Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Sunday, July 04, 2004

Oh, according to the New York Times I should be a Republican (they are using Microsoft's stuff, while Democrats are using Open Source stuff). Although I think it's weird they are still using Windows 2000. Server 2003 is a lot more secure and performs better too.

11:58:45 PM    comment 

Kunal Das just released version .7 of his "OutlookMT" tool that I use to build my linkblog.

It lets you make Outlook into a "drag-and-post" tool. All I do is drag an item to my "Blog This" folder and it automatically gets posted to my link blog. Really cool stuff.

11:50:45 PM    comment 
11:42:33 PM    comment 

One thing you'll find on my linkblog is that NewsGator is hiring. So, if you wanna work on cool RSS technology drop Greg Reinacker a line.

11:40:13 PM    comment 

The nice thing about having a holiday weekend is that blogger posting volume goes down so I can get caught up in reading feeds. So, now I am. My link blog has lots of interesting stuff tonight.

I'm off to bed to catch up on sleep.

11:32:22 PM    comment 

Ross Mayfield wants Microsoft to come up with a corporate blogging policy and he wants us to put that into the commons so everyone can use it.

Hmm, why not just put it on a Wiki so everyone can add their two cents? That way we'll really end up with a "corporate weblogging best practices" document.

How about putting such a thing on Channel 9's Wiki? I'd be happy to start it.

11:01:42 PM    comment 

Is blogging a possible career path? Winnov's founder, Olivier Garbe, thinks so. He's looking to hire an evangelist who knows how to communicate well online. IE, a blogger. Interested? Send me email. Include your blog URL.

10:28:03 PM    comment 

Is Tim Bray emailing with Scott McNealy?

Tim's "senior person without a soapbox" was complaining about not seeing any improvements to notebooks in 14 years. Hmm, ever see a Tablet PC? You can't use your notebook while standing up, but I can. That's a huge improvement in UI.

Now, the question is, are we about to see a 3D user interface revolution? Sun has been showing around its cool LookingGlass user interface. Microsoft has a bunch of 3D stuff in the lab.

Why am I skeptical? Because I've helped normal people on our support lines. One lady I helped could barely even click on an icon. Is she going to figure out a 3D user interface?

It's a tough problem. It's exactly why we have researchers who study people behind a one-way mirror.

Why is this important? Support costs. If a 3D interface increases support calls by a few percent it'll be a financial disaster. Remember, any phone call to support lines costs about $100 to handle.

What's the answer? Well, Sun GPL'd its source code so it's expecting its users to figure it out. It'll be interesting to watch the two approaches compete in the marketplace.

9:48:28 PM    comment 

My wife's new job is helping MSDN do its webcasts. If you've never participated in a webcast, these are pretty interesting. A speaker from Microsoft gives a PowerPoint-assisted speech, but can show you their desktop and answer questions from you. All in Microsoft LiveMeeting software.

I've been watching some of these webcasts over my wife's shoulder (she gets to work at home) and many are very technical and interesting.

Oh, and if someone named Maryam welcomes you to the room, feel free to say hi to my wife!

Georgeo Pulikkathara has posted a schedule of July webcasts to his blog.

9:28:00 PM    comment 

Brad Feld reminds me that MessageCast has a new RSS service for alerting users. I've gotta get my act together and try it out.

9:06:28 PM    comment 

I had a wonderful day today. The family went to Capitola (a California beach town). There +are+ advantages to living in California. Going to the beach is one of them. What's better than mostly-naked people walking around town? Capitola's whole attitude is "who gives a hoot? We're going surfing."

Surf boards everywhere. Chicks on surfboards. Fat guys on surfboards. Dogs with surfboards. What's up dude?

The surfer lifestyle has some benefits. It's actually harder work than it looks. So, you stay in shape. And it's relaxing. Hard to concentrate on anything else when you're trying to catch a wave. But, for me, I just love watching the scene.

Hope your Sunday was equally unproductive.

9:00:14 PM    comment 

So, around the corner from my brother-in-law's house are the Esperanca's. You might not know them, but they owned 40 acres of land in Silicon Valley (my brother-in-law's $650,000 shoebox is built on their old land). Despite being very rich (the farm sold for about $50 million) they still live in the same house around the corner from my brother-in-law. They are in their 90s now and bed ridden.

I met one of their kids, now about 40. They have an old rusting plow out in their front yard, which provided a conversation piece. One of the artifacts of Silicon Valley's past.

His grandparents started the farm, where they grew oats and hay. They were immigrants from Italy and Portugal. See, Silicon Valley has always been importing its best talent.

He says he misses the old farm. Why? Because he could play his music as loud as he wanted back when his family didn't have neighbors.

Anyway, now you know where Esperanca street got its name.

By the way, it's too bad that these families haven't saved their histories and put them on the Web. Within a generation people will forget about the history of Silicon Valley and that old plow will either be sitting in some rich guy's garage, or will have totally rusted away.

8:42:55 PM    comment 

Oh, cool, video game PR guy Steve Cherrier is blogging. He's the one who got me lots of information about Train Simulator.

1:02:42 PM    comment 

Jeff Sandquist says he's going to become an American Citizen. My wife, Maryam, is doing the same thing this year. She's hoping to be done by November 1. Why? Cause she wants to vote.

12:53:29 PM    comment 

A friend found a good use for Spam. He keeps a folder with gigs of Spam. When he goes on vacation he drags that folder over to his main server. His company only gives him a few hundred megabytes of space on their email server. So, then anyone who sends him email gets a bounce back saying "sorry, the server can't accept any more email."

Then, when he gets back he doesn't have any email waiting for him. Brilliant.

12:37:00 PM    comment 

Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury News recently wrote about Silicon Valley's housing bubble. It really is ridiculous here. My brother in law (the one who works for Apple) lives across the street from Sun Microsystems' Santa Clara campus. 20 years ago no one wanted to live here. Why? Well, this area is near the Sewage Treatment Plant (on a bad day you can smell it). It also is in the flight path of San Jose International airport. A plane goes overhead every few minutes.

Twenty years ago this was a Superfund Toxic waste site too. Silicon Valley's manufacturing processes weren't very clean back in the 60s and 70s (Intel and AMD's headquarters are about a mile or two away).

My brother-in-law lives in a townhouse. In most cities these would be called Condos. It's like living in a shoebox. Very little yard. Almost common walls.

Within the past month four of his neighbors' homes have sold. These things are about 1800 square feet. In a neighborhood that no one wanted to live in 20 years ago.

All four of these homes sold for more than $600,000.

Why does this matter? Well, a lot of these homes are being purchased because of low interest rates. Many are being purchased with variable rate loans with very little money down. You can buy homes now with only 5% down, or even less if you're willing to pay a higher interest payment.

The problem with variable interest rate loans is that if interest rates go up noticeably many of these people will be unable to pay their higher house payment. Housing prices then will fall and banks will be forced to forclose on homes.

Is there a coming housing/banking disaster coming? I sure hope not, but seems that the risks of such a thing happening are certainly going up with every $650,000 shoebox being sold.

12:00:38 PM    comment 

Ed Bott: "Robert Scoble, are you happy now?"

Yes! Full-text RSS feeds make me very happy. Why? Because I can read them on the way home on the plane.

They give me freedom to read your content the way I want, in the place I want. Subscribed!

11:48:34 AM    comment 

Welcome Mac fans (a couple of Mac sites linked to me today). For all of you, you'll enjoy this. Mike Hall has OSX running on his Windows XP machine.

Hope you all are having a Fourth of July weekend!

11:34:11 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; 12:55:45 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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