Monthly Archives: October 2006

What does it take to truly appal and disgust this nation?

I’ve taken to writing only rarely on this blog about national politics for two reasons: I want to keep my rage in control and a host of others do it so much better than I. But the events of the last few days make me wonder again whether anything will really bring the people of this country to the appropriate level of anger, frustration and disgust at our government?

Foleygate doesn’t preoccupy me, although the apparent cover-up by the Republican leadership is wholly of a piece with their arrogance and hypocrisy. I’m thinking of Condi Rice lying about a pre-9/11 briefing on al Qaeda. Of vice-president Cheney’s praetorian guard arresting a man in Denver because he said, “I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.” Of the daily mess in Iraq thanks to those reprehensible policies. Of the daily scar of the worst president in our history, who violates the law with impunity and condones torture.

Let’s hope the process of throwing these bums out starts on November 7. I certainly can’t take it anymore. Can you?

Desperately seeking iPod insight

I’m puzzling over some iPod questions.

One of the people I’m working with has the lovely, generous idea of giving several hundred iPod Nanos to his clients. What makes it relevant, and not just swag, is we would load the iPods with: an example of his podcast, his audiobook, a playlist he has chosen and perhaps some music he performs (he’s an accomplished musician).

Two issues have come up. First, is there any way to simply load similar content onto several hundred iPods? Second, and looming as more important in my mind, will all that content be wiped out when the recipient takes it home and associates it with her or his iTunes. We can get all the content in straight MP3, no AAC or whatever, I’m sure. But my experience with iPods is that the infernal things just love to wipe out everything given the opportunity.

Any helpful hints from readers?

One less model of rectitude

Tom Peters puts the HP scandal in correct perspective:

I moved to a youthful Silicon Valley in 1970, and stayed 30 years. I was around for the founding, among others, of Apple and Sun. On one or more occasions I heard Steve Jobs or Scott McNealy say, in effect or precisely, “When we grow up we want to be like Hewlett-Packard.” Insanely competitive Scott was still saying it when HP became his principal rival. He was dismissive of HP’s technology compared to Sun’s—but still in awe of this seminal, defining Silicon Valley institution.

HP, in an ever crazier industry, made its full share of marketplace slips. But its character (HP’s true “core competence”) was our collective bellwether and fog-cutting lighthouse in a raging sea.

On September 28th that glorious era ended.

“I do not accept personal responsibility for what happened.” —Patricia Dunn, chairman.

Some are comparing the HP leaks investigation to Enron and Worldcom. On the one hand, that’s ridiculous. Tens of thousands of loyal employees were not left pension-free, for one thing. But on the other hand, the HP fiasco is worse. Enron and Worldcom were Johnnies-come-lately. While many of us admired their daring do, we sure as hell never thought of them as models of rectitude. That honor was left to HP and a tiny handful of others—e.g. Johnson & Johnson, UPS, Medtronics.