Archive from July, 2011
Jul 6, 2011 - technology    No Comments

Say Cheese+

Listening to TWiT 308, and everyone fawning over Google+. Some interesting points come out of the discussion, the biggest one being that perhaps what’s so cool about Google+ right now is that the only people on it are the tech elite, and that things will change once it “opens up” to the rest of the world. Nice. A bunch of self-important “experts” bragging about what they have that everyone else doesn’t.

The whole magpie (Google-pie?) convention reminded me of a sequence from Firesign Theater‘s album “Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death“:  as Princess Goddess speeds away in her stretch dumpster, Danny Vanilla (celebrity stalker) says:

“… celebrazzis taking pictures of themselves …”

It seems to fit.

 

Jul 4, 2011 - google    No Comments

You Are Invited. Not.

With all the buzz and flutter about Google+, I can understand why the Big G is cautiously testing and controlling the number of people who can access their shiny new service.  Makes perfect sense to me.  Use an invite system and limit the number of invites.  Check.

But, when I get an email saying that two people have invited me to join, but:

The Google+ project is currently working out all the kinks with a small group of testers. If you’re not able to access Google+, please check back again soon.

So it’s a “notice of invitation”, not an invitation.  Hmph.

I’m a little miffed.  That’s the ultimate “here’s your ticket, but you can’t use it” game.  It’s not even “bait and switch”, it’s more “bait and wait”.   If you only want so many people to participate, then only give out that many invites.  It’s not that difficult.  The most annoying part of this is I’m starting to get “{X} Shared this with you on Google+” emails as the people inside Google+ are using it.  A constant reminder of who’s inside the system and who’s not.

Not too smart, Google.

But, apart from my grumbling, there’s another take on this.  Google slammed the door shut on invitations pretty quickly for this product, which could mean one of several things:

  • They discovered a serious scaling problem they’d not anticipated.
  • They discovered a serious security problem they’d overlooked.
  • They discovered that people “like” Google+ as much as they liked Google Wave and don’t want the world to know they have another steaming pile on their hands.
  • They’re actually moving in a cautious, planned manner and want to make sure everything is perfect.

It could be anything.   In the meantime, I’ll keep checking my email.

Jul 1, 2011 - current events    No Comments

Way To Go, Government!

Today we have not one but two “WTF Were You Thinking?” (for those of you keen on acronyms, the proper pronunciation is “WHIT-FWHIT”) Awards to give out today.

The first award goes to the Governor and Legislature of the state of Minnesota, for determining (after a collection of super secret meetings, probably involving Munchkin cards) that the only way to close a $5 budget gap is to shut the government and much of what it funds down. Like the state parks … right before the holiday weekend. Absolutely brilliant!

Our second WTFWYT is presented to the Governor and Legislature of the state of California for imposing a sales tax law (basically saying, “If you’re an Amazon affiliate in California, you must collect sales tax from out of state customers”) that made Amazon drop all of it’s California affiliates, which could suck hundreds of millions of dollars out of their economy. New York state tried a similar thing back in 2008, but started the process to repeal the law a month later.  Texas tried a slightly different ploy, causing Amazon to shut down it’s Irving, TX distribution center.  Apparently, California took the tried and true “Oh, yeah? But, that’s on the East Coast. We do things differently here.” stance.

Bravo, people. Well done. Truly a great example of childish stupidity taken to the next level. This is indeed a red-letter day.

Will there be future WTFWYT’s? Absolutely! In fact, I’ve got two scenarios warming up in the bullpen that might just pull it off:

Scenario 1: The President and the U.S. Congress bicker, whine, blame, and pretty much slack off until August and the country defaults on its loans.

Scenario 2: California retaliates against Amazon by passing new legislation that requires Amazon to sign up every illegal alien in the state as an affiliate, thereby solving two problems: increased cash flow and immigration control.

We’ll see.