The Experience of Searching the Web for a Photo Camera

I’ve been visiting for the past few days a corner of the Web that I never visited before, that is the photo camera reviews searches. What I’m finding here is a battle for the first page of Google that, in my thinking, could only be beneficial for the reader, or the information seeker. However, after spending some interesting time in these quarters, I reached an interesting conclusion: these reviews aren’t 100% accurate.

Let’s consider the new Canon G1X Mark II that yours truly found a keen interest in, and let’s take the Google results all the way from DPReview.com to the lesser Maxcnash.com. That’s four pages of reviews of the same photo camera. Do you think these reviews are slanted, biased, or objective? I would say that, on a scale of 1 to ten, they are at least one point more than they should be on the pink side. Since all these sites want you to click through through their affiliate links, they have all the interest in the world to put a camera in as good a light as possible.

Often times however, the little guys’ reviews are a great resource that gives you the little hints and pointers that you need, since they are not that much involved in the commercial politics that large sites get themselves engulfed in. What gives then? Take it all with the due grain of salt!

Audits, Attendance and the Mac Media

The folks at The Consumer Electronics Association, the people who put on CES each year in Las Vegas, sent out a press release to the media trumpeting their attendance figures for the show this past January. The numbers are staggering.

3,319 exhibitors (up 22% over last year), 5,000 media, 1.86 million net square feet of exhibit space and a record 156,153 attendees.

These numbers are from an independent audit of CES so it’s fair to assume they are accurate. Why is that important? Well, CES is going to charge any number of people, including exhibitors, based on those numbers. The higher the attendance figures, the more popular the show is, the more CES can charge vendors. Accurate, audited numbers serve everyone well.

Contrast that with IDG, the organization that put on the Macworld|iWorld show this past January. In the past, and only for a few years, IDG independently audited and announced attendance figures for the show. But as the show has become smaller, they have stopped doing those audits and only release rough guesses on the number of attendees. IDG claims an estimated 25,000 people at this past show.

My guess is that number is high if only because it’s the exact same number of attendees IDG reported for the show in 2011 even though the 2012 show was smaller and less busy.

Many people will say it doesn’t matter but IDG works the same way CES does – higher numbers means higher charges to exhibitors. If you were going to exhibit at next year’s Macworld|iWorld, wouldn’t you like accurate attendance figures to help you judge whether the show is worth your company’s hard earned dollars?

Before 2004, IDG management announced attendance figures moments after the show floor closed. Those of us in the Mac Media knew those numbers were pulled out of thin air and were “optimistic” to be generous. In 2004, IDG started auditing the numbers and, while attendence “fell” dramatically, we felt better knowing the attendance figures were more accurate. Unfortunately, they stopped in 2007.

Let’s see how many in the Mac Media follow up on the CES press release and ask IDG Management about independent audits of Macworld|iWorld attendance. I predict you’ll be able to count them on the fingers of one hand, if at all.

Religion and The Stupid

I think it goes without saying that, if you’re stupid, you shouldn’t try and use religion to justify anything. You just don’t have the mental acuity to do it. I guarantee you, you’re going to screw it up. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying if you’re stupid, you shouldn’t be religious. God knows, you probably need it more than most. I’m saying, you shouldn’t use it to try and justify your actions and beliefs.

Case in point….

This guy has been told that Leviticus 18:22 is germane to his beliefs about homosexuality.  For those unfamiliar, here is the King James Bible version of his tattoo:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Now, I said the guy had been told about this bible passage. How do I know he didn’t read it? Well, if he had bothered to read the Bible or even read all of Leviticus, he would have come across this passage – Leviticus 19:28:

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.

Anyone else believe that applies to….oh…I don’t know….TATTOOS?

I feel one hundred percent comfortable in saying to this guy – “You sir, are a moron of the worse kind. Someone so stupid, they don’t even realize how stupid they are. You couldn’t spell “irony” if I spotted you the vowels – even the y.”

When people claim that we will eventually grow out of our bigotry and racism, I point to assholes like this guy. As long as people like him continue to breed and pass on their particular brand of The Stupid, we’ll never get rid of bigotry and racism.

Daily Kos’ Open Letter to People Who Hate

“An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America”

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity.So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like “family values”, especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed.

Hat tip to my friend @Blatherskyte

And Now, for Something Completely Different…

I’m pretty good at guessing ahead of time what Hollywood movies will be “successes” or not. This year has some typically huge blockbusters – which ones do you think will be studs vs which ones will be duds? Here’s my picks:

“Avengers” – Bigger than huge.

“The Dark Knight Rises” – Huge.

“Prometheus” – Big but not as big as the above.

“Spider-Man” – dud.

“GI Joe II” – Complete dud.

“Men in Black 3″ – moderate success

“Total Recall 2″ – dud.

“Bourne Legacy” – Moderate success but lower than MIB.

What are some of the Summer 2012 Blockbusters are you looking forward to – or dreading being dragged out to see?

“iPad’s display is a challenge for manufacturers” Really? Got proof?

CNET (yeah…you know it’s going to be bad) writes that the “iPad’s display is cutting edge–and a challenge for manufacturers” - oh really? According to who,  Crothers?

“according to a display analyst.”

“three manufacturers that are pretty good at making displays and they’re having difficulty supplying it,” said Richard Shim, an NPD DisplaySearch analyst.”

“We know that LG is having some problems” but should begin volume production soon, Shim said.”

“LG’s problems are not as severe as Sharp’s,” Shim said. “We hear [Sharp] may switch back to amorphous silicon.”

None of the above is proof. None of the above contains any facts. But all of the above puts the manufacturers of Apple’s new Retina Displays for the iPad, in a negative light.

Crothers writes, “only time will tell if there is a supply crunch for the new iPad.” And I’m sure you’ll attribute any supply crunch to display issues and not simply demand.

Cause that’s the ONLY possible reason…

Did ZDNet ever write well?

I ask that as a serious question because, over the past few years, it seems their columnists just write whatever drivel pops into their heads with absolutely no thought, logic or common sense associated. Is there no one who reads their dreck and calls bullshit on what they post?

The latest is from David Morgenstern in “Backroom only for Thunderbolt cables”, he talks about how difficult it is to find cabling for his Thunderbolt-capable devices. Perfectly fine topic of conversation although I don’t know of how much real value the article provides. It boils down to “It’s hard to find new technology and it’s expensive”. No shit, Sherlock.

He ends his (mostly useless) article with a story of going to an Apple Store to buy a Thunderbolt cable. He can’t find any on the shelves so he asks staff to assist:

He said they were likely in “the back.” Another round of internal discussions ensued until the shrink-wrapped cable was finally brought out. $49. Could it be that these easy-to-shoplift cables are so valuable (or rare) that they must be left in the back room? Or is it that there are few sales of the cables and they don’t warrant a spot on the shelves? Could be both reasons.

REALLY? That’s the best you could come up with? If you had the common sense God gave rocks, you could have looked around the STORE YOU WERE IN to see if anything with a greater value than the $49 cable you were buying was on the shelves. Because….you know…that would be a data point for your idiotic shoplifting theory….

But you didn’t. Instead, you wrote your little screed and showed the world that, once again, common sense and logic are slowly dying…

Disingenuous? Moi?

After the Department of Justice filed suit against Apple, they took two days to come up with the statement sent to the media. They should have taken a few more shots at it.

Apple’s spokesman Tom Neumayr:

The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.

I hope Neumayr was holding his nose when he wrote that. While it is true to a point, there’s no denying prices have gone up for consumers because of Apple and the other publishers breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip”.

Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging.

Irrelevant.

Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.

Again, true to a point but ignores the fact it allows, and Apple has actively encouraged, much higher prices for ebooks.

Don’t get me wrong – both issues, Amazon’s (potential) monopoly abuse and Apple’s participation in “agency pricing” – are of concern to any number of constituents. But Apple should not be allowed to hide behind the “we’re only thinking of the consumer” bullshit.

“Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Met With Valve” (we actually have no idea…)

Cult of Mac is low hanging fruit for misanthropes. If you’re ever feeling too up and happy, simply go to their web site and some egregious example of bad journalism, awful writing, muddle headed thinking and just plain rampant stupidity will jump up and send you into a murderous rage which, quite frankly, some of us deal with better than relentless perkiness. Today is no different.

With a headline of “Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Met With Valve [Exclusive]“, you smack your lips in anticipation of yet another dumb CoM article full of bad information and poor writing. It doesn’t disappoint.

Let’s start with the “[Exclusive]” in the headline. Really? As you wander around the web, make note of which sites use that in their headlines. It’s a pretty accurate pointer to a web site that is trying to be more important than it deserves to be, has an inferiority complex and is trying way too hard to get noticed by Techmeme.

An unconfirmed report surfaced yesterday saying that Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Whenever Cook is spotted out and about, people take notice. The CEO of the world’s most valuable company doesn’t personally visit other tech companies to simply have a chat.

Maybe Cook was just asking for directions. I’ve been to Bellevue – it’s kinda confusing to drive around. And the only people who “take notice” when Cook is spotted in the wild is the media. Average people couldn’t give a rat’s ass but the media seems to take every sighting as if it were a rare white rhino somehow spotted roaming the vast plains of Palo Alto.

And how the hell does CoM know that Cook doesn’t just pop in to other companies to have a chat? Jobs did it all the time. As a matter of fact, I once spotted him in the Turkish Baths in Vancouver, BC – a story he swore me to secrecy until after his death….

But CoM knows because they have “sources” – obviously, highly connected ones that know the intimate details of this very secret project and the details of what Cook discussed with the people at Valve. So – what was discussed?

According to sources to Cult of Mac, Apple is working on a television set with an iTunes-integrated touch screen remote and Siri-like voice command technology. The TV set will be coming before the end of 2012. Our sources also say that Apple’s television set will come with an Apple-branded, Kinect-like video game console. The interface will rely heavily on motion and touch controls.

Are you kidding me? All that buildup just to trot out the same old rumor? CoM sources just repeat what every other “source” at every other web site has said. Repeating the obvious doesn’t make you a source – it makes you a parrot.

But, as always, there’s a kicker. The second to last paragraph has this line:

We don’t know the exact details of why Tim Cook met with Valve…

Wait….WHAT? Talk about burying the lede! So, when your headline said, “Why Cook met with Valve”, you were just pulling our leg, right? The headline you actually wanted to write was, “We have no Clue why Cook met with Valve (or frankly, much of a clue about anything) but We thought We’d gin up a Sexy Headline, Mix in some Old Crock of Shit Rumors, toss in a Dash of History and Voila! Serve Our Readers a Shit Sandwich with Light Mayo….”

That’s the headline they should have written.

“Could” it have happened or *did* it happen?

One of the beauties of the internet is fact checking. It’s made even easier when the people you are fact checking don’t bother to check their own facts.

Alex Heath of Cult of Mac posts this today:

Valve co-founder Gabe Newell recently addressed the rumor that Apple CEO Tim Cook visited his company last week. Newell flat out denied the rumor, originally published by AppleInsider, that Tim Cook visited Valve HQ.Cult of Mac originally added to the rumor by saying that Apple could have been meeting with Valve because Apple is working on its own type of gaming console for the living room, and was potentially looking for partnering with Valve.

All true – except where it’s not.

In a story written by….huh….look at that….Alex Heath…he says:

We’ve gotten word that Cook was indeed at Valve yesterday…

Here’s an idea, Heath. When you are demonstrably proven wrong, apologize for your mistake and make amends. Don’t make it worse by writing another story basically making the same claims as the first one.

Oh wait…you quote your sources in both stories. So you’re doubling down on The Stupid.