Thursday, July 28, 2011

Video when you should use audio

I was reading one of Jeremy Shoemaker's excellent SEO posts, but was struck by a strange use of media. He has an interview with Levi Horowitz from Link Wheelers on the site, But the annoying thing about it is that it is a skype video. The video adds no value - a pair of talking heads. So it means I can't (easily) play it while driving, I essentially have to consume a bunch of extra bandwidth (and with the mobile carriers charging for bandwidth that's going to get expensive) to consume the valueless pictures.

Wise up folks, use video when you have valuable pictures to add. Use audio otherwise. Processing video (at least in my head) takes a whole lot more brain energy than processing audio. At least with audio I can do something else. And then use that great concept the podcast so I can listen to the audio in the car or in other off line situations

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Openness of Open systems

I was having a spirited conversation with a friend (involving beer of course) yesterday evening. We got around to discussing the sham of "Open Systems" - especially as applied to the travel industry. My belief is that the Open Systems marketing term was coined to attempt to break the stranglehold of TPF (transaction Processing Facility) on IBM mainframes. Now TPF is an unbelievably reliable system, but without a lot of flexibility. Maybe that's what makes it reliable. So when you want the system to be rock solid, run on TPF, otherwise do something else. That all comes at a price, so "Open Systems" were used as a way to beat up the TPF crowd with the promise of cheaper and more agile computing - and supposedly the promies of being able to switch - i.e. not be beholden to any single vendor. So *NIX systems were the darlings. Well kind of. Solaris, HP-UX, AIX were all candidates. But realistically how easy is it to switch from one flavor of OS to another?
That led me to draw an analogy between Operating Systems and DNA. A pretty woolly analogy, I admit, but it came out kinda fun. Let's imagine there is somehow a bit less than 2% difference (whatever that means) between a pair if UNIXes (UNICes?). That's about as different as the DNA differences between humans and chimpanzees.
It doesn't take a lot to see that the ~2% difference at the DNA level leads to some pretty major incompatibilities. That's true in the "Open Systems" world too. 2% different? Not much will switch easily.
So I continue to suggest that the openness of "open systems" is still a crock.