The media frenzy earlier this week over Google's Chrome Web browser was so over the top that I wondered: How far did reporters go questing for commentary, for insight, for historical context? How many of them chased down Jamie Zawinski, the Netscape engineer turned beer-peddling South-of-Market nightclub owner, who played a critical role in making the Netscape browser open source — a move which, years later, made Google's browser possible? So I IM'd him: "What is the absolute worst media inquiry you've gotten about Google Chrome this week?""I have gotten none until now," he replied. "Which makes this one the worst by default."
The press corps may have forgotten Zawinski, but fans of his screensaver for Linux and Unix systems, XScreenSaver, haven't. One suggested that Google use Zawinski's Pipes screensaver for Chrome's "about:internets" Easter egg, which displays a series of tubes. If you don't get the joke, you probably don't remember who Jamie Zawinski is, either.