I’m always interested to see what happens when technology starts spilling over into the mainstream press. More often than not, there are things are missed in the translation, and sometimes, there are just gross errors. The most recent falling into this category is the Technology & You column entitled, Look Out, Microsoft Office in the July 10, 2006 edition of BusinessWeek.

The main purpose of the article is to proclaim that the age of the web application has come and that Microsoft Office is in for some big competition. In the course of the article, it makes several statements that are so untrue as to shock me. The first:

Ajax is the name of a freely available software tool for creating interactive Web applications.

Of course, you and I know this is not true, but apparently the author didn’t. But it doesn’t stop with just one incorrect fact. Oh no. It continues:

Because it is an industry standard, Ajax is available to anyone who wants to use it.

Oh an industry standard…when did that happen? This is precisely why tech-only news sites have become popular: at least the writers know what they are talking about. Is this a case of the author being a jack of all trades but master of none? Even a quick web search of the term “Ajax” yields more relevant and correct information, so I wonder, did the author do any research at all? Or was this a case of having a college intern provide background information that was never fact-checked before printing?

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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