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Today on the Menu: PCMag Exec. Editor Dan Costa Talks FTC Guidelines, Future of Digital Readers

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Today our guest is Dan Costa, Executive Editor at PCMag, where he oversees product reviews &#151 making him a perfect candidate to discuss the holiday season’s biggest tech items and those pesky FTC guidelines.

When asked about the lifeline of digital readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Nobel’s Nook, Costa was of the opinion that their lives will not be long. A tablet fan, Costa agrees that these products lack multi-multi-media functionality that’s now available in similarly priced Netbooks (for example). Though ereaders focus on the reading experience, the cost margin makes them a product with little hope of full market integration. With smart phones, netbooks and digital readers all similarly priced, it’s no surprise that the PCMag editor takes this stance. Nonetheless, his publication will provide buying guides for all these goods this holiday season.

And to get the skinny on what’s worth buying, Costa is charged with running PCMag Labs, the in-house testing department where computers, phones et al are put through their paces. When a product comes in, says Costa, it’s bagged and tagged with a serial number and carefully tracked throughout its time at the magazine. This and a strict set of guidelines prevent these “freebies” from going home with reporters, and according to Costa the products are always sent back to their manufacturers.

Costa says that because his publication is on the up and up, the FTC guidelines regarding disclosure don’t really apply. They’re meant more for bloggers working independently, he says. Nonetheless PCMag will publish their internal guidelines so everyone can see where the publication stands.

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