October 22nd, 2008
I’m a long time reader of The Register, but I find it’s been dropping in my estimations over the last few years. It’s a great case study in how losing focus reduces quality. They expanded to cover a great number of topics they never used to bother with, and also (this bit’s probably controversial) went transatlantic. A lot of Reg writers are now U.S.-based, and it frequently prints articles that assume the reader lives in and automatically thinks about the U.S. (“the government”, “the President”, “the attorney general”). This is a big change from the old days when it was completely – and very visibly – U.K.-based. Now it’s a bit of a mish-mash, which makes it disconcerting, especially when you’re flipping between articles by the U.S. and U.K. authors.
But, anyway, my point is that it makes it all the nicer to see a genuine, old-skool Reg article like this one.
“In the typical American fashion, Yahoo! bought a bunch of shit it didn’t need with money it didn’t have. That, of course, was no problem at the time because the stock market always goes up, and they get a fuck-ton of airline miles every time they buy a Web 2.0 startup.”
Ironically, this one was actually written by one of the U.S. writers. But its style, accuracy and sheer lack of waffle reminds me of the Reg circa 2001, again.