Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Sunday, May 12, 2002

Gretchen says there is only one reason not to attend Gnomedex. Unfortunately I'm now doing my finances and I don't see how I can get to Gnomedex this year. I'm really bummed, but I'll just have to read the blogs from home. With Leo Laporte and Doc Searls (not to mention Gretchen and others) in attendence, I'm sure it'll be almost like being there. I'll keep my options open, though. Anyone finding super cheap tickets from SFO or SJC to Iowa?

I'm always suprised at who reads my wretched writing. Simon Fell dropped by and said he had really bad luck with Fandango. I'm properly warned, but so far, so good. My tickets were waiting for me at Century 22 and I already picked them up. In fact, I could have printed them out at home if I wanted to. I wonder what kind of trouble Simon had with Fandango?
Daniel wonders why Pim Fortuyn was killed. A question I didn't attrempt to answer in The Big Lie. That piece was written purely to point out inaccuracies in the world press and an attempt to clear some of the bad rap Fortuyn and the Netherlands were receiving as a result. [Adam Curry: Adam Curry's Weblog]

Scoble's comment: Adam Curry's Weblog sure has been interesting this past week and I've learned a whole lot about Dutch politics. Thanks Adam (and the others who've covered Fortuyn's killing) for the very interesting commentary!

The new Hewlett Packard/Compaq company starts cutting product lines. First to go? HP's Journada PocketPC, says this thread on

Remind me again why mergers are good? A friend who works at HP says they are planning on cutting 10,000 jobs.

I wonder: is HP gonna move their headquarters?

I was just talking with the manager of Century 22 in San Jose. He says they are getting "tons" of orders via Fandango. Plus, he said that MTV just said that they were the only theater on the West Coast with a digital projector (he admitted that's not true, there's at least two others). Also, he says, most of the Fandango orders are for the digital projector version of Star Wars (they'll be showing Star Wars on several screens, only one of which will be digital).

Will digital Star Wars be better than the film version? We'll know by this weekend. Even the manager couldn't really say. He's never seen a digital film either, although he says the industry hype is that the color and contrast is better. Anyone have any good info about the difference between film and digital?

By the way, tickets for the 9:30 p.m. Friday show are still available at Fandango or at the ticket office. If you order, though, at Fandango, make sure you order the "digital" version.

Isen notes the following: Hendricks is concerned that as 802.11b gets popular, its very popularity will make it harder to use. The 2.5GHz band [sic: should be 2.4 or 2.45 GHz band] could become so crowded that nobody will want to go there. Densely spaced 802.11b transmitters will make it more difficult for receivers to distinguish desired signals from undesired ones. Hendricks fears that people will respond by trying to amplify (or otherwise boost) the 802.11b signal. Indeed, such hardware hacks already abound. ... Virtually every 802.11b hardware hack is illegal, he says. And this is only part of the destruction-by-popularity story. Other devices like portable phones, Bluetooth devices, and (soon to come) radio-driven lighting operate in the same 2.5GHz [sic] frequency band.

[80211b News]

Glenn's onto something here. 802.11 and Bluetooth interfere with each other. I've experienced this interference myself. Also, if you have certain types of portable phones, it can keep your 802.11 from working. And, at the WWW conference last week, I would occassionally accidentally hook up to a "non official" node. Not a big deal, Windows XP makes it pretty easy to switch, but for a newbie type of user, it'd create confusion and cause a visit to the tech support desk at the conference.

What will happen if everyone in the world had several 802.11 devices? How many devices can take the same band?

Outage dumps Microsoft MSN users. Some Microsoft MSN Web sites collapse, leaving many users unable to access game, Web-based e-mail and search features, among others. [CNET Enterprise]

Um, what's wrong with free, centralized, Web sites again? I used to like MSN's approach, but after running my NetMeeting and Train Simulator Web sites there, I have grown to despise free centralized sites. For one, I think we need to kill off the free Internet. People don't think something's valuable if it's free. Second, centralized Web sites that don't let me download all the data and back it up are just scary to me.

Did you realize that I keep a copy of this Weblog on my laptop as well as on the server? It's not perfect, to be sure, but at least I have control. With MSN sites, I'm simply screwed when Microsoft's technology burps.

What would I do if I were Bill Gates? I'd either buy or copy Radio UserLand's approach of keeping Web sites on your local hard drive and publishing them to a centralized resource. I'd charge customers $40 for the privilege. I might even give away a free version, but with a limited feature set.

Radio UserLand is really only a first-generation product. It is still pretty rough around the edges. It can be massively improved, particularly by a company with Microsoft's resources. I'd hire Alan Cooper and pay for a real spell checker to be added in here (and other features). I'd build IE 7.0 with a special editor so that typing doesn't disappear if you accidentally browse off of this page. I'd make it work with PocketPC's (I'm getting totally addicted to my PocketPC thanks to 802.11 wireless networks).

I'd improve RSS to make it better (it's pretty good right now, but I'd love to have more control over what Radio sends to my RSS feed.

No, I'm no longer a UserLand employee, but Radio is still the tool I use more often than any other, except for maybe Outlook and SAP at work.

But, MSN is hamstrung by poor management and a lack of vision. So, I think UserLand (and the other weblogging companies) will have to go on without Microsoft's support or interest -- that certainly can be seen as a blessing too.

What would you do if you ran MSN? Visit and see what they've done. Now, is that the vision that Microsoft should have for the Internet?

I'm seeing Star Wars twice this week. I'll be at the 8 p.m. show at the Great Mall on Thursday, May 16 and I'll be at the 9:15 p.m. show at Century 22 on Friday, May 17. The Great Mall has a THX-rated theater. Century 22 has a new digital projector. My brother says that the Great Mall is a better place to see a movie. I always have been partial to Century 22, but really have never taken the time to research the issue. This weekend we'll know for sure!
Happy Mothers day.

I'm back from Hawaii and had a great time. Took a surfing lesson on Friday and boy am I sore. Most people think that balancing is the hardest thing. Not true. Riding the waves came pretty easy to me (as a skiier I learned how to balance pretty well). And because I was in a private lesson the instructor taught me a process for getting up on the board that worked very well. I caught three waves in my first hour. Awesome.

Nah, the hard part is paddling. Getting out to the waves. Paddling might look easy, but it's not for a geek like me who sits in front of my computer all day long. Now I know why those surfer kids have such well defined muscles. You sure use them a lot in paddling.

I wanna do it again, though. First I gotta get in shape.

What a great week!

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 1:33:51 AM.