Assimilated and illogical, or how we really feel about LinkedIn and Windows 8

Also, how to resist the DRM borg and more 23rd-century wisdom, all from Captain Cringely's starlog

Fast and furious -- it's not just the name of a crappy movie series starring Vin Diesel and The Rock; it's also an apt description of my email inbox these days. Here are some of the messages that have been zooming by at 100mph.

Windows H8

In my most recent piece about Windows 8 ("Windows 8 as New Coke? That's an insult to New Coke"), I bemoaned the lack of Windows Phone apps for my HTC Win 8X handset -- specifically Pandora, Roku, and TiVo.

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Reader C. S. correctly points out that the WinMo Market does offer an Pandora app for Windows 8. Oddly, it doesn't show up when I search for "pandora" on my phone -- unless I add a space after the word. (Other Pandora options, mostly music and podcasts, show up without the space.) Someone please riddle me that.

My larger point -- that Windows 8 is yet another botched Microsoft attempt at marketing -- inspired a lively and occasionally heated discussion. Reader C. C. S. had this to say:

Microsoft has too many prestidigitators designing software. This time they designed a Magic Set for budding magicians with little to do but uncover hidden rabbits. Windows 8 should be renamed "Hide & Seek" or "Eight Ball"...

Why should anyone have to invest more time "studying" and navigating the Windows Operating System than the effort required for programs running in the Windows environment?

Unless you're one of those RTFM Microsoft fanboys, where studying the OS is the only fun they're ever likely to have.


I was, shall we say, less than kind to LinkedIn on the occasion of its 10th birthday earlier this month ("Happy birthday to LinkedIn, the biggest social network no one uses"). I guess I had a lot to get off my chest about the site, which has been exceedingly aggressive in building up its network to the point of being downright spammy.

K. L. J. wrote:

I just happened to stumble on [your]blog entry. It is both cynical and mildly funny, but it does touch on some of the things I find disconcerting about this supposedly "professional" network tool.... The longer I have browsed LinkedIn, the less I think it is useful for anyone other than those Extroverts in a marketing, IT or recruiting function. LinkedIn seems to be getting worse rather than better, IMHO.

Actually, "cynical" and "mildly funny" are two of the nicer things anyone has said about me lately -- so thanks for that.

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