Asking for Feedback: An Untenable Practice

I’m so tired of purported technology news sites—I won’t name names here—asking for reader feedback at the end of every story. I go to such sites to get reporting and analysis from professionals, not whiny, trollish commenters. I realize that comments can be ignored, and I do ignore them, but it smacks of blatant unprofessionalism when reporters and bloggers ask for readers’ opinions. I realize sites want to encourage community and I’m all for it but how about allowing readers to formulate their own opinions and respond accordingly without begging them for feedback.

Facebook Comment

I responded to the following “update” on Facebook…

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Here is the response:

Even so, it saddens me that equality must be forced onto people. Desire to be equal should come from within, not be rained down from above. I think you know as well as I that—if an amendment to the state constitution were put to the people of Iowa that reversed this decision—it would pass with a generous majority. (Heck, people voted against “equality” in California—California!) All this will do is allow for a lot of people to flock to Iowa in a few weeks to be “married” only to have that union invalidated when the decision is ultimately overturned. It’s actually kind of sad.

That’s all I’ll say about this for now.

Rode PSA-1: The Conclusion

If you follow my Twitter (or Plurk or anything else) or saw a recent post to this very blog, you’d know that I ordered a Røde PSA-1 Studio Arm from B&H Photo in New York. I received the boom arm and was extremely excited to get it set up and working. I took it out of the box and noticed I was missing a part that was advertised on the box: a 3/8″ thread adaptor. So unable to mount my Blue Snowball on the arm as I’d originally planned, I got it all set up and realized that the arm would only stay extended; it would not retain it’s position. Naturally I was very upset about this – the point of the boom is to position the microphone so as to be more convenient. I immediatley e-mailed Røde technical support as well as the retailer. A non-position-able boom arm is not what I was hoping to get. I quickly got a response from Røde which made me happy but I didn’t quite like his answer:

Hi Ben, there isn’t anything wrong with your PSA-1. It is designed to work with the PodCaster microphone. The microphone acts as a counterbalance that stabilizes the PSA-1. You will need a mic that has a comparable weight to the PodCaster which weights about 21.5oz.

Ok great. Now he wants me to buy a Podcaster which starts at over $200. I was under the impression that the PSA-1 would work with any mountable microphone. Hmm. Well, I decided to test his theory and approximated the weight of a Podcaster microphone. It worked. Then I got the brilliant idea to hang my Blue Snowball from the boom arm using a velcro strap. Also works. Here’s a video of the hanging Snowball in action:

The nice man at Røde Support (Michael is his name) offered to mail me the adaptor that was missing from the box. Thanks! Hopefully when that comes the hanging Snowball will be no more…but for right now it seems to be working fine.

Apple TV: iTunes extension or media server?

appletv.jpgI listened to Episode 5 of Don Reisinger’s great The Digital Home podcast on the way home from work today. I enjoyed everything that Andy Ihnatko had to say (as I almost always do) and most of what James McQuivey of Forrester Research had to say. That is until he got to talking about the Apple TV.

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