This is belated news and still sad. I just learned via the Kevin Tofel and Matt Miller's podcast that James Kendrick passed away. I will admit that after James departure from GigaOm that my interaction with James had been reduced. While we periodically exchanged some messages in social media, James and I hadn't really spoken in three years but he was one of the real pioneers in tech reporting, especially in the gadget realm.
James was one of the first of the "unknowns" who I pulled into the Nokia Blogger Relations Program back in 2005. We became online friends, would see each other at various conferences and trade shows and he became one of the bloggers I respected because like Matt Miller, Kevin Tofel and the many in the Nokia program, they all have an ethos of actually using, not just testing, but using the gadgets. That was at the core of the Nokia program-actual use, not just review of the specs.
James put products through their paces, and he knew them inside and out as does Kevin. That work ethic was why I hooked up James and Kevin with Om Malik, and suggested the acquisition of JK on The Run to him when GigaOm was a growing force in tech coverage. Om wanted a product review team and James and Kevin were the team. Along the way, James and GigaOm parted ways and James moved on to ZD Net before his declining health impacted him.
In a world of jerks and shameless self promoters, James wasn't one of them. He was always a gentleman, and a professional. In my dealings with him, we could just talk about the products and he would fairly, honestly and candidly share his thoughts.
Rest in peace James Kendrick.