bad advertising

At first the whole, un-advertising movement was fresh. Especially as it was aimed right at me and my friends, Generation X. It is now mature enough that agencies can do it badly, which I see more and more.

Case in point: yesterday I saw a billboard for a national burger chain with a history of getting people sick with badly prepared meat. In big letters over a picture of it’s new burgers it said “Because you’ve only taken 4 fake sick days this month.” While I’m that the copywriter in the ad agency felt that it was very clear that their new burger was a reward for some lucky slacker, my first impression was “our new burger will make you legitimately sick.”

Maybe this is the new thing, where they specifically post stuff like this so that the late night TV shows can make fun of them later?

The Washington State Republican Party

sent me a letter!

Well, really more of a pamphlet. With a picture on the front, showing a vaguely homosexual (maybe a metrosexual) man holding a big sign saying “TAX” and pointing at it. The caption reads “The Democrats have a liberal agenda.”

ummm… Duh?

I can’t imagine that Republicans aren’t insulted by this simplification and vilification, but maybe they are that small minded and any painting not painted in broad strokes is lost on them.

I am not overly fond of the City of San Jose

and I grow less fond every moment I spend there.
If you work in the tech industry, you will spend at least some time in your life in San Jose. If you are lucky, it will just be for a meal or a sharks game, or visiting friends, or visiting a corporation for the day. If you are like me, however, your company will be headquartered there and you will need to spend a significant amount of time in the area. This is especially painful if you live in a nice city, (ie: Seattle) and you grew up in a nicer city (ie: Chicago), because San Jose is not very much fun. The people there are lovely, but it is a bedroom community. For a sizable city, there really is very little of interest going on. Perhaps there are pockets of cool or fun, but for those of us who spend our time downtown, it is a wasteland. Over the last couple of years, I have found a couple good restaurants, and a nice bar or two, but that is about it. If you want music, art, theater, or cool stores; you gotta hop a caltrain north to San Francisco (1.5 hours non-express) and hope that you don’t miss the return train. For those in the area, what am I missing? I am especially talking about night life there. Oh, and I’ve walked all over the downtown areas so I know about the streets of sad bars and yuppie-geek pick up joints. I’m looking for culture, not alcohol.

Project Runway: you cheap bastards! Stop ripping off music!

So in the Paris episode of Season 3, there is a lot of lovely French-sounding background music. Sound familiar? Well it should if you’ve seen the movie Amelie or know the work of Yann Tiersen (one of my favorite artists). The Project Runway people took his tracks, changed the melody in only the slightest way and then did a new recording of his music. I mean, it is 90% note-for-note. Either, the production company tried to license the music and failed, or they didn’t even bother. Either way, I hope YT and his labels sue their asses. That kind of crap is low: for a well-funded TV production company to rip off an independent artist in such a blatant way.

Posted: Thu – September 7, 2006 at 01:15 AM

Developers Developers Developers Developers

Apple hates Developers Developers Developers Developers

Just got back from WWDC ’06 and all I can say is “it’s amazing that anyone develops software for the macintosh at all.” Apple (like Microsoft) is continually trying to use their 3rd party software developers as a billy club to bring their users onto the latest OS. Apple (like Microsoft) is trying to get their 3rd party developers to adopt a new development language that is locked into their platform (but both claim that it isn’t). However, Apple (unlike Microsoft), pretends that all their developers have embraced this new language and new OS when all evidence is to the contrary. In session after session, Apple employees surveyed the attendees, asking “How many of you use C++, Objective C, Objective C++?” Each time, the answer was overwhelmingly C++, which I imagine was the result in each year previous. Yet, every new Apple API is in Objective C, every code sample was in Objective C. The new APIs look really fun. I bet we’ll see some awesome shareware when Leopard comes out. The professionals (especially those writing cross platform apps) and Apple’s high-end products will continue to ignore these new APIs as they always have.

You add this continual dismissal of developers needs with Apple’s insane secrecy and poor documentation and it seems amazing that professionals embrace this platform at all. I came into this (expensive) conference as a die-hard-mac-fan-boy and now I’m feeling much less so. I still like using macs, but developing for the mac seems much more a chore than a joy, especially compared to windows.

Curry / Winer bust-up

I didn’t even know it was going on!

Podcasting is so successful that I stopped caring about it. Honestly. In the early days, when it was a new thing and there wasn’t much to listen to, I was a regular listener to both Adam Curry and Dave Winer. Most of their podcasts were about podcasting. I guess they both still are. I, like most podcasting fans, have moved on to more interesting content. I was actually surprised to find out (indirectly) that there was a feud between them…

Caught with his hand in the civil rights cookie jar AGAIN

Is anyone even surprised anymore?

I mean, who didn’t expect another spying scandal given this administration’s record on respecting civil rights? Hey, guess what? I have a prediction with a pretty high degree of accuracy. This won’t be the last one of these. The administration is probably monitor our health records now too under the guise of “looking for terrorists.”

We already know that the government is mining library records, bank records (foreign and domestic), phone call logs (domestic), internet traffic (foreign and domestic) and tapping calls (foreign and domestic). They denied most of them at first and they have tried to minimize all of them.

The problem is that the American people are ignoring this. It is time to wake up. This administration has proved time and again that it will outright lie to the American people. Big Brother is now more than ever and we need to do something about it this fall.

Marco’s Supper Club

If you can stomach the noise level, it might be worth a shot.

Marco’s Supper Club is nearly a landmark, tucked away on 1st Avenue. The atmosphere seems funky but romantic, the staff is excellent and the prices are reasonable for downtown. I was wondering why we didn’t eat there more often. So we visited last night for the third time in 12 years and I was reminded of why we don’t eat there with any regularity. It was loud. Ear-split-tingly loud. It’s a large room with a low ceiling and almost nothing to absorb the sound of the various conversations. In order to speak to my wife, I had to yell over the obnoxious young microsoftie bragging about his new house to his date. He was not at the next table, he was several feet away. My food was good, but not amazing. My wife’s salmon was undercooked and had to be sent back. On its return (after I had finished my entree), it was cooked more, but still rare. To the staff’s credit, they handled the situation perfectly, but it still put a cloud over an otherwise ok dinner.

I can’t really recommend it, but I can’t suggest avoiding it either. This is one you need to try for yourself. My only suggestion is to visit on a weeknight when the crowds won’t be so intense. This might make a meal there a much more pleasant and romantic experience.