People in the industry we love to hate
Iain Thomson and Shaun Nichols in San Francisco
vnunet.com, 28 Mar 2009
Every industry has its share of villains, and the computing world is no different. This reputation is sometimes earned, sometimes not. The term 'villain' stems from Roman times and was used to describe someone who worked the land but was without honour. In later years it evolved into many forms, ranging from the man in a black hat and twisted moustache tying a young maiden to railroad tracks, to Keyser Söze from the 1995 film The Usual Suspects.
You'd be hard pressed to find such villains in the lists below. None has killed anyone (that we know of) and their actions have not been criminal in the most part, with one or two exceptions. Instead, they are people who we feel have either harmed the industry in some way, or just really annoyed us.
Some are shrewd businessmen whose tactics have garnered them a long list of enemies. Others are well-meaning individuals whose mistakes earned them the ire of the public, while still others are moral crusaders who don't mind being seen as a heel by the unwashed masses.
In the spirit of Newton's third law, we'll be doing an IT heroes piece next week. Let us know if there's anyone you think should be included on the list.
Honourable Mention: Deidre LaCarte
Shaun Nichols: In the late 1990s as the internet was carving out its place in mainstream culture, a student named Deidre LaCarte created a web page as a tribute to her pet hamster. The result was, you guessed it, Hampsterdance, one of the earliest and most annoying internet memes ever recorded.
The page combined a long collection of dancing cartoon hamsters with an infectious, high-pitched jingle that was, ironically, a bit like having an actual rodent gnawing at one's brain.
However, the site was also a hit with the burgeoning crowd of web 'newbies'. The page became the first of many pointless internet phenomena, and is likely to have driven hundreds of junior high school computer teachers to seek psychiatric help.
Iain Thomson: I have to say I'm gobsmacked at Shaun's restraint on this one. When we were coming up with the list LaCarte was one of his top picks, and certainly the one that inspired the most bile. It's not often we discuss a list and the phrase "impaled on a rusty spike" is heard, not even when it comes to Darl McBride.
Hampsterdance was annoying certainly. It spawned cheesy singles that made it into the charts in a number of countries, and I blame it for the Dancing Baby syndrome that took off later, and made it onto the egregious Ally McBeal.
As memes go, it was everywhere for a while but its influence has faded. It seems the pain, for some, has not....
The original article is a bit long, I want to add the source of this article, but i cannot add link in this forum so far.