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[News] Dana Blankenhorn and Preston Gralla Named as Phonies

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Careers In Linux Journalism-- No Knowledge Required!

,----[ Quote ]
| My current favorite horrid example is Dana Blankenhorn's famous "someone 
| please send a Linux laptop" column, written in July 2008: 
|     "I have written about, and been written to about, Linux laptops for some 
|     time. Now is a good time to take the plunge. So I am asking for a review 
|     unit. "   
| How can one craft any sort of response other than WTF??! But let us not be 
| hasty. The Internet is already full of hasty, kneejerk flamers and uninformed 
| pontificators, and we do not want to be like them. Perhaps there is more to 
| this story, so let us make use of the very secret weapon that nobody in tech 
| journalism knows about: Google. I've been reading Mr. Blankenhorn's column 
| for some years, and between my cluttered old memory and Google I do not find 
| any indication that he had ever actually touched a Linux PC until September 
| 2008:       
|     "My first Linux laptop is the ASUS EeePC." 
| Be still my heart.
| Preston Gralla, famous Windows author, wrote a good article about his first 
| serious Linux experience Living free with Linux: 2 weeks without Windows. But 
| again, WTF??! Another technology writer who has been writing about Linux for 
| years without knowing anything about it:   
|     "Now, I recognize that a few hours of using desktop Linux isn’t a true 
|     test drive. But if you want someone to throw over their habits of a more 
|     than a dozen years, you’ve got to wow them right away. And Linux didn’t 
|     do that for me."    
| Like, heavy, man. This doesn't even rise to piffle-- it's piffle lite. 



Blacklisted by Microsoft!

,----[ Quote ]
| Basically, they blacklisted me from certain super-secret (i.e.
| pre-conference, NDA, off-the books) sessions at their Professional Developer
| Conference (PDC) –- this after formally inviting me to attend those sessions
| as an "esteemed reviewer" representing InfoWorld.
| [...]
| Oct. 9, 2008 -- A short while later, I get my first hit. It seems that the
| whole mess started when the Windows Server team made the mistake of inviting
| yours truly to an event hosted by the Windows Client team. Apparently, the
| folks on the Server team were unaware of my decidedly negative views towards
| Vista, and when the Client folks found out they had invited Randall C.
| Kennedy -– a.k.a. Vista's most vocal and effective critic -– to their
| special, "for fanbois only" (nice photos, Paul) shindig, they went ballistic.
| First, it appears that someone high up on the Client Team (Steve?) really
| doesn't like me. I mean, really, truly loathes me. And it's not just your
| run-of-the-mill frustration with a journalist who picks on them. This thing
| is personal, and the executive in question is allowing his or her personal
| feelings to spill over into the company's handling of formal press relations
| with InfoWorld.
| But it doesn't stop there. The "official" explanation for my blacklisting and
| subsequent "dis-invitation" is that I somehow "violated the non-disclosure
| agreement" for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta by publishing benchmark
| results before the update was released.



INQhack survives Vistability test in Volesville

,----[ Quote ]
| The Vole (Microsoft) supposedly invited The INQ over for tea because
| we are notorious "Microsoft doubters" - and we were accompanied by
| other supposed Vole doubters such as the folk from lifehacker and
| a very nice man from Slashdot, as well as some Microsoft MvPs.


Microsoft desperately wants my love -- and yours

,----[ Quote ]
| I spent December seventh, eighth, and ninth in Seattle as Microsoft's
| guest. Microsoft flew me there from Florida at its expense, put me up
| in a nice hotel, provided decent food, and comped me and four other
| invitees to this "special conference" with presentations about the
| marvels of Vista and other recent or upcoming Microsoft products. They
| didn't quite play the old Beatles song "Love Me Do" in the background,
| but it was the event's unstated theme.


Bribing Bloggers

,----[ Quote ]
| This is the most frustrating thing about the practice of giving
| bloggers free stuff: it pisses in the well, reducing the credibility
| of all blogs. I'm upset that people trust me less because of the
| behavior of other bloggers. Don't even get me started about PayPerPost.
| [...]
| Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to
| Vista... even if it's fairly new and even if it's Vista Supremo
| Premium Ultra-Capable.


Microsoft's Laptop Giveaway Becoming PR Disaster?

,----[ Quote ]
| This thing is starting to feel like a PR disaster. Bloggers are
| starting to smell blood and this thing very well may begin to
| turn into yet another episode of bloggers gone wild.


Bribing Bloggers

,----[ Quote ]
| It's a bribe. Period. You say nice things about us, you get nice
| things from us. Heck, just say neutral things about us-we'll give
| you a killer new laptop and we know that you'll be inclined to say
| better things about us.


Getting a Vaio [with Vista, from Microsoft, even in March 2007]

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Belgium rang me yesterday (I don?t think they realised it
| was a public holiday here!).
| [...]
| The phone call yesterday was to confirm my address - the laptop (a
| Sony Vaio - dunno which model or spec yet) is en route with Vista
| Ultimate and Office Ultimate pre-installed.

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