Jeff Sexton

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The failures of technology are always people, without exception.

Windows sucks. It sucks because MSFT is a business, and as such packs every tiny suggestion from every focus group full of fools into their interface - the One Big Giant Executable that is Windows.

Software fails because programmers don't understand code at an abstract level. They write as though "magic" happens - as it seems that way when you program by dragging and dropping and mousing around. So who can blame them? There's no system. No design. No architecture. No specifications. And more than half the projects undertaken are never used in production anyway, by anyone.

Programmers almost invariably fail to realize this though because they are being paid WAY too much for their crapy work by employers who can only evaluate whether the final result looks pretty and doesn't crash. They can't even evaluate by usability.

Employers have no way to know if the coder did a good job. The result of this is huge egos, turf battles and pointless debates about pointless issues where no one actually knows what they're talking about.

But no matter, toss another phone book (learn may latest magic bullet in 24 hours), turn brains off, create a half-assed GUI, no design document, and everyone gets another big raise.

The entire industry is a fraud. And who can blame Indian software sweatshops for laughing at us all the way to the bank.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Comments from Classmates

Scroll down to the lower right for an open letter published in the
Washington Post from students of the Harvard Law graduating class of 1982
to their class mate Alberto Gonzales.


A fake email saying the the iPhone would be delayed appearently caused
Apple stock to go down 2% today. Apple has announced that the email was
fake and the iPhone is on time. What do you want to bet that Apple stock
finishes tomorrow even higher than yesterday's level as a net result?

Friday, May 11, 2007

DRM News

Two interesting items related to digital "rights" management were in the
news recently. First is is this one:

Appearently the problem with the acceptance of DRM technologies is that we
consumers just don't understand how the technology "helps" us. Concider
this next time you have to jump through a few extra hoops to make a
version of some music (that you paid for and think you "own", or that you
paid for anyway) that you can listen to in you car or at work.

And then there's this:

Apparent a maker of copy protection technology is threatening to sue
Adobe, Microsoft, Apple and I assume others for failing to include the
company's DRM technology in content they make available via products Vista
and iTunes. The case they are making, as I understand it, is that not
only is circumventing a DRM scheme a crime under the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act, but failing to include DRM in a media product or delivery
system constitutes a circumvention! And of course this is harmful to
consumers, er, somehow.

Warning - this message does not include any DRM system protecting your
ability to access the two URLs included here. If you use your computer to
read that contant, or most any other content for that matter. Or for that
matter the vast majority or uses of a computer that I can think of... You
may be circumventing a digital rights management system.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We're all updated here

My PC just popped up a little dialog I haven't seen before. Some install
manager program apparently has the ability to check for updates on
installed programs that it is configured to check for updates for.

It checked for updates and reported that there were no new updates
available. So I clicked "configure", and on that dialog was listed
programs that this install manager program was configured to check for
updates on.

The list had only one item - the install manager software itself.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Google Photos

I've started experimenting with Google's image hosting. It's a good fit
with their Picasa and is easy to use. "Albums" can be either public or by
invitation only.

One GB is offered free to start. Storage space could get chewed up pretty
fast when it comes to photos.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Touching Elephant Story

In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.


Now here's some interesting and creative eBay feedback...

Scam of the Week

I wonder how frequently this works? All too frequently I'm sure.">

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