ranting about words

So two hours ago I'd read something about the Iphone app publisher Tapulous, where it's mentioned that by raising the priceof a game from $0 to $.99 the install rates dropped by 95 percent. That seemed like a pretty extreme drop off to me for what is basically pocket change, but then I got to work and I forgot about it until just now reading something called the Penny Gap , where the gap between paying $0 and $0.01 basically defies macroeconomic theory, because it describes a demand curve that is basically nonlinear.

So I think that's pretty interesting and keep reading until I get to:
"I wanted to be sure I was clear on one point. I am not advocating the death of premium services. Nor am I stating that "free" is the penultimate business model. "

ARRRRRRRGH stopstopstopstopit penultimate does not mean "Rilly Rilly Rilly Like Super-Ultimate."
I can't read any more now because I can't take this person seriously.  I gave up on a podcast a couple weeks ago where they decided that infamous meant "Rilly Super-Famous".  I need professional help.


free legal advice

Jim came home from Employment Law class last night with a piece of wisdom which I'll share:

If you are going to say stupid (i.e. actionable) stuff about an employee, don't do it over corporate e-mail.

It begins.

Having just gone to the store up the street for my obligatory caffeine shot, I see that Death Flurries 2007 are well underway.
This is exciting stuff, as evidenced by the several days of buildup in the local media.

What a day this has been. What a rare mood I'm in.

So, I knew Saturday was off to a roaring start when at 10 AM I was standing at my front door engaged in conversation with Jehovah's Witnesses on the veracity of the Bible.  "Engaged" would be an overstatement, and anyway, as soon as I saw the copies of the Watchtower, I cranked the normally-submerged Kentucky accent -way- the hell up, because sometimes, with evangelists, it helps shorten the conversation because they figure I'm on their team. 

What I told Jim I wanted to say, when this whole Scientific Factual Inerrancy bit came up, is hey, does it really matter?  Seriously?  I never understand this, and never understood it back when I was a practicing Baptist.  The parts of the religion that -matter- have basically nothing to do with whether or not the universe was created in six days or whether the Flood happened, or the Resurrection was literal, and for some reason this is the stuff that evangelical Christians seem to really want to focus on.  It's never anything practical like, will meditating on this stuff give me a sense of purpose or make me a better person or more humble or anything like that.  Which I would think would be a lot more relevant in a person's daily life than whether evolution is just a theory.  But OK, here we go, and now I have my own special pamphlet describing how a book written over a 1500 year period is error-free.  Including the Gospels which were written some 50 years after the fact and not by the apostles they're named after, and including the fact that the whole thing had to get reviewed by the Council of Nice who may possibly have had ulterior motives.  But enough on that.

So then an hour later I go to my guitar lesson which is held in a small practice room in a guitar shop.  It's fairly typical to have a half-dozen people noodling around on the guitars in the shop and generally making it hard to hear without closing the door of the room which makes it stuffy.  I mention this whole JW interlude to the instructor, who says that his wife always deals with the Mormons because she likes to yell at them.  He also said that when someone asks if he has a personal relationship with Jesus, he says, "Oh, yeah, I think I know the dude.  Skinny middle eastern guy, with a beard?  Walks around in sandals a lot?"  So after more of this back and forth while tuning up, I notice the whole area next to the guitars by the practice room, which had some half dozen people twanging away five minutes earlier, plus a guy with his kid, is completely cleared out.  Which I have never seen happen in the whole time I've been there.  I really wasn't trying to be insensitive or irreverent, but I do believe I managed to clear out the room that way.

  • Current Mood
    amused amused

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What would Kubrick do?

So, in the ongoing battle behind this wet-behind-the-ears ooh-look-new-technology-shiny-shiny fanboy and my division at work, the golden boy is going to teach us how to build a build.
Now, his build process is a lot faster than ours, but it gives incorrect results about half of the time.
This doesn't really impress my coworkers for obvious reasons, but he's decided that the problem is a "training issue" which is a euphemism for "the end user is dumber'n a box of rocks and needs Special Help".  This end user was building software back when the Unix "make" command was the only game in town, but that's not important right now. 

Anyhoo, he's going to lecture to us for an hour on how to do things The Right Way.   I predict carnage when he starts copping attitude with the guy who's about twenty years his senior.
The conference room chosen is the one known as the War Room.
So now I have to spend an HOUR resisting the urge to say, "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here!  This is the War Room!"  This will not end well.

make it stop.

So, the final class for my masters degree is Technical Communication.  A couple oral presos which are to be videotaped and critiqued, a 10 page paper, a midterm, a final.

So far, it is light -n- fluffy.

Last week was a meeting in the library to convey to us what the resources of the library are, and what is meant by a "peer reviewed journal".
This week, was a punctuation-fest in class, followed by a trip to the library to research what is meant by MLA versus APA citations and to try to find an example of each.  Working in groups.  At one point we also had an editing exercise wherein I had to tell people what "passive voice" is and what a preposition is. 

If I were paying for this, and not my employer, I would no doubt be pissed.   As is, I need the oral presentation experience and I am endeavoring to be Zen about the whole thing.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

heard on the radio between songs.

"Yeah, I'm painting my daughter's room, it's going to be pink and have a princess theme, so can you play House of the Rising Sun and keep my spirits up?"

"OK, sure.  I'm going to try not to think about you fixing up your little girl's room and asking me to play a song about a whorehouse.  I'm just gonna play The Animals for you.
  • Current Mood

Why Johnny, I mean Management, can't write

This in an email from my boss:

Below are some great comments from [CEO].  Please review and
promote in the socialization of this directive- do I hear cheering?

This is part of the attached email from his boss:
"I am convinced we need to accelerate the process of organizational
change as it regards quality and we need to see a significant change in
our approach as a team in order to see improvements in quality anytime
soon. "
OK.  Here's what I don't understand.  It takes twice as much effort to misuse the language in this fashion.  It takes twice as long.  It makes less sense and often it sounds less decisive.  Why, then, does management persist in doing it?  I've read some pretty convoluted language - you'll see all sorts of subordinate-clause and passive-voice abuse as a German minor.  But Kafka at least was readable.  In the above exchange I don't even have any idea what they're trying to say.  Not for lack of trying, either.  I thought management was supposed to be better with the communication skills than engineers, but apparently not.