Sponsored: Toshiba Field Tests - Highly Impractical Practicality

Sponsored: Toshiba Field Tests - Highly Impractical Practicality

They may not be scientifically rigorous, but these experiments offer everyday evidence that you can't get from the "white coats."

You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news. We love science because lasers, robots, and black holes are, simply put, awesome. Sometimes, we like comedy, too, so when you add a dash of almost-science to an hilarious experiment, we can't help but take notice. Enter Toshiba's Portege Field Tests. Does it adhere to the scientific method? Not exactly. Does it put an adorable puppy's drool against a piece of high-tech electronic equipment? It sure does.

It's not just about canine saliva, though. The tennis ball hinge test below is pure scientific mayhem. Watching this would make any laboratory researcher cringe. Hurling tennis balls at a perfectly good laptop might not seem like the best idea, but it really does bring home the point that it's a sturdy piece of hardware. Not only does the hinge survive repeated openings and, more importantly, closings via a high-velocity fuzzy green ball, but the screen itself is still on at the end of the video. As important as the durability of the hinge is, the screen surviving this sort of beating is just as impressive.

Now, you might ask what exactly the benefit is of doing these tests. The fact is, laboratory experiments are highly controlled. The referenced 50mL test will use precisely 50mL of H2O with exactly the purity they want for the test. You know what you don't get to control to three decimals of precision? A dog's drool. Especially when it's been laced with bacon. These field tests are some of the most impractical ways to perform practical tests, and, frankly, they're hilarious. Kudos, guys, for finally bringing Mythbusters and Jackass into harmonious union.

This article was made possible with the sponsorship of Toshiba.

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"This article was made possible with the sponsorship of Toshiba."

So basically, it's an advertisement couched as news. I quit reading there. But then I decided that maybe, just maybe, I pre-judged, and I went back and read the whole article. But no, it's just advertising couched as news. Seriously. I thought The Escapist was better than this.

Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

The Plunk:
Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

What part of this was disguised?

There are nice italicised words at the top of the article saying this is essentially an ad.
I don't see how anyone can have a problem with this, this is how the Escapist makes money. They need money to run the site.

KnowYourOnion:

The Plunk:
Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

What part of this was disguised?

There are nice italicised words at the top of the article saying this is essentially an ad.
I don't see how anyone can have a problem with this, this is how the Escapist makes money. They need money to run the site.

Well, as I explained, I pay the Escapist so that I don't see ads on their site. This is an ad and it's in my newsfeed. Obviously, I'm not going to sue the Escapist for breach of contract or whatever, but I would appreciate it if they kept ads out of the news section.

KnowYourOnion:
What part of this was disguised?

There are nice italicised words at the top of the article saying this is essentially an ad.
I don't see how anyone can have a problem with this, this is how the Escapist makes money. They need money to run the site.

People are paying to not see adds on the site, now they are getting 'news' articles that are adds, what's the point in wasting the money if your still going to be bombarded with the crap? I was thinking of subscribing but if this is what their going to start doing I'll save my money for places that actually follow through with their sales promise.

Why in the hell can I get suspended for god damn advertising when the fucking staff does it? I tried to share decline of video gaming on here and got suspended, but this article outright sponsors and endorses toshiba and they get away with it because they're staff?

Bullshit!

Seems like the field test of the Escapist's news ad feed is a failure with the users.

Having worked in computer repair for a few years I can confidently say that dog is a better computer than the Toshiba laptop they were testing. Each and every one of them is garbage compressed into the shape of a computer. Seriously, the drool was the most well built and technically impressive part of that laptop.

I don't care if the escapist likes them or their money, DO NOT BUY A TOSHIBA.

I am very sorry the title of this thing promised a news article and all i got was advertisement. Thus i regret clicking on it and giving it a higher viewcount thus endorsing such behaviuor.

Seriuosly, ads have no place in news feed. there is a reason escapist is marked as "Very intrusive" in advertisement ratings.

Label this as an ad on the title immediately, it is dishonest and shameful. This kind of thing hurts the entire "news" section. The escapist is rapidly loosing credibility and pride. Ask for donations if you need them, but don't turn into IGN. We already have an IGN don't need another.

"You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news"

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

Oh and it's good of you to finally admit that some of your content is sponsored, but the link to this story needs to be labelled as "advertisement" or "sponsored". Currently, it's pulling in clicks for your sponsor without us being informed until it's too late.

You know, if you need the money, there is a shop in dire need of new content. Just saying. In fact, why not search out ideas from members themselves? I can think of a few things here at The Escapist that belong on a shirt...

Alfador_VII:

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

Yeah... What happened to that? I liked the show, don't hide the fact that many others did as well!

"The Circle is now complete, now I am the master."

--Escapist Magazine to IGN

Seriously, this is the kind of shite I expect from them, not you guys. If the community wasn't so zany, I'd stop coming to this site altogether.

I've also noticed that the video advertisements on each page not only autoplay (which is very annoying since I don't have enough bandwidth for that) but they have live sound. What the fuck.

Watched both videos- it seems pretty impressive how the computer can withstand saliva and tennis balls, yet... I probably would rather want to look at how well the computer itself runs. Like, see how fast it's internet is or what features it possesses that wins me over then say keeping my Gaming Computer that is everything I ever wanted.

But still, nice videos. Also guys, if you dislike what's happening here- you could give civil feedback. Lashing out at The Escapist isn't going to gain you any favors. But I still advise feedback regardless and if done in a civil manner, it could accomplish more but that's just my word for it.

Alfador_VII:
"You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news"

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

We loved Reel Physics! I wish we could have kept it going but the production costs were way too expensive, and the vocal minority of viewers just wasn't big enough. Despite everyone on staff loving it, and the regular commenters who loved Reel Physics, it was one of our least viewed shows. Kind of like our Firefly, really. :)

The Plunk:
Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

Strazdas:
I am very sorry the title of this thing promised a news article and all i got was advertisement. Thus i regret clicking on it and giving it a higher viewcount thus endorsing such behaviuor.

Seriuosly, ads have no place in news feed. there is a reason escapist is marked as "Very intrusive" in advertisement ratings.

Alfador_VII:
"You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news"

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

Oh and it's good of you to finally admit that some of your content is sponsored, but the link to this story needs to be labelled as "advertisement" or "sponsored". Currently, it's pulling in clicks for your sponsor without us being informed until it's too late.

We are very sorry that we failed to adequately label this as a sponsored article. While we mentioned the sponsorship within the article, you are absolutely correct that it should have been obvious sooner than that. We have updated the title to reflect the fact that this article was sponsored. We apologize for any confusion and frustration. As Community Manager, I want to personally thank you for the feedback concerning this piece.

DrStrangelove:

The Plunk:
Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

Strazdas:
I am very sorry the title of this thing promised a news article and all i got was advertisement. Thus i regret clicking on it and giving it a higher viewcount thus endorsing such behaviuor.

Seriuosly, ads have no place in news feed. there is a reason escapist is marked as "Very intrusive" in advertisement ratings.

Alfador_VII:
"You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news"

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

Oh and it's good of you to finally admit that some of your content is sponsored, but the link to this story needs to be labelled as "advertisement" or "sponsored". Currently, it's pulling in clicks for your sponsor without us being informed until it's too late.

We are very sorry that we failed to adequately label this as a sponsored article. While we mentioned the sponsorship within the article, you are absolutely correct that it should have been obvious sooner than that. We have updated the title to reflect the fact that this article was sponsored. We apologize for any confusion and frustration. As Community Manager, I want to personally thank you for the feedback concerning this piece.

I also want to chime in and say this was an oversight on my part. Sponsored stuff is a reality we all have to face as inevitable in internet publishing, but I think it's important to label sponsored posts as such so there's absolutely no confusion. We did so on this post, but we could have done a better job and for that I apologize.

The fact is Toshiba's videos were not the worst form of advertising we'd seen and the commercials even made us chuckle. I understand why you're upset, but I genuinely thought you guys might like them too.

DrStrangelove:

The Plunk:
Now you're not even putting "Sponsored" in the news titles? This is pretty scummy, Escapist. I don't pay my Pub Club membership to see sneaky, disguised ads.

Strazdas:
I am very sorry the title of this thing promised a news article and all i got was advertisement. Thus i regret clicking on it and giving it a higher viewcount thus endorsing such behaviuor.

Seriuosly, ads have no place in news feed. there is a reason escapist is marked as "Very intrusive" in advertisement ratings.

Alfador_VII:
"You may have noticed a trend on The Escapist to feature more science-related news"

Actually I've noticed the exact opposite, Escapist have been getting rid of all the cool science content like Reel Physics recently.

Oh and it's good of you to finally admit that some of your content is sponsored, but the link to this story needs to be labelled as "advertisement" or "sponsored". Currently, it's pulling in clicks for your sponsor without us being informed until it's too late.

We are very sorry that we failed to adequately label this as a sponsored article. While we mentioned the sponsorship within the article, you are absolutely correct that it should have been obvious sooner than that. We have updated the title to reflect the fact that this article was sponsored. We apologize for any confusion and frustration. As Community Manager, I want to personally thank you for the feedback concerning this piece.

I dislike ads as much as anyone but I'm ok with this, its clearly listed as sponsored so we know that its going to be an ad for something, unlike that weird doritos story about a year ago.

Caramel Frappe:
Like, see how fast it's internet is

Internet isn't built into a computer, it's provided by an ISP. Buying a better computer generally won't increase your internet speeds.

Ignoring the morale shakiness of displaying ads in a "news" column, I really don't like this "watch this funny video now buy our stuff" approach to advertising. I mean, I can't really fault Toshiba for this. It clearly works and I won't expect companies to work against their own interests. That being said, I'm disappointing purchasing decisions are now made based on empty irrelevant videos and not based on the actual strength of the product itself.

Didn't watch the videos yet, but still had to home in about the community response here. Look at everything around you (on this site). It isn't free to make or maintain, and sponsorships and advertisements are a necessary neutral (not inherently evil).

besides, if you wanna rage at something, rage at the continues use of captcha. When it was implemented there was some line about curbing spam bots, but I had never seen one spambot attack, let alone enough to warrant such an intrusive measure. Plus, I'm betting that using that system isn't free, ot maybe they use the free version which is why we get sponsored captchas, and they hurt my soul.

rally against the captcha, not funny videos that happened to be corporate sponsored. And big kudos to the staff for their handling of the situation as well.

Racecarlock:
Why in the hell can I get suspended for god damn advertising when the fucking staff does it? I tried to share decline of video gaming on here and got suspended, but this article outright sponsors and endorses toshiba and they get away with it because they're staff?

Bullshit!

The code of conduct doesn't apply to staff, even if it says that it does nothing ever comes of reporting their posts. It's just one of those things we just have to live with.

I have to admit that the idea of everything that's ever been posted on the Escapist as a news article being potentially sponsored, in an attempt to control perception or media attention, is a bit iffy.

But I've come to terms with a world where ads are necessary, so my response to this whole thing is more along the lines of... "meh".

Don't really have an opinion on Toshiba to share.

*Edit, badly worded first paragraph.

Phrozenflame500:

Caramel Frappe:
Like, see how fast it's internet is

Internet isn't built into a computer, it's provided by an ISP. Buying a better computer generally won't increase your internet speeds.

Actually, yes and no to that one. Your maximum speed is provided to you by your ISP, but the quality of the network's card does matter in the equation. My new laptop is better than my old laptop at everything but battery life and network speed and stability. My new laptop is generally a little shaky on taking in signals and I have to struggle to get in on the internet at the university in places where my old laptop was far better at it. Also the new 802.11ac standard which can be found on newer networks cards will be better than the older models. So internet speeds do depend on your computer to some degree.

Well I don't like ads much myself, but I don't really mind this. The Escapist isn't made of money, afterall. Besides, these sponsored articles don't seem to pop up that often. But hey, I'm all for more cool sciency things being added!

I'm fine with these kinds of things under one condition: Clearly being marked in both the article AND the title. Money is good and can lead to good things (better servers, more employees, more videos, etc.), so taking a sponsor on every so often is fine, but only if it is actually clearly marked as such. Oh, also: bonus if you can get sponsored articles for things that are actually interesting, not just some random laptop.

Also, the captcha is nest egg. I find that quite applicable here.

I think it is completely ok if quickly visible disclaimers are added and if it doesn't get out of hand.
When the disclaimer is near the top of the article or in the title and when we don't get too many of those (maybe 1-2 max per week) then it is fine.

At least the Escapist post disclaimers unlike other websites that simply go "here is some funny videos that you should watch!".

 

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