Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Monday, June 27, 2005

Bill Gates still is believing in the Tablet PC. Hey, Bill, you shoulda seen the podcasting robot that Mack D. Male and Dickson Wong brought to Gnomedex. Phillip Torrone wrote up a chat that he had with those two.

Speaking of Phillip, his mini sessions at Gnomedex were freaking awesome. If there was one thing that was WAY better this year than last year it was the addition of his mini sessions. I hope the videos of those get posted at some point.

On the Tablet PC topic, Phil Baker, in the San Diego Daily Transcript, writes that IBM, er, Lenovo, hit a homerun with its Tablet PC.

11:57:35 PM    comment 

I linked to the Social Computing Symposium videos earlier today, but Korby Parnell did a much better job of playing them up on his blog. I'm listening to Liz Lawley right now (I just learned she'll soon be living a mile from my house -- cool, maybe we can make a social computing neighborhood or something like that).

11:47:22 PM    comment 

SQL Server podcast starts up. SQL Down Under has a new podcast with guist Hillary Cotter discussing SQL Server replication and another one with Kalen Delaney. If you don't know who Kalen is you aren't using SQL Server.

7:08:19 PM    comment 

We have a debate going on over on our book blog. Rich Levin, host of of the PC Talk Radio computer talk radio show (that's been on CBS Radio since 1994), takes me on about my pro-blogging hype.

Food fight!


I wonder how I'll answer him back. It'll happen over on our book blog.

6:41:00 PM    comment 

The GrokTalks are up and you can podcast them. These are cool (mostly Microsoft-developer-centric) short talks on technical subjects.

Billy Hollis' is funny. He says that developers are addicts. He tells them to stop writing code. "How can I stop writing code, that's my job?" He answers: "No, no it's not." You gotta listen to the rest.

6:32:51 PM    comment 

A few quick hits:

Evan Williams says: I am a dogfood eater. Oh, cool, glad to clear that up. I hear Noah Glass (one of the co-founders of Odeo) is a podcaster too. I'm sorry Evan, should have checked if you were eating the dogfood before I attacked. So, I eat my words. Mmmmm, pixels taste good. Not.

Videos of the Social Computing Symposium, held earlier this year at Microsoft, are now up.


Remember back at the Reboot conference I had lunch with Christian Lindholm who is a key player at Nokia? Well, he just posted that he's leaving Nokia and is looking for the next big thing to do.

Funny, I was over talking with Ford Davidson on the Mobile team here and I told him "you should hire Christian and let him dream of cool simple things." The future is in simple things, I'm discovering. Simple teams. Simple devices. Simple formats. Simple applications. Simple dreams.

Who's Christian? He's the guy who did Nokia's LifeBlogs and the Series 60 phones. Two simple things that millions of people use around the world. He's freaking smart and nice and all that too! He'd be a big simple win for anyone who hired him.

6:10:27 PM    comment 

The next Scoblephone. On Engadget. From Motorola. (Engadget calls it the RAZRBerry, Motorola calls it the Franklin). Powered by Windows Media. Freaking awesome.

5:43:07 PM    comment 

The Channel 9 video download of the Longhorn RSS announcement is now up. That means Mac users can watch the video. (This is the same video that was up on Friday, so if you've already watched it you don't need to watch it again). Sorry about the poor experience for Mac users. Turns out the Mac Media Player we make plays the slowest of the three streams we put up. Here, let me explain what I mean.

For Channel 9 I produce two video files. One for our streaming servers. One for our download servers. The streaming server file actually contains three versions of the video all packaged up into one file. There's a 300kbps stream, a 100kbps stream, and a 28kbps stream. On Windows it plays the fastest stream available (depends on your bandwidth). On the Mac it plays the slowest stream available. That gives a bad experience. I'm working with the player team to get that fixed.

But, the temporary fix is to have Mac users download the download stream. Here's the kicker. I actually make that one now a 500kbps stream. So, it's higher quality than the other streams.

Anyway, usually I put both files up at the same time, but over the weekend I couldn't get enough bandwidth to upload the download file from Gnomedex so waited until today.

I've finally found a workflow that lets me create both files pretty quickly, so this is how it'll be from now on. If you're a Mac user just download the video file (it's always the "Save" link underneath the main video image).

Sorry for the confusion too.

5:09:52 PM    comment 

There are a few people, in my comments, who are wondering why we picked RSS 2.0 instead of other formats. First of all, we're supporting ALL major feed formats, including Atom, in our aggregators and parsers, including the one that's in IE 7.

But why RSS 2.0? Cause it's the most widely adopted of the formats and because it could be extended to fit our needs the fastest. Will we always pick RSS 2.0 for other formats? I'm not gonna make that guarantee. There are other formats out there and there are pros and cons to each one.

If you have feedback for our RSS team at Microsoft, we'd love to hear it. They've been responding quite well to a number of concerns from around the community, but that's the best place to discuss it.

I'm going to avoid the format wars. They don't solve customer's problems and only engineers care about them anyway. It's like arguing over beta vs. VHS tape formats. Lots of fun over beer at Gnomedex but really boring on blogs when there's more interesting stuff like Grokster to talk about.

One thing I can get behind: a Web page should only have one feed. Pick one. I don't care which one. But if you have four different feed icons that is something that isn't very usable by non-geeks.

4:42:34 PM    comment 

The RIAA and MPAA had a press conference to talk about the Grokster decision. Corante has notes from the press conference.

4:14:41 PM    comment 

Google released a new Video Viewer today.

Search Engine Watch: Google Adds Playback to Video Search.

Inside Google: The Google Video Viewer is Here.

I'm installing now, will issue a report soon.

4:10:13 PM    comment 

Regarding the Grokster case. I have no idea how Microsoft will respond to this one. So, let me give you my own personal opinions. The usual disclaimer applies. These are my opinions and probably won't match anyone else's opinions including those of my employer.

On Bloomberg this morning on Sirius radio they were saying it'd increase costs on the software industry and that software developers would need to be able to prove that their software wasn't designed for infringing uses. That's a really tough standard to meet.

It will make developing even legitimate P2P apps much harder, at least in the United States, because now you must be able to defend those apps in court.

I was wondering to myself today: "Is Bram Cohen packing his bags?" I can just imagine the lawyers are working overtime to write up lawsuits against BitTorrent that he developed. Yes, even if he could prove that he wrote it for legitimate file sharing (for instance, for putting your own podcasts up and sharing those with your friends -- Adam Curry on Saturday says he's going to support using BitTorrent to distribute his podcasts since each podcast he puts up is eating up hundreds of dollars of bandwidth fees and his site was unreachable earlier this morning) I imagine that Bram Cohen will get taken to court to prove that. Lawyers are expensive. Defending a court case like that -- even if you win -- will cost millions.

What this also means is more EULAs that you need to sign, more "checking" of files by humans before they are posted (which increases the expense and reduces the profitability of such services). Fewer P2P services will be developed and distributed.

But, what do you think? I guess in my mind it's a real body blow to the podcast/videoblog industries that are just starting to be built. As a developer of one of those kinds of apps I'd be looking at this case and probably would be spending a lot of time with lawyers thinking about how to design such software to be defendable in the future.

3:48:39 PM    comment 

The big news has everyone I've talked to today buzzing. Here, let's just make a rundown of the top sites that I've seen:

ScotusBlog: Grokster, StreamCast Lose.

Picker MobBlog: The Grokster Concurrences.

Guardian Unlimited: Grok crocked.

Slashdot: Supreme Court Rules against Grokster.

Mad Penguin has an interview with EFF lawyer Wendy Seltzer.

CNN Money: Hollywood wins Internet piracy battle.

Corante: A digital brown? Or a digital plessy?

Good Morning Silicon Valley: Peer-to-Peer: Criminal Intent.

The Wall Street Journal: Grokster Roundtable.

Michael Gartenberg: Grokster loses - big time.

Engadget: Grokster loses.

Tech Law Advisor: Grokster Decision.

3:14:07 PM    comment 

Google News is reporting 243 news articles about Microsoft's RSS announcements on Friday, including the Associated Press, BBC, Reuters, and many newspapers around the world (a coworker reports reading about the announcements in an Indian newspaper over the weekend).

I told Chris "imagine each person at Gnomedex has 1,000 readers, that's 400,000 people you're talking to." I think I way underestimated. Even among the bloggers in the crowd many regularly get more than 50,000 each and some in the crowd, like the two reporters from the BBC, regularly get millions of viewers alone. John Furrier, the Silicon Valley podcasting guy, was getting more than that for each of his shows after just publishing for three weeks and that was BEFORE I linked to him.

Now I know why Adam Curry seemed a little nervous during his keynote.

Dare Obasanjo follows up the weekend's news with a practical perspective of what Microsoft's RSS extension means to end users and aggregator developers.

And, yes, that really was my red couch on stage. It's back home safe now.

8:50:09 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
7/1/2005; 3:37:47 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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