David Pogue is in trouble for possibly having a conflict of interest. I had written him an email a year ago about an article that felt like straight up shilling for a company. I thought about excerpting the exchange into Boing Boing as a comment, but I have my own blog for that. Right?
My initial email:
About your article: IPhone App to Sidestep AT&T
I’m just curious, did you just retype the press release from that
other company? I would love to see your analysis of Toktumi versus
His brushoff response:
Here are a few differences between line2 and Skype:
Among other things, Skype can’t place cellular calls. No WiFi? No calling.
Not to mention all the calling tricks you don’t get with Skype: conference calling, call waiting, call screening, call transfers, etc.
(p.s… You are a very rude person!)
Hopefully my response was the sort of dressing down that would help him to lose sleep, but he probably blocked me:
Even the offhand analysis you gave in the email would have been terrific in the article.
Sir, this was not a personal attack, but a remonstration over one
specific article. Was my email rude? Maybe, but that doesn’t make me
a rude person any more than one fawning review makes you a hack
If you really want to argue this out, we can, but I’d rather that you,
as the journalist in this relationship, did the research for everyone.
That chart has skype marked as “no” for “Receive inbound calls,” but
if you pay for the number it can. Here at work, my iPhone can’t get
on to the wifi network, so paying for the number does me no good.
That’s an important distinction. My mother called my skype number
yesterday and my iPhone did not ring. Boo.
You’ve still got a very nice article about a new phone service that
has some lovely features: automated call screening, conference
calling, and call transfers, in addition to being the first working
Voice Over 3G iPhone app. Those are great features, but game
changing? If we say that the VO3G part is game-changing, how far
behind are the other vendors? How long until Apple lets VO3G into the
SDK? What is the current and upcoming status of Skype over 3G on the
iPhone? What about on other platforms? Will line2 show up on other
mobile platforms? Will the Google Voice app make a triumphant return?
You are writing for the New York Times, not Internets Phones for Dummies.
I guess that I should have said something about not fellating companies in public, but that would have been rude.
Also, I don’t use Skype much any more, and their app on the Droid X under Verizon is pretty awful.