NOTES FROM THE FIELD: MSN crawls, Comdex falls

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: MSN crawls, Comdex falls

It’s another tragic day in Cringeville. Recently, MediaLive International unplugged the respirator on Comdex, announcing that after 24 years the show must not go on. But like the swallows returning to Capistrano, I’m genetically programmed to return to Las Vegas every November.

Now what am I going to do?

I may just go there anyway to wander the desert, searching for my lost geek tribe. Then again, the Las Vegas Convention Centre has a stellar line-up of alternatives: There’s a seminar on skin diseases, the International Bartenders’ Association World Cocktail Championships, and the Miss Rodeo America contest. I’d take any of them over another Bill Gates keynote.

Eight-legged geeks: Microsoft may have just announced its new Google killer search service recently, but its MSNbot spider has been crawling the Web for months — and Net-heads claim this spider packs a nasty bite.

One Cringester who runs a dozen small sites claims MSNbot swallowed up 60 to 80 per cent of his bandwidth. He finally had to edit his robots.txt file to squash the little predator. Some folks might call this overkill; I call it “making friends the Microsoft way”.

Prints and the paupers: A few weeks back, I took HP to task for dubious expiration dates on its ink jet cartridges. Coming to HP’s defense, a ton of Cringe readers contacted me to make a stink about ink. Reader Barry W said there were solid technological reasons why ink jet cartridges expire after a certain period — and HP was hardly the only manufacturer that did this. But most people said they were sick of paying too much for ink that expired too fast.

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