Rants

Articles that substitute volume for coherence.

The iPhone: Stupidity for the Credit Card Economy

Hello there happy iPhone user. How much do you love your iPhone? What would you say if I offered you $1500 if you gave me your phone?

I am absolutely serious. Will you take me up on this offer?

If you decide to do it, then please follow these instructions: First, carefully wrap your Apple iPhone in layers of protective wrap. Next, get a ball peen hammer. Then, smash your phone into tiny little pieces. Finally, keep an eye on your bank account. A year from now you'll have $1300 that you wouldn't have otherwise. You can get the full $1500 if you wait a couple more months. Or, if you just hadn't bought the stupid thing in the first place.

My wife was phone shopping a couple months back, worrying about the prices on the various phones, especially the smart phones. I made her stop that. "The phone is free," I explained. It doesn't matter whether the phone costs $20 or $300, the cost of ownership is predominated by the monthly service fee.

Twitter, Without all the Suck

Twitter "fail whale" graphicMy initial impression of Twitter was unfavorable. It struck me then as a bad implementation of multicast IM. Maybe I should learn to trust my initial judgments.

(The term "multicast" means a single message is transmitted to multiple receivers. Most Internet applications, such as conventional IM, are unicast applications: they transmit to a single receiver.)

I remember when Twitter became a big, smash hit at the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive festival. I resisted joining for a long time. Early this year, I finally gave in.

I'm burned out on social networks. You invest all this time and effort into building your network, and six months later it's like living in the cavern of an abandoned ant colony. What a waste of time.

World's Dumbest Attachment

Sometimes you just have to roll your eyes at phone company stupidity. I'm thinking of the sort of thing like when AT&T started sending huge 45 page itemized bills to iPhone customers even though they had an unlimited data plan.

This month's "Where Did We Hide the Clue?" award goes to Sprint PCS.

I use Sprint PCS for my mobile phone service. Sprint recently moved to a new portal and forced me to re-register. Nearly an entire month after creating a new login, I got an email from Sprint with an RTF-formatted word processing attachment saying:

Java is the Snubby-Nosed Scissors of Programming Languages

I've had to teach myself Java for my current contract. You may be surprised to find that with all the code I sling, I've not done any Java development up until now. Java is popular for enterprise application development, and I haven't done a lot of work in that space before.

I usually like learning new languages. I'm not enjoying Java at all. It's verbose and wordy, like a pedantic little schoolkid. It's like the snubby-nosed scissors of programming languages.

Why Regal Cinemas Suck

If you want to know what's so wrong with the movie business today, go look at somebody who is doing it right. That's easy here in Austin, because we're home to the Original Alamo Draft House theaters.

My wife and I frequently go to Sunday night movies. The town is quiet and it's easy to get in. That is, it's easy unless you are trying to go to our neighborhood theater, the Alamo Village. For the past couple of months, every time we've gone to a Sunday movie the show has sold out. Even when we went to a Sunday evening showing of The Departed many weeks into the release, every seat was taken.

You May Be a Jerk

Here is the world's smallest personality test:

You are sitting in a restaurant. A call comes in on your mobile phone. Do you:

  1. Silence the phone and return the call after dinner.
  2. Excuse yourself from the table to take the call.
  3. Answer it and say you'll call back after dining.
  4. Answer it and talk away.

Okay, pencils down. Let's score your results.

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