Posts from October 19, 2004

Dell sucks

Dell sucks

: Well, Dell doesn’t suck comletely. But Dell does suck today. They put out a coupon that was widely distributed for $750 off laptops over $1,500. Instapundit took advantage of it and posted it (then deleted the post, it appears). Slickdeals says they kept moving up the time. That’s not fair or right: You put out a deal, you shouldn’t change the deal midstream. That sucks.

I would have bought a Dell tonight. Maybe I’ll buy an Apple instead.

Google, life preserver

Google, life preserver

: Terrorists capture a journalist, accuse him of being a CIA spy, but then Google his name and find out he’s legit and they let him go.

God help me if they Googled me. [via LostRemote]

Madison & Vine & Sand Hill

Madison & Vine & Sand Hill

: I wish I could remember who was saying this to me this week (tell me and I’ll give you credit) but the Apple U2 commercial is more than product placement: It’s impossible to tell what’s really being advertised — the iPod, or iTunes, or U2. Then again, it’s not a commercial, it’s content. Then again, it’s a development partnership (see U2′s new black iPod). The lines aren’t just blurring. They’re erasing.

: CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: It was Steven Johnson who said that to me over lunch. Of course. If it was smart, it was Johnson. He was going to blog it but didn’t and I beat him to it. Nya nya. Anyway, Steven sent me email saying the complete list of what is being sold in that commercial is:

a. The new U2 single.

b. The new U2 album.

c. The iPod.

d. iTunes.

e. The iTunes Music Store.

f. QuickTime.

g. Apple.

h. U2.

i. All of the above.

Not to mention the new U2 iPod now and, while we’re at it, the concept that downloading music legally is good for your soul.

On TV and radio

On TV and radio

: I will be on CNBC’s Capitol Report tonight at 7 pm ET to talk about the Jon Stewart/CNN phenom. I will not wear a bowtie.

: Also making a return appearance on Brian Lehrer’s show on WNYC Wednesday at 11a; same topic.

Who let out the cat?

Who let out the cat?

: I feel as if I had too much to drink at my own party and slept through all the good stuff. Well, I did have too much to drink (a nice cabernet, thank you; couldn’t resist that last nip) and the party was happening in the comments here: I thought I was writing one of my high-altitude (low-oxygen) musings on the future of media but thanks to Tony, Glenn, and Oliver, it turned into late-night boozy brawl in the rec room. Well, not actually, but I enjoyed the image, didn’t you?

To recap for those of us who slept it off last night, after my media musings in that post below, I said that commenters had called out Jon Stewart for hiding behind his comedy-show label when, in fact, he is a news provider and a critical member of the national conversation today. Tony Pierce then said in the comments I should call out Glenn Reynolds similarly because Glenn, he says, hides behind his I’m-not-a-news-service label. Oliver Willis piled on. Glenn responded to them here.

InstaPundit is not an unbiased news service. It consists entirely of my opinions and such links to factual items as I find interesting. Its whole purpose is as a vehicle for my biases, in fact. It is not unbiased and objective in any fashion, but rather is opinionated and slanted, much like other, more respectable, outlets such as The New York Times and TonyPierce.com.

I mostly agree with Glenn: Blogs do not pretend to be news services, no matter how voluminous their posting or traffic. They are vehicles for personal curiosities and bias and the difference between blogs and “real news” or even “fake news” is that (a) they cannot and do not try to be comprehensive and, more important, (b) they usually admit their bias.

Two further thoughts: I think that blogs should admit their bias; they should set the example for transparency. Even though it was quite evident that Glenn was voting for Bush, it’s good he said so today. That’s why I’ve been open about where I stand (if wobbily so), because I believe you should be able to judge what I say through that prism (and believe me, it’s not easy to talk about that in public after all my years of journalistic training that told me to keep my opinions to myself; it’s like coming out of a political closet). See also Tim Oren’s eloquent exercise in fence razing.

So a call to bloggers: If you haven’t yet said where your vote is going, please do. Don’t assume we know; maybe we just discovered you. Out with it.

A second thought after last night’s party in the comments room: I am seeing a qualitative difference between (a) news media that try — unsuccessfully — to deny bias, and (b) individuals’ blogs that carry bias, naturally, and (c) blogs that are founded on bias. When I get email or links from a blog in category C — like, say, CrushKerry — I frankly don’t pay much attention to it because I can predict precisely what it’s going to say. If I see a story in media from category A that doesn’t admit its bias, I look at it with suspicion and exhaustion because I get tired of trying to figure out its perspective. But when I see a person in category B publicly grapple with an issue and when I know that person’s perspective, I find the discussion far more interesting and illuminating. After the debates, I enjoyed going back and forth among bloggers voting for one side or the other to see it through different lenses; that was helpful. And that works only when the lenses are transparent.

: UPDATE: Matt Welch emails a Reason piece polling a quite diverse bunch of people on their 2004 and 2000 votes for President. Lots of cop-outs (which I define as not voting or voting for the Libertarian — sorry, Reason — or voting for Nader). But that also indicates the dissatisfaction with this year’s choice.

: UPDATE ON THE MEDIA MEME: This post says broadband is more than a speed, it’s a space. [via Rafat and Om]

: NUMBER UPDATE: Cory Bergman has the latest numbers to show that the Stewart segment got a bigger audience on the Web than it got on its big, old cable network.

Beeb

Beeb

: Interesting moment on the Beeb last night (besides the host getting my URL wrong twice and my correcting him twice — say anything you want about me, mate, but make sure you spell the address right!): Iraq came up and I pointed to Iraqi blogs to remind listeners that this is about people, about people trying to be safe and to run their country and run their lives and we lose sight of that in an election. The host tried to turn it around as a slam on the Bush administration, saying they forgot this. No, I said, everyone has forgotten this: both sides in the election and certainly news media, too.