Scobleizer Weblog

Today's Stuff Thursday, February 27, 2003

Another speaker from my past life as conference planner turned on a weblog today. Tim Bray, the dude who invented XML, is weblogging. Xelent. I love Tim's "What I Believe" page. Here's a quote: "I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in Adam Smith or Karl Marx, and I don't believe in the abstractions of Capital or Labour or GAAP, and I don't believe in the Nation or the Family or the Race or the Tribe.

"I believe in truth."

I see details are starting to spill out about the chip that'll power Apple's next desktop machines. Hint: it ain't no Motorola.

And you guys thought I was fooling when I said Apple has some speedy new machines coming. Heh.

Dan Shafer's son-in-law got some screen captures of a secret new version of Apple's Safari browser that has tabbed browsing.

So, where's Microsoft's IE7? When we gonna get some new innovations in our browser? Tabs? Popup blockers? Even better standards support?

A note to Frank, who wrote "the hubris of this is staggering" about Jim Allchin's Google comment: this is a common Microsoft disconnect between the "insiders" and "the rest of us". Microsoft executives are three years ahead of the rest of us. They are using code that Windows users will use in 2005. They take it for granted that the rest of us know what they are talking about. Allchin's comment must be looked at from the context of Longhorn (future version of Windows) NOT from the context of today's Windows.

That said, if I were advising Jim, I'd ask him to read my Corporate Weblogger's Manifesto. One of my suggestions is to ALWAYS say nice things about your competitors. If you do anything but, you'll come off as arrogant and you'll set yourself up for failure. Alan Meckler, are you there?

Personally, most of the team is far better in this regard than that quote suggests ). I wonder if Allchin was misquoted, or taken out of context. It sure sounds like it. This shows the huge need that Microsoft has for someone who can quickly answer these kinds of issues with followup. Imagine if the Windows team had a weblog where Allchin could clarify his quote and his position?

My comments are back up and running. HaloScan had a bad week. Hopefully that's all behind them now.

Dan Gillmor, tech journalist for the San Jose Mercury News, is back from vacation with pointers to a great interview of Marc Canter.

One note: I took this picture of Marc Canter at the Pop!Tech conference a year ago. I wish folks would give credit (although I did donate them to the public domain and didn't put any restrictions on the photos' use). It would just be a nice thing to do.

John Ludwig is the third person I've heard comment about Jim Allchin's Google comment. I'm not sure if he was misquoted, or quoted out of context. I heard the team say something similar, but it came out completely different in the context I heard it (damn NDAs don't let me tell what I heard). Hey, Jim, maybe now is the time to start a weblog (or give one of us an interview, just to discuss this comment).

I'm very proud to be a part of NEC's Mobile Solutions team because shipped our first Tablet computer today (NEC Versa LitePad) in the United States and Canada.

Shipping product feels good.

Demand has been much higher than expected and we've already increased our internal orders several times. Eleven months ago I was interviewing at NEC and I kept asking "when are you guys going to have a Tablet?" Well, now we know the answer: February 28, 2003.

I'd like to kiss a little butt for a minute. The folks I work with are people who are top-notch. Thanks to the more than 50 people involved in Japan and US who got this done on schedule (in fact, since I was told to promise "end of third quarter" we beat the schedule by a month).

The people I work with have always been supportive of my weblogging and public efforts (I've written hundreds of messages in three forums).

This was my first experience working inside a "huge" company (NEC is twice the size of Microsoft) and so far, I gotta say, this has been a hell of a great experience.

It's party time!

OK, I've joined the modern world. I've been running Windows Server 2003 here for more than a week. You know, I'm impressed. This is the first time I've seen Microsoft not add UI googaw and not force crap on me. In fact, the OS came with IIS turned off. All non-essential services turned off. No Windows Messenger.

But, looking under the covers, they've done a lot of stuff to make server-administrator's lives better. Plus, they made this thing freaking rock. Did you see the new NEC server specs? Whew. Hey, I gotta go talk to the server group. Think I could trade a Tablet for one of their new 32-processor jobs? Heh.

Anyway, I'm not gonna give you the press release bull puckey but if you're gonna deploy some Windows servers soon, you should take a serious look at Windows Server 2003. Just one point the team wants you to remember: they worked very hard to make this the most secure OS out there. Did they get there? We'll see, but the team set the bar extremely high -- they reviewed every line of code in the product and pulled out quite a few buffer overrun issues that would have given hackers a potential way into your system. Certainly this is far more secure than previous Windows releases.

Microsoft still needs to do a much better job of delivering patches and security information to IT managers, though. This release certainly won't solve all of IT's problems, but it goes a long way to giving us a more secure and trustworthy system.

Don Box is back with a new URL and a whole lot to say (he responds to Dave Winer, and talks about InfoPath). I just wanna know: Does Don weblog while naked? Inside joke, sorry. He's famous for giving keynotes while naked, or while sitting in a bathtub. Out of all the speakers I dealt with, Don is the most talented. I'll always remember the time that Don, Jeff Prosise, and a couple of other big-name geeks, went on a fruitless search for a Krispy Kreme. Man, those were the days. Don used to say "COM is Love." Now he says "XML is Freedom." Hey, did anyone else end up with a pair of "Don Boxer shorts?" Heh.

Scott Stanfield, over at Vertigo Software, was a speaker I hired many times (he's also Microsoft's Regional Director for Silicon Valley -- what a tough job that must be). He recently won the "Iron Developer" title from Microsoft and I notice he wrote a cool little .NET service (named Photobob) that lets you share and manage photos by simply dragging and dropping files. Your photos are instantly available on the website and from an XML Web service. Cool!

Relevant quote from Alan Meckler: "Perhaps I am arrogant. But I produce. And my 300 employees with the same attitude about quality stand firmly behind me."

My comment: I don't mind if you're arrogant if you deliver. Barry Bonds is arrogant, but everytime he hits a home run, I cheer like heck. I think it's better, though, to drop the arrogance and just deliver. Of course, I guess I'm arrogant too. Telling off the CEO of a company with 300 employees. Heh. I'm jealous. I wish NEC's CEO had a weblog.

Alan Meckler continues in his mission to build something better than Comdex. OK, I just subscribed to his news feed. You know, I wish all CEO's would write a weblog -- yeah, Dave, Alan is worth watching. He is getting weblogs very quickly. A CEO that gets weblogs is an exciting thing to watch! (There aren't many of them). Does your boss weblog? Tell me about it.

Loren, over at, comments on my ideas for a better conference.

Hey, Alan Meckler, think that having industry leaders isn't important? OK, who doesn't wanna be at this conference? Let's see. Gates. Jobs. Case. Page. Brin. Whitman. Rosen. Valenti. Kraus. etc. Does it get any freaking bigger than that? Man, I wanna be there. Alan, if you can do better than this, I'll be your first customer in line. Wow, does the Wall Street Journal know how to get the best, or what? Yeah, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher put this one together. This is simply the best conference schedule I've seen anyone put together.

Heh. Hotmail just came back up. Funny thing is that an executive at Microsoft wrote me and said "hey, I'm frustrated that Hotmail is down too." Problem is, he sent that to my Hotmail account. Imagine if there were a "Hotmail weblog." We'd all be able to check in there. Imagine if some real human that we all knew was in charge of it. You know, I know Steve Wozniak's home phone number, but I don't know who to call on the Hotmail team to get answers. Why?

Oh, just after I got done writing the Corporate Weblogger's manifesto (see yesterday) I see that Apple has a problem with exactly the kinds of PR issues I'm trying to show you all how to address.

Here's what happened. Apple had a machine with a loud fan. A customer complained. Apple ignored him. He started a website. Apple gave in after thousands of posts and hundreds of disgruntled customers.

What did Apple gain by spending all that money to replace all those fans? Absolutely nothing. Imagine if they had been more proactive earlier on? Imagine if they had even said "we're sorry, and we're now listening?"

Instead they ignored their customers and treated them like crud. And our industry wonders why more and more people are going to Open Source stuff every day?

I wonder who's gonna get the corporate weblog manifesto first?

My brother, Alex, is writing a weblog (we gotta convert him to Radio before too long) and he's raving about some band named "FischerSpooner." Hey, I see they are coming to SF in April. Yeah, I wanna go.

While over at my brother's place, I see he has a rant about Microsoft Networking. Good stuff. He should know. He's an IT dude.

I was just checking out Doc Searls and see that Paul Boutin, formerly of Wired, is moving east. Is everyone leaving California? Will the last one out please turn out the lights? Hey, if everyone is leaving, why is a 880-square-foot house in Santa Clara (median neighborhood, nothing special, nothing nasty) selling for $460,000? Geez. If this is a recession, I don't wanna know what a depression is like. And people say that Silicon Valley is seeing hard times...

I like Mike Sanders weblogging advice: "know why you blog."