The Best Urinary Tract Infection Ever.

March 19, 2011

PICT0021 (Small)That has to be the weirdest blog title I’ve ever written but it’s true.

My dog Sheepa has been peeing in the house.  Regularly.  He really hasn’t done that in the 5 years that we’ve had him.  Not even when earthquakes hit.  Not when he accidently got left at home for more than 8 hours.

He’s roughly 16 years old so it would be logical to assume that he’s getting too old and he’s losing control of his faculties.  I always knew this day would come but I’ve never really been prepared for it.  We’ve had Sheepa in our home for as long as my wife and I have been married and this seemed like a sign that he wouldn’t be with us that much longer.  Frankly, life without him would be terrible.

I took him into the vet who ended up doing an X-ray, a urine, and a blood test.  The doctor said it could be cancer, kidney stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney failure, or possibly just senility.  I waited and prayed for a UTI which is fixable with antibiotics.

I went to Petco to pick up doggie diapers for him and treats.  As I walked the aisles, I started noticing treats that he used to be able to have but not any more because they upset his stomach.  I began to pass by them when I realized… he might not have that much longer so… why not?

I sat in the chicken aisle alone and I cried.

I bought him chicken, turkey, liver – heck, anything I remembered he liked regardless.  That night I couldn’t sleep wondering what life might be like without my faithful hound:  The little guy that follows me around our home no matter where I go, no matter what the award.  He just wants to sit next to me.  That’s all he ever wants.

The next morning the doctor called while I was in the shower.  My wife told me that it was a urinary tract infection – the worst he’d seen in a long time.  On one hand I started kicking myself:  Why didn’t I take him in sooner?  He was suffering this whole time?  Stupidstupidstupid.

Then I realized… the doctor also said there was no sign of kidney stones, cancer, or anything bad.  My buddy’s gonna be okay.

Best urinary tract infection ever.


On the “Death of Zune”: A word from Dave McLauchlan

March 15, 2011

imageBloomberg wrote an article reporting on the supposed ‘death of Zune’ – be it the device or the software or the ‘brand’ – echoing a sentiment that certain individuals in the Microsoft community have been pushing as gospel for whatever reason.

This morning, Dave McLauchlan, Sr. Microsoft PM posted this to AnythingButiPod.com:

SUBJECTToday’s rumors…

Hey guys:
There’s been a TON of traffic about the Bloomberg article that posted today – plus I noticed they updated the article a few hours ago:

“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device — but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

I’ve had tweets, emails, PMs and phone calls. People offering condolences, checking in on me, etc… etc… Stop, stop, stop!

The Bloomberg article is NOT an official statement from Microsoft (apart from the quote above). The headline is purportedly from a "person familiar with the matter" – which of course tells you nothing.

Here’s what you should know – ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I’ve promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.

I manage business development for Zune hardware, and I still have that job. Our PR folks released a statement today that included the text: "We’ll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop."

To be 100% clear – NO information about our future plans, no matter what the incarnation, has been shared. Until then treat with healthy skepticism anything you read. That’s probably a good general rule actually.

So for those who tweeted or emailed asking what I’m "going to do now" – I’ll be going to work tomorrow, working on Zune hardware bizdev. And when Microsoft announces news that is actually news, you’ll hear it from us directly, and I’ll be sure to pass it on immediately. Only then should you take it as gospel.

Cheers, Dave.

__________________
Please don’t PM me – instead send an
email!
Follow me on
Twitter (@DaveMacMS)!
If you’re a member of the Zune Social – friend me (AussieDaveMS)!

Without saying anything, you should be able to infer a few things from his statements.  If you follow the comments in the original forum, they actually start to dig into them.


On Geek Entitlement & the Isolating Nature of the Internet

March 8, 2011

EntitlementRecently, someone whom I’d never met (who shall remain nameless) posted a rather long comment to a post I made about HP’s WebOS-based “TouchPad”.  It was basically a list of reasons why the TouchPad would succeed and frankly it initially sat in moderation on my blog for 24 hours because I don’t post or comment that frequently to this blog.  It’s just a place for odds and ends that are usually opinion based that I can share with friends.

Unfortunately, it came in during a timeframe in which I’d gotten into a car accident and suffered a rather uncomfortable concussion making me both nauseous & “foggy” so I found myself forcibly convalescing for a bit after having had a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan at the local hospital that examined my condition.  (Y’know, I knew that in retrospect something was wrong when I realized that I didn’t tweet about any aspect of the experience of the car accident, the details of the damage, how I got to my physician’s or the hospital.  Nor did I TwitPic the CAT scan machine. Smile)

So I spent most of my ‘downtime’ consuming complete & total infojunk.  We’re talking serious lizard brain stuff.  Stuff that doesn’t require any thought or mental exercise considering the haze my brain was in.  Anything on Cheezburger, College Humor, or Holy Taco would do… you know what I’m talking about.  Even GraphJam would have probably required too much rational thought for me.

imageTHE WRATH OF KHOMMENTER
Well, sure enough, this person couldn’t understand why I hadn’t responded to their comment within 24 hours and snapped back with a comment that said as much.  Heck, 48 hours seemed unacceptable.  They appeared to actually consider it “rude” not to reply back to what they called a “long and well thought out” argument posted to my blog and wrote a couple of smartass comments to emphasize her displeasure with my apparent “snubbing” of the original post.

Now most people I know scrawl something on sites and regardless of their comment’s length (I tend to be wordy & verbose as y’all know) they’ll check back occasionally, and if anyone’s responded within a bit, great!  Party on.  If not, oh well.  At least there was the opportunity to flex one’s own mental muscles and clarify one’s opinion in their own mind.  Moving on.

But not this commenter.  They wuz gonna get satisfaction!  One more ‘signing off’ comment was to be written to really ‘stick it to me’.  Even after I’d said that I’d get to a response… when of course I could.

imageTHE INTERNET DIVIDES & ISOLATES AS MUCH AS A IT EQUALIZES & BINDS
Now, normally I wouldn’t go into that much detail about my personal life but what follows is what I thought was an interesting story about people on the Internet & the sense of entitlement that some have – particularly tech geeks in this moment in history.

I got to thinking that the Internet has begun to gestate behaviors that seem to reflect the de-evolution of civil discourse as people interact more and more exclusively via computer instead of face to face.  Continuous instant gratification on the Internet, for instance, has given rise to snap judgment & childish impatience.

Additionally, despite the fact that the Internet makes huge amounts of information available, it doesn’t help people consume said information in a balanced manner in which two sides of a situation are presented.  Republicans read Republican content.  Democrats read Democratic content.  And never the twain shall meet.  Oh, people SAY they walk both sides but I find this to be fairly untrue.  It’s human nature to simply ‘hang out’ with those that are of like thought.  And the result is that the ability of individuals on the Internet to wallow in content that represents only their own opinions and their own world view has increased intolerant tendencies.

image“THE GEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH”
The old saying used to be “The meek shall inherit the Earth,” right?  In the 80’s the most attitude you got from geeks was getting wardialed nonstop for 24 hours if you really pissed them off.  The bit about “ruining your credit” or “causing government tax issues” was a giant myth. 

But in the 90’s, the rise of the computer in the workplace, really spawned a culture of arrogance.  Anyone remember, “Nick Burns:  Your Company’s Computer Guy”?  Jimmy Fallon played the resident IT guy in a small firm that bossed users around and berated them for not knowing arcane Ctrl-key commands or what he perceived were basic functions of the computer.  Small numbers of people had important knowledge that secured their roles as experts, making them ‘portals of wisdom’ yet bottlenecks of information distribution.

Now, here we are in the 2000’s and the geeks have truly inherited the Earth… because to some extent everyone’s become geeky.  The Internet has empowered everyone to be knowledgeable.  People have answers at their finger tips simply by searching the Internet.  Individuals are able to share their expertise openly through pre-built forums, blogs, and Wikis.  A virtual paradise of harmony & equilibrium exists for information with everyone having access to everything instantly.

Or does it?

image

“PEOPLE EDUCATE THEMSELVES ABOUT WHAT THEY ALREADY KNOW”
I really think we’re taking both two steps forward and two steps back and in the process deepened the chasm of understanding between opposing sides of any issue.

The Internet has made it much easier for people to develop into informational bigots.  While people have infinitely more knowledge available to them… they don’t.  Instead, they lazily more often choose to educate themselves only about things that interest them or already align with what they believe, otherwise validating their current belief system.  Few people want to accept the challenge of reading something that contradicts their opinion and otherwise causes them to uncomfortably think about how they might possibly be wrong.  I should know:  I find myself a victim of this mannerism myself when I’m not paying attention.  It’s simply easier to bathe in the light of self-righteousness than to challenge one’s belief system.

The Internet, respectively, has also made it completely possible to cocoon & isolate oneself in one’s own world.

Arising from developing narcissistic tendencies, Internet users seem to become more intolerant of perspectives that differ from their own, a syndrome that I see more and more as Internet culture grows & evolves.  And I’m not talking about differing opinions, mind you:  I’m talking about PERSPECTIVES.

For example:

  • ECONOMIC:  The unwillingness to compromise & select a different place to eat at when one person is more frugal because they don’t make as much money.
  • RACIAL:  The dismissal of another race’s traditions or culture simply because “it doesn’t make sense” to them or is purportedly “uninteresting”.

Yes, the very medium that is supposed to create and enhance communication & bridge boundaries is building greater & greater rifts, creating shorter and shorter levels of tolerance, and isolating people to their own thoughts and opinions to a larger extent than they ever were pre-Internet.

  • Geeks huddled in their basements, playing WoW without end.
  • “Technocults” that cultivate their intolerance of other technologies purely to validate their own purchases & history and otherwise sate their own egos.  (Macs/Linux/Win/PS3/Xbox360/Wii)
  • Political parties congregating exclusively amongst those that share their views, bending even farther left or right under the cacophony of cries for their policies.

… this Internet polarization stuff is downright scary.


INFO: The Business Risks of Google Cloud Connect

March 4, 2011

imageWe recently posted a thorough summary of the very real business risk associated w/ Google’s Cloud Connect entitled "The Realities of Google Cloud Connect".  (http://bit.ly/fZvbil)

If you read it, you’ll probably come away with concerns that Google’s tool really isn’t well thought out from a business customer perspective.  Oh sure… from the perspective of GOOGLE’s end goal of aggregating the world’s personal & business information, this plugin is designed beautifully in that it encourages people to release even more previously unrevealed information to Google’s data nexus.

In a nutshell, Cloud Connect is a business executive’s nightmare.  Everything from data leakage, productivity loss, functionality that no longer works within Office, information loss, privacy violations, and other threats are immediately presented by this one single plug-in’s installation. 

To quote the article:

“Unless you change the default setting, anyone in your domain can find and access your document. Imagine your HR professional opens an Excel document with salaries and social security numbers, makes a change and then saves. Oops, unintended and unknown sharing to the rest of the organization.”

To sum up this risk,

“This kind of approach to privacy and security are simply unacceptable to the majority of business users. Perhaps more importantly, it begs the question, “Is Google’s heart really in the business market, or is it in advertising where 97% of its revenues come from? If it’s the latter, that may explain why anyone who installs Cloud Connect will have all of their documents synched to Google’s cloud. As Google creates more surface area to collect your personal data, individuals and businesses alike are beginning to question if and how that data is being used.”

Would you want to be the guy everyone points to when some individual uploads ultra-sensitive data into Google like worker salaries, company confidential plans, or internal communications, and a executive yells, “Who the hell responsible for installing this stuff on our computers?!?”

————
There is also a video that actually demonstrates many of the risks.

The Realities of Google’s Cloud Connect

VIDEO: Conan O’Brien produces a more honest iPad 2 promo video

March 4, 2011

Yeah, that’s about right… you lemmings. :-)

imageBest comments:

  • “What do Apple are Charlie Sheen have in common… WINNING! “
  • ”Conan is so cruel – showing apple fans world wide what is really happening.”
  • “Steve Jobs is a genius, in 1950 he created the 0 it was magical. A year later, he released the 1, without that, there would be no boolean expression! Haters, BOW!”
  • “Ironically I can’t see the video on iPad.  It’s just a black square.”
  • “Here’s the best commercial: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gMrG5lkYeg

Here’s the link to the video:


VIDEO: “Geek & Gamer Girls” by Team Unicorn

March 4, 2011

How the @#$% have we not signed these gals to an exclusive Xbox Live contract?  Seriously, Major.  Get your act together, dammit.  Sign.  Contract.  Now.

image

Geek and Gamer Girls Song – Watch more Funny Videos
(http://www.break.com/break-originals/other-funny-stuff/geek-and-gamer-girls-anthem)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.