Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Ten Worst. . .

We've always had room for the tech-geeky here at The Dilettante Exegete (by "we" I mean "me"), so today something a little on the lighter side, the ten worst things to happen to cyberspace:

10) LOLCats What's better than pictures of cats with all-caps spelling out their thoughts in Pidgin English, with ten thousand variations of "I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?" No cats at all, that's what.

9) Internet Explorer I'm sure you all thought I'd rate this one higher (lower?). I hate IE. 'Nuff said.

8) Realplayer & Quicktime (tie) It's not only bloated, it also thinks it should be the default media player for, well, everything. A poor quality product that thinks it should be your first choice for all your multimedia needs. That ceaselessly provides you with useless news, and prompts you to upgrade to the "pro" version hourly. Guess which one I'm talking about? That's right, both of them.

7) Windows Server XXXX. Because as any geek will tell you, a server running Windows is a glorified workstation.

6) Apple That's right you disturbing cultists, I said it. Their proprietary architectures are worthy of mention all by themselves Sure, sure Windows ripped you off. True enough. But the fall of the Mac is the fault of Apple and Apple alone. Closed standards never win. As if that isn't enough, they're the original love slaves of DRM, putting the rights of providers over that of consumers. Steve Jobs, you're a genius and a brilliant showman. Apple, you annoy the hell out of me.

5) Steve Ballmer. Who can forget gems like "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches" or "Google's not a real company. It's a house of cards." Ballmer, you're an idiot.

4) Bonzi Buddy You remember this irritating purple monkey? It used to pop up everywhere promising to increase search speeds, help you shop, check your email! In the days before Realplayer disclosed it's spyware practices, Bonzi Buddy found an eager audience in naive netizens. If you know anyone who downloaded it, punch them for me. It's their fault it spread.

3) MySpace What's worse than letting anyone who is so inclined create a homepage from a web designer's bad dreams? Making it easy for them to add the mind-numbing sounds of Hawthorne Heights to their bad poetry. Extra points? No screening process lets any pedophile sign up! If you don't hate Murdoch for Fox News, hate him for this.

2) DRM How do I hate thee. Here in Soviet Canuckistan, we pay a levy on blank media, on the assumption that we're going to make a copy of something we own. DRM says I can't do that, I should pay the levy and pay for the copy. You've gotta be kidding me.

1) AOL By some estimates, over a billion free trial CDs for AOL have been produced. More than enough for every person in the world with web access to have one. Almost all distributed in North America. More CDs were made than there are people to use them. You've all gotten one, with their garish colors and loud proclamations (NOW NO CREDIT CARD NEEDED!). Someday, AOL, you'll pay.


Danny Zacharias said...

What in the world are you talking about when you say "the fall of the mac". Mac's have never been more popular or widely used than they are now.

And while Apple introduced DRM, it also lobbied to get rid of it and did.

Rick Sumner said...

By count of people using them? Probably true. But the desktop was nowhere near as popular when Mac dominated as it is now.

By market share? Not even close. The early Mac (and before that, the Apple II series) dominated the personal computer market, accounting for 15% of sales (bear in mind that it wasn't Mac v. IBM and clones yet, there were literally dozens of competitors). When the "clones" started to come, they stole the market share.

The open architecture meant anyone could manufacture cheap, third party parts. And did, in abundance. While hypotheticals are never certain, it would be reasonable to suggest that Apple's proprietary architecture--a holdover from when you *had* to have a Mac for graphics--is what opened the door for Gates, QDOS and Windows.

Rick Sumner said...


I thought I'd said this above, but apparently missed it. Introducing DRM, and then getting rid of it, isn't worth much--too little, too late. Gator goes under a new name and lobbies against malware. That doesn't mean Gator is cool now.

Brandon said...

Rick, you and I have more in common than I previously had thought. Good post.

James said...

Ahh finally talking about something I understand. Good views my man.

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.