FORTUNE -- With a rumored $10 to $15 million of investors' cash, the backing of NBCUniversal and Terry ("Yahoo!") Semels' Windsor Media, and every one of the star writers from the Wall Street Journal's AllThingD, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at midnight Tuesday launched Re/code.
Or <re/code>, as the logo has it, a name that sounds like a gnu library and is going to take some getting used to.
I've subscribed to Re/code and will be reading it for Mossberg's Apple (AAPL) product reviews and the good reporting of Ina Fried, Liz Gannes, Arik Hesseldahl, Peter Kafka and John Paczkowski (assuming his deputy-editorial duties give him time to write). I was never invited to Mossberg and Swisher's annual D conferences, and I don't expect that to change now that they're called Code Conferences.
The new enterprise is only a few hours old and it's too early to pass judgment, but I can't let Walt Mossberg's opening essay -- It's Not a Church, It's Just an Apple Store -- pass without comment.
He's right, of course.
It's not really okay, as he puts it, "to pour down personal hate and derision on people who happen to use and like a tech product that competes with the one you prefer." Or to resort to "accusations of corruption (you were paid to praise a product) or laziness (you must not have really tested it)" when a reviewer has the temerity to list a product's downsides.
And it's interesting that in Mossberg's long experience covering tech for the Journal that there have been what he calls "cults" or "churches" of Apple, Android, Blackberry and Open Source, but never a Church of Windows.
But I wonder how much of the behavior he bemoans has to do with tech in particular and how much with broader changes in our culture: The polarization and hardening of ideologies, the deterioration of public discourse, the nature of the medium -- words exchanged, often anonymously, over the Internet without the social cues of face-to-face meetings.
Lacking that kind of feedback, people tend to adopt extreme positions and say things without realizing how insulting or condescending they sound.
Like referring to readers as "fanboys and fangirls."
Maybe the "D" in AllThingsD should stand for "Deal."
By JP Mangalindan and Dan Primack
FORTUNE -- The future of influential tech website All Things Digital is close to being decided.
Reuters reported in February that AllThingsD co-executive editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg had begun discussions with owner Dow Jones, a subsidiary of News Corp. (NWS), about either ending or extending their partnership, which is set to expire on December 31.
Since then, Fortune MOREAug 27, 2013 8:41 AM ET
Remarks made after the iPad introduction are now evidence in the Apple antitrust trial.
FORTUNE -- Long-time Apple (AAPL) watchers will remember this golden oldie from 2010.
Steve Jobs had just wrapped up his Jan. 27 introduction of the iPad and iBookstore when the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg got his ear in the post-keynote press scrum.
Why, Mossberg asked Jobs, would anyone buy an e-book from Apple for $14.99 when they could buy MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 5, 2013 1:56 PM ET
Apple's CEO exercised his ability to out-wait his interviewers at AllThingsD.
FORTUNE -- In trying to cover Tim Cook's roundly criticized performance at a major technology conference Tuesday evening near Los Angeles, reporters grasped at straws for kernels of news from the Apple CEO. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, whose parent company owns the conference, suggested Cook indicated a "wearable" computing product was imminent. (He merely called the segment "incredibly MOREAdam Lashinsky, Sr. Editor at Large - May 29, 2013 6:02 AM ET
Telegraphing an alleged price-fixing conspiracy 2 years before the DOJ caught up to it
FORTUNE -- Paid Content's Laura Hazard Owen, combing through documents newly unredacted in the states' (as opposed to the U.S. Department of Justice's) antitrust complaint against Apple (AAPL) and five book publishers, uncovered a gem: a blunt Steve Jobs e-mail that basically hands the attorneys general their price-fixing case.
In a note to a publishing executive nervous about MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 15, 2012 7:18 AM ET
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"My last three months working for Google was a whirlwind of desperation. The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus." -- Ex-Google employee James Whittaker (CNNMoney)
* The first crop MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Mar 15, 2012 6:30 AM ET
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* Former Windows Phone general Manager Charlie Kindel explains why he thinks Windows Phone 7 hasn't taken off, chalking up much of it to Microsoft's relationship with manufacturers and carriers. However, tech influencer Robert Scoble thinks it really has to do with the operating system's lack of apps, while TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler argues that it arrived to the MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 27, 2011 11:41 AM ET
A few gems among the flood of tributes
If you have time for only one story about the life and death of Steve Jobs, read Steve Levy's 5,000-word tribute in Wired.com.
Levy, who covered Apple (AAPL) for MacWorld and Newsweek for most of his long career, has mined his notebooks of three decades of quotes and anecdotes and insights into what made Jobs tick. He writes:
If Jobs were not so talented, if MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 6, 2011 9:55 AM ET
Gruber, Mossberg, Om and more. Walking the media line at the iPhone 4S event
This 53-second YouTube video is what you might call media inside baseball.
It was shot outside Apple's (AAPL) Town Hall auditorium while the invited press cooled their heels in advance of Tuesday's iPhone 4S event.
That's the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg with the white Van Dyke at the 28-second mark. Daring Fireball's John Gruber is the tall guy in dark MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 4, 2011 10:28 PM ET
Apple seeded the usual suspects with its new tablet last week. A sampling of the reviews:
Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal: I've been testing an iPad 2 for about a week and I like it a lot. While it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary like the first model, the changes Apple has made are generally pleasing and positive, and the device worked very well for me... It never MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 10, 2011 6:26 AM ET
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