Ready, AIM, Miss

Granted, the whole “instant communications” sector is going through a major upheaval as there are so so many options for people to use these days – Pinger, FaceTime, Facebook IM, Text Messaging, Skype, ooVoo, and on and on – but wow, AOL Instant Messenger’s usage has fallen 64% over the past year.

Whoever is to blame, the truth is that there has been no bigger missed opportunity in the technology business than AOL Instant Messenger. There’s an investor we (ed: SAI) know in New York who swears AOL blew it when it didn’t turn AIM into a full-on Skype competitor.

When I briefly worked at AOL and on the IM product, it was sometimes referred to as AOL’s “800 pound gorilla” because it had so so many registered users that AOL had no idea what to do with. I guess they never figured out what to do with them and now their once dominant market position has eroded in a major way.


Share Fail

If you created a “Share” button but no one could implement it, did it really share any content?

So I went onto Techcrunch to read up on what’s happening out in the Internet world, and saw a post detailing really neat and interesting sharing tool released by Tumblr. So I was actually pretty interested in checking it out and possibly immediately integrating it into this here blog. But, once again Tumblr’s infrastructure seems to be getting crushed as you can see below. Its “We’re Sorry” screens like below that really give me pause whenever I even entertain the idea of shifting my primary blog over to them. I love Tumblr, I use it regularly, but I still wonder if its ready for prime time.

Mind The Gap

You may have heard about The Gap’s recent inept attempt to redesign their logo. To demonstrate just how poor the decision making was there, the fine folks at ISO50 held a Gap Logo Redesign Contest, reaching out to the broader interweb design community to submit their own redesigns for the iconic logo. The results are, in my humble opinion, spectacular…with a couple of snarky designs thrown in for good measure! Just some amazing designs that reinforce just how bad the one that The Gap chose really is.

It appears that the geniuses at The Gap are now backpedaling on their decision making processes.

And for those few that really do like the new logo, you can generate a logo of your own right here.

An Open Letter to Skullcandy

Dear Skullcandy:

For the second time, I’m sending back your Ink’d in-ear headphones.

For the second time, they have #failed in the same manner – one of the earbuds stopped working.

On your site and in your customer service correspondence, you imply that your products can withstand “extreme listening”. My listening demands call for me to pull them out of my pocket, plug them into my Droid, put them in my ears, and listen when I commute to my job in NYC. I’ll concede that NYC can be a zoo sometimes, but its not like my usage patterns of your product is anything close to extreme.  With both Ink’d products that I have returned, one of the earbuds on the headphones has failed and I can only hear audio out of the other earbud.  In the first instance, my assessment was that the root cause was a frayed connection of the cable to the jack.  For my most recent instance, I’m really not sure what is happening that is causing the earbud to fail.

I’ll be honest here, I’m a little frustrated with your products, especially being that I’m not doing anything “extreme” when using your headphones. One time I can understand, but two times is troubling.

But wait…there’s more! I was in Best Buy the other day, looking at replacement headphones to purchase.  I happened to overhear two women who were also looking at headphones, where one of them was saying that her current headphones (which were in her hand) had failed.  When I looked down at them, they were distinctively Skullcandy.  I struck up a conversation with them and we compared notes.  The issue she had experienced was exactly what I have experienced, in that the cable connection to the jack had frayed and caused the audio and headphone to fail.

I don’t know if it’s a problem with the Ink’d line or a broader issue with your in-ear headphones, but I would look long and hard at how these are produced and figure out where the defect is.  I wanted to like your products, really I did. But I’ve lost my patience.  And it appears the woman I spoke with in Best Buy did too.

What?!? A Buggy Microsoft App?

I find it utterly hysterical and ironic that for some strange reason, I can not log onto Microsoft’s Hotmail, via their “wonderful” Passport authentication system, from the version of Internet Explorer that is on my computer, yet I can successfully log on when using Netscape. My Hotmail account is a spam account anyway, and I rarely use it for anything but signing up for sites I have limited interest in, so its not a big deal. But it is humorous none the less.