Okay, this is getting ridiculous. A number of people including myself have for weeks and now months been pointing out the errors in mainstream media reports concerning Second Life. I mean, I like SL and think it has a lot of extraordinarily interesting things going for it, but c’mon already. If it’s worth writing an article then it’s worth getting the facts straight. Yet the MSM screw-ups not only continue, they continue to get worse. What’s triggering this post is actually something else I read that leads me to the conclusion that most people writing for online MSM are basically clueless.
Yesterday I caught an entry on the WorldCAD Access blog titled “Fool, Indeed” (Link). What that entry is pointing out is a shockingly uninformed piece by Tom Taulli writing for The Motley Fool. I couldn’t have made this up and kept a straight face. Here’s the unbelievable excerpt from this apparently well-regarded analyst’s assessment of Autodesk’s technology:
Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK – News), which develops design software, continues to impress the Street…
The company is in the midst of a major technology transition, moving from 2-D to 3-D design. With 3-D design, customers can engage in better modeling, since it is possible to do “what-if” analysis with new designs. It is this sophisticated technology that helps Autodesk differentiate itself from tough competitors such as Parametric Technology (Nasdaq: PMTC – News), Avid Technology (Nasdaq: AVID – News), and Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE – News).
There is still much risk to this stock. But for the time being, the company certainly has a lot of momentum in its business.
My gawd, does this guy pay Motley Fool to publish this stuff? It’s hard to believe this makes the rounds, yet this is being carried by Yahoo Business (Link) and being widely disseminated!
For those of you who are unaware, Parametric Technology is one of the leading 3D software vendors on the market. If you’ve read posts in which I’ve referred to Pro/ENGINEER… that would be them. They’ve not only been doing 3D for longer than I’ve been a degreed designer (over a decade), they introduced parametric modeling to the masses. Autodesk, on the other hand, has been notoriously slow in migrating applications to 3D, and is pretty much still trailing every other developer in the CAD arena; apparently a consequence of having a huge installed base of upgrade-resistant 2D CAD customers.
Meanwhile, in the not-so-bright world of journalists writing about Second Life (where you can – and don’t tell Tom Taulli this – model things in 3D), the big news is… replicating objects. That’s right, the same thing that has been happening forever inside Second Life (e.g. reLink). The only thing I can imagine is that all these typists read the word “worm” in someone’s article (maybe it was the BBC’s article that got people excited, or maybe this article over on TopTechNews, or maybe it was the entries on TechWeb and ItNews) and in their excitement jumped on it without… thinking? Uh… exactly what is there to think about? The most basic research would have informed them of just how much of a non-news this story this is.
I have to say, I now believe that most of the so-called tech journalists out there are unqualified hacks who haven’t the slightest idea about any of this technology, but who regurgitate whatever comes along; spicing it up by hitting the thesaurus for replacement words and shifting prepositional phrases around to appear original. I wonder just how widespread this lack of professionalism is. Maybe all those recent disclosures about journalists fabricating facts and sometimes altering photos is just the tip of the iceberg.