Never Mind AJAX, This is Profound Anyway

Ok, I know Bosworth is talking about Asynchronous JavaScript (AJAX), a programming technology which makes web sites perform more like programs running on the computer than web sites (which can be a bit clunky for applications like accounting and word processing without it). And AJAX deserves (and gets) a lot of press in technical articles.
What I found interesting was this quote:

Bosworth said he has been building software for about 30 years and “not all of it works” all the time. “The reason, on reflection, turned out to largely depend on physics and human psychology,” he said. And “a lot of it had to do with Tom Cruise,” Bosworth said, citing the actor’s line in the movie “Top Gun” where Cruise says, “I feel the need, the need for speed.”

Yep. He’s right. Not all of it works.
For the technical among thee, here’s the link to the article.
Google’s Bosworth: Why AJAX Failed (Then Succeeded)

Legal Woes of Blogging

There are several blogs that talk about legal issues in blogging. Most of them focus on things like copyright or trademark infringement. A few mention issues like libel and slander. I never intend to say anything bad enough about anyone to get in trouble for that kind of thing.
But here’s a new one: a blogger subpoenaed for what some commenters on his blog said about each other. Guess when we said this was social media, we meant that it was like every other media. If we insult one another in print, in paintings, in email, and in letters, why not on blogs?
Here’s the link:

My Finger Hurts

Did you know that the letter “T” is the most common letter in the English language? Followed (in some order) by E, R, F and G. And as it would happen, all of those letters are reaches typed with the index finger of the left hand. Which I slammed in a bathroom door yesterday. The door wasn’t at home, it was a public building. I was coming out, not going in. Someone spoke to me…just then the spring kicked in and I couldn’t get my finger out of the way fast enough.
So if I blog less for the next couple of days, you’ll understand I hope.
My wife is trying to figure out how to catch my lips in a door somewhere…
Kidding, honey. Just kidding. (She probably doesn’t read the blog anyway)

Poor Experience Equals Poor Perception

Joe Wilcox at eWeek said it. I’ve always thought it, but it’s tough to get through to software vendors. Microsoft isn’t the only company that wants to move the newest version off store shelves. But doing so at the expense of user confidence backfires.
Wilcox writes,

Product marketing often is much more about perception than reality. Negative perceptions, once they set in, are tough to shake. For companies with multiple, closely associated brands, negative perception of one product can affect another. Based on dissatisfied reader feedback about Internet Explorer 7, negative perceptions about the browser reflect poorly on Windows Vista.

So software vendors came up with another idea.
“We’ll create a market channel where the end user doesn’t talk directly to us. That’ll insulate us from the bad reputation.”
So Data Guidance Group clients call us when they have a problem with IE7 or Vista or ACCPAC or a dozen other products. And that’s what we’re here for…to help with product problems. What our clients don’t realize is that the product problems frustrate us at least as much as they do them. After all, clients probably deal with product problems two or three times a year…we deal with them daily.
Is software perfect?
Not on your life.
Can we usually make it work for our clients?
But have patience with us…we’re imperfect human intellects dealing with the products of other imperfect human intellects.
To put it succinctly: we’re doing the best we can!
Should you upgrade to Vista? Eventually (as I’ve written elsewhere) you won’t have much choice. For now, have a few really nice dinners with your significant other and save the Vista investment for another day….or week….maybe month…
Microsoft Watch – Web Services & Browser – Will IE 7 Perception Problems Hurt Vista?

Trackback SPAM

I thought email SPAM was bad…until I started blogging. Now I spend a few minutes every day (or several minutes every other day) deleting SPAM from the comments and trackback logs in this blog.
A comment is…well, a comment. Someone posts something about a blog entry I wrote.
A trackback is intended to be a link from someone else’s blog to mine. They occur when someone writes about an entry I made and puts a link into their blog to my blog. Most blogging software then sends a trackback which lets me know that someone out there agrees (or sometimes disagrees) with something I wrote.
A trackback also results in a link from my blog to the other blog that sent the trackback.
One of the reasons SPAMmers do trackbacks has to do with search engines. The more incoming links they can generate, the better their sites come up in search engines like Google.
Another reason is that you might actually click on a link here and wind up at a site selling Viagra or a consciousness-altering drug.
But I delete them…I just hope I don’t miss legitimate trackbacks and comments with all the SPAM.

YouTube and the Presidential Campaign

If you haven’t tried out YouTube, you should. It’s a great medium. And it portends a change in the way businesses and individuals will use the Internet. Put simply, YouTube allows anyone to upload a video–whether taken with a hi-definition professional camera or with their cell phone–and converts it into a format (Flash Video) which 90%+ of the users of the Internet can see.
The upcoming Presidential Campaign should be interesting. Candidates are already positioning to use Internet video as part of their strategy. But it’s the video shot on-the-sly by college students that may get the most downloads…
…watch your gaffes, gals and guys, you may see them (along with a few million others) on YouTube that evening…
‘Macaca’ Moments Will Define 2008 Presidential Campaign – News by InformationWeek

Foundation To Offer Linux Support

In the few years since Linux was supposed to take over all the desktops in the world like Alexander the Great, there have been few takeovers. Many volleys have been fired across the decks from Linux advocates to Microsoft and back to Linux and back to Microsoft. Both groups claim lower total cost of ownership. Both groups claim technical superiority.
One truth has remained the same: Microsoft has the revenue stream to support and develop the product. Linux advocates have evidently realized that the lack of consistent support for the product is a problem. Thus the Linux Foundation. I notice, though, that Linus Torvalds the inventor of Linux isn’t saying anything about quitting his day job.
Group Formed to Support Linux as Rival to Windows – New York Times