In Apple's Shoes / A Real-Life Lesson for my Students

by Joe Leo, Columnist October 25, 2006


COMMENTARY: (10.25.06)-- Just minutes after PBCentral.com's article on Apple's apparent acknowledgment of a problem associated with MacBook user's screens affected by a blue hue, the site AppleDefects.com posted their own story reflecting the same exact thing, with almost the exact same words and content to boot. Oh what, pray tell, are we to do?

Now I know how it feels to be in Apple's shoes, when the competition takes their idea and turns it into their own.

I don't take credit for making the issue known to the public via our website. In my 10/24 article, and the article preceding it from 10/4 [click here to read], I clearly point out that the place where I originally read about the problem was from AppleDefects.com's website. I decided to write my own article based on this topic due to the fact that I was experiencing the same problem.

Except on a PowerBook. And this is PBCentral.com, formerly known as PowerBookCentral.com, which only made it more appropriate to write about.

I got all my facts and sources in order when writing both articles. I credited my sources and provided links at the bottom of my story that directly took readers to the original page so that no one would think that I was taking credit for a story not my own.

It seems the tables have been turned, and someone else has taken credit for a story not their own. (Once again, I quote Fox News Channel's tagline, "We Report. You Decide.").

Exhibit A- my article was published/written the night before and you will note it was officially posted online the next morning at 7:45a CDT. When I wrote that article, I saw no references on the AppleDefects.com website in regard to the Apple Knowledge Base article that provides a remedy to the blue hue problem. I even noted that fact at the end of my article!

Exhibit B- "Blue hue"... at no time did the original story by AppleDefects.com, published on 9/30, give any reference to the term blue hue. Nor did my article published on 10/4 use the term blue hue. The first time this term was used between the two sites was in the headline of my 10/24 article, and subsequently wound up on their site hours later.

Exhibit C- speaking of headlines, the one I chose for yesterday's article was "Apple Officially Acknowledges MacBook's New Blue Hue." Oddly enough, and surely of no pure coincidence is the headline crafted by AppleDefects.com whose first two words are "Apple Acknowledges..." They even quote the exact same passage I chose to reference from Apple (that one's fair game).

Exhibit D- the time differential between my article and theirs can't be confirmed up front, but upon looking at a related link within AppleDefects.com's story, there is a forum topic posted in their own user forums section on their site entitled, "NEWS: Apple Posts Fix for Blue 10.4.8 MacBook Profile" which was posted by author "ab"-- the "Site Admin" --on 10/24 at 12:48p.

Here's the kicker. AppleDefects.com claims that the time stamps for their forum posts are in GMT, or Greenwich Meridian Time, a standard time zone that is generally considered "world time." What time is 12:48p GMT in the U.S. Central Time Zone? 7:48a CDT. Three minutes (though technically hours) after our story went live on PBCentral.com's front page.

Can the facts be disputed? You tell me. Let the evidence speak for itself. My article was close to 600 words in length. Their forum topic? 34 words. Not hard to do in three minutes. The other way around? Impossible. (I'm skilled at my craft, but not that skilled to throw a story together in three minutes!).

My deduction is that they came across my story, posted a forum topic first, then created their "much lengthier" article afterwards. Remember too that my story was up online and on our servers before it even appeared on our front page.

You'll have to see all of this for yourself and make your own judgement. And like I said in another unrelated article on this site (maybe related? copying / taking a page out of someone's book)... "Your eyes will be judge, jury, and executioner."


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