Tag Archives | PC Magazine

RIAA: Thou Shalt Not Mention P2P Software

One little article by PCMag has done “immeasurable” harm to musicians, at least according to music industry executives.

Ticked off by PCMag’s list of alternatives to Limewire — the file-sharing website that recently shut down after losing a copyright infringement lawsuit — members of the Recording Industry Association of America fired off an angry letter to Vivek Shah, chief executive of PCMag publisher Ziff Davis. The execs argue that PCMag is “slyly encouraging people to steal more music” by acknowledging the existence of other file-sharing websites, and asks that article be removed.

(The letter also blames PCMag for an article about the resurrection of Limewire, despite being written for PC World. Apparently the RIAA can’t tell the difference.)

Of course, PCMag isn’t backing down, and has no legal reason to do so. “It worries me that the music industry took this action, because it reeks of desperation,” Editor Lance Ulanoff writes. “… It’s time for these music execs to pull their collective heads out of the sand and fully acknowledge and accept all the ways their industry has changed.”

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PCMag's Wireless Tests: AT&T on Top

PCMag.com’s Sascha Segan has an ambitious and impressive story up based on tests of wireless data in eighteen cities. It’s similar in overall goals to the one that PCWorld published back in February. But this one has some twists of its own–it covers more cities and includes Sprint’s 4G network and regional carrier Cricket as well as the national providers.

As with the PCWorld tests, PCMag’s have AT&T as the clear overall winner, with download speeds that trounce everything but Sprint’s still-not-widely-available 4G network. AT&T didn’t do as well in the “Consistency” tests, however, which would tend to confirm the theory that AT&T’s 3G network is extremely zippy…when it’s working well. Still, I feel like everyone who declares that it’s a well-known fact that AT&T’s network sucks should be forced to read reports like this one.

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Ziff-Davis: The Legendary Magazine Publisher Publishes Magazines No More

Popular AviationThis news has more to do with dead trees than electrons, but I can’t resist: Ziff Davis has announced that it’s selling its 1Up network of gaming sites to Hearst and shutting down Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. Coming around six weeks after the company discontinued the print version of PC Magazine, the news leaves ZD with no paper-based publications at all.

Which is a big deal, since the 82-year-old publisher had as long, influential, and impressive a history of consumer publishing as any company on the planet. Among its titles over the years, other than EGM and PC Mag: Amazing Stories, Car and Driver, Computer Shopper, Creative Computing, MacUser, MacWeek, PC/Computing, PC Week, Popular Electronics, Popular Photography, Stereo Review, Yahoo Internet Life., and many others I’m not thinking of right now. Nobody published more successful mags read by more enthusiasts with a wider range of passions, or made more money doing so.

Ziff Davis remains in business and will be focusing its attention on the PCMag.com Web site network.  Given the state of print publishing and Ziff’s many years of decline as a print powerhouse, its departure from magazine publishing isn’t surprising–and might even be a good idea. It surely won’t be the last old-school magazine publisher that leaves magazines completely behind. But it’s still hard to get my head around the idea that nobody anywhere will read Ziff Davis magazines anymore.

(Necessary but superfluous disclaimer: I spent 18 years working at IDG, Ziff Davis’s principal rival in tech publishing–which is still successfully publishing magazines around the world.)


PCMag.com Likes Technologizer

pcmag-logoI’m tickled to report that the new edition of PCMag.com’s annual roundup of its hundred favorite blogs includes…the very site you’re reading. Here’s the whole list from A to Z starting at the beginning, and here are the flattering things that authors Brian Heater and Eric Griffith said about Technologizer. After spending almost fourteen years competing furiously with PC Mag at PC World, it’s a new feeling–but a good one–to be on the receiving end of a compliment from its editors. We’re honored!

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PC Magazine: A Magazine No More

pcmagazinefirstThe world didn’t really need another piece of evidence to show that most folks like to get their information about technology online, but it got one today anyhow: Publisher Ziff Davis is ceasing print distribution of PC Magazine, the dominant computing publication for much of its 26-year existence. The issue with a January cover date will be the last one printed on dead trees, a victim of declining ad sales and increasing costs for paper and postage.

PCMag.com will live on and has a good chance of doing well for a long time. And in an interesting twist, Ziff will continue the Zinio version of PC Mag–a digital version that has the look and feel of the print edition, but which is available only in digital form. (I wish ’em luck with that experiment, but I suspect that this is an intermediate stage in the life of PC Mag, and it’ll go Web-only sooner rather than later.)

It’s impossible for me to contemplate this news in the absence of the fact that I spent almost fourteen years at PC Magazine‘s principal print and online rival, PC World. (Where I’m no longer an insider, but I wouldn’t be stunned if PC World existed in print even after PC Mag ceases Zinio distribution as well.) In the media world, it isn’t exactly fashionable to say you like print publishing, but here goes: As much as I love the Web, I’m a print fan, too. And I’m sorry to see the powerhouse I spent so many years competing with going away in its most famous form.

On the other hand, having spent so many years working on PC World in both print and Web versions, I know that it’s awfully hard to straddle two very different media and do justice to both of them. I suspect that PC Mag editor Lance Ulanoff and his staff are feeling liberated in some ways today–without print deadlines to worry about, they’ll have some opportunities to do some cool new stuff on their site.

I have more to say, but I’m dashing off for a meeting–in the meantime, here’s an article by PC Mag cofounder Cheryl Woodard on the origins of the publication (including its fascinating relationship to the founding of PC World).