What is the Apple IIGS?

It's the hybrid 8-bit/16-bit twenty year old computer I used (in emulation) to produce most of screenshots I have visually quoted in Hypothesis, as the protagonist played the games. And I am very happy to see Alex Lee reworking and revitalising his website on everything IIGS (pronounced 2-G-S); it's chockful of utilities and software, and though it's always been a good database, he's now added News, Blog, and Forums sections that I'm excited about. Alex was the very first person I contacted about KEGSlotDroppers and he received the first beta copy. It takes some very careful reading (most people don't pick up on it right away the way Alex did), but you can follow the story of the creation of KEGSlotDroppers here.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Wall Street Journal Welcomes the iPhone Overlords

The Wall Street Journal has raised the spectre of smartphones replacing laptops, not even realising, it seems, that it is a spectre. Apple's "cutting-edge" iPhone is held up throughout the article, without a hint of irony, as the prime example of the sort of device that the author sees one day bumping your main mobile computer into a Sarlacc Pit. No mention at all is made of the completely closed and capriciously-controlled nature of application development through the iPhone's App Store (practical unofficial alternatives to which, in a 180-degree turn from its tolerance of MP3s on an iPod, Apple specifically blocks or limits from its playground).

Apparently, the Journal finds perfectly agreeable the prospect of herds of formerly free-range computer users being corralled into an unholy pen where they will not be permitted to download any new form of software without Apple's express, case-by-case approval; in fact, the financial rag breathlessly anticipates that the old regime (which happens to safeguard our increasingly unfashionable ability to choose what we can run on our devices) will be willingly relinquished. Perhaps they'd like to volunteer to close and lock the gates when the deed is done?

Now, here's the part of this Wes Craven nightmare where self-satire turns to horror...

The Journal's prediction — while ethically tone-deaf — might be right. Apple has already blown right past its widely ridiculed '10 million phones' target for 2008, and shows no signs of letting up. So, if you are feeling at all 'no-big-deal'-ey about this, before you retire to a remote forest cabin to have sex with other clueless teenagers, be forewarned: this rough beast indeed slouches toward Bethlehem to be born.

Advocating a boycott of the iPhone at this point (or of any companies that try to emulate its obviously successful business model: and they will, cf. Zune) is probably a lost cause. By all means, if you feel like doing something, look into Google's much-talked-about, freedom-loving G1 — or even a Windows Mobile phone would fit the open-platform bill.

But this won't be enough. It's the independent application developers themselves who are going to have to bust out their Obi Wan Kenobis here; they're our only hope. And there are some signs that there may be significant resistance among them to the idea of signing up as complicit contractors aboard Apple's anti-rebel-coder mobile death star. Not only have some well-regarded formerly iPhone-friendly developers refused on principle to submit their code to Apple's casual disregard, but a highly touted developers' conference called 'iPhone Boot Camp' in New York simply failed to happen due to lack of interest, and another conference, called 'iPhone Live', was cancelled as a "necessary business decision" — a euphemism that Ars Technica interprets as, 'We built it but they didn't come.'

That's exactly what developers (and bloggers: yes, this means you) need to be saying about the iPhone; yeah, they built it, but we won't come. Not until Apple gets its head on straight, or sticks a pin in it, or whatever it is it has to do to stop Vadering out and start rediscovering the Anakin within. Then we'll all be able to enjoy the iPhone and its inevitable emulators in the smartphone space, without tattooing Lando Calrissian on our asses and handing the rebels among us over to some traffic-directing, techno-earmuff-wearing dude from the Wall Street Journal.

To be clear, this is my message to Apple: Quit with the ominous mouth-breathing. Open up the App Store to all comers, and institute a store-wide ratings system through which to indulge your elitist tastes. Either that, or allow developers to distribute their creations, independently of the Store, without limit. Most preferably, both.

If you do this, I'll be the first in line thereafter to sell my stuff for your phone, and I will trumpet your Jedi-like mastery of the touch interface, far and wide. But until that day, my sympathies are squarely with the younglings. They are the future, and for them your smartphone virtuosity may come at a terrible, dark price.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Apple Beset by Criticism From Leading Mac Bloggers

When lodestar users like Harry McCracken, Dave Winer, and even John Gruber are gunning for you online, you know your mobile platform has a real problem on its hands.

Thus, is Apple reaping what it has sowed with its increasingly pathological obsession with control.

These aren't just some PC World geeks with permanent chips on their shoulders putting the most negative possible spin on Apple. These are Apple-friendly guys (well, let's just call Winer Apple-compatible), and they are extremely influential writers in the world where Apple's customers swim. They can't and won't be ignored. This chain reaction is well past critical mass, and the smart money is on Apple to respond formally in the very near future — maybe even this week.

But make no mistake, here: all these bloggers have been asleep at the switch, and are only waking up now to what rgbFILTER and I have been talking about for weeks.

The first unmistakeable warning sign was Apple's breezy willingness to extend their technological control into the silencing of artistic expression — this was the clear evidence that they do not feel any responsibility to carry the principles of democracy forward into their spanking new media space, and that there is really no limit to the control they are willing to exert upon their users.

Don't believe it? You will. Because with the recent news that they are now banning software that competes with them from the App Store, Apple has finally made the mistake that will spark that collective 'duh' moment among those who didn't see the problem with electronics mavens claiming this kind of control, before.

Let's all hope that Apple takes the biggest possible bath over this, and that other companies who are by no means innocent in this regard (I'm looking at those who forged the shackles worn by console artists), will sit up and take note that their days of controlling user culture are numbered.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Jobs and Woz, in Manga, for Kids!

By way of Boingboing.net, my attention has been drawn to an '80s manga by Mitsuru Sugaya about the birth of Apple. Not speaking Japanese, I managed to get some gist of the artist's commentary (though not the comic dialogue itself) from the Babelfish version. I particularly enjoyed their rendition of Mitsuru's descriptions of one of Woz's teen pranks. (See if you can guess what it does...)

Concerning interest and [itazura] to electronics construction of this, the experience of the writer is projected. However the writer made, it was something where the primary coil and the secondary coil the hand it does to wind the electric shock surprise box, with the nail of the iron as a core, with intermittence of the buzzer false interchange makes and transforms. When the box of the chocolate is pulled out, [butsu] and sound doing, [biritsu] it is to have the [itazura] toy which becomes numb, but that handmade it is something which is done.
The artist also has this to (sort of) say about what he was trying to accomplish, which I loosely and probably inaccurately perceive as meaning that he wanted to make kids feel what it was like in the early heyday of Silicon Valley in their guts:
Concerning venture business you had known, but as for viewing the word, venture capital and the venture capitalist to, this time was unprecedented. This article becoming opportunity, interest grows even in the mechanism and economy of stocks, that eventually, means to be connected to drawing business information cartoon. When also you go out to Silicon Valley in 1983, wants to try feeling the atmosphere of actual place of such a venture business with the body.
I can't tell if he succeeded, but it was awfully fun to check out. If anyone comes across a translation of the comic itself, post it here!

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Apple vs. Art, part 2: Apple vs. Fart

I have to say, when I wrote my first post on Apple's attempts to soup-nazi new media spaces, I had no idea a sequel would be so soon in the offing. In this week's episode, we have an actual App Store rejection letter from Apple, which is so galling in its casual application of censorship to a harmless fart joke app, that even in the unlikely event that it would be a good idea to let any one posse of techno-dudes carry the keys to the new media kingdom, it's as clear as day the people at Apple are not those dudes.

The rejection letter was emailed to MacRumors by the developer, who also posted a full demo of the app to YouTube. The text of the letter follows:

Hello Developer,

We've reviewed your application Pull My Finger. We have determined that this application is of limited utility to the broad iPhone and iPod touch user community, and will not be published to the App Store.

It may be very appropriate to share with friends and family, and we recommend you review the Ad Hoc method on the Distribution tab of the iPhone Developer Portal for details on distributing this application among a small group of people of your choosing.


Victor Wang
Worldwide Developer Relations
Apple, Inc.
So, in other words, Apple controls the entire software market for this new medium (every effort having been taken to lock things down otherwise), which it will now fill capriciously according to its taste! And if you don't like it, you are free to use a method they have provided you to share your app with a 'small group of people of your choosing'? Why small? Isn't that a lot like saying you are free to sing in the shower — but they own everywhere else? Imagine if Apple had invented the microphone...

Essentially, Apple is trying to appoint itself the cultural gatekeepers as well as the technicians of a new public square, blocking you from it without their prior approval — a responsibility, by the way, that they appear to approach about as democratically as picking a T-shirt.

I defy anyone in the 'iPhone and iPod touch user community' to watch this video, and not want to install this thing and run it, at least once...

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

So This Is How It's Done

I am beginning to understand how things work in this universe:

Government commissions study in the service of the people. Study doesn't support the arguments of the Copyright Pharaohs. Government concludes '<'there was no need for external expertise''. Tries to hide it ever existed. Continues the plot to extract from us the essence of cultural freedom which the Pharaohs have been consuming, and need to consume to extend their decrepitly long legacies for yet another 50 years.

This appears to be the mechanism by which the arterial media of this world have become clogged with the sticky legal deposits created by the circulation of these massive conglomerates.

More Star Wars, anyone? Just be sure that the part of your brain you are storing that in, is not a part from which you are ever planning to create anything in your entire lifetime (or even in your children's lifetimes, should you pass the 'copyrighted' plots and characters, fable-like, on to them).

And most of all — woe betide you online if George Lucas should ever use your name.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Apple vs. Art, Part 1

It took the appalling spectacle of Apple trying to deny iPhone distribution to these artists at Murderdrome to draw my attention to Infurious Comics and their neat little enterprise.

My willingness to try to distribute Hypothesis through the iPhone's App Store will hinge on how Apple responds to criticisms like this one. I could be comfortable with an App Store-wide rating system that treats all media equally, but it would depend on whether it's just a cloak for more censorship. (After all, nothing about having a rating system dictates that all or even a vast majority of entries will therefore be accepted.)

Don't enterprises that venture first into new media spaces that may hold the keys to the future of this planet (if their rhetoric is to be believed) have a special responsibility not to bar the way to others based on matters of taste? If not, perhaps they should.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

KEGSlotDroppers 0.4

The latest iteration of the energetics I 'coded' to slightly speed-launch classic games in Hypothesis 0.3. KEGSlotDroppers are a set of AppleScript droplets which can be used to automate the tedious manual editing of slot assignments that is required to change which disk images to load into the KEGS Apple IIgs emulator on Mac OS X.

System Requirements:

Mac OS X 10.3 or later. (10.1 or 10.2 might also serve, but I have not tested them.) Also, you need a working installation of KEGS. I recommend KEGS-OSX from casaGS. Then you need to make sure you have Apple II games in disk image format. These can be found at a variety of sources online.

DOWNLOAD KEGSlotDroppers 0.4

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Installation Issue with Carbon Copy Cloner 3.1

For those of you eying Time Machine but still not ready to fully commit to OS X Leopard — sure, 10.5.2 is a big improvement, but I'm still waiting for that third time charm — I recommend Carbon Copy Cloner, which has just been updated to version 3.1.

CCC is free software. It can make scheduled backups to an external drive behind the scenes while you work. Your backup can even be bootable. But there is a minor installation hurdle for users of previous versions.

Despite being only a point release, Carbon Copy Cloner 3.1 sports some big improvements in capability over 3.0, most notably a much finer set of controls for both backup item lists and scheduling. I have also noticed that it is significantly faster, completing my backups in as little as two-thirds the time (even when copying the same amount of data).

In classic Mac fashion, upgrading CCC is theoretically as easy as dragging the application from the installer window to your Applications folder. But when I attempted to do just that, my Mac had this to say:

The above-referenced 'ccc_helper' is the background daemon that handles scheduled tasks, which I use liberally (one for duping my basic OS X installation once a month, and another twice a week for all my data). Alarmingly, this failed copy operation rendered my previous copy of CCC non-functional, and there was no warning at all about it in the accompanying ReadMe.

Luckily it wasn't fatal. Simply dragging the original to the trash first (an old Mac trick) enabled the subsequent copy to occur. And upon launch, the new version instantly detected the obsolete backup schedules and replaced those, too. The developer seems to have anticipated this issue and covered all the bases except for actual installation — which one might easily think of as home plate. This may seem odd, but it's human for a coder to take the download package for granted in testing, much as you might dress up perfectly for a night out and then forget your keys. It's the simple stuff that gets you. Unfortunately, the last step for the coder is the first step for the user, so this kind of oversight can exact a heavy toll in frustration if you don't immediately discover the workaround.

Once you've got it installed, however, CCC performs with the reliability, transparency, and simplicity I have come to expect from Mike Bombich.

  • UPDATE: The headline was changed from 'Installation Bug' to 'Installation Issue' in response to mike's comment below.

Why No Background Scheduling in the iPhone SDK?

What is the real reason? Craig Hockenberry claims, in an otherwise very insightful article about why third-party background apps are a Very Bad Thing for your battery life, that the natural solution — letting the iPhone OS schedule access to the network and then giving apps the greenlight to connect in a single cooperative burst instead of activating the antenna piecemeal — was a little beyond Apple's capability for the beta Software Developer's Kit. He writes

Do I expect such a sophisticated system to be available in a beta of version 1.0? Hell no. And neither should you.
Maybe it's just me, but this system really does not sound all that sophisticated, not compared to the enormous piece of engineering that is already the iPhone SDK. In fact, it's downright simple. A scheduler/notifier that maintains a queue with a few new API calls — what's so damn difficult?

Not that I am advocating everybody whine some more about this issue. But nonsense is nonsense. As I see it, this is not rocket science.

It's far more likely that the reason for omitting this capability for now is that Apple doesn't want iPhone developers to use it as a crutch, or as a backdoor into executing non-network-related background tasks. They want you to learn to do without. When the consensus becomes that background processing is not nearly as necessary as everyone believed — then we'll have our network scheduler.

The Embarrassing State of Web Authoring

If the read path of a document on my computer is


then it's very easy to deduce the write path for this same document. Because the two paths are identical.

But what if they weren't? What if every document had two separate paths, one for reading and one for writing, either of which could be arbitrarily chosen? Nobody would be able to deduce the write path of a document from its read path! Updating anything on your computer would become a complex endeavour in which each application would make its own decisions about how to structure the write paths of its documents, and those write paths would be undiscoverable outside of that application. It would be like iTunes went insane and stole all write functionality away from your operating system. If this sounds to you like a hellish hypothetical, consider that it isn't hypothetical at all. You are already living in this world, online.

The read path for a web document might be


From this, what we can deduce about the write path for this document is nothing at all. We can assume that the top and sub domains would be the same, but we would not be right all the time. Not without host-specific contextual knowledge. There is just no standard way for your computer to figure out how to update what you're reading online. At this point you might be tempted to say 'FTP', but there is not even a standard way to construct the proper FTP upload path for a given URL. The only correct single answer is, it depends. (And figure it out for yourself, or else no update for you!)

What I'm trying to tell you is that if you have ever found authoring files on the web to be an unholy mess, most of which no one has been able to automate effectively — this is why.

All that needs be done is to define a standard discoverable write path for all web documents (probably via password-protected FTP). Once we have that, we will be able to build truly instantaneous intraspecies publishing into our technology at a basic system level. Until we have it, web authoring will continue to be a quasi-penetrable codex for communicating with a planet of charmingly ineffective bureaucrats.

Let's not be the laughing stock of the Milky Way — not again.

Planet Chooses Blu-ray, Beats Us Why!

I find it fascinating the way everybody just decided, almost literally overnight, in an amazing demonstration of human flock behaviour, that HD-DVD is dead. Sometime after the birth of 2008, when Warner Bros. decided to support Blu-ray exclusively, a chain reaction started that has resulted not only in HD-DVD market share being decimated, but in almost everybody I know — via Bell Telephone, Gmail, Facebook Posted Item, and Personal Face-to-Face Audio Exchange — relaying to me the same message: 'Blu-ray wins.'

I've heard this message before. Back in August of last year, when, conversely, Paramount decided to support HD-DVD exclusively, every HD-DVD owner was saying, of course ... 'HD-DVD wins!'

This time was different. This time, every tech-savvy individual I know, whatever their former allegiance (except Toshiba itself), was towing the same line. The war was over. Happy about it or not, Blu-ray shall reign. But here's the weird part. If you ask them, they've all got different reasons, and yet they all seem to have made the decision at the same time.

For some it was the Warner Bros. defection. For others, the change in sales figures (which followed immediately upon news of the defection). Later on, even better reasons became available, like Netflix and Wal-Mart dropping HD-DVD (which followed upon the sales figures). Finally, the widespread rumours of Toshiba's throwing in the towel have come swooping in to pick over the retail-ravaged bones.

For no particularly great technological reason, seemingly inconclusive evidence (let's call it The Warner Event) has sent a whole lot of free individuals all careening in the same direction, largely as a result of cues they gave each other. And this virally replicated speculation of where the centre of gravity should be, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe Reuters captured it best with their short synopsis of the Netflix reasoning:

Four out of six major Hollywood studios have recently decided to publish high-definition DVDs only using Blu-ray. Netflix said that with such a clear signal from the industry, it will only buy Blu-ray discs going forward and will phase out stock of HD DVD by about the end of the year.
Four out of six. A 'clear signal'. Flock much?
  • UPDATE 08/02/19: Toshiba has confirmed the rumours: they are abandoning their own format. I consider this a side issue to this article, which is not about whether HD-DVD will die, but about why.

Pogue Declares Leopard Ready as of 10.5.2

It is now, in his words, "the sharp and snappy cat it should have been all along". However, there are some issues with the update itself. This is to be expected. The first update addresses mostly bugs that were known at the time the product was released; the second is actually the first to fix the bulk of issues discovered by actual end users; the third (and maybe a 'security' update in between) catches any troubles created by the first two massive updates themselves. This is why I normally recommend waiting until version x.3 of any new major operating system release from Apple before taking taking the leap onboard.

Copyright Pharoahs Lobby For Immortality

I have to say I don't understand this 95 year music monopoly proposed by EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. Fifty years was bad enough. But judging by the length of the standard human reproductive cycle, 95 years will see the coming of age of five generations of new artists, all of whom will be denied the right to directly reimagine or reuse today's work without fear of retribution. Am I the only mind boggled by this?

Am I the only one who perceives, common-sense-wise — you do have that on this planet, I've been told — that artists only have a valid claim to preventing 'ripoffs' or the too-close-for-comfort homage among their contemporaries, and that unfettered quoting of their work among the very next generation (not to mention their great-great-great-grandchildren), is not only ethical, but healthy and necessary for the culture itself to continue to vitally reproduce?

Hopefully, in Canada at least, the answer is no, although there is still a significant gap between the stance outlined by the 'Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright' — consumer-friendly as it may seem in this new dynasty we have built of authorial pharaohs aspiring to legal immortality — and the most obvious reasonable course for a society of media-enriched brains. That is, if we are to avoid accidentally enslaving those brains by putting their entire store of cultural memory under lock and key.

[Published originally at The Laroquod Experiment.]

Who Accounts For the iPod touch Accountants?

The story goes that Apple has to charge for its recent software upgrade (1.1.3) for the iPod touch, despite the same upgrade (1.1.3) being free for all iPhone users, because the iPhone is accounted for on a subscription basis whereas the iPod touch is not, and according to accounting requirements in the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, without accounting for hardware products on a subscription basis, Apple can't upgrade them with new features unless it charges something for that upgrade.

Despite being complete bunk, this logic seems to have been largely accepted, even by its yes-but detractors, like Dan Moren of MacUser, who argued recently, 'Yes, but why did Apple have to charge a whole $20?' Or the Macalope, who, having disarmed the critics with his customary aplomb, set hoof on looser ground by arbitrarily deciding that "it all devolves into communism" — at exactly the moment the word 'iPod' is encountered.

But joking aside, precisely somewhere along the slippery slope of Apple's chiclet-coloured electronic devices, lies the answer to the real question raised by all of this regulatory handwaving. Where in its product line does Apple place the dividing line between 'subscribed' upgrades and pay-as-you-go, and why? I've read the thoughtless lumping in of the touch with the 'iPods', but common sense tells you when you look at this device that it is a gelded iPhone more than anything else. So, 'because it's an iPod' won't fly — and neither will, 'because of AT&T's subscription plan': the Apple TV, with no subscription plans but subscribed accounting, stands inconveniently in the way of that escape. (And it has nearly the same media sources and capabilities as the touch, to boot.)

There is just no contemplating these choices without perceiving how arbitrary they are. The question isn't, why did Apple comply with Sarbanes-Oxley? The question is why didn't they comply with it the same way they did the last two times (with the iPhone and the Apple TV)? Apple chose to charge us $20 because they chose to charge us $20. Because they clearly already knew what the implications of their accounting would be. Because they had already altered it in the past to avoid this very situation. And yet, here we are. Why?

  • UPDATE 08/02/14: Apparently, Apple is not comfortable giving some of its users the same arbitrary choice of whether to accept or refuse the upgrade. (Thought you weren't tied to a subscription plan with the iPod touch? Behold the the nag screen and think again.) Hopefully, these tales of woe are just unintentional glitches, because if they aren't; well, the word 'extortion' comes to mind.

Nine Ways Yahoo! Has Already Eviscerated Itself Better Than Microsoft Ever Could

1. Previewing a next generation beta mail interface that looks and moves like 300 lb. ass. Google walked an artful line with its first iteration of Gmail, introducing responsive AJAX code without sacrificing too much time in preload. It's a line that Yahoo! blundered right over as if it were never even there. Google saw what Yahoo! didn't — just because new tools give us the ability to recreate a desktop application within a browser, doesn't necessarily mean we should. There is a way to make smart choices about how much widgetry the web page loading experience can withstand. And then there's the Yahoo! way, which is more like backing up a dump truck to Outlook's output tray.

2. Allowing persistent lapses of server performance in a time of unprecedented competition. For the final couple of years I was a regular Yahoo! webmail user, successfully viewing my inbox was always a gamble, with failure annoyingly resistant to the repeated refresh. I have had other Yahoo! users complain to me about the same thing on different operating systems and ISPs, often when everything else on the web was working fine for them. Yahoo!'s one advantage over Gmail, at least in pre-beta form, was that it used to load more quickly and more reliably than Gmail — an efficiency gap that has since been thoughtlessly squandered ... in pursuit of what?

3. Sticking to the bloated old-school landing page. And not just sticking to it, but pushing it to improbable new weights, despite the obvious success of contrary trends...







4. Punting ad quality control. First, there was a flirtation with spyware pop-ups, which one could argue might be overlooked at any large advertiser, were it not for the inconvenient example of Google, where such things don't seem to happen. Then I hear from a client that he can't click new messages anymore in his Yahoo! mail. I tell him to try a different browser, to no avail. I have to turn off my ad-blocker to discover the annoying Rogers ad that drop-animates a mobile phone down over your browser window, and then disappears, leaving a large unclickable slab right over the top half of your incoming mail. Yahoo's advertising had rendered its own service inaccessible. Cue comical sound effect.

5. Hiding key features behind a subscription wall. Especially when the competition offers those same features for free. Gmail For Your Domain gives away what you as a small business need to set up a complete personalised email address and contact-sharing environment, something you'll pay a minimum of $35 a year to achieve with Yahoo. And then there are all the Google Apps to play with that come along for the ride — also free. Instead of taking these market-shifting challenges seriously, Yahoo! just attempted to worry more meat from its pre-existing userbase.

6. Retracting previously free features. Since the days of its very first 'look' (the look before the look that Yahoo! is now calling 'Classic'), Yahoo! Mail has offered free POP3 access (so that you can download your email with Outlook or Apple Mail, for example). That is, it has until the last few years, when they've been phasing it out behind the paywall. But only in some countries. Not in others. At best, it's confusing, and the marketplace routes around confusion. At worst, it's just insulting and unfair.

7. Ratting out Chinese dissidents. Twice.

8. Breaking Jumpcut. Jumpcut was a great video sharing site. It still looks great. The design is very clean and tasteful, in contrast to the standard YouTube-inspired 'Computer Shopper' vibe. It has interesting remix features implemented in surprisingly snappy Flash. It also has a good creative community, and at the time I chose my video host (things appear to have changed since), it allowed more reposting freedom (such as on a blog) than YouTube. Then Yahoo! came along and bigfished Jumpcut. Their first executive decision was to immediately force my Yahoo! and Jumpcut IDs into a shotgun marriage. And now some of my movies that previously played, don't anymore — on any browser, Mac or PC, and I find myself contemplating the even-biggerfishing that may be to come, and mentally adding up the time it will take me to move my whole library of videos to another service.

9. Exhibiting general cluelessness. It's not just that Yahoo! stumbles, it's the way they stumble. Except for their early fortuitous (but as it turned out, not sufficiently deep) concentration on search, they have consistently played follow-up and missed the point of new trends in such a way that they often bob left when they should be weaving right. It's an excruciating thought-process to watch: They want Web 2.0, do they? We'll give 'em Web 2.0! We'll give 'em whatever they want! I don't wanna hear about throwing more resources after speed and efficiency on the old system, cuz 2.0's where it's at! Okay wait, revenue's down? Just add more link spam to the home page. We need to be cross-promoting these assholes up the yin-yang. And if they want the good shit, let 'em pay. And get more ad revenue, too, I don't care what you have to do. We got a hole in the budget a mile wide from all the AJAX programmers we're burning through. What do you mean China's on the phone? We're running a business here! Just give 'em whatever they want!