Advertisers Should Love AdBlock Plus

6 September 2013 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

Last weekend On The Media ran a repeat airing of their excellent episode on online business models. One of the segments is an interview with AdBlock Plus CEO Till Faida, who defends their eyebrow-raising business model of charging large companies to not block their ads. Yesterday Salon ran an article on the travails of online [...]


Agile Pointing: Fibonacci or Fibo-yes-chi?

24 September 2012 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

My natural inclination is to be skeptical of anything billed as a “software development methodology”. I still remember my early years as a professional developer in France in the early 90′s when the “Merise” methodology was ubiquitous. To me it seemed like an excuse to spend tons of time on process documentation and other bureaucracy [...]


The Case Against Advertising

15 August 2012 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

Dalton Caldwell, an Internet entrepreneur, made a splash recently by announcing a paid alternative to Twitter and Facebook. His argument is that, because they are beholden to advertisers, these social feed platforms inevitably adopt policies that are hostile to users and third-party developers. By charging a direct fee instead, a competing service would be freed [...]


There is War!

6 February 2012 by Arne Seib - Category: Rants and Ruminations

No, I don’t want to write this article. Not at all. But I have to. I recently had to look up a phrase that didn’t mean anything to me so far, the phrase “flame war”. Wikipedia defines “flaming” as “hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users”. So when I learned the meaning of “flame wars” [...]


Firefox: Product or Platform?

13 October 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

Steve Yegge’s sprawling Amazon vs. Google platform rant (linking to Hacker News as Steve has since pulled his original post) has finally spurred me to expand on something I wrote recently about Firefox: In essence, Mozilla wants to focus on creating the best browser possible. The distractions inherent in maintaining a platform for third-party developers [...]


Wonder How Chrome is Growing Market Share? Ask Adobe

23 September 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

Yesterday one of my colleagues started grumbling and swearing even more vociferously than usual. He had installed Adobe Flash in Firefox in order to test some changes to our website and claimed that Google Chrome had been installed as well. “Impossible,” I said. “Remember Google’s motto is Don’t Be Evil. They wouldn’t do anything as [...]


In Defense of Netflix

21 September 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

According to investment blog Seeking Alpha, Netflix is going to lower fourth quarter guidance because, among other things, “Everybody hates the split of the brand into Netflix and Qwikster.” A couple of web comics, Oatmeal and The Joy of Tech, rip into the company even more mercilessly. Press coverage has been almost universally negative. This [...]


Social Squatting and the Case for Decentralized Identity

20 September 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

Listening to TWiT yesterday, I started wondering again whether domain names are really the best way to identity resources on the web. Just as I griped that salsita.com is unavailable but totally empty, Leo Laporte complained that leo.com is parked and yet he can’t get his hands on it, despite being a tech celebrity with [...]


Firefox's Version Controversy isn't Just About Marketing. It's About the Strategic Direction of the Company.

14 July 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

For those who tuned in late, Mozilla announced after the release of Firefox 4 in March that they would be instituting a rapid release schedule like that of Google Chrome, involving a new browser release every six weeks. Resistance to the plan has been widespread. To some degree this reaction was psychological: Firefox 4 was [...]


Should Apple Discontinue Safari or Double Down?

8 July 2011 by Matthew Gertner - Category: Rants and Ruminations

The recent news that Chrome has passed 20% browser market share (according to StatCounter) was impressive for a browser that hit the market just 30 months ago. One subtle point that was hardly mentioned in the tech press is that, as the same narrative was trotted out time and time again (Chrome surging, Firefox holding [...]