Daniel Eran Dilger
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UK Tabloids Pick Up Zoon Awards for Technical Incompetence

UK Zoon Awards
Daniel Eran Dilger
It’s not just the American media that is desperate to publish misleading or downright false information in attempts to prevent the erosion of existing barriers to innovation. The release of the iPhone in the UK touched off a flurry of snide reporting worthy of being Zooned.

Let Them Eat Zoon.
Reader Mike Adams wrote, “Over the past year, the two major free newspapers in the city of London (read by 5 million Londoners every single day), called London Lite and The London Paper have been bashing Apple over and over and over again. Anytime there’s any news about iPods or iPhones, they will always twist the story in a way to make it sound bad.

”They lied about iPhone sales figures (they said 160.000 on opening weekend), they keep repeating that iPods have battery issues any time they mention iPods, they keep saying that the iPod nano is fat or is called the widepod without even having used one and they often show pictures of the old model when mentioning the new one, they keep mentioning that Apple UK prices are unfairly higher than the US by conveniently forgetting that US prices are given without VAT and that UK prices include 17.5% VAT, they publish retard user comments such as “iPhone… iSchmone, boring, too little too late…” in their printed newspaper and other complete nonsense from bozos, and whenever they talk about the iPhone they pick on the most stupid irrelevant nitty-gritty details to criticize it. Both those publications deserve a big fat Zoon award.“

In particular, Adams noted an article in the London Lite that cited the iPhone’s price with service in its headline, but calculated the figure using the highest service plan available. That outdoes the American press and its desperation to describe the iPhone as costing $2000 versus $99 alternatives. Adams also noted that the London Metro published the same headline, and similarly failed to point out that a variety of phones cost significantly more. For this alone, the London Lite and the London Metro get a Zoon. In guilt by association, The London Paper gets a Zoon too, along with Metro wag Oliver Stallwood and London Paper scribblers Michal Dzierza, Kim Taylor Bennett, John Dunne.

Adams also recommended the BBC News Service, a nomination that was also suggested by a number of other readers, including Orlando Smith, Mike Perlman, and Jonathan Tilney. The following article was enough to win a Zoon by itself.

BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones Uses Mixed Up Math.
A day after Apple announced its UK iPhone deal with O2, BBC writer Rory Cellan-Jones worried out loud, ”Will customers really want to pay what Apple and O2 are going to charge the iPhone’s early adopters?“

In order to present just how much extra will iPhone users pay, Cellan-Jones described the iPhone’s minimum plan, but only added up figures for a more expensive tier. He then compared Nokia’s N95, first admitting that it commonly sold for the same price and service plan as Apple’s iPhone, but then managing to identify a way to compare the iPhone’s more expensive contract with the N95’s cheapest one.

With a more expensive contract on the Nokia, he could even match iPhone’s more expensive plan rate and get the N95 for free, although he had to admit that the N95–despite having some nice features–lacks ”Apple design flair and sheer usability which made the iPod such a big hit and has created such a buzz around the phone.“

Thanks for all the fact juggling, false comparisons, and doubt seeding, even if you ended up telling us what we already knew: the iPhone is competitively priced and featured, and will force Nokia and other service providers to make better products at better prices. Next time, stick with the facts and avoid all the fearsome fretting about suppositions you know aren’t really scary at all.

But the BBC Keeps Going.
To really earn its Zoon, the BBC also published a dreadful article by Bill Thompson. Why it was so bad is detailed in the following article, but I’ll go ahead and hand Bill Thompson and the BBC a Zoon right now.

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  • kingjames1970

    It’s a very British thing too – we love to build things up only to knock them down. The BBC certainly needs to start being more careful, they are so in bed with M$ it is unbelievable.