the tech blues

if i were to co-opt the blues for an album about the high-tech industry, here’s what it would look like:

  • telecom blues
  • dot-com meltdown blues
  • nasdaq blues
  • engineering blues
  • time to market blues
  • burn rate blues
  • inept ceo blues
  • sales cycle blues
  • restructuring blues
  • patent denied blues
  • technology induced existential crisis blues


below is a piece of spam i received at work today. from the looks of it they were intending it to be html mail, wherein the commented out bits of gibberish would be passed by the mailserver as non-spam, but would be parsed by the email program which would make the commented sections disappear. thus revealing the spam as normal. that’s my guess. regardless, i thought it looked rather neat:

Hello<!– ylp –>,
<!– huyiqy –>A few<!– dgruh –> days<!– kpzjqqsi –> ago,<!–
ixbwnmz –> we s<!– sa –>ent y<!– yxqdjnvx –>ou an<!– jvci –> emai<!–
hl –>l tal<!– vgee –>king <!– n –>about<!– hy –> how <!–
bozavf –>your <!– j –>PC’s <!– nqkskabm –>hard <!– taqc –>drive<!–
bel –> is p<!– wsqp –>ossib<!– wexosb –>ly in<!– xvzw –>fecte<!–
yrrvj –>d wit<!– ktxbyitxt –>h Spy<!– midqtawly –>Ware <!–
juunzf –>and/o<!– xabrvu –>r Adw<!– qjec –>are. <!– kawd –> This<!–
lcaguplg –> can <!– dv –>be ve<!– nksfk –>ry da<!– w –>ngero<!–
hmmakd –>us fo<!– vow –>r you<!– nmavtnzu –>r PC <!– alaqcsoj –>and
i<!– pjxwl –>s an <!– piswutp –>extre<!– rflf –>me in<!–
g –>vasio<!– cfvcb –>n of <!– hgeuv –>your <!– opbv –>priva<!–
zlzkt –>cy. <!– viiiwf –>SpyWa<!– jsytgilqm –>re an<!– glpya –>d/or
<!– tsa –>Adwar<!– ukewbn –>e are<!– pxlgtddjl –> file<!–
uvcrhtk –>s tha<!– ymef –>t com<!– hhf –>panie<!– yyyalhce –>s
ins<!– ygsxedhs –>tall <!– xb –>on yo<!– zxoztrzox –>ur PC<!–
jhzq –> with<!– peqyigtvl –>out y<!– rurqw –>our k<!–
ibpiruqhw –>nowle<!– cv –>dge s<!– eegn –>o the<!– hqzxjyoc –>y
can<!– fnv –> moni<!– w –>tor y<!– pun –>our I<!– f –>ntern<!–
kxb –>et ac<!– ldia –>tivit<!– ixhvc –>y. H<!– sogndei –>oweve<!–
bo –>r, in<!– qsjhaondg –> most<!– yrtpxro –> case<!– tohbv –>s,
th<!– gyfd –>ese f<!– njdbyxxvx –>iles <!– hkyojjdyb –>infec<!–
ba –>t you<!– hehd –>r PC <!– eiuzzgy –>and c<!– zo –>ause <!–
bgnxhoz –>your <!– vmk –>hard <!– aaet –>drive<!– knbckmgps –> to
c<!– jiv –>rash.<!– nojthwtqo –>
<!– gtx –>

daniel lanois and language use

daniel lanois has been getting a lot of press recently due to his new album and touring dates. the interviews have been kind of strange, however. one in the georgia straight was ok, but left me thinking lanois was a bit arrogant. whether or not this is the case is another matter.

the interview in the vancouver sun with kerry gold was very peculiar. i get the impression that she’s pleased to have gotten her fingers bitten by lanois. makes good copy. the article begins well enough, with gold praising lanois and outlining his career. at one point lanois makes a comment about being “drawn to greatness”. the reporter seems to think this means that lanois is a whore who will work for the most popular star of the moment. the interview goes all wrong.

from the way lanois was talking earlier in the interview it seems he was referring to being attracted to working with people like brian eno, who he cannot praise enough. in other words, lanois is “drawn to great musicians with great ideas” not “drawn to the bag of cash”.

gold suggests that lanois turned sour after lanois accused her of being part of the evil corporate radio machine (she works in print).

it looks like these two kids completely misunderstood each other on several points. feathers ruffled. guns were drawn. what could have been a solid interview gets flushed. lanois looks like an asshole. gold looks like she got the scoop. the reader isn’t impressed.

lesson learned: phone interviews are a dangerous sport. so are in-person and email interviews, but that’s another story.


“Vancouver bishop’s same-sex stand angers Third World primates”

how bloody funny is that? i was having a miserable morning after a crappy sleep, but this headline from the vancouver sun still made me chuckle. call me 12 years old, call me sarcastic. that is funny as hell.

you know that one of the folks at the sun was giving a poke with this one. yes, the fourteen african and asian anglican bishops may technically be primates, but it just sounds so funny. come on, there must be a few anglicans out there who couldn’t help but guffaw.

product placement

a bottle of wine greets us at the table. the first time i encountered this was at one of those middle-class restaurants attempting to make its customers feel high-class (milestones). my immediate response was repulsion. i wanted to avoid falling into the trap. i ordered tea.

i recall when a bookstore i worked at years ago began accepting advertising for its “end caps” (chapters). it seemed so crass and manipulative. we weren’t promoting good books, text we believed in, we were promoting whatever we were being paid to promote. this is, of course, the nature of business. people who open chain stores are not in business strictly because they enjoy the service industry or believe in their product. they are most likely in it for the money. this financial philosophy guides decision making and creates unease in the store, restaurant, etc when the customer becomes aware of the game.

the other thought conjured by the wine product placement was how the advertising might easily turn off a portion of their clientele. how about those who don’t drink because they are recovering alcoholics or those who are, say, muslim, and do not drink due to religious belief? the restaurant’s willingness to repel a portion of its customer base attests to the fact that they are more interested in dollars than creating a welcoming environment for anyone hoping to purchase a decent meal.

this considered, perhaps product placement that is sure to offend a certain percentage of your user base is not actually good business. this raises the question of what good business practices are, and opens up the doors for all sorts of social and moral subjectivities. it’s probably much easier in the long run to say screw it, and be a coarse, vulgar capitalist.