Home Page -> Commentary -> 21 Feb 1999

Comment of the Fortnight
21 February 1999
The Utter Disbelief Awards

Just when I thought I wouldn't have a topic for my comment of the fortnight, [yes--I know it's a week late] some things happened that had me shaking my head in utter disbelief.

The Bloatware Award

I found a bug in a software development system that I've been using. I wanted to download the release notes for the next version to see if the bug had been fixed.

As I write this text, the download is still in progress on my 28.8K modem here at home -- and the file is over 2 megabytes! Mind you, this is a .zip file of the release notes. If it's that large when it's compressed, I hate to think of how large it will be when it's unzipped. And that's just the release notes! The mind fairly boggles.

As a side note, this is not so much the trend on Linux systems, where there are a lot of small tools that you mix and match to build a development environment that suits your taste.

Oh, by the way, this development software isn't from Redmond, from whom I've come to expect nothing but bloat. Speaking of the folks in Redmond...

The Chutzpah Award

It seems that Microsoft ©®TM is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium group that was working on Style Sheets. These style sheets, once fully implemented by web browsers, will allow people to create good-looking, interactive pages more easily.

Microsoft went behind the backs of the rest of the group members and applied for a patent on the basic principles of style sheets. I call this arrogance of epic proportions, and hence the award. Of course, let's not forget to give...

The "You're Joking, of Course" Award

This goes to anyone who has answered a poll and said that they still respect President Clinton as a person (as opposed to respecting him for his considerable political skills). It also goes to his advisors; I simply cannot understand why they didn't resign en masse after he lied to them. How anyone can think that the office of the presidency hasn't been damaged by President Clinton's unseemly behavior is beyond my ability to believe.

I do have to congratulate Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, for being one of the only Democrats to have publicly stated her outrage at having been lied to by the President.

The "Appeal to the Masses" Award

This one goes to the Republican party, which seems to be rushing headlong into the arms of the Radical Religious Right. Just look at some of the candidates for the presidency in the year 2000: Gary Bauer, Dan Quayle, and Steve Forbes. This is one scary trio, and I can't for the life of me understand how they think they can appeal to a majority of voters to get elected.

There are, of course, notes of sanity in the Republican party. Governor Bush of Texas and Mayor Giuliani of New York City distinguish themselves as practical, moderate politicians. They are more concerned with making their state and city good places to work and live than in standing on a philosophical soapbox and posturing.

Do you have any "Utter Disbelief" awards of your own? If so, let me know!

Back to top of page