A quick primer:
You may know Dan Lyons as Fake Steve Jobs, a parody blog from a few years back that gained fame for being an impeccably-crafted representation of Steve Jobs at his most sarcastic. It was popular because it was genuinely funny and because the (then) mystery author seemed to really get Steve Jobs.
At some point, Dan Lyons was outed as the author, and the blog became less and less about Steve Jobs and more and more about Dan Lyons.
You may know him from his day job as a news man: He's been a senior editor for both Forbes and (currently-ish) Newsweek.
You may also know him as the dickhead curmudgeon who spends most of his public-facing time writing a bitterly sarcastic "get off my lawn" style blog as "realdanlyons" -- a concept which doesn't seem to have caught on quite as much as his time as Fake Steve Jobs.
In no particular order, Dan Lyons hates:
Lately, though, he really hates pro-Apple bloggers, and sometimes he makes time to hate anti-Apple bloggers: The John Grubers, the MG Sieglers, and sometimes even the David Pogues (not a blogger, really, but typically pro-Apple) of the world. 99% of his output over the last several months has been on his personal blog, bitching and moaning about the success, reach, and bias of other bloggers.
But the Mapocalypse does raise a question: If the new maps app is truly this bad, how come none of those glowing first-round reviews made any mention of this fact? Thousands of words were devoted to the thinness, the lightness, the wonderful way it feels when you hold it in your hand, but there was hardly a quibble about maps.
He goes on to call out Walt Mossberg, Scott Stein, David Pogue, Siegler, Gruber, Jim Dalrymple, and Ed Baig.
Perhaps he's got a point. You'd have to read those reviews to find out. The "dickhead curmudgeon" part comes in when he doesn't stop there, even though he never adds any particular insight or evidence to support his claims.
He simply keeps bitching:
The brainwashed brown-noser pens a vicious critique of Apple’s new maps app. Apparently he just noticed that the software is terrible:
It’s also the kind of thing that an editor at the Times might get pissed about when he sees that everyone is ranting about these messed-up maps and the situation is so bad that someone has even created a Tumblr to mock them and yet his own world-famous and notoriously Apple-conflicted reviewer failed to notice any problem.
And keeps bitching:
The rule of thumb for following Apple is that if you want to know what Apple PR’s official line is, you just need to read the top-tier Apple apologists like John Gruber and MG Siegler. They’re pretty much operating as unpaid Apple spokesbots. Apple briefs these guys, but instead of having the balls to do it on the record, Apple feeds them some spin with the condition that they will write it up while attributing their info to “sources who are familiar with the situation.” It’s a bit like being a Kremlinologist and reading Pravda and Izvestia.
And keeps bitching:
Speaking of “blatantly dishonorable,” there’s also the price gouging, the threats to cut back on retail, the shoddy treatment of workers at Foxconn which is driven by Apple’s relentless squeeze on its suppliers, and — finally — the patent trolling. Instead of competing in the marketplace, Apple is using lame patents and deep legal pockets to try to diminish competition.
On this last piece, he finally gets around to making a point about the actual maps (although it's not clear whether he's actually done the leg work as a journalist to buy an iPhone 5 and try them out) rather than complaining about the work of popular bloggers and journalists.
Oddly enough, he pulls out the Foxconn card without acknowledging that it was only a few months ago that he sang a different tune:
Duhigg makes an important point, which is that conditions in China really are much worse than they are here, but that they don’t need to be. We in the West could take steps to ensure that Chinese workers were given the same protections as workers here. Ultimately the responsibility lies not with Apple or other consumer electronics companies, but with us.
If only Dan Lyons had a soapbox he could stand on.
If only he worked for an outlet with national reach that could obtain an iPhone 5 and set the record straight, or provide the "balanced" reviews that he so vehemently claims these other bloggers and journalists do not provide.
Imagine if he were the technology editor of said outlet!
Interestingly, Lyons's iPhone 5 "article" -- the first article posted under his name to the Daily Beast (Newsweek) since June -- makes no mention of maps, or problems with maps. It's a weak recap of an event that was covered in more detail on even the smallest of technology blogs.
Indeed, Under Lyons's tenure as "technology editor" of Newsweek, the Innovation section (Technology) as a whole hasn't seen a meaningful update since late June. Unless, of course, you count being demoted as a primary tab down to a "featured" sub-category as a "meaningful update".
If Dan Lyons, technology editor for Newsweek, is so upset about the state of coverage of the maps fiasco, why is there no real (timely) mention of the problem -- let alone investigative reporting that would meet Lyons's standards -- on the site that pays him?
All available evidence points to a bitter old man sitting at home complaining about people who are not doing the work as well as he'd do it, were he doing any actual work. Perhaps he's writing his next novel and is trolling as a hobby -- or perhaps he's just plain jealous.
Either way: He should put up, or shut the fuck up.
In the meantime, Newsweek should hire someone with the ability or the interest to do the job he seems to be skirting.