Top 10: Tech News Topics I’m Boycotting This Year

I love geeknews

I’ve got my curmudgeon hat on again, but figured I’d start off with that nice pic above to put you in a good mood before I foul it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the love of all that’s holy I wish the Tech News universe would just shut their traps (one could argue it includes me at times) on a handful of topics that have been beaten to death. I blame Scoble for having gotten everybody and their dog into blogging (like me), followed by the echo chamber causing the hot topics of the year to bounce around ad-nauseam with rarely a resolution, just more of the same cud coming about.

Another reason some topics become tiring is that they get beat down to the point where you figure there couldn’t possibly be anything more that could sustain it in the news. Only to find some enterprising blogger or reporter digs it out of the grave and plucks off a few more bits of flesh to place under the microscope, looking for life.

Below are my Top 10 Tech News Topics that I’m boycotting. I won’t blog about these unless it appears the thing is well and truly dead.

Newsflash: ‘dead’ as HD-DVD appears to be, hurray. One Tech Topic down and 9 more to go!

By boycotting them, I won’t read articles on these topics no matter how enticing they seem. In fact I’m boycotting Tech News sites that I catch listing at least 3 of the topics in the same week: goodbye Engadget, goodbye TechCrunch, and good riddance Gizmodo!

If you don’t recognize any of these topics count yourself lucky, without further ado:

10. OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

Yes, the topic is somewhat important, it’s all about the children and developing nations. But I’m tired of hearing about Intel’s Classmate project competing with the OLPC $100, $180, $200 laptop, tired of hearing whether Windows or Linux should be the OS of choice, the app compat questions, the fact that a bunch of nerds bought it and hacked it, the conspiracy theories, etc…

I’ve played an OLPC and goofed on it, it’s like a Tonka Toy Laptop. Nothing special and nothing to see here, please move along, Thank you.

9. Municipal Wi-Fi

Maybe you’ve heard it as Municipal Wi-Fi or Muni Wi-Fi or Muni-Fi or Mu-Fi. I hear it’s dead or dying a slow and agonizing death. Good riddance. Thanks to Earthlink and GOOG and Chicago for bringing this vaporware ‘Wireless wants to be free’ system. In reality it’s been called a foolish effort proposed and run by underqualified private companies to cash in on the latest craze and push advertising via a new and virtually untapped source. And as soon as a lot of cities found out that “oh crap, you mean we have to pay to build out some infrastructure first?” the plans started falling out of favor faster than a politician in favor of pornography and free booze.

It’s being tried anyway in a few cities with mixed success from Auckland, NZ to Mountain View, CA. Thanks, but no thanks. You keep your free Wi-Fi and i’ll stick with my private network through AT&T on my mobile since it’s suiting me just fine thank you.

8. Multimedia downloads/streaming (iTunes music/video, Zune Marketplace, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, Netflix)

It’s music. It’s movies. It’s TV shows.

Someone uploads it.

You download it.

Sometimes you pay for it, sometimes you don’t.

You play it on the computer or a handheld device.

WTF else is there to it besides that? Why are we still talking about it?

7. HDTV/1080p or 1080i or 720p, you don’t really care

Jeebus, it’s just video.

Stop obsessing over the sourcefeed and how it’s going to impact your purchase decisions.

Stop obsessings over whether the TV is interlaced or progressive scan; you’re not going to discern a difference and don’t try to tell me you can because I’ll just nod my head in agreement and use my inside voice to call BS.

6. Mobile Phone usage on airplanes

I think most of us are in agreement that use of mobile phones on planes does not cause disruption of the plane’s navigation systems. The FCC created the rule so they wouldn’t have to get into the mode of testing every new mobile phone that comes out to ensure it can’t disrupt any model of plane in use today.

5. SEO (search engine optimization)

“Hey, my site sucks. What can I do about it?” I know, I’ll hire someone to optimize my site for me and bump my pagerank so I can make $0000’s a week in advertising like those other sites.

Look, odds are very very very good you’re not going to make money unless you have a killer idea and it’s unique. So stop wasting your time trying to play the pagerank game, GOOG has people that are smarter than you and they’ll figure out that you’re gaming the Search Engines.

Go to and search for “SEO Tips”, it’ll return 1.1 million results. “SEO Tools” = 2.6 million results.

If you really want to market your site go buy a book on the topic at Amazon or try hosting all your Pron pics or MP3s up there and make someone click through an advert first to get access. See #4 below.

4. RIAA / PirateBay / Torrent Sites

I am sick and tired of this topic.

This is nothing more than the 80’s & 90’s version of the software piracy activities, downloading cracked games or applications.

The thing is, in 10-20 years it won’t be music it’ll be something else people are downloading illegally, like maybe human souls.

The lesson learned here is that this is a cat and mouse game, there will never be a clear winner, it’ll slowly become a non-issue over time for one reason or another so take my advice and make it a non-issue now by stop talking it. For instance, stop talking about the grandma getting sued for her grandchild’s illegal acts.

3. HD-DVD/BluRay

Today I learned that Toshiba, largest supporter of HD-DVD, may be giving up on the format. This means Bluray wins, right?

Good. End of topic, let’s move on.

2. Twitter

OK, this one baffles me the most. Who the hell are these people that are ‘listening’ for you to tweet at them all day, every day.

This is like blogging on a micro-miniature scale. Why is this interesting? Why do some bloggers feel pressure to add a tweet channel to their site so we can all subscribe and receive their little mini blog articles while they’re sitting on the toilet or stuck in a traffic jam or waiting in line at the Burger King.

Why is it a good idea to mix the concepts of blog feeds and SMS and Instant Messaging into one application/service?

Get a life people!

BTW, this one could be tied into the #1 topic as well since Twitter is also considered a…

1. Social Networking Sites

As if the aggregators like Digg,, Fark, Reddit weren’t enough social networking for a generation of Internet junkies, along came these havens for abuse:

MySpace, Bebo, FaceBook, Orkut and their ilk.

But it really started back in the day with and, followed by Epinions as just an informal gathering of folks that may or may not have something in common and the level of interaction was kept to a minimum.

Not anymore, today there’s an expectation that you actually interact on a regular basis, share more information on yourself. These sites are monitoring so much of your activity (including when you’re off their site) that the social networking sites like MySpace & Facebook are routinely subpoenaed for legal and criminal investigations or being used by police, probation and university officials to prosecute users of the site or use the information in court.

To top it off, social networking sites are releasing their own APIs, so now they can host business applications or other interesting methods of deploying malware to your PC or opening up whole new avenues for abuse of your identity.

Some people see these behemoths of social networking as ‘the new internet’, yeah much like AOL was it’s owned walled garden internets, look how that’s worked out for them.

Let’s just pray that this fad collapses under it’s own weight soon. Especially after what i’ve seen inside the Second Life universe, god help us.

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I'm an eternal optimist, follow a Buddhist philosophy, geek of many areas, entrepreneur, learning the Chinese language, a die-hard sports fan, love politics and nuclear submarines.

4 thoughts on “Top 10: Tech News Topics I’m Boycotting This Year”

  1. Ah a rant, always entertaining…

    Boy you do cross off a lot of subject tech geeks hold near and dear.

    What else is going to be left… Actual Pirate (as in buccaneer) stuff and Eco-Friendly USB Ear-muffs?

    Nah I’m sure you’ll tell me there are still a gazillion things to talk about…

    So here’s my request: More Steampunk tech. A review of the Mac Air (usable or just a tech marvel). Will someone kill World of Warcraft one day?

    You know… stuff!

  2. Bryan – i agree on the 1/2 comment and I had mentioned in the twitter rant that it could be rolled up into the Social Networking topic. But there’s something about the uselessness of Twittering that baffles me and so I figured it deserved it’s own place on the list. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ChattyDM – i’ll mix it up some more. Getting this off my chest should help me…I hope.

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