Remembering 9/11

Seven years ago, I was in Atlanta at NetWorld+Interop to judge the show's product awards when the news of a plane hitting the World Trade Center broke. It seemed like a crazy accident. Then another hit. Then the buildings fell. And there were still planes in the air, still more potential targets.

We were sitting in a building with over 10,000 people directly across from the CNN center. We could have been a target. Wisely, we left the building and went back to our hotels, walking past hundreds of shocked Atlantans.

Two days later, I drove back up to Boston. Passing through New York, I smelled the sickening, acrid burning metal discharge from what used to be two majestic buildings holding nearly 3,000 important human lives.

Where were you on 9/11, and how did this day change your life? Memories welcome at [email protected].

VMware's Version of Patch Tuesday
VMware last week released a list of holes in its software, holes that support elevated privilege attacks, denial of service exploits and remote code execution.

Ultimately, holes in a hypervisor are more dangerous than a hole in an OS or application, as a single hypervisor supports many operating systems and applications.

Do you worry about hypervisor security? Fears and answers welcome at [email protected].

Calling All Vista Gurus
Microsoft will be pushing Vista hard this holiday season. It has new TV commercials and a big retail campaign coming. Part of the retail strategy is hiring hundreds of gurus to work in stores and talk to you all about Vista.

Then again, the word "guru" might be a little strong. If you're hiring hundreds of people to work in big electronics stores, you're not going to find too many true gurus. Trust me, I've met some Mac geniuses and their IQs are far from Mensan.

Want to read about real Windows gurus? Read my cover story here.

Oh, My. Microsoft Rejoins OMG!
Microsoft is clearly serious about interoperability. This week it announced that Windows Server will run under xVM, Sun's new hypervisor, and has crafted a bundle with Novell for SuSE to run under Hyper-V.

Now, on the software development side, Microsoft just rejoined the Object Management Group (OMG). This means that Microsoft's approach to software modeling could be compatible with Unified Modeling Language (UML) and with the ways others vendors approach the area.

Mailbag: Readers Review the Seinfeld Ad, More Thoughts on Chrome
Doug thought the recent Microsoft-Seinfeld ad was a flop, but a couple of you didn't think it was all bad. Readers share their mixed reactions:

You are absolutely right. It is a total bomb. When I saw it, my reaction was, "And?" I think it is about as big a non-ad as has ever wasted money and time. I've been a Windows user almost since Day One. That would be when I stopped using CP/M. I look for much more in my operating system and I want to see good ads, too. I am totally disappointed.

I enjoyed the TV ad and thought that Gates was as good a comic straight-man as some well-established comics. IMO, Gates trumped Seinfeld, indeed.

It made me want to go out and buy a pair of Conquistador shoes with Windows in the toes!

That commercial makes as much sense as the first release of Vista. Of course it's Microsoft's money, so if you don't like it, don't buy the stock.

I've heard and read a lot about the commercial being a flop, but I'm not so sure. I agree that the jokes were a bit flat. However, I think the ad brought a bit more human-ness to Gates and, with Seinfeld in the mix, makes Microsoft appear a lot more accessible/friendly to the general populace. To the audience it was geared (average Windows consumer), I believe it can probably be considered a success.

The simple image of Gates wiggling his rear end is something I could have gone without. The "good" of the commercial is that it is memorable; I won't forget Gates trying on shoes in a discount shoe store.

The moist cake is a reference to the Drake's Coffee Cake from the "Seinfeld" show. Same with the showering with clothes on; Kramer made his meals in the shower in one episode. For those that watched "Seinfeld," it was a great commercial. Bill Gates was funny, too.

I normally do not comment about anything that I see on the Web, even when asked. But I actually viewed that ad and have never seen anything more stupid in my life in regard to an advertisement for anything relating to a computer -- whether hardware or software. It was a better ad for shoes than anything else.

The commercial was horrible and was painful to watch, and I really did not get the point. I never thought Seinfeld was funny in the first place. That being said, I don't find the Mac commercials funny either (only dorky Mac users find them funny), but I must admit that they are very clever and are effective in giving PCs (and of course Windows) a perception that they are inferior to the Mac. Microsoft should probably hire the same people who market for Apple, whom I must admit have been very good at selling a "perception."

As for the ad, it's definite NYC humor, and since I'm from the other side of the Hudson, I get it. Friends in England and Ireland don't have a clue, but to them I just say, "NO SOUP FOR YOU."

A complete, total, stunning waste of money, time and talent. Pointless.

I would just like to say, "Where is the message?" What a waste of talent and money!

I thought it was really bad. I saw it twice before I even figured out what it was for. I thought maybe after Bill stepped down he needed a little extra cash so he moved to doing commercials.

I thought the ad was amateurish at 1:30 minutes. But I'll bet it will rock at 30 seconds once the lame parts are removed.

Since I'm not a fan of Seinfeld, my approach to the campaign is a great, big yawn. I am neither excited nor disappointed. To put it another way, I couldn't care less.

Clinical psychologists learn a lot about their patients by discerning what the patient finds funny or sad. I cannot understand what the fuss is all about.

The jury's still out on Chrome. Here are a few more of your thoughts on Google's browser:

I'm not sure if you are just getting desperate to defend Microsoft, or are just plain out of touch. Stop looking just in your Mailbag. Everyone I have talked to loves Chrome (including myself) for just one reason: It's fast, darn fast. It totally changes how you browse. For one thing, instead of keeping tabs open, you can just move on because you know that it will open again really fast. Its few minor problems are nothing compared to IE.

I was stunned to find no Google Toolbar functionality built into Chrome. Really! Don't Chrome developers know that there is such a thing? If they do, why did they ignore a massively downloaded add-on in the beta? If I go to download the Toolbar, the page thinks I'm a Firefox browser. Is this a case of 'IF NOT "IE" THEN "FIREFOX"' logic?

I liked the drag-tab-to-new-browser and drag-across-browsers features -- very nice for organizing. But hitting any MSN page invites slow-as molasses response times. Does MS look at the browser originating the request and "take its time"? I liked the download monitor tucked away on the page rather than a separate dialog box, and it was a faultless install after the download completed. The only page that broke was expected: internal system using ASP session state croaked with a Yellow Screen of Death. If they'd fix that, I'd be off IE in a hurry. Chrome really needs to pad its resume with gobs of add-ons like Firefox or it will likely remain a niche browser -- nice, clean, but undistinguished and uncompelling.

Has anyone read the EULA? Every bit of information produced by the Chrome browser is property of Google to use how it sees fit! Google has way to much information on us already. If you don't care about privacy, use Chrome.

And Fred tries to clear up a problem another reader had with trying to open two different Gmail accounts in Chrome:

To Earl, whose "head hurts," webmail accounts such as Gmail's or Worldnet's or AOL's all store your log-in credentials in one or more cookies. Different browsers store their cookies in different places. So Chrome stores Gmail's log-in credential cookies one place, while IE, Opera, Firefox and Netscape store them somewheres (plural intentional!) completely different.

Different tabs in the SAME browser for several Gmail log-ins won't work because the latest log-in wipes out the cookies for any earlier one. Different BROWSERS for several Gmail log-ins WILL work because the cookies for those log-ins are stored in different places. Hope that helps clear up Earl's headache.

Check in next week for more letters! In the meantime, tell us what you think by leaving a comment below or sending an e-mail to [email protected].

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


comments powered by Disqus