Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Friday, January 02, 2004

I'll be light on posting until tomorrow night or later. See ya at the Geek Lunch in Healdsburg tomorrow.

John Battelle, who writes for Business 2.0, talks about IBM's Webfountain project. Interesting stuff. While the market was watching Microsoft to see how it'd respond to Google, maybe IBM is the one to come up with a "Google Killer?"

Kevin Hammond asks Why is Scoble sending me Junk Mail? Turns out News Gator and Outlook is sending some of my posts to the Junk Mail folder.

I'm jealous of Joi Ito. He has audio chats with John Perry Barlow.

John was a lyricist with the Grateful Dead. One of the better writers on the Web right now. Plus he heads the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Yes, I do like the EFF, even if my employer doesn't always agree with the EFF. You should be able to use your videos and music in any way you like for your personal use (please note that doesn't mean you should post music you don't own the rights to on BitTorrent and pass it around to other people).

Oh, I agree with Joseph Heck - I like reading the "cool boys" too.

I like this trend. Nino Benvenuti announced he was moving his blog from one of the group blogs and off onto his own server.

I think a community that is decentralized is stronger than one that's centralized. Why? Well, the Longhornblogs shows why. It was down for several days. Because it is a centralized community, the whole thing was down.

I'd rather see communities build slowly, but in a more sustainable fashion. Decentralization is it.

I agree with Rachel Reese that Adnan Masood's Interactive Mapping Using SVG & ASP.NET is among the coolest articles I've seen done about ASP.NET.

Shaan Hurley, a developer at Autodesk, is joining Dori Smith and me for lunch tomorrow. You're invited too! Details below.

Jim Fawcette asks Why would anyone with excellent computer skills want to work long hours to create code so that millionaire executives at IBM can use it to sell expensive mainframe computers and middleware with six-figure licenses?

Virus Alert: New MSN Messenger Virus is spreading, CNET says.

Again, make sure you don't open attachments you didn't request and visit to make sure you have your protection turned on.

Julia Lerman had dinner with the dean of the business school at the University of Vermont, who admitted to being a Tablet PC lover.

Whadda ya get when you mix...

1) A Flash developer with too much time on his/her hands.
2) Lord of the Rings.
3) Rap.
...altogether? This video. My son thought it was funny. So I posted it. Link courtesy of Andy Santo.

Thanks to Craig Berntson for sending this useful resource: RSS in Government. Lots of information about RSS.

Mars Alert! Today I took Maryam and Patrick to the new Mars Center at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Mountain View, in Silicon Valley.

I didn't even plan on going there, it's close to my bank at Lockheed and I just turned down there and said "let's see if NASA is doing anything interesting." I have fond memories of going to NASA Ames as a kid. It was there that I saw the Space Shuttle tiles (and got to hold one in my hand that was heated up to 5000 degrees and was glowing red hot). I also froze a balloon in liquid nitrogen. That stuff is FUN!

But, I didn't realize that Mars is such a big deal. The place was crawling with geeks. The center had only been open a couple of days. Free admission.

Why is it a big deal? Because tomorrow the first of two Mars Rovers (named Spirit -- one named Opportunity will land in February) from the United States will land on the red planet.

The Mars 2004 center is great fun. You can drive your own Rover. Watch a movie. And talk to a geek who helped build the Rover. Most of the Rover was built at JPL in Pasadena, but the parachute, parts of the software, the heat shield, and other systems were designed at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley.

By the way, if you're a Mac OSX lover, check out the two-screen display in the back of the center. It has a neat interface for navigating around the landing site. Click on surface of Mars on one screen and it shows you high res pictures on the next.

Speaking of which, you know you're a geek when you look at a computer and you keep asking yourself how you'd do it better. I can see several things that would be better with Longhorn's video composition engine and the new panoramic control (where you can fly through thousands of images). But, the display their developers put together is a great use of multi-monitor displays.

If you're in Silicon Valley looking for something to do, definitely check it out.

Update: images from "Spirit" on Mars won't be available for four days, so the Mars Center is having a family night on January 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to give people a chance to come in and see the latest. They promise presentations from NASA personnel then too.

It's official. Geek lunch tomorrow! (Tguest of honor is Dori Smith) Saturday at noon at the Center Street Cafe in Healdsburg.

After that? Wine tasting? I have to drop Patrick off in Petaluma at 2 p.m., though, before I can go wine tasting.

I'm quite honored to be near the top of the "Top 100 feeds" of members of the RSS User List. I hadn't even joined that list yet. Will do now.

Those who know me get tired of my RSS evangelism. In fact, internally at Microsoft, I've done far more RSS evangelism than I've done Longhorn evangelism. There's a reason for that. If I get you to subscribe to my feed, then I can more efficiently send out my Longhorn memes. [insert evil laugh here].

Australian IT: The Australian Tax Office has aligned itself with the next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system - codenamed Longhorn.

I didn't have anything to do with this, but the evangelism is starting to work. I know of several other Longhorn projects outside of Microsoft already taking place too. More to come.

Information Week: Speculation continues on BEA takeover.

It all started when an analyst published a paper that told Microsoft to acquire BEA. I don't know if there's any truth at all to this, so I'll stay out of it until an exec gives me more info.

CRN has a first look at Windows XP Service Pack 2. wonders if we've seen the end of the BIOS.

Microsoft Monitor's Joe Wilcox: "I understand that Microsoft wouldn’t want to jeopardize crown jewels of investment by moving into the blogging software business. But I would regard the existing Weblog model, like the early Web, as a competitive threat Microsoft should not ignore.

Andrew Orlowski at the Register thinks Microsoft is going to have to reduce prices this year to compete with open source.

The Seattle PI is starting a Microsoft Notebook.

Plus, Todd Bishop's Microsoft oriented weblog remains one of my favorites.

Matt Carter, who works at Microsoft, just told me that there's three inches of snow on the ground there. Bummer, I missed the first real snow.

I brought Seattle's rain to Silicon Valley, though. Since I've gotten here it's been raining most of the time. They've received 150% of average rainfall here so far.

I've noticed a trend in my comments. Some people can't fathom that I disagree with them. So, instead of arguing my points, they post things like what Nick Ryberg just posted in my comments: In any case, I came to comment on your naive Slashdot slam, and got to the bottom the comments pile feeling as though there was A) little I could add to a foolish discussion about the semantics of Open Source vs. Free Software, and B) there was little that you would actually listen to. I can't help but wonder at the state of Microsoft when they have you for a cheerleader. Well - they've survived bigger challenges.

Nick isn't the first, either. It's easier just to imply "you're an idiot" than to either ignore me and never come back, or post a reply that takes on my points.

One difference between me and many other webloggers. I'm not afraid to demonstrate my idiocy. And I am learning, even if it doesn't look like it. I'm just a slow learner.

I've decided to remove trackbacks from my blog. Why? They increased the page size by about 40% and are most of the non-validating code. Plus, I have a referer page, so they are redundant. I prefer a minimalist blog. Loads faster. Less clutter. What do you think?

In return I'll add some more things to my sidebar.

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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: 1/5/2004; 11:12:44 PM.