It's even worse than it appears.
Poll: How do you feel about Rudy G's upcoming perp walk?#
I wrote about Basecamp's controversy yesterday, and since then more has come out. The company kept a list of customers with "funny" names, for years. Assuming this is true, they deserve all the grief they get. I understand that non-founders do stuff like that, I've seen it, I've fought against it -- it's the job of the founder to take the side of the users. And make it clear that showing anything but love and admiration for all customers, every damn one of them, is not only not optional, but will get you fired after not too many offenses. It's very hard to keep user-disrespect from taking over companies, so you always have to watch for it and be a complete fucking asshole about it. People who wade through all the confusion of the market and figure out that your product is the best are geniuses. They are your lifeblood. Also, I certainly would have been on their list. I have a "funny" last name. I know it. A product of Ellis Island. But I am not a customer of theirs. #
They're totally throwing Rudy under the bus. He's going to be blamed for everything. Perfect. Rudy the garbage can.#
Would love to see in President Biden's speech tonight a cash bonus to residents of blue states who relocate to Wyoming, Idaho, Montana or one of the Dakotas. We could add 10 senate seats and a bunch of electoral votes. Enough to keep the filibuster or tell Manchin to STFU. Maybe you pay no federal taxes for 25 years? That would be cool. I even have a slogan. Do a mitzvah for 'Merica.#
BTW, I am mostly over the stomach bug. I went for an hour-long bike ride yesterday, and it felt wonderful. And look at all the writing I did today! Not wanting to return to development yet, the break has been worthwhile. I have been tending my todo list, and plotting out next steps. I left the software in a good place, it seems. I'm not worried about it at this time. More glad to have recovered my health. #
  • I have to keep my desktop Mac not-upgraded so I can keep running Frontier on it, so now I can't use it with my iPhone because I foolishly updated it to the latest version of iOS. I wish somehow I could get a Linux version of Frontier so I could dump the Mac. It's the wrong desktop OS for me, now. Has been for a while. And Frontier would be a great addition to Linux, imho. The source is on Ted Howard's github. #
  • Mac to Dave: You fucked up! Loser!! 😄#
  • How different it would have been if Apple loved Frontier instead of steering people away from it. Their idea of programming back in the day was English. Program in natural language. Oy my god. What a tragic mess that was. Instead our approach was to factor until you can factor no more. Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler. #
  • Imagine a machine that was not only the best end user machine but also the best developer and power user machine. Remove the barriers from users becoming more powerful. End the priesthood. And make it easy to create personalized suites of apps. For a while the Mac was all that. The best machine for everyone. Then at some point Apple gave up on the Mac and decided to start over with iOS. Leaving the Mac in cash cow mode. And Mac users without a home (imho, ymmv).#
  • Earlier this month I reported on Blink, a subsidiary of Amazon, that was trying to sell me a cloud service that up till then I had been receiving for free.#
  • First the background...#
  • I have two battery powered Blink cameras outside my house. When someone arrives, or an animal crosses its view, or the wind blows a tree branch in front of the camera, it takes a short video, which is sent to an Amazon server, which then sends me a notification. If I click the link, the video opens in their mobile app. I could then look at the image to see who or what had woken the camera. It's nice to be able to monitor the comings and goings at my house even when I'm not there. I can tell when packages are delivered, for example. #
  • But now there was a new deal. They wanted me to pay $3 a month per camera, not saying what I would be able to do with the cameras if I let the service lapse, implying that my cameras would be kind of useless if I didn't pay. #
  • I decided to let the service lapse to see what would happen. #
  • Yesterday the free service cut off. I was down in Kingston while people were working at the house. I wanted to see if they had arrived so I fired up Blink, and saw that something had triggered the camera at 9:08AM, but I couldn't view the video. I was told this was because I was cheap and didn't pay them the lousy money (paraphrasing). I could if I wanted get a realtime look through the camera, and I could also talk to whoever was there (thus freaking them out I imagine). So there's the limit I thought. But then I remembered that there's a USB slot on the Sync Module (SM), which is a customized router that connects the cameras to the net. I had ordered a new 32GB thumb drive for the SM, from Amazon of course, for $15, one time, for all cameras, no monthly fee. I could've gotten a cheaper one, but I decided to splurge and get "Amazon's Choice." Now was the time to figure out how to use it. #
  • The instructions are on the web, and are a bit confusing. They don't say how the drive should be formatted, so I took a guess that MS-DOS format would be the most likely to work. They also said it would automatically format the disk if it wasn't readable, and that it would confirm it with me, but there's no monitor or keyboard on the SM, so how the hell would it confirm it? I later figured out that this happens in the mobile app. #
  • It works, exactly as the cloud service works, with $0 monthly fee, and I can add more cameras without incurring a $3 a month fee. All of which says that their marketing of the cloud service is dishonest. Maybe accessing the images would be a little faster coming from the cloud instead of their server having to read them from my thumb drive and then send them to my mobile device. Their upsell continues in the Blink app, because they say that it's so slow because it's loading it off my local drive. I use the extra time (if it in fact takes longer, I couldn't tell) to curse them out for being such money-grubbers. I might've paid for the convenience of the cloud service if they had just been honest about the choices I had. And maybe if there were features like having my videos mirrored to one of my S3 buckets! Now that would be interesting.#
  • This is worth pointing out because they are, as I said earlier, an Amazon company, and Amazon is pretty good at is being clear about your choices. Sure they steer you to the most profitable choice for them, I expect that, but to omit vital information and make false claims about what they're doing for you? They should fix that. The advantages are not very clear, so maybe they should just add 32GB of memory to the SM itself and be done with the cloud service altogether. Memory is pretty cheap these days. #
  • BTW, a nice feature, they cache the videos on the phone, so once downloaded you can view the video as many times as you like. #
  • PS: Thanks to NakedJen for finding out what the thumb drive on the SM does. #
  • The Sync Module with the USB drive attached. #

© copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.

Last update: Thursday April 29, 2021; 5:43 PM EDT.

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