Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Tuesday, January 27, 2004

11:39:31 PM    comment 

Eric Barzeski: "I am so sick of morons (especially those named "Scoble")."
Brad Wilson: Scoble is wrong.
Brad Sucks: "Cory wants DRM dead and I don't blame him".

Interesting how my original rant is now generating its own weather pattern. More than 7000 people showed up here today.

It's interesting the religiousness of the debates. Brings me back to when I was a Macintosh fanatic back in the late 1980s. Oh, if only religious support won markets. Course if that were the case, I'd be working for Steve Jobs now in Cupertino, huh?

Some other thoughts:

1) I use MP3 too. But WMA format files are smaller. I have an older solid state player, so size was important to me.

2) If you want to buy music online (millions of songs have been sold on Napster, which uses WMA, and iTunes, which uses AAC/Fairplay) from mainstream studios, you'll need to accept DRM. Why? Cause the RIAA is forcing both Apple and the rest of the industry to protect its music from being easily copied. Yeah, both WMA and AAC can be converted into MP3 with a bit of trouble. I know some people with 60GB worth of music files. It takes time to convert and you need hard drive space after you convert that many. Luckily 60GB hard drives cost $60 at Fry's right now.

3) Don't tell the RIAA that Apple's DRM is easy to break. Keep in mind that Apple has already upgraded its DRM and will probably do so again if RIAA insists.

4) Lots of you are arguing that having a high price, but great user experience, is a good thing. Interesting. Then why did Wallmart sellout of $30 DVD players within a few minutes the day after Thanksgiving? I think many of you misread where most users needs are.

5) I'm playing with both iTunes and Napster. They really aren't that far apart in usability. But more on that some other day, I already have enough people who hate me right now.

6) Some of you took swings at me for "turning my blog into a commercial." Um, that's not fair. In the past 24-hours I've pointed at Linux. I've pointed at people who strongly disagreed with me. I've gone out of my way to show you that there's two sides to the story. I don't see this happening on Apple employee's weblogs.

7) Someone said that if you buy a song on Napster, that Microsoft makes a buck. That is absolutely not true. You can read our licensing agreement here. Go ahead. Read it. Now, scroll down to "costs." Note how much we get. ZERO. NADA. NOTHING. For audio use or distribution fees in WMA format.

Now, ask Apple what its license is for AAC/Fairplay. Anyone got the terms? Can you post them? Can you tell me how much Apple gets from every song sold on iTunes? It's a lot more than zero.

But, no, evil old Microsoft is out to get you, right?

10:33:17 PM    comment 

Microsoft has published a virus alert for the MyDoom virus. Be careful out there!

11:36:04 AM    comment 

Salon's Scott Rosenberg is trying to keep up on his competitor (Slate) via RSS.

Sorry, Scott, I can't find an RSS feed either over at Slate. I did ask the team to build one and they say they are working on it. I wish every team at Microsoft published an RSS feed. We're a LONG LONG way from that, though.

10:59:50 AM    comment 

Better mail than jail: (apologies to San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy for stealing that line).

The Evil Empire Weblog: You (Scoble) are certainly blowing the "usefulness" out of proportion.

Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing): let me say that I think that this blog entry of [Scoble's] epitomizes the sloppiest, worst thinking about digital-media in the field today.

10:45:05 AM    comment 

I'll be speaking on a panel at the famous Demo conference about RSS and corporate weblogging. It might seem weird to have a Microsoftie speaking on RSS at Demo. I don't think so. RSS is important. Even for Microsoft. This sets the groundwork for more conversations which will ultimately help Longhorn quite a bit (RSS fits right into our new SmartClient strategy -- you do note that most of the most-used news aggregators are built on top of .NET, don't you?)

I'm pitching the moderator (John Patrick) on giving me 60 seconds to demonstrate the advantages of RSS. After all, what good is a panel discussion at Demo if we don't even have a demo?

My goal? Do such a great job that Chris Shipley invites me back next year to demo Longhorn.

10:33:01 AM    comment 

Dave, can you refresh the "most prolific subscriber" page? I'm subscribing to something like 1227 RSS feeds now.

10:26:01 AM    comment 

Tim Anderson attended the miniPDC in the UK yesterday and wrote up his concerns about Longhorn. Interesting post and gives insight into what happened at the event. The teams are working hard on answering these as we speak. Might be a while, cause we want to have something to show you, not just more talking.

10:22:06 AM    comment 

Slashdot talks about "why iPod."

Am I biased? Yes I am. I have a financial stake in Microsoft. But, note who links you to sites that don't necessarily help my cause.

10:18:44 AM    comment 

Good morning Gizmodo readers! That's the first link I've gotten on Gizmodo. Looks like a high-traffic day today. I love Gizmodo. All the geek toys I'll never be able to afford.

10:17:10 AM    comment 

I just got a message on my watch from Peter. Cool. Now you all can tell me to link to your blog all day long. :-)

3:41:59 AM    comment 

Anyone from the SPOT team hanging out here? Peter's having problems with messaging his watch. Hey, anyone want to try messaging my watch? with the latest MSN Messenger.

3:35:45 AM    comment 

Richard Caetano: Question for Scoble: What is a typical day like being a Technology Evangelist?

Interesting question. For me? Or for a typical evangelist at Microsoft? (I'm not typical -- how many employees stay up until 3:30 a.m. talking with customers around the world?).

I'll write something up. For now, I gotta go to bed.

3:31:45 AM    comment 

I've listened to that MP3 five times now. Don't miss it. Read the lyrics.

next time you post about me, watch your trackback ... you think your tiny sucky blog makin me feel fear? I get more hits in a week than you get all year

3:24:02 AM    comment 

Oh, for those of you who want to cap on the blogging scene, here's a hillarious MP3, brought to you by Matt Haughey.

3:15:17 AM    comment 

Speaking of BitTorrent, here's Torrentz, a site that tracks the latest files you can get on BitTorrent.

3:12:25 AM    comment 

Slyck has a bunch of statistics on BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a new file sharing system that doesn't use centralized servers.

3:09:36 AM    comment 

San Jose State University tech guy Steve Sloan is having technical support troubles with both Adobe and Quark.

3:05:28 AM    comment 
3:02:14 AM    comment 

Russell Beattie: the Nokia 3660 is coming.

3:00:54 AM    comment 

Dana Epp, the blogosphere's resident security expert, writes: "if you are writing kernelmode drivers on the Windows platform, you should be taking extra care to ensure you are applying the Windows Security Model to all of your code."

2:59:18 AM    comment 

Scott Mace wants me to comment about a report that Linux will enable some Windows Media Center PCs to startup faster.

2:57:36 AM    comment 

Wesley Felter pointed me to this one: Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively.

2:55:16 AM    comment has Part VII of an interview with Anders Hejlsberg about Generics in C#, Java, and C++ online now.

Thanks to C# team's Eric Gunnerson for linking to that.

For those who don't know who Anders is, he's the guy who, while at Borland, headed the teams that came up with Turbo Pascal and Delphi. Now he's the guy in charge of the C# team.

See Roland, if you think I'm smart, my brainpower is but a small fraction of the smarts that Anders ended up with.

2:52:32 AM    comment 

Louis Parks: "Scoble seems to read everyone else on the Internet. I wonder how long it'll take him to find me."

Doesn't take long -- Louis did the oldest "get Scoble to point to me" trick in the book. He linked to me first. Showed up in my referers page. And I couldn't resist linking back.

2:44:29 AM    comment 

Last week I went over and met with the Media Center team. They are doing interesting things to make the TV and the PC merge (sort of a Tivo on steroids). Blogger Neno Loje put up a bunch of links to Media Center information.

2:41:44 AM    comment 

Roland Tanglao: "I wouldn't bet against Microsoft. With smart people like Scoble there, there's still a lot of potential for future growth and prosperity."

What, was yesterday the "make-Scoble's-ego-so-big-he-won't-fit-it-in-the-door" day?

This is a good example of the power of blogs to make something seem much better than it really is. The hype does NOT match reality. Just ask my wife (or my co-workers).

That said, I appreciate the compliment!

2:37:40 AM    comment 

Scott Hanselman gives a lot of presentations (he's one of the top Microsoft Regional Directors) and he recommends a utility named Zoomin, but here he evaluates Ultramagnifier, which has even more features.

2:34:26 AM    comment 
2:32:47 AM    comment 

Darcy Burner: Coming from Microsoft, though, it's far more common that I start a conversation with a customer or partner from a huge negative trust position, and it becomes clear that nothing I do or say will ever change it.

Darcy, I disagree. I've seen people change their approach to Microsoft -- in just the eight months I've been here. How? Through continued conversation. Hard work. Being there when they do need something. And continuing to ship improved products and services.

It's a major problem, though. How do you regain someone's trust after they start to fear you? I've had Microsoft's economic power aimed at my head. I know how it feels.

First thing to do is to back up. Be nice. Keep talking. Increase transparency (people lose fear when they get invited into the halls of Microsoft and actually see who works here, and what we do). And talk about how you're gonna work to make that person's life better, not worse.

One thing I've learned by talking with real people in the airports. For everyone who is afraid of doing business with us, there are 15 people who really like Microsoft. They just aren't the kinds of people who get involved in fights on blogs.

By the way, the sky ain't blue in Redmond. More like gray. Heh.

2:31:32 AM    comment 

Ben Hammersley: Perhaps too much of the attention given to, and accepted, by the Dean Campaign, was about the Medium, and not The Message. They could do well by asking their supporters to shut up about the blogging, and talk more about the budget.

2:20:04 AM    comment 

Interesting thing came into my RSS news aggregator yesterday: Key events in Microsoft history.

Hey Benjamin, note that hiring me isn't on the list. ;-)

2:18:16 AM    comment's Scott Johnson: "So don't read anything into our announcing Atom support -- this was a pragmatic, not political decision."

2:15:34 AM    comment 

Jupiter Media is looking for a research associate that can cover personal technology. Translation: want to get paid for trying gadgets out, tearing them apart, and writing blogs about how Scoble is wrong? Then this is the job for you! ;-) (disclaimer, I don't think this job has anything to do with blogging, but you'll certainly be working with some interesting bloggers).

2:13:20 AM    comment 

Marc Canter talks about the superficialities of social software. I agree. I've been trying them all (I spent a lot of time in Google's Orkut over the weekend) but I just don't get it. I don't see a business model (other than dating services, and Yahoo and "Hot or Not" already have good ones in those spaces).

As a business person, my blog is far far far more useful than filling out a form of made up BS. Why? Because you can't fake a blog for a long time if you use it for business purposes. If you lack integrity. If you are a jerk. If you are dishonest. It'll be found out here.

What's really interesting is that now that I have a blog and already have an identity online, I get tons of friends everytime one of these social software services opens up.

Translation: doing a blog is far more important than joining one of these social software networks.

2:09:34 AM    comment 

My programmer friends (alright, I admit to reading Chris Sells' excellent blog) tell me that the Win32 to .NET API article on MSDN is very helpful for those guys who used to use Visual C++ and are trying to switch over to the new world of managed code.

2:04:47 AM    comment 

Benjamin Mitchell asks "I wonder if Robert and Rory realise their impact on global culture?"

(He took a poll in London and says everyone reads me).

If that's true, I'm very honored. My mom still doesn't read me, though. My brother-in-law (the laid off one, not the one that works at Apple) tries to read me, but says he doesn't understand most things here.

Impact on culture, though? Yeah, right!

1:58:18 AM    comment 

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I used a Macintosh all weekend long. One of those 15-inchers. Damn Apple for putting the bumps in the keyboard in a weird place.

1:39:57 AM    comment 

Phillip Torrone just posted some more about his "portable geek gym." Picture. Video.

"here is the portable geek gym. tiny bluetooth gps velcro'd to my shirt, it talks to a pocket pc, which has a video feed to my sunglasses with lcd screen. also attached, a heart rate monitor, a pedometer, all fed to a health watch via rf, and also a spot watch- to check up on the news and instant messages. optional- my phone, which is used to check email via bluetooth and fed to the glasses.

1:36:05 AM    comment 

I got a SPOT watch yesterday. The Abacus by Fossil. You've heard the negatives. "It's ugly." "It's big" "It's black."

Well, so far I like it a lot. The naysayers are totally missing the point. The thing on my wrist just went from being a fashion accessory to being something useful.

So, go ahead. Feel smug that you have a nice looking watch. Mine shows me the weather, shows me when I have a meeting coming up, my stock quotes, breaking news, and more.

For the "anti-SPOT" point of view, check out Mobitopia.

1:32:58 AM    comment 

Clay Shirky has an interesting theory: that social software may be bad for the Dean campaign.

He's right. But misses the fact that the Howard Dean I see on TV isn't the Dean I see on the blogs. It wasn't before Iowa. It isn't now.

That's a huge problem. Imagine if when you come here you read something about Longhorn or Microsoft that doesn't match your real-life experience. That's happened a few times, hasn't it? But, note that I link to people who tell me I'm off base. I change my thinking. I do more homework. And I continue the conversation. That isn't happening on Howard Dean's weblog.

Here, let's practice. Yesterday I posted a long article about Windows Digital Media Devices. Several of you took me to task (the comment thread is very interesting).

Here's a selection of weblogs:

Jupiter Media's Weblogger Michael Gartenberg: Robert is wrong about several points.

Dori Smith: there's a few things I thought that he got wrong.

Of course, I missed a few other things too. One of the commenters in Dori's blog pointed out that there are actually no solid state iPods. Another co-worker pointed out that I was way off on the price. A 20GB iPod is $399. A 20GB Dell is $269. Here's a page on Dell that compares them. So, with the Dell, you can get a set of Etymotic headphones for the same price as you can get an iPod. Tonight I compared the Dell to the iPod. The Dell with the Etymotics BLOWS AWAY the sound quality of the iPod. In fact, if you already have an iPod, the number one thing you can do to really make your system rock is get a good pair of headphones (hint: the ones that OEMs like Dell and Apple include don't compare to the Etymotics). The Etymotics run about $120. Oh, and Creative has a 40GB player for $299.

But, it's your money, not mine. Yeah, the iPod is aesthetically nicer. Yeah, the Dell is slightly bigger and heavier. Yeah, the iPod has a slightly nicer user interface/usability. But it's not worth $120 more. At least not in my opinion. Of course, saying that, I'm sure I'll have a bunch more blogs to point to tomorrow that'll say "Scoble's wrong about that too." :-)

1:24:52 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:45:24 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). 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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