Eightface

by Dave Kellam

Dissecting Queen’s Alumni Spam pt II

Time for another installment of ripping apart email from my favourite university, in partial service to those not fortunate enough to be part of the alumni listserv. In case you missed the first installment, it was taking a look at Karen Hitchcock’s plea for support Bob Rae’s super report.

This time around, Hitchcock’s name isn’t directly attached, so the blame cannot be placed on her shoulders alone. That said, it doesn’t do anything to improve the perceptions of a ‘country club’ attitude at the university. Here’s is the latest email in it’s entirety:

Dear Mr Kellam,

Spoil yourself with unforgettable golf. Through Queen’s University’s newest affinity partner, International Club Network, you have the opportunity to experience incredible benefits and savings at over 100 exceptional golf courses across Canada and the US. For a special Queen’s alumni price of only $99 per year (regularly $275), you receive one complimentary round of golf, 20% unrestricted savings on green fees and carts and much more at courses like Taboo, Angus Glen, The Marshes, Le Geant, Westwood Plateau and Wolf Creek!

You also have the chance to win a brand new set of Ben Hogan golf clubs and bag, one of 5 golf memberships or one of 10 dozen golf balls.

Click here for more information and to enter the “Tee Off & Win” contest.

I’m not going to bother with a rigorous dissection of this one, I’ll leave it as an exercise for the clever reader.

April 30, 2005

O’Reilly Roundup

First things first, if I say O’Reilly and “Computer books!”, pops into your head, you’re a nerd and are probably more likely to find satisfaction in the following blocks of text. Second, if you’re one of said nerds and didn’t know that they have a shiny new weblog called Radar you should check it out.

On to the meat of the story, Firefox vs. IE in O’Reilly Network Logs. Tim takes a look at the network stats for the company (with a predominantly tech audience) to see what kind of influence Firefox has had.

Here’s what I found out. (Stats are from the first quarter of 2005, from www.oreilly.com, www.oreillynet.com, and other sites we manage such as xml.com, onjava.com, and www.perl.com.)

  • Internet Explorer: 54.66%
  • Firefox: 35.08%
  • Safari: 3.85%
  • Mozilla 1.7: 2.70%
  • Netscape: 1.26%

Compare these numbers to the first quarter a year ago:

  • Internet Explorer: 75.53%
  • Netscape: 19.89%
  • Safari: 3.48%
  • Other: 3.10%

In short, during the past year, Firefox has basically wiped out the Netscape browser, and has taken 20 points of share from IE.

It’s nice to see solid data indicating a change in the way people are looking at the internet. The entry also pointed out an article entitled Inventing the Future from a few years ago about Alpha Geeks being on the leading edge of technology. It essentially says that these people see the potential in the technologies and start using them even though they may not be fully developed.

Here’s a quick list of technologies they saw emerging a few years ago and felt the world would be writing about:

  • Wireless
  • Next Generation Search Engines
  • Weblogs
  • Instant Messaging
  • File Sharing
  • Grid Computing
  • Web Spidering

Now, they didn’t really go out on a limb coming up with that list, but I’d have to say that it’s pretty much spot on. There’s probably a large list of things I could say they missed, but the big one I see missing is digital photography and photo sharing, but you could lump that in with weblogs if you wanted. One last thing, if you didn’t read the article, it starts with a good quote from William Gibson, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

April 30, 2005