Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 20:47:37 -0400
Subject: Your comments on CRN

Hi. I read your article at
with great amusement (nice writing)! I definitely enjoy your wit. I read the
whole thing and I hope you'll return the favor:
I did want to set the record straight on a couple of things, though (just
one-on-one). First, CRN is not at all an OEM pub: the audience is comprised of
solution providers, web integrators, VARs, etc. We're a channel pub, sure, but
not really for the OEM audience; unless of course they just want to find out
what's brewing in the channel from our perspective.
Second, sales has NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR PUBS CONTENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Frankly, I
don't care if you don't believe that, but it's the truth and I'm NOT gonna let
that "sales" comment you made slide by. (If I knew you better, I'd probably have
thrown in some expletives, too.) Think of it logically: If we printed biased
stuff, VARs would start going somewhere else for their info, then we'd lose the
advertisers, the mag and thus my job. Any pub that caters to their advertisers
over their readership is run by fools. Nuf sed. (Sorry, bud, but you really went
over the line there.)
Third, the CRN Test Center (the origin of the story) is not to be confused with
the news department. Our labs are comprised of technical folks who can also
write (a hard-to-find commodity). All of us have technical backgrounds (mine
happens to be in thermonuclear engineering, although I've done my share of
programming and electrical engineering).
Up to more recently we've done reviews of products and technology. I've also
investigated the occasional bug or other technical issue for the newspaper. We
also perform about 45 live product demos/reviews on stage at both PCExpo and
COMDEX Fall; a wonderful technical challenge that we pull off rather well, if I
do say so myself.
Recently, I've been fortunate enough to hire some truly talented engineers with
strong backgrounds in security and programming so we are broadening our coverage
of those areas.
If you researched all our coverage of the bug, you'd know you've only commented
on the early stages of our research and not it's culmination, which appears here
with a working script:

Sure we asked for help from our community, and we posted a flawed script (just
as you did I must add), but mainly because someone quoted you as not wanting to
reveal any bug details. When Microsoft and a key source such as yourself clam
up, just what are we supposed to do; let our readers simply absorb the vendor
spin without the benefit of the information we've gathered together? If you want
us to have better information than work with us. Whether you want to see it or
not, we can help each other alot to the benefit of the community at large.
What's kinda whacked is you sort of hint at us being in bed with vendors, but
you don't give the media the help it needs to get these issues resolved on
behalf of the community (which most of the time we really have the leverage to
Look, I don't want to come off sounding all hot under the collar; you just
pushed some of my buttons. (Moving forward, I'd prefer an more positive
relationship.) Simply put CRN's integrity is not up for sale, and the Test
Center is not comprised of hacks. We're a bunch of guys that start out everyday
by trying to serve our readers important technical info in a timely manner.

I invite (challenge?) you to get to know we Test Center gearheads better, before
commenting on us. Here's our main site:

Here's our Bio page:

Sorry, Imran's new so we don't have his Bio online yet.

Best wishes nonetheless (really). (No, I'm not going to use a stupid emoticon;
you'll just have to trust me.)

John Yacono
Director/CRN Test Center Labs

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