Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, November 20, 2004

Note to Adam Curry: did you notice I mentioned you and podcasting in this Channel 9 video? See, while I evangelize all of you on Tablet PCs and SmartPhones, I'm evangelizing folks inside Microsoft on podcasting.

Still listen to your podcasts by the way. I wish I had a radio voice.

6:40:51 PM    comment 

Joel Pobar's post on CLR generics and code sharing (the impact of generics on .NET performance) is getting some props from some big brains. Brad Abrams recommends developers read it, for instance.

6:34:19 PM    comment 

Oh, Joe Wilcox says the SmartPhone in Maroon 5's music video is actually the Orange SPV C500. He likes the fact that this phone is getting some play in a music video.

6:28:50 PM    comment 

I can't escape technology even at the dentist. Where I just got back from being drilled and filled for a couple hours. Ouch. My mouth is numb.

Hey, check out my X-rays on a Windows XP machine!

Aside: I love my Audiovox phone. While waiting for the dentist (the most excellent Abraham Ghorbanian of Sunrise Dental in Bellevue) I was surfing the Web, reading email, and reading all of you talking back to me in my comments.

Hey, you know you have a cool phone when it shows up in a Music Video on MTV. Check out the Maroon 5 "Sunday Morning" recording (the cell phone shows up at about 2:11 into the video. Like I said, this phone does video and is most cool. I now have podcasts and other things on my phone thanks to Doppler Radio. Has anyone compared that to the new iPodder (they released version 1.4 the other day)? Tomorrow I'm gonna setup my new Mirra machine and try out more of these podcasting softwares.

Back to the dentist. They showed me my dental chart over time and did an A/B comparison and found two cavities. Not good. But, he showed me that he might not have caught this in the old days because it is very subtle in the Xrays. By being able to flip back and forth quickly he can see subtle differences in the pictures more easily and catch things before they become major problems.

5:56:46 PM    comment 

Bill, thanks for lunch the other day, and congrats on surviving your first two weeks at Microsoft. I told him to build an email system now because it just gets busier and busier.

4:06:17 AM    comment 

Jeremy Higgs demonstrates how geek centric we all are: "Iíd hazard a guess most people can type quicker than they can actually write.

Um, Jeremy, most people on earth have never had their hands on a keyboard, so how do you know that's correct?

My mother-in-law, who only speaks and writes Farsi, for instance, can not use a keyboard. She can, however, use a pen very well.

I was just having this discussion with Chris Pirillo earlier in the evening. We both type very fast. I should test myself, but I'm guessing it's close to 100 words a minute. I write far slower, yes.

But, there are many situations when using a pen is more appropriate. In business meetings, for instance. Many people think it's rude to open a notebook and start typing. But it's perfectly acceptable to use a pen on a screen. Why? Because it's similar to writing on a pad of paper. Also, there's no physical block between you and the people you are meeting with.

Also, when I'm in meetings I like to brainstorm. Or take notes of associations. Or, draw pictures. Quick show me a mock up of your new prototype in ASCII text. But I can draw one out in seconds on my Tablet PC.

One other thing, why are you taking notes in meetings? Lately I've just been turning on OneNote, starting the audio recording feature, and taking a very brief outline. You know, just a few words about each section of the meeting to jog my memory for later.

OneNote puts an audio icon next to each node in my outline as I write it. Later, all I do is double-click on the audio icon next to each line and OneNote takes me right to the relevant part of the audio.

If you aren't doing this in meetings you are wasting your time.

3:09:05 AM    comment 

Oh, bummer, I missed Greg Linden last night at the Google party. He has a much better writeup than I do.

Todd Bishop has a bunch of photos too.

2:58:12 AM    comment 

ZDNet's Steve Gillmor has been studying me pretty well lately. I'm impressed. Imagine if we had an RSS aggregator that worked that way. Imagine if it said "hey, I noticed that you've been linking to a lot of Sun Microsystems' stuff lately, would you like me to build a search query for Sun Microsystems?"

To the meat of his point, Steve says "Microsoft has lost its dominant ownership of the conversation."

I answered: " why does Microsoft have to be the dominant conversationalist? Isnít that unhealthy for the marketplace? Even though Iím partisan toward Microsoftís interests (hey, they did give me stock when I started work here) I think itís far healthier for the world to have a variety of voices all trying to make peopleís lives better."

2:52:59 AM    comment 

Thomas Duff is still infuriated by Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer's Linux comments in Asia.

I understand that. I don't always agree with Steve's comments either. But, here I'm going to defend Ballmer.


Our patent system is in place to encourage investment in new technologies. And, despite how you feel about Microsoft, Microsoft's 57,000 employees are a real investment in new technologies. The same system protects the investments that Apple, Yahoo, eBay, IBM, Google, and scores of other companies are making in their software.

Patents are there to ensure that investors get a return on investment. Why do we need to do that? So that investors keep spending their money hiring engineers and developers and designers and visionaries. Translation: so that they don't kick us all on the street.

It's a rough place for me to be in because as a technology enthusiast, I want rapid innovation. I want the commodity prices that come with tons of open and free competition. Usually I take the side of the consumer in arguments, but here I can see that there are two forces at odds with each other (and one side is helping me pay my mortgage and put food on the table). The effect that Wallmart has had on America hasn't gone past me. Yes, consumers get better prices through commoditization, but then ask the people who got laid off because of their instatiable demand for lower prices how they are fairing.

See, I realize that if investors aren't going to get a great return on their investment, they'll do something else with their money. Most software is expensive to build. Do you have a $20 million computer lab like this one in your garage? I don't either. Why was it built? Because Microsoft's shareholders are hoping for Microsoft to build a new kind of software that'll build a new market and get a nice return on that investment. Being tested on these machines is a 64-bit version of .NET. Would that get built if there wasn't at least the hope of a great return on investment? No.

So, there are two conflicting forces: one keeping me employed and one trying to make intellectual property free.

Between these two forces I'll defend the investors. Why? Because they are the ones who take the risks to build new products and services and businesses. In know very intimately that the investors in Microsoft could choose to invest my salary somewhere else. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer answer directly to a board of directors who are driven by Wall Street.

It's a difficult thing to discuss in public, too. Why? Because it's so divisive an issue. Sorta like talking about abortion.

Many people might take my comments out of context, or try to read between the lines. Please don't. I'm not making a statement about Microsoft policy here. The usual disclaimer applies. This is my personal weblog, my ideas here are not vetted (remember, it is 2:24 a.m., and, no, there isn't a Microsoft PR guy looking over my shoulder as I type), and they do not represent those of Microsoft or anyone else, for that matter.

Anyway, I hope Ballmer is staying awake at night worrying about how to keep me employed and compensated for my work. I'll defend him for doing so, even if it might be an unpopular stance.

2:38:39 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; 12:59:26 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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