Bookmarks – Just call it Smylfeste

Sucky websites and ruthless capitalists.

Here's my thing: I've never had an iPhone. I've had Palm webOS phones, a parade of Android devices, and now an experimental Boot2Gecko phone on really nice hardware. Some sites have long been a delight on whatever gadget I fetch from my pocket. Others, I've watched decay over the years as their mobile web experiences are neglected in favor of those frantically promoted apps.

The Verge’s web sucks by (2779 words).


Still - and maybe this is the Mozilla brain-damage talking - I can't imagine a sane conversation that resulted in The Verge extending an invitation to over 20 companies to set up shop on my computer with every page visit. I can only imagine this as a steady drip-drop of bizdev decisions and emails to internal webdevs:

"Hey, can you add this tracking pixel? These guys do realtime attention heatmapping and it's brilliant!"

"Paste this snippet into the global template, please? This fourth programmatic ad platform is really going to fill in the gaps for the other three."

"One more script thing here. We need to capture the affiliate credit for all these links going out to e-commerce sites."

"Oh hey, we're going to need this new script to manage the dozen ad platforms we use now."


I'm guessing no one along the way had the power or motivation to say no. I mean, really, what's the cost in tossing one more straw onto that camel's back? I know I never looked or complained until now, and I doubt the majority of readers will ever bother.

We all just kind of get this growing sense of malaise about "the web" as a gestalt of our favorite sites as they get suckier.

The Verge’s web sucks by (2779 words).

If you sell PC games, there are generally three ways people can get your game super-cheap: Piracy. Sales. Bundles. If your game is only acquired in these ways, you will go out of business.

To survive selling indie games, you need to convince a bunch of users to pay full price for it. You need to get them to pay more than they know they need to. This is difficult, as people like to keep their money.

The best way to get people to pay the full price is to get them to like you. To make your customers emotionally invested in your survival. This is the great weapon of the small indie: People like us. They think we’re cool. This must be preserved at all costs.

Indie Games, Refunds, Terror, and Taking “No” For an Answer by Jeff Vogel (1523 words).

It’s the British way of thinking as well, it seems.

This is true.

He’s referring to the fact that Google funding kept Mozilla alive for years.

While this is true it bears noting that talent is not much more than a head start. A ‘talent’ for a thing isn’t required for you to become good at that thing, let alone just being able to do it.

Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around. A few years ago the new economy was a wide-open frontier. Today it is dominated by a handful of tightly held oligopolies. Google and Apple provide over 90% of the operating systems for smartphones. Facebook counts more than half of North Americans and Europeans as its customers. The lords of cyberspace have done everything possible to reduce their earthly costs. They employ remarkably few people: with a market cap of $290 billion Google is about six times bigger than GM but employs only around a fifth as many workers. At the same time the tech tycoons have displayed a banker-like enthusiasm for hoovering up public subsidies and then avoiding taxes. The American government laid the foundations of the tech revolution by investing heavily in the creation of everything from the internet to digital personal assistants. But tech giants have structured their businesses so that they give as little back as possible.

Geeks have turned out to be some of the most ruthless capitalists around

The coming tech-lash by Adrian Wooldridge (764 words).

A lot of self-identified geeks use childhood/teenage bullying as an excuse for being horribly ruthless and economically cold-hearted.