Apple has endured some run-ins with the authorities of late.
The FBI isn't at all happy with Apple's protectiveness toward its customers' privacy.
But now an even higher authority has weighed in with rancor and rage toward Cupertino. Specifically, toward Apple's latest MacBook Air.
Clark Gregg, perhaps better known as Agent Phil Coulson from the Marvel Universe, was so maddened by the new Air that he took to the one place where true governance counts. Yes, Twitter.
"Dear @Apple," he began to his 717,000 followers. "Hi. Big fan for 30+ years. I stuck even when you bugged up the iPhones to get us to buy new ones (lame). But I just bought my nearly high school graduate a new MacBook Air to use for what will probably be Zoom University in the fall and the webcam is awful. Why?"
Ah, if only Apple could have anticipated Zoom University and, in fact, Zoom World. If only it had inserted a better webcam into a machine that, for many, is the ultimate laptop limb.
Regular readers will know that I've had my own troubles with the new Air. The fan blows far too readily and far more often than the fans on my previous Airs. The battery life seems to be poorer than my last Air. And even the power cable got squished within days of owning it. (Apple is kindly replacing it.)
Agent Coulson is, however, so livid that he offered a follow-up tweet. Here, he offered a picture of a PowerBook 100 from another time. Added Gregg: "Respect your customers @Apple or you will end up as outdated as this machine."
Naturally, I contacted Apple to ask whether it was worried about being outdated and about the potential consequences of Agent Coulson's ire. I'll update, should I hear.
Of course, the sudden necessity to work from home has put additional pressure on webcams to make us look our best, often when we're feeling our worst.
This is something a famous Hollywood actor -- and, one imagines, his family -- would surely be extremely sensitive to.
Reviewers have noticed too, though. The MacBook Air's webcam is especially mediocre in low light. Worse, this is the same webcam that's been in MacBooks since even before they had the world's worst keyboards.
Gadget manufacturers occasionally think they can get away with small, untouched elements for years. And, let's be frank, Apple has neglected its laptops for many a year.
It's odd for a company that's so image-conscious to avoid inserting the finest cameras into its MacBooks.
I can only imagine how depressing it must be for senior Apple executives to be meeting via a MacBook Air and realizing they don't look too gorgeous.