Apropos of Nothing

September 20, 2006

Yep, I’ve registered my own domain which is being hostd by the very excellent Dreamhost, so why don’t you all direct your browsers to my brand new blog, now entitled Apropos of Nothing.

It’s not that I disliked Schadenfreude, but I wanted something new. Disagree? Tell me on Apropos of Nothing!


Shel Israel, You Bloody Wag

April 4, 2006

This is taken from the comments on a Naked Conversations blog post about Foldera, in which Shel Israel quite blatantly presents his stupidity to the world. He also quite blatantly presents his inability to spell.

“Yo sound lke an unhappy comeptitor to me. Nothing more.”

Ahaha… classy, Shel! Behold the uneducated, broke and quite happy 19-year-old Norwegian comeptitor! *snicker*

“the company is getting about 35,000 sign ups a day”

Very incorrect. The actual sign-up number is about a tenth of that.

Look looky:

His reply:

So Haarball, on what do you base you potentially slanderous allegation. Have they shared their lists with you? I’ve seen them. I wrote what I did and i stand by my story.

Yo sound lke an unhappy comeptitor to me. Nothing more.

Well, my dear, I base it on the most reliable source there is. Booyah? Love the preconceptions, though; I’d quite fancy being in Silicon Valley as a competitor to Foldera. This was my response at the time:

I’m sorry, Shel? Potentially slanderous allegation?

Jesus Christ. I’m not an “unhappy competitor”, you bloody tart. I’m 19 year-old blogger interested in technology.

Richard Lusk has himself admitted that there aren’t over half a million sign-ups; those are the total number of employees across all the companies that signed up.

Here’s the link:

Or, what, you think that’s somebody else pretending to be Richard?

Get your facts straight or sod off. Both, preferrably.

Feisty, Haar, FEISTY!

He went silent after that.

Sterile Syndication

March 14, 2006

I agree with Phil when he says RSS readers are a sterile environment, but I don’t share his general contempt towards them. In the past month, for the first time ever, I’ve used an RSS aggregator consistently, usually several times a day.

I’ve currently got 53 feeds that I follow more or less closely, but there’s only a handful I can really say that I need. And one thing that strikes me is that I’ve started reading a lot more blogs since I started using Bloglines. Previously I read about 10 or 15 regurarly and checked into memeorandum, reddit, digg, technorati et al. to keep up to date with the rest of the blogosphere.

Is that part of the problem with RSS readers―the fact that we’re being served excessive amounts of dispensible blog content? Or is this additional information a good thing, making the world of blogging less inbred?

Back to the subject of RSS reader sterility (we’re allowed to make up words in Web 2.0), I agree with Phil Sim – to an extent. The identity and flavor of each and every blog is pretty much lost in the average reader, and perhaps more importantly, as Phil points out himself, the comments are lost. The community and social interaction that really is the foundation of blogging in itself is given a lower priority and less attention through an RSS reader. At the same time, we’re able to read and process larger amounts of input at a faster pace than we would’ve been via regular browsing. But, hey, doesn’t that just add to the sentiment that RSS readers are sterile? Reading and processing large amounts of input at a fast pace doesn’t exactly entail vibrant communication, personal flavor etc. does it? It’s got ‘business’ written all over it (as well as stupid fucking Web 2.0 buzzwords that aren’t proper words).

A partial solution could be to implement an option to expand the comments of blog entries, making them viewable within the RSS reader itself. But as I said, it’s a partial solution, and it doesn’t really help the impersonal, neutral and business-like approach one takes through the use of and RSS reader.

Or does one do that? After all, it’s all about content―the written word―isn’t it?

Reward Your Lack Of Aestethical Appreciation

March 6, 2006
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You’ve heard the term ‘less is more’, and it’s a phrase that can definitely ring true in a lot of cases. Apply it to the subject of design and re-name it something like ‘uglier is better’―is it still a valid point? Scoble seems to think so. If I was looking for a dating service, chances are I’d go elsewhere because of the shitty, amateurish design. My first thoughts are that it’s half-arsed site without a whole lot value, and that its developers must be of the rather non-savvy, flinchingly ingorant kind.

Myself versus Web 2.0 (A Comparative Analysis)

February 28, 2006

Russell Beattie over at, erm,* posted an interesting entry yesterday on the lack of business perspective in Web 2.0 businesses. It’s basically an eloquent version of GFY: more articulate, rational and with appropriately directed criticism.

The social innovations like tagging, and blogging integration were essentialy marketing efforts built on top of their [Flickr] platform meant to drive more people to sign up for the pro photo storage service or click on ads, not core parts of the product itself. It wasn’t social software for the sake of social software, it was “how can we make this product attractive to users and developers in order to drive revenue?” In other words, it was a real business.

But let’s think of some of the popular new site launches lately… web chat and IM comes to mind. WTF is the business? All those Map mashups out there? WTF is the business? Calendaring and Ajax desktops? WTF is the business? They’re just FEATURES built on top of other company’s APIs, adding very little real value, and not making a dime of profit.

Sounds scarily coherent and logical to me. It’s quite evident when you think of it, but thinking of stuff doesn’t come easy. Perhaps it’s because all thought must be assigned to the creation and development of features. And since I didn’t think of this myself, perhaps I’m one of those people who aren’t business-oriented.

Come to think of it, I think I am a Web 2.0 company.

Scarily coherent and logical when you think of it.

I’m a fat, pot-bellied twat (round corners); I’m incoherent both in mind and expression, and seem to focus on all the wrongs things in life (tag cloud); My interests limit themselves to computers, internet and the occasional session of WoW – otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on (whitespace); If I was ever referred to as a colorful person, it was either because of my menorrhea-like mood or bizarre sense of fashion – nevermind personality (pastels); I possess an inherent loathe towards all human beings that I haven’t acquainted myself with via a computer (folksonomy); The few times I’m required to communicate without the means of technology, I like to present myself honestly, naturally and stripped to the bone – literally (RSS); and finally, I never amount to anything, and I can never hold a job for more than the amount of time it takes for my bosses to discover that I do in fact amount to nothing (features versus platforms: wtf 2.0).

Don’t hesitate to submit your own comparisons, folks.

(*what’s the deal with tech/webdesigner types always putting their name as the domain and title of their blog/site? Are they spending all their creativity on their tech/webdesigner type work and are thus left with nothing left in their inspiration quota?)

Founder Richard Lusk Explains Foldera

February 24, 2006
1 Comment

Today, at about 4:10 PM (GMT +1), Foldera‘s CEO and founder Richard Lusk decided to drop by Schadenfreude and answer some of the issues I pointed out regarding his hyped-up web-based application.

First of all, Richard, thanks for the reply. I would never expect the courtesy. I must say, though, on some of the issues your reply seemed a tad hurried and ambiguous, not properly explaining how and why these facets of Foldera will be successfully executed.

I think if it’s anything the blogosphere (well, people within Foldera’s target audience in general) wants to hear, it’s spesific details regarding the implementation of the application’s features and structure, and how they translate to everyday use.

Bloggers are an intelligent breed that will take some effort to convince. If you made it a goal of describing the hows and whys of your application in relatively great detail, not leaving too much to the reader/listener to assume, I truly believe you’d attract a lot more interested people, including the die-hard sceptics. This is, of course, supposing that your product actually has something to fare with and that you don’t have anything to hide prior to release.

I’ve got some follow-up questions if you don’t mind answering them, and I would be overjoyed if you would do so in a more detailed manner. I understand if you can’t reveal all the details about Foldera at this point in the development, but I think you’d benefit from going a little deeper.

(Don’t take this as flame or myself trying to lecture you; this is just my honest opinion. The fact that you took your time to answer my questions at all tells me that you take even low-level bloggers such as myself seriously, which is a bloody brilliant thing to begin with.)

“Will calendar entries pop up at the exact time at which they’re set or will it gradually make its way up your inbox as the scheduled date and time looms closer?”- Schadenfreude it’s entirely up to you. Foldera has very granular personalization abilities, so you can decide what works for you, and change your settings whenever you want. It’s really easy too.

What are these personalization abilites? Can you give examples and/or screenshots that showcases this?

Additionally, because our page loads are so light, Foldera won’t tie up your bandwidth resources either. You’ll soon see that Foldera will load as fast as many of your favorite online sites like Yahoo Mail, CNN, Amazon and others.

That’s my point, it’ll load as fast as any regular website. Which is quite a lot slower than, say, Outlook. I assume you’ve made it as light as possible, so this isn’t something you can improve upon further. Hence, I’m not saying this as a complaint to you; more as statement of the fact that when you’re web-based, you’re always gonna be slower than light desktop apps.

Another thing: How will the heavy use of Ajax affect the speed of Foldera? In a big business environment with loads of workers uploading/editing items simultaneously, couldn’t the bandwidth hog be quite severe?

Following that, would it in any way be possible to run Foldera on an intranet? Could the bandwidth issue be more easily avoided then? I understand how this takes away some of the point of Foldera (being able to access it from any computer/mobile device as long as it’s got an internet connection), but the most important trait is kept intact; the ability to upload items to a common server rather than e-mail them from one personal account to another.

“Can you implement items from other applications, spesifically those that are business-spesific?” Sure, just forward whatever you want to your Foldera. That’s really easy too.

I’m sorry, that was a terribly worded question. I meant to ask something along these lines: Will it be possible to install third-party plugins as well as incorporate other business-specific applications into it? I’m sure there are plenty of applications that are used exclusively in certain work environments/professions that could be dramatically enhanced by being embedded into Foldera. Or is this a moot point, since it isn’t open-source?

Again, thanks for the reply. I’m eager to read your answers to my follow-up questions.

As for the rest of my devoted heap of readers – don’t hesitate to post your questions and comments. I’m sure there are many of you that are capable of asking more qualified questions.

Folderee, Foldera, Folderhahaha?

February 21, 2006

All in all, I like the look of this. I like how if functions as a place to upload and share things rather than send things from one unique user to another. I like how it automatically sorts items, and I love the incorporation of other work-related items that with the current standards are seperated from each other.

God of War? More Like Servant of War

February 18, 2006
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I’ve been an opposing force to the God of War crowd for a while now, and it’s always an interesting topic of discussion. Bill Harris of Dubious Quality (which, on a sidenote, is one of the most frequently updated blogs I’ve seen) bought the game only a few weeks ago, and have heralded a few interesting annotations on it since then. He says a lot of what I would have if I’d bothered to and were equally articulate. In short: story and visuals are stunning, gameplay repetitive/mediocre. To put it in a bit of Haarball-perspective, here’s what I said on a blog entry on the Escapist Lounge:

As for God of War, that game was completely let down by its lack of originality and inspiration and overwhelming cosmetic and audiovisual focus. Hacking, slashing, hacking and slashing and more hacking and slashing (which is my way of saying that the game is a tedious hack’n’slash with an exasperating range of moves/skills and that its creators must have the imagination of a severed thumb) DOES NOT become more entertaining or worthy of my time because my “hero” grunts more eloquently than a wild boar mid-intercourse.

Slightly overstated, but that’s the gist of it. From the above paragraph I might not come across as someone who can recognize the visual splendor of it, but I actually do. It’s perhaps the most successful game on the PS2 in regards to graphics and animation, and that’s not to be taken lightly. The problem I have with it is that it goes to a disastrous waste when the playing/fighting itself lacks the quality it needs to be able to utilize the maximum potential of the visuals.

Bill Harris puts it nicely several times.

It’s not that God of War isn’t good–it is. But its excellence lies not in innovation, but in refinement. God of War is (very basically) a combination of Devil May Cry and Prince of Persia with the shitty parts thrown out. Nothing new, but a recycling of existing elements in a more well-balanced package than the originals.

David Jaffe certainly seems like a bright guy, but I wonder why he’s being looked to for his opinions on the future of gaming when his signature game doesn’t represent the future at all.

…and while I still don’t understand how this game makes Jaffe a visionary, I certainly respect the care with which this game was made. Outstanding animation, terrific sound effects, excellent voice acting, intricate design–it’s all top quality. Yes, the camera is a pain in the ass, and yes, it rips off half a dozen other games, but there’s nothing wrong with being derivative as long as you’re good.

Harris later posted a longer, more in-depth piece.

It’s a shame that the phrase “outstanding animation, terrific sound effects, excellent voice acting, intricate design” and the words boring, annoying and dreadful, paired with a comparison to the ancestor to the domesticated pig, all pertain to the same game.

Posted in Blogs, Debate, Games

You Bloody Tosser

February 16, 2006

Reinforcing the narcissistic, introvert community of the blogging world, I have once again decided to link to tossr, written by the savagely articulate Stu.

He’s recently spoke pleasantly about me and my bizarre diversions into the realms of letter-penetration and flatscreen fellatio – an undeniably mutual admiration. As I’ve been promoted to the blogging world y-list (I’ll take this blog’s word for law), I feel compelled to speak of Stu and his tossr in equally congenial terms.

Simply put, my loyal readership: provide my man with reasons to keep eloquently depicting the scrutiny of his backpack and make tedious, everyday matters sound like fascinating elements of life, effectively sending me into an unquenchable thirst for more wonderful drivel. Visit his site, read it, enjoy it, comment on his posts, and you’ll make all of us blissful human beings.