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14 January 1999
There ain't none too high
If I'm up for the climb
I'll go zero to sixty
And stop on a dime
-- "Noise Brigade", The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Let's Face It

Now...This: Don't get too close to 'The Thin Red Line'
At some point in a too-confusing film, you stop thinking 'I don't get it yet, so I must just be dense' and conclude 'This filmmaker really isn't that good at telling a story'.

BugNet, a bug-tracking site, has declined to give an award for the best bug-fixing this year. Seems there's just not anyone doing very well at making their software work as advertised:
  • No BugNet Annual Award For 1998 [BugNet, link seen on Slashdot]
    BugNet's data indicates that bug fix rates have declined with every new mass market version of Windows. The bug fix rate for Windows 3.x (OS and apps) was/is higher than for Windows 95, and Windows 95's bug/fix rate was/is higher than Windows 98. In other words, in a broad sense across the industry, a lower percentage of bugs are being fixed with each new generation of Windows.
Microsoft FrontPage has always seemed to me to be a pretty diabolical HTML editor; they present ample evidence to support that instinct:
[from the same page]
As soon as one of our Internet Service Providers (ISPs) upgraded to Microsoft FrontPage 98 extensions, the Buzz Table of Contents would spontaneously delete itself every few days ... Microsoft's heavy thinkers took a lot of BugNet's time and the time of our ISP gathering data on the problem, but after a month of study they came back with word they couldn't figure it out. Sorry, next please. was no concern to Microsoft that its product did not perform as advertised, or that the aforementioned failure had cost us a significant portion of our business. They simply went straight ahead selling FrontPage 98 on the promise that it would allow users to create stable threaded discussion groups. Earlier this year, BugNet discovered a bug in FrontPage which allowed the users to delete his entire hard drive -- including Windows itself -- without a clear warning. This was the single most destructive bug we've ever encountered -- an application CLEARLY can't be allowed to delete the OS it is running under -- but Microsoft's response was that this was a feature, not a bug.
Apple keeps on raking it in: Hm, think I'll get me a blue G3 tower. :)
St. Louis is preparing for the Pope's visit later this month; local media is going "All Pope, All the Time":
  • Chalice Aforethought [Riverfront Times, link seen on Obscure Store]
    "You can't sell the pope," says KMOX (1120 AM) news director John Butler, pointing out the obvious tackiness of trying to do so. He says that local media will probably be approaching larger corporations to tastefully underwrite some coverage. Rather than have four cameras each from five different news stations, each station is taking a stop on the pope's tour and providing pictures for all the other news outlets -- local, national and international ... [E]ach station will be reimbursed by other stations that pick up the feed, thus minimizing costs somewhat.
His parade route will be right along my commute to WU. Hmmm....take the day off?
Cute Rose:
Worked a little on site design today, though most of it was for the 'writing' section. Profuse apologies for the horrid navigation between site pages; I'll fix it someday soon, I promise!
Yes, I do intend to explain why I chose "Now...This" as the site identity... Yes, it does have to do with Neil Postman... I even have reprint permission already from Scott McCloud for one of his comics pages I'll be using as an exhibit... But, it'll be a fairly lengthy essay and I haven't yet fully digested Postman's related book Amusing Ourselves to Death... so... it'll be done when it's done. Just wanted you to know my intentions.
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