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David Pogue is the rudest man alive!
May 31, 2006 8:26 PM   Subscribe

David Pogue is the rudest man alive! "My wife and I were excited to receive, as [a] very generous Christmas present from a relative, a Magellan RoadMate 300." He then goes on to absolutely obliterate the gift, *on the New York Times website*, for 20 paragraphs, after which he demands, "For the gift-giver: Do your research. Read the customer reviews. Beware outdated products on store shelves." It's a gift! Learn some tact dude.
posted by JPowers (63 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I recently got a ride to Vermont with some guy who couldn't get out of a parking lot without consulting his 'navigator'.

Try learning to use a map and lookng out the windows.
posted by HTuttle at 8:29 PM on May 31, 2006


The horse maybe a little long in the teeth, but at least it knows the way home.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:35 PM on May 31, 2006


Wait so now we just discuss how Pogue is a dick? I don't get it.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:35 PM on May 31, 2006


Now we discus how to deal with getting a shitty gift.

Me, I lie. Then I lie. And then I lie somemore. Is that wrong?
posted by JPowers at 8:40 PM on May 31, 2006


Gonna have to go with HTuttle on this one.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:41 PM on May 31, 2006


Now his relatives have to pretend they don't read his blog.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 8:48 PM on May 31, 2006


The Roadmate 300 doesn't even come with the dark and lonely highway blowjob attachment, that is a totally lame present.
posted by fenriq at 8:49 PM on May 31, 2006


When my dad last came to visit me, he brought his portable navigation unit. He'd been singing this thing's praises for months, but ever since the we-are-going-to-navigate-the-sailboat-via-GPS debacle a couple of years ago, I've been wary. So I wanted to bring a map, but I couldn't find one. In the end, we didn't really need a map, because we totally only got lost four or six times, and we were on freeways anyway so we'd have had to pull over to consult the map which would have wasted a ton of time and it's not like we didn't have phone numbers and weren't in a major urban area, so if anything had happened we could have been airlifted to safety or, you know, slept wrapped in emergency blankets in the car parked on the shoulder of the highway. Whichever.

I keep the map in my purse now.
posted by posadnitsa at 8:49 PM on May 31, 2006


Now we discus how to deal with getting a shitty gift.

I just post about it on my blog. I review an item that you can't even get any more. That'll show those assholes who clearly got something on sale because it's no longer produced. Cheapskates.
posted by hoborg at 8:53 PM on May 31, 2006


I just read a myspace blog by a brand spanking new USC grad who is complaining that her college boyfriend dumped her. Blogs are so incredibly fascinating.
posted by mischief at 9:00 PM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Link? I must read it immediately.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 9:03 PM on May 31, 2006


On a practical note, non upgradeable GPS systems are kind of lame. Things change, you know.
posted by delmoi at 9:18 PM on May 31, 2006


I like David Pogue's blog. It's like a wayback machine for what's cutting edge or breaking news from about 4 months ago.

Personally, I'd never go anywhere without my Tomtom Navigator. It rocks - especially since I installed (the actual, obviously hurting) John Cleese's voiceovers for the navigation commands!
posted by ericbop at 9:23 PM on May 31, 2006


David Pogue always kinda seemed like a nice guy who wants to like technology, as long as it is Mac-friendly and holds your hand and is easy enough for a moron to use. I mean, I accept his experiences to be true, in this case, but I still think he is a bit of a wuss.
posted by newfers at 10:33 PM on May 31, 2006


Wow, in that case, I would not even nearly call him rude. He's right...it was a POS and needed to be criticized, and all his criticisms were valid. The gift part was even a valid criticism, if you're going to shell out that kinda money on a gift, you might as well get something that's not horrid.

For instance, my girlfriend let slip what she's getting me for my birthday, a new set of kitchen knives. She did research, and she's getting a pretty badass set. That's a hell of a lot better than if she got some ultra-expensive set that is expensive because of the name and not quality and I end up not wanting to use 'em when I cook.
posted by Swervo at 10:44 PM on May 31, 2006


Garmin c320 plus a cheap SD (or was it CF?) card. My mom can use it, and it doesn't piss me off. That is all.

Oh wait, it's not. I guess the Garmin i5 is the modern equivalent, and it comes with North America preloaded.

Also, David Pogue inexplicably irritates me. Maybe I just don't like his name, or maybe I'm jealous of his gig.
posted by surlycat at 11:11 PM on May 31, 2006


I love GPS. I'm far-sighted and the old eyes don't do well with maps, especially in a moving car. It isn't easy to always have decent detailed maps, either. I also like getting off freeways. GPS has me well covered for this.

Sure, sometimes they aren't accurate. It takes some practice to know when you have to be more alert to for the unexpected. One-way streets are the biggest issue, since those are easy to change. Still, the GPS is wonderful.

Of course, folks who never wander far from home have no need of such things, but that hasn't been me since I was a teenager. I move every few years, and lately that's been to new countries. Finding a new place to live, in a strange environment, is much easier, thanks to GPS.
posted by Goofyy at 11:23 PM on May 31, 2006


Here's a thought: Maybe the author told the relative in question in advance about the article, and got an okay. Or maybe the relative in question is not bothered by such things or actually has, like, a sense of humor, so the author knew it wouldn't be a problem. In any case, there's not a lot of information here to tell us that this article is actually rude to the relative in question.

x is the y-est man alive! does make a nice headline, though.
posted by moonbiter at 11:41 PM on May 31, 2006


you know, sometimes when you get an expensive and crappy gift the giver knows it is crappy. They received it as a gift or bought it for themselves and found they were unable to use it well.

So they decide to give it to someone they figure would appreciate it more.

After all, it is the thought that counts.

Check to box to see how well it is sealed.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:55 PM on May 31, 2006


Here in the UK the residents of a small village called Luckington have been enjoying the spectacle of seeing motorists, directed by their GPS navigators, drive into an ancient- and now very deep ford over the river Avon. Nobody has drowned yet. Mr Pogue should visit.
posted by rongorongo at 12:48 AM on June 1, 2006


Bah, he probably either (a) faked it or (b) cleared it with a wink with the gift-giver. This makes a nice newspaper gag, is all, and it gets readers talkin'.
posted by ori at 12:52 AM on June 1, 2006


The "re-gifter" strikes!!
posted by cdavidc at 12:57 AM on June 1, 2006


Actually he's blown it. No opportunity to re-gift once you've ralphed all over it on your blog.
posted by missbossy at 1:09 AM on June 1, 2006


So he got a GPS system for Christmas, and loves GPS soo much he didn't try to use it until the end of May? Something doesn't add up here, Pogue.
posted by graventy at 3:30 AM on June 1, 2006


It doesn't that splenentic to me... Anyway GPS is massively overrated . It's a solution which is more hassle than the problem it solves. Learn to read a friggin' map.
posted by rhymer at 3:33 AM on June 1, 2006


Ordinance survey maps are excellent for Britain.
posted by jb at 3:53 AM on June 1, 2006


JPowers is the most judgemental man alive!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 AM on June 1, 2006


I dunno, maps are all well and good, but for as a seriously directionally challenged person (I can get lost, with a map, in a place I've lived for ten years, on my way to places I've been before) I'm looking forward to these things coming down in price and size to the point where I can just carry one everywhere and have it tell me to turn left or right when I need to.

(Either that, or I need to move to New York, as in Manhattan island, the only city where everything is in walking distance from everything else that I've never got lost in - love your crazy numbered grid system!)
posted by jack_mo at 3:58 AM on June 1, 2006


So Pogue is an ingrate. So f-ing what? This is one lame-ass post. Now, if you had a youtube video of Pogue ranting about it, it might be a different story.
posted by mds35 at 5:02 AM on June 1, 2006


Shall we move on to gift problems more generally?

I sent my mum a Harry and David cheesecake for Mother's day. It arrived with no ice pack! Ick. Was in the mail for a couple days. She called customer service and explained, and the guy said they'd send her another one. She asked, "Will it have an ice pack this time?" He said, "Let's hope so." Well, it didn't. So then I ordered her a Juniors cheesecake, it had an ice pack and was delicious. The end. (Can I have my blog now, pease?)
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 6:00 AM on June 1, 2006


David Pogue is also a novelist. In the mid-90s he wrote Hard Drive, an unintentionally hilarious piece of techsploitation about a killer computer virus that threatens to wreak havoc on the world. ...A Macintosh virus. I actually have a copy of the book. But I'm deeply saddened that I don't have this copy (from the Amazon reviews):

The copy I read, from the Durham County Public Library (of Durham, N.C.) was apparently a bit of a misprint, in that it contained the first and last chapters of what appears to be another novel dealing with geriatric sex before and after the book's actual prologue plus nineteen chapters.

A bit of a misprint, yeah.
posted by staggernation at 6:13 AM on June 1, 2006


... if you're going to shell out that kinda money on a gift, you might as well get something that's not horrid.

That's assuming the person buying the gift knew what they were doing.

It's conceivable that some folks buy gadgets that are way over their heads, but that they think the recipient will love.

And even if the buyer knows what's what, mistakes can always be made.

How many Dads get ties for Father's Day that they'd rather not wear, but do anyway because their kid picked it out?

On point, if Pogue cleared the article ahead of time as was suggested, then he's not really being a dick.

And yeah, GPS is a nice toy, but a current map is just as good, a helluva lot cheaper and easier to use.
posted by bwg at 6:16 AM on June 1, 2006


"And yeah, GPS is a nice toy, but a current map is just as good, a helluva lot cheaper and easier to use."

I have to disagree with you that's it's easier to use. I moved to a new town last year and love mine. I didn't grow up here and don't know the roads like the back of my old and wrinkled hand. I simply enter an address and it figures the shortest or fastest route.

When a road is blocked I don't have to figure out alternate routes. I just take a left or right and the GPS recalculates the route. Sure, it is a bit of date, but that's because I'm too cheap to upgrade it. It covers anywhere I travel out of state and I don't have keep a box of maps in the trunk.

Oh, and yeah, the writer is rude. I liked him better when he was with his band.
posted by ?! at 6:40 AM on June 1, 2006


FWIW, in my one interaction with Pogue, he was gracious in his response to my obtusity. So - no, he's not the rudest man alive. If we're taking nominations, I suggest Cheney, who's so rude on so many levels.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:55 AM on June 1, 2006


I'm always sort of amazed how ubiquitous GPS has become.

I do GIS work and use survey grade GPS units on a regular basis, although I don't use the smaller navigational units much. Coming from a mapping/cartography background, however, I can honestly say I have never left the house for a place I've not been before without a map. Every niche in my car is filled with some kind of map.

GPS units, even recreational ones, are getting more and more sophisticated, but I'd take a good old street map or USGS topo quad map any day, if push came to shove.
posted by elendil71 at 7:00 AM on June 1, 2006


Hell hath no fury like that of the GPS'er who's forced to abandon his toy an look at a map or *gasp* ask for directions.
That SD card crap was a fucking load though.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:21 AM on June 1, 2006


I have to agree with Jpowers the author is an ass worth the the assGPS he received ! It's a goddamn present made in good faith. ...

.... or maybe the lame device was given for the purpose of making the guy mad.
posted by elpapacito at 7:28 AM on June 1, 2006


Now we discus how to deal with getting a shitty gift.

I think when your career and field of expertise are at stake, you have to be truthful. If you start lying to friends about endorsing crappy products, it could bite you in the ass later on a professional level. And if you are going to buy a gift for someone that makes a living reviewing technology you would have to expect some feedback, non?
posted by boost ventilator at 7:29 AM on June 1, 2006


GPS is great for calling artillery fire and conducting CAS. It's a bit overkill for getting the kids to the pool though. Then again, I ascribe to the view of the journey being half the fun. The Lady Fez, on the other hand, is more of a stop and ask directions kind of person. Car trips are never dull.

David Pogue is middling/average rude, a perfect "know enough to be dangerous" intermediary for the n00b crowd, and on the list of people who never get to ride shotgun when I drive.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:47 AM on June 1, 2006


It's like a wayback machine for what's cutting edge or breaking news from about 4 months ago.

Just like the rest of the New York Times !
posted by blucevalo at 7:54 AM on June 1, 2006


OMG I just realized: this is his thank you note! It's five months late, critical of the gift selection process, and on a blog instead of being a handwritten letter! Is he even getting paid for this blog-work? Yeegads!
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 9:02 AM on June 1, 2006


I see the ads for GPS units and think how cool it'd be; then I remember Google maps have turn-by-turn directions with distances marked and haven't let me down yet.

Even better, they're free. Although they don't speak in John Cleese's voice...
posted by jennaratrix at 2:31 PM on June 1, 2006


My comment on his blog has been removed. I had the very first comment which started off "Ha ha. I bet that you were re-gifted ... ". It has been yanked.

Newspaper people have such thin skins.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:53 PM on June 1, 2006


Want to know the actual story here?

1. I'm generally not a tactless idiot.

2. The relative who gave us the lame GPS device is an elderly person with no Internet access--and even now, has no idea that I consider the product lousy. This person will not see my e-column, and there was no identifying info in it.

3. In fact, my wife and I told the relative that the gift was great. (It WAS very expensive and very thoughtful.)

4. Given all that, isn't it still a good idea to warn readers away from a turkey like the RoadMate 300?

--David Pogue
posted by pogueman at 7:56 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pgwnd!
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:10 PM on June 1, 2006


Er, "pogueman"? Give me a break.

P.S.: The incredibly thoughtful relative has received nothing but praise from my wife and me for the generous gift. This person won’t see my comments on the RoadMate 300; we’re talking about an elderly, non-Internet-connected relative.

So it's not rude to publicly slam a gift so long as the gift-giver is unlikely to see it? Puh-lease. There are endless numbers of better ways you could have handled this.

MonkeySaltedNuts: Newspaper people have such thin skins.

Worse than politicians by far, in my experience. I can't believe they deleted your comment; it's like they want the *pretense* of interactivity but absolutely none of the risk.
posted by mediareport at 9:35 PM on June 1, 2006


"--David Pogue"

David Pouge is the new Todd Lokken!
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:52 PM on June 1, 2006


Do your research. Read the customer reviews. Beware outdated products on store shelves.

This is good advice any knowledgeable person has given their hapless relatives from time to time. The fact that this product was a gift was not very relevant to the article, though. Could probably have been skipped.

I do wonder why pogueman cracked the packaging and invested the time to install it when he already knew (from assiduously doing his research) that it was such a lemon ;)
posted by scarabic at 10:03 PM on June 1, 2006


So it's not rude to publicly slam a gift so long as the gift-giver is unlikely to see it? Puh-lease.

Uh, yes, that's correct.
posted by bingo at 10:06 PM on June 1, 2006


Well, bingo, we'll just agree to disagree, then. Why was it necessary to mention the gift-giver at all? Answer: It wasn't.
posted by mediareport at 10:27 PM on June 1, 2006


2. The relative who gave us the lame GPS device is an elderly person with no Internet access--and even now, has no idea that I consider the product lousy. This person will not see my e-column, and there was no identifying info in it.

On the face of it this seems naïve. You write a column, and you and this relative who gave you a somewhat valuable present share no acquaintances in common who read this column? This relative has no acquaintances who know that you write this column? So there is no vector by which this relative can be told that you totally bagged on his gift in your column?

Clearly I can't know the details of your situation, but again -- it sounds very, very naïve to suppose that people won't talk to each other. In my experience, people always spill this stuff to the person in question, can't wait to, will in fact trample their own mothers in their haste to do so.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:09 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the gift-giver is locked up in an underground dungeon and his only contact is with grumpy goblins who care not for human trivialities.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 11:23 PM on June 1, 2006


Why was it necessary to mention the gift-giver at all? Answer: It wasn't.

It wasn't necessary for me to put ground pepper on my eggs this morning, either. If something is harmless, then condemning it as unnecessary is an empty gesture.

Anyway, Pogue probably made the whole story up so that he could justify picking on this particular product.
posted by bingo at 11:29 PM on June 1, 2006


Why was it necessary to mention the gift-giver at all?

Because it gave him an angle. Instead of, "I'm a writer and here's my product review," he uses an anecdote in the hope that his column will read more like, "A funny thing happened today..." Personally, my instinct would have been to assume there was no "Christmas present from a relative." He insists otherwise and I'll take his word, but that would have been my assumption.

It's a thin premise for his article. That's the intent, and that's exactly what some writers feel they need: a thin premise, something to build interest and momentum that can be quickly cast aside to focus on the objective, which was to review a product.
posted by cribcage at 11:31 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Anyway GPS is massively overrated . It's a solution which is more hassle than the problem it solves. Learn to read a friggin' map.

This week I rented a car for a few days, and as a consequence actually drove for the first time in a few years. We went driving around Jeju-do, the big island to the southeast of South Korea. The car had a GPS navigation map thingy, and it was one of the best new condumer technology thingies I've ever seen. I'm very good with maps, have a splendid sense of direction, have driven in a dozen countries, but this thing was can't-live-without-it stuff, despite the fact that it talked too much, and only spoke Korean. The ability to just ignore it and strike off on our own but never get lost as it constantly recalc'ed the best route to our destination -- honestly, this think made my technoweenie hard like rock.

In Canada, outside of the cities, I wouldn't see as much use for it, perhaps. But here, where the place is covered with a web of roads large and small, and where stopping and asking for directions might not be an option thanks to the language barrier? Indispensable.

Also, I have no problem with David Pogue. Telling the truth is a good habit, regardless of how far it has fallen out of favour. I'll take honest over polite every day.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:14 AM on June 2, 2006


I'll take honest over polite every day.

It's when folks start thinking those two are mutually exclusive that we've got a problem.
posted by cribcage at 12:20 AM on June 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


True enough.

I live in a place where 'politeness' is strictly utilitarian, and it's sometimes easy to forget that that's not always the case.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:23 AM on June 2, 2006


MetaTalk.
posted by ericb at 12:27 AM on June 2, 2006


Metafilter: made my technoweenie hard like rock.
posted by OmieWise at 6:32 AM on June 2, 2006


stavrosthewonderchicken writes "In Canada, outside of the cities, I wouldn't see as much use for it, perhaps. But here, where the place is covered with a web of roads large and small, and where stopping and asking for directions might not be an option thanks to the language barrier?"

Just as useful in Canada (at least in the big flat parts), I love my Garmin PPC.
posted by Mitheral at 6:59 AM on June 2, 2006


In Canada, outside of the cities, I wouldn't see as much use for it, perhaps.

!!

It's more useful out of the cities in my opinion. Clearly, you've never tried to find someone's cottage with only vaguely wrong directions ("Cross the train bridge, turn around and head back a 1/4 mile, taking the second right...") and a ten-year old gas station map.
posted by bonehead at 9:15 AM on June 2, 2006


For gift-givers: Do some research. Read the customer reviews. Beware outdated products on store shelves.

This person won’t see my comments on the RoadMate 300; we’re talking about an elderly, non-Internet-connected relative.


The elderly non- internet connected gift-giver in question: They are going to research this GPS device by going to the library and browsing numerous periodicals searching for reviews? Why the hell didn't DP read a few reviews before he tried to install it, five months after ripped off the wrapping paper?

If you can't take your own advice and then publicly whine about a gift, you are definitely exhibiting cad-like behavior.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:34 AM on June 2, 2006


Anyway GPS is massively overrated . It's a solution which is more hassle than the problem it solves. Learn to read a friggin' map.

...said by someone who obviously doesn't have one. You have no idea how useful they are until you drive around with one everyday. I've got a five year old one in my Acura, and while I don't use it all the time, it's absolutely invaluable when I need it. I don't think I will ever buy another car without one.

If you can't take your own advice and then publicly whine about a gift, you are definitely exhibiting cad-like behavior.

He's a technology columnist - whining about technology in public is what they do. At least he gets paid for his public whining...
posted by SweetJesus at 1:02 PM on June 2, 2006


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