On The Verge… of Whining

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August 8, 2012 by McDowski

My last couple of posts have focused on people that are honorary members of what I am calling “The Whine Club.” And we have another proud inductee; take a bow, Nilay Patel.

For those who don’t know, Nilay is one of the founders and Managing Editor of technology news portal The Verge. (Awesome website, by the way. Certainly worth checking out.) Now, Nilay is known to get very passionate about certain topics, mostly to do with rights and freedom (he used to be a copyright attorney in a previous life). Everyone once in a while, though, his passion gets the better of him and he tends to exaggerate the supposedly disastrous effect of a tech development.

In a recent article, he bemoans Apple’s decision to exclude a native YouTube app from iOS 6 onwards. He gets particularly dramatic in his final paragraph: 

In fact, it seems like the only losers here are consumers — we’ll get a less integrated YouTube experience in iOS 6, and probably end up watching more ads. Business as usual in the land of the free (web service).

Oh me, oh my. We will have a ‘less integrated’ YT experience. Never mind the fact that the integration was fairly bare bones to begin with, but its loss will apparently be keenly felt. And ads! Oh my, the ads. This actually tracks back to the WWIFers I talked about earlier. Do we not realise that products and services cost money? How (and why?) would Google be able to provide a solid experience through its app if they are not ad-supported? They certainly can’t make the app itself paid; that just wouldn’t work.

What’s particularly telling is that if you go down the article and read the comments, the vast majority of users actually seem to have no problem with the lack of a native app. By and large, the consensus seems to be, “Good riddance!” Any yet, Nilay not only doesn’t see it that way, but is portraying it as some kind of infringement of users’ rights. I bet he will make further reference to it, and attempt to justify and excuse his article, in the next Vergecast.

Making a mountain out of a molehill just to get some clicks. Sadly, that is simply the state of journalism in the twenty-first century.

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