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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 175450 30-Jun-2015 11:56

The Australian PC & Tech Authority mag. has a glowing review of the latest Microsoft Surface and out of several cloud services the Microsoft offering gets the best review.       I fully expect Windows 10 to be reviewed with a headline such as
'Microsoft back on track',    'Microsoft back from the Wilderness', 'Microsoft gets it right at last', 'It's time', etc etc.

Their free  DVD  has the Tiny Core Linux distro, about as non mainstream as they could find!    I've noticed that for the last two years or so that mainstream linux distros. such as Ubuntu and Mint are not featured nearly so much in the Aussie tech magazines.     Sure they cover linux but in such a way that implies it is not for the general user - highly technical type articles.     Could it be that Microsoft and the big PC vendors are telling them that pushing alternative operating systems is really not a great idea?

So, what I am trying to say have these magazines lost their independence in a desperate bid to stay viable?      What do you think?

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  Reply # 1334045 30-Jun-2015 12:01
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People still buy mags? 

Windows 10 is better than windows 8 so I'd expect to see the headlines you've described anyway. 

Surface pro is great, I'd likely agree with the review. 

But, you could be right, it is the age old struggle between ones bread and butter and integrity -- although, it can only be an opinion as to whether they have given up their integrity.

What did they say about windows 8 when it came out?  If that piece of trash got a good review then I'd believe what you are saying. 



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  Reply # 1334046 30-Jun-2015 12:04
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Maybe the Surface is a great device?
And, Microsoft's cloud service does what they want?

'I expect Windows10 should get pretty good reviews too, after all it will be the dominant OS going forward (still).

I would hope that a magazine of their standing does not take editorial input from it's advertisers, and if it did, declared it. I think you may be looking for a conspiracy where none exists.

 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1334052 30-Jun-2015 12:12

Yes, good point.    I can't remember what they said about Windows 8.



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  Reply # 1334057 30-Jun-2015 12:22

What I'm trying to say is that many advertisers will tolerate a little criticism but not too much.      For example, in the photography magazines, it's common to see a glossy full page advertisement for the latest Nikon or Canon DSLR, and elsewhere in the magazine their will be a review of another Nikon/Canon  camera which praises its good points and very very tactfully mentions one or two  weaknesses.     It's  a matter of realizing that a lot of these mags are a tortuous mix of honesty and pragmatism!!

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  Reply # 1334061 30-Jun-2015 12:23
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Not sure that people actually read tech magazines these days. We have the Internet instead. 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1334064 30-Jun-2015 12:28

'Not sure that people actually read tech magazines these days. We have the Internet instead.'

Yep!    I browse some but buy few.      What really cracks me up is when someone of a 'certain age' writes in asking for tech. advice about his PC, when the answer could have been found using Google/Bing in a few minutes to half an hour.

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  Reply # 1334068 30-Jun-2015 12:36
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Yep, pretty crazy. I guess magazines aren't economically viable unless you get a big advertiser and then you can't piss them off. The same thing is starting to happen with some online sites. I think Arstechnica is owned by Conde Nast but not sure how that affects their stories. 




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  Reply # 1334090 30-Jun-2015 13:00
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This is definitely how it works - you pay for what you want printed.

Look at Techday - case in point.





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  Reply # 1334119 30-Jun-2015 13:51
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So your complaining because the magazines are portraying Linux as an OS not suitable for desktop use by non technical users? 
Even a decent chunk of the diehard linux users I know would agree with that characterisation :-)








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  Reply # 1334130 30-Jun-2015 14:05
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My general impression of magazines these days, is that a lot of articles tend to be forms of advertorial. I get sent a lot of free magazines, probably to make sure the circulation is high. But I wouldn't buy magazines these days, as more upto date info is on the net.

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  Reply # 1334219 30-Jun-2015 15:40
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Gave up buying tech mags years ago. It's a wonder any of them are still going.

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  Reply # 1334254 30-Jun-2015 15:59
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Up until recently I believed in separation of commercial and editorial.

Not anymore.

Solution: don't buy magazines.




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  Reply # 1334262 30-Jun-2015 16:04
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I still buy the occasional magazine such as NZ 4WD, PC Authority, and the odd Linux magazine.




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  Reply # 1334683 1-Jul-2015 09:31
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amiga500: What I'm trying to say is that many advertisers will tolerate a little criticism but not too much.      For example, in the photography magazines, it's common to see a glossy full page advertisement for the latest Nikon or Canon DSLR, and elsewhere in the magazine their will be a review of another Nikon/Canon  camera which praises its good points and very very tactfully mentions one or two  weaknesses.     It's  a matter of realizing that a lot of these mags are a tortuous mix of honesty and pragmatism!!


Considering the fact that ~75-80% of interchangeable lens camera sales are Canon or Nikon and that interchangeable lens camera tend to bought by enthusiasts, and that advertisers would probably choose to target advertising at their target market, then it would be very surprising if a photo enthusiast magazine didn't feature advertisements from the two leading producers of products for that market.
As for your suggestion of editorial bias, then while I'm sure it happens, I'm not convinced that we're any "worse off" these days, unless naive enough to rush to buy expensive new products based on a single review - when there's a world of information at your fingertips. In the good old pre-internet days, write a biased review and I guess you might expect a disgruntled "letter to the editor" which can be thrown in the trash.  Do the same these days - and there will be a reaction.
I have a deep distrust of "user reviews" on the internet.  Shilling is rife at all levels - including "expert" review where expensive equipment is involved.
What I do see these days is that if there's an issue with a product from a market leader like Canon or Nikon, Apple or Samsung, Toyota or VW, Cadbury or Nestle, McDonalds or Burger King, then there's often a hysterical response in social media (in the broad sense - including "specialist" forums etc), yet when second and third tier manufacturers stuff up, you hardly hear of it - unless it's a truly malicious issue.
There even seem to be some fame-seeking folks who devote considerable time tearing things to pieces and looking at product so closely in the hope that they'll find some flaw which would be completely irrelevant to most users, genuinely missed by professional reviewers, then blown out of all proportion.
So - someone saw a mouse in an outdoor kid's play area at a Maccas in South Auckland.  This was headline news. 


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  Reply # 1335072 1-Jul-2015 14:20
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Tech Magazines - captured by their big advertisers?

To a large extent this has always been the case with magazines. There is usually less separation between advertising and editorial functions.

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