I rant about this every once in awhile. It doesn't do much good, but it feels good to spew frustration into the wind in hopes it will land somewhere and fertilize some ground like so much volcano ash. Maybe something will someday take root and possibly grow. But I doubt it.
Good friend and tech blogger James Kendrick delivered a pretty good post about his recent experience in trying to cancel his Verizon contract. JK was upset at the "lies" he was being told as the Verizon store employees were going through their scripted and probably improvised responses to keep him on board. He finally got his contract cancelled but you can tell from his post that he's got a bad taste in his mouth. JK did as he often does, he blogged the experience, and I'm sure somewhere in Verizon's management structure the event and the post is going to cause some headaches come Monday morning. There will be a response and it will all go away even as some PR campaign will be started to prove that Verizon has mended its ways.
I'm using JK's experiences here as just another example of the Culture of Lying we're all becoming way to accustomed to, way to callous about, and, in my view, way too accommodating in our acceptance.
Man against nature. Eyjafjallajokull, the Iceland volcano that no one can type, much less pronounce continues to cause havoc with its ash cloud that spreads over Europe. Apparently ash tests have or are being performed to see when planes can get back in the air. Angry travelers abound and economies are in peril. Methinks that Eyjafjallajokull proves that in the Man against Nature battle, nature usually wins. Until the insurance companies come in. Side note: As anyone heard any US talking head pronounce the name of the volcano live on TV?
Someone tweeted, (I forget who and I'm too lazy to search for it) Eyjafjallajokull sending up its plumes of smoke and ash is the planet saying we need a new pope. Could be correct. Side note #2. Is there a hash tag for Eyjafjallajokull?
Speaking of volcanoes, Virginia's governor popped the lid off of one with his ham-handed handling of his Confederate History Month proclamation. Frank Rich takes this on and in the lofty pages of editorials this is getting bandied around all over. On the ground below the ash cloud, however, things are indeed boiling.
Adobe is trying to fight back, but is now saying that Flash on mobile (Android, Blackberry, etc...) won't happen until later this year. That's a delay. Makes it seem like Apple's anti-Adobe eruption has more than a little merit. Where there's an ash cloud, there's usually fire.
Microsoft is dealing with a small eruption itself over labor issues in China. They say they are investigating. Microsoft isn't alone, when it comes to these kind of abuses, and this story has been lying dormant but deadly for quite some time now.
Everyone is following the lava flow that popped up with Engadget ran some purported picks of a "next iPhone" that is being shopped around for cash. Supposedly found in a restaurant in San Jose it looked like a sham from the beginning. Andy Ihnatko has a piece that throws enough cold water on the fire to cause a steam cloud.
And one last item that doesn't stretch the volcano metaphor beyond all reason, because it is about Eyjafjallajokull with an Andy Borowitz twist. Andy thinks the cloud is a stunt gone wrong for the finale of Lost. It makes as much sense as the series does.
This is one for the ages. I'm not sure if it gets filed under hypocrisy, stupidity, or well, er... um... let's just go with stupidity.
Filings in the lawsuit Viacom is bringing against Google over YouTube have been made public and on the Broadcast Yourself Blog, (YouTube) Zahavah Levine is telling YouTube's side of the story. Apparently, Viacom tried to buy YouTube, didn't succeed, and in attempts to bring it to its knees, was playing dirty, the way the story is being told.
Here's a quote:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube. Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
From the way it sounds Viacom would sue the bullet maker for shooting itself in in the foot. Amazing stuff that makes you scratch your head.
Some Sunday morning reading to share. Although here, given to the clock switch, I’m not sure if it is morning, noon, or night, but I guess it is morning somewhere.
History takes it on the chin as the Texas State Board of Education decides to re-jigger what can and can’t be taught in history classes. There is still a public hearing in May on this, but I think the current tide of history runs with those only view it via the picture accompanying this post.
The great Apple iPad pre-order day is behind us (yes, I ordered one) and early unconfirmed numbers say Apple has sold 120,000 so far. One PCWorld writer says those 120,000 are idiots.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decides that “Under God” is now patriotic and not religious. They also say the same about “In God We Trust.” I wish those who keep fighting these endless battles would have the guts to stand up and say what they really think instead of trying to pass of the issue on our Founding Fathers. Those guys are dead and couldn’t care less.
Shock, Gasp! There’s been rampant fraud during the reconstruction of Iraq! Please tell me you aren’t surprised by this. Four things happen during a war. Some make money. Atrocities are committed. Truth becomes a casualty. Oh, and some die.
The Wall St. Journal has what I think is an excerpt from the book, The Quants, the still not understood scheme that many think let to the collapse of the economy. Probably worth a read.
Sarah Lacy on TechCrunch shares her view on how to disrupt Wall St via the Internet. Dear Sarah, the only way to stop this kind of thievery, is to be a better bunch of thieves than they are. Or just knock them off.
Osama Bin Laden supposedly releases a tape claiming credit for the Crotch Bomber and trying to stir up some fuss. Doesn’t this guy realize he’s a bigger success by keeping his mouth shut? I guess even terrorists have egos that need feeding.
The FCC is helping out the microphone biz by reclaiming the 700 MHz frequency that many of them broadcast on. Churches, theatres, bingo halls, you name will be in violation for using these microphones. I’m guessing this is a move to boost the economy. At least for company’s that manufacture microphones.
Frank Rich says the White House needs a reboot after what he calls the Massachusetts Massacre with some tough head banging against Wall St. They don’t have the horses to do it, nor the balls to see it through. There are no great secrets here and all the reading of history will prove is that you can’t beat those who control the money, unless you take away their money. And we all know that won’t happen.
The big tech companies are going after each other tooth and nail. Apple is now working on its own maps app, obviously spurning Google, Microsoft is working with Rupert Murdoch to help make his bluff/threat to remove his media from Google search in favor of Bing, Apple has been working with Microsoft to bring Silverlight to the iPhone, continuing its spat with Adobe. It’s a dog eat dog world and at this point, no dog has an advantage. Steve Lyons says they all care less about creating new products than they do about hurting each other. That’s why “it’s just business” is such a pre-historic concept.
Sarah Palin and the Bard? Conservative Joseph Hatch compares those enraptured by Sarah Palin to the groundlings of Shakespeare’s day, and says that the groundlings are the ones who turn a play into a hit or not, and that the Republicans need to cater to those masses and forget the elite. It’s a theory that tries to focus on the populist appeal of the common versus the elite, but ignores the fact that in Shakespeare’s day, even the groundlings understood the real issues behind the stories being told, and that Shakespeare felt no need to dumb down the message to appeal to them.
MG Siegler compares Twitter to Walter Cronkite in today’s age of realtime. I like his points, but the prism is ever so slightly askew. We gathered around Uncle Walter, (and others) when news happened, no matter how messy the reporting was because we had no other real choice. In today’s world the choices are just as messy, quicker, and unfortunately able to be tied into knots by the sheer volume of reporting and re-reporting news as it surfaces. In my view, the trust factor (and the forgiveness for error factor) is diminishing to a point that no one has belief in any source.
Twitter is starting to monetize by letting users get paid for advertising in their tweets. It is the beginning of the end. Oh, the end won’t come soon, and it won’t even look like an end. There will be an upswing. Twitter and people will make money and things will blossom. Then things will plateau. Then Twitter will become just like every other communications and entertainment medium. It will still exist, it may remain profitable, but it will lose its soul and everything it promised in the beginning will become a faded, jaded memory.
The above prophecy of Twitter isn’t hard to predict. It is the same path that every other entertainment medium has followed since the dawn of advertising. Yes, advertising is the way to make money, because apparently we’re all foolish enough to keep wanting to be manipulated. But like radio, broadcast TV, films, YouTube, DVD/Blueray discs, blogs, the Internet in general, newspapers, and your local church bulletin, everything that started out as a way to communicate and then looked at advertising as a way to monetize, the message gets lost in the money at some point.