April 19, 2007
I ran across this blog entry while researching Microsoft's new Silverlight Flash competitor. It makes some disturbing complaints about the limitations of Silverlight, in bold all-caps to boot:
This is where I threw my hands up in disgust. What in the holy name of Scooby-Doo are those people thinking?!?! After poring through the [Silverlight] API, I thought "I must be mistaken. Surely this is a mistake." But then I asked a colleague and he confirmed it for me. Let me skip a couple lines and highlight this so you all can see it clearly.
WPF/E (Silverlight) HAS NO SUPPORT FOR BINDING TO MODELS, BINDING TO DATA, OR EVEN CONNECTING TO NETWORK RESOURCES TO OBTAIN DATA.
Those are serious problems indeed. I found this blog entry because it's referenced by another blog entry on the limitations of Silverlight:
But what are the capabilities of Silverlight itself? I came across this blog entry of someone who has downloaded the SDK, read the documentation, and looked at the code. Microsoft seems to be waiting for the Orcas release cycle before adding data binding, controls, and .Net runtime support to Silverlight - and Orcas could be delayed until 2008.
But before I clicked through to that blog entry, I started by reading this blog post on the limitations of Silverlight:
Although I just found this post about it which points out that [Silverlight] has a lot of pretty major shortcomings.
The idea that Microsoft's new Flash-alike can't even download data via HTTP seemed impossibly wrong to me. Couldn't be. Can't be. Like any large company, Microsoft certainly makes their share of dumb mistakes. But an epic mistake like that stretches the bounds of credibility even for Microsoft.
In short, I didn't believe it. So I downloaded the Silverlight SDK to take a look for myself. Guess what I found in the Silverlight SDK documentation, not five minutes after downloading it?
I'm not out to defend Silverlight here.
It's clear that blogger A posted completely erroneous information; I'm not sure how he could have missed the obviously named and prominently featured Downloader object in the SDK. It really calls into question whether or not he actually used the SDK at all. But let's assume, for the moment, that he did, and it was a simple oversight on his part. The strident tone of his post makes me think otherwise, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt.
The real problem is that this erroneous information was echoed by blogger B, and then echoed again by blogger C. At no point did anyone stop to actually verify the claims of blogger A, even in the most rudimentary, basic of ways. All they had to do was download the SDK and look for themselves to confirm that his complaints were true. I'm talking five minutes, maximum.
But they didn't.
Instead, they blindly parroted blogger A, assumed that all of his claims were valid, and perpetuated his mistake across the internet.
Let's compare that behavior with the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which includes the following guidelines:
- Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
- Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
- Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
I realize that it's unrealistic to hold every blogger on planet Earth to the same standards as professionally trained journalists. Bloggers, after all, aren't professionals.
But I do believe blog readers have a right to expect that amateur bloggers will:
- Do their homework before writing.
- Do some basic investigation of other bloggers' claims before linking to their posts or quoting them.
None of these bloggers did any of the above. Don't let their mistakes delude you into thinking this is typical or acceptable behavior. It isn't. We may not be professional journalists-- but we are still accountable for the words we write. It pains me that I even have to say this in 2007, but don't assume everything you read on the internet is true. Check the facts yourself. Putting in that extra bit of effort won't transform you into a journalist, but I can guarantee it'll make you a better blogger.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
In light of journalistic integrity, can you cite some posts in your blog that you did this kind of checking? Can you cite some where you did NOT?
PS Great blog BTW. Haven't been reading long, matter of fact you'll probably see my IP smeared all over your archive access logs. From what I'm seeing I disagree with you once a week but I still keep coming back and reading more because you stand up and speak out. This post and your "Whats wrong with TDWTF" stand out.
interesting genre mea culpa. OTOH, bloggers are increasingly laying claim to journalistic protections. OTOOH, I recall a study (well, story about a study) by, I don't remember who of course, to the effect that WikiPedia was astonishingly accurate. And, of course, there's the Swift Boats.
I find all this obsession with truth and accuracy to be an unnecessary distraction. That's why I prefer to get my information from Dave's Web of Lies (www.davesweboflies.com) which tells me useful things like:
Pentium processors with MMX technology can be safely replaced by a quarter ounce of horse manure in all PCs, with no loss of performance. Indeed, floating point calculations and Microsoft Project will run significantly quicker.
The `millennium bug' is a direct results of the fact that, when the old software was written, 95% of programmers believed that we would be using `stardates' by the year 2000.
Go check it out! Every time you do, Bill Gates pays a dollar to Osama bin Laden!
Hmm. Apparantly, the blog post you're referencing has been pulled. Wonder why...
As a scientist myself, I'm horrified by how quick are people able to propagate false claims and how stupid people are to believe them at the first time. The worrisome thing is when this gets to the press or places where "real" journalist should be working. Another thing that worries me is that some once serious newspapers (for instance Sydney Morning Herald) are promoting bloggers as part of their paper.
I've heard of several cases where professional journalists working for highly regarded publications have passed on misinformation without doing any fact checking. I have no clue how common it is, but it certainly isn't something only bloggers do.
Stephen Glass comes to mind. They even had fact checkers and they still missed all the information.
Per the previous poster: consider the justification for the US war in Iraq and pretty much any domestic political reporting by a wide-circulation US-based commercial news agency over the past 6 years. A few wide-circulation bloggers have done and continue to do amazing, in-depth research and political reporting that leaves "real" reporters and "respected" pundits in the dust (c.f. Talking Points Memo and the current US Attorney dismissal scandal.)
Politics is a different arena than technical reporting, especially when code can be downloaded, decompiled, traced, and reverse-engineered. Compared to sifting through a 1,000-page document dump from the Department of Justice, reading API docs and running a few bits of toy code takes a trivial amount of effort. As easy as it is to pick on some guy in his bathrobe and bunny slippers spouting some baseless nonsense, there are a disturbing number of 'professionals' who produce the exact same sort of crap reporting, stenography, and water-carrying as the amateurs.
The proper response, tedious as it is, is to do what you've done - investigate it yourself and show the evidence. We should not be blinded by credentials nor scoff at amateurs, but instead put our trust in thorough, verified, and insightful reporting. Peer review works well for separating the wheat from the chaff in science; there's no reason it shouldn't work for journalism as well.
Isn't Microsoft's Compact .NET framework enough for them? They try to compete with everybody.
I actually think Flash is so widely deployed it will have a distinct advantage (e.g. mac, linux) and Macromedia / Adobe should long have capitalized on that by creating their own platform around it. Only recently they are doing it with Flex, and now Apollo.
One word: Truthiness. Don't read the documentation, go with your gut. ;)
One other good example of worthless information: Gutmann's article on "the cost of Vista DRM". But linked almost everywhere.
Oh man. You're so right, paperino.
I've heard of several cases where professional journalists working for highly regarded publications have passed on misinformation
Nobody ever gets it completely right. I certainly don't. All I ask is that bloggers try to be reasonably accurate (eg, put in some *effort*) and be responsive to feedback when they are wrong.
It's all too seductively easy to do nothing but quote/link.
There's a lesson to be learned from Microsoft's point of view too. Don't wrap your documentation up in packages that need to be downloaded and installed, put it on the web instead. Not only would this be friendlier, it would also make it far easier to link to authoritative sources, rather than relying on second-hand sources like the original blogger.
Microsoft have been doing this for *years*. It's almost as if the way their supposedly public APIs work are some kind of closely-guarded secret. What the hell is wrong with them that they can't put simple API docs online?
PS: What's wrong with the font kerning on this website? 'ti', 'ft', 'tt' and similar character pairs appear in bold, while the rest of the text is normal (if small).
I wouldn't worry, most journalists aren't either...
What's wrong with Gutmann's paper? I have yet to find a decent debunking. Please do post a link if you know more than I do.
"Instead, they blindly parroted blogger A, assumed that all of his claims were valid, and perpetuated his mistake across the internet."
Hmm, let's hope not too many people blindly parrot your post where you called the entire SEO industry pornographers, eh?
A little more homework wouldn't have gone amiss in that post...
I work with Java and C# and tend to find this type of blogging is very common with the C# and other .NET blogs that show up with a Google search.
For the blame I would put it on the easy availability of blogs, that it is cool and the in thing to have a blog but the vast majority of people just have no reason to have a blog. So those vast majority of people need material for their blogs so when they see an article of something they rewrite it on their blog. This leads to someone writing an misinformed blog then having a pyramid of blogs spreading out from it.
Not much can be done about it except do a quick scan of the article and going to the next search result.
You've made big mistakes before
For sure. I make mistakes all the time.
But I can't think of any time I've posted something that was patently, obviously wrong through outright carelessness and/or failure to do basic research on a topic.
Honestly, macromedia missed the a when they didnt capitalize on the success of Flash much earlier.
Great article. Very interesting poit of view.
I've been thinking about this subject a lot this week, especially in relation to Wikipedia. Lots of people say it's unreliable because anyone can edit it. Of course, the counter argument is that for anything to really stay you need to cite your sources, which of course means that if you are seriously using the information you need to look at those sources and check them out.
However, within schools, in my experience, this is never taught. We're either told to embrace it, without being told how to take precautions, or told to fear it and leave it alone.
Citing sources and checking them out is becoming ever more important with the Internet. Gone are the days when references were only for scientists and journalists, now every Tom, Dick and Harry needs to know how to do it at a basic level.
I take you left comments on the relevant blogs, advising them of their errors?
With 20/20 hindsight, every error is shockingly obvious.
You can't check every piece of information yourself, you have to decide to trust certain sources. Nobody here is different -- how many reads ACTUALLY downloaded the SDK to see if that tidbit you posted was really in it ? I'm willing to bet that the vast majority, if not all of us, simply assumed that you weren't lying and didn't make that little sniplet up, despite the article telling us to do our research.
And how far are you willing or required to go anyways ? Did you blindly copy the SDK text and trust the SDK to be correct ? Or did you do your research and actually tried to use the Download object yourself ? After all, just like the blog, the SDK could be wrong too -- and you would have propagated a mistake.
The point is, everyone sets limits as to how much research is necessary, and who/what to trust. Bloggers tend to trust other blogs to be correct when they post something as fact. And if you don't trust blogs, then why are you reading them anyways ?
Good points Jeff. Yes blogging is not like writing a reference material to some people. Blogging provides that unique insight into how people talking to people and how bad information can get out if soemone does not verify it. Although there are many shortcomings in Silverlight and it feels rushed that they wanted to release just as CS3 was coming out, it does not mean that its not good tech. You must check the APIs and docs from the company itself and usually you will have an answer what is supported or not.
Outride, what I meant to say was that you can not check EVERYTHING. Obviously, if you report some brand new information that is not common knowledge, you should check that before posting it. However, you can barely write a sentence without relying on SOME informations you accept as real without checking them. Let me give you a hugely exaggerated example: you would readily write something like "Java is on average slower than C". But would you actually take the time to find a credible, scientific study that proves that ? Or would you go by what you consider to be widely accepted fact ?
I'd say there are three categories you have to distinguish between:
Original research (such as the original blog entry), which yes, should clearly be confirmed before accepting as true, unless it comes from a source that you can reasonably assume never to publish erroneous information. An exception would be original research that is not easily confirmed -- a complex physical experiment, an expensive study involving massive amounts of resources, etc. In the latter case you can't really confirm the claims, and have to settle for a "they said" disclaimer.
"He said!" research, such as the thousands of "I read xxx somewhere" blogs, that usually either offer commentary, a new perspective or new insights (like this one does often) or offer little but a quote from the original source. As long as it is made clear where the claim comes from, confirmation of the data/claims is probably not required, although a nice bonus. Still, this level is absolutely slanted towards the amateur section of 'journalism', and as such can't be expected to follow the same standards. Blogs are at best on the level of a school news paper when it comes to professionalism, and to expect more of them is optimistic at best.
Sun/Mirror blogs. There are plenty of blogs that try to look like original research, but can't even aspire to amateur status. Random people who think too much of themself and too little of others can post just as much as highly intelligent and educated professionals; that is the downside of the internet. Obviously, those kind of people never do any research at all, which doesn't hinder them to claim their opinion as facts. These could in theory be confused with the first category, but are usually rather easy to spot. Exceptions to this will get covered by the "He said!" category by accident and cause issues like the one that prompted this article.
Obviously, the last category is not restricted to blogs or kids on the internet, but then the internet can't be the root of ALL evil.
People don't think for themselves and parrot back what they've been told. Chocker.
Funny that many point out the failings of so called professional "journalists" to try and refute the key point in this post.
The point is NOT that bloggers should act like many of the so called "journalists" we hear about in the news. It's easy to call yourself a journalist just as easy it is to call yourself an "expert". But if you don't act journalisticly (is that even a word?) or act expertly, then are you truly a journalist or expert?
The important thing is to do a favor to your readers and do your best to try and follow a basic set of ethics mentioned in the blog post.
Better to act like a true journalist than to just label yourself one.
And when you make a mistake, own up to it. And when others make a mistake and own up to it, cut them some slack. It's the ones who refuse to admit mistakes that are the problem, as becomes more and more evident every day.
So you are saying that bloggers are just as bad as journalists? For a similar example, witness the Duke prosecutorial misconduct and perjury case (described by the media as the Duke rape case).
Or any stupid health scare, based on one scientist claiming a paper he plans to write in the future will prove that $EVERYDAY_HOUSEHOLD_ITEM causes CANCER BE AFRAID CANCER DONT THINK BE AFRAID!
fact checking is a recurring problem in the blogosphere...thats why some people are starting to call it blogostan
Isn't it more than possible that the misinformation in the original blog post (now unavailable) was intentional? The blogging phenomenon has become an effective propaganda tool for corporations, politicians and anyone else who has interests to protect. What better way to fire the first salvo in the RIA War?
You know it is funny that you posted about this, because I just recently ran in to the same thing with a football blog claiming that Microsoft forgot to put in the "Save As" button.
The original person at fumbled.org was probably the last person on earth who actually used clippy, but with a little curiosity he could have found the big circular button on Excel and disproved his whole theory. It is pure and simple laziness combined with hatred for something.
The font problem with the big tt's and ti's is caused by not having Calibri and the stylesheet using the next substitute font with the same kerning. This stretches the t's and i's to make them appear bold. Simple solution is to get Calibri.
When you find information on a blog via google, the problem is that you often lack context.
But when you follow blogs for a while, you end up knowing which ones are reliable and which ones aren't (the cream rises to the top).
Bloggers aren't journalists, unless they try to be. Bloggers aren't pundits, unless they want to be.
"Blame Vista?" is the best reply I've seen so far to Gutmann's paper: http://www.fastsilicon.com/content/view/141/27/
Not written by Microserfs, but very good. I like the part when the author talks about Super Audio CD (Gutmann blames Vista DRM, but SACD don't work on PCs... because Sony doesn't sell SACD players for PCs)
Funny thing, Gutmann claimed once he never tried Vista but cannot find the claim anymore (although reported here http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=429). That's very good for a researcher to speculate without even direct observation. In this last link you will find a mention to another 'security blogger' who reported blindly Gutmann observations(?)
Jeff, for some added irony: I have a blog myself where lately I spoke, by using actual screenshots, about usability of Mac, Vista and Linux/Gnome. I don't need to tell that I've been accused by zealots to be biased (one of the argument was: you are wrong since it works on my machine). Point taken: even doing a painstaking job of proofing with facts what you say can have its share of pain (?).
I wonder if I should start simply linking stuff myself... at least is easier
When comparing blogs to paper publications, you have to qualify which blogs and/or publications you consider. I mean there are blogs which are obviously bogus and full errors, and there are tabloids, sensationalist papers, and propaganda papers that are equally poor. As others have stated though, even in reputable papers like the New York Times, simple fact checking has been poorly done or not done at all in some cases. At least with any kind of credible blog, the blogger provides a hyperlink to his source(s) so readers can fact check themselves, or failing that it is a trivial task to google the subject. I doubt many people fact check anything they read in a paper publication, even if they aren't gullible gits, because it requires a lot more effort to leave what your doing to go to the computer and look it up. Especially if they are reading a paper somewhere they don't have computer access.
On an unrelated note, apparently Firefox spell checker does not recognize "hyperlink", "google", or "gits."
A friend worked as a reporter for small papers for while before giving up since it didn't pay as well as delivering pizzas.
But he saw stories developing and discovered that even "professional journalists" copy from each other extensively. One reporter gets misinformed but writes up this bad information in a compelling way and it becomes the "official" line ever after.
So it isn't just bloggers.
This highlights two of my biggest blog annoynances.
My first pet peeve is exactly what Jeff is talking about. People that spout highly emotionally charge rants without doing a shred of their own research, except to perhaps read the comments on slashdot or digg.
Second, the fact that people confuse bloggers for journalists. Nothing in this article should come as a surprise to anyone yet people still try to equate blogger = journalist. Remember, blogging really grew out of people using livejournal to post their diary. In other words, random rants and general running off at the mouth. There are a few bloggers that attempt to have some code of ethics but not many, people would rather write "editorial-style" blog entries than anything with real facts. While real journalists have a lot of the same faults, such as copying each other, they can at least be held accountable. It's their job to be accurate and fact check and there is a process you can use to call them out. On the other hand a blogger is just some random person that can say whatever they like, with as much or little fact checking as they like, and there is zero recourse.
twisti said, "You can't check every piece of information yourself, you have to decide to trust certain sources." I have to disagree, especially if you are writing an informational blog. If you, as a blogger, are putting information out to your readers, you can and should check every piece of information as I believe the blogger has that responsibility.
The blogger that doesn't check out his information will soon lose readers. It is as Michael Graham Richard adds up above, "But when you follow blogs for a while, you end up knowing which ones are reliable and which ones aren't (the cream rises to the top)." The blogger is either putting out an informational blog that will soon be quoted with confidence or they are writing a blog that will rapidly gain a reputation for unsubstantiated opinion.
We're living in an age where this is common practice regardless of medium. Last week during the VT shootings, the identity of the shooter (incorrect) was released on a blog, then picked up by Fox, then NBC lifts it from Fox, then CNN. It took almost 4 hours before they found out the accused person was alive and well, and had managed to avoid the shootings.
Blogs are (in general) only an eyelash away from forum posts.
I do my best not to blindly "buy into" anything I read.
You get what you pay for. Anyone who blindly trusts a media source that is not only free, but is often creating revenue based on number of readers it attracts, deserves whatever they get.
Unfortunately, given that such knuckleheads are allowed to vote, we all get the result. Poll taxes were eliminated, for good reason. May haps we need a minimum IQ requirement?
You get what you pay for. Anyone who blindly trusts a media source that is not only free, but is often creating revenue based on number of readers it attracts, deserves whatever they get.
I recall getting into arguments with our search team that the search application could not handle multi-host configurations, and that even tech support said it doesn't do it.
The search team member asked me to point out where in the documentation it says it couldn't be done? All I could point to were examples that DIDN'T show a multi-host config.
3 days later the search team member had a prototype 3 server config running with unmodified binaries. We eventually grew that system to over 70 servers and it performed wonderfully.
Turns out we were the first customer of theirs to consider commodity hardware and a multi-host config.
Sometimes software can do MORE than the documentation as long as you are open minded enough.
Come to think of it, we started doing oddball things with load balancers too, but that is another story.
Um, maybe I'm being dense here, but I don't see how the Downloader object addresses the issues in the original post. Not being able to do data binding or consume SOAP services are different from simply downloading data over HTTP ... right? Is there an "Uploader" that lets you push data changes back to such a service? ("Downloader" really sounds one way. And if it's one way, that counts as "not being able to communicate with the outside world" in my book.)
Of course, I don't know anything about all of this. I'm just asking.
I appreciated the references to the article I wrote "Blame Vista". a href="http://www.fastsilicon.com/content/view/141/27/"http://www.fastsilicon.com/content/view/141/27//a
It's one thing to have legitimate issues with a platform, SDK, OS, what have you. These are the sorts of things that reasonable people (emphasis on reasonable) can have reasonable debates on. Through this sort of process, people can learn, discover, and often reach consensus. One of the problems in blogging, and publishing in general, is that often people use such mediums to merely prove a conclusion they've already come to. Thus blogging or publishing becomes an agenda rather than an actual story or op/ed piece.
In the example of my article/rebuttal to Dr. Gutmann, I felt compelled to take issue with his longwinded diatribe on the evils of Vista, because so many people were believing his nonsense without actually doing any sort of investigation. This included some rather good and normally upstanding publications that I used to have a great deal of respect for.
If you're going to deride something, at least do so for legitimate reasons that can withstand scrutiny. Enough rant. Great thread btw. :)
"i can't believe it" based on common sense should be implemented by bloggers to avoid biased premises and wrong judgements. common sense is often enough to save one from embarrassment.
a weblog is a user generated content and a blog about a new technology would be the personal understanding of the individual who wrote it. we shouldn't act so surprised when someone gets it wrong. the majority of people who read technology blogs, i assume, are technology savvy and as such it's our responsibility to verify the source. even if the opinion is echoed on several other websites or weblogs, it's always good to do some research.
Jeff, sorry about the OT post, but: You've apparently changed the font on your blog site. YMMV, but on my screen, in my FireFox browser under Windows XP, the font looks terrible. It's small but fat letters, and the system seems to be making an attempt to anti-alias it, with the effect that the letters are not of uniform darkness and width.
Please choose a better supported font; or better yet, let the browser choose the font! The more you try to control the pixels on my screen, the more you violate the spirit of HTML.
even professional journalists sometimes don't research about the subject they're writing about. at least, they've studied journalism, so they're supposed to do so, which seems to be your point
the bad thing is, you often see "professional" journalists doing the same error :(
Jeff, I'd have to echo the growing chorus here: Journalists simply aren't that responsible these days...assuming they ever were. I suspect it was always more of an ideal than a standard. A lengthy, researched story on a particular topic might be highly accurate; but what journalist bothers to do the necessary fact-checking on a breaking news item? By the time he does that, the competition has reported it and the world has moved on.
I'm not saying this situation is right. But just as it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission, journalists have discovered that it's easier to retract than to verify.
If you're not a regular reader of 21st Century Smalltalk (or have not chosen to check the background to the blog post thoroughly ;- ), it may be escaped your attention that, having fallen foul of a paranoid WGA, he couldn't install the runtime to check for himself, so has to rely on other people's comments on what MS is up to:
Because, WGA now thinks that the XP machine has pirated software, I couldn’t install IE7 or the WinFX 3.0 libraries.
However, when I tried testing the software that I wrote in Flash, *on the same machine*, everything worked perfectly!!
I liked your use of the definition of journalism.
Too many people in the media are stenographers,
not fact-checkers. A great pbs documentary on this:
I agree that most Weblogs aren't reliable, and for me they just give hint of what can be correct and what can not, I validate information every time for myself. With the kind of information dynamics offered by internet today, it's almost impossible to identify and control the information flows with conventional access tools and techniques.
Sad we lack basic responsibilities of authenticating our point of views..
Indeed, multiple independent sources should always be used. But, in this age of fast information, how bothers do put time into that?
We believe what we read, just like we believe most things that are on TV and in the newspapers. But since more people (and professionals) read those, the errors are caught quicker offcourse.
Luckily we have Coding Horror :)
Bloggers vs. journalists is over. I don’t think anyone will mourn its passing. There were plenty who hated the debate in the first place, and openly ridiculed its pretensions and terms. But events are what did the thing in at the end. In the final weeks of its run, we were getting bulletins from journalists like this one from John Schwartz of the New York Times, Dec. 28: “For vivid reporting from the enormous zone of tsunami disaster, it was hard to beat the blogs.”
And so we know they’re journalism— sometimes. They’re even capable, at times, and perhaps only in special circumstances, of beating Big Journalism at its own game. Schwartz said so. The tsunami story is the biggest humanitarian disaster ever in the lifetimes of most career journalists and the blogs were somehow right there with them.
The question now isn’t whether blogs can be journalism. They can be, sometimes. It isn’t whether bloggers “are” journalists. They apparently are, sometimes. We have to ask different questions now because events have moved the story forward. By “events” I mean things on the surface we can see, like the tsunami story, and things underneath that we have yet to discern.
David Broder. Donald Luskin. Robert Novak. Judith "WMD" Miller.
Accuracy and ethics among "serious" "journalists" are by no means better than those exercised by the average blogger.
I normally love your blog, but this one just smacks of hypocrisy. You've made big mistakes before (often it seems because you wish it were true); a bit of self-reflection would have been appropriate.
For sure. I make mistakes all the time.
And better still, you regularly acknowledge fix the mistakes too.
But I can't think of any time I've posted something that
was patently, obviously wrong through outright carelessness
and/or failure to do basic research on a topic.
How about when you said the iPod had no EQ options, no gapless playback, requires partitioning to be used as a hard disk, and that there were no alternatives to iTunes?
None were true at the time of writing, and only the gapless playback was recently fixed (nearly three months before your post).
I recall this example most clearly because it seemed so unlike you to jump aboard the hip-to-hate-the-iPod bandwagon. I'm sure if I looked back I'd recall others.
I still agree with over 90% of what you post, and I have no argument with the thrust of this particular one, but as programmers we need to remember that egos and biases don't survive compilation. :)
Has anyone done a comparison between the relative openness of Flash versus Siverlight? We've just started winning the battle of browser standards; I'd hate for that to be all for naught.
Indeed, I'm a little confused as to the point. WMV isn't significantly better than VP6 (my own tests would suggest "barely"). And although there aren't any strong competitive implementations, the Flash specification is open enough to allow such implementations to be made.
If any format should be adopted, it should be the integration of SVG into the HTML model, and the adoption of a standard, patent-unencumbered format for plugin-less audio and video. As the guy from Opera said, browser support for video and audio should be as generic and standard as the img tag.
Fact checking from real journalists seems to be an optional extra for a lot of them too. Takes too much time to validate stuff.
@bg: "I take [it] you left comments on the relevant blogs, advising them of their errors?"
Your Jeff did so on Vista Smalltalk...and the blogger thanked him and changed the post.
Comment posters should check their facts too! We should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect from bloggers and journalists. To do otherwise, and bitch about it, would be hypocritical.