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Monday 16 January 2006

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David Gang

Thursday 24 November 2005

AOL Explorer

There's always a first time. Today, for the first time, I am going to say something good about AOHell...

The new version of AIM, Triton, comes with yet-another new Web Browser called, how imaginative, AOL Explorer. It's based on MSIE, I guess nobody is surprised here...

So, yes, it's plagued by MSIE6 bugs and security holes, but I have to say AOL did a quite nice job:

  • the whole UI is a bit too blueish for me, but it's far better than past AOL products. Less bloated, more concise, less "fun" and useless stuff.
  • tabbed browsing is of course here, and it's possible to reorder tabs just by drag and drop. Hovering over a tab shows a thumbnail. I love the "Tear off tab" context menu entry on a tab.
  • there are sidebars, with a vertical tablist of available sidebars on the left hand side of the window. That's quite cool I must say. In Firefox, you have to either use the View menu or know the keyboard shortcut. Well, I'm sure there is an extension adding some sort of tab list somewhere, but AOL Explorer's feature is not very intrusive in terms of UI, simple to use, and useful. Why should it be an extension ?
  • AOL Explorer is able to detect RSS feeds in a page and subscribe to them. There are a few bugs there unfortunately : when you manage you feeds list, the panel is not refreshed. Some blogs feeds are not detected (it could not auto-detect MozillaZine's feed for instance)
  • The Exposé mode is very well done, triggered by the little icon just below the AOL logo on the top-right hand side of the window
  • When you select a tab in the Exposé mode, you can pick up any step in the History Timeline of your tab - and that is very well done...
  • Page Effects will please accessibility lovers
  • Utilities are also cool, but since there's not a single keyboard shortcut for them, I find them rather unusable... Probably just a teaser
  • There are also a little group of totally useless stuff, precisely "just for fun". Right, it's bloat and it should go away. But it shows what the team can do with graphics effects on a page... In that screenshot, everything still works like in a normal browser, application of the filter does not result into a bitmap.
  • It's possible to add your own bookmarklet to that Power Browsing menu !
  • Here's the Settings dialog. Tabs, Popup blocking, Sidebar Manager and Spyware Scan !!!

Again, yes, I know, it's crappy-MSIE inside. AOL made the biggest strategic mistake on earth when they dropped Gecko and Firefox. Too bad the layout engine is a big piece of crap, the Web standards support is lame, the app is not skinnable, the extensibility is close to zero. But the AOL Explorer team deserves some kudos. Their app is, well, a nice browser.

Note to the AOL Explorer team : guys, you have a nice bug somewhere in your c++ code... See the main window's title in this screenshot. It's the title for about:blank, but this string comes from my MSIE browsing history !!!

Monday 19 September 2005


Used to be an old joke. They strongly denied a year and a half ago. Eh.

Sunday 28 August 2005


Apparently, it's only for Europe. AOL will start shipping its own broadband modem-router with integrated DECT phone, called AOLbox (how suprising). In a longer run, it should also provide free VoIP and TVoIP.

Thursday 2 June 2005

at AOL, someone's neurone worked at least once

2nd of June 2005. AOHell finally discovers they should turn their dial-up users into DSL users with an AOL offer, because if those users touch a third-party's offer (cheaper, easier), they don't come back. Wow. They hired one brain or what? Ironically, this happens the day Davig-Gang-der-liquidator leaves the company.

Sunday 22 May 2005

We were probably in the Twilight Zone

Ridiculous excerpt from this article:

" This year, (Jonathan) Miller (AOL's CEO) has introduced a series of new products, including a local search engine, a travel site, a free e-mail service and the first upgrade of AOL's Netscape browser in five years. "

The parenthesis and emphasis are mine. I still remember when Miller became AOL's CEO; his email message to all employees told us he was an happy AOL member since 1996 or something. And the whole crowd could not help but think "oh, that's the one!" :-)

Saturday 30 April 2005

I won't cry for that one

David Gang, aka Der Likidator, the incompetent moron whose most significant items in the career path are "shut down the X division" and "shut down the Y division" without strategy at all behind it, finally leaves AOL Time Warner. His name is hated by hundreds of former iPlaneters and Netscapers. Since the guy is totally unable of creating value, I wish good luck to all WebMD Health executives and staff. We'll soon learn that a major reorg at WebMD Health shuts down a division. By the way, his AIM nick is DGang. Have fun.

Thursday 13 January 2005

Disruptive what?

Seen on CNet: " (Steve) Case wants to continue investing his time and money in "disruptive" businesses, but he remained mum on his plans. " (strong emphasis mine)


Wednesday 8 December 2004

Even closer to zarroo

beppe is let go. If you are looking for a senior high-level technical manager, with an excellent project, product and QA background, deep knowledge of SGML/HTML/XML and perfect understanding of presentation languages, wide experience of markup editors and web browsers, member of the W3C's HTML Working Group and Advisory Committee Representative for AOL at the W3C, drop me a mail at daniel at glazman dot org and I'll forward.

Tuesday 7 December 2004

AOL layoffs

-700... Today.

Thursday 25 November 2004

Closer to Zarroo

" 24-nov-2004 Today is my last day with Netscape/AOL ... --== Kin ==-- "

Monday 15 November 2004


So AOL is about to extend its offer with a securID-based access for anyone. Just in case you are interested, you have to know those securIDs die from time to time from the 888888 disease: the display starts blinking and shows only 888888. The battery is not the problem. The only thing that can help you in that case is a new securID. Of course, you don't need just the securID itself: you also need an administrator to bind your securID to your AOL account. During my last year at AOL, it happened to me twice. Of course, as an AOL/Netscape employee having the Internal Computing guys on the same floor, that was easy to fix. I wonder how long it's going to take for customers of this PassCode Premium Service... Ah, let's just hope this six-digits securID is more reliable than the ten-digits employees have.

Thursday 11 November 2004

mv nullsoft /dev/null

Why does this story look familiar to me...

Wednesday 21 July 2004

New versions of AIM not compatible with itself ?!?

This morning, AIM proposed me an upgrade. Well, ok, let's do it. I can immediately see the difference!!! I was trying to send a message to Chris Hofmann and here's the great, marvelous, so typical of AOL, result:

AIM error message, your buddy can't receive IM

Update: leaving and restarting AIM fixed the problem. Weird, very weird.

Tuesday 27 April 2004

AIM for PocketPC

From AOL: 19.95$

From everywhere else: freeware...

Friday 23 April 2004

AOL has externalized a part of Netscape anyway

Stupid tests bring even more stupid answers...

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

    SMTP error from remote mailer after RCPT TO:<xxxxxx@netscape.com>:
    host mail.netscape.everyone.net []:
    550 Recipient Rejected: This user does not have an account here

I originally believed everyone.net is yet another AOL subsidiary but everyone.net's web site says:

" Privately held, Everyone.net is located in San Jose, CA. "

AOL is not even using its own technology for its low-cost ISP; does it prove that AOL internal technology is too expensive and that all Miller's efforts to make AOL more attractive are doomed because AOL's original technology is in an dead-end ? I am not drawing any fast conclusion here but when a company starts using third-party services for its core business, there's something rotten in it...

Tuesday 30 March 2004

A new Mozilla-based version of Netscape released by AOL this summer ?

Fernando Cassia, who is usually a reliable source, has today an article about that. Weird. Really weird. Who at AOL is still able to release a version? And what for? Weird. Hey Fernando, sure it's not a 1st of April joke you posted too early?

Friday 19 March 2004


Remember the joke "AOL6 AOL7 AOL8 AOL9 MSAOL" ? Here we are.

well, only future will tell who's going to buy AOL; MSFT or the PeterDanielTristan consortium :-)

Thursday 18 March 2004

PDT Proposes To Acquire AOL

A new consortium formed by peterv, tristan and myself (hence the name) is hardly working on a daily basis filling national lottery tickets in order to win and acquire AOL from TimeWarner. Our first action at the head of AOL will be a layoff. Massive. Violent. Will touch only one person but will mean a major restructuration. We will fire that guy. Of course, there is still the possibility we don't win the national lottery; then we offer a symbolic euro for AOL.

Pages roses du Larousse du Management...

C'est une publicité télévisée pour une émission à venir sur la même chaîne. On y voit un "grand patron" français de la soi-disant nouvelle économie, dont le nom commence par T et finit par Z et qui gère la filiale française d'une boîte catastrophique que je connais bien, gueuler sur ses subordonnés un truc du genre "non, ça ce sont les problèmes, amenez-moi les solutions". Combien de fois ai-je entendu cette rengaine, qui doit être distillée dans le cours "Initiation au Management" de toutes les Ecoles de Commerce et de toutes les entreprises françaises dans leur formation interne... Combien de fois l'ai-je entendue, et combien de fois ai-je vu non seulement l'inutilité mais également la contre-productivité de cet état d'esprit du "patron". Le "patron" n'est pas seulement celui qui "gère" la boîte (j'utilise ici le mot "gère" volontairement comme on utilise "manage" en anglais), c'est aussi, cela doit être surtout celui qui "dirige"; diriger, c'est donner la direction. Quand on exige de ses subordonnés uniquement des solutions et jamais des problèmes, on ne dirige pas, on gère. Le dirigeant d'entreprise, c'est celui qui a l'autorité suprème non seulement sur la gestion quotidienne de l'entreprise mais également sur la piste qu'elle suit. Lorsqu'en-dessous cela ne suit plus, il n'y a que deux possibilités:

  1. les subordonnés ne prennent jamais de décision et ramènent vraiment tout au patron. Le problème ici n'est pas le subordonné. Le problème, c'est le patron qui ne sait pas choisir ses subordonnés. Il faut peut-être changer les subordonnés, mais il faut surtout changer le patron...
  2. les subordonnés savent prendre des décisions. Donc s'ils ramènent un problème au patron c'est qu'ils ont besoin de sa vision supérieure, que la décision est trop importante ou ardue pour être prise par eux. Le patron peut remercier le ciel d'avoir des subordonnés loyaux qui lui remontent les problèmes sérieux au lieu de tout pêter. Un patron qui ne sait pas travailler sur les problèmes de ses subordonnés doit être changé.

Un élément déterminant de la stabilité, de l'innovation, de la compétitivité, et de l'ambiance d'une entreprise est "le patron". La boîte est souvent à son image. En bien ou en mal.

N'est pas Barksdale qui veut, mais je crois que dans le cas de l'entreprise dont je parle plus haut, c'est une évidence pour tout le monde, n'est-ce pas ?

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