Jim Barksdales Rules of Snakes

Filed under: — menk @ 9:17 am

Jim Barksdale

Having worked at Netscape from November 1995 to the time I departed (post AOL merger) in March of 2000, I sincerely believe that Jim Barksdale is the best executive I have ever had the privilege of working for. He is honest, knowledgable and valued his employees to a degree I had not seen nor have since.

Jim was renowned for his ability to voice his beliefs and summarize situations in manner at once ‘down home’ and exactly to the point. My personal favorite was Barksdale’s “3 rules of snakes” where snakes allude to business issues and problems.

“We have 3 rules at Netscape.”

“The first rule is if you see a snake, don’t call committees, don’t call your buddies, don’t form a team, don’t get a meeting together, just kill the snake.

The second rule is don’t go back and play with dead snakes. Too many people waste too much time on decisions that have already been made.

And the third rule of snakes is: all opportunities start out looking like snakes.”

Here is a list of many Barksdaleisms as they are called.


Mattel Gets it!

Filed under: — menk @ 4:14 pm

Mattel Logo

Why can’t more companies with online sites for children be like Mattel? Recently my daughter signed up for an account on everythingGirl.com a site related to Barbies and other girl related toys from Mattel. Unlike other sites targeted towards children Mattel recognizes that these kids actually have Parents? (What a concept) As part of the sign up process the child is prompted to enter their parents e-mail address. To what purpose? Well after she signed up, I received the following note from Mattel.

Dear Parent,

We are writing to let you know that your child has signed up to join www.EverythingGirl.com. This means that your child may receive emails from us from time to time. Our staff and our promotion and fulfillment agencies care about personal privacy. We realize that as a parent it’s your job to monitor your child’s activities on the web, and we’ve taken every precaution to make that job a little easier with our site. We encourage you to review our site and our privacy policy at


EverythingGirl.com is a website that serves as an online portal to all of Mattel’s girls websites. It provides links to fun games, arts and crafts, and other activities featuring Mattel products like Barbie. Since our aim is to encourage each girl’s individuality and creativity, we offer a variety of special online features, including opportunities to sign up for email newsletters. To sign up for one of our email newsletters, we ask girls to provide a first name, their e-mail address, and the e-mail address of a parent so we can send you this notice. All information we collect will be used to help us improve our site, our services, and our products.

As a parent you have the right to ask us to not contact your child online and to remove your child from our email database at any time. If you do not respond we will send your child email newsletters and updates from time to time. If you choose to remove your child, they will not receive future email newsletters from www.EverythingGirl.com. Unfortunately, they will also not be able to enjoy the exclusive content at EverythingGirl.com. To remove your child from our email database click here http://www.everythinggirl.com/common/optout.aspx?request=vT22Ou02DOA%3d%3d

You may want to save this email for future reference.

We really appreciate your time and hope you and your child will visit us at www.EverythingGirl.com soon!



P.S. If you are having trouble using links, cut and paste or type the entire link into your website browser address line.

© 2006 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With all the sites that are seeking to have children participate in online activities this is the singular example (in my experience) that recognizes that parents care what their kids are doing and where. Thanks Mattel! I am going to make sure that I get some Mattel toys for my children this Holiday season because as a company you actually care.


Installing the Zune sucked - Engadget

Filed under: — menk @ 1:24 pm

Well the breathless waiting is over and it’s official: “Installing the Zune Sucked” Engadget an unbiased device and vendor independent site dealing with reviews and evaluation of all manner of high tech gizmos documents the torture that is the typical install of the Zune software.

Zune Install fails

According to concensus this girl in the Zune Install Failure screen is distraught because she received the Zune as a gift from her boyfriend instead of the iPod she requested. My bet is this guy will be tossed to the curb like roadkill as a result.

The part I frankly find laughable is the way they included (as background to the installer) pictures of weird/dorky people so enamored with the device and “The Social” as they call it they can barely keep their pants on. One comment on the site by a user tells it all

” ‘Welcome to the social.

Aside from making me throw up a little in my mouth, this catchphrase brings to mind little old ladies playing bingo. Whoever thought of this should be forced to hang around with the dorks pictured in the install program.”

Ballmer - Lick me!

I can only imagine Steve Ballmer sitting in some conference room somewhere (with sweat beads running down the buttcrack of his fat ass) believing that Microsoft can somehow manufacture “Cool”. The very fact they tried so hard to give this impression makes it patently uncool.

Installing the Zune… sucked - Engadget


Newest iPod Accessory - Airplanes

Filed under: — menk @ 4:48 pm

United Airlines Plane

Apple announced partnership with six major Airlines today the will allow travelers to charge their iPods in flight and integrate the seatback screens so that videos on the iPods can be viewed on the screens. The airlines (Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United) expect that this capability will be rolled to their fleets in mid-2007.

It’s fitting that this announcement be made on the day on which Microsoft formally starts selling the Zune player. The wireless capability (limited as it is) incorporated in the Zune player makes it questionable that Zune will even be allowed to operate inflight.

Apple cues up iPods on a plane | CNET News.com


Apple iPhone: Design by Buddha

Filed under: — menk @ 11:06 am

iPhone Design Speculation

For some time there has been considerable speculation on the approach that Apple will take when it produces the rumoured Apple Mobile Phone. With the announcement of such a device speculated to be at Macworld in January of 2007. John Martello writing for the Mac Observer has noted that the philosophical influences of Steve Jobs could result in a surprising approach that may create yet another breakout product for Apple.

“For several years now, we’ve all been swooning over the possibility of an Apple product we all believe will be called the “iPhone.” Why is this? I believe it’s because, deep down, we suspect, based on Apple’s track record, that the Apple iPhone will be a very desirable product. It will blow away the competition. I will make us look cool just using it. It will be a work of design art. And we’ll want one.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why we just know we’ll drop our Moto RAZRs and LG Chocolates for an iPhone.”

Hidden Dimensions - Apple iPhone: Design by Buddha, Inc. || The Mac Observer


Microsoft - Unlikely to Play technology

Filed under: — menk @ 5:35 pm

Ugly Zune Logo

Microsoft is shuttering the MSN Music Site based on it’s poorly named “Plays For Sure” technology. Apparently it’s forthcoming “lame and late” Zune music player will be unable to play any tracks that users bought from the MSN Music site or any other music site that is based on the Plays for Sure format.

How Microsoft could could adopt a music player that will be unable to play music that they sold to users through their existing Music Store is baffling. Seems that they incorrectly named their technology “Plays for Sure” when in fact it is more aptly described as “Unlikely to Play”.

The most interesting part of this announcement is going to be watching how this affects all the player vendors that implemented the “Plays For Sure” DRM in their players.

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