Monday, February 23, 2009

New ways to make old mistakes

There’s an old saying “it takes a computer to really mess things up!”

We had an example of this today in the computer press with a mis-reported story. This problem is best illustrated by CNET:

February 23, 2009 10:41 AM PST
Verizon iPhone around the corner?
by Matt Hickey

There have been rumors buzzing around the Internet for some time Apple is secretly preparing a CDMA version of the iPhone, probably headed to Verizon Wireless, and probably by the end of this year. It's no secret Apple has been advertising jobs that require experience in the CDMA wireless standard, which Verizon Wireless and Sprint both use, and is the competing standard to GSM, which AT&T and T-Mobile use, as well as the standard the current iPhone uses.
An hour later, CNET added this to the story:
Correction 11:56 a.m. PST: We messed up. The 9 to 5 Mac blog we cited below is in fact from September 2008, so it turns out this is an old rumor. Because it showed up in our RSS feed Saturday, we, like a number of other publications, took it as a recent post and went from there. Apologies for the confusion.
So we had snafus before — Dewey defeats Truman, bits dropped on teletype transmissions, missing words (the AP stylebook using an imprecise synonym for “not guilty.”)

Stale RSS feeds are merely just a new way to get misleading data. (It also points out an ongoing problem of bloggers and websites not marking their content with a date.

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