Cook Computing

Bits and Pieces

April 21, 2006 Written by Charles Cook

Like EricK I've been sick, with a flu-like virus in my case. It wiped me out mentally as well as physically and I had to take a few days off work. Its frustrating when you thnk you have almost recovered to find that it impossible to do something as physically undemanding as software development, let alone blogging. Anyway here are some assorted links which I need to clear in Bloglines.

Via Dare I came across Jim Carson's piece about schedule chicken. Made me think of that frisson of guilty pleasure you feel when you hear another team has slipped, removing the pressure on your own team. Perhaps this could be called schedulefreude.

A couple of months ago a friend told me that her hairdresser had told her that she knew someone who worked for Britsh Telecom. This person had told the hairdresser that BT were piping the content of all phonecalls to the British security services. My friend wanted to get a recording of a particular phonecall and her hairdresser offered to ask the BT person. We were amused by the implausibility of this but maybe the last laugh is on us.

The "launch" of Origami was heralded as a successful piece of viral marketing. However at the time it seemed like a flop to me because it was all tease and no product, another example of Microsoft hyping something up long before it was ready. All the buzz that was built up and then... nothing. At least when Apple announces something you can usually place an order for it even if it won't be shipped for a few weeks. The launch of Samsung's umpc reinforced this (via Signals vs Noise). That a major company can make such a hash of their demo puts the boot in even further.

Kathy Sierra asks animals love exercise... why don't we? She has photos of horses running around a paddock. This is the opposite of my experience. I've never seen the two horses in the field next to the cemetary in the village where we live do anything more than stand around eating, i.e. pretty much like many people.

Steve Makofsky has a piece about being tired of technology. I've read about a couple of surveys which claim that people in the UK reached peak average happiness in the mid 1970's and that its being going down ever since. Is it more than just coincidence that it was in this decade that computer technology started to influence our lives in a big way? asks Why do sites provide both RSS and Atom feeds? I always thought that this was so you could express an opinion about Dave Winer.