Category: Microsoft

Medialoper’s 2008 Ducking The Shoe Awards

George Bush ducking the shoe.“Ducking the Shoe” is a phrase coined by Daniel Fienberg a couple of days ago on Twitter to mean “escaping even the most minor of punishments for extended errors or misdeeds.”

Well, yeah.

So in the spirit of George W. Bush’s ninja-like ability to duck a shoe thrown at him from point blank range, the following people and things spent 2008 getting away with shit that they really should have been busted on.


Please Wait For Infinity While Your Page Loads

Circles, my head’s going round in circles
— Pete Townshend

Circles, circles, everywhere I see circles. Right now, on three main things I use to access the world — Microsoft Vista, Firefox, and the iPhone — I’m always seeing circles, making me wait. Or, more to the point, letting me know that I am going to be waiting while an application or my email or a web page loads.

And they’re all slightly different: Apple has their rotating series of lines; Mircrosoft Vista has a rotating blue circle, while Firefox has a series of dots that chase each other. Extra fun: when you load a Firefox page on a Vista machine, you get both of their circles simultaneously!!

My question is simple: when did this happen? When did a rotating circle become UI shorthand for “your request is very important to us, please wait?”

And furthermore, who thought that it was a good idea? Because I’m not so sure that it is.


Microsoft & Seinfeld: A Match Made in the 1990s

Hey kids, remember the late 1990s? Bill Clinton was President. The economy was humming along. Gas prices were low. Seinfeld was the number one TV show. And Microsoft ruled the tech world. You might not have liked it, but it was true.

At the time, it seemed like there was nothing that Microsoft couldn’t do: they had so much power that they were able to start the Browser Wars and win them without getting bogged down in a quagmire. Hell, even Windows 98 was a decent operating system.

For Microsoft, good times. And they’d like to remind you of those times, with an upcoming ad campaign starring another 1990s icon: Jerry Seinfeld.

An ad campaign where the co-star is another 1990s icon: Bill Gates. What? Bill Clinton wasn’t also available? While I understand that things aren’t going quite as swimmingly for Microsoft in 2008 as they were in 1998, I don’t think this will help.


Movies with Movement is What I Like

Make that love.

We had some friends over for dinner recently and the discussion, as is common, turned to movies. Everyone’s opinion on what makes a good movie may differ, but there is one fundamental thing a movie needs: movement. For example, my friend Dave said that while he likedCloverfield,” he had a problem with the monster itself. It didn’t seem to have a purpose and its movements were random. Now Godzilla, on the other hand, was always on the go. He moved and did it with purpose. He was on his way somewhere. I had to agree. I too liked “Cloverfield,” but the monster’s intent was like its shape, amorphous and random. So what could have been a new, genre-defining monster movie was merely an engaging and likable affair that featured a bit of credibility stretching by using a hand-held camera POV for its duration. There is a world of difference between “like” and “love.”

This year, two movies in particular were competing for Best Picture at the Oscars. One was Paul Thomas Anderson’sThere Will Be Blood,” loosely based on “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair, and the other was (eventual winner) Joel and Ethan Coen’s “No Country for Old Men,” based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Both movies feature sadistic central characters and have a theme of “the times they are a changin'”; the first due to unabated oil development around the turn of the last century and the other to a rising tide of drug running and criminality along the Texas border in 1980. But there’s a key difference to what separates the first movie from merely being an attractive, if long-winded exercise in greed and megalomania, to a thought provoking, riveting, and accomplished feat of storytelling in the latter: movement.

My Problem With The Pew High-Tech Survey

A lot of hay was made yesterday about a wide-reaching survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For example, one of the things that got serious play was that about half of the people out there still don’t live their lives around high-tech products.

Instead, I guess, they are living their lives around such mundane things as their jobs, their churches, their families and so forth. Then the survey broke down the actual users into sub-groups, and explained various things about the sub-groups. It was all very interesting and informative, and then I got to the very end . . .