Sun developer hardware program, part III

One more update on my interactions with the Sun developer hardware program (for history, see this and this).

Today, I got a couple of emails from the program owner for the development hardware offering, who quickly helped me understand that the situation is better than I thought.  Specifically, I misunderstood the web content, which says:

Deep discounts on development hardware are available to you! For
additional information please contact your Primary Contact.

My reading of that was that I should talk to our primary contact at Sun.  What was intended was that I should talk to Sun’s primary contact within our company.  Much better.

In other words, while it would be good for me to see the price list, all I need is for someone within my organization to get the data, which I can.  It’s also just fixable with a rewrite of a sentence, and I’m quite hopeful that Sun will, as they’ve promised, will fix this (admittedly fairly trivial) buglet.

Developer promotion, Sun, part II

Yesterday, I blogged about my frustration with the almost-perfect-and-then-bad experience with Sun’s partner program.

Today, I got an email from Sun’s Director of Web Experience Design (whose name I won’t mention because I don’t know if he minds being mentioned on the public web), telling me it’s not normal practice, and that he’d like the original email so he can figure out what happened.

That’s cool in many ways.  I don’t know how the story will end and whether we’ll end up spending more $’s on Sun, but at the very least they are on the cluetrain.  Kudos to Sun and whoever noticed my blog and forwarded on internally (I have a suspect in mind, but it doesn’t matter who it is, only that the culture inside “works”).

Grr. Sun Microsystems and customer self-service, or lack thereof…

We’re “development partners” of Sun’s.  We just got spam saying that we have access to development machines at “deep discounts”.  So I go to the website, ask to unearth my password, wait for the email to get to me, login, and get:

Deep discounts on development hardware are available to you! For
additional information please contact your Primary Contact.

I can’t even begin to list the things that are wrong with this customer interaction.  I spent non-trivial time trying to find out how to give Sun $’s, and end up frustrated at my inability to find out how much and for what. ARGH!

Google, privacy, subpoena, statistics

Via today’s nytimes.com (do continuously updated websites have “today” editions), there’s the AP story on the government asking Google for some data, including:

a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period […, and sic: “random web addresses?”]

which the DOJ says it needs to

determine how often pornography shows up in online searches as part of an effort to revive an Internet child protection law […]

What I wonder is why the government didn’t just ask for the aggregate statistic directly.  After all, Google publishes statistics all the time on aggregate data (and those are depressing statistics, btw).  They must have a methodology in mind for what they would do with the data, which presumably doesn’t involve Potter Stewart looking at a million web pages to do, so they could just ask Google.

It doesn’t do anything to address the privacy concerns with Google having that data, but it does address the privacy concerns of the DOJ having data on private citizens (although it’s hard to tell from the AP story whether any private data would actually be disclosed in the subpoena).