Archive for December, 2007

Arrington Invents This Thing Called "Snark", (Almost) Bans Clueless Commentariat

From this post at TC about Pointui, Michael Arrington writes:

Why in the world all you people on Windows devices don’t just go out and buy an iPhone is a mystery to me. Yeah, Exchange Server and all that, I know. Anyway, perhaps now with Pointui you can be a little bit more like the cool kids and still sync with Outlook from the office.

*sound of Arrington haters’ heads popping like New Year’s champagne corks*

Typical response from commenter Elder, who has missed the cluetrain every year since 2000:

Not much of display of imagination or understanding of how people actually live their lives there, fella– for example, one reason not to run out and get an i-Phone could have something to do with the service plans someone is already committed to, or the fact that the service plans ATT offers are not exactly perfect for everyone, or every family. It ain’t just the device, stupid, might be a less polite way of phrasing it…

Arrington (fella!) playfully hints at whipping out the banhammer, but we know it won’t happen.  I think.  This group could go find another forum to argue about why they really, REALLY don’t need an ASIMO robot, Roomba, or Wii.

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Geoff Arnold on Jaron Lanier

Great comments about the recent Jaron Lanier “open-source stifles creativity” article over at Geoff Arnold’s blog.

I think commenter “The Barefoot Bum” gets it wrong, or rather misses the point, when he writes:

I think Lanier is perpetuating a category error when he relates the open- and closed-source paradigms to the generation of creativity. Both are techniques, rather, for turning creativity into value.

The reason I think this misses the point is that Bum is confusing the technique or practices of open-source software development with the ethos or norms of the open-source “movement”. I think Lanier is saying that OSS’s ethos implicitly encourages “me-too” efforts, as opposed to original, creative work. That assertion is what really sticks in the craw of the OSS crowd.

Geoff hits home with this remark:

[T]he prevailing cult of OSS is so dominant that even the most obviously proprietary projects have to pretend to be open source.

Zing! Go here to follow this thread.

Nick Denton is an Uptight Douchebag

So implies Vanessa Grigoriadis of New York Magazine, in an article about Gawker that I somehow missed this past October. She’s obviously bitter that she doesn’t approach the $12 per article that the Gawker serfs rack up in their free-for-all fishbowl in SoHo, or that the plum $200K jobs in print publishing are going away. Or both!

This was a good read, but the article was more superficial — in a Gawker way! — than I might have expected from a lengthy exposé. Grigoriadis drops the requisite background/context clues, but they never tie together. The result is sort of unfocused and, ultimately pointless. So Denton is a soul-crushing harridan — yawn. Gawker writers snort coke out of each others’ cleavage — another yawn. Any regular reader could have conducted the same surprising research. Where’s the link between Gawker, Denton, and the rest of the new-media world? Where’s the compare/contrast stuff we learn in 8th grade English Composition class? I suspect that Grigoriadis is not enough of a technologist to know — or care — about these types of propeller-head data.

Interestingly I came to this article via a link on David Brooks’ page on the New York Times website (you read Brooks? – ed. Yes, sometimes.). That I found this navel-gazing peek at Gawker culture on the Gray Lady is a fabulous irony.

Liverpool 0 – 0 Manchester City

Yesterday, a thrilling goalless draw away for Liverpool. Disappointing, but a great ninety minutes for football fans of any type.

These were two very evenly matched sides. Only one point separates them in the table, and I don’t think you could get any closer in terms of play on the field. Liverpool seemed both the weaker team (on defense) as well as the stronger team (on offense), whereas Man City was more consistent at both ends of the pitch.

The play was aggressive but civil, and the referee Uriah Renne wisely allowed play to flow, electing not to call several fouls that a more literally-minded man might have flagged. I believe the only card was for a stomp by Fernando Torres, and I’m guessing that the only reason Renne pulled the yellow was the exuberant anger displayed by Micah Richards.

The man of the match was Richard Dunne, and he deserved it with several spectacular blocks in the six-yard box, as well as a game-saving clearance from just outside the goal line with minutes remaining.

Most curious for me as a Liverpool fan was how slowly the side played for most of the first half — lots of possession, passes in their own half, not pressing forward. Perhaps they were worried about Man City’s counterattack? With only Darius Vassell up front for City, it seemed an abundance of caution.

As time goes on this season, I’m convinced more and more that Liverpool will not press Arsenal and Manure for the league title. I can’t put my finger on the specific missing elements, but I look forward to the January transfer window to see what changes Rafa Benitez might make.

Open-Source Stifles Creativity: Discover

From an article by Jaron Lanier:

[A] politically correct dogma holds that open source is automatically the best path to creativity and innovation, and that claim is not borne out by the facts…[a]n honest empiricist must conclude that while the open approach has been able to create lovely, polished copies, it hasn’t been so good at creating notable originals. Even though the open-source movement has a stinging countercultural rhetoric, it has in practice been a conservative force.

Pretty strong stuff, and I’m assuming that there are a lot of people out there right now vehemently disagreeing with this. Lanier singles out PageRank, Flash, and the iPhone as prime recent examples of “closed-source” creativity. Just having spent a day with the iPhone, I can tell you that it’s the most innovative thing I’ve ever seen, but is the argument sturdy enough to drive the nail through the palm of the open-source movement?

(h/t Slashdot)

iPhone is the Most Impressive Consumer Electronics Device in History

I’ve just finished setting up an iPhone for my wife, which I Santa Claus delivered on Christmas Day. I had been only half-following the iPhone hype since the summertime, convinced that the Windows Mobile phones, such as my newish AT&T Tilt, were superior.

I was wrong.

The iPhone is the most incredible piece of electronics I’ve ever seen. It’s sleek, fast, feature-rich, and the usability — well, let’s just say that I’ve never seen a more intuitive, friendly device in my lifetime. Most people would sooner have trouble figuring out a Pong paddle than with the iPhone.

My AT&T Tilt, while a superior phone in the Windows Mobile world, comes off like a chump. I can’t think of a single place where the Tilt is the clear winner.

In particular:

  • Networking is a SNAP.
  • E-mail configuration is a SNAP.
  • Keyboard typing is immensely helped by the instant-feedback feature.
  • The web-browsing experience is AMAZING.
  • Contact management features are FANTASTIC.
  • Navigation (with gestures and only one hard button) is SUPERB.

I’m wondering how long it will be before I sell my Tilt and get an iPhone. Seriously, I have no need for my Tilt that the iPhone doesn’t fill.

  • Remote Desktop? That’s such a drag on Windows Mobile that I don’t even use it anyway.
  • Office Mobile? Don’t use it.
  • OneNote for Windows Mobile? Too constrained to be useful.
  • Do I miss not having a stylus?  Not so far.  With the advances in gestures, I can’t think of why I would miss it.

I’m very simply blown away. Great job Apple!

WebBrowser.DocumentComplete Firing Multiple Times: Solution

My previous hunch was correct: before you do any actual work in the DocumentComplete event handler, make sure the ReadyState of the control equals “Complete”.

Here’s the updated diagnostic output: notice the time taken drops to three seconds now that I’m not looping through the worker code eleven different times.

'Snapper.WinForm.vshost.exe' (Managed): Loaded 'C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_MSIL\System.Configuration\2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.Configuration.dll', Skipped loading symbols. Module is optimized and the debugger option 'Just My Code' is enabled.
Uninitialized
Uninitialized
Uninitialized
Uninitialized
Uninitialized
'Snapper.WinForm.vshost.exe' (Managed): Loaded 'C:\Windows\assembly\GAC\Microsoft.mshtml\7.0.3300.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\Microsoft.mshtml.dll'
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
12/29/2007 1:15:03 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:03 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
12/29/2007 1:15:03 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:03 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
Interactive
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
12/29/2007 1:15:05 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Interactive
12/29/2007 1:15:06 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Complete
12/29/2007 1:15:06 PM - DocumentCompleted!
Doing work..

It’s probably also the case that the WebBrowserDocumentCompletedEventArgs parameter of the DocumentCompleted event handler gives me additional info with which to discriminate this ReadyState. May have to look into that one.