Ah, yes, the sweet madness of Mondays. I will refrain from linking to all the new (or recycled, but definitely idiotic) Mac rumors, but I have to at least mention them and have my say:
- Intel machines in January - if Yonah is in fact on target for early January, it might happen, and yes, the iBook and the mini would be a nice place to start if the chip is as cheap as it's been said to be. But Steve likes to launch stuff when he can put it on shelves and compact machine designs require a lot of testing, so that date would be cutting it very close - which means I still rate this one only 40% likely to be true, and dropping fast.
- mini Media Center - another thing that makes sense - through rose-tinted glasses. It's largely been fueled by Front Row and the sketches showing an integrated iPod dock, and has in fact very little substance (people who have never been involved in industrial design have absolutely no idea of how many draft designs are trashed while a concept is worked on...). However, after another bout of Cringely Hype-o-Vision, it has gotten a lot of mind-share, and people are positively salivating. Me, I'd much rather see something with a TV tuner - streaming simply isn't viable yet (at decent qualities), and Portugal isn't likely to be a significant part of Apple's video strategy anytime soon.
- Widescreen iBooks - this one is as old as the first widescreen PowerBook, and there is no real reason to believe it to be true, especially because a machine originally designed for the education market has little reason to go widescreen unless it sticks to roughly 700 pixels' height - more would probably be too expensive, less would probably break some applications. Still, it would make a lot more sense than most rumors - so I rate it at 50%, and throw in a slight form factor reduction.
- The Yellow Box - the age-old Rhapsody box metaphor, resurrected. Yes, Cocoa might be portable enough to run on Windows (as WebObjects was), but (disregarding the fact that the only source of this info is an anonymous forum post) what's the point? Getting Windows apps to run on Mac OS X for Intel (Darwine), now that would be a lot more interesting, and there has been very little mention of virtualization technology in Mac OS X - but the Intel architecture is (by and large) the most widely virtualized today, so I'd bet on that instead and drop out of the yellow brick road.
- A new, Intel-only startup chime - oh, for chrissakes. Have these people nothing better to do with their time? And so what if it's true? Macs have changed throughout the years in many ways, and I, for one, don't miss the original system beep sound. If Apple changes the startup sound, it would be yet another tweak - it's not really news, people. And it's not a con-substantiated fact, either.
All of this leads me to believe (again, and again, and again) that most of what passes for the Mac mainstream "press" (i.e., the currently fashionable news blogs) have very little interest in providing factual information and a lot more interest in fueling speculation and getting more pageviews.
Me, I'd rather debunk it and keep a level head.