The Sunday Times (UK), kings of FUD...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by nath, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. nath macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello,

    I thought that anyone familiar with the Sunday Times weekly numbskulled coverage of IT issues would be amused by the following correspondance between myself and David Hewson, one of their columnists. The article that prompted my initial email was one speculating on how Microsoft's Portable Media Centres are ready to 'put the audio iPod in it's place':
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,2776-1246876,00.html

    In particular, note the instinctive FUD response to what was merely a small Apple-mentioning postscript to my initial email. Other info that may be relevant is that David Hewson is also a crime-writer, championed Tablet PCs on their launch, and appears from much of his journalistic output to loathe Apple.


    No response to my last email as of yet...


    1ST EMAIL:
    Dear David,
    I was interested to read your column in today's Sunday Times. However is lack of content really the main obstacle to PMCs replacing the iPod in the hearts of gadget fans? Surely the main problem is that, outside of medium to long distance flights, there really isn't much opportunity for Joe Blog to actually use the video functionality with any kind of regularity. By comparison, an MP3 player can be used almost anywhere, at any time. When considering a £500 investment (twice that of an iPod), surely it is unlikely that a product with such a small place in people's lives could become successful in the mass market.
    Best wishes,
    Nathan
    P.S. It would be great to see Doors publish a feature on Apple's OSX operating system. So much space is dedicated every week to the problems associated with consumer use of Windows, that a decent evaluation of what is (for now) the only other truly viable home PC solution is long overdue.






    MY SECOND EMAIL:
    Thanks for your reply David.
    With regards to the 97-98 per cent of Doors readers, it was them I was actually thinking of!
    Mac users (a group which as you may have guessed, I have recently joined) have their own media, much as they have their own software alternatives. And as someone interested in I.T. generally, I will go to cross-platform news sources such as The Register or Ars Technica for in-depth reviews of potential new purchases such as Airport Express of the Power Mac G5.
    However the vast majority of those currently afflicted by Windows will be unlikely to consider different operating systems until mainstream media outlets such as the Sunday Times treat the alternatives seriously, rather than with the mild disdain which Doors seems to have recently specialised in. I do understand that some members of the Doors team haven't received quite the attention they felt they deserved from Apple's PR and customer care departments. However I have found them to be very helpful. Just my two pence!
    With regards PMCs, that is actually a pretty good price point, which I missed on my first read. I guess we'll have to wait a year or so, and see if they're as much of a success as Sony's 'Watchmen'! Or even the much-heralded Tablet PCs...remember those?
    Best wishes,
    Nathan






    MY REPLY:
    Hi David,
    I was actually aware of your feelings toward Apple prior to writing my initial mail - although had I know the strength of them then I probably wouldn't have bothered!
    I hope I'm not an evangelist; at least I don't think of myself as such. I think I made it clear in the postscript to my original email that I was hoping for a calm and fair appraisal of the alternatives to Windows, of which Apple's OS X is currently the most high profile. I think you've made it clear that it's not going to happen - although I am surprised at the venom of the reaction!
    I hope that at least you are willing to set the hundreds of complaints you have received against Apple's consistent and well-known lead in customer satisfaction (accepted, this is a US survey - I couldn't find a UK equivalent):
    http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117530,pg,1,RSS,RSS,00.asp

    ...and of course the huge growth that Apple is currently experiencing in the UK (not so many users abandoning the platform for Windows by these numbers):
    http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?NewsID=7846

    In conclusion, I would simply ask whether an operating system requiring the existence of a column called 'Don't Panic!' really deserves so much of your loyalty?
    Best of luck with the criminal fiction - and, of course, with your novels! ;-)
    Nathan
     
  2. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #2
    i might just have to write my friend dave a little letter now wont i...

    although if i were you i wouldnt have loads of people email him....

    2 percent... hmm... i would like to see that figure without all the call centres that are forced to use windows and schools taken out of that...
    and then add in the laptop sales... windows is in decline.. if i were him i would write about whats good not about whats the norm.. i like fords...if aston martins were the same price or better value... i wouldnt own a modeo

    i would also like some figures of how many people in the "creative design and video" world use them.... if he can manipulate figures then so can i...

    is he trying to say windows is a better os than mac osx? its not based on opinion its a fact that osx is better than windows... gates has said it and knows it... i understand people can have opinions but thinking horse sh*t tastes better than beef doesnt make it fact does it??
     
  3. JLS macrumors 6502

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    Kent, England
    #3
    Well I see his point.. if windows news will sell The ST, then thats what has to go in it.

    Im currently a PC only user, and would love more info on Mac products (as im going to switch soon) but the market share is so small, that even if TST covered mac issues, you would still be better off buy a mac magazine.

    As a windows users I can say that Doors is a bit pants for us too.. I haven't gained any knowledge from that spread, maby the occassional useful link though. The target audience is the average family dad I suppose, and its clearly targeted as such.. meaning as a teenager, its not that appealing reading reccomendations of +£3000 audio hardware or software to 'backup your LP's' w00t... lol

    Anyone wanting detailed computer (mac or pc) info is better going elsewhere too be honest. Doors does make the mandatory necessasary coverage of computer issues for the purpose of diversification.. if The Observer had a basic computer section, and The S Times didn't, I bet they would loose a good few readers.
     
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #4
    Great post nath! You really should post more often if you can write emails that get your point(s) across so well. I used to live in the UK, so I remember the points you speak of. It's a shame that major media sources like the Times don't take the Macintosh platform seriously. What I would love to see is an objective article that covers the facts about Mac OS and Windows, and the major advantages/disadvantages of each so readers would be better informed. The things I'd mention would be as follows:
    1. Software availability
    2. Security
    3. Resources on the Web (http://www.apple.com/macosx/ http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/)
     
  5. nath thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I hope I made it clear that I don't condone spamming in any way. But Mr Hewson is clearly mistaken in several of the assumptions that form his opinion of both Apple and OSX. I am also very surprised that he only appears to receive negative feedback regarding Apple computers, and so hope that posting his bizarre ideas will lead to a more balanced mailbox and, as a result, more balanced coverage in the Sunday Times. Although I won't hold my breath for the latter...

    p.s. agree with you on the stats. Add the fact the the ST is unashamedly aimed at educated professionals (AB1s etc) and I would suspect their readership's Mac ownership is closer to 10%.


     
  6. nath thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    thanks JLS.

    You make the same point as David...which I would maintain is a double-edged sword. Windows users are the actually the main group that need to know real details about the alternatives to their suffrage, hence my request for a comparison style article.

    I wouldn't expect them to suddenly be all 'come on chaps, time to change to Mac/Linux', but to be honest I am convinced that just the information that Office runs on the Mac would have an incredible effect when sent through a mainstream news channel such as the ST. Family Dad with his Pentium 3 is unlikely to even find out this information without a pro-active effort, which, let's face it, is beyond most of them. Choice is one thing, but according to the ST there isn't really a choice at all - which is basically a lie.

    I'm convinced that the ST has a random Mac quote generator for whenever they mention Apple...

    "Poor customer service...won't work with any of your pictures/documents/music...looks cool, therfore must be for poseurs...won't work with any of your pictures/documents/music...iPod's OK but will be dead in three years...won't work with any of your pictures/documents/music...etc

    :D






     
  7. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    #7
    So they have a column in the ST called "Don't Panic!". Ironic if this is a reference to Hitchhiker, as Douglas Adams was a strong advocate of Macs.
     
  8. nath thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Damn. Wish I'd known that.


     
  9. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #9

    i was joking, the guy will just get shi**y if he has 5000 macrumors members emailing him;)



    yeah maybe even more than that.. but its not those guys that are missing out its the guys that are curious about Macs and the guys who have no idea of the art and power that is the Mac.... i would say that if papers like this had columnists that "liked Mac" then apple would have a much larger market share..

    if the headlines read this


    "APPLE DO IT AGAIN WITH STUNNING IMAC G5"

    Today apple release its stunning new imac in paris, its a subtle blend of art and power

    instead of this

    WINDOWS HAVE A MASSIVE PERCENTAGE, MUST BE GOOD



    then people might turn around and look at there beige box of bolts that keeps crashing and seek an alternative if thats mac osx or not
    but the standards of most windows pcs is poor... and the security and stability is awful



    shame not everybody realises it

    if windows was better i would throw (gently place) my powerbook in the bin and buy a beige box because its not the only reason for a Mac, i choose Mac and apple because it could do things more efficiently than my pc...
     
  10. JLS macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I had just written a 1000 word reply that took at least 30 mins, talking about getting people to buy the hardware they need (e.g. not a £1400 PB for writing emails, or a 60GB iPod for 3 albums, Final Cut Pro for dads home cam, when there are lots of cheap alts for windows.. giving lots of examples and ideas..)

    ..but firefox just crashed, and the whole thing was lost. On my lovely XP machine. No joke.

    I have now decided you are all right. And im so annoyed I might throw my PC out the window.

    BUY A ***** MAC ALREADY!!!!
     
  11. nath thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    ha! a real-world example for Mr Hewson!!

    I agree re 'right tools for the right job'. An iBook or bottom rung iMac (new version) would really be a dream computer for someone just doing web/email/bit of word processing. And most people are under the impression that all Macs cost twice as much as Windows equiv., regardless of the comparison level.


     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    Who cares if he is? If he's misinformed, then let him walk around misinformed. Lots of people are misinformed, and I don't go around correcting them, do I? Nope. Do you know how many ridiculous physics questions and statements I've heard from non-physics people? Since I'm a physics (related) major, I'll correct them if I know the right answer, but if they don't want to listen, or say, "Yes, but I heard from ______, who was a professor at ______ University, that blah blah blah was what happens, or he said something like that." Of course they don't remember exactly what was said, but they think what they said was right. Anyway, if that's what they believe, I'll just leave it. I'm sure lots of things I assume are wrong, but everyone knows something to an absolute certainty in their mind, but are wrong and don't know it. This guy is wrong, but if he was a Mac user at some point, then too bad for us. :eek:
     
  13. nath thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    OK. But if a publication you read frequently had misinformation relating to physics on the page specifically targeted at people wanting to find out more about physics, would you not correct them?

    Well, at the beginning of your message you say you wouldn't ("Nope") but a few words later you say you would ("I'll correct them if I know the right answer"), and then just leave them if they persist in their madness. Which is basically what I've done.

    I'm not getting all het up about David Hewson - he's a poor journalist at the best of times, although he should know better. I was a bit grumpy when I wrote my second mail, I'll concede that. :)



    Edit: My basic point is that he portrays himself as an IT journalist rather than an op-ed columnist. Therefore there is some obligation, especially in a supposedly prestige publication like the ST, to maintain decent standards of journalistic research. I guess we've got 'your' Uncle Rupert to thank for the slide there ;)




     
  14. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

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    #14
    Ask him if it his job to sell Windows...
     
  15. fingers macrumors regular

    fingers

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    #15
    Yes - i think we should let our feelings known - there is a lot of mac bigotry - so thanks nath for at least trying to educate the poor fella. ;)
     

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