The Lite Side

How to Dream Up Your Own Apple Rumor

- 2004.12.13

It's the time of year when dozens of rumors will begin circulating around the Mac Web regarding what His Steveness will introduce as a new product at the January Macworld Expo.

It used to be that only the rumor sites published rumors, but these days - what with "legitimate" news sources quoting sites like Drudge and all - everyone's into the rumor-writing ecstasy of speculative fiction.

But what do you do if you don't have any juicy rumors to reveal? Turn to the Lite Side's guide for nascent news hounds, of course, a little article we like to call

How to Dream Up Your Own Apple Rumor

There are basically three kinds of Mac related rumors. These are:

The Kind You Make Up

The best time to make up a Mac rumor is when you've been up all night surfing the Web looking at tech sites. You're getting a little drowsy, but you don't want to go to bed, because that means you'll just have to wake up again. MatlockThere's nothing on TV except reruns of Matlock, you're out of Cheesy-Doodles, and you can hear a siren somewhere off in the distance.

There's a special moment when you're still thinking, "I'm not quite asleep yet, am I?," and any sudden, small noise - such as a heater kicking on or a creak in the walls - seems amplified a thousand times.

You know, sometimes when you can make yourself dream about something by thinking about it as you fall asleep? And you're thinking of doing that very thing, just on the verge of deciding whether or not you're dreaming?

That's when you make up a Mac rumor.

It takes a special talent. You have to blend together two technologies in a new way. They can be already existing Mac equipment or stuff that Apple doesn't make yet. For example, when the iPod was developed, Steve Jobs did this very thing and asked himself . . . what can I make that has a touch sensitive control and a hard drive? The devices merged and became the iPod.

If you're reporting rumors, what you're trying to do is telepathically link into the stream of consciousness of Apple engineers as they drift in and out of the mental state that allows the synthesis of disparate technology.

Will it be a commercially released CD of iTunes user picks? a laptop using a scroll wheel instead of a trackpad? an iPod-shaped mouse so you can pick 'tunes and maneuver around the Net simultaneously? a new PowerBook that has a kickstand like an iMac?

Getting sleepy yet?

Keep trying.

You'll get it.

And when you do, you have to drop a pen or something so the noise will shock you back to consciousness. Then, quick like a bunny, write it down or you'll forget it. Better have another pen handy.

I don't know how many great ideas I have had that have disappeared into a Matlock-induced coma. It's a lot, though.

Rumors You Repeat

If you read a lot of Mac sites, you encounter a lot of rumors. The technique here is to

  1. Pick one. "Apple is set to announce an oval-shaped flash-based iPod..."
  2. Cite it. "As seen on MacRumors...."
  3. Declare it wrong. "unlike some folks who believe the next iPod will be oval-shaped..."
  4. Fix it. "the new iPod will be elliptical with an eccentricity of 0.21."

Nothing to it. Here, let me do a another example.

This page includes improvements to Keynote that may appear at Macworld. They're close in assuming Keynote 2 will have a media access tray like iDVD, but Keynote 2 will go even farther, using Speech Synthesis to read the presentation to the audience so all you have to do is create the content, sit back, relax, and let the novelty of a human-less presentation astound your audience.

See? Nothing to it. Literally.

The Kind You Actually Know About

This cannot be FOAF (Friend of a Fool) or something like that. You had to hear it directly because you're on the inside yourself - or you're the UPS guy at Apple and heard someone talking about it on the loading dock or something.

As far as I know, this has never actually happened, because the $0.92 you get for selling your inside info doesn't come close to covering your losses as Apple fires you and you get Excommunicated from the Cult of Mac by no one less than Leander Kahney himself.

Anyway, that's how you write Mac rumors. Have fun, and enjoy the holiday rumor season.

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