Blink And You'd Miss It (8/13/03)

Crack all the jokes you want about the snail's pace at which the U.S. legal system tends to move, but every once in a while disputes do, in fact, get resolved at what can only be described as "breakneck speed." No, really, it's true! Things aren't always as slow as, say, "Redmond Justice," which we suspect still isn't finally final, and took roughly six years to accomplish just about nil. (Legally speaking, that is; entertainment-wise, the first couple of years were one helluva ride.) As proof of this controversial theorem, may we respectfully submit for your consideration the class action lawsuit that was filed against Apple just last year by customers upset that Mac OS X didn't fully support all "supported" systems?

You remember the one; it was a pretty open-and-shut case, really, since, at the time of the filing, Apple's own web site included several Macs with ATI Rage II/Pro/Mobility graphics chipsets on its list of officially supported-by-Mac OS X systems, while also announcing that full Mac OS X support for said chipsets was "not planned." Granted, it wasn't the end of the world or anything, but it did upset several customers who shelled out the ducats for Mac OS X and then discovered that their "supported systems" couldn't run OpenGL (or, for that matter, use their floppy drives).

Well, most likely because of the availability of smoking-gun evidence from Apple's own public marketing and support documents, the lawsuit has been resolved in record time; according to faithful viewer David Poves, MacCentral reports that a settlement has been reached: Mac OS X users with not-quite-supported Macs are entitled to either a full $129 refund for each copy of Mac OS X purchased (yes, you have to turn in the CDs) or $25 off any purchase of $99 or more at the online Apple Store. You do realize what this means, right? The original suit was filed at the end of January 2002, so this case has been resolved in just over 18 months' time. Wooooo-hoooooo!!! Land speed record, baby!

Sort of. Technically, this is still just a "conditional" settlement, and it goes before a judge for approval on September 2nd. Once it's signed, though, we're still looking at something like a 19-month resolution, which is practically unheard of in a court system in which just going to the bathroom takes an average of 28.3 days. (And that's just for Number One.) It just goes to show you what we human beings can accomplish if we just try. Inspirational, isn't it?

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The above scene was taken from the 8/13/03 episode:

August 13, 2003: Wouldja believe Steve Jobs is the highest-paid CEO in America? Well, Bloomberg thinks so, anyway. Meanwhile, Apple settles a class action suit with refunds and coupons, and the latest worm to slime the Wintel world once again leaves Macs (mostly) unaffected...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4138: Jet Jet Options Jet Options (8/13/03)   Heads up, Steve Junkies: it's no substitute for the Expo keynote we were cheated out of last month, but BusinessWeek has posted an excerpt of an interview with everyone's favorite Mercurial Boy. Tune in for the Gospel According to Jobs on subjects as diverse and sundry as why Apple hasn't cut R & D spending, which tech companies "amaze" him, why the iPod is "innovative" without being "new," why Boise's never going to have a booming tech market, and more...

  • 4140: Blaster: The Worm Du Jour (8/13/03)   Being Mac users, we usually aren't affected by viruses, so we tend to be a little slow to realize that a new one has shown up to say howdy. Eventually you learn to read the signs, though; judging by the general sluggishness we're noticing around the 'net and the occasional IT person running pell-mell down the street with his hair on fire, we can only assume that yet another virus-thingy has the Wintel world by the virtual throat...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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