LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
your CEO tells you never to say "no".
"Always say what if?"
"Okay, 'What if' I quit this chicken shit outfit? You're right, boss. I feel much better!"
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Dispatches from the front, and the mystery of the decaying water.
Netscape is dead. Sucked into the AOL modem pool, possibly never to be seen again. What's that you say? You just drove down East Middlefield Road and saw the Netscape sign? So what? I drove past a T-Zone yesterday. The sign is there, but they ain't.
Yes, I know. Netscape is still paying its employees. But Netscape is dead because Netscape's culture has died. The culture that was going to change the world and beat Microsoft. Netscape did change the world; but Microsoft killed them with the "Let's give away software for free that cost us millions to develop" tactic. (Sure Bill, that's not anti-competitive. When the Japanese do that with steel, we call it dumping.)
Netscape will no longer be changing our world. It has shrunk to minor player status. The speed at which software is being released has drasticly slowed (remember beta du jour?). The company is abandoning projects it once said it was basing the company's future on (remember the all Java browser? Or how about Marc Andreesen's talk on how important Java Beans were to the company's future?) It's dead, Jim.
What's particularly disturbing is what Netscape's death means. It would now appear that you can develop a brand new technology to the point of being a mass market product. Market it to millions, gather a following, and have it all taken away from you if Microsoft becomes paranoid about what you're doing.
One day Marc Andreesen got up and told everyone that the browser might replace the Operating System. No one in the room took this seriously, except Marc Andreesen, and the Microsoft spy. I mean really, an application booting the machine, handling all the drivers, talking directly to the hardware? Get real. But this is the point where Microsoft woke up and said "Oh Shit! They want to take away our business." With this mind state Microsoft could do nothing less than kill it's new Operating System competitor.
The moral of the story is to stay low and not be noticed. It's like that Monty Python sketch about the best way to not be seen is to not stand up. But we happen to know Marc Andreesen is hiding behind the big green lizard. BOOM!
There are two burning questions picking at my brain. I'm not sure which one is the easier so I'll just put them through the randomizer (flipping a quarter) and see which one I do first. Here we go ...
What I want to know is why does my bottled water have an expiration date? Water is a chemical. A very stable chemical. There is just as much water on the earth today as there was three weeks ago. We're not making anymore, and we're not "consuming" it. You really can not "own" water, you can only rent it. With the exception of 1960's era astronauts who did urine dumps in space, water is in a closed system. So why does my bottled water have this expiration date? Water is not organic (no carbon atom). It doesn't rot or decay or "go bad". It is what it was and what it will be.
In the interest of being annoying, I decided to call up the International headquarters of Safeway in Pleasanton, California. (The big grocery store chain out here.) The water in question bore the Safeway label. I just so happen to be a shareholder in Safeway stock, so they have to be nice to me.
Safeway Operator: Thank you for calling Safeway.
Fek'Lar: You're welcome. Now give me the person in charge of the water. This is urgent.
SO: Hold please
Hold music: Kenny G.
SO: Sir, is this a Safeway brand product?
Fek: Yes, it is.
SO: I'll connect you.
Safeway Answer Lady: Hello? (Name removed to keep me from being sued.)
Fek: Are you in charge of the water?
SAL: I can answer questions about the product.
Fek: Okay, why does my Safeway brand Spring Water have an expiration date?
SAL: So it will remain fresh.
Fek: You mean the plastic is leeching into the water? Is this stuff safe?
SAL: Oh, it's perfectly safe. It can just take on the odor of the bottle.
SAL: (Disturbed sound in her voice.) Unfortunately, large quantities of the water are no longer sold in glass bottles. Opening the plastic bottle and transferring the water to glass will lead to contamination.
For all of you out there swigging water from a bottle because tap is "bad", let me recap. Water bottled in plastic is not "pure". The plastic is decaying into the water. The more heat the plastic is subjected to, the faster the decay.
Diet Coke comes in Aluminium cans. Diet Coke is made from carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine. It costs less than water, and can really wake you up in the morning with your bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.
Worried about the Aluminum? Sure there's a group who are worried that drinking from aluminum over a long period of time may cause Alzheimer's Disease. Who said the world was safe? You can either drink the plastic and who knows what will happen, or drink from Aluminium and .... uh, what was I saying?
The other thing I want to know is what law did reputed Melissa virus author David Smith break? He takes Micro$oft Word and builds a macro that replicates by looking into Micro$oft Outlook's address book, and sends 50 copies to your "friends". In other words, he used the capabilities of the Micro$oft applications. Smith's "virus" didn't harm any computer, it just taxed the capacity of networks and annoyed people.
The law enforcement organizations will tell you that Smith "disrupted public communications" as if that were a felony. Disrupting public communications is a vague phrase. You could argue that a person standing on the corner playing his saxophone disrupts public communications because while walking past the saxophone player, the sound of the instrument would drown out the voice of the person walking beside you, or the telemarketer on your cell phone. Speaking of telemarketers, aren't they just as guilty of disruption of public communications? They're replicating a message over and over, and clogging up the public telephone system with their replicated messages. That's about what Melissa did.
How is what David Smith is reported to have done any different from what the Spammers are doing? Companies like AOL have gone to court attempting to recoup costs associated with having to increase capacity caused by Spam. AOL lost. The court held that Spam is a free speech issue. The court felt that restricting the free speech of the Spammer would harm all of our first amendment rights. AOL and the other folks who have mail servers will just have to eat the cost of delivering Spam. How is Smith's virus any different?
My reaction was first, "Yeah, and your point? Bombs kill people, that's what they're for." Isn't that the point of war? We blow up your people and your stuff until either you surrender or there's nothing left? Oh, but this email told me that NATO had killed civilians. Yes. That happens in all wars. With the exceptions of the clowns to start the fight, almost everyone else is a victim in a war. But I don't need this lecture from the minions of the new Hitler.
My second reaction was that I had received cyberpropaganda. This is a new stage in the evolution of the internet. From now on, whenever we go to war, we'll get letters from the front telling us how cruel we are. Another twist in the "Communications Revolution".
Gweneth Paltrow Still Thanking Everyone for Her Oscar®
Friends Say "She Just Won't Shut Up!"
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"Is he not clean?"
"... and in my culture we EAT your god!"
"You might do better with him as your pimp."
"Hand me the rib-spreader, Bob."
"What about oral sex?"
"You my Ho, turn around!"
"It takes more than hatred to release business applications."
"You're into the blimp thing."
"He's testing the new sepository card key."
"Another missed opportunity."
"He has the best prices on cigars ... and pornography!"
"I gave up that drug in the 60's."
"Two people rolling around in a trunk is a BAD thing!"
I must drink before it goes bad.
(Destroyer of Laptops - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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