Consumer Reports changes its tune, now recommends MacBook Pro

“With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge. We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year,” says Consumer Reports.

I know the magazine approached Apple when it found the problem (which we now know to have been caused by a bug in Safari). I also know Apple asked Consumer Reports to delay publication while it looked into the results, which were much different from its own. The magazine did not do this and published anyway — and the world knows it.

I get the public interest argument to publish — the product was available for sale, but I have some reservations also — after all, what would really have been the negative consequences of delay? All that would have happened is that the criticism would never have been made and the problem resolved. Part of me feels that by publishing in this way, well, imagine if a security consultant found a vulnerability, told Apple about it, and then published it for all to see before it was fixed — that’s irresponsible. And yet, sometimes the public deserve to be warned.

I do think there is one outstanding public interest question on the matter, though:

“Did the people who developed the MacBook Pro test know about the Safari bug before they developed that test? If they did, who told them?”

I’d quite like to know the answer to that. Who knew about this bug?

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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