Dumb Ideas


A shortlist of the dumbest things I've seen in a while (besides all the patent issues floating around, of course):

  • Atom. It messed up the whole RSS scenario without providing substantial benefits to anyone but its proponents. For that alone, it tops this list.
  • CSS hacks - I know every web designer worth his/her salt spends 90% of the time working around browser bugs, but it's plain wrong. That and IE-only JavaScript, but hey, there's no known cure for stupidity.
  • Anonymous DSL - Spammer heaven, security nightmare.
  • Mixing politics and tech - I meet a new zealot every day, so this is always fresh in my mind.
  • Microsoft's EU Troubles - doubly dumb, on either side: Microsoft keeps doing the "embrace, extend and rule them all" strategy (by making IE and Media Player "critical components" of its operating system), and the EU only got their act together when it's almost impossible to undo the damage caused. But then, the US did no better, and they were on their home turf.

Cool Concepts

  • Mono, despite the obvious futility of reinventing Java all over again (but then, .NET started it) - It is one of the few Open Source projects around that has the potential to be as disruptive (in a positive, evolutionary way) as Linux, but with a lot more common sense thrown in. The fact that Gnome is closely coupled to it is also reassuring, since they're a lot more level-headed than the KDE fan crowd and actually care about usability in applications (rather than lots of buttons and fancy theming).
  • Real CameraPhones like the SonyEricsson/S700, which is previewed here - Expect small, simple phones with high-resolution screens and cameras to outsell "smart" phones next Xmas by around ten times - people don't want smartphones or PDAs, they want reliable (and fun) technology.
  • Nokia/Lifeblog, which keeps popping up in the news. It's cool, trendy, the ultimate moblogger tool, etc. - the only thing we don't know yet is if it will really be successful.
  • Simple To Understand Data Service Pricing like T-Mobile's - GPRS/3G and Wi-Fi with unlimited access for a fixed monthly fee. Now that mobile operators are finally becoming ISPs, this is one sure way to foster mobile data adoption (I'm not saying it's the best, though).
  • Trek-Like Communicators like Vocera's Wi-Fi intercom system - they've been focusing on the US health market, but I've been tracking them for a couple of years now and they're news again. Trouble is, it only works fine for closed user groups - let's see if PoC can take over. Beam me up, Scotty!

And that's all for today. Expect a couple of longer features during the next few days.


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