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Thursday, September 04, 2003

what's hot what's not

Will someone give Jimmie Guterman a real assignment?
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Yet another guy collecting a check as a writer attempting to define a paridigm that is outside of his experience. Jimmie Guterman weighs in on Blogging. If you follow the links you can read the article too. Holy self referential PixelMan!

Let's get the self referential stuff out of the way first. Doc mentioned it on his blog, as a link from J.D.'s blog, which started out as a comment on the paywall that dead tree publications are using as an attempt to sell both sides of the same acre.

Doc and J.D. make good points but do not go far enough.

Guteman's assertion that bloggers, are for the most part out of work dot commers collecting unemployment, spending their time in front of their computers linking to each other in hopes of finding a job and forsaking the internet experience upon gainful employment, is so far beyond reality that a good bitchslapping is in order.

Let's start with Dan Gillmor, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger.

Dan Gillmor has a Job. Or is there some part of the link and the page that proclaims Silicon Valley .com that escaped your notice?

Dave Winer has a Job. He created Radio and Manila, and is now at Harvard, who pays him.

Doc Searls has a Job. He is the Senior Editor of the Linux Journal, who also pays him.

David Weinberger has a Job. He is a writer, whose books are probably responsible for Your having a Job. The Cluetrain Manifesto Ring a Bell? Doc Searls was also a conspirator on the Cluetrain. Oh yeah, Dave is also a commentator for National Public Radio.

One of the biggest problems on the web by just about every website whose website is a counterpart to a dead tree publication is the ''I've got a secret, trust me, I've seen the goods'' bit. This worked fine when newspapers, magazines, TV and Radio were the only outlets for distribution. The Internet allows you to point to the source material in anything you write which serves to enhance and validate one's viewpoint, assertions, and writings. Linking to source materials is the litmus test for surfers, bloggers, and unemployed dot commers to ascertain the credibility and bolster one's reputation on the web. Links to sources are what makes blogging, News, and even Commentary the rich interactive conversational environment that we are seeing grow. You Have Failed this Test.

You wrote:

"You don't have to believe me on this. Finally, some data asserts that blogs are hardly a popular pursuit. If anything, blogging is more marginal than its critics contend. Forrester Research (FORR) conducted an online survey of 3,673 people and found that 79 percent of its respondents had never heard of blogs, 98 percent had never read one, and 98 percent said they'd never pay to read or write one. Blogs can be wonderful things, but if a mere 2 percent of Internet users read blogs, the pastime is far from mainstream. The Forrester survey notes that the typical blog reader has been using the Web for an average of six years. For the most part, blogs feature the Net elite writing to the Net elite. This continues to be the case only as long as the elite are underemployed. "

You did not provide any background information to backup your statement other than a link to Business2.0 articles and a CNNMoney.com link on Forrester Research, and the allusion that you had seen the 'goods'. The link to the report is here, which costs 75 bucks. Some data implies more than one. You have a single data point. Most reporters would have their wrists slapped bringing this to an editor without at least a second source.

Statistics are a wonderful thing. There are vast hordes of folks who compile them, play with them, and occasionally make sense of the information. 'Are you still beating your wife?' is always a good ice breaker to design surveys to elicit responses.

Since the net didn't have 'blogs' three years ago, and now we do, one could say that a 100% increase in the form is an unprecedented upswing in popularity and adoption.

''After all, at least 98 percent of the potential audience doesn't care. Blogging may be fun, daring, comical, and a lot of other wonderful things, but, except in the rarest of cases, it's not essential to business.''

6 years ago the web was not essential to business. Where are we now? Amazon makes 100% of it's money on the web. EBay makes 100% of it's money on the web, and a host of other companies have found that the web has created business opportunities that are not cost effective in any other medium.

CEO Blogging will probably never have the uptake that personal blogging does due to the suewall (the legal and pr departments in large companies having to vette everything that the CEO might like to say). Makes being a Captain of Industry more like an inmate of cellblock #9. Traditional methods of business as usual are coming apart at the seams. Shareholder value through litigation may in the short term enhance a business,(at least to spectulators rather than investors) but in the long term will strangle a company, or an industry.

Here is a link to a much more articulate explanation of Blogging, The New Amateur Journalists Weigh In Thx to Mitch Ratcliffe for the pointer

Yet another Microsoft bug
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The last few weeks have been light on the posting front as the head lemur has been fighting virus infections on client machines.

The latest gem from Microsoft is a vunerability in Visual Basic, which seems to impacting MS's high profit line, Office.

So when you go to get your vaccine have Office 97 and are running Windows 98 here are your results. You are screwed.

you are screwed

When you go to the Office 97 site the newest patch is from 1999.

UMAX
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We have been using UMAX Scanners since the parallel port days. We like them as they are easy to set up, work great, and do what the hell they are supposed to. This is the first time that I have had a UMAX scanner fail inside of a year. They usually last about 14 months, then either the bulb goes or the track jams. Having owned 4 of these in various models, I have a certain track record here. This one was 5 months old.

There are certain companies that I will not deal with under any circumstances, there are others that I will only use if I am in a corner, Like Fry's Electronics. Which were I bought this scanner. I do not buy extended warranty's as they are a numbers game that I won't play because computer parts either fail right out of the box, or the manufacturer's warranty gives you a pretty good idea of how long it will last. Most of the companies that I spend my money with will exchange bad equipment on the spot to the limit of the manufacturer's warranty. Not Fry's unless you pay for the Performance Warranty, which adds 30% to the price of the 100.00 dollar scanner. So off to The UMAX website to get this replaced.

Their Website SUCKS.

The contact section has a phone number, but it is on your dime. They do not have software for all of their products available, which is a major failing for any company that sells anything that attaches to a computer. This is one of the reasons that I have an evergrowing collection of backup CD's for drivers, for motherboards, printers, scanners, cameras, external devices of all kinds.

I just put down the phone after spending 20 mins. waiting for tech support, on MY dime as well, No 800 numbers for these folks. In order to get service or an RMA number as the website is no help, you register with the techie on the other end. In order to get an RMA you have to plug in the scanner, down load the software, install it and call them back. They do give you a case number. Normally this would not be a problem as this is a USB scanner and I have a very fast broadband connection, but they are capping download speeds on their end, resulting in a 10kb/s. download speed. The software is 4 Megs, Yep! about an hour.

Having downloaded the software, and installed the scanner, it was back to tech support. My amazment was total as I got the same tech support person this time around. So we did the dog and pony with the scanner and yes it is broken,(track jam) so will need replacement. The RMA procedure is somewhat involved and requires the use of a fax machine but will get the job done.

A Umax scanner costs about a hundred bucks and is more scanner than most casual users will ever use. This particular unit Astra 4400, was purchased for a bodyshop that needs to scan black and white documents in color so the insurance company can see the customer signature in blue ink! Trust me, this is not the craziest piece of B/S a bodyshop needs to go through to repair your car, but does rank near the top.

As an aside, this insurance company provides a web interface for claims assignments which remarkably enough integrates the claims information with the major estimating systems. This is an accomplishment of the first water as the estimating systems companies all have access to the same manufacturers data but all scream proprietary with every breath and bill they send. What makes this really funny is they are all using the same database tools, and programming languages. And it is not their data in the first place. Time data is theirs, but they are all wild ass guesses based on removing and replacing new undamaged parts from undamaged cars. Trust me, when your front end looks like the ball of tinfoil that your cat plays with, there is no way in the known universe that it is going to take 30 minutes to remove and replace that fender.

Opinion

Hiding Content [Posted] 12/11/02

One of the re-occurring themes that appear on design lists is 'hiding content', or making one's code invisible. Most of the solutions just don't work. The internet is not about hiding stuff. But in the interest of fairness I can offer a proven method of hiding content.

>>more
p i x e l v i e w

Mitch Ratcliffe is definitely an other. The 21st century holds the promise of rich multimedia across the web. Mitch was blazing this trail in the 20th century. From code to finance.

p i x e l v i e w - behind the screen with Mitch Ratcliffe
read here - go there


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