The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren

Buying a good beer has never been this complicated! Check out the instructions and the promises you have to make if you would like to buy beer from The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren. Amongst the instructions and warnings:

Our beer is sold in limited quantities and the reservations which we accept are always for a particular type of beer. Since we want to serve as many customers as possible, orders are limited to one order per car per per telephone number within any given month.
Anonymous numbers cannot be used.
You yourself must be the consumer. The receipt stipulates that the beer is not to be sold commercially to a third party. We reserve the right to prosecute offences.

Not only are you making promises to the monks – they even reserve the right to prosecute you if you break your promise. What is the religious punishment for lying to a monk?

Google browser

Google’s browser Chrome is being released soon after 2 years of development – but are we excited? I don’t know the whole browser war is a thing of the past. Oh well bring it on, lets see what you’ve got.

At Google, we have a saying: “launch early and iterate.” While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit “send” a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome…We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

At least they have a colorless cartoon to explain what it does…

It's just a browser?

In less than three weeks from its launch Firefox 3.0 has been downloaded 28 million times (BBC report). Stop for a while and let that number sink in. 28 million downloads in three weeks. That translates to a lot of passionate users. But why? Why did so many people bother to download a new browser?

So OK, I downloaded a copy. But that still leaves almost 28 million others. Even if we subtract a decent number for the groupies, nerds, early adopters, tecchies and Open Source aficionados that still leaves a very, very, very large number of users who want to be among the first to use 3.0.

But why? It’s just a browser? Or is it? Obviously the tools with which we view the world have a great impact on the way in which the world is presented but it is doubtful that too many users consider this. And yet, can it be that even this group considers Firefox to be more than just a browser. Even though I doubt that all these users are ideologically motivated it is interesting to try to figure out why a browser arouses such interest and activity among users.

The browsers arriving at this blog are:

Internet Explorer 49%
Firefox 41%
Others 10%