1. Taste Our Pleasures

    September 07, 2012

    Shitbag bloggers who write horrible “Apple’s new product fails to titillate and arouse” posts like this turd remind me of characters from Hellraiser—sitting around desperately jabbing barbed hooks into their junk in a vain attempt to feel something, anything.

    via that rich fucker Gruber

  2. Twitter Won’t Miss You When You’re Gone

    August 28, 2012

    Everyone and their cousin has been linking to this post by my pal Harry C. Marks—and with good reason. It’s a well thought out critique of Twitter’s current direction. I do, however, have to disagree with one point. Harry writes:

    So, we’ll wait. We’ll watch the walls go up and moats get filled with the bacteria-laden waters of trending topics and promoted tweets. We’ll see our third-party houses burned and dissenting developers banished as King Dick and his roundtable of jesters try to play off the changes as “growth” and “maturity”. In reality, it’s about creating a new kingdom where the thinkers and inquirers are considered dangerous and must be pushed out.

    While it’s true that Twitter’s response to the hue and cry of the Great and the Good will be essentially “fuck you” it won’t be because Twitter wants to push those users out. In reality, Twitter (or more accurately the venture capitalists who are calling the shots at Twitter) gives not one shit about the users who are the most incensed by these changes. As Harry himself points out earlier in his post, the people he’s referring to were never relevant to Twitter’s plans for monetization.

    Let’s be honest, the blognoscenti can claim that they would accept ads in their timelines, if Twitter would just leave their precious third-party developers alone, all the live-long-day. Unfortunately the cold hard reality of ad-blockers, website “readability” tools and fevered blog posts decrying advertising say otherwise. The vast majority of these users were never going to spend a dime on any advertisement they saw on Twitter—and Twitter knows this.

    And as for the claims that the Great Exodus of the Nerds will somehow ripple outward into the greater Twitter ecosystem—I’ll believe that when I see it. As I wrote previously the real danger to Twitter isn’t the loss of a John Gruber1, it’s the loss of a Justin Bieber2.

    Unfortunately for Twitter, I see nothing in their recent behavior that indicates that they wouldn’t do something to alienate the Beebs either.

    1. 216,153 followers. 

    2. 27,190,719 followers. 

  3. A Few Thoughts On Twitter’s Fucktarded Strategy.

    August 17, 2012

    So, I’ve had a few thoughts rattling around since Twitter announced their idiotic new API restrictions1. I was going to post this as a series of tweets, but the conceit was more attractive in my head than on the page.

    As I see it, the real mistake Twitter is making here has less to do with the bruised egos of the nerderatti and much more to do with the fact that they haven’t locked down the engagement of the “average” users anywhere near as much as they seem to think they have. My sense is that the vast mass of Twitter users actually engage very shallowly with the service. By this I mean that these users’ Twitter experience mainly consists of occasionally posting a tweet when they remember to and following celebrities, similarly loosely engaged friends and a few news sources. It ultimately doesn’t matter whether these uses “leave” Twitter or not, as they were never engaged enough to become a solid audience in our new, ad-supported, future.

    As an aside, I know there are a few other non-nerd, high-engagement Twitter constituencies. Two that spring to mind are political and news junkies. My prediction is the politicos will decamp to Facebook and the comments areas of the various high-profile political blogs from whence they came. As for the newsies, a smart person looking to “disrupt” something would be looking at a micro-blog platform aimed at the news outlets.

    The very real danger that Twitter faces as they trundle down this road of idiocy is becoming a ghetto of unused accounts, spam/scammers, self-promoters and z-list celebrities. Honestly, the company being served a golden opportunity here is not App.net, but rather Facebook — which is ironic since the ghetto I just described was modeled on MySpace. If Facebook could figure out how to do asynchronous following/sharing in a non-sucky way and opened a decent API to 3rd parties they could really clean up.

    As for App.net. I wish them all the success in the world — I honestly do. Unfortunately, I just don’t see them “replacing” Twitter in the sense that some of their more fevered boosters seem to. Bullshit arguments about class and race aside, the price tag is going to be a real barrier to entry for “the masses”. Not that I’m saying the service is expensive — even at the current $50.00 price tag2. But bear in mind that many people throw a fit over a $1.99 one time charge for an iOS app. I understand App.net’s rational, but any price for a service that essentially mimics a “free” one is going to kill mass adoption.

    And perhaps that’s fine. There is certainly a strong sense of “escape from the unwashed masses” coming from many of App.net’s supporters. Maybe the service can thrive as a refuge for the nerds. Certainly Apple has proven that pure market-share is not the end-all & be-all when it comes to success.

    Ultimately, Twitter stands at a crossroads. While the changes announced yesterday won’t do a thing to discourage the great mass of users to abandon the service they do signal that Twitter has decided to persue revenue at any cost. Losing John Gruber ultimately won’t harm Twitter but imagine a future change that scares off Oprah. If that should happen — well, last one out turn off the lights.

    1. Google it, they won’t be hard to find. 

    2. $50.00 a year is, of course, less than $5.00 a month. Cups of coffee and all that. 

  4. Tis the Season—or—Enough’s Enough.

    August 15, 2012

    Within the last 24 hours two friends and fellow “tech bloggers” John C. Welch and Harry Marks have written posts contemplating new directions for their respective blogs. Both have, in their own way, grown weary of swimming in the rumor and vitriol filled waters that now epitomize tech blogging and Apple blogging in particular.

    I have to say, I agree one hundred fucking percent. The few remaining readers here can’t have failed to notice the drastic reduction in posts over the last year. The simple truth is, the thought of writing another “take-down” of some other bloggers dumb-shit opinion now leaves me sick to my stomach. The fact is, those of us who tried to shout down the rising tide of fucktardery were about as successful as King Cnut’s attempt to command the waves. The rumormongers and financial bloggers and gadget obsessed hipsters won. Oh well, c’est la vie.

    So, what does that mean for The Angry Drunk? Pretty much nothing. This has always been, and will always be my personal blog. I don’t regret my foray into pseudo-Gruberian punditry, but I wash my hands of it. I may still write up a “take-down” of an especially egregious bit of twattery from time to time but for the most part I’ll leave that to people with more time and less booze on their hands. I might increase my political writing - something I’ve wanted to do for some time. Whatever I do, The Angry Drunk will remain my personal soap-box.

    At any rate, I figured the last hold-outs here deserved to know what was up.

  5. But Internet Outrage is So Much More Fun

    August 15, 2012

    Recently the Intartubes have been chock-a-block with righteous outrage over the horrific, positively evil way that Progressive Insurance handled the truly unfortunate case of a woman killed by an under-insured driver in an auto accident. I have no particular fondness for Progressive (although I should disclaim that I do business with them), but I do have a particular hatred for the Internet Outrage machine™ so I’ve been a bit critical of the whole “Progressive is the evilest company evah!” meme being bandied about. My Occam’s Razor-loving mind tells me that, surely, there must be something more to this story than we’re hearing from either the victim’s family or Progressive.

    Well, it turns out there well may be. Via a comment on one of the plethora of threads about this situation on BoingBoing, we have this law firm’s page on how uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage works in Maryland (where the accident took place). The key part:

    The nuances of how uninsured motorist coverage works is difficult for many personal injury victims to get their minds around because it is counterintuitive. The nutshell is this: if the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or has low levels of coverage, your own insurance company will step in and basically take the place of the insurance company for the at-fault driver, including paying any settlement or judgment but also defending the case against your personal injury claim.

    While I may not be some fancy-talkin’ city lawyer, but “…defending the case against your personal injury claim” would seem to exactly describe the events that took place here.

    Look, like I wrote above, I have no particular love for Progressive. They could have put this to rest at the start by writing a bigger check on the uninsured motorist claim. And there’s no fucking doubt that Progressive’s public response to this mess was fucktarded. But as far as I can see their actual legal actions in this situation consisted of nothing more than what they are required to do by law. It sucks, but then again so does pretty much everything else involving insurance in this country.

    The point is: the Internet Outrage Machine™ needs to die in a fucking fire. Try doing a bit of research and critical thinking before you mash that retweet button you loons. Of course now I’ll be flamed as a shill for Big Insurance. Oh well, such is life.