Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Archive for June 2009

Defining geek: Is it what you love or who you are?

I started a little firestorm at lunch this week when I called someone a geek while sitting at a table full of co-workers.

This led to an intense philosophical discussion about who is and is not a geek, prompting a few skittish people to ask “Am I a geek?” in quivering, fearful tones.

This column has turned me into a kind of “Geek Whisperer.” After my first World of Warcraft column, a co-worker came up to my desk and whispered, “I have a level-62 Paladin on Twisting Nether.”

That sounded like the beginning of a longer speech but she just looked at me like she was waiting for something. We sat in silence for a moment, then I realized what she was asking for. She wanted forgiveness. She wanted me to absolve her somehow and assure her that she was not a geek.

I squeezed her hand and said, “Don’t worry. A lot of normal people play Warcraft.”
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Written by Michael B. Duff

June 19, 2009 at 17:38

Posted in Columns

Dear Steve Jobs…

With the new 3.0 software, iPhone users can sign up for a feature called “Find my iPhone!

This way if your phone gets lost (or stolen) you can plot its location on a map or disable it remotely.

Stay tuned for my next column, titled, “Better late than never, jackass!

Written by Michael B. Duff

June 17, 2009 at 14:39

Posted in Apple, Humor

Business Week Printout Service

You know what they say. If you can’t be funny in 2009, recycle crap from 1996. I originally posted this to the Usenet group alt.religion.kibology on July 3, 1996. I think it’s still funny today, perhaps for different reasons. And yes, for some reason, I felt the need to capitalize Online.

First, let me congratulate you on your excellent product, Business Week Online on AOL. Your service delivers exactly as promised — every article, every week, Online.

I have a suggestion on a way you could improve your service that would mean a lot to me personally.

Every week, I go through your Online publication and I’m continually frustrated. Your articles are so good, that I feel the need to print them out for posterity — to show them to friends, file away for future reference, or perhaps just to capture those excellent photographs.

I don’t have disk space to store everything, but I’m willing to spare a little space in my paper files for these printouts.

That brings me to my idea.

Why don’t you guys offer some kind of “Business Week Printout Service” where you can print out the full content of your Business Week Online section and mail the results to people who request it? Perhaps for a reasonable fee.

I think I would be willing to pay up to $50 a year for quality printouts of your publication. If you need to bring the cost down, I would even be willing to look through pages of commercial advertisements.

I would be happy to pay for these “transcripts” just to have a permanent record of Business Week that I can pass on to my children.

It’s a shame to have such a quality product vanish each week into some computer. I think this Printout Service would bring your publication to the cutting edge of Online technology.

Perhaps you can start a trend?

Thank you for your time,

Michael B. Duff

Written by Michael B. Duff

June 15, 2009 at 16:01

Posted in Best Of, Humor

It’s time to kill Twitter and Facebook

Hats off to Michael Arrington from Techcrunch for his awesome interview with the Google Wave team.

You can find video and a transcript of this interview at Techcrunch.com but I wanted to take a minute and hit the highlights here.

My favorite moment comes toward the end of the interview when Michael asks them if they’re building “a Twitter-killer.”

He pitches it like a joke, but the question is dead serious, and the reaction is priceless.

Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra actually shakes his head and says, “Michael, Michael, Michael…”
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Written by Michael B. Duff

June 12, 2009 at 14:13

Google Wave will replace the Internet

When I tell you Google is about to change our most fundamental assumptions about living, working and communicating online, I expect most of you to roll your eyes and dismiss me.

But this time is different. The product is called Google Wave and it really could change everything. Wave was unveiled last Thursday at the Google I/O convention in San Francisco. Google gurus Stephanie Hannon and Lars Rasmussen hosted an hour-plus demo of Wave that has developers scrambling to build extensions for it, even as half the Internet prepares to have their business models destroyed.
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Written by Michael B. Duff

June 2, 2009 at 14:23

Posted in Google Wave