News junkie that I am, I see a lot of headlines. And four came in over the last 30 hours or so that paint an astonishing picture of a tech industry that is in complete denial about the intense misogyny that permeates the industry. Let’s take them in the order that they were received: First, programmer, teacher and game developer Kathy Sierra. In 2007, she became well known enough to attract the attention of some nasty people, who set out to, pretty much, destroy her. On Tuesday, she chronicled the whole sordid history on her blog, and Wired picked it up as well (I’m linking… Read More »It’s Time For A Tech Industry Intervention To Address Misogyny
This post was originally published on the Earthjustice Blog in May of 2011. Former Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates gave a talk last month at TED on climate change. His overall point was dead on—we need big solutions for a big problem. And he’s a man who is willing to back what he speaks about financially. But, it was interesting to see him dismiss the small steps in a somewhat cynical fashion, characterizing home installations of solar panels as an ineffectual fad for the rich. Gates said: The solutions that work in the rich world don’t even come close to solving the [energy] problem. If you’re… Read More »What Bill Gates Should Know About Solar Energy
Are Microsoft and Apple using the mobile web to dictate how we use technology? And, if so, what does that mean for us?
Last week, John Herlihy, Google’s Chief of Sales, made a bold prediction:
â€œIn three years time, desktops will be irrelevant.”
…or you might. I find that, in a 25 year IT career that has always included a percentage of tech support, human nature is to use the features of an application that we know about, and only go looking for new features when a clearly defined need for one arises. In that scenario, some great functionality might be hiding in plain sight. Here are a few of my favorite “not very well-hidden” secrets.
Sometimes it feels like the bane of my existence is my office phone. It’s so bad that I rarely answer it, preferring to forward it to Google Voice where I can peruse the barely readable transcripts just well enough to filter out the 90% cold sales calls I receive. So what a pleasure it was to answer my desk phone on Thursday and have an illuminating conversation with my Microsoft Licensing representative. He called to tell me that I own some awesome benefits that come with my Software Assurance program. I’m betting that I’m not the only one who was clueless about these benefits.
Internet culture addicts like me have taken gleeful note of Mashable’s campaign to rid the world of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer version 6. Anyone who develops public web pages (and cares if they are compatible with other and/or modern browsers) is sympathetic to this cause. The hoops that we have to jump through to make our pages look acceptable in IE6 while taking advantage of the nearly decade old CSS positioning commands are ridiculous. When I was doing web consulting a few years back, IE6 compatibility coding generally took up about 20% of the total project time.
An award-winning friend of mine at NTEN referred me to this article, by Jeremy Reimer, suggesting that Word, the ubiquitous Microsoft text manipulation application, has gone the way of the dinosaur. The “boil it down” quote:
“Word was designed in a different era, for a very specific purpose. We don’t work that way anymore.”
My big post contrasting full blown Microsoft Exchange Server with cloud-based Gmail drew a couple of comments from friends in Seattle. Jon Stahl of One/Northwest pointed out, helpfully, that MS sells it’s Small Business Server product to companies with a maximum of 50 employees, and that greatly simplifies and reduces cost for Exchange. After that, Patrick Shaw of NPower Seattle took it a step further, pointing out that MS Small Business Server, with a support arrangement from a great company like NPower (the “great” is my addition – I’m a big fan), can cost as little as $4000 a year and provide Windows Server, Email