Hey remember in the early days of the internet when people figured out that Netscape and IE would let you play a background MIDI or audio file? Remember clicking on a link to open a page and then getting up to get a cup of coffee (’cause we were all on 28.8k modems back then) only to have to sprint back to your computer and turn off the speakers so that you didn’t have Ode To Joy or something like that blasting out, waking your family? Well, it pissed so many people off that eventually everyone stopped doing it and then the tags got lost to history (except on Ebay, where it still pops up sometimes).
Welcome to the aughts, where we all browse with 20 tabs open all the time. And then one of those tabs has some shitty Microsoft video ad or something and all of the sudden we’re back to the old days, trying to figure out which fucking window is blowing out our speakers and ruining our day.
here it is
I don’t doubt Mr. Gutmann’s scholarship, nor his motives. The scenario he paints seems extreme. Extremely stupid. Now, I worked on Windows Media many years ago, and I can totally see a document like this coming out of that group. There were many good and smart people on that team, but they didn’t always have the best interests of the users at heart. Not on purpose, of course. They just didn’t understand users; at all.
Anyway, I decided to find Microsoft’s take on this message, and I was blown away by the fact that there wasn’t any. none. I mean, something like this surfaces and a week goes by with no response from Microsoft at all? I mean, a PM should be running around with his hair on fire, giving up his New Year’s Eve, putting together a coherent response for a press release or at least a blog post. The silence is as damning as the original article in my mind.
Springwise: new business ideas for entrepreneurial minds.
This is a great site, always worth a visit. They just did all their tops of 2006 lists. I went through all of them so that you don’t have to:
The beauty of Google is that they never release anything. Almost all their software is in beta, which absolves them of almost all sins: if the software doesn’t work or if they want to come out with new features every day or if they want to yank it entirely, they can. It was never released! You are using it at your own risk! The problem is that when they unveiled a web-based e-mail product, they changed the the equation a bit. They want you to store everything. They give you the space to do it, they even let you download it if you want, and now you can import mail from other services too!
This is great and would be awesome if it were bulletproof, but unfortunately, someone exploited a bug in firefox (don’t even get me started on the open-source version of this discussion), that deleted people’s mail. This would be bad with any mail system, except all fee-based systems (released systems) include backups for just this occurrence. Google doesn’t, but then again, they don’t have to, they are BETA! Mail is just a platform to deliver ads to you, they can’t make money on it as a pay service, so there is no incentive for them to ever release it.
What amazes me is how many people not only use GMail as their primary (if not only) mail service, but actually use it for their business mail as well. That is crazy-insane, especially in light of the privacy issues as well (a beta service would guarantee no damages to you if someone breaks into your mail or if Google decides to peruse it themselves).
You’ve probably seen this by now, but if not: WFMU’s Beware of the Blog: Faust’s Lost Album V + TV footage
WFMU has the all-around best mp3 blog around. Definitely worth poking around for tons of tasty audio tidbits and obscurities.
And Now, a Word From Chile … – New York Times
The shining example of privatized social security is encountering serious problems taking care of their elderly who don’t have enough to live on. Now, hopefully it is obvious that the idea of privatization of social security was, at best, a well mannered (but poorly planned) desire to reduce government spending (and taxes) and, at worst, a cynical attempt to enrich the few on the backs of the many with no regard to the welfare of the most vulnerable in society.
If the debacles around medicare haven’t killed the privatization monster, hopefully this will (although, I kinda doubt it, the right always believes that they know better than anyone else).
America the Overfull – New York Times
This was just a lovely written piece on the less crowded times in America. I feel it especially poignant as I look out my window across downtown Seattle, whose skyline has changed dramatically just in the last 12 years I’ve lived here and open spaces (and quiet) are getting harder and harder to find.
Uptight Seattleite (Seattle Weekly)
For those of you who wonder what it is like to live in Seattle, this gives you a good idea. Although, there should be another column (probably in the Stranger) called “Ask a sullen hipster” which would be the ying to the Uptight Seattleite’s yang.