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And We Wonder Why the Mainstream Media is in Decline?



Kevin Tofel pointed out this Forbes article from Les Gomes entitled Intel’s Not-So-Mighty-Atom. Essentially the article is another misinformed tear down of Netbooks, because, (BREAKING NEWS ALERT) Intel’s Atom chipset isn’t as powerful and can’t do the same kind of things that the more powerful chips can do.

I don’t know. Maybe this article got written, oh, like 18 months or so ago, and they just decided to print it. But you’d think that a major publication that folks supposedly subscribe to for business advice would do just a little better on assigning reporters who know something about the subject, or at least those who know how to do some basic research. But then that fallacy (you know the media as an authoritative source) got blown apart last year when the economy collapsed. There’s an axiom at play here, that when a media outlet discovers a trend and actually devotes resources to it, the trend is actually over. And we wonder why mainstream media is in decline.

To be fair, (and it is hard to), there is still a great deal of confusion about Netbooks, and Intel and the OEMs essentially allowed this to occur. They did so primarily because they didn’t want to stop a rushing train full of cash coming in. But that turned around on them slightly at the end of last year when consumers discovered what Gome is now saying.   The lack of clarity is also partly to blame for the fact that Netbooks are eating into the higher profit margin machines.



  1. Sumocat

    09/17/2009 at 10:06 am

    I think Kevin nailed it on the head with his car analogy, while Gomes missed his by a mile. Oh noes, my mom won’t have fun using a netbook with her Slingbox or to play Flight Simulator! Oh wait, she only surfs the web and plays solitaire, stuff that “mainstream” users enjoy.

  2. GoodThings2Life

    09/17/2009 at 1:33 pm

    Haha, it’s hilarious, and yet not at all surprising to see the mainstream media get something wrong. But then, I don’t think it’s about reporting facts any more… it’s about reporting what they want you to hear in a way that makes you agree with them and feel guilty if you don’t agree.

  3. Kevin C. Tofel

    09/17/2009 at 2:14 pm

    I’m actually not even sure what the intent of the article was, to be honest. Looks like it was to say that the Intel Atom is a waste of silicon. Although I don’t know them all by name, I’d say I know about 25 million people that would argue that point! ;)

  4. Virtuous

    09/17/2009 at 2:51 pm

    The “mainstream media” is headed. for oblivion unless they can adapt to the new information economy. Articles like this show mainstream media is often clueless about tech. Newspapers and magazines will be replaced by living interactive websites and Internet technologies like Google Wave..

    There are 20 years worth of PC games people can play on netbooks. On notebook sceens I don’t need to watch video in HD. Standard resolution is good enough for most notebooks.

  5. Ric

    09/17/2009 at 3:02 pm

    I dont think the authors points are totally worthless. The premise of the article is salient! I too jumped on the netbook bandwagon a half year ago and after spending time with a popular machine and doubling the RAM and tweaking it, I was still disappointed in it for the simple image and video purposes I got it for. I replaced it with a 12 inch HP ‘hybrid’ machine that had similar size and weight like a netbook but more horsepower and capability and am thrilled. I think Netbook offerings will become more granular as time goes by and consumers will support them even more. I know when I recommend machines to those around me being the office geek I am … the selection and criteria is way more diverse now than it ever was.

  6. Tai-Pan

    09/18/2009 at 4:15 am

    Intel probably encourages that attitude to drive people into buying higher margin CULV based machines

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