Daily Archives: June 28, 2005

Lack of journalistic integrity

I had started writing a longish entry about my reasons to mistrust news media in general but I never finished it. Maybe I’ll post bits and pieces over time instead.

Anyway, here’s a good example of what I find problematic in the traditional news media. Robert Kennedy Jr. produced an article on thimerosal for Salon and Rolling Stone. Unfortunately, the article contains so much misinformation and crass misrepresentation of facts, probably in the interest of generating an emotional response from the readers, that it is quite useless. I learned of this case through Overlawyered. Skeptico has two good posts about it: “Thimerosal update” and “Robert F. Kennedy Junior’s completely dishonest thimerosal article”. Orac also has a post that I find terminologically accurate in qualifying the article: “Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet”.

[Warning: people who are not equipped with a thick asbestos skin should not visit the following web site. Something Awful is not known to be cuddly, fuzzy, or even civil.]

Meanwhile, this Photoshop Phirday at Something Awful couldn’t be more apropos regarding the general problem of media credibility.

How Oracle lost to PostgreSQL

I recently got a call from someone at Oracle asking me about my use of Oracle. I looked at Oracle but after deciding that the cost of an Oracle solution was just to high, I decided to use PostgreSQL. The conversation went somewhat like this:

HER: Are you using Oracle 10 Enterprise Edition?

ME: No, I found that it requires too much resource for our project. I went with PostgreSQL instead since it does what we need and doesn’t require so much resources.

HER: Have you tried Oracle Lite [Personal, Home Edition, or whatever they actually call it]?

ME: No. Actually, that doesn’t change the fact that with Oracle we would have to pay for licenses. And hosting services charge too much for supporting Oracle. With PostgreSQL there is no licensing issue and support costs much less.

HER: …

ME: Any other questions?

HER: No.

ME: Alright. Bye. [Click!]

This is all from memory but that’s the gist of how the conversation went. One surprising thing (which does not appear in the summary above) is that she didn’t really seem to know what PostgreSQL is. Anyway, I guess there wasn’t much she could say to make me think Oracle give us something more than PostgreSQL.