Life on the mobile edge: Revenge of the fanboys

Some people get really ticked off when you say their robot baby is ugly

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Another example is from "girthdiggler" in my post reciting all the gaps in Windows Phone 7 that Microsoft won't say if the forthcoming "Mango" release corrects: "He dogged out IE9 as being least complaint, yet didn't mention it has THE BEST HTML5 performance out there. After all, the Web is headed to HTML5. So it's very important to have a browser with good HTML5 performance."

Yes, it is important to have the best HTML5 performance. Too bad that IE9 has by far the least level of HTML5 capability of any mobile browser. Want proof? Go to's browser comparison tests, which shows that IE9 supports just half of the HTML5 functions that every other modern browser does. I wouldn't call that "the best performance."

Then there's the folks who beat their chests (figuratively, I hope) in comments, proclaiming the story is full of errors -- without citing any alleged errors. Here's a recent classic (in its entirety) from "Jack11001100": "Get your facts right! Super crap and junk written here. Don't get misled by this dumb writer."

These are fanboys who simply disagree but for some reason can't just say that. Instead, they have to try to "take me down" by making vague yet dire "error" claims. If I made a mistake, tell me what it is. If you disagree, why not say so? After all, you're entitled to have your own point of view.

A variation of that is to pick one error (often a figure of speech taken out of context by the commenter) and use that to "disprove" everything I have ever written and will ever write. For example, part of a comment from "Im Spartacus": "This guy just used 'Droid' to describe an Android phone, ergo his entire body of work is invalid."

It's true! Droid is a brand name for Motorola's Android smartphones. I have used it sometimes as a surrogate for Android in a list of devices, though I more commonly say "Androids" -- which has its own problem, not being a noun but an adjective. I guess the conflict is so great that I should simply stop writing about Android devices entirely. Yeah, like that'll happen.

Finally, there are the folks who decry that I have an opinion, complaining that I'm not objective (code for "I don't agree with them"). Like "jamal_indo," for example: "Stupid article, waste my time. Gruman still a fanboy and never grown up. Just be an objective journalist for once." Umm, it's a blog, which is the Web's version of an opinion column. Of course it has an opinion. That's the point. You'll get objective, fair journalism in my news stories.

Fanboys gone wild
It's the fanboy comments I notice the most, especially from those who savage me personally, despite the fact they don't know me. As an example, here's what "Marc Miller" had to say: "I'm really, REALLY sorry I clicked on a link to this review, because now I get counted as one of this idiot's readers. Are you capable of saying anything intelligent? I don't own a single HP device, and even I was insulted by your obvious tone and bias. Note to self: Spend the rest of the day blasting this joke of a tech 'writer' on every forum you can find." I'm sure they wouldn't say in person what they say on the Web, but that's always been an issue with the Web: People will happily trash you under the cover of anonymity (or at least an alias).

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