Computing for its own sake.
Ivory tower trash. Computing for its own sake, pure and simple. My personal favorite piece being the whining about startups doing "practical" things instead of "new" things. LOL!
If you reject the notion of computing for its own sake, what does that leave you with? Computing to *accomplish* something. There is really one fundamental argument against this whole polemic: Grandma. Yes, Grandma is a cause for systems research to have died. That's *good*. It means that computers are finally useful outside of the ivory tower.
What has the ivory tower done for us? Microsoft and the rest of the commercial computer industry brought computers into over half the homes in the USA. The Internet is something my grandma uses because commercial companies have built it into something *useful* to her. Sure, academia invented TCP/IP and let it languish for 20 years. Netsape made it a must-have for PCs everywhere.
Is (academic) systems research dead? Yes. Do I care? No. The ivory tower has yet to produce something good enough to be useful outside of academia. Let industry do the research and produce something *useful*.
Two points where I must disagree.
First the trivial one: There is no way in Outlook to prevent it from chopping up an URL if you have it set to send a text message with a fixed line width. Period. Salons "techies" haven't worked around the problem because there is no workaround you would find acceptable. (Enable HTML e-mail? Turn off line-wrapping?)
Second, the bigger issue: HTML e-mail. The fact of the matter is that today we all have SVGA monitors, or something pretty close. If you don't, and you are running a Unix-like OS, you at least have several MIME compatible e-mail clients available to you.
The simple FACT is that mere text is not a very expressive or efficient means of communicating information. Color, layout, and styling can contribute CONSIDERABLY to readability, scanability, and clarity of a message. Yes, they *can* be abused, but I refuse to adhere to a de facto convention established due to hardware limitations just because you don't see any value in being able to highlight headings or key concepts, mark negative numbers in red, or organize information using tables.
Given that I am unwilling to decline participation in the advancement of technology just because you say so, I have only one option: If I'm going to send an HTML e-mail, let my browser do the Right Thing and include a text version for your sake. If you don't like the 1KB overhead of such a methodology then either get a modern e-mail client. Even Pine supports HTML e-mail. (albeit not perfectly)