Friday, April 9, 2010

Cheap for Cheapness's Sake

Sometimes you just get some great content out of the RFD forums!

The context around this pic is about someone complaining that the xbox360 only has 3 USB ports and not 4.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On The Internet, No One Knows You're A Dog...Wait...

How Google Could Lose to Bing While Doing Everything Right!

I love Google,
I think their products are great, and I practically live off! Although some are just not right for me, I always have Gmail, Gcal, Greader, Gtalk and often Gdocs opened in FireFox. I use Google as my search engine, and I'm excited about getting into betas for new hot Google products that might be awesome.

I think about those around me, my friends, colleagues, and peers. Those who aren't too much younger would probably have had similar experiences, growing up under Microsoft's looming shadow, being afraid that if you misspoke of Bill Gates, a satellite would fire a laser down from the heavens and incinerate you; quietly dreaming of revolution. Now some of those people went off to live in Linux world, strongly heralding open source and free. They were the hackers and tinkerers, they found a new free world, not perfect, but theirs to construct. Then there were those who took the plunge into the overpriced and trendy MacWorld. They didn't generally play games so it wasn't a huge hurdle.

I always looked for reasonable alternatives that met my needs, but I couldn't go Linux, no matter how much I wanted to, and I wouldn't dare step into the hypocrisy of Apple. It doesn't matter how flashy your commercial is, being able to rip, burn and word process is still fucking lame no matter how you sex it up. I always had this notion of hating Microsoft (not only just because, but as they did cause a lot of grief with their products), and I knew a LOT of other people did, so I begrudgingly used their products and complained. There were no viable alternatives for me being a gamer and mass downloader. My first big taste of freedom was when FireFox was released and I made the switch. I became such a huge advocate of it (and to an extent I still am) and would urge others to switch out of crappy IE land. When I started going Google, I found it was great; a new saviour, huge and *Not Evil*. I was able to Rebel against the Microsoft and avoid using their products! I could use Firefox, I could use Gdocs(although Docs still has a few shortcomings), I could escape hotmail, msn messenger; I could start to live in the browser...a non Microsoft browser!

I don't really hate Microsoft anymore, I understand their business a lot better, their ISV system is brilliant, I love the Xbox and now they are starting to become something of an underdog, if you can believe that. There is a lot of talk of the encroaching market cap of Apple compared to Microsoft, there is increasing talk of Apple becoming the biggest, best, and most awesome company out there, and I hate it, I hate Apple with a passion brighter than a thousand suns. I hate what they do, what they stand for, how they act, and how they make their fans react. I'm actually more inclined to root for Microsoft just to make them come back and crush Apple, although I know it's not going to happen any time soon, I think it'll probably just get worse before it gets better.

I know in reality that Apple can never overtake Microsoft the way people think (or wish) they can. They absolutely need Microsoft; Apple is the more expensive and cool option, they aren't meant for everybody, and not everyone can afford it. There has to be a cheaper and more common option for them to price and position against. I'm also pretty sure the multi-billion dollar hardware market will want to fuck Apple's shit up for ruining their party.

Anyways, we all have our allegiances to one OS or another, to open source, sexy vs utility, etc. Think of how we grew up and got where we are today, how many of us broke out of the Microsoft shadow, we rebelled and found something cooler, something better, something more functional or elitest. It was generally "try to escape the giant and laugh as they die for being so shitty and aggravating and for ruining our lives".

A lot of us found Google and loved it, we knew what kind of company they are, their philosophies, their better products and we are happy with where we settled. But what about the children?

Funny enough type the phrase "won't somebody" into Google and look at the first auto-complete result!

I find it interesting to think we grew up as the children of the big, bad, unstoppable Microsoft, and we rebelled, maybe because we hated them, maybe because it was the cool thing to do, maybe because we wanted to be more unique, maybe we wanted to find a real contender with a better product, or maybe we just wanted to rebel (we were probably teens at the time if you are my age).

When children born now or several years ago grow up, what will they do? Will they see Google as the new Microsoft? Will they rebel to other offerings not as big? Maybe they'll go to Bing, "this 'Microsoft' company who's fighting to take it to Apple", seemingly a good cause, the underdog.

Even if Google appears to live the *Don't be Evil* mantra, much unlike Microsoft, kids and teens will rebel, they'll want to use something other than their parent's browsers, or what everyone else is doing. They won't realize we already went through that fight and picked the "good guys", they won't know the history, they'll just see Google is everywhere, Google is great, Mom, Dad, Teacher, they all love Google. "I think Google is over rated and stupid, lets find the new, true, winner! The real contender!" By this time, there will be enough speculation about what Google is secretly doing, that they really are *evil*, that they are fucking with counties (China, etc.) and trying to make too much information public. They'll be enough blog fodder out there to feed any paranoid conspiracy seeking kid's dreams. They might not know better, but they'll think they do (how many of you thought you were so much smarter at that age?) and they'll base their choices off of their perceptions.

Google will turn around one day and say What the Fuck?! Where did all of our traffic go and why is Bing growing? Who the hell likes or uses Microsoft? How can we possibly be facing the same problems they had? We all grew up under that shadow fighting to do it "right" from the start, to make up for their mistakes! We grew a monopoly-like giant, but with competitors, so it's ok. They'll be confused.

I wonder if this will happen. Does history repeat itself? Are teens always going to be "teens"? or will kids live in tubes sharing every moment of their physical activity on Google Physiology and loving it? Will they believe the stories told by their parents about Microsoft's tyranny?

It will be intriguing to find out, to see if the mighty can fall for no reason apart from a generation that is no more rebellious than the last, but much more empowered.