Sunday, March 05, 2006

Analysis: Times' tech news

I've long been thinking about--and linking to--Times coverage of technology and tech law; I now share that thought.

The Times is a respectable source for technology and tech law news--they don't give the blow-by-blow details of every story, and they're not always the fastest, but they cover almost all the truly big stories before they get stale and do so pretty well.

Basically, I would now recommend the Times to anybody who doesn't have the time, patience, or energy to really stay on top of tech news the "right" way--the blogosphere and tech news outlets. But if you're even reading this, you probably think I'm being ironic because you already know more about tech news than anybody who would take this advice. Just in case...

If you reeeeally want to be hip, read CNet's, Slashdot, and BoingBoing. (These are the tip of the iceberg; other good examples include Techdirt,, and National Journal's Telecomm Update.) If you want to be kind of hip, read a platform-specific magazine such as PCWorld, Macworld, or MacAddict. If you just don't want to be freakin' clueless, read the Times technology section.

It's nice that the nation's paper of record is serving as the backstop in the digital millennium, though they're really missing a chance to be exceptional. By the time they get around to something, most people who care already know. At least they're a good barometer that a subject has hit the national consciousness.

Two great examples were on the site today. First, there's a piece about WiFi moochers. Second up to bat, how much profit is lurking in cell phones? These articles are decent, but for whom is this stuff news?

The Times would have a shade more tech credibility, IMO, with just one change--they could offer permanent links rather than forcing bloggers to use the NYTimes Link Generator. A tangles mass of blog links will never be a substitute for their paid archives search, and they would be a more legitimate source for the blogosphere.

Okay, they've already given out the first three Oscars (Stewart is doing better on the fly than with any of his scripted stuff, which hit flat), so I'm done now.


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