Michael Arrington may be lying to PR people in the future and not honoring embargoes, but there are still many of use out here that do still honor our word and won't break embargoes. Jennifer posted a great article on how PR professional can work with writers for the benefit of all. Lance Ulanoff also posted an excellent article on this embargo issue. I have signed NDAs, agreed in email, agreed in person, and agreed with a handshake to many embargoes over the years and I have NEVER broken one and I never will. Yes, it is very frustrating when some idiot breaks the embargo (like they did with the HTC Shift) and then forces the company to lift it and send every other honorable person scrambling to get their stories completed and posted. I think the policy change needs to be that those who break the embargoes are NEVER given information again.
Embargoed information is quite valuable for those of us who write about mobile devices because it gives us a chance to thoroughly test out devices and services well in advance of the public announcement so we can create informed and detailed posts for all of our readers to enjoy and use as a valuable resource. Lots of information is posted on rumored mobile devices and I've thought about not signing NDAs since you can get a lot of info from these rumors. However, I find that my readers appreciate my personal perspective on devices, software, and services and this means more to me than writing about a device first and gaining a few page views. I actually achieve better readership when I post detailed reviews and articles with my own hands-on experiences.
I also wanted to say that I have developed excellent relationships with many PR representatives and some I now even consider friends. In particular, I thoroughly enjoy working with Andy and Danielle (Comunicano - Nokia Blogger Relations and many more), Mary Beth (TeleNav), Clayton (REDFLY), Shelby (T-Mobile), Heidi (Waterfield Designs), Kristin (OtterBox), Marisa (BlackBerry), Zeenat (Palm), and Kevin (Talon PR - lots of software vendors). I think the key to receiving information that is relevant to your writing and to receive information that is timely is to develop good relationships with PR people and build that relationship over the years. Arrington seems to indicate they are just a part of the media machine and mindless robots shooting out hundreds of press releases and NDA requests. Granted, there are those who work like this and if they do I toss them into my Gmail spam folder never to be heard from again. However, the large majority of those who I work with are great people who, like me, have a job to do and are trying to do it the best that they can. Again, I recommend they check out Jennifer's post on how to improve their techniques for spreading the news.
If you have a product, service, or software related to mobile phones or mobile gear (MP3 players, portable gaming, GPS, etc.) then feel free to contact me and rest assured that I will ALWAYS keep my word and honor anything I agree to whether it is written or verbal.