Category: Sloth

He Safire to the facts! [in the style of Cartman from South Park]

Kottke led me to this post by Wes Felter rightfully criticizing William Safire’s rough’n’far from ready article ostensibly reviewing the jargon of the blogosphere. Among the numerous factual errors, Safire’s primary source for these facts – gets things so wrong it’s almost laughable. Here’s a quick example of their entry for ‘meme’: “A meme is a type of online chain letter where bloggers answer questions or participate in a quiz designed to give a quick overview of the author’s personality.”

I can’t believe that such a well-respected writer at the Times uses a single (barely visited) site as a primary source for his article. Even five minutes spent googling or hell – askjeevesing (get it before he’s gone) – would have exposed Safire’s factual ‘malfunction’ with a teeny bit of evidence.

How T-mobile reinvented SMTP…

So I was doing a bit of googling to fix up my new Nokia 6682’s email capabilities and I found some useful information via Google and then this
T-Mobile Smtp

complete nonsense (see image on left) from T-mobile – my trusted cell phone provider, to whom I pay large chunks of cash every month to provide me with limited data speed, shoddy connection and erratic SMS delivery. Now I know why – they don’t even bloody know what SMTP is! Perhaps I am wildly off the mark, and what I have thought of for many years as the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (defined in RFC 821), the cornerstone of email is actually the Short Message Transfer Protocol. Hmm… 371 hits on Google, zilch on Wikipedia and precious little everywhere else.

Perhaps they were confusing SMTP with SMS – the Short Message Service – which is sometimes also called text messaging. These acronyms are difficult to sort out, especially if you’re one of the largest carriers in the US with other things on your mind, like working out how to squeeze more $$ out of your millions of customers. Frankly, if they can’t even copy and paste definitions of easily understood acronyms, I shudder to think of the incompetence lurking within their billing department. Sheesh.

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