Headline Haiku

Iraq is Moot

It's not about Iraq
or weapons of mass destruction
It's about corporate empire
and America's function
in the new world order:

America on the top,
a “first among equals”
The world under our boot-

a Pax Romana sequel
called “America first.”

Or some other road less traveled
by the combat boot's sole
A shared security
A lesser role
on a road that may be harder

than one on which
we give all directions
but one where corporate interests
are tempered by dissention
and people come first.

It's not about Iraq
Saddam or the bomb
It's about McDonalds
versus the Imam
lucre or culture

Unilatateral Empire or
global democracy
“Liberating Iraq”?
Complete hypocrisy
Liberation by vulture.

buzzword compliance, General Chaos

Day old fish- 99% off

A picture named dedherring.jpgThe nearly last of the true New-Economy believers, Red Herring, is being shopped around after restructuring in December, reportedly for a $2 million asking price–when its owners once apparently rebuffed offers of 100 times that by Time Inc. (before Time bought Business 2.0.

Herring once boasted issues with 682 pages(that's a lot of lutefisk). I don't know how many pages it is now; I let my print subscription lapse long ago, around the same time Rafe Needleman got the heave-ho (though there's no particular connection between those two events).

RH survived the demise of Upside and The Industry Standard, but is apparently destined for the recycling heap. Fast Company and Wired seem to have transitioned from the New Economy zeitgeist with some pain, but in better shape than the spawning redfish, which now appears to be completing its lifecycle. Maybe they should have called the magazine “Red Salmon”–it seems to be getting devoured by the Bears like one.

buzzword compliance, General Chaos

Sun Going Supernova?

A lot of folks in thetech media, including yours truly, have speculated about the fate of Sun Microsystems. As someone who's dealt with Sun on many levels over the past 12 years, I think it's safe to say that Sun is not going to just roll over and go under the horizon anytime soon–it's just not their style, and they have too much cash in the bank to go out with a whimper.

The problems Sun faces are nothing new–they're just magnified by the current market climate. Somehow, the company managed to generate enough forward momentum during the dot-com boom to grow its business dramatically. But the company has never done an effective job of selling software. Now, with so much of its future riding on software,that's become a real big problem.

I drank the Java Kool-Aid a few years back when I took over a Java developers' magazine. J2EE did it for me; it was my belief in 1999 that the desktop was becoming more and more irrelavent from a business software point of view, and that Java offered the best path to the Web for business developers. But I never really completely bought Java as a desktop technology outside of a limited cross-platform development domain, and I didn't hold out much hope for Java on mobile devices and cell phones either.

Scott MacNealy firmed up my thinking for me when he dissed software as a business. “You don't buy software to control your right turn signal,” he said at a Gartner conference. Sun software execs winced.

MacNealy has never “gotten” software. He's a hardware guy. Java wasn't a product–it was, in the automobile industry's language (which MacNealy is so familiar with) “content”–another feature that would help Sun sell servers.

For all its work on Java, Sun never successfully produced a good set of developer tools for Java on its own–because, quite frankly, its development tools have always sucked (as anyone who has used Sun Workshop dev tools can testify to). This is why most Java development in the first few years of Java's history was done in vi (or, for the wannabes doing Java on Windows in the early days, Notepad). Sun acquired developer tools from Netscape, Forte (and Forte's tool is pretty good), but then it didn't know how to market them well.

To put it bluntly, as one Sun employee once said to me, “This company couldn't market its way out of a wet paper bag.” While it captured developer mindshare with Java, it failed to turn that mindshare into a lasting commercial relationship; instead, it has to rely on Java licensees to generate most of its Java bucks.

Then came XML, which, despite Sun's claims of intellectual authorship of XML, it failed to capitalize on XML or web services quickly. Theopen source community (and IBM) did much of the grunt work of making XML and web services connect to Java successfully. Software politics, intellectual property concerns, and plain old intrangisence managed to keep Sun away early and lock Sun out of the

General Chaos

Liar, Liar

You have to love this administration's ability to blatantly lieabout the economy, its “irrefutable proof” of Iraqi weapons…whatever, without any concern about being caught. And for the most part, they don't get called on it.

Um, not that any other president has ever, ever lied….

Sure, “Clinton Lied” yields about 5,980 hits on Google. “Bush lied”, by comparison, yields a paltry 1,310.

But Bubba lied subtly by comparison. Dubya's folks don't lie under questioning–they just make stuff up on the fly to prove points, sort of like Reagan's “smoking trees”. Need justification for tax cuts? Can't find an economist's report that backs you up? Invent it! No problem.

There's no outcry. The media mostly just rolls their eyes and prints the lies; maybe they present counterpoints to the statements, maybe they don't, but they almost never come out and say that the president “lied” because that would be…editorializing.