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Gadget Blog Corrections Blog

An actually-researched look at gadget blog bullshit.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Network over power cables

Gizmodo commits a regular sin of the gadget blog, copying a mistake from a source article:
Matsushita's tech lets them deliver broadband information at up to 170 mbps—which is even faster than Ethernet
vs
Matsushita's system is unique in that it delivers fast-speed broadband information at up to 170 megabits per second, which is faster than Ethernet
Except for 1000 megabit Ethernet, of course, though it's not really in common use. Either the Gizmodo writer realized that but didn't want to be pedantic, or they just copied the claim verbatim with no real care. Also:
all you'll have to do is attach a special device with an embedded chip
Normal people call that an "adapter".

Nokia 770

Gizmodo writes:
I saw the Nokia 770 [...] and was told the 770 would be released by Q3 this year. Bud [sic] sadly, it looks like Q4 is the new release date [...]
Which is a very obtuse way of saying "It's September 30th and they haven't released it yet".

Garmin M3

Gizmodo has a strange rant:
... but does anyone really want to pay $450 for a product like this without a VGA screen or WiFi? I think not. Garmin, time to get your head in the game and [...] give us what we want
Note the use of the term "we", as if every market segment cares about the same arbitrary features the writer claims to.

Sony Memory Stick Micro M2

Gizmodo says:
Smaller is better? Hell no, the original MemoryStick was a fine size and the Duo was even a decent physical size, but this is just asking to be easily broken, stolen, lost, misplaced and/or ingested. Please try again.
Then why the fuck are you writing about gadgets? Elswehere, Engadget doesn't go too far down that road, opting for a factual error instead:
...measuring 15 x 12.5 x 1.2 mm (about 1/4 the size of the Memory Stick Duo), designed to compete with miniSD cards...
Those dimensions make it about the same size as MicroSD (15 x 11 x 1 mm), not MiniSD (21.5 x 20 x 1.4 mm). Sony already has the Memory Stick Duo (31 x 20 x 1.6 mm) to compete with the latter.

Apple could create a smartphone, if it wanted

Check out this CNET headline: Motorola CEO: Apple 'to build a smart phone'. Note the weasel quotes. The article isn't headlined "Motorola CEO: Apple to build a smart phone", because they know that's not what he meant, but they wrote the article anyway. The money quote is:
And we know that they are going to build a smart phone--it's only a matter of time
Thomas Ricker of Engadget uses a different tactic to report this non-story, Did Zander just confirm the Apple iPhone?. When a writer resorts to that kind of headline, you know the answer is "No". He pushes his luck even further with the smoothly meaningless:
Now sound-bite Ed appears to confirm the much speculated Apple iPhone
Appears to, but doesn't.

Samsung YM-PDI

Paul Miller of Engadget writes:
...but the obvious spec here is Digital Media Broadcasting (DMB) reception, giving you DVDish quality satellite TV wherever you might happen to be...
Sadly, the linked Samsung press release disagrees:
Terrestrial DMB receiver

Access RSS on a phone (!!)

Too much time on the cutting edge can make you uncritical of the outlandish claims of gadget manufacturers, but not at Gizmodo. They were right to be astonished at the surely-vaporware features of a new phone:
... but I’ll admit I was very intrigued by the UI’s built-in ability to blog and check your RSS feeds on-the-fly (!!).
The internet? On a phone?

The ROKR uses Symbian?

In an otherwise sound Register article on iPod/phone convergence, Charles Arthur almost reaches the end without embarrassing himself. And then:
Having ported iTunes to the Symbian mobile OS (which Motorola uses in the ROKR/EI [sic]), Apple is appears to moving quickly [sic]; there are already credible rumours of a Windows Mobile version of iTunes.
Let's ignore The Resigret's punk rock years-long lack of a sub-editor, and look at the facts used to support the article's weird conclusion.
  • The ROKR uses Symbian. No it doesn't. It and every similar Motorola handset is missing from this otherwise exhaustive list of Symbian handsets. There are no mentions of Symbian in the ROKR's developer documentation.
  • There are credible rumors of iTunes for Windows Mobile. No there aren't. There's this account and screenshot. Look how PhotoshopApple has constructed the interface by cutting up and rearranging pixel-for-pixel sections of the full size interface. Gasp at the pointless mangle of random menu options in the final screenshot. Very credible.
And then the conclusion:
And let's not forget that iTunes, and the iPod, only really took off once it was made available for Windows. An iTunes client that ran on a billion phones... now that's something to get Steve Jobs excited
Except, Windows Mobile, Symbian, PalmOS and Linux smartphone sales combined amounted to 8.3 million shipments in Q1 2005. The only platform close to a billion is J2ME with 708 million handsets in circulation, which coincidentally iTunes for ROKR may (or may not) be written in already. Why didn't Arthur mention J2ME? Because he is a douchebag.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Jetpacks headed to London

Gizmodo writes:
Driverless Buses Headed to London, May Miss It
The linked article, however, says:
The team behind PPT plans to produce two prototype vehicles by 2007
So not headed any time soon.

Pace PVR2GO

Gizmodo writes:
Pace is bringing out the PVR2GO in the UK next year, a weird, square personal video player that seems to only let you record PayTV from cable or satellite and play it back on the run. With a 40GB hard drive and a widescreen five-inch display, it looks pretty silly to us on this side of the pond, but we also don’t have Page 3 Girls, so really, what do we know.
That's a good hundred words without really saying what the product does. Let's find out. A quick Google of the product name gets you this white paper, which says:
PVR2GO connects to an existing payTV PVR via USB2.0. Transfer speeds are in excess of 250Mbps so that an average feature film can be transferred in less than three minutes.
So it's actually just a thingy you plug into your PVR box to take recordings with you.