I had a lot of random things floating around on my mind this week, so I decided to consolidate them into a single post, a la Kent Tegels' digital doggie bags. I threw myself on the sword and excluded it from the main feed too. 😉
#1: Amazon glitch exposes anonymous reviewers; authors plug own works
(Hrm, that reads like an un-funny onion headline. “Area author reviews own book”.)
From Chris Sells, I saw this article about how a bug in Amazon's Canadian site exposed how some authors were writing positive reviews of their own books. Interestingly enough (to me at least), the article focuses entirely on the authors and the practice themselves, with only a passing quote about the bug that caused this to happen in the first place. I, on the other hand, am really curious: what caused this? I love to understand the coding mistakes behind these types of problems.
#2: Before I give you the stuff, you gotta give me the stuff
Rory rants (as does Techdirt) about companies who require you to give too much demographic information before they let you download their bits. First off, I completely and totally agree. There are some third party vendors to certain Microsoft products who require this before downloading whitepapers and it drives me nuts. Yes, I have throwaway email addresses and am perfectly happy filling out their form and telling them that I'm an 82 year old man in Shampoo-Banana with bunions, but it's the principle of the thing.
But... I'm currently working on a project where I'd like to help hook up Exchange customers with each other, get more of my customers involved in communities such as user groups. And in order to do that, I'd need to know where they are, and how to contact them... so I do have some sympathy for those organizations who want to collect such information.
On a side note, I was discussing this project with a vendor who will be developing a website for me, and they talked about email campaigns they had done for another customer of theirs. “Where'd you get the list of email addresses?” I naively asked. “There are companies that provide them... we can get lists of Exchange customers, for example.” A chill ran up my back... me, on the Exchange team, using email marketing? EEK.
I told her there would be no need for “email campaigns”. We'll just have to advertise the site through other means, such as oh, I don't know... blogs? Crazy idea, I know. Y'all promise to sign up once we're live, right? Right? Hello? Anyone there?
#3: The geek gets the guy/girl
Peter rants (well, blogs) about stupid predictable movies. In response, I will plug Not Another Teen Movie. It was surprisingly decent (if you were expecting it to be horrible, that is.) By “surprisingly decent” I mean it's worth putting on your netflix queue if you have a plan that lets you have 3 or more movies out at a time. If you have a plan where you get only two movies out at a time... well that's a judgement call.
The plot is of course, vapid... attractive jock man gets dared by his friends to transform ugly girl into pretty girl. When they choose the girl for him, he protests this impossible task by saying: “No, not Janey Briggs! She's got... glasses. And a... ponytail!“. Queue laughter.
Eric also recently talked about some funnystupid movie quotes.
#5: It's a fake! He's reading left to right, not up to down!
#6: Just wait until you're holding him up in the air right above you, and he... well, I won't spoil it for you.
FurryGoat just had a “kid“ and is blogging about it. BTW, IronyCentral is a great site about a geek having and raising a baby.
And on the subject of baby-rearing books, when I was pregnant, I stopped reading WTEWYE when I got to the part where it talks about the proper diet for a caring mother-to-be, and it says (paraphrasing from memory here): “Once a week, treat yourself to something you really shouldn't have... like a bagel.“ Gimme a break.
#7: Link to NYTimes articles that don't require registration
#8: Exchange mailing lists
Neil Hobson lists some of the Exchange/Outlook mailing lists. I'm a member of most of them, but lately I've been spending less time answering questions there (got plenty coming in via this blog anyway) and more time completing action items, forcing functions, producing deliverables and causing threadectomies (a new microspeak term that a coworker came up with, describing what happens when someone replies to something other than the most recent message in a thread and forks the thread).