy-haired managers (up to and including CEOs) frankly gave a rat's ass about quality. They also had no clue about pay-me-now or pay-me-even-more-later when the POS that was slam-dunked into place blows up.

The bottom line, cynical or not, is that only educated consumers recognize quality, and the value of quality when they see it. Most consumers are not willing to spend the time it takes to become educated. As long as people are willing to accept cheap s**t, it's going to keep getting worse.

In "The real Mac security threat isn't malware -- it's Apple," I ended by asking why so many users are so loyal to Apple when Apple isn't loyal to them. Cringeville newbie C. M. concurs:

I fully agree with the lack of loyalty Apple has... especially to people who don't just buy a computer from them, but then an iPod, iPhone (and I'm sure soon will be the iCar and iHouse which you can pay for with your iSoul and iFirst-born). ...

I should be honest... this email does come sent from my Macbook, which I do like and have for the 5 years I've owned it (what can I say... Apple does make good products). But, I haven't sworn off Microsoft nor do I refuse to use their products. It's sad what little people will give their undying loyalty for -- all because it's the cool thing to do.

iSoul and iFirstborn? Don't give Steve Jobs any more bright ideas, C. M.

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