Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Mimsy Were the Technocrats: As long as we keep talking about it, it’s technology.

42 Astoundingly Useful Scripts and Automations for the Macintosh

Work faster and more reliably. Add actions to the services menu and the menu bar, create drag-and-drop apps to make your Macintosh play music, roll dice, and talk. Create ASCII art from photos. There’s a script for that in 42 Astounding Scripts for the Macintosh.

Computer conferences sponsored by computer companies

Jerry Stratton, November 26, 2005

The Boston Globe is apparently quite inept when it comes to technology articles. They’re taking Massachusetts IT director Peter J. Quinn to task for going to computer conferences. Why? Because “Most of the conferences were sponsored by technology and information companies.”

News flash for the Globe: most computer conferences are sponsored by technology and information companies.

Even worse, they tried to contact Quinn’s then-boss Eric Kriss, but Kriss “did not return phone messages left at his home yesterday and Wednesday.”

That would be, the day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving day.

More details are at Groklaw and O’Reilly (the latter being an information company that sponsors many great conferences). Although they see malice in the article, I suspect it is just standard newspaper incompetence and “balance”. A well-written, well-researched story on this would not have been a story at all, because there would have been no controversy.

December 28, 2005: Boston Globe backs away from the crowd

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Boston Globe story about Peter Quinn going to computer conferences that were, to the Globe’s surprise, sponsored by “technology and information companies”. There was a lot of innuendo in that article, but practically no facts. There were no facts because the article was researched and published over the Thanksgiving holiday when none of the subjects of the article could respond.

The Globe actually wrote that the subjects did not respond with comments “yesterday and Wednesday” when “yesterday” was Thanksgiving. And we’re not talking about some Massachusetts political figure who might be expected to have people ready to respond to newspaper articles even over holidays: this was just an IT professional and his boss.

At the time, some were claiming maliciousness on the Globe’s part; I suspected that they were merely inept. I think I was right, because now the Globe is embarrassed about the whole thing, and trying to forget that it ever happened.

Quinn had been the subject of a review by his current boss, Administration and Finance Secretary Thomas H. Trimarco, following a report in November that Quinn had failed to fill out the required state forms to allow his appearances at numerous out-of-state conventions in 2005, where his visits were, for the most part, paid for by convention organizers.

Trimarco’s review found that Quinn had authorization to make the trips and had not violated any conflict of interest provisions.

Most newspapers that stand by their reporting would have said more than “following a report” when that “report” was their own! They can’t exactly have forgotten: this new article is written by Stephen Kurkjian, the same reporter who wrote the original article.

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