Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Trifecta: Beastmaster, Monkey Boy & Goatberg

Check out the the Beastmaster and Monkey Boy at AllThingsD.

Highlight: Goatberg does a great imitation of Brat-Pack-era Sammy Davis Jr. laughing just a little too hard at the Beastmaster’s “funnies.”

The team started to count Goatberg’s self-references but gave up. We have deadlines to meet people!

Interesting commentary from Goatberg-in-training on the AllThingsD site after the inevitable demo:

“Windows 7, like other Microsoft OS’s before it, seems to have borrowed a thing or two from Mac OS X. This time it’s Apple’s Dock, which Microsoft appears to have borrowed. Multi-touch and a Dock. In Windows. Steve Jobs must be so proud.”

Proud isn’t the word I’d choose.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Goatberg Game: 15 uses of personal pronoun in this week’s column

In his latest Wall Street Journal “Personal Technology” column, which is ostensibly about two laptops, egomaniacal gadget columnist Walt Mossberg uses “I” or “my” or “me” a total of 15 times, and they’re all unnecessary. At least half of these could have been excised with a simple press of the “delete” key and the sentence would not have changed at all. The other uses could also have been eliminated but would have required some reworking of the sentence.

Fifteen incidents is not even close to setting a new record, but still and all this is a stellar performance and we’re glad to see Goatberg back in top form after his nosedive last week. Molodetz, tovarish!

FWIW, this week’s “Personal Technology” column is not entirely about Walt. It’s also a review of two new tiny notebooks from Lenovo and Asus. Neither company solicited Walt’s input during the design stage, which is a shame, because now Walt doesn’t like either of them.

In contrast, Walt played a very big role in helping us design the 3G iPhone, and from what he’s told us so far, he lurves the review unit we sent him. Like he wants to marry it and have babies with it. That’s what he said in his email to me. I told him if he puts that line in his review I will let him come up on stage at MacWorld, which is something he’s been bugging me to let him do for years now. It’s like the number one item on his list of things to do in life. He was like, “Master, are you serious? I could be on stage? Right there beside you? Don’t toy with me, I beg you.”

I told him, “Walt, let’s wait and see what your review looks like. You know what we’re expecting from you. Katie will write up the actual language and send it to you. Then the ball’s in your court.”

What I’m really going to do is get him to write that line and then tell him I changed my mind and he can’t come on stage after all. But please don’t tell Walt that. I want it to be a surprise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Goatberg Game: Fun for everyone

So apparently in the newsroom at the Wall Street Journal they pretty much all hate Goatberg and they have this game they play where every time Goatberg publishes a column they count how many times he uses the word “I” — and it’s usually a lot. They also count up other “me-related” words like me, mine and my. The joke at the Journal is that someday Walt will publish a column where every word is I.

The funny part is how many of these references to himself are absolutely unnecessary. You could take them out and the sentence would not lose anything. Example from his column today about a new cell phone search service: “It’s called ChaCha, and I’ve been testing it out.” (Italics mine.)

Really? You’ve been testing it out? Geez, Walt, it’s a good thing you told us that you’ve been testing it out because if you didn’t tell us that we might not have been able to figure that out from the rest of the column where you explain how it works. Anyway, the point is that Walt kind of likes himself. A lot. He’s got this little teeny tiny ego problem. And the editors at the Journal can’t rein him in because he is the Great and Powerful Goatberg, king of all tech journalists.

Katie and the folks in the PR department just learned about the Goatberg Game from one of the beat reporters at the Journal. Now they’re keeping track too.

In case you’re wondering, toay’s Goatberg column about the ChaCha service contains a total of 841 words, and 13 uses of the first-person pronoun. Not even close to the record, apparently, but still pretty good. Peace out.