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Rumor Roundup: Bullseye

New MacBook Airs likely launching tomorrow (9to5 Mac)

This, of course, actually happened earlier this week. This followed rumors last week gleaned from a French website that this update was inbound. I expressed my usual skepticism over the provenance of this rumor, so when it actually came true that sent the usual suspects into a frenzy of high-fiving one another and sending digital raspberries my way.

Yep, I got one wrong. I freely admit it. However, I'll worry a lot more about the opinions of those posting absolutely every rumor that crosses their desk -- or the fans of those kinds of sites -- when their own accuracy records come out ahead of a coin flip.

(Hey, by the way, how is everyone enjoying the MacBook Air with Retina display that was rumored to launch last summer? Is that high-res display mind-blowing or what?)

Meanwhile, the French website who originally posted this rumor last week should take full advantage of their new status. Since they got one rumor right, the rumor blogs will pass along absolutely anything sourced from this website from now on, no matter how inaccurate or nonsensical. It'll begin with, "The site, which has offered reliable information before." After 20 or 30 rumors fail to pan out, it'll be diluted to, "The site's track record has been hit-or-miss lately, but it has offered accurate information in the past." Another 100-plus inaccurate rumors later, the site will be known as "sometimes reliable." My advice to them: cash in now.

Apple rumors are the equivalent of putting a blind man in front of a dart board. On a long enough timeline, with enough patience, eventually he will indeed hit the bullseye. The people running rumor blogs expect us to applaud wildly on the rare occasion they hit a bullseye and ignore all the times they miss the board entirely.

Yeah, nah.

iPhone 6 Camera May Feature Electronic Image Stabilization, Bigger Pixel Size (MacRumors)

Some analyst in China claims to know details about the next-gen iPhone's camera. Does she actually know what she's talking about? Who cares! She's an analyst, and she's talking about Apple. That's all it takes.

iWatch Reportedly Entering Production in Small Quantities Ahead of Fall 2014 Launch (MacRumors)

The source for this claim: "supply chain sources." It's an open question whether these are the same supply chain sources who made precisely the same claim about Fall 2013.

Photos show highly suspect 'iPhone 6' dummy with ultra-slim design, rounded edges (AppleInsider)

Almost everyone passed this along without even trying to question its veracity. Only AppleInsider bothered to bat an eye in the general direction of credulity by offering some plausible critical analysis for why this "leak" might not be the real deal.

However, they undermined that analysis with yet another unsubstantiated shout-out to the "reliable" Ming-Chi Kuo, alongside this wishy-washiness: "While the mock-up's veracity is highly questionable, it does give a good idea as to what the iPhone 6 could look like if information from the rumor mill turns out to be true." Way to cover absolutely all of the bases at once.

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