“Since Google’s business is advertising, shifting industries away from paying business models is in their interest. If people are willing to pay for email, mapping and documents, Google’s business model is limited. Thus, using the outsized revenues they make from advertising on search, Google gives away Gmail, Maps, Docs, navigation, translation, et cetera, so no one can compete in those areas—to make free the norm for these services. If Google is giving away a quite good service, it’s hard to compete with them in that area, and so the economics of that business shift away from paid services to advertising-supported. And if a business becomes dependent on advertising for revenue, that’s good for Google, because they’re better at it than everyone else.”—Kyle Baxter (via marco)
Muphry’s law is an adage that states that “if you write anything criticizing, editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.” The name is a deliberate misspelling of Murphy’s law.
A note: wirrow asked if the Strokes’ credit page design I just posted was our work — it is not (though I’d be proud if it were, it’s wicked).
For future reference to all readers: since we post about 50% our work and 50% other people’s work here, all our posts are always tagged either [made] or [found] depending on whether we made or found them.
[I always include the credit and source for found work if I can find it, though I didn’t put the credit on that post because it was in the image (Lizzie Nanut) — though it appears that wasn’t necessarily obvious.]
““I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ” Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people.” Though the beast has been somewhat tamed by voice mail and caller ID, the phone caller still insists, Ms. Martin explained, “that we should drop whatever we’re doing and listen to me.” Even at work, where people once managed to look busy by wearing a headset or constantly parrying calls back and forth via a harried assistant, the offices are silent. The reasons are multifold. Nobody has assistants anymore to handle telecommunications. And in today’s nearly door-free workplaces, unless everyone is on the phone, calls are disruptive and, in a tight warren of cubicles, distressingly public. Does anyone want to hear me detail to the dentist the havoc six-year molars have wreaked on my daughter? “When I walk around the office, nobody is on the phone,” said Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher at HarperCollins. The nature of the rare business call has also changed. “Phone calls used to be everything: serious, light, heavy, funny,” Mr. Burnham said. “But now they tend to be things that are very focused. And almost everyone e-mails first and asks, ‘Is it O.K. if I call?’ ” * * * * * * “You pretty much call people on the phone when you don’t understand their e-mail,” he said. * * * * * * … heaven forbid you actually have to listen — especially to voice mail. The standard “let the audience know this person is a loser” scene in movies where the forlorn heroine returns from a night of cat-sitting to an answering machine that bleats “you have no messages” would cause confusion with contemporary viewers. Who doesn’t heave a huge sigh of relief to find there’s no voice mail? Is it worth punching in a protracted series of codes and passwords to listen to some three-hour-old voice say, “call me” when you could glance at caller ID and return the call — or better yet, e-mail back instead? Many people don’t even know how their voice mail works. “I’ve lost that skill,” Ms. Birnbach said. “I have no idea how to check it,” Ms. David admitted. “I can stay in a hotel for three days with that little red light blinking and never listen. I figure, if someone needs to reach me, they’ll e-mail.” “I don’t check these messages often,” intoned a discouraging recorded voice, urging callers to try e-mail. And this is the voice-mail recording of Claude S. Fischer, author of a book on the history of the telephone and more recently, “Still Connected: Family and Friends in America Since 1970.” “When the telephone first appeared, there were all kinds of etiquette issues over whom to call and who should answer and how,” Dr. Fischer, a sociology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told me when finally reached by phone. Among the upper classes, for example, it was thought that the butler should answer calls. For a long time, inviting a person to dinner by telephone was beyond the pale; later, the rules softened and it was O.K. to call to ask someone to lunch. Telephones were first sold exclusively for business purposes and only later as a kind of practical device for the home. Husbands could phone wives when traveling on business, and wives could order their groceries delivered. Almost immediately, however, people began using the telephone for social interactions. “The phone companies tried to stop that for about 30 years because it was considered improper usage,” Dr. Fischer said. We may be returning to the phone’s original intentions — and impact.”