Feb 282012


Looking back through the roster of shitheadedness that is Douchebag’s Row, I’ve noticed a trend that may explain my particular level of contempt for its inductees: all of these guys are old enough to know better. By my logic, once you’ve been banging a keyboard on the tech scene for awhile, ignorance is tantamount to trolling. The latest bust to be carved is that of Jesus Diaz, Senior Contributing Editor for Gizmodo and a person who proves that experience does not necessarily require advanced age when it comes to being an asshole.

Diaz represents the next generation of blogger, one who has consistently shown that he’s learned much from his elder hit-whores. In addition to a less-than-perfect grasp of English diction and grammar, Diaz’s prose is possessed by the slap-worthy self-righteousness common to countries that lie between the Prime Meridian and the former USSR. His ubiquitous presence in the comment sections of not only the articles he writes, but on most of the articles on the site, throws the window into his douchebaggery wide open. So much so that the site actually banned him from commenting temporarily because of how abusive he was (“no link for hit whores” policy suspension due to sheer hilarity of the incident).

No DBR induction ceremony would be complete without a sampling of Diaz’s stylings, so here are some of my favorites:

About the decline in Steve Jobs’ health being the reason for his cancellation of a Macworld appearance in early 2009:

“According to a previously reliable source, Apple misrepresented the reasons behind Macworld and Jobs’ keynote cancellation. Allegedly, the real cause is his rapidly declining health. In fact, it may be even worse than we imagined”

The source, of course, was anonymous, but it didn’t keep them from dolling up the entry with some classy artwork to go with their unsubstantiated story:


About the tight security surrounding Apple’s products, likening their tactics to those of the Nazi Gestapo (an excellent critique – and use of TMA’s douchebag trademark – from DED here).

“No, Tom (the story’s source) never lived in Nazi Germany, nor in East Germany, nor in the Soviet Union, nor in Communist China. He lives in the United States. For sure, he has never been scared of losing his life nor the ones he loves, like thousands of millions in those countries. But he knows how it feels to be watched, to always be considered guilty of crimes against another kind of state. He knew how it felt to have no privacy whatsoever when he was working right here, in a little Californian town called Cupertino, in a legendary place located in One Infinite Loop.

Tom knew about all that pretty well, back when he was working at Apple Inc.”

Lesson for junior link-baiters: few things bring in the link love better than comparing something trivial to the greatest atrocity of the 20th century.

His objective review of iPad app ecosystem:

“The iPad app store is now showing more than 100,000 apps available. That roughly means about one hundred apps that are actually awesome. Which, mind you, it’s about 97 more than everyone else. I don’t give a damn about the rest.”

To give you a sense of the kind of respect that Diaz’s posts elicit, the post was promptly followed by a flood comments listing awesome apps. Even now, Apple’s lame app store continues to hinder the iPad, evidenced by the fact that the company can’t seem to make enough of them.

His scintillating review of Apple’s latest OS, Lion:

“It breaks my heart to say this, but Mac OSX Lion’s interface feels like a failure.”

Another critical mistake on Apple’s part that has crippled Mac sales – oh wait – I mean the mistake that’s encouraging Macs to sell like crazy in a PC market that’s turned to shit. Almost had me there, Diaz.

His continued work reviewing the developer preview of Mountain Lion, an OS that won’t ship until this summer. That didn’t prevent him from giving it 3 stars, or for continuing his whiney detractions summarized thusly:

“It’s the antithesis of Jon Ive’s minimalistic design, all essence devoid of artifice.”

Maybe you meant “substance” instead of “artifice”? Or maybe your incorrect sentence structure mangled your point and you meant Ive’s design was “essence devoid of artifice”? Maybe I fell asleep 3 times trying to decipher the shitty writing that is your trademark.

And his latest contribution, a questioning of Apple’s tactics in acquiring the trademark for the iPad from a bankrupt troll:

“Proview—the former owners of the iPad trademark in China—is suing Apple in California for “fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, fraudulent inducement, and unfair competition.” Are they right? This is how Apple tricked them. You be the judge”

If you were at all concerned that based on “You be the judge” that the evidence presented would be balanced, you need only look to the piece’s graphic – and the fact that the words were written by Jesus Diaz – that the facts would be somewhat tainted with an already-drawn conclusion.

Diaz does away with any illusion of objectivity in his summary: “Oh Steve, you dirty rotten scoundrel. How much I miss your ways (seriously). Between this and Mountain Lion’s Don Corleone approach to App Store features, you keep stealing my heart even after you are gone.” The practice of having a third party secure trademarks to prevent no-worth companies like Proview from milking the value of words is common, but don’t let a well-known business tactic jam the gears of your hate machine. That last sentence had a chance at some resonance if people didn’t already know you sold your heart for pageviews, just another Gawker whore holding onto his post at Gizmodo in the face of withering unpopularity (check the number of banned comments accompanying anything he writes) long after his co-contributors realized that there was life after penning lopsided anti-Apple screed.

So after what seemed like an eternity watching Jesus Diaz peg Apple for hits, TMA welcomes him into the hallowed halls of Douchebag’s Row, where Luddites and petulant children are embraced with equal warmth. Perhaps some day, during one of his SEO tantrums, Diaz will hold his breath long enough that we’ll all be free from his mangled, amateur, straw-man prose.

Jan 202011

In addition to solid first quarter earnings, Google announced that CEO and potent quotable Eric “Dr. Strangelove” Schmidt is to step down as of April 4. Without any signaling of such a dramatic transition, you’d think the market would be poised to ignore Google’s financial reporting and tank the stock. After all, Google’s fearless leader is ambling off into the sunset. Instead, the market shrugged and the stock is trading at same price it was at the bell yesterday. Imagine the sell-off a Jobs resignation announcement would create; news of his leave of absence resulted in a week-long $15/share selloff – despite Apple’s utter annihilation of Q1 expectations.

In honor of Schmidt’s announcement, here’s a short list of some of his most memorable quotes, which I’m sure had no bearing whatsoever on his departure.

“One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try and predict the stock market…and then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.”

Question from attendee at information session: “All this information that you have about us: where does it go? Who has access to that?”
Schmidt (ES): Paraphrase: Google servers and Google employees, under careful rules.
Follow-up Q: “Does that scare everyone in this room?” Applause
ES: “Would you prefer someone else? Is there a government that you would prefer to be in charge of this?”

“I think judgement matters. If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

Something Schmidt no doubt learned from Recovery Girl.

Jan 192011

Out of respect for Steve Jobs’ announced leave of absence, Fake Steve Jobs pen and honored denizen of Douchbag’s Row Dan Lyons has announced that he will no longer be writing in FSJ. He goes on to deride the inevitable flood of scumbag journalists who will ignore SJ’s request for privacy as people who “hunger for unique visitors and pageviews ahead of a man’s right to privacy”. This is clearly not the same kind of scourge as “letting hunger for unique visitors and pageviews” come before “facts”, something you can witness clearly by searching for “Newsweek”, “Lyons” and “Apple”.

The more successful parasites go out of their way not to permanently harm their hosts. Looks like someone knows where his dinner hangs.

Jun 252009

Actually‚ my headline is only tangentially related to what I’m going to write about.  But if you’ve read the tripe from the AP about how money influences the organ transplant game‚ you’re already familiar with the practice.  In three easy steps‚ the game of rigging news works thusly:

  1. Game a headline to suggest something unseemly that would make the blood of the average reader boil.  In this case: “Jobs’ liver transplant shows power of wealth”
  2. Use your opening paragraphs to pull a 180 away from your seedy‚ eye-catching headline (wouldn’t want the power of wealth’s attorneys knockin’ would we?) and state clearly that no one can “officially” game the system‚ setting up the reader for the dirty little secret about the relationship between money and undue influence you promised in said headline.
  3. Drop your payload.  “Here’s where money comes in.”  If you’re rich‚ you can buy a home anywhere in the country‚ so when the hospital makes that life-saving call to you‚ you can be on the operating table within hours.

Fucking. Awesome. Journalism.

You could also rent a home‚ or an apartment.  Or stay with a friend or relative.  But that wouldn’t be seedy and poor people might also be able to do that.  That might drive people to other sources for their sensationalistic news fix‚ a category that the Associated Press is apparently now happy to populate.

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