Bad Tech Blogging

Posted on Friday 22 September 2006

I occasionally read Gizmodo, as one of the blogs I use to keep up to date on electronics and technology. Recently, I’ve found that their reporting appears to be fairly poor, if not outright ridiculous. For instance, their recent article on the Samsung GX-10 DSLR mentions the Canon Rebel XTi and the Pentax K10, but neglects to mention the Nikon D200 or D80.

Their previous coverage of the Microsoft Zune reads much like a Microsoft press release. They say it will be the iPod killer. What they seem to forget is that Microsoft’s main problem with MP3 players is the quality of the software that is on both the player and the computer used to load the player. Apple’s iTunes is far more intuitive than the current Microsoft-based products. An MP3 player is basically useless if you can’t get the music you want on to it. I doubt that the Zune’s user interface will compete with the iPod’s UI, which has been time-tested and improved over the past five years.

Gizmodo definitely seems to have an anti-Apple bias. On one article, they refer to the Apple iPods as junk. Granted, the iPods aren’t the most feature laden, or most economical of MP3 players. However, they wouldn’t have over 80% of the market if they were junk. The user interface on them is among the best available, and the software back end, iTunes, is by far the best software in terms of usability. The digital rights management package that Apple uses with iTunes is far more generous than the terms provided by Microsoft. Some people complain that the Apple iPods lock you into the Apple iTunes Music Store, which is not true. Most of the music on my iPod is ripped from CDs, and just a few are actually from the iTMS.

In another recent article on a USB memory drive, they make off-color, unrelated comments, which show the juvenile nature of the writers. Apparently, Jason Chen, the writer, has little idea of what women really want. To quote from the article:

It’s shorter than the Sony drive, but has more girth—which is what women prefer, apparently.

In this article, Jason Chen, mentioned above, makes an ethnic joke that falls flat and has no business being in a tech article. Apparently, Chen is too incompetent to write clearly about his subject.

The laser gun fires electromagnetic waves, aka lasers, at the moving targets. If you hit one, the duck goes down, and a miniature Asian man goes and picks it up to make a delicious roast duck for your dinner.

Last I checked, laser guns fired lasers… light is not an electromagnetic wave, if anything it is a photonic wave.

The sad part is that their coverage has been going this way for the last few months. Chen’s adolescent sensibility also shows up in his other articles, like the one about the Alyssa Milano mouse pad.

However, some of the other writers seem to have a more responsible approach to their reportage. Charlie White seems to be one of the better ones, writing fairly clearly and concisely on relevant issues.  I plan on keeping an eye on Gizmodo, but they’ve definitely gone down a few notches on my required reading list.


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