Archive for April 14th, 2008

Who else is gonna bring you a Broken Arrow?

April 14, 2008

Once upon a time, I wrote a piece of software for a phone company that one could enter a customer’s phone number in and get a response telling you whether that customer could get DSL service. The phone company used this software in their call center. The phone company also had retail stores in various places, and wanted those stores to use the software, as well. So I worked with a very nice woman at the company’s HQ to set up user accounts for the stores.

She decided that the passwords for these accounts would all take the form of an abbreviation of the store’s city, followed by the word “retail” — all lowercase. She sent me a spreadsheet of the passwords. She was considerably embarrassed when I suggested in response that it might not be in her best interest for the employees in Broken Arrow, OK, to be walking around with “baretail” on their minds all day. She just hadn’t thought that one through.

Companies often don’t think through their choices of website URLs, either. One that I visit occasionally is a knowledge-sharing site for programmers: Experts Exchange. Their URL is “”.

Here are some more.

(h/t Yglesias)

Now I’m the Bitter One

April 14, 2008

Well, I thought we had almost made it to the finish line, but now there’s a new Obama controversy that the press has really globbed onto.  What I can’t understand is why his response hasn’t been to clarify what he really meant, which is not that people cling to guns and religion themselves as a reaction to hard economic times, but that they cling to them as political issues, inflating their relative importance in elections, while ignoring the economic issues that are the true root of their negative feelings.  You know, what’s the matter with Kansas and all that.  Perhaps it was decided that telling people of their own false consciousness is somehow “patronizing,” to use Hillary’s term.  But it seems to me that letting people believe that the remark had the meaning that most are now ascribing to it is worse.