Weather Writing

Storm surges

Luckily Gustav calmed down before landfall, because I don’t think the New Orleans levees would have held if the surge was 18 feet as originally predicted.

It’s important, now, for Nagin et al to let people back into the city as soon as possible. If the city management continues to keep the citizens out, but let the business owners in, the next time the city officials call for an evacuation, people are going to say, “No”. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame them.

Gustav is still not through giving, though. We in St. Louis are getting tropical depression warnings, as we expect the storm to drop 8 inches, or more, on us on Friday.

In the meantime…how about that Atlantic, eh? If McCain and Obama continue their practice to discontinue campaigning every time we get hit with a hurricane, this may be the quietest presidential race, ever.

But then there’s Sarah. I could wish that we would spend more time on issues important to women, than one specific woman and her family challenges. This election is too important to continue to get distracted by the Palin sideshow.

PS Can you tell I’m half way through my book edits, and feeling more than a wee bit irritable?


Chromatic hyperbole

It would be impossible to miss the excitement over Google’s Chrome, though I would assume we would wait to actually see the product, first, before wetting our pants.

Yes, Google entering the browser marketplace is news, but some of the things I’ve been reading are, well, frankly asinine. For instance, Computerworld breathlessly writes, Google’s Chrome aims to kill Windows, make Web the OS of choice. A bit hard, wouldn’t you say, when Chrome requires Windows just to be able to run?

Let's kill off Windows with our Web OS.



Well, Windows is dead.

That's great! 


Uh, where's Chrome?

Well, you see...

Do we also need to remember our concerns about Google? You know, the whole privacy thing? Or are we a modern day bunch of Pavlovian dogs, trained to drool on cue whenever Google is involved?

There are issues associated with this browser, babes. First of all, as great as it is that Google is using Webkit for its infrastructure, it’s also coming out with its own JavaScript engine. My first question is: is Google going to conform to standards? Or is it going to go its own little way, and just assume we’ll tag along? Then there’s the issue of the engine being multi-threaded—and here I thought Photoshop was going to be the only pig on my system.

My concerns aren’t just related to JS. As I read somewhere—who knows where—we can now see why Google is footing the bill for Ian Hickson to head up the HTML5 effort. However, now that Google is “one of the browser competitors”, how will this change the dynamic in all these standards groups? I’m not going to necessarily give HTML5 over to Google to define to its own Chrome standards. I imagine that some of the browser companies would feel the same.

And about those privacy concerns…exactly what kind of information is Google going to be collecting about us as we use the damn thing?

Frankly, I’m all for anything that weakens the abysmally tenacious hold IE6 and IE7 have on desktops, but I’m not sure yet another player in the field is what we need. Especially a player who, frankly, exhibits many of the same tendencies towards arrogance, as well as interest in complete dominance, as the company they supposedly “hate”. I can understand Google’s impatience with the other browser companies—but Google also has a tendency to act impulsively, and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces.

As for web applications taking over the world, we’re just now starting to hit against issues of broadband caps, not to mention the problems we’ve had with centralized services recently. Does Twitter ring a bell with you folks? How about Amazon’s S3? GMail? In the last month, we’ve seen outages at a considerable number of centralized web services, and we haven’t even started putting our critical operations into “the cloud”.

Do you really want your business to hit a stand still because you’ve lost your internet connection, hit a broadband cap, or “the cloud” is not playing nicely at the moment? Seriously?

Look, yes. Get interested, yes. Peer around under the hood, and take it for a spin, most definitely yes. But get a grip–the web world as we know it hasn’t suddenly come to an end just because Google has decided it wants to play the browser game, too.

Downloaded. Installed. Works fast. Chrome doesn’t work on the Mac. Thanks to WebKit it does support XHTML and SVG. However, I’ve hit an odd rendering error for this page, which I don’t get with my nightly WebKit download.

Matt Cutts did respond to privacy concerns about Chrome, though I wish he wouldn’t categorize these concerns as being the paranoid ramblings of conspiracy theorists.