From scratch, installing Lion: One reboot, one update package, one more reboot, and Safari opens with no bullshit. Windows 7: Two hours, four reboots, and updates that prevent me from shutting the laptop, two more reboots, and IE opens with TWO TABS full of random bullshit.

Truly, I'm just a sheep who doesn't appreciate what Microsoft has to offer.Brandon Matthews

Verizon on today's FCC vote:

There is no doubt that the policies put in place by the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to jumpstart innovation and the spread of broadband worked. As a result, America’s broadband and Internet marketplace is intensely competitive and an engine of economic growth, job creation and multibillion-dollar investment. Today’s decision, however, unnecessarily departs from these successful policies.

I'm sure on Verizon's planet there's no lack of healthy competition, but back at nulamihaus we have no competitive alternative to Comcast. My brother-in-law's complex is served exclusively by AT&T. And then there's the Woz:

I have owned four homes in my life. None of these had cable TV, even though one was a new development where the law required cable. None of these had DSL, including my current home, which is only .8 miles up a hill from the populous town I live in. I pay for a T1 line, which costs many times what DSL runs for about 1/10 the bandwidth. That's as close as I can come to broadband where I live. The local phone providers don't have any obligation to serve all of their phone customers with DSL. They also have no requirement to service everyone living in the geographic area for which they have a monopoly. This is what has happened without regulatory control, despite every politician and president and CEO and PR person since the beginning of the Internet boon saying how important it was to ensure that everyone be provided broadband access.

Wired ISPs are local monopolies. An alternative that comes at twice the cost and half the speed is not "intensely competitive". Consider a car analogy: residents of California can only buy Chevrolet vehicles—if you want Ford you'll have to move to Montana. Don't like it? You can buy a bicycle for twice the price. People accept their choice of one decent broadband option because they liken it to their one choice of power or sewer company, and the market accepts the existence of multiple ISPs as proof of a competitive marketplace.

If the marketplace were as fierce as Verizon describes I'd be willing to yield to market forces—and today's FCC ruling gives more leeway to wireless providers, who are arguably heavily competitive—but wired ISPs today aren't competing, they're sharing the spoils of what amounts to industrial gerrymandering.

It’s true that a Verizon iPhone would require new hardware. But that’s not a holdup. I’m nearly certain that a Verizon-compatible iPhone is pretty much like the Intel-compatible version of Mac OS X — something that Apple has kept going all along, ready to put into production when, if ever, its time comes.John Gruber

Other than "sources informed on the topic" (of which there are none in this post) I don't see any evidence why this would be the case. The reason Mac OS X was continuously built on x86 after NeXT acquired Apple is the same reason the USB team at VMware accepts bugs encountered in configurations we don't publicly support: it's a great way to ensure that your product is solid. If there's a problem in one configuration, chances are really good that it affects the others in some way. Never throw anything out that is supposed to work.

Apple has never made a product using CDMA before, and it's not worth the new investment to create new hardware unless it's in the plan. The iPhone division's time is too important—there's just too much to do. If there is a CDMA iPhone in existence, it's a recent development, not something that's "pretty much like the Intel-compatible version of Mac OS X".

I'm also not sold on this fixation with Verizon. They may have the largest subscriber base, but Verizon is notorious for the control they exert over their handsets. New firmware, new UI, disabling hardware features like GPS and Bluetooth—it would take a complete paradigm shift for Verizon to ever accept the iPhone without trying to dick with it. If there is a deal for a CDMA iPhone it seems more likely to me that it would be with Sprint. This "iPhone is coming to Verizon!" stuff has always sounded more like wishful thinking by locked-in Verizon customers than educated guesses by an impartial analyst.

Activision is sponsoring a competition for indie games! this sounds great, I love indie games.

"but Scott, didn't you work for Activision?" yes, which is why we're looking at the fine print:

In order to be a Finalist, entrant must sign certain Submission documentation provided by Sponsor, which may include some or all of the following: release of claims against Sponsor; acknowledgement of Sponsor's development of game concepts that may be similar to entrant's Submission; first right of refusal to Sponsor for any development or publishing of Submission; agreement to provide Sponsor with splash/title/credits and logo credit similar to "funded in part by the Activision Independent Games Competition Prize 2010"; grant of name and likeness publicity rights to Sponsor; and full representations and warranties regarding the IP ownership of the Submission.

hmm, some of this stuff is pretty standard, like the release of claims. other parts, like the acknowledgment of similar game concepts, border on shady (similar concepts developed before or after the competition?). granting the first right of refusal to Activision?

no one who cares about their game or development studio would sign this.

(via Wolfire Games)

on our flight back from NOLA I discovered that American Airlines doesn't accept cash in the air.

surely that violates some law? what's our cash good for if it's possible to forbid its use?

edited on tuesday may 18th, 2010 at 10:27:

Paul (and others) point out that this is fine by the letter of the law. purchasing goods or services does not incur a debt unless done through a creditor.

Plain talk will not be easily achieved in corporate America. Too much vanity is on the line. Managers at every level are prisoners of the notion that a simple style reflects a simple mind. Actually, a simple style is the result of hard work and hard thinking; a muddled style reflects a muddled thinker or a person too arrogant, or too dumb, or too lazy to organize his thoughts. Remember that what you write is often the only chance you'll get to present yourself to someone whose business or money or good will you need. If what you write is ornate, or pompous, or fuzzy, that's how you'll be perceived. The reader has no other choice. William Zinsser (page 174)

the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual report is an example of plain talk in a business setting.
it's effective—to my surprise, I read the whole thing.

internal communications don't get enough attention from the writer either; the only reason it should be easier to write to your coworkers is because you don't have to worry about disclosure. while public-facing corporate writing tends to be pompous, impersonal, and verbose, messages on internal mailing lists tend to be filled with mistakes in spelling and grammar, incomplete thoughts, and ambiguous language.

this doesn't have to be the case. it's not difficult to write a few lines with a simple style and then use the spelling and grammar tool in your email client1.

1 the worst emails come from people using Outlook, so I can only assume that the sender is bewildered by all the buttons and missed the constellation of proofreading tools built into the client. conversely I find that people sending mail using mutt write the most coherently

from The New York Times, a neat infographic:

note how the number of edges emanating from a company is an indicator of its health1. Kodak has been dying since the commoditization of the digital camera. Nokia started to crumble when the iPhone went global. conversely, HTC is doin' all right—they even split last year.

filing lawsuits is an indicator that you've lost your innovative edge. losing the lead, you're exploiting what's left out of your inventions and legacy until you've finally converted all your integrity into bankruptcy. the news will enjoy adding their spin as well, further complicating things.
whether founded or not, these impressions taint your reputation. they damage your business.

Can you name a company you admire that spends its time enforcing patents, instead of innovating? Remember the pirate flag you flew over Apple's headquarters when you were building the Mac? Is Apple part of the Navy now?Wil Shipley

who cares if someone took your ideas to build a competing product? that's how the market works. build the better product—it can't be hard if all your competition can only manage plagiarism.

I hope this passes soon so we can get back to creating the future.

1 the inverse is also true, the healthiest companies are the juiciest targets—they can afford a settlement.

I have no desire to scale up or get bigger. My desire is to produce the best food in the world. And if in doing so, more people come to our corner and want stuff, then heaven help me figure out how to meet the need without compromising the integrity.

As soon as you grasp for that growth, you’re gonna view your customer differently, you’re gonna view your product differently, you’re gonna view your business differently. Everything that is the most important – you’re going to view that differently.Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms

via Signal vs. Noise

not only do I like his sentiment, but Joel really seems to care about the people that make up his business; look at their team page and try to find him — you won't. the only place he's mentioned on the site aside from the site's footer is in a caption on the company's story page.

this is the kind of company. a collection of people working together to produce the best possible product. I bet if demand far exceeds their supply they will turn people away before scale compromises their quality.

We want to think senior management will think through the long haul, but the reality is short-term thinking rules the day, and that’s not always a sin. An expensive switch is hard to justify, especially with stockholders breathing down your neck. Any CIO discussing costs of the switch is at least arguing a point worth considering. It’s when an organization brings up Microsoft talking points, such as security, that I feel they haven’t honestly considered a Mac approach.The Small Wave

I think this is dead wrong. short-term thinking is always a sin. if you're not strong enough to see ahead and stand up to your myopic, rabid shareholders you don't have what it takes to do more than just stumble into the future. you can only achieve and maintain Greatness by following the long view.

reactionary business strategies and higher-ups concerned only with tomorrow's stock price are why I can't take Libertarianism seriously. the market isn't self-correcting because people are a part of it. (related: why I don't take Communism seriously)

I see an IPO as a business equivalent to being bought by another company. the founders cash in their chips and the company is left to flounder along under a new ownership, flayed by shareholders worried about the opening price. it's possible to be Great as a publicly-traded company, but it's not at all common and usually involves silly tricks with different classes of shares.