Posted on February 10th, 2008 by Richard Catto 4,218 views
It actually doesn’t matter if Microsoft buys Yahoo! or Yahoo! buys Microsoft or they give each other to the other in holy matrimony because at the end of the day they are both very crap companies.
The big difference between them is that Microsoft still makes huge annual profits (last year it was over $16 billion) while Yahoo! is on a sharp decline. It’s share price has halved in the past two years down to under $20 from $40.
Google’s profits last year are also less than expected.
The only company doing really well financially still is Microsoft. Financially, Microsoft is very stable due to its Windows and Office products. Vista sales are up. The financial future remains rosy for Microsoft.
So if this is the situation, why does Microsoft want Yahoo?
I believe it is out of fear of what Google might do to undermine Microsoft’s core business in the future.
Fact is, Google is already undermining Microsoft’s Office product with its online Google Documents service.
If you compare Google’s online web 2.0 services with Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s then Google’s are superior except in one instance – Yahoo’s flickr.com is better than Google’s Photos (Picassa Web Albums).
Yahoo’s 360 and MSN Spaces are both shit blogging platforms. Blogger rules them. In turn, Blogger is ruled by self-hosted WordPress blogs.
Google’s gmail rocks Yahoo mail and hotmail into the garbage tip.
Anyone I’ve ever introduced to gmail has ended up dumping both yahoo and hotmail for gmail. The only hottentots who refuse to get with the gmail program are those poor technically challenged neaderthals who still crave their daily Microsoft Outlook fix. I pity those poor bastards.
What else you got? Search? Hahahaha!!! Yahoo and MSN are both useless at search and since they still haven’t been able to engineer a new search service that puts Google’s in the shade in the 10 years that Google has dominated the field, we can safely assume that they will never achieve that Herculean feat. It is simply beyond them. They have no clue how to build a better search engine. Or they would have done it already.
Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live both have more chatters than GoogleTalk has. GoogleTalk only does text chat and voice whereas both the former offer video as well. Thing is, based on extensive use by myself over the past few years, I can quite confidently assure you that you will get no better VoIP voice quality than via GoogleTalk. Even the much venerated skype is shit. For vid conferencing I find Windows Live the best at the moment. Thing is, Google is so good at producing quality services that I expect that when they do release a Vid service on GoogleTalk that it will knock the socks off all competitors.
I believe that the best company to buy Yahoo! is in fact Google, because Google knows how to make web 2.0 services work and be financially viable. Microsoft is clueless and Yahoo is trailing Google in its core competencies.
If this Microsoft buys Yahoo! deal goes ahead, Yahoo! will be obliterated by a clueless, clumsy and outclassed Microsoft.
Microsoft is a bad company with a lot of cash and an installed base that feeds it – for now. However, at some point, I believe Microsoft and ALL its technologies will be wiped out by better Open Source Software products.
I strongly believe that young people should not invest their time learning Microsoft developer technology skills. They should invest themselves in the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform. Businesses building in-house software systems on the Microsoft platform will regret it.
Posted on December 1st, 2007 by Richard Catto 1,919 views
This is becoming a big problem now.
You actually take the trouble to write original content and publish it on your blog, and then a bunch of sploggers come along and scrape your blog content and display GOOGLE ADVERTS next to the scraped content, and receive MONEY from GOOGLE for revenue derived from YOUR CONTENT.
Some bloggers have actually taken the trouble to complain to Google about this by clicking on the report violation link of the GOOGLE ADSENSE advert.
In response, Google sends the complainant a standard email telling the person that they need to make a sworn statement in writing and then either snail mail or fax the statement to Google. Google also cites the American DMCA legislation in its standard reply.
I don’t think Google appreciates the problem. It’s incredibly EASY to become a splogger. And if one splog gets shut down, another one can be created in a heartbeat.
So having to go to a whole lot of trouble to get a splog shut down and its adsense account terminated is enabling them to continue.
It must be easy to shut down a splogger. It must be easy to get their Google Adsense account terminated. The sploggers can then be blacklisted from opening another adsense account, making it DIFFICULT for them to earn money off OUR hard labour.
What do we need to do to convince Google to take this issue seriously and get serious about combating sploggers?
Perhaps a nude sit in on their business premises?
Posted on November 22nd, 2007 by Richard Catto 3,544 views
A few days ago I came across this seminal Wired article on The Nature of Online Deception. Read it. It could save your life, and I mean that quite literally.
This story was found in the blog of fellow stumbler, anitab.
This is a story of rank deception. All the key players lied their arses off.
Beginning in early 2005, an American, name of Thomas Montgomery, a 45 year old factory worker, husband to Cindy and father to two young teenaged daughters, logged onto an Internet site and set up two fake profiles. He decided that he would be Tommy, an 18 year old marine, preparing to ship out to Iraq and Tom Sr, his own online daddy. In other words, he lied his arse off, and what do you know, he caught in his net, another liar.
The liar he caught was 45 year old Mary (surname naively withheld by duped online publications) masquerading as 18 year old blonde tanned Jessi. She was able to keep up this masquerade quite easily because Jessi was her real life 18 year old daughter, who was the source of the never ending videos and pics of "herself" that she sent to gullible online suitors.
Mary was the true mother from hell. Not only did she clandestinely adopt and usurp her daughter’s identity online, she also supplied at least two men with photos of her daughter in a bikini plus she shipped her daughter’s underwear (several of Jessi’s g-strings) to the men she conducted online romances with.
And none of them would ever have known of her utter duplicity had not a man gotten killed over her.
On September 15 2006, Thomas Montgomery fired three shots from a high powered rifle into Brian Barrett, 22, while Barrett was sitting in his pickup truck outside his place of work, killing him.
The details of the story make fascinating reading, and you can satisfy your morbid curiosity by following the link above, but the basic outline is this:
Montgomery created two online aliases for himself and proceeded to use them in an elaborate relationship ruse with Jessi, a woman he believed to be 18 years old. Montgomery’s elaborate deception was first discovered by his wife Cindy in February of 2006, when she came across Jessi’s g-strings. Once she had unravelled the whole sordid mess, she contacted Jessi (aka Mary) and told her Tommy’s (and Tom Sr’s) true identity.
Ironically, this revelation blew Mary’s mind and she sought to confirm this information with Brian, a work collegue of Montgomery’s, whom Montgomery had introduced her to. I say ironically, because, of course, Mary was deep into deception herself. Brian confirmed everything that Cindy had told her.
Soon Mary and Brian were conducting a romantic online relationship themselves, with Brian all the while believing that he was talking to an 18 year young woman, not a fat pudgy over the hill 45 year old psychotic lying bitch. Montgomery was furious when he discovered that "his" Jessi was now involved with his work friend.
Rather foolishly, in hindsight, Jessi and Brian added fuel to the fire by taunting Montgomery online, calling him a "child predator". Jessi even went so far as to share her account password with Brian, who then used Jessi’s account to chat to Montgomery pretending to be Jessi, in order to further humiliate Montgomery. They got Montgomery suspended from a game room. Barrett also spoke about the situation at work.
Not a smart move humiliating Montgomery was it, Brian? Got your motherfucking ass killed, didn’t it?
Okay, so one stupid 22 year old kid got his ass waxed, and one deranged 48 year old former family man got himself 20 years in the slammer. And the woman? She got off scot free. No charges have ever been preferred against her.
So what can WE learn from this whole sordid little affair?
A Russian proverb ("doveriai, no proveriai") famously used by Ronald Reagan during the Cold War springs immediately to mind – "Trust but Verify".
Mary was able to convince even an out of state policeman that she was 18 year old Jessi over the phone. That policeman then dispatched a local police officer to inteview Jessi and it was at that point that the ruse was uncovered, because 18 year old Jessi was nowhere to be found. The only person at the telephone number was this 45 year old woman, Mary.
So there’s your answer – you have to meet in person. Alternatively hold your conversations via webcam, because it is frankly impossible to spoof a live video conversation.
And for god’s sakes, don’t humiliate your work colleagues. They might just shoot you.