Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Sad State of the British Technology Press


Summary: A look at some major technology publications in the UK and where they leave us, the readers

TWO weeks ago we explained why The Register had turned bitter on Google [1, 2]. We also provided specific examples and cited examples where Microsoft was paying The Register for a webcast with Freeform Dynamics. Watch this new whitepaper/webcast that The Register started running yesterday. It claims to be about desktop virtualisation, but once again it seems like an advertisement that involves the host, Freeform Dynamics, and Microsoft.

They come from Lancashire Constabulary and - joined by our usual panel of experts, Tim Phillips from The Register, Tony Lock from Freeform Dynamics and Neil Sanderson from Microsoft - they run through all aspects of a desktop virtualisation project. The theoretical and the real practicalities courtesy of their significant experiences.

People will hopefully become aware of where money comes from and events that have shifted bias at The Register, which was once exceptionally critical of the abusive monopolist (it deserved that criticism). A lot of the bold writers have left since then, sometimes to be replaced by Microsoft boosters who hardly hide their convictions.

“This isn't about slamming the BBC as much as it is about explaining to people what forces are at play.”Then consider the BBC. Yesterday we wrote about it blocking GNU/Linux users from entering some BBC content just because of their software preferences [1, 2] (refusal of secret, user-hostile code that requires renting for money). In the BBC's case, we gathered a huge amount of evidence that explains the bias. This isn't about slamming the BBC as much as it is about explaining to people what forces are at play.

It sometimes seems like the only British technology site (among the big three, namely the BBC, The Inquirer, and The Register) is The Inquirer. Here is what it wrote about the BBC over the past few days:

i. BBC shuts out open source software

At the heart of the problem is Adobe which is not allowing its RTMP content protection measures to become open source. This makes it impossible to create a fully compatible open source RTMP client.

ii. BBC slashes its website operation

EXECUTIVES AT THE BBC are making huge cuts to the outfit's website in an admission it has become too large.

According to AFP, a strategic review to be announced next month will admit that the BBC must give space to its commercial rivals, which have been hard hit by an advertising downturn.

The Inquirer too has its moments of failure and it is written a bit like a tabloid. That said, it's impossible to pinpoint anyone at the The Inquirer who is a known Microsoft booster (meaning people whose main purpose is to increase sales of Microsoft products). The same cannot be said about the BBC and The Register.

Two weeks ago, one of our British readers asked us to recommend a British news site for technology. The only recommendation I could safely make was Glyn Moody's blog, but it's not a news site. Can anyone recommend more sites that adhere to facts and justice rather than trends and popular culture (e.g. iPod, Facebook, and disinformation about "hackers" and "pirates")?


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