Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I'm jealous, my dad and stepmom are going to China in April. Shanghai, Bejing, and other places. I wish I could go. What a nice Christmas gift to give each other.

How's your gift wrapping going?

Maryam's gonna be suprised at what I got her.

Pour yourself some eggnog!

Yahoo brings out its favorite web sites of the year.

Andy Lester, on the O'Reilly Network: "The curse of designing with Microsoft Word."

Hey, I agree with that! I see all sorts of things done on computers and cringe at their design. Most people simply don't know 1) how to design a decent document and 2) How to use Microsoft Word.

Wacom has an update for its TabletPC driver -- I'm loading it now and will let you know how it goes.

Amazon lets you track books sold to a certain zip code, so they made a page where you can track for what's popular with Microsoft employees.

I'm sad, I'm not one of Rory Blyth's homies. For those of you who don't yet read Rory, take one part geek, one part Rage Boy, one part cute face. Mix together. And you have Rory. A must read.

Dang, the good links just keep coming in. Here's an open source Tablet PC notetaking application being developed right before your eyes.

Microsoft Monitor has a ton of great blogs I have to catch up on. Here's an example: Happy New Year! Your digital certificate expired.

"With IE now part of Windows and Microsoft so red hot on improving security, more browser updates should be the standard, not less."

OK, I'm gonna take off the next day or so to spend Christmas with Patrick and Maryam. I hope you all have a great Christmas. May Santa bring you all tons of geek toys!

Gretchen Hundling (formerly Pirillo) tells me she will be at the geek dinner next Monday night. Oh, now we have a party going on!

She tells me she'll work on getting her blog up somewhere else next year too. Cool.

Washington Post: "While other customers help, the companies hide."

The article gets several things wrong. For one, hundreds, if not thousands, of Microsoft's employees hang out in the newsgroups.

For two, it takes some cheap shots at Apple. I didn't notice that Apple's stores were shuttered when I walked past yesterday. If you have a problem, you can always walk into one of those.

Also, it ignores all the employees who weblog frequently (yes, I work at Microsoft, and yes, I help lots of people with their tech support problems, if I can).

The one thing the article did get right is we have the best customers in the world. You can see them here:

PDC Bloggers
Longhorn Blogs
.NET Weblogs
DotNet Junkies
SQL Team
Geeks with Blogs
ActiveHead's .NET Blogs

Do you know any other Microsoft-oriented communities to add to the list?

Update: add Academic Longhorn Blogs to the list.

Update2: add Office Zealot to the list.

Is there anything you can't find on the Internet? David Gwynn keeps a cool page of grocery store history. I was looking for Safeway's history and found this. Largely written from the West Coast, USA point of view.

Phillip Torrone is doing interesting things with a camera. In one series he asks (and answers) "what would it look like taking one picture every 30 minutes, every hour, for 24 hours, seven days a week, for three weeks, no matter what?

Dare Obasanjo has a different response than mine to Mike's plea for Microsoft's bloggers to blog about current stuff.

Here's Don Box's reply.

Nice to see Don Box (er, Microsoft) and IBM working together on Web Services interoperability.

ASIDE: I usually stay away from politics. If you don't like the topic, ignore this post.

The presidential politicians this year have caught onto the Internet and have whipped up evangelists by using it (every politician has RSS feeds and weblogs, for instance). There are many many lessons that business and political students will be learning from this campaign for years to come.

My take? Howard Dean won't be elected. He's too liberal. He's an old-school liberal tax and spender who wants to reduce our military offensiveness. That simply won't get someone elected in today's America.

BUT, what is Dean doing? By staying to the left, he's energizing the traditionally liberal democratic base. Getting them involved in politics again. Getting them to build new social structures and new channels to deliver information.

Who's the real winner here? Hillary Clinton.


Because in 2008, she'll take advantage of Dean's efforts to reenergize the democratic base. She'll move toward the center while keeping those folks energized, but that'll get centrist Republicans to switch over. Last time we had an election we had a virtual tie. The only way to win is to get a few percent of "the other side" to switch over, while also keeping your base energized enough to go out and vote. Dean is reenergizing democrats in a way I haven't seen since Bill Clinton kicked George Bush Sr. out of office. While I think he's fighting a hopeless fight, I'm sensing a smarter and more practical Hillary Clinton is rebuilding her image as a straight shooter going for the center. The question is, who'll challenge her in 2008? Another question: if Dean gets the democratic nomination, will Hillary join as a Vice Presidential candidate?

One thing that'd ruin my predictions is if the economy took a big hit. I don't see that coming at this point.

OK, back to tech stuff. I am watching the campaigns closely, though. The lessons I'm learning for Longhorn evangelism are interesting.

I'm not always accurate here. Sometimes I make mistakes. Type too fast. Drink too much merlot. Am too lazy. But, when I do make a mistake, I notice something: my readers correct me.

Yesterday I made a mistake about the Apple store that I should correct. The store in Palo Alto was not Apple's first -- that honor goes to the Tyson's Corner store.

Of course, the first store to sell Apple computers might have been in Palo Alto.

Anyway, the point is, webloggers will make mistakes. Just like the New York Times will. But, the thing to watch is how weblog mistakes get corrected.

Update: my wife Maryam found a mistake up above. "Dumb blonde," she said. Heh.

Matthew Mastracci matches my Morton Thiokol story with one about how Travelocity has gone with Linux.

Matthew makes a mistake, though. He tries to use this as an example of how a company has fired Microsoft. Instead, though, you need to look at what Travelocity used before. Unix. So, what Travelocity really decided was to replace its Unix-based systems with Linux.

My Morton Thiokol example was more of a real win. Why? Because Morton Thiokol switched from Unix to Windows (that's a real jump over the fence -- Unix to Linux isn't as big a difference as Unix to Windows).

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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; 3:28:08 AM.