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Naked Mole Rat Report: On the hot seat

January 14, 2002

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Burrow into The Gay Blade’s enclave. The Spork Boards

Nota bene, San Francisco: The jailhouse-law department of Laguna Honda Community College didn’t raise no fools!

While he spent more of his youthful time and effort in criminal law (generally on the receiving end), The Gay Blade is preparing to lay the sheepskin smackdown on the city’s feckless department of public works and “public furniture” specialists JCDecaux in the wake of his disastrous efforts to attend Steve Jobs’ recent keynote speech at Macworld Expo/San Francisco.

Granted, this utensil was perhaps overzealous in his efforts to get an early jump on the event: Camping out Sunday night in the robotic, self-cleaning pay toilet at Mission and Sixth streets (armed with a canvas sack of quarters, four pounds of brandied cherries and a weighty volume of Proust) was not a gambit for the faint of heart.

But how could the Blade predict that the infernal machine would break down, trapping him in a continual rinse cycle for the duration of the show? While his faux-iguana chaps are now clean enough to eat off (a factoid he’s already put to the test at the nearby Hole in the Wall Saloon), the Blade is royally steamed – and violently air-dried to boot.

Quick, boys: The jaws of life! (This thing is starting to ride up.)

Raise the Titanic

At least the Blade wasn’t the only Mac VIP prevented from attending the big Mac event: As hardware handicappers across the Web are painfully aware, Apple did not roll out a rumored nouvelle vague of Power Mac G4 systems alongside the lickable consumer stylings of its latest consumer desktops and laptops.

Before they give their long-simmering feelings of Oedipal rejection free rein, however, those surviving Mac pros in the audience may want to take a slow, soothing walk around the block – until, say, Jan. 20 or thereabouts.

According to the Blade’s Kleenex-wielding couchload of family therapists, that’s the date when Apple will bring the high end of the Mac clan back into the tent with new systems based on the super-gigahertz Apollo generation of Motorola’s PowerPC G4.

Expect Apple’s Oedipal issues to be resolved with systems in the 1.4GHz range by February. Group hug, anyone?


And back on Planet iMac, the Blade has picked up a few nacreous gobbets of inside dish on the creation of Apple’s new floraform consumer system.

Despite the generally acknowledged freakishness of the new design, inside sources assure this utensil that initial builds of the G4 iMac were even more envelope-straining. Here’s a taste: This utensil’s loamy crew of gentleman horticulturists inform him that the current swing arm connecting the half-dome base to the flat-panel display is actually an uncharacteristic compromise with mundane physics.

In the luminous vision first brought down from the mountain by Jobs and design guru Jonathan Ive, these grizzled sources report, the new Mac was to include a non-jointed “tentacle” arm, a solution that offered far more flexibility and range of movement than the shipping model can achieve.

However, Apple’s Dear Leader has apparently gleaned at least the rudiments of pragmatism from recent QA debacles; concerned about maintaining the highest standards of tentacular quality amid the demands of mass manufacturing, Apple brass decided to eschew another “cracked Cube” incident and go with the safer, jointed option.

Ready to leak? Drop a dime to The NMR Report, and a commemorative mole rat could be urine!

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