Firebird, bleh [en]

[Version française]

Almost everyday, I read someone saying "why would someone still use [a suposedly abandoned] IE when he could indeed use a [supposedly better] Firebird ?".

Hold on guys... you know brainwashing may not be the best way to evangelize, right? ... and could we at least try to sound a little less naïve?

I'll tell you why: because, as of today, Firebird is just a prototype, far from offering the usage comfort IE does! :(

Firebird may be good at respecting web standards... nevertheless pretty poor at respecting windows standards. And the sad thing is, the average user reacts to that! Even unconsciously!

For example: while Windows menus look "outset" by default, Firebirds menus look "inset"; toolbars cannot be moved (I'd like to have those links in that wide empty space right to the menu); the windows resizing handle is invisible; etc... globally Firebird really doesn't fit into the OS it tries to conquer...

Add all those annoying details like the ALT texts not being displayed (even when no TITLE is specified) or the insertion point not being blinking whenever there happens to be an animated GIF on the page... and you'll probably understand why Firebird just doesn't feel natural to plain Windows users. (Not mentionning incompatible javascripts...)

Don't get me wrong, I am *not* saying that IE is the best browser. As a developer, I favor Mozilla... but as an end user, I definitely favor IE! By the way, as an end-user, I really don't need to open 30 pages simultaneously that often... thus, not even needing tabbed browsing that much... ;D

(Once again, don't get me wrong: I think Firebird has a great future and can't wait to see if the next versions get better on these flaws... but it just isn't ready to seduce the Windows world yet!)

Unsubscribring from spam *STILL NOT* ;)

Following up on wether or not to unsubscribe from spam, Cédric [site gone] adds some clarifications:

I am talking about the particular case of a spam email that defeated my filters and ended up in my Inbox. This is the one I want to get rid of. I don't care if more spammers end up getting my email address this way because their spams will most likely join all the others in my Spam folder (I suspect the success rate of my various filters is about 99% these days).

Very interesting point! Unsubscribing from those particular spams that pass the filters makes total sense and may succeed in getting less visible spam... but still, I'm not sure: what if they resell your qualified address to 50 spammers and 10% of them use clever spam filter defeating techniques? You run the risk of replacing one known spammer by 5 new spammers.

But I must admit: I'm far from conviced myself that 10% can really make it through the filters! :.

What puzzles me more is this:

[...] we are fighting a different war on spam these days. The goal is no longer to eradicate spam (this will never happen) but simply to acknowledge that spam is a reality and therefore, do your best so that its nuisance is limited to a minimum. In other words: design excellent spam filters.

=> I think that filtering is only the worst solution we have found so far: all the extra spam we allow to generate but don't see in our inboxes still harms network and mailserver fluidity... sometimes a lot! So replacing 1 unfiltered spam with 50 filtered ones just doesn't feel right to me...

...and I'm so glad I'm not administering mail servers any more :>>

Actually, we're all bearing the costs generated by all that spam on our networks! So we really may want to think twice before we promote any behaviour potentially allowing for (even slow) exponential growth! |-|

Unsubscribring from spam *NOT*

Cédric [site gone] posted some interesting thoughts about whether or not to unsubscribe from spam.

Cédric advocates that unsubscribing has become less a trap than it used to be, basically because spammers are better off collecting new masses of addresses than preventing their mailers to automatically unsubsribe people who'll never buy from them anyway. And also, because there are legal risks in spamming twice someone who asked to be removed.

Cédric also says:

Another thing I can see coming in the near future is that these "do not spam" lists will one day be forced to be shared among spammers. In other words, any "do not spam" list you are a member of right now might end up in having your email address removed from others as well.

=> Well actually... this is precisely the point: some day spammers will have to share their "do not spam" lists...

Oh... actually they do it already! It's just that they do not share, they resell... and they donto not call them "do not spam" addresses, they call them "qualified" addresses!

The buyer can spam you without worrying too much... after all you haven't yet asked to be removed from this one!

The problem with spammers is that they are dumb and smart at the same time!

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

At first this looks plain stupid.

However, one would hope there was actually careful planing in building the new road AND in moving the pylons but that they were just not executed in the right order... and it was probably better for the road contractor de build the road anyways, letting the electric people deal with removing the pylon later and leaving only -- maybe -- a small pothole in the road... And fixing the "pothole" later is only a small job/problem compared to building the whole road later.

Trendspotting: mobile SPAM :(

It's already making me sick... and it's only the beginning :(

Mobile SPAM is coming in all flavours! First there is SMS spam. Your phone beeps in the middle of a meeting as if you just received an alert, you check what's going wrong... but no, it's just an ad from your carrier!

Then there is voicemail spam. This is even worse. You are driving and suddenly your phone beeps as if you just missed a call and got a message. You actually try and find a place to pull aside and listen to the message... but that was a worthless effort: you just got another f*ing ad from you carrier!

Right now, carriers can afford this because it's virtually free for them. But sooner or later, more companies will be willing to pay for that kind of mass messaging! And this is far worse than e-mail spam: it really interrupts you in whatever you are doing! (Something like instant messaging spam!)

I have called my carrier (Bouygues Telecom, France) numerous times demanding they stop it. Nah! Everytime, after a month or so, spam comes back! I am wondering what kind of bozo there just makes that stupid decision to reset the opt-out flags! So eventually I cancelled my contract! (With the added benefit of being able to get a new (smart)phone cheaper when I sign up for my new contract... but I would not have gone this way if those guys had been a "little" more customer respectful!)

Anyway, I guess we'll be able to install SMS/MMS spam filters on future "programmable" (smart)phones... but I wonder how we'll be able to handle the voicemail issue... :-/