The decline and fall of the Google empire

Dave Winer says "the thing that made Google different is that you treated us decently while the earlier search engines forgot who we were, and were treating us like eyeballs, not people."

The comment is part of a discussion on the way Apple is treating some of it's supporters in suing them for releasing trade secrets. I had a conversation earlier with a librarian blogger about the decline and fall of Google. I didn't start using Google because they treated anyone decently. I started googling things for the same reason I imagine most of their other users did - consistently better search results.

TimeMatters on OS X

I've been wrestling the last few weeks with TimeMatters on OS X. It seems to almost work. I've put together a long list of the fixes that are necessary to get it running. Too bad they're not documented on the TimeMatters site yet. I'll get them posted as I can. After a complete re-install today the administration tool does not seem to be communicating with the database. Drat. Almost had it licked.

When I get a bit more time too I'll write about last night's marathon Sandy Valley CAC meeting. It is pretty wild to see the numbers of stop-n-shop stores that developers try to convince us the town can support. I fear a few years down the road we'll look back at all the abandoned strip malls and rotting gas pumps and wonder what ever possessed us to allow such a thing.

Marketplace disappointment

After posting yesterday about the hackers who wanted in to the Business School at Harvard I heard a story on Marketplace last night. I should explain that one of the things I've always liked about Marketplace is they seem to have the best stories about technology of all the shows on NPR. They completely botched the Harvard story though. At the end of it one would have thought these people were doing something that was as clearly wrong as robbing a bank.

The truth is they did what any good business person should do. They were observant and creative. They tried a few common variations and got the information they were looking for. Ten years ago the security being used by Harvard Business School might have been enough. It is Harvard's responsibility to secure their information. Harvard should be apologizing to the students and admitting them instead of blaming them for Harvard's lack of due diligence.

Are you a hacker?

Phillip Greenspun has a post about the would-be Harvard business school "hackers". He says that the "hacking" consisted of editing the URL's to cut the last part off. So, if you apply to go to Harvard you should have a big checkbook and not too much between the ears. And to think, I just ordered Harvard Business Review thinking of it as a good publication. Maybe I'll have to reconsider.

The missing feature

I'm very close to switching from Safari to Firefox as my primary web browser. There is however, that one nagging feature that Firefox does not do as well as Safari. Spelling checking in Firefox still lags. It seems like it should be easy, given that spelling services are built in to Mac OS X. My guess is that given the lack of availability on other platforms the development teams have chosen not to use it on OS X. More digging....

Modern mythology

Jim Dalrymple comments on the Megapixel Myth joining the "Megahertz Myth" as technology folklore. As the article points out a four megapixel camera will produce 4 x 6-inch prints as well as five or seven megapixel cameras. As with purchasing faster computers consumers believe they are getting something for the extra megapixels - and they are - a need for more storage, slower downloads, more expensive memory cards. Unfortunately these are likely not what they want.


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