Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Wednesday, September 15, 2004

At FooCamp Stewart Cheshire of Apple convinced me to install their new Rendezvous software. Today I started it up clicked on the new icon it added to Internet Explorer, and, sure enough, it found some printers near me and automatically set them up. Cool. I'll have to play with this and see what else it's good for.

2:23:41 AM    comment 

Harvard Business School: What Steve Wozniak learned from failure.

Interesting, when I first met Woz, we talked about what his greatest failure was. He thought the world would judge his investments in the US Festivals as his greatest failure. He lost $200 million on those.

Woz got me started in this wacky business with a $40,000 donation to me for the community college journalism department that I loved so much.

I'll never forget that. I'm looking forward to seeing him again at Gnomedex.

He taught me a lot about the value of trying things and iterating and having optimism that a better design is just one more redo away.

2:11:57 AM    comment 

Did anyone catch this month's Game Developer Magazine which had an article titled something like "the Future is Smaller in C#?" One thing I noticed, there's a new game out, titled "Arena Wars" which is written using the .NET runtime and C#.

2:02:37 AM    comment 

Scott Watermasyk, the guy who makes the .TEXT blogging tool that 1300 bloggers are using on, is reporting that full text feeds are back on Microsoft's blogger's main feed. Sara Williams, head of MSDN, told me last night she's working on a blog entry for later in the day.

In other MSDN news, Junfeng Zhang writes about the new MSDN Website.

1:59:40 AM    comment 

The annual Microsoft employee company meeting was today. It was my first one (I missed last year's event). It was a different format this year and Steve Ballmer was subdued this year, no matter what Sandy Khaund says. (Sorry folks, no videos of Ballmer jumping around or screaming "developers, developers, developers" will be seen from this year's meeting, although the mental image of an exec in a tutu chasing me around is one that'll stick with me for a while -- they threatened that if anyone took pictures or video and posted them on the Web).

I'm not sure what I think of the new format (most employees watched in their offices around the world -- here in Redmond I watched part of it with David Weller, my next-door neighbor, and part of it in solitude). The echoes of Ballmer's voice could be heard throughout building 18. It was a little goofy. But, it's hard to explain that to an audience who hasn't seen the show, so I'll send my feedback along.

The content? I'm not gonna disclose that, although it really wasn't much secret. They answered questions from around the company on a variety of things.

If you're an employee, definitely try to hit the product fair. That's where the really exciting stuff is. I think it's open again today. Teams to see that have hot stuff? I put a list of inspirational teams over on Channel 9. That's appropriate because I'll have interviews with many of these teams coming up over the next few months.

I can't wait to show you the many things I saw today.

1:50:41 AM    comment 

If you want your own Channel 9 guy, as seen at FooCamp, the Seattle Library, or Burning Man, please send us a card. Here's the thread with the instructions.

Please take him around the world and send us pictures! We live vicariously through the 9 guy.

1:24:51 AM    comment 

While the geeks were off partying, CBS News has been "blogged down" in a little controversy.

A few people asked me what I think. I think there are more blogger-driven stories ahead. The word-of-mouth information networks are becoming more and more efficient every day. Email. IM. Skype. Flickr. Blogs. With even more new technologies coming every day.

1:09:49 AM    comment 

Where the he** was Scoble for the past weekend? At Tim O'Reilly's FooCamp.

Why didn't I blog it? Cause I have a 486 brain and was surrounded by people with far bigger brains than me. "How does it feel to be the stupidest one in the room?" Inspiring. But, that's only the half of it. On Saturday night there was a session titled "Building Biological Systems." Drew Endy was the speaker. His notes are here. When guys like Jeff Bezos and Tim O'Reilly come out of a session thinking they are stupid, well, you know that the speaker is working with a whole different brain architecture than what most of us were given. It's a real joy to watch someone who knows far more than you do explain what they are doing in language that makes you think you can keep up.

Tim O'Reilly let me distribute 250 Channel 9 guys while I was there. Funny thing is that when you mix geeks, a fun party environment, with foam guys, they start doing what geeks do. Mutating the foam guys. Tim Bray has the pictures. Warning, "adult content" ahead.

Heh, no one has commented yet on the T-Shirt I was wearing on Saturday.

I told Tim that this year's FooCamp was even better than last year's. Why? Because it met the lofty expectations that were set by the first one, held last year.

We've gotta figure out how to make this event virtual so that more people can participate in some way (they can't handle any more than 300 people, which means tickets for this thing are harder to get than Superbowl tickets). To tell you the truth, the exclusivity of the event is what makes it special. Yeah, that's exclusionary. I wish it scaled, but it doesn't. There's something about having 300 of the world's top geeks in one place.

There's a whole bunch of FooCamp photos linked here.

My son is in this panorama. They were shooting off water rockets all day long. Lots of fun.

I don't have pictures, but Jeffrey McManus, developer evangelist at eBay embodied the evangelist spirit. He pitched tent right in the center of the camp. He printed out a sign that advertised that he was making martinis (you can see his tent in the background on this photo). Then he'd make a martini for anyone who came by. Jeffrey claimed that this was because he was shy and wanted people to come to him instead of making him try to awkwardly start a conversation.


First session I attended? I met Chris Uhlik of Google. He's the program manager of Gmail and the Google Toolbar and a few other things. He gave a talk at 11 p.m. to well after midnight. I asked him why they only give out a few Gmail accounts at a time. Remember, I thought it was sheer marketing genius. Turns out it wasn't. Turns out they don't have enough server capacity to deal with everyone who wants an account. So, when they buy a new server and get it installed they hand out another round of invites. Heh, their server salesperson must cheer everytime he or she sees more invites being advertised on weblogs.

Other things that I remember? Drinking Evan Williams with, you guessed it, Evan Williams, the guy who started Blogger.

Having lunch with Jeff Bezos, the guy who started Amazon. "Why did you start Amazon?" I asked. "I was seeing the Internet growing by 2500% and I wanted to be part of it."

Also at the lunch were Mitch Kapor, the guy who started Lotus, Stewart Brand, involved in Long Now Foundation and the Whole Earth Catalog. Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText, and Esther Dyson, founder of Release 1.0 and PC Forum, among other things, was at the table. Let's just put it this way, I was dragging down the Intelligence Quotient of the table by at least 30 points.

1:03:45 AM    comment 

Did something named Firefox ship today? Heh. They linked to me and implied that I switched totally. That's not true. I use Firefox about 40% of the time. Asa, of the Mozilla team, said he'd recommend downloading XPSP2 if I'd put one of their icons on my blog. Here you go: Get Firefox!. Sounds like a good trade to me. Dang, those Firefox guys sure send me a lot of traffic (thousands of visits yesterday).

12:22:08 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
5/11/2005; 12:56:54 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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