USPS – Another Broken Wheel

USPS logo
Like the elevator, the Unites States Post Office has to be reinvented because it sucks. Every single one of them.
I been to enough of them enough times to know something is very wrong with them. The constant long lines, the delays. As you sit and slowly come to a boil with the other customers in line you can start to see very clearly how both customers and postal employees can ‘go postal‘.
If you’re ever in the unfortunate situation where you have to go to the United States Post Office, do yourself a favor and bring a PSP, book or yo-yo for entertainment while you wait in postal purgatory for your turn.

Anti-Social Media …. Wisdom in Crowds?

In one corner we have this article by Andy Rutledge:

The wisdom of crowds, consumer–generated ads, news importance selected by the masses, infotainment… New media today is for the people, by the people. The Web employs this model with increasing saturation, but it’s not just the Web that is doing so. All media, many large businesses, and most of the newly forming cultural mechanisms are adopting this nonsense.

… and in this corner we have CNET’s article (found via

If a war in the Middle East is seen as likely, for instance, oil prices will probably increase. Hayek’s insight showed that the results can be surprisingly accurate, as long as enough people are allowed to wager real money on the outcome.
Prediction markets
Now, technology firms are using a modern twist on this idea, called prediction markets, as a way to save money, harness the distributed knowledge of their rank-and-file employees, and even answer questions like: When will this software ship? And what will memory prices be like in a few months?

Microsoft WPF/E – Truly UNRevolutionary Technology

Ok, no long-winded Microsoft-bashing on this post, I’ll just cut right to it – Microsoft is developing a competitor to Flash. The technology has a beautifully ambiguous name: WPF/E.
For more info read ScottGu’s entry on it (found via Sitepoint).
If you’d like to bore yourself, you can watch a video of Joe Stegman from Microsoft describing this truly breakthrough technology.
In the video they say the word ‘XAML’ about a trillion times (pronounced “ZAMYL”). It gets annoying real quick. I Iove how he explains plug-in technology, with terms like “object and embed tags” and what a browser does went it’s presented with an unknown plug-in. I understand all this, it’s almost 2007 and over 95% of people have Flash Player 7 You don’t need to tell me about plug-in technology.
Guys, it’s not ZAML, it’s XML. Microsoft is basically going head-to-head with Adobe Flex/Flash (view samples of Flex apps here), providing a framework for developers to work within when developing online applications.
Microsoft, what would be a compelling reason for me to start working with WPF/E when I and millions of other people can do it in Flash? Not only that, but Flash is constantly evolving and making improvements with each new version.
Microsoft is coming on to the scene late with an average product the same way it’s doing with Zune.

Microsoft Expression

Well, well. If this ain’t something. Why does all Microsoft work feel devoid of any kind of life? They seem to have put a pretty packaging on their software, but it feels more like they put lipstick on a pig. Were you guys all out of the brown you used on the Zune?
I’m surprised I even found this product, since there’s no apparent marketing push for Expression, but that’s what they did with Zune, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
I say good luck to you Microsoft, I’m sure you’ve worked long and hard to put together a suite of tools that integrate well with each other and I’m sure it in no way looks like derivative Adobe/Macromedia software.
I also say good luck to your battle for supremacy with the Zune against the Apple iPod.
…and the 360 against the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii.
…and MSN search & MS Office with Google Search, Google Docs, Gmail, and everything else Google’s kicking your ass at.