Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Sunday, January 16, 2005

On my way home I turned on the Tablet PC at Oakland International Airport. WiFi here costs $7 on Wayport.

I see that the RSS copyright story is still raging.

Here's a few I just saw come through my aggregator. By the way, I use an offline aggregator (Newsgator) so that I can get all my feeds in a few minutes before heading on an airline. Then I can read feeds on the plane.

Marc Goodner: "Sometimes Scoble doesn't get it."

Eric J. Barzeski: "Robert Scoble has broached the topic of Copyrighting RSS in his usual bumbleheaded way."

Tim Bray: "It seems to me the right solution is obvious; rewrite things to apply a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license to the syndication feeds, while retaining Attribution-NonCommercial coverage for the full text and photos; hmm, an initial read suggests I need separate licenses for text and photos."

See ya later when I get home.

8:33:07 PM    comment 

One more: Hugh wants Microsoft to build a tricorder. Heh. I know one guy who'll agree with that vision: Rick Rashid. He's head of Microsoft Research. He has an entire Star Trek shrine in his office.

Last time I got a tour of Microsoft Research I saw they are working on building the holodeck. Seriously. In the video we meet Gary Starkweather (the guy who invented the laser printer at Xerox PARC) and Mike Sinclair. They are working on building monitors that you'll put on all your walls.

Tomorrow I'll ask Rick and Kevin how the tricorder research is coming.

10:17:02 AM    comment 

Hugh asks "what is Microsoft's new big idea?"

How did he know I was going to get a tour of Microsoft Research tomorrow specifically to find that out?

Hugh thinks things are dire for Microsoft.

Oh, Hugh, let's go back to 1989, shall we?

Let's go to MacWorld in 1989. The Macintosh IIcx had just come out. It was Apple's best Macintosh ever. And it totally kicked Microsoft's behind. It had beautiful industrial design. The world's geeks fawned over it. The designers used it.

It was my favorite Macintosh for years (Steve Wozniak, later in 89, gave me $40,000 worth of them for our journalism department).

Let's head over to Comdex in 89. Windows 2.0 was being shown off. No one liked it. It was ugly. Slow. Buggy. Didn't have cool apps running on it like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator or QuarkXPress. The Mac had better games. Was easier to use. Networking on the Mac was so so so far superior to what Windows had it wasn't even funny.

But fast forward to today. Which business would you rather own between 1989 and today. I know which one I'd choose. I'm working there.

So, today, we're at the same kind of juncture. Apple is kicking our behind once again. How will Microsoft respond?

Steve Ballmer already gave our vision: developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...

More at this year's PDC in September. Or on Channel 9 sooner than that.

OK, smartass, what does that mean? Well, look at the SmartPhone I own. It's not the prettiest one out there. It's not the geekiest one. It isn't the one with the most features. But it's only been out a few months and already the phone is seeing a new app released every few days. Heck, the other day iPodderSP was released for it.

Why is that?

Because on all of our platforms except for the Xbox there's a little piece of software called .NET. That lets programmers who've been writing Visual Basic code for the past decade (there's millions of them) to also write apps for the Media Center, the Tablet PC, and the SmartPhone.

Now, a platform takes longer to evangelize. Why? Cause it's not as cool up front. But let's say that every app released has 500 users. Well, eventually that adds up to real numbers.

It's the long tail approach. Build a platform that developers can play on and you'll eventually win.

Oh, but we're also working on our user experience too. More on that later in the year at the PDC too.

10:12:09 AM    comment 

Tyme White: "The short version: In my opinion, Robertís wrong, Martinís right."

My reply?

First, about the book. Here's a hint: we're not going to put the book's content into RSS. Why? Because RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and if we did that then we'd be participating in a system where we expect to lose control over where and how people view that content.

I see Tyme and Martin's point. I really do. I know copyright law pretty darn well (media law was a required course in journalism school and believe me, newspapers and media care a LOT about copyright).

That said, RSS is a new system with new standards of usage. It is a SHARING system. When you use RSS you need to look at PRIOR USAGE.

Bloglines has been doing what it's been doing for years now. Why complain now?

And why not complain about MyYahoo. Have you noticed that your content is next to ads there? Oh, and Google and MSN are looking at aggregators. Are you going to complain when your content is next to ads on those systems?

Like I said. Yesterday was a sad day for me. It was the day that DRM in RSS was born.

I tried to give you guys a way out without destroying the whole system. Here's the choices I give you:

1) Put all your content into RSS like me and let the world do with your content what it likes.

2) Put only enough content in your RSS feed so that the world can know what you're talking about but they'll need to come back to your site to see the full content (and all your ads and contact info).

3) Don't participate in RSS at all and just stick with HTML, which already has accepted copyright patterns (by the way, how come you guys aren't yelling about Google's caching? Did you see that all your pages are cached over on Google? That breaks with traditional copyright law too, but so far we've been cool with that too. Why? It helps everyone.

One way we're gonna protect our book? Put it into a file and make people download it and say explicitly "you're not allowed to redistribute this file." Our RSS feeds would only include links back to the file.

See, when you come into RSS land I believe you do give up some of your copyrights: for the overall good.

But, obviously, some of you think you need DRM. Digital Rights Management. Speedbumps. Yes, I can see it now, we're gonna end up with an RSS extension that creates Yahoo/RSS; MSN/RSS; Bloglines/RSS; NewsGator/RSS; Google/RSS.

Is that really the world we want?

It's not the world I want. It's why I am taking the stance that I am.

9:55:02 AM    comment 

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Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
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Last updated:
5/11/2005; 1:02:05 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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