Why I No Longer Subscribe to Information Week

Some people say it is hard to turn down a free magazine with bathroom length articles. It’s not hard. It just requires you go to their Web site and tell them to stop sending it to you. The level of criminal activity at Information Week finally got high enough I had to block it from showing up at my doorstep anymore.

You see, I’m old enough to remember when MTV actually played music videos. I’m old enough to remember when CNN actually hired journalists instead of the paid political talking heads they now make us endure. In short, I’m old enough to have watched the progression of corruption from the beginning.

The dirty little secret in the IT industry has always been, companies launching new products pay “independent” research groups to market their new product. Depending upon the terms of the marketing, the research groups then paid to run articles in the free weekly trade press and paid big 6 consulting firms to market the products to upper management. It has happened since the beginning, and we’ve gotten pretty good at hiding the paper trail.

Over the years this has lead most of corporate America to rack up some multi-million dollar project failures when marketed tool sets didn’t measure up. An interesting research project for a journalist would be to go through every back issue for the past 20 years and make a list of all the products which were marketed in this way. The darlings of Gartner and the other groups hyped to the stratosphere when they first came out. Then see just how many of those products are still around. Your list will get pretty long when you get to the era of PC based 4GL tools that were going to scale up to enterprise solutions. The scale pretty much stopped at the end of the PC network.

It didn’t take all that long for the independent analysts to start marketing the CIO’s they were paid to market in the same manner. With the marketing of CIO’s came the marketing of business policies. Probably the most blatant of these financial frauds was the marketing of “right sizing” just in-front of the Y2K bug becoming a hard deadline. Now, we have the IT shortage and the raising of the H1-B visa cap. Article after article supporting this and completely crossing the boundary of fraud. In the same year they are saying we don’t have enough IT people to fill the jobs the Department of Labor publishes that 93,000 IT jobs were lost in this country. You can’t physically lose jobs with a labor shortage, the jobs remain open and on the books. IT unemployment is still very high, yet article after article supporting the abuse known as H1-B.

Of course, once you have shed your last vestiges of ethics, it doesn’t take long until you have other creatures at the magazine (and some of the same ones) touting the virtues of excessive executive pay. Ah yes, Rob Preston has written articles which lead even the most casual of reader to question whether this animal was born with a soul. Lets hold the door wide open for terrorist operatives to enter this country en-mass, then let the executives who came up with this idea reap a 400 fold pay increase for sacrificing American lives.

What is really amazing is this magazine’s ability to completely ignore the sins of its past. Periodic drop ins from Ms. Stahl railing against child porn are a good indication of that. This magazine which was all too quick to jump behind the election campaign band wagon of “Information Superhighway” creating a global village. Yet the IT professionals were all asking where the global village council was when this investment scam was being launched on an unsuspecting public. Those same professionals who were worried about the drug cartels of the world being able to coordinate shipments in an untraceable manner (we didn’t know about the terrorist groups then), and those who informed all who would listen that there was no global age of consent. Only a Global Village Council could come up with these rules. Those rules needed to be in place prior to the thing being built. But who cares when you are being paid to inflate a stock bubble.

So, now we have every country trying to exert their own will on the Internet. We have porn peddlers in countries where the legal age is much less than 18 putting their porn on-line and Ms. Stahl railing against it. Had you actually listened to the industry you claim to represent, you would have stopped the election campaign which created this debacle. You would have pointed out that had either of the candidates touting this technology break through been named David Rhodes, they would both still be in prison today.

But, you weren’t paid to do that.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.