Hypercritical co-host John Siracusa was ranting -- quite accurately -- about problems with the way the technology industry is treated in the media on last week's show, "I am the Steve Jobs of this sandwich." Siracusa noted that, for too many years, tech reviewers focused on silly things like device specifications and not enough on more subjective but far more important aspects like the "feel" of a user interface. Siracusa called for tech reviews more like movie and car reviews using a more artistic and holistic approach.
I think Siracusa is right on and one reason I started my GravitationalPull.net blog was to offer better reviews.
But another aspect of journalism that has been missing for too long from the tech sphere is hard-hitting, gritty negative articles. Too much of the tech press seems to feel dependent on the big companies for access to the next great gadget in time for a review and so they have became beholden to these companies. I've also had plenty of fun on GravitationalPull calling out companies for rip-offs and anti-consumer back room deals.
So I wanted to especially praise the work done by Harry McCracken over on Technologizer. Harry has taken a much tougher approach than many of his peers ever since he started the site. And this week he caught Samsung using phony actors in place of real people in a video touting the Tab. Ugly, stupid stuff. Harry had a couple of good pieces. Here's an excerpt of the most recent:
When I watched the video interviews with three “true-life” Galaxy Tab users that Samsung showed at its CTIA event, I was observant enough to figure out (with the help of about six minutes of Google research) that two of the users were actors and the other one works for a film-production company that counts Samsung among its clients. But I didn’t notice or detail every oddity about the them. Folks who are discussing my story on all this, both in the comments and elsewhere on the Web, are having fun pointing out other curious things about the interviews, such as the fact that “leading New York real-estate CEO Joseph Kolinski” raves about the 8.9″ Galaxy Tab even though the only 8.9″ Tabs that Samsung itself had on hand at CTIA were non-working models.