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A word about Comcast

Thursday, July 24, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Technology is fragile. Systems go down all the time because someone forgot to maintain something, or someone deleted a file or a variable that they thought no one was using. In other words with Murphy's Law there are plenty of opportunities to put all the pieces together again after all hell breaks loose. Just ask the Twitter folk, who are doing the best they can to hold it together. Permalink to this paragraph

But there's a special place in hell for vendors who deliberately knock their customers off the air, without warning, just to get them to call. The thought is as abhorrent to a computer professional as it would be for a surgeon to leave a scalpel in a patient to be sure they pay their bill.  Permalink to this paragraph

Comcast is going to get sued some day for what they do, and they're going to lose billions because of it. I tend to be an outlier on the leading edge. If they're shitting on me today, you can bet they'll be shitting on hundreds of people next year, and thousands the year after that. One of those shittings is going to cause an oil spill or a nuclear accident, or some horrible thing we haven't imagined yet. Maybe soldiers will die because of their deliberate outages. Maybe children. You just don't fuck around with some things, the kinds of things Comcast is fucking with. If you're going to turn a paying customer off deliberately, it seems you should do it slowly and carefully and covering every part of your anatomy while you do it, not the roughshod way they do it now. (And what would be so hard about slowing down the connection so it's impossible for someone to use too much bandwidth?) Permalink to this paragraph

That there are engineers inside Comcast willing to do the bidding of some very poor thinking business people says we don't have adequate professional standards. Some professions don't allow their members to do harm. You can't find a doctor who will administer the death penalty, or even advise on what would be a humane form of the death penalty.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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