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Journal: Microsoft redirecting Google users to 404? 5

Journal by dtfinch

I followed the link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306359/EN-US/ from Google search results and it lead to Microsoft's 404 page. So I searched for the article using Microsoft's integrated search and followed the url in the results. This time it worked, and by golly, it was the same exact url, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306359/EN-US/. This is not the first time support.microsoft.com has given me 404 errors on links I've followed from Google, but it is the first time I've verified that they link was in fact good, and their server gave a 404 response only when the referrer was Google. It's as though Microsoft wants me to think Google is giving me bad links.

This isn't the first time I've seen Microsoft sabotage their knowledgebase to annoy users of competing products and services. When I use Firefox, they disable their feedback form on the bottom of each article, and sometimes they demand that I login to passport just to view an article. Both annoyances go away if I switch to IE using the "IE Tab" Firefox plugin.

User Journal

Journal: Noncommercial spam for spam's sake

Journal by dtfinch

Lately I've been receiving 2-3 non-advertisement spams a day. It's the rare type of spam that isn't caught by thunderbird's bayesian filter. All they are is a few random phrases designed to bypass spam blockers. I view the source to confirm. There's no sort of advertisement. No URL's. No meaningful information in the headers. No html. No images. It's 100% random plaintext. And these are tiny spams, unlikely to choke many email servers with their volume. All they're doing is sending out possibly hundreds of millions of spams a day with nothing but random text, having no commercial value whatsoever, marketing or otherwise. That's the dumbest marketing plan I've ever seen. What's the point of sending spam if not to make money?

User Journal

Journal: The thriving ERP market

Journal by dtfinch

After years of reviewing crappy ERP system after ERP system, each selling for $20k to $100k for about 10 seats, I've come to the conclusion that this just might be a good market to get into. I've heard it's rather unrewarding, and comes with great responsibility, but after seeing all the crap that people try to pass off as ERP, and noticing that these companies are somehow not only still business but actually doing quite well, my confidence has never been higher. Some of these systems are even written in Microsoft Access. 2/3 of them are two-tier, where the clients work directly with data files. They just make a few sales per year per employee and they're set.

Small to medium sized businesses have widely varying "needs" (wants), so every ERP vendor has a chance to make some sales, no matter that their system isn't the best. Half of these systems are so crappy because they were built inhouse by one business with special "needs" and later marketed to other businesses with similar "needs". Given that I'm a programmer (plus everything else computer related) for a small/medium manufacturing businesses with special "needs" which finds every other ERP system to be woefully inadequate, that makes me the perfect candidate for creating a yet another new ERP system to fill yet another unsatisfied niche. Having seen so much of the competition, I ought to have a good idea of what not to do by now.

I hate this sort of work. CIS is rather boring and unrewarding compared to CS. If it doesn't make me wealthy, it'll make me crazy. Or it'll do both. Hopefully I'll still have time for fun.

User Journal

Journal: Should I be "evil"?

Journal by dtfinch

A recent article really got me thinking. I hear there's still good money in "evil", so long as it's all safe and legal. How it would work is I'd split my morality into two halves. In one half, the political half, my moral opinion would be comparable to Richard Stallman's and other role models. In the other half, the economic half, morality would be defined entirely by profit minus personal consequence, as the law and the market intend. And I won't have to hate myself. It's the system's fault if I succeed. If I don't do these things, someone else will do it in my place, and my abstinence will have been for nothing. If I really abuse the system to the max, it'll get fixed so nobody can. The world will become a better place. And by then I'll have money like all those evil people I despise. Everyone will be happy. And there's only one Google.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

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