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Category Archives: Computers and Internet

Why are you selling what no one wants?

Q: Why do we go to web sites?  Or to stores?  Or to movie theatres?  Or … anywhere? Have you ever really considered that question, I mean, seriously considered it. 

People go to places for information, for entertainment, to interact with people, to buy things, but people go to them always for… something.  We go to places because they have something we want.  Pretty simple model for anyone who’s in business… supply and demand.  People demand – and you supply.  Everyone walks away happy.  That’s the goal.

So, let me ask you why… when we build web sites and software and things for people that we give them stuff they don’t want?  Why do we purposely make it difficult to locate our products.  Intentionally engineer them – to be almost painful… and we as users, are so used to this experience… that we don’t even blink when we see it.

Here’s some food for thought. If you bought a magazine (yes I’m back to the magazine metaphor… work with me here it’s worth it…)  would you enjoy the magazine if every article in it began with the table of contents for the entire magazine at the beginning?    Seriously?  How ridiculous would that be.

Wired Magazine does.  Well, their web page does.  Every web page does.  We call it the navigation menu.  It’s this really cool security blanket on the top of every page.  We just … assume it has to be there because – hey, how can you navigate if you don’t have it??  Right??  I mean… right?  We have to have it. 

Let me let you in on a little usability secret.  No.  No you don’t.  In fact, you probably only seldom actually use it, and when you do – you only use it because, well, it’s there.  It’s something we put up there back in the early days when we were trying to figure out how best to navigate on the internet and we, frankly just kept doing it even after people started just using the back button. 

image

Here’s a standard map of a classic style web site hierarchy.  It’s not how you’d navigate it, but it is how the links function… go to the main site – then there’s a sub page… then there’s the info you actually want to see…so this is… what the site really looks like to you.  It’s pretty much your experience.

I get to the page, I click, I click, I read.

But… that’s not how a magazine works is it?  Magazine, I look upimage what I want, and then I go straight to it.  In a magazine… your experience is like this… it’s open and read.  Because that’s what you want.  That’s what you expect of it.  But… what if we drop the concept of a magazine.  Let’s say we’re going car shopping. 

Is your experience one of you go to a dealer and they have 8 cars in the window, and every time you want to look at what they have, the dealer pulls out a flip book and makes you flip through them like a police mug shot book – and then he’ll bring one up to you?  And some of the time, he comes back and says, “Sorry that units not available.”.  And every time he drags out the flipbook – there’s a map of the store that drops down in front of you, and pictures of whatever models they’re really pushing this month are stuffed into your mug shot book and they take up like 25% or more of the pages and the pictures of the actual cars to chose from are like … thumbnails, and you have to ask the guy to bring one up every time you see one that might be what you’re looking for.  That’s currently how a lot of online shopping works. 

Now, here’s what you wish would happen… I come in, I ask the guy if he has any of the model of car I like, and he steps aside and the cars I like are on display.  In fact my favorite models are on display and I can see them right there.  It’s like magic.

image

  Don’t believe me?  Here’s an actual car dealership website.  Here is imagethe same website… with just what I came there to do, and everything else that the web site has on it obscured…

Over 80% of the site… has stuff I don’t want to do.  I mean really, there’s more real estate on that page devoted to navigating the web site than there is stuff there for me to buy. 

imageSo… what’s the alternative?  How about considering that no matter what – there’s basically a 2 tier structure for content, and focus just on the content in those top 2 tiers.  Main Page – > Car Page. Or imageMain Page –> Deals, or Main Page –> Trucks. 

As you can see – this is already getting the customer to their choice faster… they can perform their searches, save them for comparisons, and in general – we’re getting the user where they want to go faster and easier.  We could, include things like financing and research … as an option off the page.  The idea is we get the customer to what they want, effortlessly.  We don’t waste their visuals on navigation menus, on options to download phone apps, and so on.  If we need to provide financing as an option… then we include that as an option.  A good place for this is at the bottom of the screen – because it doesn’t break the flow of what the users doing. It’s not in their face, but it’s an option available and accessible. 

And obviously we’d have a specific details page for the car itself we’ve selected.  But we don’t need all these very big navigations and distractions that break the user out of what it is they’re looking to do – which is find a car.  It lets you sell the user what they want … and not what it takes to navigate your web site.

 
 

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Talking about Microsoft’s oPhone

 

I was sooooo glad to see this.  It’s about time someone knocked the iPhone off it’s "innovation" ladder and show it for the poser it truly is.  I mean… let’s face it – what’s more innovative than a phone with numbers that move?  Genius … Pure Genius!!

Microsoft’s oPhone

http://images.soapbox.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf
Video: Microsoft’s oPhone

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2007 in Computers and Internet

 

Why do Progress Bars Move Left to Right?

Recently a email floated through one of the Localization discussion groups regarding Progress Bars and other components and their behavior in an LTR / RTL design change.  The question being that since we know in cultures where the linguistic elements flip – should we flip the controls?  Should a progress bar, in a non-LTR culture – move ‘backwards’?

After all – in some cultures "Back" does not mean regression and "Forward" does not mean progression- – and to make matters worse… why does a "Forward" arrow on a browser point to the right?  There is a grouping of thought that this is a cultural aspect.  It’s not – at least not exactly.  It’s an engineering or technological cultural terminology question really.

If you have ever worked in basic mechanical design you may have heard "… things like computer buttons, etc., are semiologically speaking null culturally."  Are they? It’s very easy to argue that in our current world – technology itself has become a culture.  It has it’s own grammar and syntax and even it’s own semiological constructs and internal linguistic references.  So in a sense … the culture that you apply to buttons, progress bars and the like – is a tech culture, regardless of the culture (language) orientation.  This stems from engineering principals that have special rules and requirements that apply to these items.

 That’s a long and fuzzy answer when it comes to progress bars, etc.,  here’s the real reason for why a "Forward" button points to the right.  The "dirty little secret" of UI engineering.  It’s based on what old time engineers call "chronometer logic".  Forward, Ascending, etc., are generally speaking aspects of a chronometer, a clock, so they operate in a clockwise direction.

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As with most engineering terminology – there’s a valid reason for "forward" being clockwise, which also usually has a cultural anecdote.  Clocks, were first built in the Northern Hemisphere, and based their design on a Sundial which faced Southward.  This design caught on.  Because of this a clock follows the direction of a northern sundial – it’s predecessor.  Noon, being at the center – of a sundial – with everything to the left being the beginning or the start of the day.   

Everything to the right – leading to the end of the day, or the end.  Having a beginning a middle and an end – we have a direction of movement.  Left to Right.  If I face my sundial and extend my hand to the right – that’s the part of the day that lies ahead.  If I point to the left – that’s where I’ve been temporally speaking.  Were we to use a Cartesian coordinate system as we do now, perhaps all our browser forward buttons would resemble an arrow accelerating up and away from us.  But – at this time, the words "Cartesian coordinate" were something of a mystery for a few more centuries.

About this time – we humans got into the whole "writing" thing culturally.  Okay let’s be honest, we started drawing pictures to represent things, writing was a LONG way off for about 90% of the population.  You wanted to tell someone something – you drew them a picture.  So we had the basic idea – and if you draw a clockwise motion 2 Dimensionally … it moves around the globe or object left to right.  Over and over this repetition of perceived environmental nature being mimicked lead to "Forward = Go To The Right" on horizontal designs from an early engineering perspective.  

So, from clocks, and other motions forward became Left-to-Right.  Centuries of chronometer logic beating this principal into our heads causes us as designers and inventors – to repeat this perception as it’s comfortable and perceived to be "natural".  The ‘culture’ of technology has given us this rule to follow, and we’ve followed it with our linguistic and symbolic representations.  When we want to show something progressing (like a progress bar) we start on the left and move forward – to the right.

Cultural Trivia bit:  Are there any clocks out there that do NOT move clockwise – aka – right to left?

Yes. There are.  There are a few famous clocks in the Synagogues of Europe which due to their ancestry and of respect for the language preferences of the Hebrew language – do in fact, move counter-clockwise.  These are the best known clocks which provide a culturally localized design to their behavior.  However – culturally speaking… is this really the correct behavior to assign to things we invent? 

If, we are discussing cultural semiological texts – "words" if you will – then yes, we would need to respect the cultural restraints of the language.  If we, on the other hand, are talking about buttons, objects, and other invented materials the answer is no.  So – the text on a button … yes, we flip the text. The button itself?  No.   Progress Bars.. no.  The only reason for flipping these is for ergonomic or engineering reasons, i.e.., is it easier for the user if we do it this way?  Is this the behavior our user expects from this symbolic representation of an action? 

Icons… on the other hand… become a tricky an sticky wicket to play in.  You see an Icon – should never be considered just a "graphical representation".  It’s – from a semiotics perspective – a word.  And words and text… yeah – we flip those up, down, left, right .. however the culture expects them.  So – make sure you’re creating an object – or a button … and not an Icon, which is a graphical representation of a concept.  Remember that last part – because it’ll help you determine if something is an Icon or an Object.   An Icon represents a concept.  An Object, like a button or progress bar,  displays or represents an action.

Inventions vs Icons … you invent an object – create it, to perform an action, and this should have an appropriate symbolic representation.  This may be in the form of a glyph or graphic, or text.  In any case, most of the time, a symbolic representation of an invention has no predecessor symbolically to draw on.  So in order for people to catch on – we frequently have to find a similar or mimicked action from life (or the users experiential data)  to give people the idea of what it does.

An Icon, on the other hand is representative of a concept – which generally has a culturally accepted symbol for it already and has therefore a derivative, a root for the symbol based in the concept it represents.  So we may put an Icon on our desktop – which represents a concept or conceived process.  I click on this to open my MS Word – that’s an Icon.  I click on the Scissors to "Cut" out something.. I click on the magnifying glass to look and find things… those are "objects". 

But even here – there are exceptions.  In cultures where a word is introduced, and not a part of that culture – it may not have a translatable term.  For example, "Kodak", is an invented word. No… there never was a "Mr. Kodak" – in 1885 Kodak was probably the first ‘company’ and product truly named to work globally. – it’s a word that has no meaning in any language.  It’s ONLY meaning is "Kodak" as in Kodak corporation.image

It has no derivatives.   It has no root.  It’s an invention – and so therefore, is it’s own symbol regardless of the culture. From a semiotics view – It’s a word, and it’s a symbol – which is kinda cool.  It’s meaning is universally recognized.  You when you say it – in another language, it jumps out – when you see it written in another language – it’s written out as "Kodak", and you can identify it easily.   If someone wants to understand what you’re talking about – and you’re talking about a Kodak camera, then you use the word Kodak.  That’s what buttons and objects are – inventions, and why they follow their own rules.  

So … the short answer to why Progress Bars show movement from Left to Right is … buttons and objects that represent forward motion in almost all cases, and unless specifically requested by the culture you’re building for – should follow an expected and experienced behavior that is pre-established if possible, or display an obvious reference with which to grasp the assumed action.  "Forward" – "progression" moves "clockwise" – Left to Right, Back (regression) should be anti-clockwise, or RTL based on their invention – and be localized to the culture of technology/engineering within the localized culture they are being placed.  (As with words like "Kodak" – as there is no way to correctly localize them within the culture – so we display them as they are. Words that are placed on top of them – or within them – should be localized to the culture obviously, and may be resized to reflect those needs.)

In the early days of programming and localization – entire applications were literally flipped, just to allow for RTL conversions.  But these are not the early days.  We’re now able to drill down to very finite levels in our coding – and localize words that exist within objects.  So flipping over an entire web browser so that your buttons for File, Edit, View are localized and so on is generally not necessary. 

So – the progress bar you’re building should to start motion from the left and move to the right, displaying progress in this manner is what is expected by people.  A progress bar – has no cultural predecessor.   Users also have, through experiential data of their own – learned this behavior from other technology and it’s now if not expected, at least recognized easily.  It is reinforced by other technology – Clocks, in physics it is taught the Right-Hand-Rule, which is why nuts, bolts, and other objects have threads which work in a clock-wise motion.  

It is this repeated recognizable or assumed directional enforcement of a behavior that will assist the user in the understanding of the action that button or object performs.  All too often we assume that because the linguistic elements of a culture perform in a manner – the visual elements must also.  But since we’re using an "invention" – the user will accept our invented symbol directive, and will accept it more readily if it’s based on a behavior they know.  Rotating, flipping or changing an object or button unnecessarily does nothing to assist in the understanding of it’s function.

Repetitive and expected behavior/symbols that are drawn from verified (or perceived to be verified) common environmental experiences are what allow users to intuitively navigate an unknown interface.  If we, in our designs, understand this about our users – and we give our invented symbols this understanding of a users behavior – then we are catering to the User first and most often respecting their culture as well.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2007 in Computers and Internet

 

Sanctuary For All: The Death of Network Entertainment

You guys know about Sanctuary for All right?  You should.  If you don’t here’s a quick bullet list to get you up to speed…

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  • Internet based TV Show
  • Network Quality (Higher actually it’s HD)
  • Name Actors (Amanda Tapping and a lot of the Stargate crew)
  • Pro-Production Crews (Exec producers from Atlantis, SG1, and other Pros)
  • No fee episodes (Low-Res)
  • Paid by user subscriptions ($1.99 per episode for HD and download capabilities)
  • Interface features include screen-shot, and email to friends
  • No commercials
  • Driven by fans input

    Check out the first Episode below
    (It’s okay … Low Res versions of the show are… free!)

In short – Network television just got it’s walking papers and it’s not smart enough to know it yet.  Granted, this is V1 of the "new Internet" everyone keeps talking about … but even as a V1 effort – if Television and the Entertainment media haven’t caught on that they just got knocked down on the entertainment food chain they should.

This is where entertainment is heading – and we all need to get used to it.

I’m not talking about 17 minute Sci-Fi shows with plot problems and heavy CGI effects, the scripts, the plots and the acting will improve – that’s a given.  And were I to give a review of episode one – I’d have to say it’s got promise but it’s not there yet.  It piqued my curiosity and I’ll download the second webisode when it’s ready…

Which, btw – and this is going out to the producers — 17 min is a bad cut off point if you’re going to develop a shows plot slowly… give us a full 23 minutes, increase the action, increase the useful plot points (make sure if there’s a ‘cool’ shot there’s a purpose for it that advances the story in a useful way) or people will get bored quickly.

What I’m talking about … is a TV series that answers only to it’s fans, is not paid for by advertising, is shot on a shoestring where the $$ go to the company, actors and crew – and encourage them to good work based on direct feedback from the fans (in the form of – both tacit direct communication – and fiscal reward) without buffering from Studios or Advertisers or Marketing… it’s as close to a Theatre production in your living room as you’re going to get.  It’s a movie – that you – as a fan – get input on.

Anyone remember when WB let Buffy go?  Then Killed Angel at the height of it’s popularity over what ammounted to politics?  Those issues have been around for decades.  Whether you loved it hated it or shutter in fear at it’s mentioning – – it’s a fact that when Hee-Haw was canceled – it had the highest ratings of any show on TV.  Why was it canceled?  Not because it sucked (we just WISH that was the reason in retrospect) – but because Advertisers were very clear… sure it’s popular, but the people who watch it won’t buy our … Cars, Lip Gloss, whatever.

When it comes down to it – you have no control over what you watch on TV.  Even on Cable – to various extents you’re choices are controlled by media outlets dominated by advertisers or media moguls.  Until now.  Several years ago this very media experience was predicted when websites like iFilm and others existed as the soul web ‘entertainment’ experience.  At that time the Hollywood Moguls and the Network Executives were quoted as saying "It will never become a serious media until someone puts out some quality production values…".  Guess what guys?  The game just got serious.

THIS is the Internet Entertainment that people like Bill Gates have been telling us is coming… it’s not coming anymore… it’s here.

And with a little luck – for those of us who

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2007 in Computers and Internet

 

IBM to Lay Off 150,000 Workers

Well you knew when this fish landed I was not going to let it go by without some kind of comment right?

Okay let’s just get straight to it…

Q:  Is it true? 
A: Depends on who you ask – and what question you’re asking.

Q: Huh?
A: Wha?

Q:  Is IBM going to really lay off that many people?
A:  Nope.

Q:  How many will they lay off?
A:  None.  IBM doesn’t lay people off (Does no one read the PR material?).  They give them 30 days to find employment – and then if they don’t they give them a severance package… which usually amounts to a pat on the head… and a promise that if they’re really good they’ll hire you back later for 75% to 50% of what you were making.

Q: Yeah but how many?
A: How many what?  People?  

Q: Yes.  How many people are they really letting go. 
A:  They’re not.  IBM doesn’t let people go.  They let "resources" go – that’s why it’s called a "Resource Action" instead of a "People Action".  IBM doesn’t have people – they have resources.  A resource is an asset – like property, but it devalues differently. 

Q: Okay … so how many "Resources" is IBM letting go.
A:  When?

Q: Now.  How many "Resources" is IBM letting go now?
A:  They’re not.  Resources become reallocated or deployed based on market fluctuations – so although they may be adjusting some resources or reallocating them in one location they’ll supplement the reduction by applying them from another area.  In essence, there’s never a loss of resources – as a resource becomes devalued for it’s cost productivity, it’s replaced with a more efficient resource model.  This  provides a more cost effective way of resource management that allows for a flow of resources and materials globally where they’re needed, when they’re needed, provides a stable stock basis and greater profits for the share holders.

Q: Huh?
A: Wha?

Q: I’m not going to get a straight answer from you on this am I?
A: I’m sorry could you rephrase the question? 

That’s the experience of the best rumor mill story that isn’t.  Will IBM actually drop that many people?  Yeah, actually  I think they will.  They won’t do it all at once.  But they are doing it.  They’ll do it over a 3 year period so no one notices – and in the end, the will effectively move all non-essential and non-primary need management tasks overseas.  Yes – they really will. And trust me – no one will actually see it – people will just wake up one morning – and discover there aren’t all those IBM IT Jobs.  Let’s face it – a rumor like this about GM, or any major company, coming from a fairly respected source??  It should have been page one news.

It’s 3 days out now… and guess what?  Do a news search for "IBM" – this story won’t even appear in the top 15 on Google or MSN Live News.

How do you do that?  Simple… your PR department floods the services with announcements, and since the most current news about the subject rises to the top… that becomes old news in hours, not days or weeks.  This is IBM we’re talking about … what you don’t think they know how to kill a bad news story?  Which is precisely why to be honest… I do buy this story.

If there was no truth to it – they’d have refuted it and said it was a threat to their stock price and demanded a retraction  They didn’t.  In fact, they’ve called it a rumor – and a bad one – and let everyone else say it’s not true.  Which means – if it does happen, they never misled anyone.  It remains a rumor .. until someone proves it one way or the other.  IBM, is ruthless when it comes to being able to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth they want told.  They do not lie.  And so far… they haven’t.  They also … haven’t said it’s not true.

And… there’s the fact that Sam Palmisano himself earlier this year – in essence confirmed that yes, IBM would in fact be reallocating North American "resources" by around 130,000 in a speech in Japan earlier this year.   And theres’ the fact that yes, LEAN has been re-modeled into a vision that executives feel is more in keeping with the needs and directions… blah, blah, blah…

Will it happen?  Yup.   But not all in one year.  It’ll happen like a lobster in a pot with 1,300 people here – and 3,000 there, and another 2,200 there… and so on.  It’ll become regular, an expected thing – something that doesn’t even make the news.   And in time… yes… they will replace everyone who they can – with people who are the most cost effective.  That’s how they play. 

Is it right?  Depends on who you ask.  Is it fair?  Nope.  Is it legal?  Yup.  Is it ethical?  Well … that you’ll have to decide.

Just my humble 2 cents worth of opinion as a ex-IBMer. 

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2007 in Computers and Internet

 

I finally got my Wow moment…

From the first day I came to work at MS I heard over and over, "We make software that changes the world.".  Yeah, yeah, yeah … and my mother made cookies that could stop the monster in the closet dead in his tracks – that was the official party line and I never doubted Mom’s cookies ability to fend off the paranormal and/or drop them dead either.  (She, btw,  really did have cookies that would do that – She was a great mother, but her cooking?  Potentially lethal in the wrong hands.  God bless her.) 

Fact is any time you have a phrase like, "We make (fill in product here) … that changes the world…" you hear it so much the jaded cynic in me translates it into, "PR/HR speak – blah – blah – blah – have pride in your work".

Weird thing about Microsoft is – almost every employee really believes in it with the kind of fervor usually reserved for people who have seen the face of some religious figure on a tortilla or something.  When you express any doubt, they all kind of look at you with the same compassion reserved for one of the unwashed who hasn’t seen the light yet – but will of course – because everyone does.  Frankly … it’s a little creepy … but you get used to it.

Anyway… the "You’ll change the world for the better with what you do…" philosophy that employees have here always seems like a good PR phrase, and then one day you get your "Wow" moment is what they tell you.  It’s that moment when suddenly you realize it’s not all hype – and you really are changing the world.  Got mine this morning, right after coffee.

imageEmail comes flittering across my desk from one of the Dev’s from a project I worked on called "CLIP", or Captioned Languages Interface Pack .  Essentially it’s a simple add-in that when you hover over items – it provides you with translations – not exactly HALO 3 … but hey… it’s still pretty cool.  Anyway – email comes across my desk and there’s a link to a TV  news cast in France about it.  Bottom line… you know you’re actually affecting the world in better ways, when a TV station on the other side of the planet is talking about something you just did.

Congrats to the DOME team – my buds on the LocFutures team – and everyone who worked on it.  I finally got my "Wow" on.  🙂

For those who want to know more about CLIP … here’s a long link:

 Captioned Language Interface Pack – from Microsoft Downloads site

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2007 in Computers and Internet

 

Code Monkies, Evil Genius’ and Xmas from Chiron Beta Prime

To say I’ve been out of touch for the last 9 months is an understatement.  Tons of stuff going on – all of it crazy – chaotic – and usually leaving much around me unfinished while I grasp for straws.
 
The usual excuse at work is that it’s like drinking from a fire hose.  Don’t know how accurate that analogy is – for me it’s been more like trying to learn a new language while traveling in a new country.  I spent a massive amount of time at IBM, which while exposing me to how the big dogs run … exposed me to how IBM ran.  Which is to say there’s a level of arrogance in us all.  IBM – believed they were the only ones who knew how to run things and even though I did my best to absorb outside influences, you do eventually become engorged in their rather singularly focused methods and terminology. 
 
Ego causes you to assume because you use similar terms – you’re talking the same language.  The end result is that you become of the opinion you DO know what everyone is talking about.  (Hey, one TLA <three letter anacronym> is the same as another right?  🙂  Yeah… sure it is.
 
In becoming now engorged in yet another mega-corp… which is equally certain they speak the same language and have the same processes as everyone else… you really begin to see the degree that each of the mega-corps have drunk their own Kool-Aid for a bit too long.  I’m not saying either is bad, or wrong – actually they’re both incredibly efficient and capable.   But the lessons learned from one, I’m begining to think – will never fully translate over to the other … or anywhere else for that matter.  In both cases, the degree, the size of them – invokes a long standing tendancy to invoke the "If it ain’t broke…" rule and remain locked into their own beliefs.
 
Here’s an example.  In a recent PM class, I was somewhat shocked no one (aside from IBMers who’d made the move to MS) had heard the term SPOC – a Single Point of Contact.  It’s a very common term in a lot of places, IBM, SUN both used it extensively and it’s mentioned repleatedly in many Project Management courses you’ll find.  But due to the nature of the need for speed – MS does have them on their projects (depends – in SCRUM type situations they’re not as clearly defined) but they just use another name for them.
 
Now, for me – this spoke volumes.  After all, how can you run things without having that role clearly defined?  Then I began to realise where the term tied in… and in the same way a 2nd year French student learns to conjugate verbs… I’m slowly learning to translate.  But I wonder if it’s something that will haunt me throughout my career.  Let’s face it – we’ve all long since learned to keep a straight face at the concept of a "Standard" in the IT industry.  A Standard – is after all – whatever some committee usually made up for something based on biased views and they’ve determined it to be the correct way to run around building.  Nine months from now – an equally prestigious embodiment will, out of necessity, update that standard… and deprecate the previous standard.   This effectively means – a Standard is whatever we decide it is this week… and the "We" being whatever group was given the task, or appointed themselves the task, of determing that a skunk dipped in white paint can actually be called a cat under the correct circumstances.
 
As a result, I have learned that a Standard is a necessity, but not to set my watch, calendar dates, or rely on them as being the sole authority on anything.  This is especially true of any project.  Effectively, this is the core problem with mega-corps.  They DO rely on them, and they DO enforce them throughout… until the next on comes along and in time, the Anacronyms become so numbing no one remembers what they actually stand for – or why they came into being.  They just use them, and in doing so – they become a part of the venacular of the corporation.  As times change and entropy ensues – these bits of venacular become more and more blurred until their original meaning even becomes uncertain, shifting with whatever their newfound repurposing determines them to be.
 
As a result – my level of confusion – lack of cohesion – and in gernal sanity and sense of time has gone south, apparently for the winter, ne’er to be seen again until I am fully ensorcelled into the fraternity of this new, and often confusing culture.  It’s apparently pretty common since they keep telling me eventually I will become a part of the culture – as if this is a regular issue of life with new people.
 
But I’ve overlooked so many gems on the net – like the works of Johnathan Coultan, who’s "Thing A Week" blog – has produced some incredible, if not twisted music.  Code Monkey, Skullcrusher Mtn, and Chiron Beta Prime.  I won’t spoil them but suffice to say, that if people do not get into these – they’re even more twisted than he is.
 
 
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Posted by on November 13, 2006 in Computers and Internet