Business Week refutes FT.com’s Apple story, quotes “people in a position to know”

March 20, 2008

Yesterday I posted a story from the FT that basically says Apple and the labels are talking about an unlimited download subscription for people who buy and iPod or iPhone. Angry about being scooped Bussiness Week posted a story saying the Financial Times has either been speaking with Snoop Dog or smoking his stuff, cause the Apple story was bull. Where is their evidence you ask?

Reports that Apple is discussing an “all-you-can-eat” subscription music service with major record labels are overblown, say people in a position to know.

Thats right they are refuting the Financial Times story by paraphrasing an HR Block tag line. They got people? Wait you say, surely Business Weeks has more evidence then that, they must have a quote, a named source, something more substantial. Here it is, the smoking gun:

[The Apple unlimited subscription] would use that premium to create a pool of revenue, a portion of which would be divided among the major music labels, the newspaper said.

Trouble is, no such talks are under way, according to people familiar with Apple’s plans. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment. Insiders at major music labels were similarly dismissive.

So lets review, “people in a position to know” told Business Week’s Arik Hesseldahl that nothing was going on between Apple and the labels and this version of the story was corroborated by “people familiar with Apple’s plans”. The PR Flacks at Apple and the labels hung-up everytime Arik called them and he took it as evidence that the Financial times was wrong.

Now I’m not saying that the FT story was some great piece of reporting or that I necessarily believe all of it, but Business Week needs raise its game a bit. When a venerable news weekly with ungodly sums of money and decades worth of reporting experience sitting on its bench runs with poorly researched crap with no credible citations or sources, its no better then a blog. I dont want major weeklies running with innuendo, rumor and hearsay. Thats what I’m here for. I want them to give me some facts with names of real people attached to them, so I can poke holes and look for flaws or fallacies. There is a reason bloggers are not journalist and its really important that the journalist remember that.


Liberate iTunes (and all your media) with DoubleTwist

February 19, 2008

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A couple of years ago a kid from Norway, named Jon Lech Johansen, broke the encryption put on DVD’s to stop people from coping them onto their computers. A year or so later he did the same thing to the iTunes music store and made it possible for folks to share their music purchases. He was pretty unpopular with the big media companies but geek-boys the world over loved him, so he went legit and started a venture backed company. However, going legit isnt what it used to be. His latest application, let’s you share your music and other media with friends and family no matter what device they might be using. The new application called doubleTwist allows you to convert all your iTunes purchases to plain old mp3’s for you can shares them across devices. and it help you manage that process. The application is still in beta (early beta if the number of crashes I’ve had is any indicator) so you might want to check out the PDF press release here , the blog reaction here or the early articles here and here.

Thanks to the erudite scholar and gentleman, david touve for the tip.


Greenpeace Wags Its Finger at Apple’s iPhone

October 16, 2007

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I should have known by the tepid headline that there really was no story here but I got sucked in nonetheless. The headline screamed “Scientific tests reveal iPhone contains hazardous chemicals and materials“. Not exactly what I want to hear about such a beautiful product, but I bet the phones radiation kills me before its toxins. The release, put out yesterday by Greenpeace, is accompanied by a PDF report which actually has a slightly different conclusion then the release.

Here is the conclusion from the report:
“Of the 18 different internal and external components and materials tested from an Apple iPhone purchased in the USA in June 2007, all would appear to be compliant with the requirements of the EU’s Directive on use of certain hazardous substances in electronics and electrical goods (the RoHS Directive).”

Here is the opener from the release:
“An independent scientific laboratory tested 18 internal and external components of the iPhone and confirmed the presence of brominated compounds in half the samples, including in the phone’s antenna, in which they (1) made up 10 per cent of the total weight of the flexible circuit board. A mixture of toxic phthalate esters (2) was found to make up 1.5 per cent of the plastic (PVC) coating of the headphone cables.”

While I agree with Greenpeace on the need for Steve and his team at Apple, to make their products more earth friendly this release was the wrong way to do it. First, it assumes that no one will bother to read the full report and note that the emphasis in the release is a bit over-reaching. There is a time for the carrot and a time for the stick, this was an opportunity to use the carrot with Apple and the good folks at Greenpeace blew it.