Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy "Holidays" From Google

If you use GMail, you probably got this message recently:

Happy Holidays from Google


As we near the end of the year, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for the time, energy, commitment, and trust you've shared with us in 2009.

With sharing in mind, this year we've decided to do something a little different. We hope you'll find it fits the spirit of the holiday season.

We're looking forward to working with you to build lasting success in 2010.

Happy Holidays,
Your Google Team

While on the surface it seems like a nice gesture, wouldn't it be nice if these big companies actually put some thought into what they wrote?

The use of terms or "codewords" like "Happy Holidays" or "holiday season" is meant to be all inclusive of the various winter holidays celebrated by different religions or cultural groups, without singling out any one of them in particular. It's primarily meant to include minorities that celebrate Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.

But this letter was sent on December 21, after Hanukkah was already completed two days earlier. If they really wanted to be all inclusive, perhaps they should have sent it the first week in December, instead of waiting till soon after Hanukkah was over, portraying Antisemitism.

All these "codewords" used are actually born out of "Political Correctness", a practice designed to discriminate against your average white male, while not actually caring about the minorities you're trying to protect. Isn't it nice to see another big company show that they aim for Political Correctness, yet show they couldn't care less about those minorities?

On a similar note, a friend of mine tells me that he recently applied for a job at Google, and they sent him a form asking him to specify his Race on it. Wonder why?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cryptic Linux Distro Updates

We're almost in 2010, I thought by now to anyone who basically knows how to use a computer, general upgrade prompts in Linux Distros would make sense, and won't seem cryptic like "Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?".

Then you get something like this:

This is a new upgrade message in Debian/Ubuntu.
Here's the full text:

Various snmp software needs extracted MIBs from RFCs and IANA - which cannot be shipped - to be working as expected. These MIBs can be automatically fetched and extracted as part of installing this package.

This will take several minutes to complete, even with a fast internet connection.

Download and extract MIBs from RFCs and IANA?

Are all these acronyms really necessary? Should a user even be given such cryptic information, and instead see a prompt along the lines of: "This package requires additional components to fully function, download them?".

Even a power user who is familiar with a term like RFC, does this message even make any sense?

Seems like Linux Distros still has a long way to go.