Absence makes the heart grow fonder and other weird thoughts

How many times yesterday did you do a web search that led you to a Wikipedia page that then didn’t load because of that site’s SOPA protest?  I didn’t notice the effect immediately but once I did I was later able to go back through my browser history and see that I tried and failed to open a total of 13 Wikipedia pages so far.  Whether you give a damn about SOPA or public protest, this experience has given me a whole new respect for the role Wikipedia has come to play in my life and probably yours.

As a result I made a small donation to Wikipedia around lunchtime then cursed it the rest of […]

By |January 19th, 2012|2012|81 Comments

Prediction 6: Thompson's no Yahoo

Let me be clear about this just in case my clever headline makes no sense: I think the Yahoo board punted by hiring Scott Thompson, who is either a stooge for Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang or a convenient placeholder until the company can be sold.

I have nothing against Thompson, who did an able, if very vanilla, job at PayPal, but there is nothing — nothing — that distinguishes him as a new media executive. With a wildly dysfunctional outfit like Yahoo, he’ll be in over his head from the first day. I hope for his sake there’s a golden parachute rip cord available for pulling.

His best hope — and it isn’t much of a hope […]

By |January 4th, 2012|2012|36 Comments

How Not to Run Yahoo

I seem to be writing a lot of these What the heck was that? columns explaining recent news events. This time it is the firing of Carol Bartz as CEO of Yahoo. I’m not here to defend Bartz, whom I would have fired long ago (or more probably not hired in the first place), but I want to make the point that for all her failings, Bartz was mainly fired for being a hardass.  It’s not what she did or didn’t do as much as her style while doing it.

Carol Bartz is, like beer, an acquired taste.  I like her, but she has a long history of bothering sensitive geeks. The old-timers at Autodesk (a […]

By |September 8th, 2011|2011|93 Comments