This is the big debate now in Washington…what to do about the immigration problem? Over a half a million people rallied in LA on Saturday in protest of a House bill that was passed proposing a 700-mile fence along the Mexico-American border, as well as making it a felony to be an illegal alien. The more liberal Senate will no doubt reject most of the bills contents, but the issue remains and there are as many opinions as there are people groups.
Some, including my favorite afternoon radio personality Greg Knapp, believe that we need a fence. He also argues, intelligently in my opinion, that the best way to control the flow of illegal immigrants is to go after businesses that willfully employ these undocumented workers. (It is illegal to hire these employees, but in 2004 only three businesses were fined.)
Others argue for full amnesty for all illegals, completely open borders and no restrictions whatsoever. President Bush favors a guest worker program that would encourage illegals to register with the government. It’s not quite amnesty, but does nothing to punish illegals who are already here.
From my perspective two items are needed: Immigration enforcement and border security. So…any ideas?
I thought working with Verizon was going to be easy after completing an order online Sunday night for a new telephone number and their new Internet service dubbed FiOS. The online ordering went pretty smoothly, but it’s been all downhill from there. Yesterday I got an email saying I needed to fax some copies of photo IDs to verify my order. I did, but never received the expected confirmation of my fax.
So today I decided to call…and I guess everyone else did too. I’ve been on hold for about an hour now, after speaking with a young lady who said “sure, we’ll get you hooked up right away, one momeny…”. Thankfully, I have speakerphone here at my desk, so I can just work while I listen to their hold music. I really think I’m in an infinite loop, though. Anyways, Verizon, if you’re reading this, please pick up the phone!
Today was the day…for 3 hours you could sneak into the MSN AdCenter program without an invitation. I put it on my schedule, and when I saw that little reminder window pop open, I headed straight for http://adcenter.msn.com. That’s when it all started…
I’ve never had a more frustrating time signing up for anything. First, I open the page up in Firefox:
MSN adCenter does not currently support the web browser you are using. Please sign in using Internet Explorer 6.
What!? Errgh…that’s frustrating. But I can’t be surprised, right? This is MS. I mean, I had to quit using the Hotmail beta for the same reasons. So I reach down and pop open IE7 beta2, surely this will work. Nope, same message. Uh…ok, how about Opera? Strike three. And now I’m out of options…IE 6 isn’t installed on my machine. I guess most people would have given up at this point, but I was persistant. I’ll go to evolt.org and download the IE6 standalone…great idea, Tyson! Guess what? Still no worky. This time I was able to see the signup form, at least some of the time. But the entire time I received intermittent flashes of a box saying “Please wait until we download the reqeusted information…” or something, making it impossible to fill out the form.
I give up! I wanted to signup and spend my money with you, Bill, but you made it impossible for me! What am I to do!!?
(I think MSFT should take some cues from WinkFlash – best ecommerce transaction I’ve ever made. 2 clicks and you’re done.)
Battelle picked up on this story today that’s just hilarious! Here’s the release from Reuters, and here’s some excerpts from this genius at MSFT:
What we’re saying is that in six months’ time we’ll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google…The quality of our search and the relevance of our search from a solution perspective to the consumer will be more relevant.
So why are they bribing people to use their engine now? I wish I could link back to all the stories in 2004 and early 2005 when Microsoft was going on and on about it’s new search engines, how relevant it was and how much better it was than Google. Oh, and the huge advertising campaign that was all over TV last spring. But strangely enough, MSN was the only engine to continually decline in usage last year!
Listen, I’m all for competition and MSN becoming a legitimate search player, but you gotta stop this bloviating. Just do it, dude.