By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Nocera’s follow-up

Last week I took New York Times columnist Joseph Nocera to task for falsely claiming that (1) you can’t move your music from your iPod to another portable music player and (2) you’ll lose all the music from your iPod if you send it to Apple for a battery replacement.

Today Nocera comes half-clean, writing (sub. req.):

Many readers chided me for writing last week that if you send an iPod to Apple to have the battery replaced you lose all your data. They noted, correctly, that so long as your music is stored in iTunes, you can easily download it onto the new iPod Apple sends you. When I wrote that line I was thinking of situations — which happen more often than you’d imagine — where your computer has crashed, and the iPod is the only place your music is stored. But when I pointed this out to a few of my correspondents, their rejoinder was swift: you should always back up the data on your computer. In the modern age, a computer crash is as inevitable as death and taxes.

Better than nothing. Although I’m scratching my head over his alibi.

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  1. Leah

    Among the many junk products available, this one has to be fairly close to the top.

  2. Anonymous

    The only time in the past 8 years that my PC crashed was when I pounded my fist into the hard drive in frustration over shitty dialup speeds.I think PCs are much more stable than he wants to admit.

  3. Neil

    Ditto anonymous…When I wrote that line I was thinking of situations–which happen more often than you’d imagine–where your computer has crashed…Sure you were, Joseph. This is stupid because he has slipped into second person at the wrong time. How does he know your own computer crashes more often than you imagine? You don’t have to imagine how often your own computer crashes–you know exactly. It is after all, your computer. Like anonymous says, it’s rare anymore–this isn’t 1995.If he meant to say, “I was thinking of situations where my computer has crashed” then that’s another story. If his computer “crashes”, to the extent that data is lost, more often than I imagine it does (namely, never), then it sounds like it’s time to buy a new computer. He’s got a good job, I bet he could afford better hardware than he’s apparently got! Or better yet, just admit he made a goof. I bet (no, I imagine) that his computer’s fine. And how about this jewel of profundity:In the modern age, a computer crash is as inevitable as death and taxes.Is he contrasting the “modern age” with some other age, in which computer crashes were rare? The “pre-modern” age perhaps? The reliable crash-free computers of the Bronze Age? And how about “death and taxes” for an original analogy of inevitability. And they expect people to pay for this quality of writing? Perhaps he was in a hurry to get his column finished quickly before the next inevitable and apparently frequent crash of his “modern age” computer. Ha.

  4. keats

    Snow job.

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