Discussing software, the web, politics, sexuality and the unending supply of human stupidity.

35 tech journalism cliches

  1. This new product does not function the way I personally think it should, therefore it is not going to succeed in the marketplace because I say so.

  2. Company X is not producing a product in this category, and it is essential for them to do so because I say so, and if they don’t they will fail catastrophically.

  3. Company X is late to the market in a particular category, and if they don’t hurry up, they will fail catastrophically.

  4. I’ve found a drawing on the internet of what an unannounced product might look like, so it will definitely look like this.

  5. I’m a monolingual, English-speaking middle class Western white male in his 20s or 30s whose only experience of technology is in a milieu dominated by other monolingual, English-speaking middle class Western white men of roughly my age and I can’t figure out why anyone would want to use product X, so therefore nobody will use product X.

  6. Company X has a low market share in this category of products, so company X has failed regardless of tedious things like how much profit they make from said product. After this article, I shall write one on how Rolex aren’t nearly as successful a watchmaker as Casio along the same broad principles.

  7. I shall borrow a concept from one area of technology I don’t know much about and apply it to another area of technology I also don’t know much about.

  8. I shall try and explain a moderately complicated technical topic which I don’t really understand by coming up with an analogy that doesn’t actually fit very well.

  9. This new device that has come out will kill existing device for a bunch of subjective and arbitrary reasons.

  10. I’m going to draw some overly broad conclusions from sales or analytics data that represents a tiny fraction of the overall market or is otherwise misleading, and I’m not going to couch my conclusions in the required level of uncertainty that my source justifies.

  11. An analyst has written a report which I find similar to my opinions therefore it is gospel truth and contains no obvious technical flaws (not that I could spot them if it did).

  12. Let’s poke some fanboys and watch the sparks fly in the comments.

  13. I’m going to cover the new shiny stuff without discussing the social and political values embedded in the technology.

  14. I’m going to discuss the social and political values of technology but misunderstand how the actual technology works.

  15. I have no understanding of the history of technology, so when some goofball PR comes to me and tells me that some idea is new and revolutionary, I believe every word he says rather than taking five minutes to check Wiki-fucking-pedia and see that it is simply a rebrand of the same concept that has been marketed under five different labels, often by the same company. (See: cloud computing which is what used to be called grid computing or network computing, which is basically what mainframe timesharing systems were doing.)

  16. Teething troubles with a new product fatally undermines both that product—or even that whole class of products—for ever more.

  17. Big company X has introduced a new programming language, therefore it will come to magically dominate all programming for ever and ever. (See: the hilarious comments from people who thought Google’s Go language would suddenly become the lingua franca of back-end web development, replacing PHP, .NET, Rails, Node.js et al. despite being intended as a C replacement).

  18. Open source product X will destroy all of its proprietary/commercial competitors because it is open source and open source will always win.

  19. The products and services that young people use are the future because they are young people, and they are able to pay for said products and services using their vast income and resources and nonexistent credit cards.

  20. Here’s some shit security advice that doesn’t actually take account of the current threats.

  21. Someone told me about this database which is distributed, fully ACID and CAP compliant and has solved P=NP, and even though I don’t quite know what those words mean (and the Wikipedia article kind of goes above my head) but I believe them because why would a PR person lie to me?

  22. I went on an expensive course to learn how to make apps. They all had shiny new MacBooks and taught me some basic JavaScript and we made a web page. We had artisanal flatbreads with some very tasty hummous at a nice office in Shoreditch. I’m a programmer now.

  23. Bitcoin will change everything. But, yes, I did struggle to buy anything with my Bitcoin and had to pull out my debit card.

  24. I’m going to talk about free speech on social media while eliding the difference between free speech as a moral standard and free speech as a legal requirement. As part of this, I shall treat the First Amendment and other American free speech law as universally applicable because I’m an American and America FUCK YEAH GO USA.

  25. Let me guilt shame you about using ad blocking software even though the web is literally unusable without the parade of bloated shitvertising and spyware-infected Flash crap that we need to install so we can pay writers to turn out this turgid, poorly researched shit we like to call “quality technology journalism”. Our failure to find a sustainable business model is actually your moral failure.

  26. I’m going to just ignore user experience and decide which product is best based on a series of feature lists and specifications: because who gives a fuck if the feature is actually useable in real life by real humans?

  27. Rather than giving you a nuanced and detailed review describing the features and pitfalls of a number of competing products, I shall arbitrarily declare one member of this class of products the “winner”—because my subjective weighting of desired features and design will obviously match up exactly with yours, and it’s my job to do the thinking for you.

  28. Doing real research is hard, so I’m just going to rip some shit off an actual expert’s blog without credit.

  29. Why, yes, my representative sample of an open source community project is one cranky troll.

  30. Let me tell you about how the NSA are nasty and evil. Yes, you could install some crypto software to protect yourself against their spying, but it’s much more fun to get worked up into a lather about it than actually protect yourself.

  31. I went to TED and met some exciting thought leaders who are going to build their own libertarian paradise, megadose on vitamin pills and upload their brains to the cloud while helping Bono solve all the world’s social and economic problems. These people aren’t colossal wankers and the things they have to say aren’t horseshit. No, really.

  32. This guy on Reddit has a summary he wrote on the back of a cigarette packet of what he thinks will be Apple’s new product. He claims to have sources in China who tell him that they absolutely will be making this product. Yes, he’s a completely trustworthy source.

  33. Here’s a bunch of predictions about the future of technology X. You won’t hold me accountable to any of them. And, no, being the Psychic Sally of the tech industry isn’t demeaning to me at all. (For entertainment purposes only.)

  34. Big company P bought an infinitesimal stake in startup Q. Therefore, according to the bullshit law of valuations that everyone follows for some reason, Q is now worth $100 quintillion.

  35. X is dead. Yes, you know, that product X that has billions of satisfied users around the world. I say it is dead, therefore it is totally dead.

Thank god for tech journalism. We would be so poorly informed without it.