Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why the Hate on Internet Explorer 6?

A Great article of Chris Fullman

Over the past 2 days, the internet has been abuzz over Google’s long-rumored internet browser coming to light. Called Google Chrome (Beta!), the browser aims to significantly speed up browsing sessions and web applications using multiple threads (think of these as individual messengers instead of one very overwhelmed, underpaid messenger).

Of course, such talk immediately drew comments from developers and internet enthusiasts alike: the (second) web browser war is in full swing. Like the first war in the 90’s between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, comparisons were being brought back into blog posts and Twitter/FriendFeed.

As I’ve noticed in the discussion, developers’ hate for one particular browser was obvious: Internet Explorer 6; and as I’ve noted in the past, very publicly I might add, I’m not a fan of such criticism.

Let’s face the facts: When Internet Explorer 6 was first launched, Windows XP was just getting ready to go on sale. The September 11 attacks hadn’t taken place yet and the world was vastly different. Microsoft was riding high off of polishing their lead in the browser (cold) war, and sadly decided to take a backseat in development for a bit. At the time, Internet Explorer was among Netscape and Opera, as well as the (then publicly perceived bloatware) Mozilla Suite. Simply
put, there weren’t many alternate options.

When Firefox came around, the first public beta hit the internet some 3 years later. Those 3 years, development-wise, is a very long time, giving any team ample time to check off items on a list of improvements, new features and competitive options Internet Explorer hadn’t introduced or resolved yet. When Firefox was fully launched, it had a large community of developers
behind it, and a grassroots marketing push to get it to be the de facto replacement for the aging Internet Explorer platform. Toe-to-toe, Firefox 1.0 was a very different internet browser than Internet Explorer, even if both were released at the same time.

I, as a developer, understand the frustrations most of us face when we have to continually support Internet Explorer 6. I, along with the rest of us, can’t wait until Internet Explorer 8 is released and being pushed out to the masses via pre-installation and update services. But
there is still something about Internet Explorer that allowed the internet to reach critical mass with the general population. Internet Explorer 6, as flawed as it is, gave much more flexibility to
developers and users alike, to experience new functionality and allowed a
number of groundbreaking web applications to reach a larger audience.

While I fully support the efforts like “Save the Developers” and the campaign to replace Internet Explorer 6 with IE 7 or even Firefox, I can’t hold Internet Explorer 6 on the same pedestal as Firefox 1.0. I certainly understand and appreciate the differences in features, standards support and overall community support between the two.

And while I wish things were different, I can’t hold the developers of Internet Explorer 6 at fault either. After all, most employees can only do what they’re told, especially when they have other goals and projects in the pipeline.

Internet Explorer 6 was even listed by PC World as being among the “25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.” Hindsight is a terrible scale to measure by, and in this case, hindsight unfortunately takes the spotlight in criticism against an internet browser.

So I ask again: looking at the facts, knowing that Internet Explorer 6 is now 7 years old and is somehow continually being compared to even modern-day browsers, why should Internet Explorer 6 get as much hate from the community as it does?

Budget Transparency To Come With Massive Political Price?

As was the case with many things the Bush administration touched, the federal budget was gamed in such a way to make the deficit problems look smaller than they actually were. But now Obama and his team are set to change that.

Only problem? The deficit is going to get a lot bigger.

How much?

Try $2.7 trillion.

From NY Times:

WASHINGTON — For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.

The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses.

But the biggest adjustment will deal with revenues from the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system enacted in 1969 to prevent the wealthy from using tax shelters to avoid paying any income tax.

No doubt there will be an initial backlash, but I’m hoping that folks will appreciate the increased transparency and realize once and for all how devastating the deception out of the Bush administration really was.

Here’s more…

Mr. Obama’s banishment of the gimmicks, which have been widely criticized, is in keeping with his promise to run a more transparent government.

Fiscal sleight of hand has long been a staple of federal budgets, giving rise to phrases like “rosy scenario” and “magic asterisks.”

The $2.7 trillion in additional deficit spending, Mr. Orszag said, is “a huge amount of money that would just be kind of a magic asterisk in previous budgets.”

“The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”

I think we just saw Orszag call Bush a liar.

Well deserved. Especially since Obama has to dig us out of an additional $2.7 trillion hole that wasn’t accounted for.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

First: You Feelings … Then: Your Action Plan

Most of us have to-do lists. Many of us have long terms goals. Few of us have a list of how we actually want to feel in our life.

And aren’t feelings the whole point? The income, the relationship, the hot bod’, the high thread count cotton sheets - everything on our to-do, to-get, to-experience lists all drive back to the feelings that we crave … connected, comfort, powerful, rich in love and cash, beauty, vitality, useful, calm.

And so it goes that a solid make-it-happen strategy should be grounded in the awareness of how you want to feel. It’s the elemental point that most action plans and goal setting systems overlooked.

Feelings are magnetic. Each feeling is a beacon that attracts a reality. Love attracts love. Gratitude attracts more reasons to be grateful. Generosity creates a generous response. What we focus on expands. So choosing to focus on feelings that, well, feel good, is a sure way to create the experience you want.


  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Wealth
  • Wellness

Write out a few desired feelings in each area. You’ll likely see a pattern emerging - it usually gets down to three or four key emotions that you’re always hankering for. If you have goal lists or vision boards, write your desired feelings on them - front and center. Stick a note of your key feelings into your day-timer. Look up the definition of each of your feeling words. Become a connoisseur of desired feelings and you’ll transform your wants into realizations. Desires are dynamic - they love to be danced with adored, explored.

I’m clear that in every area of my life I want to experience: communion, affluence, sexiness and creative freedom. Those desired feelings drive everything I do - from how I interact with the waiter at the restaurant, and or my blog audience, to what I write, wear and dance to. How I want to feel sits in the margins of my schedule and the center of my heart.


If I’m feeling less than affluent, I give - I write a thank you note, I check out the entrepreneurs I’ve sponsored on, I pick up the tab at lunch. If I want to feel more communion I intentionally plan to create it. I’ve just mapped out a plan for the New Year that includes a road trip to see my soul sister in Vegas, a week at the Burning Man festival, a budget to go to more concerts, and a commitment to have one dinner party a month - all things that make me feel closer to life and to love.


When you’re clear on how you want to feel, you can be open to what life wants to give you. You’ll be anchored to the function, rather than the form. And this is really the essence of simplified living - a focus on what matters most. The house, the partner, the job may not “look” like you wanted, or come when you expected, but if something or someone generates the positive feelings you’ve been longing for, you’ll be able to let that good stuff into your life.

When you’re clear on how you want to feel you instinctively know what to say yes to, and when to say, “no thank you.” And that’s the best feeling in the world.

Source Zen Habits