Scripting News for 3/25/2006

You can view the 60-percent-Vista-rewrite story as something of a software development IQ test. Anyone who believes that it’s conceivable is someone who hasn’t got the most basic clue about how software development works. It’s akin to believing that all the US troops in Iraq could come home for the weekend and then on Monday all be back in Iraq fighting the insurgents. That much code movement just isn’t possible. It’s almost for certain that that much code wasn’t rewritten in the transition from XP to Vista and that’s already taken five years. You gotta understand it’s not just how much time it takes to write the code, it’s got to get stabilized too. So if you were to write an operating system from scratch (or 60 percent from scratch) today, you could expect to get some use from it in 2011, maybe. But not with an installed base like Windows and its out-the-door rate for new machines. It would be completely diseconomic, the support costs would be astronomical, even if any users would be willing to use the damned thing, because it wouldn’t run any of their software. Microsoft is learning, as we all are along with them, that you just can’t do major overhauls of Windows anymore. The only way a new OS is going to bootstrap is with a whole new environment, perhaps on the XBox or maybe Second Life will be the new operating system for this century. It takes a lifetime to build the momentum behind an OS.  

I had to book a quick trip to NY next week, and the choices on Expedia weren’t good so I tried Orbitz, which has a bunch of features I’ve wished for on Expedia. Like being able to see the seating chart before making the flight choice. This way I can find out if a flight has some empty seats, and guess if they’re empty now they might still be empty on travel day. I know, it’s a crap shoot, but look at it this way, if there are no seats available now, I know the flight will be full. The second must-have feature is the ability to say “give me results on one day on either side of this day.” Which means if I have some flexibility on when I travel, if there are some better choices, a cheaper flight or a more humane time (I hate red-eyes, won’t do one unless I’m traveling overseas, when they’re unavoidable) I would choose to travel a day earlier or later. This time I was able to save hundreds of dollars by staying one day longer, and instead of having to race to the airport at the crack of dawn I get to go in the middle of the day, in both directions. I still like Expedia’s customer service, and their site works better in Firefox, but in the end convenience, comfort and economics win out.  

Jeff Jarvis blogs from an unconference in Philadelphia on the future of news. 

Rafat Ali snaps a pic of Barry Diller at a cupcake shop.  

Amy’s 17-year-old son is planning a “virility festival.”  

When I’m feeling down I’ll just remember that Scripting News is Amanda Congdon’s favorite weblog. Wow. 🙂 

Lifehacker advice on hitch-hiking. I’ve done a fair amount in my younger days. Here’s my number one tip. If possible, ask to be let off at a rest area. Then, if you have the chutzpah, walk up to people and ask if they could give you a ride. This gives you a chance to size them up and it’s hard to say no to a person, where it’s easy to drive by a guy on the side of the road. Also people feel better after a little rest, and are more likely to give you a chance.  

NY Times: “A 24-year-old blogger for The Washington Post, Ben Domenech, resigned yesterday after being confronted with evidence that he had plagiarized articles in other publications.” 

Niall Kennedy: “I am in west Los Angeles today and dropped by theOffice, a community workspace serving the professional writing community of Santa Monica.” 

2 responses to this post.

  1. Are you going to have time for a blogger dinner when you are in NYC?


  2. It’s far from perfect, but have you tried Nice little Ajax-y sliders that let you play with flight times and price to alter the results. Sometimes the flights are cheaper, too.


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