Friday, December 4, 2009

Free Dumb of Choice

Sigh. Larry Dignan is doing one of those “10 Things Linux Has That Windows Should Use” articles which he’ll follow up with “10 Things Windows Has That Linux Should Do”. Do people get paid to write such drivel? Really? Cos I don’t, and I can drivel along with the best of ’em.

This comparison thing anyway reminds me of thirty years ago, when I was a just getting started in life and had the great fortune to meet and talk with one of my literary heroes,

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Man, did he smoke a lot! A big bear of a man with a shaggy brillo head of hair , a craggy but friendly voice and an aura of nicotine haze. I was a neophyte smoker, myself. He liked Pall Malls.

I was into Rothmans

(the English kind, not that Canadian rubbish.) Anyway, I don’t smoke any more. Found out I like breathing and tasting and smelling better than inhaling fire and tobacco fumes and carrying this continuous odor not unlike the bottom of an ashtray in a hooker’s lounge. I just carry around the cigs for effect now.

So, I met Kurt Vonnegut and talked with him. And he talked about this writers conference he went to, where he met Commie writers from the Soviet Union, and they talked and shared stuff about what was so great and what was not so great about each other’s countries. And that kinda’ stuck with me.  The commies wanted to change things so everybody had a job, enough food to eat, enough clothes, a roof over their head and free healthcare. We wanted to change things so everyone can say, write and create anything they want without fear of being persecuted by the government, shot by the police or frightened into silence and the freedom to choose what to do with their lives.

And here we are today – we have the freedom to choose Windows or Linux (or Apple) but nobody’s ever really satisfied – and critics are always forever pointing out how x could be better if it did things like y and maybe also a little like z, too for good measure.

For a long time, if you were smart enough, you rolled your own and tinkered with it until everything was the way you liked it. You can still do that with Linux, and if you’re an uber-geek, you can go under the hood of OS X, and monkey with that – to a degree. But most people don’t want that kind of freedom because it is too much work. They wanna’ turn the damn box on once and let everything work intuitively magically without any thought. A lot of people have made a lot of money and got very very powerful playing on that willingness of others to give up certain freedoms.

I do find it interesting that an awful lot of neophytes are jumping into the developer’s market for the iPhone, and surprisingly, Android, too – designing apps for fun or trying to make a quick buck – people who before never so much as written a BASIC  program or got past algebra 101 but are now getting excited and learning to get their feet wet.

But, anyway, Chrome OS is going to make using computers even easier for everyone – they’ll be reduced to being mere internet devices, as everything will be done in the cloud within the browser, with the most successful apps being the easiest most non-thinking ones that get desired results. And eventually most everyone will quite freely choose Chrome devices and happily keep making more unthinking choices.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boring percentage game time

Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, woof, woof, woof. The takeaway is, Windows users are beginning to make the jump from XP and Vista to Windows 7,

Firefox continues to be the browser that’s growing while Internet Explorer is the browser of people too stupid or afraid to try anything else and Opera is gonna die a slow painful death, which is really very sad.

Opera was the trailblazer for the smart speedy browser that revolutionized browsing. It was the last browser that charged money, until it woke up too late, realized it was never gonna get a significant part of desktop, went free and centered its business aggressively for the mobile market, and does well there. Still. It’s gonna’ die. Don’t worry, though, you probably won’t go alone,

as soon as Google perfects Chrome and cuts Firefox’s revenue stream off .

Friday, October 9, 2009

Can anyone explain the meaning of this clip?

Dancing Twitter icons do not translate into cutting-edge advertising.

Nerd fight!

Is there anything more fun than watching paranoid fanboy bloggers go nuts over some random market research report? And then having the analysts defend themselves? Read on to learn about the Dilger-v-Gartner dorkmatch.

It all starts when some analyst at Gartner says Android will be bigger than iPhone by 2012. This of course sends Daniel Eran Dilger, one of our most loyal fanboy bloggers, into an epileptic fit. He starts foaming at the mouth and attacks Gartner in a 14,000-word piece, calling them shills who have “dutifully suckled the teat of Bill Gates throughout a series of sour spells.”

The thing I love about DED is that a) he’s such a good writer; and b) he thinks this shit through and sees behind all the smokescreens.

For example, maybe you’re wondering why Microsoft would pay Gartner to say nice things about Android? Well, see, you’re not thinking this through.

For one thing, Gartner isn’t pro-Android. They’re anti-Apple. This whole fucking thing is about Apple. Get it? It has nothing to do with Android, or Microsoft, or market research.

It’s an attack on Apple! The whole fucking world is out to get Apple, man!

Why does Gartner hate us? Simple. Because we don’t pay them.

In fact Gartner has a long history of attacking Apple, except when they don’t, in which case Roughly Drafted will cite their numbers gladly and present them as God’s truth.

But anyway. By promoting Android, Gartner is really attacking Apple. On Microsoft’s behalf. Or at Microsoft’s behest.

Plus, there’s an even more subtle game being played here:

Does that mean Gartner is now backing Android just to give itself an appearance of objectivity?

DED doesn’t answer, and he doesn’t have to. We know the answer: a resounding yes! Gartner is saying nice things about Android because it is pretending to be objective.

That way, the next time they say something nice about Microsoft, or something bad about Apple — did I mention that they totally fucking hate Apple? — it will seem a tiny bit more believable.

Yes, they’re playing a deep, deep game over there at Gartner. Thank God we have journalists like DED who can unravel these Gordian knots of double-dealing.

But the whole thing goes even deeper: The truth is, Gartner knows that Windows Mobile is dying, and if that happens, Gartner won’t be getting any more Microsoft money.

In anticipation of this, they’re buttering up Google and its hardware partners:

If WiMo does indeed die next year, that means Gartner’s shills will need new sellout partners. Android is the most likely to support Gartner, not because Google is known to shill, but because the platform represents hardware makers that might be.

Just to be even more clever, Gartner doesn’t actually say that Windows Mobile is about to die next year. In fact, they say the opposite. They say Windows Mobile will be just a hair behind iPhone in 2012, with 12.8% share versus 13.7% share for iPhone.

Oh, you dastardly market research fiends! Believing one thing, and saying the exact opposite.

For what it’s worth, a Gartner analyst just came out and defended his honor and the honor of Gartner by saying that, um, he’s never been bought off or influenced by a tech company.

Yeah right. Like anyone is gonna believe that.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Drink up, MicroTards

Check out this fantastic shot of Bill Bumblaster, one of our top OS and developer tools guys, making an emergency pit stop yesterday at the Borg campus. Bill was out partying with his fellow engineers and celebrating our new SDK and overall iPhone corporate strategy which as I pointed out yesterday will finally put a stake in the heart of Windows Mobile, not to mention RIM, Nokia and everyone else in the mobile space. FWIW, Bill B. is not just the world’s greatest programmer but also a renowned tequila expert and shellfish chef. Apparently Bill and his homeboys from the tools lab spent the day yesterday on a massive bender drinking tequila shots and pitchers of beer at IL7, then they went out driving around, which I do not condone, but anyway it happened and nobody got hurt and what can we do about it. I figure you have to cut these guys some slack. Yesterday was the first day off they’ve had since their crabtacular which I bitched about recently. Anyhoo. Guys, all is forgiven. Keep up the good work. Namaste. I honor the place where the contents of your bladder become one with the Microsoft logo. To see this photo in its splendid original form, go here.