March, 2008

  • Steve Clayton

    The moving pains



    I’m moving house and Dilbert does a good job of explaining my anxieties. No broadband or satellite TV for a week. Gaaaaaaaaah….
    The local coffee shops with wifi will be seeing a lot of me for a while and my blog may slow down a little.

    wish me luck!

  • Steve Clayton

    Sony bows to the public



    Good on Sony in the first place for offering to liberate laptops of their bloatware and second good on ‘em for listening to customers who said charging $50 for the privilege was outrageous.

    I first saw this on The Guardian blog and sighed. So near yet so far I thought but hats off to Sony. They listened and responded.

    The sooner this is the norm rather than an option, the better people’s PC (and Vista) experiences will become.

  • Steve Clayton

    We Think or You Think?



    I read one of the more curios newspaper articles I've seen in a while in The Metro a couple of weeks back. It’s the free paper I get on the London Tube and the piece was written by Charles Leadbetter who has a recently published book called We Think. I debated about posting this for a while but couldn’t get the piece out of my mind.

    Unfortunately the piece doesn't seem to be online which is a shame as I'd loved to have seen opinion from others on it. It was titled “Get a Fair Share of Creativity" and had this header


    "Should Cyberpsace Be Open For All To Shape Or Will Microsoft Take Over?"


    A bit of an odd lead when many would position that one or two other companies have a far greater hold on the Internet than Microsoft does. Anyway, in the absence of an online version let me try to paraphrase. What starts out as a piece on open source and the origins of the Homebrew Computer Club and Bill Gates and moves on to talk about the concept of "We Think". I was kind of going along up to this point but then the story took an odd turn by using the analogy of a public beach as being something that is self regulated and if the beach were owned by Microsoft you would pay for windbreaks and towels and if you wanted to surf it would cost you more and then your towel would no longer be compatible with the beach after two years. This last point is where I had to take off my headphones and read again.

    People may leap to Charles's defence here but I'd suggest that on the latter point, Microsoft has done more than many to support what is known as backward compatibility. I know another OS vendor who has less than stellar performance on this front whereas I know of people using 15 year old printers and other peripherals with Windows quite happily. So that part was a bit odd and was unsubstantiated (agreeably hard to do in such a short piece).

    So moving back up the story here. A beach...most beaches I know that you'd lay a towel down on aren't really free. They're paid for by taxes and hopefully kept clean and safe as a benefit of those taxes so the notion of this freewheeling, self regulating environment is also curious. When someone wades in to the surf and gets in trouble, of course onlookers would rush to their help but you'd expect a lifeguard to go and do the professional job of saving the person. The lifeguard paid for by local taxes of course.

    Charles also suggests you couldn't modify your windbreak yourself because key aspects of the design would be kept under lock and key. I can kind of see where that argument holds water but only if this were written some time ago. I assume it may have been as the wide ranging February announcements by Microsoft on Interoperability Principles talk precisely to Charles's point.

    Okay so I'm bound to come out defending Microsoft against some of the charges laid in this article and normally I wouldn't blog about this stuff as I'm not an expert in this arena. People like Bill Hilf are way more qualified but I read this article three times to ensure I wasn't taking an obscure view on it and the points of it just didn't sit well with me so I was compelled to write about it.

    More than anything I'm interested in the opinions of others who may have read it but may I just need to go buy the book to get the full story?

  • Steve Clayton

    Keeping up with overnight Twitter



    With Terraminds seemingly DOA, Quotably is my favourite new Twitter tool – lots of the folks I chat with or follow are not in the UK so I like to check what the overnight chat has been when I login each morning. Quotably gives me that but in the context of the overall conversation which means no matter how much red vino I had before my sleep, I can rejoin the dots. Nice :)

  • Steve Clayton

    Some new Hugh



    Our friendly Twitterhood cartoonist is spending lots of his time in Alpine, sans scanner I assume so we’ve not seen many new cartoons. I found two on the InnovateOnTheWeb site though thanks to frankarr

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