Tag Archives: KDE

Is Microsoft Censoring Windows 7 Tweets?

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Intrigued to see that Microsoft has turned a page of its website over to “What people are saying about Windows 7”:

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The page is designed a bit like twittefall: a cascade of seeminlgy “live” tweets (their dates and times of posting cleverly removed from the cascade.)

Amazingly, 99% of the comments are positive, or at least neutral:

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So I thought I would check to see whether the feed has some filtering. The feed seems to include comments going back several days (the one above is six days old), so I thought it fair to search over that same period. A more nuanced picture emerges. “Windows7 sucks,” for example, throws up at least 20 tweets in the past week, none of them visible in the cascade.

So clearly some sort of filtering is going on. To check I sent out this faux tweet from an unused account and haven’t, 30 minutes on, seen anything:

#windows7 win7 is a disaster. uninstalling it right now

As Lydia Pintscher points out at Amarok Blog, this filtering and pseudo-conversation is all quite unnecessary. It’s clear the majority of people actually quite like Windows 7 (though I’d be interested in their reactions in a few months; my experience down the track has been less impressive.)

The point is that Microsoft would be foolish to allow an unfettered feed—people would quickly cotton on and put all sorts of rubbish in there.

But if it tries to pretend that the page is somehow live, and that it’s a conversation, then they also need to be smarter about reflecting the full range of views out there.

They also need to understand the organic nature of hashtags. The Microsoft website asks users to “join the conversation” by including hashtags #win7 or #windows7 in their tweets—which many were already doing, it’s an obvious step to make—but they also asked those who had bought Windows 7 to include the hashtag #igotwin7.

So far, the number of people who have is, er, two; one of them is Microsoft itself:

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Social media lesson #4: You can start a conversation but you can’t control it. Try and you look silly. 

Running Linux Off Your Thumb

Following on from my Directory of programs for USB drives, here’s another Linux offering, allowing you to run GNU/Linux from a USB pen drive:

You can carry GNU/Linux in your pocket with a functional, quick, and useful USB pen drive distribution. Pen drives are faster than CDs, and the small distros that fit on them don’t require huge amounts of memory for the operating system and applications.

Slax is a powerful and complete bootable distro based on Slackware, equipped with kernel 2.6, ALSA sound drivers, Wi-Fi card support, X11-6.8.2 with support for many GFX cards and wheel mice, and KDE 3.4. Slax uses the Unification File System (also known as unionfs), which enables you to write whatever you want into the pen drive. Bundled software includes KDE, the KOffice office suite, GAIM for chat, the Thunderbird email client, and the Firefox Web browser.

Slax comes in a variety of versions. You can get a minimal version of Slax called Frodo, without big applications, that fits in 41MB, or choose among the 200MB standard editions such as Killbill (which I use) or PopCorn.

I must confess I haven’t tried this, but it sounds a great alternative.