Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, March 04, 2005

CNN is counting down the top 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years.

I see several names missing from the list. Hewlett Packard are two. Their influence on Silicon Valley, and hence the world of technology, is still felt.

John Doerr and other venture capitalists have certainly had more influence on business than Shawn Fanning, founder of Napster. Shawn's a great guy, but please. What impact has he really had on business?

There's only one spot left (it'll be announced Sunday night). But I can name at least three people at Microsoft who've had more impact on business than many of those on the list. Certainly Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates should both be on the list.

And why aren't there any Japanese names? Toyota, for instance, is one of the world's top companies. Toyota has had a far bigger impact on the world of business than Napster has.

And someone from China certainly deserves to be on the list. Am I wrong when I question this list? Who would you put on this list?

10:54:02 PM    comment 

Since we're talking about podcasting, there's a podcasting and portable media expo coming up later this year. November 11 and 12. Ontario, CA.

10:24:09 PM    comment 

Stick this stuff in your portable media player and play it!

Mike Hall is doing a series of audio shows interviewing employees at Microsoft (all around Mobile and Embedded. First is with Balz Wyss, talking about voice over IP (VoIP).

Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) who works on the Xbox Live team as a program manager has been doing a series of shows about his journey through the video game world. Oh, he'll be podcasting from the Game Developer Conference this week (he's promising some exclusive Xbox announcement stuff this week).

Mike Lehman, a senior consultant at Microsoft, is podcasting about software and music. 100 shows. Whew. Most are a minute long, though.

What makes these audio shows podcasts? You can subscribe to them via an RSS News Aggregator (like

You can subscribe to Major Nelson's feed here and Mike Hall's feed here.

How about you, do you have a podcast? List it here.

10:20:09 PM    comment 

Jeff Sandquist cut off the mustache and posted the pic.

9:43:50 PM    comment 

Congrats to the Tablet PC team for selling a million Tablets.

At any other company that'd be considered an outstanding success. Getting a million people to do ANYTHING is pretty tough.

Walking around the TechFest this week I came to the realization that the Tablet PC is dead.


The functionality that lets you be able to use a pen (or, even, your finger) to use ink on screen will just be something that every PC will ship with. There's all sorts of interesting stuff coming for computers with digitizers built in.

I'm sensing this is a breakout year for the Tablet PC team, though, that aside. The Tablet PC is growing up fast and we're not yet on version 3.0.

9:42:45 PM    comment 

Josh Bancroft (he does the excellent TinyScreenfuls weblog) visited me today. He doesn't work at Microsoft. He works at Intel. But he sold me on a Dell Axim and convinced me that I don't have a clue about what the new portable user really needs.

I thought that all I really need is my SmartPhone. After all, that plays audio, video, does text fairly well.

I assumed that for people who wanted to play more video, or that wanted a screen that they could actually see some detail in the video that a portable media center would be the ticket.

I'm now convinced I'm wrong. I'm convinced that the PocketPC form factor is the better way to go. Here's how Josh convinced me:

First, it has a VGA screen. 640x480. That doesn't sound impressive, but when you see this screen your eyes will pop out. Ken Levy showed me a Toshiba that also had a VGA screen. I didn't understand the benefits when Ken showed me his, though, cause Ken didn't show me video playing on his.


Josh had three hour-long videos stored on his 1GB SD card. The detail was stunning. Better quality than I've seen on the portable media centers.

But, this sucker has a few advantages. One, there's a ton of software. Josh demonstrated a few things including email, Web browsing, and an RSS news aggregator. The Portable Media Centers don't have those.

I could see that someone taking a bus or train to work would really get a lot of use out of the PocketPC.

"But don't you need more space than that for video?" I asked Josh. He said you really don't, because most of the time you won't watch more than three hours of video in any one sitting anyway. For instance, let's say you have a 30 minute commute on a subway or train, you don't need more than a couple hours of video.

And a 1GB SD card can hold a LOT of RSS feeds and audio podcasts. He says a device like this is revolutionary when you start getting into the new videoblogging and podcasting trends that are happening.

Thanks Josh for being an effective evangelist for the PocketPC. Josh claims he's sold about 20 Dell's and has been so successful getting people to buy them that he's setup his own Dell affiliate program. He also said that if you're careful you can usually get the Dell for about $400 (right now they are selling on the Dell site for $500).

9:30:37 PM    comment 

I'm outta here for the weekend -- heading down to Silicon Valley. Looking forward to seeing my son. He got a new bass guitar and is most happy about that. Thinks he's gonna be a rock star. Who knows? Oh, and his $550 PC? It rocks. It's amazing the kind of PC you can get for $550 now. We're setting up his Internet this weekend. That'll be cool cause we can do videoconferencing now.

Anyway, hope your weekend is going great.

11:12:05 AM    comment 

Screen envy. Chris Tyner has on his desk at Microsoft six 20.1 inch Dell monitors. Damn. I'll try to get over there to show you his new setup.

Gary Starkweather has him beat, though. I won't tell you how many monitors he was showing off at TechFest yesterday. But it was a lot more than six. I'm jealous. How many monitors are on your desk?

10:35:54 AM    comment 

Steve Rubel continues talking about Google's AutoLink (has info from Google that they'll soon be linking UPC codes). Steve: it's not my fight anymore.

What I'm hearing from the marketplace is that most users like these features and want more of them and don't really care about what content producers think of linking features. Translation: I'll shut up now.

Tim Bray, of Sun Microsystems (and inventor of XML), chimes in on Autolink.

10:28:47 AM    comment 

San Jose Mercury News: Apple 1, Bloggers 0. Thanks to Dave Winer for the link. If this stands, it means bloggers aren't journalists and don't have the same protections that journalists working for newspapers have.

10:19:55 AM    comment 

My coworker and friend, Jeff Sandquist, wants to make an important decision: mustache or no. Dave Winer gives his opinion. I used to have one. I looked lame. Jeff looks good in one, though. And his wife likes it. Let her win one!

Me, I'm too lazy to do a mustache. It's either all or nothing.

1:56:56 AM    comment 

Seattle-area bloggers are on the map. This is cool.

Chandu Thota is the guy pushing around MapPoint to do this stuff. Just released a few new features.

Hey, Chandu, let me know how I can add a blog-style comment to the map at a specific address. Oh, and photos, too.

For instance, I love Victors' Coffee in Redmond. That's located at 7993 Gilman St, Redmond, WA 98052. Now, why can't I add a blurb to that address for everyone else to see. Something like:

Victors' Coffee rocks. Best coffee on the East Side. They did coffee at Bill and Melinda Gates' wedding so you know it's the best.

Oh, and I shot a picture of the coffee inside. I wanna post that too. Right on the map so everyone else who comes to that address on Mappoint can see the blurb and the photo.

Whadda ya think?

1:53:14 AM    comment 

Fun Apple 1984 parody is up on the Royal We. I first saw this on Rocketboom, a cool videoblog. Christopher Coulter just reminded me of it.

12:38:52 AM    comment 

Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba run a cool blog named "Church of the Customer" where they talk about ways to spread buzz. They are also working on a book about open source marketing.

Now they are doing a podcast too. It is quite good and I highly recommend it.

12:21:57 AM    comment 

Russell Beattie, of Yahoo, is raving about Virgin Mobile Radio.

12:19:09 AM    comment 

Oh, Seattle PI's Microsoft Blog has a few videos from some of the cooler stuff at Microsoft's TechFest. Damn.

That table is something you have to see actually work in person. It's amazing.

12:17:44 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; 1:03:33 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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