28 Dec 2006

The Grinches (Who Didn’t Get a Free Notebook) Spoil Xmas

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Those jolly little elves at Microsoft and AMD handed out to a number of bloggers (but not this one, alas!) as Xmas presents for review purposes brand new Acer Ferrari notebook computers, retailing for $2,299.

But, predictably enough, jealous grinches (who obviously didn’t get theirs) started accusing the elves of Redmond of bribing bloggers, forsooth.



So, inevitably, the elves got nervous and upset, decided it was safer to turn Indian-giver, and send the fortunate bloggers the following request:

Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding of our intentions I’m going to ask that you either give the pc away or send it back when you no longer need it for product reviews.

Hat tip to Techmeme.

One Feedback on "The Grinches (Who Didn’t Get a Free Notebook) Spoil Xmas"

Dominique R. Poirier

As (former) journalist specialized in computer business I often witnessed facts such as this you are reporting about, and to be honest I enjoyed such favors. Software editing companies often invited journalist like me to parties, cocktails or dinners, and, often “lent” us the latest versions of their softwares. For, those companies just expected we write about their products in the publications for which each of us used to write for. I have never been given a computer, however.

Actually, things work that way because everyone gets something out of it. Magazines are happy to find freelance columnists skilled enough in computer stuffs to write a pertinent paper on the latest softwares; before their challengers do it, if possible. Computer software publishers are happy to see their products largely touted on the media; all this for the advantageous price of a handful of their products. And specialized columnists, which usually happen to be nerds or fond of computer stuffs, are happy to entertain such privileged relationship with big software editing companies and media as well. About money, writing for magazines specialized in computer business is hardly an activity likely to provide one a decent living, and here lies the explanation of such behavior in many cases. Actually, writing about computer industry and stuffs has to be a second professional activity.

Things are even better for journalists specializing in automobile industry. Many of those people can borrow nice cars for long periods, and, as I witnessed it, some of them are even provided with gas credit cards; let alone exceptional conditions they enjoy when buying a car, of course.

Yes, any specialized journalist writing about industrial goods and expecting to make a long lasting career has to agree on that way of doing things.

But what happens in computer business is small beer when compared with how go thing in some other industrial sectors.

Some years before I worked in journalism I worked in communication and advertising. At this time I witnessed how generously rewarded were people working in health industry. Pharmaceutics companies are ready to offer a lot to hospital managers, specialized journalists, and other pharmaceutical distributors. In this branch shows and presentations for new products are often done through organized trips and tours in expensive resorts hotels. Also, advertising companies are ready to pay a lot under the table to marketing managers in order to win an advertising contract.

But, still talking about bribes, unbeatable records are to be found in arms and aviation industries. Here, bribes can reach as far as hundreds of thousands of Dollars for one deal only, and even more in some cases.


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