Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Thursday, April 07, 2005

J. Daniel Smith: Microsoft still doesn't "get it."

"The VOIP area is something brand new, and in almost typical Microsoft fashion, they're going their own way. This same type of behavior occurring over and over again is what helps breed the animosity towards Microsoft."

Ahh, sounds like I need to do a Channel 9 video on our VoIP and IM efforts. Anyone on those teams want to come on and answer these objections?

5:18:31 PM    Mudpit 

Tom Simpson: "Maybe I should say that I'm unsubscribing from Robert Scoble's feed blog, just to get a link in from him."

Maybe! Heh!

Don't worry Tom, I subscribed to you. So, more links ahead.

Update: sorry Tom for getting your name wrong.

5:06:07 PM    Mudpit 

Jeremy Mazner: why do developers go to conferences?

Jeremy is one of those guys who is planning our PDC.

4:23:46 PM    Mudpit 

Chris Anderson is starting a campaign to bring back Christopher Brumme's blog. I'm all for that. Christopher is one of the smartest people I've met at Microsoft (he works on the .NET CLR team).

By the way, he'll be on Channel 9 real soon again.

3:30:12 PM    Mudpit 

John C. Dvorak: Software Patents: Microsoft's Fatal Error.

"So while Microsoft thinks that software patents are a good idea because it hopes it can stop the open-source folks by suing some small fry, it has unintentionally made itself a huge target. Everything the company does will be scrutinized by millions of eyeballs looking to score. This may be the stupidest thing the company has ever done to itself."

3:16:11 PM    Mudpit 

It's getting harder and harder to get me to try things. I'm just snowed under. And not getting any less snowed under. More than 1,000 emails need my attention. But it's worth trying. I do look at every email and try to answer them all. But it's getting tougher.

David James of Blogmatrix kept trying. Sent me a few emails about his new product (BlogMatrix Sparks! 2.0). I didn't answer him. But, I do keep those emails for when I have some time to try out new products. Today I did.

It's a new kind of news aggregator. One that lets you listen to podcasts, watch video blogs, and then make your own!

Nice clean interface. I'm playing with it.

Here's what he emailed me that motivated me to download it: "We've been killing ourselves out here -- we've got a huge BitTorrent infrastructure for delivering data efficiently to auto downloaders, tons of free space, tons of free bandwidth, we've made it easy (almost trivial) to upload and download."

What else did David do well? He got other people to talk about his product. Someone just posted about it to the videoblogging mailing list.

It's the repetition. The persistence. That matters in this new micro-content world.

I highly recommend you check out BlogMatrix. Very nice.

3:01:54 PM    Mudpit 

One thing I enjoy is learning from my readers. Already lots of people are adding comments on my medical posts. Lots of great ones explaining what it's like to actually work in that industry (thanks Scott Koon, particularly).

I can tell this one is gonna fill up the comment feed here. This might make a better conversation over on Channel 9. So, let's move it there. Here's a thread to kick it off.

2:33:26 PM    Mudpit 

The counter of technology? People.

Convincing nurses, unions, and executives at hospitals that they could do things better if they really rethought things out is going to be very difficult. People see change and resist. They see inefficiencies as job security.

One of the nurses I met this week says "I'm a people person." Translation: she doesn't understand the world of computers or technology (even though she works with dozens of computers every day -- she just doesn't think of them as computers).

So, why not start with 50 beds in a hospital somewhere, computerize those, see if there's any benefit to patient care (and reduction in malpractice suits)?

While I'm at it, why don't hospitals have videoconferencing systems where the doctor can check in visually on a patient? Hospitals are becoming so large that getting from one side of the hospital to another can take 10 minutes. The person I'm with doesn't need to see the surgeon anymore, but he has been up here five times so far. He's the best in the nation, and that personal touch is a big part of why he's so highly regarded. But, he could check in even more often if there were a plasma screen up and a video camera.

Not to mention: the best thing for a patient to have here would be video that we could use with our friends and family outside. I'd pay $20 a day just to have access to an IP-based videophone that'd work with Skype and MSN Messenger.

I'm a weirdo, and bring my computer into the hospital room, but most people don't remember to bring their computers to the hospital. And, I'm sure that in places not so near a big tech company that computer usage would be looked at strangely.

That reminds me. Gotta send an email out to friends and family. I wish they all would be on MSN Messenger...

1:49:47 PM    Mudpit 

People ask me what the software industry's future is. All I do is look around this hospital room (which is in one of the richest hospitals in the world) and I see tons of opportunities.

The patient's chart, for instance, is all paper and hand-done. How many inefficiencies (and opportunities for mistakes) are there there? Tons.

Then I look at the machines hooked up here. There's a blood transfusion device. An IV device. An oxygen monitor. A heart-rate monitor. None of these machines talk with each other. None report back to the patient's chart. After all, how could they? That's all paper stored in a binder by the door of the room.

The whole wing runs by nurses who visit every 20 minutes or so. They manually check on the patients. First they check the chart to see what is prescribed for each patient.

In every place I see inefficiencies. Things that could be improved with better technologies. Opportunities for mistakes that could be removed.

"Technology is too expensive," I can hear lots saying. Well, how expensive is a malpractice lawsuit? I just watched a blood transfusion. What if a doctor wrote the wrong blood type in the patient's chart? Why are we still doing things in an analog fashion? Why isn't there a video camera here to verify what was done to a patient? Why isn't RFID being used to verify that the right medication is being distributed to the right patient? Why doesn't each room have a monitor for nurses to watch so that they can check on the patient's vital signs without entering the room? That'd make them far more efficient, remove waiting times for really serious mishaps (the machine putting fluid into a patient makes the same beep whether it's out of fluid or has a blockage in the line).

I see all sorts of opportunities to make medical care both more personal as well as remove risk of malpractice lawsuits. Each medical chart should have attached to it 24-hour video of the patient's care so that it can be verified later on whether the patient really received proper care. That alone would reduce lawsuits and cost.

Insurance companies should start insisting on improvements to the medical system. Our health care costs are going up every year far faster than the cost of living increases yet we're still putting patient charts on paper. We're still not making machines that talk to each other. We still aren't putting new technologies like RFID into use. We have better display systems in our airports than in our hospitals.

And what's scary is that this hospital is one of the richest in the world. Only a few miles from Bill Gates' home and from Microsoft's headquarters (and he's listed at the top of the donator's list here).

Why do I work in software? Why do I see growth opportunities for the software industry? All I have to do is look around a hospital room for a while.

What opportunities do you see?

1:27:34 PM    Mudpit 

I just read that I have a distant relative over on MSNBC (Will Femia). Heh! Subscribed. I gotta keep in touch with the relatives, after all.

MSNBC has a blog page too.

1:02:54 PM    Mudpit 

Congrats MSN Spaces on getting to 4.5 million. Funny, now other teams are asking me to attack them like I attacked MSN Spaces.

Just goes to show that there's no such thing as bad PR on the blogosphere and that no one listens to me. The only thing bad is if no one talks about you at all.

By the way, the new MSN Messenger 7.0 is now out and has some neat features for MSN Spaces users.

Update: Joe Wilcox points out why MSN Spaces is doing so well: "not everyone is a Robert Scoble whose blogsite can draw thousands of readers, mostly strangers."

Who's a stranger here? By the way, I just got the new MSN Messenger and I like it a lot. I'm able to add new contacts now, thanks to the new space, and everyone has cool new icons that they can choose (your own pictures). Also, I get to see when people update their MSN Spaces too.

Update #2: Mike Torres says that MSN Spaces shipped some improvements yesterday. Hey, wait a second here, I thought only Google could ship software. Who told Mike to ship something? Mike, keep it up and you're gonna end up getting fired or something. Heh.

12:27:55 PM    Mudpit 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
11/27/2005; 1:44:18 PM.

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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