Archive for June, 2008

Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

One of the email threads turned over during the antitrust case at Microsoft contained this wonderful flame of Windows usability by Bill Gates.

In it he complains of the systematic degradation of windows usability.

In particular this gem,

Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up.

which admits that they destroyed the filesystem as a usable path is telling. The whole thread, which can be read here is funny in a sort of Dilbert sort of way, and reminds me of what it’s like to work at a giant company. The bit where they blame marketing’s control of everything for the bad user experience rings particularly familiar.

On the Press

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Dan Rather on the state of the press:

America’s biggest, most important news organizations have, over the past 25 years, fallen prey to merger after merger, acquisition after acquisition… to the point where they are, now, tiny parts of immeasurably larger corporate entities — entities whose primary business often has nothing to do with news. Entities that may, at any given time, have literally hundreds of regulatory issues before multiple arms of the government concerning a vast array of business interests.

These are entities that, as publicly held and traded corporations, have as their overall, reigning mandate: Provide a return on shareholder value. Increase profits. And not over time, not over the long haul, but quarterly.

One might ask just where the news fits into this model. And if you really need an answer, you can turn on your television, where you will see the following:

Political analysis reduced to in-studio shouting matches between partisans armed with little more than the day’s talking points.

Precious time and resources wasted on so-called human-interest stories, celebrity fluff, sensationalist trials, and gossip.

A proliferation of “news you can use” that amounts to thinly disguised press releases for the latest consumer products.