Tag Archives: journalism

The Premise Dictates the Facts

About that Bloomberg report of ‘falling iPad mini demand’ – Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech: “But Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan came away from Wednesday’s conference with a different story, one with an anti-Apple slant that got widely picked up… Focusing on the fact that after growing 162% year over year in Q1 Pegatron’s revenues from consumer electronics were expected to fall 25% to 30% in Q2, he set out to pin the blame on the iPad mini.”

(via Fortune.)

Ok. So we no longer need to suspect that there’s a concerted effort out there to spin news negatively toward Apple to support the ready-made premise that Apple is failing. Thanks to Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, we now have clear proof.

You’re supposed to let the facts dictate your conclusions, folks. Not the other way around.

Selected Reading from my Talk at 360iDev

I had a blast speaking at this year’s 360iDev. As I promised my audience at the end of the talk, here are some of the articles I found while doing research over the past few months. Some great writers took the time to share their thoughts and helped shape mine on the subject. I owe them my gratitude.

I also wrote a few blog pieces of my own while doing research for this talk. In most cases, these are reactions to other articles which are referenced in each piece. Take the time to read the original pieces as well as my reactions to get the full perspective.

Special thanks again to the folks at 360iDev (John and Nicole) who took a chance on an unknown speaker and hopefully weren’t disappointed. If you’re an iOS developer trying to make a living with your own apps, you’d do well to figure this great conference into your schedule for next year. Investing a little time and money into being a more active part of the iOS indie dev community pays for itself tenfold. And the sessions this year have been even better than last year so far. 

If you want to learn more about the apps that I help build with my partners at Bombing Brain Interactive, you can always head over to that site to have a look.

Christopher Breen’s Busking Experiment

Busking in the age of the Internet – TechHive Beta Blog: “The reaction was… interesting. Although no one took me to task or, as far as I can tell, unfollowed me over it, the contributions didn’t pour in. As I write this—fewer than 24-hours after my initial pitch—my $200 contribution has been matched but not much more. The 12 people who kicked in were nearly all strangers to John and myself rather than friends or people In The Biz. Also interesting was that none of my pitches were retweeted.”

(Via. Tech Hive Beta Blog)

This was an interesting experiment. As one of the 12 contributors, I can add that my decision to go ahead and kick in some cash to John was not motivated out of a sense of charity. I had been reading John’s blog for a while, on the advice of John Gruber, who had pointed it out in his feed a while back, and I liked what I had read so far. But I was unaware he even had a donation button on his site or that he was attempting to make a go with writing full time. So when another writer I admire, Chris Breen, pointed this out, it only made sense that I kick in a few bucks to help the guy out. I’m a big believer in paying for things I like. I hate the entire ad-sponsored Internet. So if I’m given the opportunity to support good content with some direct cash, I almost always do that.

Otherwise, I’d be a hypocrite, wouldn’t I?

If John were to set up a regular subscription, the way Jim Dalrymple over at the loop has, or Marco Arment has done with Instapaper, or Shawn Blanc, etc. I’d probably be a regular contributor.

Maybe I’m weird. I’m definitely in the minority, based on this experiment. But I almost always have a few bucks to toss to someone who is trying to bust out of the cubicle world. If you’re providing a quality product, and I’m consuming it on a regular basis, why wouldn’t I want that to continue?

The Verge and sensationalist headlines (again)

Comparing Temperatures:

If you really want to do a percentage based comparison, you need to convert to an absolute temperature scale like Kelvin, which shows you that it’s actually a 1.8 percent increase in temperature. This is middle school science.

(Via Daring Fireball)

Nice snark from Gruber. The Verge absolutely deserves it on this one. They like to present themselves as the high standard for tech journalism, but at the end of the day, they write link-bait headlines just like everyone else. And they can’t resist a good dig on Apple (even if it means being inaccurate), because that helps promote the notion that they aren’t “fanboys.”

The iPad heat “issue” is a non-story. My new iPad gets about 1.8 percent warmer than my old iPad, which never got warm at all. It doesn’t get hot. It doesn’t burn my hand. It doesn’t even come close to getting as hot as any laptop, or my iPhone, for that matter. If yours does get hot to the point of being uncomfortable, take it back to Apple. That’s obviously a defect on your particular iPad, and they’ll be happy to replace it.

Does anyone think that a company can produce millions and millions of a product and not get the occasional defect?

TUAW forgets what BETA means

Messages is a good idea, but is not ready for prime time:

Messages, like the rest of Mountain Lion, is the logical next step in Apple developing its instant message programs and making them available across a lot of its devices. But like last year’s FaceTime beta, there are a lot of bugs to be worked out, and I wish Apple had taken a cue from Adium in designing Messages. If you do plan to stick with the program, Erica will be offering some tips and tricks on making it useful.

(Via TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog)

Um, it’s a BETA. That, by definition, means it’s not ready for prime time.

Has Google’s bastardization of this term really convinced even the technically literate folks at TUAW that beta just means version 1.0? I hope not.

I realize that historically Apple has not released betas very often to the public. (The more I read articles like this, the more I realize why.) But since Apple seems to be trending towards releasing betas a little more often nowadays, I think it may be time we all re-evaluate the true definition of the term.

I hate headlines like this

Apple factory inspectors put positive spin on Foxconn conditions, but watchdogs are skeptical | The Verge: “Apple factory inspectors put positive spin on Foxconn conditions, but watchdogs are skeptical”

(Via The Verge)

They aren’t Apple factories, and they aren’t Apple inspectors. This headline seems to imply at least one, if not both.

Now, I have my doubts about the FLA after reading many articles recently. Seems like there’s a good chance they are sugar coating conditions over there at least a bit. They could very well be a “public relations mouthpiece” for the industries it claims to be watching. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

And the article itself is actually presented in a pretty balanced way.

But I HATE headlines like that. Especially from a group like the Verge that is claiming to be so “fair” in its reporting. The headline is all most people ever read; if you can’t get the facts straight there, how can you hope that I’m going to trust you?

CNN jumps on the “Bash Apple for all of China’s problems” bandwagon

CNN investigates Foxconn iPad factory conditions, Apple responds:

A new report features a woman who works 60 hours per week assembling iPad components in China, though she has never seen a full iPad in person.

(Via www.appleinsider.com)

I know a lot of American workers in cubicles who work 60 hours a week and haven’t seen the product their company produces. So what’s your point, CNN?

All kidding aside, conditions in China are pretty horrible. But parading out individuals and making it look like a specific Apple issue is a little Reality TV-kitschy, even for CNN. CNN isn’t interested in getting at the truth here; they’re jumping on a bandwagon to get more clicks. This is the problem with journalism in the 21st century. Even our most “trusted” sources like the New York Times, institutions that are supposed to have high standards, follow, rather than lead. They give us what we want to hear, instead of providing us with the facts we need to form legitimate opinions.

Read this, and then this, and then we can have a talk about China. (And keep in mind that Paul Krugman is by anyone’s standards a liberal.)

I’m not saying I agree with everything in those two articles, but it did make me think there’s a lot more to this than just having companies pull out of China, or worse to have us impose American ideals on those cultures.

Like most things in the modern world, this is a complex issue. You can’t boil it down to one company, or assume that any one organization can fix it. But that’s easier, so that’s what we do. Once we push the blame and responsibility onto someone else, we can all feel better about ourselves without having to actually do anything meaningful. As if not buying a new iPhone this year is going to make anyone in China’s life better.

The San Francisco Chronicle—Classy as ever

Why is the public getting such detailed information about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords‘ medical condition and none about Steve Jobs?

Both are public figures of intense national interest.

Answer: Rep. Giffords’ family is choosing to make information public, which is perfectly within their right but certainly not a requirement. The other has decided that his health is a private matter, which is also perfectly within his right.

In both cases, the person or his or her family gets to decide what we can and can’t know. End of story.

Who is this cretan, and all the other harpies in the Chronicle today barking about Jobs and disclosure? There are several stories of this ilk running today.

How do you people sleep at night?

Seriously, go pound sand. There’s no debate here, except the one you’re inventing to get some page clicks. If Rep. Giffords’ husband had pleaded with the press for privacy and had chosen not to release any information about her recovery, some assholes like you might cry about it, but most people would understand. Why should it be any different for Jobs?

We’ve been over this a thousand times before. Tim Cook is running the day to day, just like he did a few years ago. Apple didn’t stumble then, and it won’t stumble now. That’s all anyone needs to know.

One day Jobs will leave Apple permanently. That’s basic biology. When it happens, though, it will be a good five years before any other company comes close to catching up, so the stockholders will have plenty of time to make decisions about their long-term investments, believe me.