Blogger-Reviewers, Tech Reviews, Bias, Freebies, Rants and why Apple Singapore hates me

Warning – This article might come across as being messy and distasteful.

Let’s face it – everyone has their bias. Every blogger, reviewer has their own bias. Anyone telling you otherwise is just plain lying in your face.

Sites that try to be like Engadget and Gizmodo are totally biased as well – they tend to be bias towards Engadget’s reviews. And since Engadget loves to write what I call a favor of reviews which I like to term “not here not there”, the kind of reviews you get from such sites are usually “neither here nor there” either.

Which might be just what you want – if you are not a fan of any brand or company – in other words, if you lack passion about your gadgets.

Do you?

In this day and age many blogger-reviewers are in it (doing tech reviews) either because it’s their (paying) job, or because they want the fame and the freebies(or chance to play with new toys without paying) that come along with the fame.

Some sites have a high morale policy – they won’t keep anything given to them for review – probably because they value the fame over the freebies (will usually sound along the lines of “we don’t have a policy of keeping stuff that companies give us because we believe that will color our judgement/review” which is of course political speak for “we think not keeping the freebies will make you trust us more than other sites which keep the freebies”).

A friend once told me something along the lines of “if you get free products and you think they suck, it’s probably better not to review them as simply “these products suck arse”, but rather in a politically correct way that lists out some good points and some bad points, even if there aren’t any good points”.

I failed to do that, Which is probably why I don’t get free review units anymore. Although it is probably also because I don’t write about anything else other than Apple products and related accessories. And that I no longer belong to a “powerful and popular group”.

Many moons ago, the local PR company’s personnel responsible for Targus gave me a bunch of free products “that are targeted at Mac users” (speak for “crappy overweight and super overpriced accessories made of white plastic“) to review. I was quite thrilled at first, but after a day or two realized that the products are just what they are – CRAP, and thought about how I could review them in a good way. I gave up and posted a truthful review on what the products really were, or rather what, just one of the products really was.. I couldn’t even bring myself to write anything about the rest of the products. I could never understand why anyone will even dare to bring to market the overpriced crap that Targus was letting me review. And if Targus really expected any favorable review at all.

That’s probably why they, or anyone else, stopped contacting me to review anything. I would kindly even return all the products I have gotten from Targus if not for the fact that I totally could not remember who the PR personnel was or what company she was from. The products are collecting dust in my house anyway.

You are probably wondering, if MacRyu is an Apple fan, surely Apple Singapore will be nice enough to lend me some new products to review?

Fat chance.

Once upon a time I asked Junior, a well-known and probably pretty popular Apple engineer in Singapore why Apple doesn’t give any blogger any review units and the answer I got was something along the lines of “We used to, but then there was a big hoo-haa about which blogger was more popular or something like that, and it got messy and we decided to stop sending the review units” or something along those lines. HUH?

Seriously, Apple doesn’t send any blogger-reviewer products to review simply because they have no need to, because they are big enough, because they are the APPLE INC. And even if they do, I’m probably on their blacklist of bloggers whom they will not send anything to simply because I sent that hate mail to the head of Educational Sales at Apple Singapore. Which is probably also why I never got that Apple job the current head of Apple Singapore promised me back in 2007 for being a great MacNUS president (athough Mr. E. pretended that he don’t remember ever saying that he will find me a job in Apple since late 2008).

Why this post has turned into a rant about my current predicament I have no idea.

Anyways, back to the topic about bias.

What i personally prefer, rather than to avoid bias, is to simply embrace it.

John Gruber’s Daring Fireball is a extremely popular site, not just because he always have inside info about yet-to-be-released Apple products, but because because he’s simply the one of the most influential Apple fan out there. Apple fans love his writings, while haters flock to his site to show the world how “protective an apple fanboy is” of Apple (which is bullshit, since Gruber often speaks out on Apple stuff and policy he doesn’t agree with, as passionately as his praises for what Apple does right).

I guess the point which I’m trying to drive across this mess of words is that if you are an Apple fan, maybe you will want to consider following If you aren’t, fuck off to your silly android forums and root all your freaking ugly plastic phones running lame copycat software.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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