Tag Archives: media

A Great Lesson in Controlling Public Opinion

A Most Peculiar Test Drive | Blog | Tesla Motors: “When the facts didn’t suit his opinion, he simply changed the facts. Our request of The New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth. You are a news organization where that principle is of paramount importance and what is at stake for sustainable transport is simply too important to the world to ignore.”

(via teslamotors.com.)

This is not the first time I’ve seen Elon Musk refute false claims in the press. Handled wrong, this sort of thing would make you look overly defensive, a conspiracy theorist, a sore loser. Handled right, especially the third or fourth time, it paints a clear picture of certain elements in the media who are biased against the facts and out to get your company for no good reason. 

It’s hard to argue with a computer log. 

Time and again, Tesla’s stance has been to take these false claims head on. Maybe not everyone will read these refutations, but sooner or later, the more news organizations try to distort the story to make these cars look unfavorable, the more people will get the picture that any negative story about Tesla is probably trumped up nonsense. That would be unfortunate for the cause of truth, as I’m sure there are perfectly reasonable and honest negative things you could say about this company. But it’s better than the alternative, which is letting journalists get away with making up stories to paint a pre-defined picture. 

It doesn’t matter if the New York Times investigates, retracts the story, or fires the writer. It may even be better for Tesla if it doesn’t.

Some are suggesting that this is all the doing of Detroit and the Big Oil companies. That the New York Times is in their pocket because of advertising revenue. I think it’s much simpler than that. As Elon suggests, I think some people just don’t like the idea of an electric car. And John Broder is one of them. He had a story in his head before he got into the car, and he wasn’t about to change it. But it’s very smart for Tesla not to simply let these stories slide. You have to react fast, with facts, and destroy the credibility of the offending writer as soon as possible. 

Elon Musk is a billionaire who has dumped a great deal of time and a fair chunk of his personal fortune into a company he desperately wants to succeed. If any more journalists think they are going to pose a threat to that by making up false stories, I think it’s safe to say that would be unwise.

It’s not enough to make a great product; you have to execute in marketing, public relations, and media as well. Whether you are for or against electric cars, you have to admit that Tesla is doing a great job with that.

How to Turn Rumor into Fact in One Easy Step

Day4 – How we screwed (almost) the whole Apple community: “The split between the two camps, was quite unequal. An estimate would be that 90% regarded the screw as a fact and based all the further opinion on that, only 10% were critical to accuracy.”

(Via. Day4.se)

Fascinating look at how easy it is to get a rumor started.

And therein lies the primary issue for information moving forward. No wonder we have a presidential candidate here in the US that gets away with lying about literally everything that comes out his mouth (not just distorting, cherry picking, or misrepresenting, as all politicians do, but all out lying). People have lost all ability to question what they read and hear on the Internet. The laziness bias has finally won. We hear what we want to hear, and nothing will ever change our minds. There’s literally no penalty for being completely full of crap.

Game over. The world’s most advanced tool for disseminating truth to the masses has been turned into the world’s best weapon for disinformation. 

I remember in 7th grade, my teacher one day started a lesson, and he just went on and on for about 20 minutes, and we all just took notes diligently, writing down everything he said word for word. And then he stopped and asked us why we all assumed he was telling us the truth. Turned out he was just rambling nonsense for 20 minutes, and none of us bothered to question it. It was a huge eye opener for me. I still think about that day on a regular basis. 

Question authority. Never assume what you’re hearing is the truth. We’re in desperate need of some healthy skepticism. Even the so-called “fact-finding” sites that try and point out people’s lies are often wrong or biased. It’s just about impossible to know what’s true and what isn’t. 

Our insatiable desire to know everything has turned us into suckers for anyone who will tell us what we want to hear. That does not bode well for humanity. 

Maybe we need more teachers who are willing to have their authority questioned every now and then for the betterment of their students. 

Another Loo Loo of a Lala article

Ars Technica has basically endorsed the Wall Street Journal theory I mentioned earlier today. One of my favorite lines:

“Of course, there are times when we simply aren’t able to connect to a network, so a method of transferring songs for local storage when needed would also need to be addressed.”

In other words, Apple already has a system in place for storing all your music, but they’re going to ditch that in favor of a system that doesn’t store your music, and then you’re going to have to figure out when you’ll be without connection ahead of time and plan accordingly? 

Do I really want to go back to a place where I have to decide BEFORE I get on the plane which music I want to take with me? That was one of the best things about ditching CDs for the iPod. 

Why are people imagining that Apple has a music problem it needs to solve? 

Here’s another gem:

“Still, transforming iTunes into a Web-based service will give Apple several ways to fend off encroaching competition from streaming and subscription services, as well as online distribution from the likes of Amazon MP3.”

Really? Apple had encroaching competition in this space? Last time I looked, Apple’s market share is still trending upwards. Subscription-based services have all failed, one after another. Pandora doesn’t have a sustainable business model. 

Again, you’re solving a problem Apple doesn’t have. And your solution isn’t even a good one. 

These authors are really not thinking this through. Cloud services will play a role, for sure, but completely uprooting the entire iTunes universe in favor of some browser-based method is not only not likely, it’s just a flat-out bad idea. 

A nerd is still a nerd

More evidence that Motorola only expects to sell Droids to D&D playing nerd boys who never get laid.

The latest ad, as described in this article on AppleInsider, mocks the iPhone as a feminine beauty pageant winner, a mirror for women to fix their lipstick, rather than a serious computing tool. 

Without going into the obvious ridiculousness of that statement, or the all-too-easy shortcomings of the Droid that make it far less serious than an iPhone at real-world hard-core computing tasks (Like, say, being able to load more than ten or eleven apps before running out of space, or being able to talk to someone on the phone while using the Internet simultaneously), I can easily dismiss the effectiveness of this commercial as a selling tool with a much simpler statement:

Yeah. So what’s your point? 

Since when is selling a consumer device that has appeal to women a bad thing? One of the reasons Apple has succeeded where many, many other computer companies have failed with the iPod, the iPhone, and now even the Mac, is that its design is curvy, friendly, and yes, feminine enough not to turn off women, while still being cool enough to attract men who don’t spend all their time working out hexadecimal code in their mother’s basement. 

This ad, like all the others before it, seems to be an admission that the Droid has an extremely limited audience. Hello? More than 50 percent of the cell-phone carrying world is female. You just told them all that 1) you’re all Prada-wearing, vapid shopaholics, obsessed with appearances, and 2) the last thing you want to do is buy a Droid. Get an iPhone instead. 

Does Motorola not have 1 woman in its marketing department? 

I think Motorola fails to understand that while the nerd sentiment may have taken over the universe of pop culture in the last ten years, it’s not the true nerds who run the show. Looking and talking like a nerd is cool. Being a nerd is still being a nerd. (Weezer is cool. Bill Gates still gets wedgies every day.) It’s cool to wear glasses, be super-skinny, play fantasy football instead of real football, and even carry around a personal pocket computer with you everywhere you go. 

But Dungeons and Dragons is still lame, guys. And dissing women in your ad isn’t even a good way to inspire men to buy your product. 

Take a lesson from beer commercials. Have your guy with the phone, surrounded by women falling all over him to get to his Droid. THAT’s how you get shallow men to buy your product. 

And, for god sake, if you want to be taken seriously, stop mentioning the iPhone in your ads. You’re helping Apple, not hurting it. 

Apple’s Black Friday sales both beat and fail to beat expectations at the same time

Here we go again. Remember what I said before about watching the money when it comes to Apple news? 

The analysts are pulling numbers out of their butts again. Let’s see where Apple’s stock goes this morning, shall we? Right now, it’s already down $1.53. 

Again, not a single word of any of this is based on anything you could consider scientific evidence. But someone’s going to get rich off it before the day is over. 

At what point are we going to start arresting people for this sort of thing?