Friday, June 08, 2007

Just Pondering....

Informing Microsoft:

I must get a couple of those grave Microsoft error messages each week. You know, the ones that suggest that you send an error report off to Microsoft post haste.  I never send them, but I was just wondering...does anybody send them?  And what exactly does Microsoft do with them once they get them? I have no idea whatsoever how many MSFT users there are out there. Surely the count is in the hundreds of millions.  So what would happen if, in any given week, a hundred million people sent error reports on to Microsoft.  Now, I'm not suggesting that we do so. Just pondering what would happen if we all did. I'm sure that the error reports are screened and sorted automatically, but does someone actually look at the results?  Inquiring minds want to know. And blogging of inquiring minds....


Irish Minds:

The Irish Development Authority is running an ad campaign with the theme "knowledge is in our nature". The ads (which I've seen in The Economist) feature arty portraits of famous Irishmen. So far I've seen William Butler Yeats and Bono, and there may have been one with Samuel Beckett as well. In any event, I started to read through the ad copy, but was stopped in my tracks by this:

The Irish mind. An abundant supply of that rare commodity you'll need to bring your business to peak performance.

Yes, yes, yes, I know that they're talking about creativity, imagination, flexibility, agility, the capacity to initiate and innovate, etc. (I know because that's what they tell me in the next paragraph.) And yes, yes, yes, the Irish are nothing if not creative and agile. But if I really ponder what they're saying in the above, aren't they kind of saying that the Irish mind itself is a rare commodity? Or is this the half of my mind that is oh-so-literal German taking over for the half that's creative, imaginative, flexible, agile and innovative Irish?


Coincidence or Creepy Invasion of my Clicking Privacy?

 The other day, after checking out the web site of a company I'd seen an ad for, I received an unsolicited e-mail from someone who provides a similar but not identical service. Was the individual who sent me the e-mail solicitation - who had a gmail address, no real professional URL - doing a mass-spam-mailing? Did he find my blog and grab my e-mail address? If so, why wasn't the note more personal?

No, this person's either spamming and just coincidentally showed up on my e-mail doorstep on the very day I'd been looking at a similar service.

Or he somehow captured the clicks that brought me to the similar web site. Or he's a disgruntled ex-employee/consultant of said similar web site who knows how to officially-unofficially figure out who comes a calling and is going to try to grab business from his old boss. (The e-mail mentioned a different pricing structure. Apples to oranges, but it seems to be cheaper.

Anyway, I was just pondering: is this one of those weird coincidences that would have done Thomas Hardy proud or is it a creepy invasion of my clicking privacy?

Sometimes I really do not like marketers.

1 comment:

Vijay Krishnan said...

"When you send an error report to Microsoft over the Internet, you provide technical information that product groups at Microsoft use to work with third party software vendors to address the issues being trapped and reported by customers. The data also helps the product groups to enhance future versions of the product. This data is used for quality control purposes only and is not used for tracking individual users or installations for any marketing purpose. If information is available to help you solve the problem, Windows displays an error reporting dialog box with a link to that information. More information on Microsoft’s Data Collection Policy can be found on Microsoft Web site" -