The New Economy

June 13th, 2002

I’ve been reading John Robb’s discussions of The New Economy with interest.

Companies in the new economy will attract investment and be successful if they can convince the public that they truly embrace a holistic view of corporate health that includes profitablity but not at the expense of ethics and social conscience.

No longer can investors tolerate a decision by a huge conglomerate to ruin the entire local economy of a small city by shutting down a plant that’s making them $100 million a year because they can make $120 million taking the plant elsewhere. That’s NOT a plant that’s losing $20M, it’s a plant that’s making $100M.

No longer will the public willingly give their custom to companies who have been shown to compensate their executives with obscene forgivable loans.

Respect has been absent from corporate culture, as has commitment to long-term viability. Customer and employee loyalty has been ignored.

Employee loyalty has been decimated by the trend to move learning and apprenticeship out of companies and into schools and training centres – getting the employee and the government to supply the education that companies once did. Where once you would join a company and learn the ropes internally, they now require that you come equipped with a particular accreditation in your field, be it insurance, welding, travel agency, real estate.

Customer loyalty has been destroyed by a complete lack of attention to the needs of the consumer in pursuit of “operational efficiencies”.

Companies have to jump on the Cluetrain and start conversing with (as opposed to “at”) their customers.


Accent problem doesnt affect RSS

June 13th, 2002

It seems the accent problem doesn’t affect RSS or the aggregator – the problem is that IE and Mozilla both choke on accented characters in the description element when trying to render the XML in the browser, even if I replace them with their equivalent html entities.


Just testing.

June 13th, 2002

Here’s some text that the XML renderer is choking on:

[removed because it of course choked the damn rss feed]

I’ll look at it in my feed now.


translating RSS

June 13th, 2002

Jenny asks

my next question is how do we get on-the-fly translation into news aggregators, but I’m sure we’re a ways off from that.

Not that far off at all! I wrote Jenny an RSS cleanser in PHP recently, and it took me about 20 minutes tonight to add translation to it. I’ve showed it to Jenny but won’t post it here because (a) it really burdens the translation service and (b) for some reason accented characters in the description break the RSS feed, even if I use their html entity equivalents.


Translating on the fly

June 12th, 2002

My BlogChat partner Tim points me to a discussion from Jenny about realtime translation.

I’ve been playing with realtime translation with BlogChat. I’m at a pretty early proof-of-concept stage, but have used it to good effect already. Here’s a capture of a session:

It’s simple to use and quite fast. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas of how to build a useful translating chat. Time to leap into the conversation, I guess!


Ceci n’est pas un Lundi

June 11th, 2002

Michael O’Connor Clarke comments on Price-WaterHouse-Coopers Consulting’s new branding initiative. I was hard pressed from the feel of the site to know the product is consulting. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a new deodorant or a breakfast power shake.

Their advertising campaign says this to me:

We will help you spend tons of money to come up with airy-fairy vacuous mission-statement shite that helps you condescend to your customers. We’ll build you a company website like ours using Lotus Notes, requiring craploads of consulting to keep it going. Our sales guys will be golfing with your CFO while you lay off staff to afford our rates to support our hoity-toity ad campaign.


JSRS 2.1 released

June 10th, 2002

Now that Mozilla 1.0 is out, I finally made JSRS work with POST for Mozilla. Some changes broke it around version 0.92, so I’ve been waiting for 1.0 so I know it’s safe to fix it without having to revisit it.

It turned out was a pretty simple change to jsrsClient.js – in an iframe, the document is now known as iframe.contentDocument instead of iframe.document as it was before.

I managed to find the problem with the really neat Venkman ECMAScript debugger and the object browser built into Mozilla. I’ve generally found Mozilla 1.0 to be really fast, slick, very nice to work with.

Of course, the very second I say that I find an issue where I can’t insert a URL in the Movable Type 1.4 blog entry page using Mozilla. The button does nothing. Also, the text box doesn’t wrap. Damn. Maybe it’s fixed in MT2.0. Well, I’m still pretty happy with it anyhow.


Who was that masked man?

June 10th, 2002

The Wireless Bandit stalks Toronto and environs, finding free and/or open 802.11 feeds, documenting and mapping them for the benefit of all.

Hi-ho Itanium and awayyyy!!

…and I never got a chance to thank him!