Kelly's Twits

Why are so many computer users skinflints?

A couple of days ago I responded to a review of a Twitter application I use with the following observations:

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The review I was referring to was one in PC Magazine about a BlackBerry Twitter application I use and love called Tweet Genius. Twitter’s 140 character constraints make it a bit tough for me to be completely clear, but my point is this: why is the $10 cost of a highly useful application considered sufficiently noteworthy to be mentioned several times during an otherwise positive review? And why is it that this “it is great, but a major drawback is that it costs something…” kind of notice is so common in software reviews these days?

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Knowledge workers vs Working with your hands

I am a “knowledge worker”. I design multi-media “webcast” applications and services, and lead a small team of smart, engaged developers- I occasionally get to write some code, but most of my “real” work involves middleware and server maintenance activities to keep our applications operational. My work is largely intellectual, and this is after I spent several years altering my career path so I could work more directly with the technology.

There was a period when I was perilously close to slipping into management, and another time when I performed the role of a proposal solution architect, but fortunately I recognized that these roles were not satisfying for me. I like having a more direct connection with the technology, with actually making the solution work rather than philosophizing about how it might work. I’m willing to make sacrifices in order to keep that proximity to “reality”, and so it was intriguing to me to read an article describing why even more “physical” work might be the smart choice after all.

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If the study is from Nemertes, it is Telco astroturf

Once again the media is full of reports of the impending collapse of the internet. Apparently we users are to blame, as we are using too much bandwidth watching movies and so forth- thus says yet another study by “respected” think tank, Nemertes Research. They tried to push this line of bull on us in 2007, again in 2008, and now in 2009. Only the dates of the “impending” collapse have changed: always a year or two in the future. But anyone who knows much of about the internet and infrastructure behind it knows this “impending doom” is a fallacy. So why is Nemertes repeating it over and over and over?

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PC Gamer jumps the shark, fires columnists

I have been a subscriber to PC Gamer magazine for six or seven years now. I have enjoyed the magazine: its humour, the generally well thought out reviews of computer games, and most especially the regular columns by people like Andy Mahood and Desslock (Stefan Janicki). I could rely on these industry observers to give me [...]

In these difficult economic times, auto workers “cut to the bone” at $55 an hour

The North American auto industry is in dire straits. The economic situation is so difficult for them that they have been forced to go to their workers unions and ask for reductions in salary and benefits. In fact, these reductions are a condition of the U.S. federal government emergency loans. So it is with great relief that I have found in today’s news an update: Ford has managed to negotiate a reduction in the average hourly wage (including benefits) of their UAW employees down to the barely survivable level of $55 an hour.

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Typical… now I’m sick

I have had a rough couple of weeks at work. I won’t go into the details other than to say “security reviewer”, which should give some sense of how little fun I’ve been having.

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Impact of Google page rank

My site’s Google “PageRank” dropped in January, from a 3 to a 2, which is pretty much as low as you can go. Smaller numbers mean less “relevant”, at least as far as Google is concerned. I’d like a higher page rank but when I think about it doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’m more curious, however, to observe the impact of the ranking drop.

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Time to buy a PS3? Hardly…

The folks at Ars Technica would like you to believe that now is the time to buy a PS3. My interpretation of their thesis: the PS3 doesn’t really suck that bad, and if you don’t buy it you will lack a full understanding of the current “state of the art” in console gaming. I find the reasoning in the article to be rather shoddy, really: it only applies if you have a bucket of money sitting unused and don’t already have a console. I particularly don’t like the implication that I’m being shallow or ignorant by making the decision *not* to buy a PS3.

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WoW must be giving it away…

I was reading a “d’uh, that’s obvious” article today regarding how the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) industry needs to stop looking for the next WoW killer. And I came across this particular bit of text that, well, just doesn’t add up.

By his [Michael Cai] estimation, WoW accounted for half of the $860 million in revenues that MMOs generated in the U.S. in 2008.    

The emphasis above is mine. Let’s take a look at this figure.
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Crazy Brat Woman has another litter…

A woman who already has six children from in-vitro fertilization treatments now has eight more thanks to another such treatment. Although I hope her kids turn out okay, I really have to think that this woman needs some serious psychological counseling. What possible motive could an unmarried woman have for trying to pump out spawn like a hyper-active salmon? Kids need a proper parent with an adequate amount of time for each child, not some sort of crazed assembly line of half- assed care and perverse media attention.

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