Just a few hours ago, my weekend plans were so simple.
- Put the excellent game PsychoNauts into my backpack so I remember to bring it home from work.
- On the way home from work, stop off at BlockBuster video to rent an XBox video game machine.
- Go home.
- Plug in TV. See if TV catches fire. (A few months ago, I was moving furniture in my apartment. I tipped a bookshelf over on my TV. I haven't tried using the TV since then. It's probably fine. But maybe there's a short-circuit in there; maybe it will catch fire.)
- See if I can figure out how to hook up the XBox to the TV. This may not be possible at all. I don't know anything about the provenance of this TV. During the depths of the dot-bomb, my neighbor, like me, could not find a job. So he moved back to the East Coast to live with his dad. He gave me his TV so that I could have some entertainment during my own unemployment. How old is this TV? What are its inputs? I don't know.
- Play PsychoNauts.
- Achieve bliss.
This simple plan just got simpler: It turns out that Blockbuster doesn't rent out XBox machines. I wonder why I thought they did. Maybe they used to. Maybe I'm just an ignoramus. I tried calling up EB Games. They don't rent XBox machines, either.
How will I play this game? What am I doing this weekend?
But that does not help you, dear reader. How can I help you? Are you here for the book reports? I can share my opinion of John Battelle's The Search. What is that opinion? The Search is worth skimming, but not worth reading.
In ten years or so when kids ask me "What was life like back when the web was young?" I can hand them this book. But if you lived through that time, this book is 95% full of stuff you already know. You might want to borrow the book to get the other 5%.
Some fun facts from my 5%:
- It is much cheaper to acquire customers by being search-findable than by sending email spam according to some report by some organization named Piper Jaffray. Not just more ethical. It's cheaper. Spammers are evil and dumb.
- The Yahoo! founders' first(?) web-crawling project scraped sports statistics from many places. The goal: Winning a fantasy football league.
- The goto.com/Overture people think that mixing paid search listings with regular search listings is a feature, not sleazy. They see it as the web parallel to the yellow pages. They don't think of the yellow pages as sleazy.
- During the Google IPO, Google opened up stock bidding to a large auction. Brokers specializing in IPOs criticized Google for this. This criticism did not say, "I, a fat-cat IPO broker, am upset. Why did those Google jerks use an auction? All the other high-tech companies let me run my own little exclusive auction. I sell stock cheap to my fat-cat frat buddies and then we sell the stock at high prices to regular investors. We all get mansions. It's great. Doesn't Google like the old boy network?" Instead, the criticism said, "Google is arrogant." (Remember folks: just because someone despises you doesn't always mean that they're arrogant. Sometimes it means you're despicable.)
- When something strange happens to the Google index, people suffer. One year during an index change, 2bigfeet.com stopped showing up in the top search results. The business nearly went under. The business owner tried to find out what was going on, but no-one at Google replied to him. Google needs to work on communication.
Hmm, that mention of fantasy football reminds me that I want to read something about football pools.
Labels: book, business, double fine