Sascha Corti, a Microsoft employee, but not speaking on behalf of Microsoft, takes apart a recent Sun press release. See, Bill, this is why you need weblogs! (So that Scott McNealy can't be a worm anylonger).
I got yet another email from a Microsoft employee (and a fairly highly placed one) that says Microsoft is indeed starting to turn onto weblogs. I'm going to ask Gates "when you gonna start a weblog?" when I get a chance to ask him a question in a couple of weeks. If I get to ask him two, I think I'll ask "when you going to split up Microsoft?" If I get to ask him three, I'll ask him "can you show me Longhorn and Avalon?" If I get to ask him four, I'll ask him "can you give my wife a job?" :-)
Joshua Allen shows exactly how Microsoft's strategy has changed in the past few years:
MSFT needs new markets. The picture of a mother hen jealously protecting her nest is not an apt description of a Microsoft hungry for growth. Microsoft needs to create new markets to be successful.
That wasn't always the case. For its first 20 years Microsoft grew by acquisition. Or, do you forget where DOS, Word, PowerPoint, HotMail, WebTV, Flight Simulator, FrontPage, etc came from?
Now the food chain is dramatically different. It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft can switch from a company that grew by acquiring external entities to one that develops new entities internally. So far the jury is out on that.
Unfortunately, before Microsoft got a few successes under its "internal" belt (OK, I guess the Xbox is the first) the food chain disintegrated thanks to Silicon Valley's boom/bust of the past five years. Now there aren't a ton of new little software companies to buy up, so Microsoft's growth prospects are stunted until its internal engine starts firing on all cylinders.
Yet another interesting Windows Developer conference (WinDev). Any place that Don Box is speaking at has gotta be interesting!
Here's Chris Pirillo's comments on the Lindows Summit (which is what I'm calling it) and why he's speaking at it.
Ahh, I just saw Chris Pirillo's announcement that he's speaking at the Lindows event, and that there's quite a bit of bad blood from Lindows competitors. Sounds like another conference team sold out to a single vendor. That's cool (I made my wage from a Microsoft-sponsored conference for quite a few years) but it's not really cool if you don't make that clear up front. Personally, I wish we had a real firewall between who gets on stage, and who's name gets in the brochure as a sponsor. Not gonna happen, though. When a company comes in and hands you $100,000 to $500,000 for sponsorship, they want more than their name up on the wall behind the speakers. But, this conference is being particularly disingenuous about its strong ties to Lindows.
My friend Dave Winer has had me thinking about the role of prayer in healing (mostly since he asked for our prayers for his dad to get better). You know, I just accepted that prayer would help. But, lately, I've wondered if these studies have really been done properly and if the journalism behind them was very good either. Here's another weblogger, Jason Levine, talking about the role of prayer in in-vitro fertilization.
What shook me up?
One of my co-workers just got back from helping his mom get through open-heart surgery. When he got back he said something interesting: "we got her into one of the top 10 hospitals in the world and then we convinced the head of the department to do the surgery."
Whoa! (She lived -- 10% don't, according to the statistics).
But, now, what about the role of prayer?
Well, I was thinking about the studies. They seem to indicate that prayer makes a difference.
But, what if prayer is actually not what does it? What if it actually is that people who get prayed for have more friends?
You know, doctors will never admit this, but let's say two people come into a hospital:
Patient "A" has a troupe of 20 people with her, and at least five stay around the clock to pray for her.
Patient "B" only has two people with her, and they don't stay around the clock.
If something goes wrong with both patients at the same time, and there's only one surgeon available, which one gets the surgery done first?
Which one gets the head of the department to do the surgery? Which one gets the student who's just learning? (In my friend's case, his family knew that another doctor had lost two patients in the past week and was quite persuasive in not getting him to take care of his mom).
Which one will get the nicer nurses?
Which one will get visited more often to make sure nothing is going wrong?
Which one will get the better equipment?
Which one will get better follow up care? (Which one will build an emotional bond with the team and will continue to have a good relationship after the surgery?)
Which one will get beyond-usual-attempts to save their lives? (If you were a doctor and you knew you had to face 20 angry/sad people, or only two, which would you choose to save?)
Now, add in these factors:
People who attend church usually have a built-in social system that backs them up when they visit the hospitals. People like me and you might not have as many people who jump into action as someone who regularly visits a church and is well liked.
The other factor, that I don't see these studies mentioning, is "what were the other patients told?"
Maybe the ones who got prayers were also told "tons of people out there are sending you notes." Hey, I know that Dave got hundreds of nice notes when he was in the hospital, did that play a factor in his recovery? I'm sure it did.
Also, what were the economic situations of each group of patients? Where there more rich people among the "prayed for" group? Rich people tend to get better care than poor folks do. You think that some homeless guy off the street could get the head of a cardiology department to do a surgery? Yeah, right.
Anyway, these studies just have me wondering what really is going on here and are these studies really complete, or were they done by a team who had a result they wanted to report and did the study in such a way to get the result they wanted. After all, these studies were done in Kansas, the heart of the bible belt.