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The Press Releases of the Damned

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the synthesize-best-practices dept.

Businesses 176

Harry writes "Once upon a time, Microsoft said that Windows Vista would transform life as we knew it. Palm said its Foleo was a breakthrough. Circuit City said firing its most experienced salespeople would save the company. And Apple said that Web apps were all that iPhone owners needed. I've collected the original press releases for these and other ill-fated tech announcements, and annotated them with the facts as they played out in the real world."

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176 comments

Not worth reading (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104463)

The stupid "article" is spread over 8 pages. Slashdot should have some standards for posted articles... and no, I'm not new here.

Re:Not worth reading (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104521)

and no, I'm not new here.

Well obviously. "Anonymous Coward" has been here since the very beginning and has an even lower UID than CmdrTaco ;)

I'll save everybody the trouble and just link to the only one [technologizer.com] that's remotely interesting. The AOL-Time Warner merger. How'd that work out again? I stopped getting three AOL CDs/disks a week so they must have done something right ;)

Re:Not worth reading (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104617)

The AOL/Time Warner thing was a colossal fuckup; but I have to hand it to the guys on the AOL side.

AOL, purveyor of overpriced, under-performing dialup access and horrendous software to complete morons, managed to (just as it was becoming abundantly clear that dialup was doomed and that the internet at large was superior to the walled garden) convince Time Warner, a company with some actual hope, that they were worth an amazing amount of money.

Re:Not worth reading (4, Funny)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105095)

What the heck is AOL?

Re:Not worth reading (2, Informative)

REggert (823158) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105243)

You're kidding, right?

Just in case you live in a cave, AOL = America Online, the #1 ISP of people who don't know better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aol [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not worth reading (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105279)

I'm going out on a limb that he was kidding. He found Slashdot.

Re:Not worth reading (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106305)

You're either new here, otherwise woooooosh!

add me too Re:Not worth reading (0, Redundant)

weeeeed (675324) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106323)

me too!!1

Re:Not worth reading (2, Interesting)

methano (519830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105425)

This is exactly right. A lot of people hoot on Steve Case over this deal. I think it was a genius move on his part as explained above. I did the math back when it happened and AOL was valued at around $7K per US household. It would take a long time to get that kind of money back. It was a disastrous deal on TW's part. Overall it was a bad deal because TW was twice as stupid as Case and company were smart.

Re:Not worth reading (5, Insightful)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105611)

If you are comparing AOL to the internet and modern ISPs, then you are completely correct.

The thing with AOL is that it was around *before* the internet and those other ISPs. AOL came around in the age of the BBS.
Everything was dial-up. Mail was tossed and copied around node to node. It was almost all local due to phone charges. What AOL did was make a national BBS, and put in local dial-up access points in most local calling areas. It was bigger than any other BBS of the time. It offered mail to any other AOL user, and mail bridges to most other networks (like compuserv). They had a GUI when everyone else was text based. You can't call them stupid for being the biggest provider in their market. Their problem was that the market changed.

When the internet finally did grow up, AOL was already big. The problem is that the internet changed the online equation. Access became commodity. AOL had to rely on content. (That's why the TW deal). But eventually, the internet had more content too. So AOL is a leftover giant.

I guess we could just expect them to rollover and die because they are outdated. But it's funny how many people don't want to do that, regardless of how outdated they are.

Re:Not worth reading (3, Interesting)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105897)

Don't forget Compuserve [wikipedia.org] who was the granddaddy of AOL and modern ISPs and the first to bring nationwide dial-up home computer network access to American families.

I actually pulled the first open source program I ever used from a friend's dad's Compuserve after reading about it in a catalog listing from one of those generic BBS file collection CDs they used to sell.

Re:Not worth reading (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105199)

The AOL/TW merger could and should have been a massive success. AOL was at the time THE premium content delivery network, and Time Warner has scads of content in print, music, video, TV - just the sort of thing people might pay to see. AOL was just starting broadband and Time Warner had the infrastructure. It really could have lead to a service where you got content and broadband all for some fairly reasonable price. But back to reality... AOL were supremely arrogant and didn't know innovation if it bit them on the ass (witness how they handled Netscape & Nullsoft). And Time Warner were an old school media conglomerate terrified of the internet. Neither side had a clue how to work "synergies" and the whole lot just collapsed in a heap. I'm sure Steve Case made a mint, but the whole deal was a disaster from the get go.

Re:Not worth reading (3, Informative)

teslar (706653) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105517)

Well obviously. "Anonymous Coward" has been here since the very beginning and has an even lower UID than CmdrTaco ;)

If I remember right, the AC has an (internal) UID of 666 - which would by higher than CmdrTaco's 1 :)

Re:Not worth reading (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106297)

Is it really? I've never bothered to look at slashcode. I just always assumed the UID was 0 for AC's. It's pretty funny if they defined it as 666 though.

Re:Not worth reading (2, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106321)

You remember right. If you directly go to UID #1 [slashdot.org] , you get CmdrTaco [slashdot.org] . If you go directly to UID #666 [slashdot.org] , you get "Anonymous Coward".

And 1 < 666.

Re:Not worth reading (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105911)

The really cool thing about this one is, at least as far as I can tell since I didn't bother checking any other than the one you linked to, every page is in fact an image. The AOL-Time Warner press release is 578x3201, for instance. That's the kind of thing that I believe Archimedes would have called "really fucking irritating."

Loser business ideas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104587)

Yeah see, it's because there are still folks out there, grasping at straws, thinking they can make money somehow with the advertisement and getting eyeballs revenue model on the web. They're stuck in 1998.

Re:Loser business ideas. (1)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105325)

Like Google?

Re:Not worth reading (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104735)

Normally I'd agree with you.

But in this case, each page is for a separate example, and there's not excessive advertising splashed between the pages. For once, this layout seemed appropriate and very well done.

Re:Not worth reading (5, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104885)

AutoPager [mozilla.org] for FireFox or
Re-pagination [andreineculau.com]

AutoPager requires 'plugin' scripts for sites (which there is one for technologizer). But it makes it look like one page.

[header]
page 1
page 2
page 3
[footer]

Re-pagination works on most sites I've tried it on (other than those damn Javascript "next" buttons). But it loads a copy of each of the pages.

[header]
page 1
[footer]
[header]
page 2
[footer]
[header]
page 3
[footer]

Re:Not worth reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105747)

You should not be required to use some additonal add on, some code modification to a browser you may not care to have installed, just to be able to read an article in a reasonable format. Especially on a tech savvy site such as Slashdot!

Re:Not worth reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105945)

If the page in question had been well constructed, that is: had links marked with rel="next", rel="prev" et.c., then Opera has a built-in function to follow those (no buggy, slow and memory hungry extensions). In the mid-90's, Opera used to guess which links to follow for next/prev/home (that would have worked with this page, where the links have logic names containing Previous and Next). Same thing I imagine those Firefox-extension in the parent comment does. But that feature lead to serious security risks on rare occasions, so they removed it.

As a fact, all extensions know existing in Firefox have been implemented in at least one version of Opera in the 90's. But most have been removed because they proved to have some serious implications, proved unnecessery or was just too damn clunky. ;-)

Re:Not worth reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105155)

What I'd like to see is early Intel press releases on the EPIC architecture, ie. what became known as the Itanic. As far as I recall, they were planning to take over the world with that one, since it would be so much more efficient than x86 could ever be, at least according to the original plans.

Obligitory (2, Funny)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104467)

Duke Nukem Forever to be released Q4 2009.

Re:Obligitory (2, Informative)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104529)

Duke Nukem Forever to be released Q4 1997.

They were right.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104479)

Microsoft said that Windows Vista would transform life as we knew it.

to a living hell!

Re:They were right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104711)

So true.

Re:They were right.... (1, Troll)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104875)

Only after Satan takes notes and makes his upgrades. Prior to that, a living hell will be an improvment.

Re:They were right.... (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104889)

That's because you don't have enough ram ... what Bill Gates REALLY said was "640 gigabytes should be enough for anyone!"

Remember Weird Al's song about Windows 95 - "

There's so much stuff to buy
I need a new harddrive
It's gonna suck me dry.
My CPU says,
'don't have the speed',
it takes an hour just to bring up the screen

Life imitates art. Microsoft is taking its' HID cues from Weird Al (which explains a lot :-)

Re:They were right.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105755)

Remember Weird Al's song about Windows 95

<pedantic>That wasn't Weird Al. He never made a parody of "Start Me Up" about Windows 95. Al's not the only guy who can write parodies, you know.</pedantic>

<character type="Comic Book Store Guy">So please review your facts next time before you talk, ignoramus. Hmph.</character>

It goes without saying... (2, Insightful)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104491)

...that irrespective of the situation, press releases are never going to say "this sucks" or "this is completely unoriginal". A few of these are genuine oversights/lack of forward thinking (e.g. the iPhone app one) but the majority of them are standard marketing hyperbole that appears everywhere ("This cleaning product will TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE!").

Re:It goes without saying... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104843)

press releases are never going to say "this sucks" or "this is completely unoriginal"

No, but news stories arise out of press releases, and the news writer will often use as source for information the ... wait for it ... press release. The story, in turn, inspires more news stories, most of which are just like it. By the time the cycle ends, everyone is repeating the same truthiness. And in a busy overstressed world, who has time to be a critical consumer of news and distinguish between press release content from real journalism (original reporting, editorial oversight, etc.)?

Kudos to Harry. I think his efforts thus far are interesting enough, but I'd like to see more as I think he's onto something. That is, if a blog that's a cross between the Daily Show and Mystery Science Theater can be considered "something". ;-)

Re:It goes without saying... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104951)

At least according to Wolfram Alpha's 2007 numbers, there are now more PR managers than journalists in the US, and the number of PR managers is rising faster(wages are also higher, and rising faster, for the latter category).

I strongly suspect that, in the fairly near future(to the degree it hasn't happened already, googling "video news release" can be eye opening) news stories will stop arising from press releases, and simply be replaced by them.

Re:It goes without saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105099)

just for curiosity, could you spare the query you used to obtain that data?

Re:It goes without saying... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105141)

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=journalists [wolframalpha.com]

and

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Public+relations [wolframalpha.com]

I couldn't figure out how to make it do anything actually fancy(getting both occupations graphed, over time, would have been nice).

Re:It goes without saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104909)

"This cleaning product will TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE!"

Just look what it did for Billy Mays. It totally transformed his life in the biggest way possible.

Re:It goes without saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105627)

Cocaine is not a cleaning product...

Re:It goes without saying... (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106147)

Maybe not where you come from. Here in the UK, sniffer-dogs are trained to recognise detergent powder cut with talc...

Re:It goes without saying... (5, Funny)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106435)

Cocaine is not a cleaning product...

Sure it is... it works great at getting that pesky cartilage stuff out of your nose.

Re:It goes without saying... (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104963)

...that irrespective of the situation, press releases are never going to say "this sucks" or "this is completely unoriginal". A few of these are genuine oversights/lack of forward thinking (e.g. the iPhone app one) but the majority of them are standard marketing hyperbole that appears everywhere ("This cleaning product will TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE!").

Life boils down to a question of whether people are talkin' the straight shit or just a line of bullshit. Bullshit pays more but the straight shit lets you look yourself in the mirror.

The funny thing, people love the bullshit. They bullshit others, they bullshit themselves. It amazes me when someone does due diligence, get told something that's true but they don't like it. This big deal I'm salivating over, it's smarter to pass it up than get all my money tied up in it? Fuck you. What, you're saying my income can only support getting the fancy house and the car, not the house, the car, and the yacht? Fuck you twice-over, cocksucker.

You get some exec with a grandiose plan, something that's really going to make his name, cement his reputation, there's no way of telling him it's just not that good of an idea. So any analyst who wants to remain employed will provide the analysis the boss wants to see, not what he needs to see. And this kind of warped, demented thinking will persist until objective reality makes itself known with all the subtlety of a ship foundering upon the rocky shore.

Ugh (4, Insightful)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104499)

8 pages and no printer friendly version (that I can find)? This is why /.ers don't RTFA!

Re:Ugh (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104761)

On top of that, if you look at your noscript menu you can see that the multiple page layout is just an attempt to create more ad impressions. Eight pages of free ad credit for a one-page article? DO NOT WANT

If only I didn't have to watch a fucking video tutorial to use autopager, I might have read his stupid article. But I still wouldn't click next seven times.

Re:Ugh (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106307)

There are ads on that page?

Re:Ugh (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104793)

needs jscript to view.

forget it, then! anyone want to paste in the actual content? or, maybe even that isn't worth the time.

slashvertisements just help authors get page hits. and that is NOT what slash is supposed to be about, guys..

I wonder. (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104513)

Are the flacks who write these sorts of releases embittered mercenaries who know they are puking shit into the public consciousness but just don't give a fuck, or are they bright eyed eternal optimists who actually think in PR language and sincerely believe each release as they write it(before, of course, believing something entirely different to write the next one)?

Re:I wonder. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104663)

Are the flacks who write these sorts of releases embittered mercenaries who know they are puking shit into the public consciousness... (etc)

That's all awfully dramatic. I think they're just some people doing a job to make a living. Just like the company higher-ups for that matter. The truth is, predicting the future - let alone controlling it - is hard to do. Unintended consequences are the norm, not the exception. Still, people who try to take matters into their own hands and bend the future to their will do achieve the desired effect on occasion, and tend to wind up better off than people who refuse to make any move for fear of doing the wrong thing or being shown up later.

Re:I wonder. (2, Insightful)

gnalre (323830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105005)

Hands up all who thought at the time hmm, AOL and Time Warner, now that's a good idea. Equally ebay, skype, yes I can see the synergy there.

OK sometimes someone sees something the rest of us can't and makes a billion, but its amazing how many times ideas that look really stupid to most of us are actually really stupid. Of course the people who pay for it are the common employee's who don't get asked their opinion.

Re:I wonder. (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105359)

I thought the AOL purchase of Time-Warner was a brilliant move on the part of AOL. It was their only chance of survival. I think it could have worked if Time-Warner's phobia about Internet distribution and piracy hadn't proceeded to infect AOL.

Re:I wonder. (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104773)

I think they start out as the latter and turn into the former.

Re:I wonder. (1)

OctaviusIII (969957) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105103)

As someone that used to write form letters, a similar genre of writing, it sort of becomes an art in itself: how much sugar can stick to what's true without it becoming so saccharine nobody wants it? I don't know about others, but I did: a) give a fuck, and b) believe in the kernal of truth around which the letter was written. People that wrote these press releases seem to have lost touch with reality, but I have a feeling they probably took about 10 minutes to write and 2 days to proof, giving others the chance to insert their own BS.

Re:I wonder. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105647)

As a PR/marketing flack myself, I'll freely admit that I'm an embittered mercenary, as I think most in the profession are. But the problem is not us marketing people; it's just the nature of the industry. 1) No one will read a press release unless it claims a huge benefit. No one reads press releases to begin with, but a press release that makes only modest claims will just get drowned out in the overwhelming 24/7 noise of the modern marketosphere. 2) No client will approve a release that makes him sound anything less than the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and his product anything less than the Holy Grail 2.0. 3) Selling is hard, stressful work. You can't afford to have a rational conversation with the public about the merits and demerits of your product, because your job is on the line if the sales curve slacks, so you've got to do your damnedest to sell the thing, no matter how awful it is.

Re:I wonder. (2, Informative)

greenguy (162630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105851)

I've written a few press releases in my day (for politics, not technology). The answer is, people who write these sorts of releases know that journalists are lazy, and routinely cut and paste sentences from them into their articles. The really lazy ones paste in the entire press release.

Re:I wonder. (1)

lazyforker (957705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106355)

Are the flacks who write these sorts of releases embittered mercenaries who know they are puking shit into the public consciousness but just don't give a fuck, or are they bright eyed eternal optimists who actually think in PR language and sincerely believe each release as they write it(before, of course, believing something entirely different to write the next one)?

Yes.

Generated with Print Screen for your pleasure! (5, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104565)

You'd think when people used screenshots of something they threw together in a word processor they'd at least turn off auto-spell check underlining so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

Re:Generated with Print Screen for your pleasure! (1)

Minimalist360 (1258970) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104743)

You mean the links and styled glossary entries in the second slide?

Vista did "transform life"... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104569)

...For Microsoft.

Damn!! (2, Funny)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104611)

That's why I'm running low on coasters AOL stopped sending them out in 2006 :)

Sony (3, Insightful)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104613)

Sony ditching their AI and other cutting-edge 'out there' research (like the Qrio and Aibo) to focus on media/entertainment. Sony Labs used to feel like one of those wicked Zaibatsus as described in Neuromancer.

It happened shortly after they took on an American board member, incidentally.

HP did much the same under Carly.

ATT's Bell Labs, too.

I hope Research in Motion's Perimeter Institute takes off. These corporate research labs are where we get all the best stuff!

Re:Sony (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104977)

WRONG! We get the best stuff from FREE software.

Re:Sony (2, Interesting)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105057)

Interesting, I don't really understand Sony corporate structure, but as far as I know, Sony Music Entertainment was a separate company Sony bought in late 80s (Wikipedia seems to back this [wikipedia.org] up).

Do really they ditched their core business (high tech) for their media business? Wikipedia says the same as you:

The AIBO and the rest of Sony's artificial intelligence program was discontinued after 2005 in Sony's effort to make the company more profitable.

But offers no source. Sony AIBO Europe announcement doesn't says it was ditching the whole AI and robot program. This seems very strange.

There's seems to be at least one [sonycsl.co.jp] (really liked that page design) Sony Lab out there.

Disappointing.

In defense of the Circuit City press release (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104647)

I used to write press releases myself in my younger days and often times you're stuck in a very difficult position of having to spin something that's very negative into something that at least doesn't make a bad situation even worse. Let's face it, there are only two reasons that companies ever lay off employees en mass: a budget cut that makes it unavoidable, or an attempt to streamline by removing an entire redundant or poorly-performing area or division. Private sector companies are loathe to admit the former, and so they almost always couch a large layoff as the latter.

They do this because they know that, if they show weakness, their stock will tank and they'll have even MORE layoffs than they've already had. And laying off people is never easy to do. Despite the reputation that corporations have for being heartless, they are nonetheless made up of real human beings--very few of whom take any pleasure in having to throw their employees' lives into chaos (not to mention the real damage it does to the company itself and its projects).

Of course, sometimes the stock still tanks anyway (savvy investors are rarely fulled by mere spin), but to publicly announce "Hey, we're going into the shitter" is still irresponsible. And the only alternative to "We're streamlining" or "We're facing cuts" is "We axed these people capriciously, just because we felt like it." So the choice is pretty clear.

Re:In defense of the Circuit City press release (2, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105227)

Why is it that in this day and age the movement of the market (and the whole underpinnings of the global economy) is based on things like the perception of how someone wrote a press release? It seems crazy to me that we put up with things like this. However IANAE (economist) so I have no idea how structure our economy differently

Re:In defense of the Circuit City press release (5, Insightful)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105387)

Why is it that in this day and age the movement of the market (and the whole underpinnings of the global economy) is based on things like the perception of how someone wrote a press release?

It's because investors and speculators are indeed crazy. People are sheep.

My parents told me a story of how my grandmother flagged them down as they were driving down the street one day. They pulled over and my grandmother came over to the car, looked around to make sure nobody would overhear the sage investment advice she was about to reveal, and said "pepper's going scarce".

There was a rumor amongst all the old ladies in town that there was a shortage of pepper, and so they were rushing out to the stores to buy all the pepper they could before it ran out. For a week or so, there was a real shortage of pepper in that city, because of all the old people rushing to buy it.

Compare that to what happens to the retail price of fossil fuels when something just as ridiculous happens, and you can see that the people who have influence over the price of things are just a collection of irrational sheep. Once you realize that, it becomes clear as to how you can influence markets and prices if you have some money to invest in the right place or if you can say the right words in front of enough people.

Re:In defense of the Circuit City press release (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105449)

For the same reasons that the market only reacts to short-term performance instead of looking at the big picture. Your company can be on track for a record-breaking year for revenue & sales, but if you have a single quarter that misses expectations by one cent per share, it'll kill your stock price.

Re:In defense of the Circuit City press release (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105455)

Why is it that in this day and age the movement of the market (and the whole underpinnings of the global economy) is based on things like the perception of how someone wrote a press release? It seems crazy to me that we put up with things like this. However IANAE (economist) so I have no idea how structure our economy differently

The problem is that as an investor, if you are invested in a company that is basically sound, but is currently in a weak market position, if a lot of people perceive that this current weak position is a fundamental flaw in the company, their reaction to that perception can make it a reality.

Re:In defense of the Circuit City press release (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105703)

Thing is, layoffs are virtually *never* the right response. You don't regain profitability in the long term by cutting costs. You do it by increasing revenue, and you can't increase revenue in a slow economy with fewer people on board to do the necessary work.

Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104731)

....or have slashdot never been wrong?

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105017)

Who could forget Cmdr Taco's little gem [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105193)

It doesn't mean he was wrong or incorrect just because the thing is popular..

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

Arkham (10779) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105383)

I love going through all those posts and seeing how many dozens of people prognosticated how much of a flop the iPod would be. It wasn't just CmdrTaco, it was dozens of geeks. I wonder if I was amongst them. Certainly, I was around back then.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (2, Insightful)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105661)

It *was* a flop.

Apple managed to keep millions brain-dead about mp3's, VBR, lossless...all in the name of style.

Like they did with their computers, in fact.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106069)

The posts near the beginning about "5 GB is bigger than my entire mp3 collection anyway" are particularly amusing.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29106051)

For what it's worth, the 1st Gen iPod had a weird physical wheel controller and was firewire-only (not that many PCs had firewire back then). Wireless FM transmission really was a nice feature to have. And of course, the battery on the iPod was very hard to replace (and people actually cared back then). In other words, that particular early model really was somewhat lame, though obviously the size and software interface were not.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106059)

Who could forget Cmdr Taco's little gem [slashdot.org] ?

Actually, reading through that thread - I found a post that seems rather funny, eight years in retrospect: [slashdot.org]

"Apple is being distroyed by the rumors that are being created. When they announce that they are going to have a new product, everyone thinks it's going to blow their worlds. Rumors start flooding in about even the most outragous products ( I even heard a few "sources" mention teleportion) This is getting plain stupid.

Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them do the impossible?"

We see similar posts even now; but the rumors of Apple's death seem to have been greatly exaggerated...

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106167)

He was right, though - the iPod IS lame. It didn't really bring any exciting new features to the market - it just threw together existing technology in a cutesy package and marketed it as a fashion accessory. I've owned several different MP3 players (currently a Sansa e280 with Rockbox) but I've never had any reason to purchase an iPod.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105039)

On the contrary, Slashdot is always wrong, so there's no point in remarking on the fact. You might as well say, "We're going to have some weather today."

Example: No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. [slashdot.org]

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105917)

I know when Slashdot is wrong - they mark me down as a troll for pointing it out :-)

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (3, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105595)

....or have slashdot never been wrong?

We have never been wrong. It's just that some of our post refer to conditions in alternate universes. It's a geek thing.

Re:Where are the slashdot articles? (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106007)

Well, the Lone Gunmen ARE dead, aren't they?

lets classify Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29104775)

Lets classify Vista.

Is it a Trojan, or is it a worm?

Re:lets classify Vista (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105045)

Lets classify Vista.

Is it a Trojan, or is it a worm?

Kid #1: "You got a trojan in my worm!"
Kid #2: "You got a worm in my trojan!"
Voiceover: "Two bad ideas that are even worse together. Be BAAAAD! Get Vista! Grind your dual quad-core into the dust!"
(rapidly): "May cause dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, feelings of desperation, boredom, suicide, homicide, chair-throwing, offensive body odor, birther syndrome, loss of control-alt-delete, and excessive weight gain or bloat. If symptoms persist, see your Apple retailer."

Re:lets classify Vista (1)

fracai (796392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105301)

Do not taunt Windows Vista.

Great idea done by a hack (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104829)

I didn't bother reading the whole thing. As many people did, I glanced first at the annotations. They are composed primarily of editorial "neener neener" than anything insightful.

At least Cracked Magazine would have made an attempt at humor to make up for the lack of substance.

Not just tech press releases (5, Interesting)

drseuk (824707) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104901)

"Peace for our time" - Neville Chamberlain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_for_our_time [wikipedia.org] == "Peace after 1946"

"Mission accomplished!" George W. Bush http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_Accomplished [wikipedia.org] == "Mission not accomplished"

"Titanic goes down: everyone safe" Daily Express, April 1912 http://www.newstatesman.com/200606190037 [newstatesman.com] == well, even the Cameron film didn't distort reality quite that much.

Re:Not just tech press releases (1)

andyh3930 (605873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105399)

And the Daily Express hasn't got much better since.
Just google Daily Express False Stories !!

And some comments on press releases... (4, Informative)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29104971)

My favourite, regarding the announcement of the iPod:

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame
  -- CmdrTaco

Re:And some comments on press releases... (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105955)

Taco gets a lot of flack for that, but honestly I did agree with him. And I still do. The first Ipod sucked. Mac only, expensive as heck, not much storage space. But, it didn't stay sucky. It improved over the years, gradually adding features to make it appeal to more consumers. I'd say the release of the ipod with a usb interface for pc's was the ground breaking announcement. If you still thought they wouldn't make an impact then you should be made fun of.

I mean, did anyone really think windows was going to be a hit after microsoft released windows 1.0?

Re:And some comments on press releases... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29106031)

double plus good!

Re:And some comments on press releases... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29106145)

Oh, horror! txtspk! It is here already!

Rotten Apples (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105071)

These are isolated incidents. With the exception of the few rotten apples shown in the article, every press release is 100% accurate in both its claims and its predictions.

Vista transformed my life as I knew it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105351)

...I'm a sysadmin. FML.

Apple's press releases aren't mistakes... (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105375)

I used to take Apple's announcements at face value (or at least at the same level of face value as anyone else in the industry) but I learned better.

When Steve Jobs says "flash MP3 players are junk" or "no ugly monitors on nice macs" or any of those other announcements that they're going to turn around a year or three later when they release the iPod Shuffle or "bring your own display keyboard and mouse" Mac mini it's all part of their "never say anything meaningful about future product releases" policy. You can't tell ANYTHING about what Apple's going to release based on what they say. Jobs doesn't just play his cards close to his chest, they're surgically implanted.

Re:Apple's press releases aren't mistakes... (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29105521)

On the contrary, I think you've just proven that if Apple will at some point in the next 1-3 years release something that's the exact opposite of what they're announcing.

In fact, now I think of it I'm sure Jobs announced that the iPod would never have video because there was no point in such a small device.

Re:Apple's press releases aren't mistakes... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29106111)

No, the scurvy beggars sometimes tell the truth just to throw us off.

Web applications that require the web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29105655)

Is it supposed to be biting criticism of Apple's press release that they failed to make web apps that work without an internet connection? I know Steve Jobs is a magician, but it seems a bit like saying "Yeah, but those applications only worked if you had a *computer*. FAIL!"

NOSTRADAMUS quatrain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29106139)

When non NOSTRADAMUS make prediction
epicfail
hister
twin towers
Bush Obama

circuit city crossed wires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29106331)

their firing of experienced employees six or so months prior to 'bankruptcy' was a convenient way to maximize profit taking via wage cutting to bleed out just a bit more.

sheer elegance in it's simplicity. or something like that.

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