Tuesday 27 May 2008

Love and Hate

A long time ago someone told me it was impossible to know love without knowing hate. Is that true?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 23:00 | Comments (50)

Monday 26 May 2008

Andy Warhol Had it Wrong

Fifteen minutes of fame was a good guess, but had Mr. Warhol known about blogging, I think that measurement would have been far greater.

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Posted by:   Molly | 22:32 | Comments (23)

Saturday 24 May 2008

Working Group by Numbers

Do the numbers tell a story?

Here is a breakdown of a W3C Working Group by number of representatives and their origin. The question I’m thinking about is whether the number of reps per given organization relates to influence, and if so, to what measurable degree?

Sample working group representatives by origin

# of Reps Organization
1 Adobe
2 Antenna House, Inc.
3 Apple, Inc.
3 HP
7 Microsoft Corporation
3 Mozilla Foundation
3 Opera Software
5 Other – Individual, independent company reps
1 Sun Microsystems, Inc
1 University member
6 W3C Invited Experts/Staff

There are several variables, one very important one is that just because there’s a currently listed representative in a group doesn’t mean that representative participates as much or at all. A related variable would be that certain long-term participants who do a lot of work will naturally have earned merit-based influence within a group.

Tell me what you think.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 15:36 | Comments (179)

Thursday 22 May 2008

A Patent Parable

Three companies have come together to discuss interoperability between their products. The first company, Mud Corporation, has thousands of patents that, if not protected, risk becoming compromised. Mud could become vulnerable to loss of profits based on what was once a firm ownership of valuable intellectual property.

The second company, Tangerine, typically jumps ahead of the interoperability process in an effort to advance the power of their own innovations. They have great ideas but are perhaps too aggressive – implementing aspects of specifications that haven’t been formally approved. This opens up the opportunity for Tangerine to patent technologies developed in the Tangerine way, outside the specifications, setting up more interoperability problems down the road.

Finally, we have Small and Spongy, Inc. This company has typically done things its own way and has challenged core interoperability issues because Small and Spongy has massive influence. Why? They have their own kind of dynamite in the form of “market share” despite sporting a less superior but far more widely used product.

During the meeting, the primary issue is to figure out how to share technologies and retain those portions of ownership of patented technology that each company deems necessary. The group prioritizes a list of shared goals and deliverables, and begins to discuss each one and how it might or might not weaken or require the surrender of individually owned pieces.

Mud and Small and Spongy disagree about the way a deliverable is written, and an argument ensues. Mud, not willing to jeopardize a strongly prized patent, plays the “take our toys and go home” card, threatening to remove itself from the collaborative group.

Tangerine gets very frustrated because they don’t want to slow down their own growth with such issues. Tangerine representatives quietly leave the room.

Small and Spongy throw up their hands and say “Hey, we have market share, so we don’t have to care after all! Woohoo!” Small and Spongy representatives follow the Tangerines to the nearest bar and begin an eight hour Margarita binge.

Mud representatives, having protected their interests but not succeeded in addressing the interoperability issues, call it a day and join in the drinking, except for the four new fathers who go home to their upper middle class lives, wives and offspring.

The moral of this story is that interoperability threatens too many profits, and this is why we don’t have an interoperable Web.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 00:28 | Comments (18)

Saturday 17 May 2008

Musing About Online Laughter

Amusing, isn’t it, to think about what makes us laugh? Humor (Humour?) relies on so many facets of human emotion and experience. It gets even more complicated when multiple languages and cultural references are involved, as so often occurs in online discourse.

I’ve been dissecting puns and humor (humour?) in my latest posts and Tweets. I can see why some of them would make absolutely no sense to someone who didn’t have the linguistic and cultural references of which I’m aware. Yet, others will, and do. And of course, I amuse myself a lot, even if others find me overwhelming, brutish, unladylike or god-forbid, boringl

Let’s dissect some of your puns and humor (humour?) Please share a quote from something you yourself wrote or said via online means that you find funny. All languages welcome.

Let’s have some fun!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 15:12 | Comments (71)

Thursday 15 May 2008

Thirty Percent Likely to be Humorous

After a few of the responses to that last silly post, I realized that people sometimes take me far too seriously. So here’s a short list to know when I’m being humorous:

  • – The post is tagged with “humor” or “just fun” or both
  • – There’s one word in a post that has a long subject line (dead giveaway)
  • – There’s a pun somewhere in the content that is either glaringly obvious or super subtle and negates whatever I’m saying
  • – If it really seems like I’m being funny rather than serious, apply the 30/50 rule (30 percent likely to be humorous)
  • – Ask me

Of course, I’m probably delusional to think I’m ever funny in the first place, but I’ll leave that to your judgment.

How funny are you?


Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 01:12 | Comments (24)

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Why Macs are Scientifically Better than Windows


Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 18:10 | Comments (45)

Monday 5 May 2008

Tracking Pop Culture References about the Web

As many readers are aware, I’m one of the old ladies of the Web, having started in 1993 back when the Web was text-based, accessible and not at all a part of culture much less popular culture.

It surely has been a fascinating experience watching the Web, and the online world in general, infiltrate society in different forms. From the first time I saw a URL advertised on television (1996, I believe, for Subway Sandwiches); read about Web sites in books (“Mary went downstairs to Google for an answer to her lonely heart”); and more recently, references to Twitter on shows such as CSI, I have been in awe of how the Web has become a part of the fabric of our lives.

Sitting here last night watching an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun from 1999, I was tickled beyond pink to hear the character of Dick Solomon quip “I was going to order it off the Internet until I realized there was no such thing as Amazon Dot Crap.” It got me thinking that tracking such references to the Web and Internet in popular culture could be a really fun and revealing adventure.

Got a favorite reference about the online world from a film, book, lyric or other relevant media? Share below!

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 12:29 | Comments (22)

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