Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Google blog smacks down an anonymous email. Why keep the emailer anonymous? I'm left questioning whether the emailer actually exists at all or is a figment of some marketer's imagination.

But what would really be cool is a Channel 9 - style video of the Google artist working on the logo. That's my Christmas wish.

Merry Christmas to all my friends over at Google, by the way.

11:19:53 PM    comment 

James Kendrick says that Tablet PC enthusiasts should be mad, not happy, that Froogle lists Tablet PC as #1.

10:56:43 PM    comment 

Dawn and Drew, during their 50th podcast: "Maybe Bill Gates will say 'inkernet.'"

Congrats Dawn and Drew on your 50th show! And, hey, we already have the inkernet -- just not the one you are thinking of.

Our "ink"ernet is the one where people use ink from their Tablet PCs on their blogs.

MSDN even has a sample.

Julia Lerman demonstrates.

By the way, if you are thinking of listening to Dawn and Drew, be aware that it's an adult-oriented show. Probably wouldn't be safe to listen to at work. Well, maybe if you had some of those cool white headphones.

10:28:01 PM    comment 

Jeremy Wright just sent me the first "Merry Christmas podcast" I've ever gotten. From his new "Inside Blogging" company that he's starting.

Merry Christmas to you too Jeremy!

7:04:52 PM    comment 

Jeff Prosise (founder of Wintellect, one of the best-known training companies): "Several years ago, when I worked for PC Magazine, I met Michael Dell. He impressed me as a heck of a nice guy. I wonder if he has any earthly idea how difficult his company makes it to get a defective product fixed?"

Dell: any way I can help make Jeff a happy customer?

7:02:39 PM    comment 

Where do you find podcasts? I look at two places. One, Two, iPodder's directory of podcasts.

And, of course, Adam Curry's blog and podcast (he often talks about other people's podcasts on his own show).

Where do you find podcasts? What are your favorites?

5:50:35 PM    comment 

I'm listening to podcasts today while trying to answer emails.

Cameron and Mick crack me up. Part of it is their Australian accents. I gotta catch up on their show.

I met Mick last year at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference (he worked for a big advertising agency). Cameron is a geek that I've been reading for a long time too.

Podcasting is growing up at such a rapid rate. Today anyone can get into it. But in a year there will definitely be stars and catching up will be much more difficult.

5:43:59 PM    comment 

I just ran across this:

Trish Wilson: the "invisible" woman blogger.

OK, time to read, which is where a bunch of women are blogging.

Are you reading a diverse set of writers? I'm not. But that's gonna change.

5:11:22 PM    comment 

One fun thing about traveling all the time is renting different kinds of cars. This week we have a Jeep Liberty. I just don't get the SUV craze. I just re-read Malcolm Gladwell's article on SUVs. It's a must-read if you are considering buying a car. You should see the quotes from auto-industry engineers and marketers. Amazing that our government even allows these things on the road.

My Ford Focus handles better, is more comfortable, has a better stereo, costs less, gets better mileage, has more power, and has a quieter engine.

4:48:35 PM    comment 

You know, I'm in awe of Paul Thurrott's ability to get inside product teams. I have an advantage: a blue badge. But he got a series of Channel9-style interview with the team that did Windows XP Service Pack 2. Interesting stuff.

4:20:23 PM    comment 

Simon Phipps, of Sun Microsystems, thinks that Sun's culture and Microsoft's culture are too different to really get together.

Well, we've seen pretty sizeable shifts in both our cultures over the past year. How about we use our blogs to try to build common bridges where we can?

As always, if there's anything I can do to make our side of the fence easier to deal with, give me a call on my cell phone. My number is always on the home page of the blog.

Personally, I think some of the attitude might come from the geography the two companies live in. We both live in canyons. If you ever come up to Redmond you'll see mountains all around. Here I am typing yards away from Sun's Santa Clara campus and I see mountains surrounding too.

But here in Silicon Valley Sun has to co-exist with many other companies who keep pushing in on it. And housing prices keep going nuttier and nuttier. Up in Redmond there isn't the diversity of competition in the neighborhood. Yeah, Google opened a new office up, but really that's pretty small. And there's Amazon and a few other software companies but it's nothing like Silicon Valley.

I find that when I've gotten together with Sun people, though, they are a lot like Microsoft people. You might find there's more in common than you might think.

3:27:09 PM    comment 

Kevin Harder says "very spiffy" about OnFolio 2.0 beta. I think that's gonna be my new catch phrase. "What's spiffy about your product?" Heh.

3:17:17 PM    comment 

Scoble's predictions for 2005 -- since everyone else is having so much fun:

1) Apple Computer will ship a computer that uses a pen and a digitizer that is combined with the screen. It won't, however, call this a "Tablet PC."

2) Several executives will get fired for NOT blogging. Why? Blogging helps get adoption and executives who don't get adoption will be cut. They might not be told it was for not blogging, but watch who replaces the execs who are ousted.

3) Several more people will get fired FOR blogging. Another one was reported today. Or worse yet, will get sued for what they write or do on their blogs. Blogging is dangerous business.

4) Tablet PC's will go mainstream. Froogle's #1 ranking is just a hint of what's coming.

5) Microsoft will be more interesting at the end of 2005 than at the beginning. And, in a year that just saw the launch of Halo 2, that's saying something.

6) Scoble will be taped to a tree on Microsoft's campus after he talked about blogs once too often.

7) Three things will join: cell phones. Hard drives. Skype. That convergence will get everyone to question whether the iPod has a future. Of course, if Steve Jobs has anything to say about it we'll probably be talking about the iPhone instead.

8) HDTV. It will be big. ger. Or something.

9) RSS will go mainstream. Why? Cause it'll be part of the browsing experience.

10) By the end of 2005 we'll all know what attention.xml is and why it's important for the services we choose to support it.

11) There will be a major disaster in 2005 and mainstream media will use citizen journalists in a new way to cover the disaster.

12) There will be several Fortune 1000 companies that build 24/7 blogging teams. Mostly for technical support reasons, but some for PR reasons to react to what Slashdot commenters write about their products at 3 a.m. right before the East Coast journalists wake up to start doing their aggregator runs.

13) Microsoft will open source a major product. My guess is it'll be Train Simulator since there's no hope that Train Simulator will ever be a runaway success like Halo 2, but Train Simulator still has hundreds of thousands of devoted fans.

14) There will be a couple of major marketing misteps because marketing directors will have thought that all they needed to do was a blog and everything else would fall into place.

15) The blogosphere will be embarrassed at least twice because things that we bloggers believe to be true will not turn out to be true. Oh, wait, that should have been a 2004 prediction. Heck, it happened twice this year, maybe it'll happen four times in 2005.

16) An executive at a major company will retire "to have more time to blog."

17) Apple Computer will think that podcasting is a way to lock people into the iPod platform and will buy iPodder for, oh, say, $300 million. Oh, wait, I forgot, Steve Jobs isn't Steve Case.

18) Dave Winer will get bored of driving around the USA. Will fly to Munich, buy a BMW, and start driving around Europe.

19) The PDC will sell out in 2005, even after bloggers report on everything that'll be shown there before the conference. Why? Well, see, hanging out in Universal Studios with Don Box and Chris Sells is cool enough. Who needs Longhorn, new gadgets, or a new Visual Studio when you have THAT?

OK, now, obviously this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek. I wish I really was good at predicting the future like John Battelle. But, I hope you all have a great holiday. Thank you so much for such a great year. Yes, even you Goebbels!

3:09:20 PM    comment 

Oh, Mohammad, that wasn't my advice. Maryam, my wife, doesn't blog. Now, if she says YOU can't blog then let's talk. :-)

Blogging isn't the solution, by the way. It is just the way the solution will probably be shared.

Speaking of which, I think I really should do a set of predictions for 2005. Next...

2:27:03 PM    comment 

Molly Holzschlag's "Web Design World cool-down" is getting linked and a decent number of comments. Blogs are big in Web Design? Cool. Speaking of which, I really do need to hand out a prize. Will do one more look over the contestants and pick one.

2:07:37 PM    comment 

Is Tablet PC gearing up for a great year? Well, head over to Google's Zeitgeist (listing of most popular search terms in 2004). Scroll down to Froogle Queries under "popular computer goods" and see what's #1.

I really miss seeing the browser market share, by the way. I wish Google would bring that back.

2:05:35 PM    comment 

Want to see the front page of a bunch of daily newspapers? The Newseum site has just that.

2:01:36 PM    comment 

Om Malik points me to a new Opera browser for my "bling bling" SmartPhone. Gotta go get it. Has anyone tried it? Like it?

1:38:26 PM    comment 

Ahh, the folks who run the Consumer Electronics' Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January are supposedly telling bloggers to stay home! (Thanks to Geek News Central for pointing that out). I was in the process of trying to talk my boss into letting me go (got a very cheap hotel room, and cheap flight) but now I'm not sure I even want to go. On the other hand, maybe I should go as social protest and wear my "I'm blogging this" shirt. What do you think? Go or stay home?

1:01:43 PM    comment 

I'm going to drop back my comment participation. I am hundreds of emails in the hole. Need to catch up. And I need to work with Shel on the book and getting that going. So, you'll see me a lot less in comments. Want to get my attention? Start a blog and link over. That shows up in Pubsub, Feedster, and Technorati and those are higher-importance than having conversations in my comment feeds.

Comments aren't going away here because I believe strongly that everyone should be able to talk back to me, and I will read every comment, but I just won't be spending the time anymore to respond to most comments. At least for the forseeable future.

1:53:03 AM    comment 

After the Channel 9 guy got caught in some, um, "adult" positions at O'Reilly's FooCamp and at Gnomedex, I guess he was feeling a little guilty and thought he better pay attention to his spiritual side. So, yesterday he went to church with Brian Bailey. Well, at least it's a church that's run on .NET so it sorta makes sense!

Heh, I didn't know they read MSDN magazine at church these days. :-)

1:38:06 AM    comment 

Leon Bambrick draws me into a Christmas cartoon. Oh, darn, I +was+ going to get Leon an iPod, but decided to just link to him instead. :-)

1:35:40 AM    comment 

For those who visit the San Francisco bay area you know just how stunningly beautiful it can occassionally be. Particularly in December when visibility goes up to more than 50 miles. I just had to stop for a few minutes and take a walk along the Marin Headlands. I shot a few photos with my cell phone. It was one of those days when I just feel grateful to be alive and be able to visit such a magnificent place that people from all over the world want to come and visit.

Here's the shots:

Couple walking along Marin Headlands.

Military encampment (from the late 1800s).

The bench with the million-dollar view.

San Francisco through the Golden Gate Bridge.

By the way, thanks to everyone who spends time working to make sure we have great parks to visit. Yeah, this land could have been sold off to build luxury mansions but someone had the foresight to hold it for the public trust and make sure it was available for all. It's so nice to be able to pull off of 101 for 45 minutes and take a walk with such a great view. Thanks!

After the walk, I drove south to visit Shel Israel where we had a great time working on the book. That short interlude got me in the right mindset. If you ever visit San Francisco, don't miss a hike around the Marin Headlands. Whenever I hear that someone didn't do that, particularly if they had good weather, I am saddened. It really is one of the best things the city has to offer.

1:13:22 AM    comment 

Jonas Luster grooves on an earlier post of mine where I theorized about why Silicon Valley happened in California and not elsewhere.

Interesting stuff. I don't agree with most of it, but it's interesting think-outside-the-box kind of stuff.

I note that the housing prices continue to go up here in the valley (I'm here in the valley until Jan. 2). Traffic is getting to be just as bad as it was during the Internet boom times of the late 1990s. The valley is back and is strutting its stuff.

Personally, I love the anti-smoking stance of California. It's so nice to visit here compared to places back home. I can go to bars here and not stink when I get home.

I also can get freaking awesome Thai food, which I can't get in Bellevue (yeah, I know about the place in Kirkland. It's good, but it's not freaking awesome).

Thanks to Lee The and his wife for taking Maryam and I out to Thai tonight. If you care, the place was MintLeaf and it's on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Phone is 650-853-1238.

1:04:33 AM    comment 

New podcasts from MSFT'ies. Steve Lacey, a developer on the Flight Simulator team is podcasting. He asks Adam Curry why he'd move to the UK? (Steve is from the UK). Larry Hryb from the Xbox Live team doesn't like the name "podcast" so he's trying to rename the genre to "blogcast." But Larry's doing an audio show anyway. Larry, are your MP3's available via RSS?

Larry, that's not nice and it's not gonna work anyway. They are podcasts. For better or for worse.

By the way, podcasting isn't for iPods anymore. I podcast to the Scoblephone. Doesn't POD stand for "Personal On Demand" anyway? Heh, now I'm getting into the fun.

By the way, Shel Israel and I recorded for several hours today. I'll try to find a place to stick them up.

Update: Steve Lacey's show is great. Nice voice for radio and he plays some RIAA-free music -- did I hear that right that it's from his own band? Even offers Adam Curry a copy of Flight Simulator.

12:36:34 AM    comment 

The predictions have started for 2005. John Battelle, who actually was pretty accurate last year, has a whole bunch of predictions on his blog. Anyone else?

The problem is that I know too much, so any predictions I give will be too influenced by insider knowledge.

I'd rather let the rest of you have all the fun.

12:29:10 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; 1:01:08 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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