Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Your Basic, Ordinary Update

A brilliant, new parable of our time by Cory Doctorow is here. It's about a 45 minute read if you take your time, and it's time very well spent. For the first time ever, I find myself tempted to move to Beijing.

Eric thinks that Earthlink's customer service drone that I chatted with the other night may have been a bot. I doubt this, not because I don't think it's technologically possible, but for two much more banal reasons. First, Polly misspelled words several times when answering me. A bot has no fingers, never forgets how to spell, and doesn't get flustered, causing it to forget how a keyboard works. Second, programming a bot takes a lot of time and billable programming hours. Why on earth would they teach it a word like 'intimated'? They wouldn't. I'm 98% certain that Polly is an organic drone, not a cybernetic one.

Also, ALICE is way smarter than Polly was. Go ahead and ask her.

I've finally finished putting together my WEA user groups on Google Groups. The Interest Group, 154 people strong, took a long time to get set up because Google would only allow me to add 25 names to the group every 24 hours. I know, if you do the math, it seems to be a simple matter of fourteen minutes of work, broken up into seven sessions, once per day. But it was really more of a pain than that. First I had to experiment with the Add Users tool to figure out what my limits were. Once I got that down, I had to remember what time I had added names the previous day, and make sure that the current day's attempt was after that time. And so on.

But now it's done, and I no longer have to worry about sending limits on my email account. Hooray!

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