By John Gruber
Sky Guide brings the beauty of the stars down to Earth.
Speaking of asininity (albeit, thankfully, not toxic in this case), over the weekend Elon Musk, responding to some idiot’s idea that “The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?”, offhandedly tweeted:
I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.
This tweet offered a textbook test case for headline writers. The truth is simply that Musk claimed he’d “make an alternative phone” if necessary. Headline writers who failed the test went with statements of fact that Twitter would make an alternative phone, which, of course, is not going to happen. The hard part wouldn’t be the phone hardware; surely Twitter or Tesla or some new Musk-owned entity could easily slap their own brand on a white label Android handset. The hard part is that what he’s really talking about is making his own phone with his own app store. (Android phones that don’t play by Google’s rules also don’t get access to Google Play Services, which is effectively a closed-source segment of the Android operating system. Outside of China, I’m aware of zero successful Android phones that don’t use the Google Play app store by default.)
Perhaps he can just resurrect the Twitter Peek, though? Should be easy.
★ Monday, 28 November 2022