Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Saturday, September 10, 2005, quoting Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer: "I've never thrown a chair in my life."

Of course that hasn't stopped folks from making a game where you can throw your own chair.

7:22:39 PM    Mudpit 

Loren Heiny has his own Office news. He is adding gesture support to Office for Tablet PC users.

That so rocks!

6:04:45 PM    Mudpit 

Joe Wilcox, on Microsoft Monitor: PDC Primer.

His last paragraph hits home with me. Apple kicks our behind when explaining to everyday people what computers could be used for. I tried a lot, when I filmed my videos that'll be displayed this week, to get the teams to get beyond just showing off features.

I hope I get to meet Joe. He is one of those people I read every day. He gets me to think and I appreciate that.

Oh, I bet I had something to do with this: "my expectations are high."

Well, in return: confidence is high.

5:56:36 PM    Mudpit 

Dare Obasanjo: More Details on MSN Developer Announcements.

When I was hyping up the PDC a couple days ago I didn't even know about this or the secret Virtual Earth stuff that'll be released next week. It just gets better and better. Thanks Dare!

5:37:26 PM    Mudpit 

I was just reading Brad Feld's blog and he links to Chris Law who has created a Wiki that is a directory of publicly available API / Web services. Very useful for developers who are mashing together different Web services.

5:29:40 PM    Mudpit 
5:14:20 PM    Mudpit 

Steven Sinofsky (the guy who heads the team that builds Microsoft Office -- he'll be on stage on Wednesday, which should give you some hints as to some of the big news that'll be coming this week): Do you have to be a computer science major to work on Microsoft products?

He explains the various job roles that we have here at Microsoft.

4:22:49 PM    Mudpit 

David Weller noticed that MSN Messenger 7.5 promotes Google.

4:14:18 PM    Mudpit 

I forgot to note that Jeffrey Zeldman and crew's "A List Apart" is back. Wonderful stuff for Web designers and developers.

4:10:36 PM    Mudpit 
3:55:44 PM    Mudpit 

Wanna speak at a Visual Studio conference? Chris Kinsman says he's looking for ASP.NET talks and that Fawcette Technical Publications has a call for papers.

One thing to be warned on, though, is that Fawcette is well known for not paying speakers on time (if at all). But, speaking can be lucrative for other reasons.

Heck, I have an example in my past: one speech at a Silicon Valley user group has made me about $80,000 so far. Why? Cause someone was in the audience that night and liked my style and gave me a $10,000 increase in pay to join his company. That was eight years ago. I highly recommend speaking in front of people any chance you can get.

3:54:35 PM    Mudpit 

Chris Anderson, an architect on the Windows Presentation Foundation team, linked to a great UI design blog done by Jan Miksovsky. I love his style and writing, even when he points out where Windows sucks.

3:47:39 PM    Mudpit 

Steve Sloan, my former boss (he was my boss when I attended San Jose State University back in 1991-93) asks how can SJSU expect to get students with vision in the future?

He rips apart their vision plan.

Is your school stuck in the 1990s or is it pushing the bleeding edge? It might be interesting to start a wiki that compares schools and their approaches to technology.

Now, San Jose State isn't stuck in the past as much as their vision document makes it sound. Their newspaper has RSS feeds. The campus has a lot of Wifi coverage. Their library is new and is pretty nice.

2010 is four years away. That's not that long. One thing that's really going to help Academia is smaller, cheaper, lighter computers. I imagine that sometime in the next four years we're going to hear about a University that tries switching from paper-based books to using only computer-based ones.

Oh, and every classroom should have a wireless presentation player/projector like the Tablet PC team has in its conference room (I believe Arin showed me this Linksys Wireless-G Presentation Player). That would let teachers walk around the room and present without being tethered to a desk.

3:38:35 PM    Mudpit 

Our SocialWorld, a conference in Cambridge that happened this week, sounded like a lot of fun. I wish I could have been there. Anyway, the conference site has a blog with a lot of the details.

3:22:03 PM    Mudpit 

Hmmm, in 2003 the fires in Los Angeles made it difficult for attendees to get here. I just learned that tomorrow there's a triathlon here in Los Angeles that will make traffic difficult.

The event will close roads and create major detours between 6:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you are staying at the Millennium Biltmore, Hilton Checkers or the Standard Hotel, PDC shuttle buses will not be able to make their regular stops. To catch the shuttle during this time, we ask that you please walk to either the Westin Bonaventure (main entrance on Figueroa St.), or the Sheraton Hotel (main entrance on Hope St.). Information sheets will be available to attendees at those hotels at registration.

Service is expected to return to normal after 2:00 p.m. Please see one of the transportation ambassadors in the lobby of your hotel if you need directions, or if you have any questions.

Shuttle service frequency may be affected at other downtown hotels due to the changes in traffic patterns. If there are any new developments we will keep you informed. The transportation staff at your hotel and the Los Angeles Convention Center will be able to update you should there be any further changes.

Tomorrow is just a registration day, so won't affect the conference, which starts with a pre-conference set of sessions on Monday.

2:12:05 PM    Mudpit 

David Daniels praises Adam Barr, a Microsoft employee, for Truly Open Communications.

He quoted my comment I left over on Adam's blog. "when we post things publicly we're trying to change both the top and the bottom at the same time"..."This is a FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT in how corporations work."

The world of work is radically changing. We've only started to discover how.

Oh, and if I were an investor I'd WANT more openess, not less. I would want to see the mess inside the sausage factory. Yeah, short term some investors might be scared off by seeing the mess, but long term this helps them far more than it hurts them.

And, let's say your company is making mistakes. How do you fix those mistakes the fastest? By sending an email to the boss? Or by taking it into public where all the parties can give input?

Not a lot of companies can deal with having such a public conversation, though. It isn't always fun and it certainly isn't easy.

1:04:42 PM    Mudpit 

I just arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Jeff Sandquist is already posting some pictures to the Flickr PDC05 site.

Nice shirts!

11:13:16 AM    Mudpit 

Well, I'm off to go to the PDC. If you're going, remember to tag your posts PDC05. Jeff has more details on that.

There's a group of people watching for the best blogging. You can watch the feed of that on the PDC Bloggers site. There's more than 1,000 bloggers who will be at the PDC. Whew! If you are blogging from the PDC, make sure you register your blog so that your info can be put into the main feed.

You can watch the opening PDC keynotes on Tuesday, 9/13, from 8:30 am to 11:30pm (Pacific).

There also is already a lot of activity on the Microsoft employee blogs at (which is where most of the developer-focused blogs will be) and .

As always, my cell phone is on and my number is 425-205-1921. I'm always looking for some fun trouble to get into.

3:37:09 AM    Mudpit 

The folks I work with continue to impress. I just posted a letter that Lisa Brummel sent a group of employees about what we're doing to help out Katrina victims. To all of those who are working on helping out, kudos!

Microsoft isn't the only one, though. I like the Open House Project. Need a home? Have space in yours? This site matches you up.

Already, more than 5,000 accommodations have been made available with more than 50 even in the Seattle area. Many owners are also providing meals, utilities, etc...all free of charge. You should look at the site and click on some of the available housing options the notes people are including are fascinating.

Thanks to Jennifer McCarthy who's firm, MWW Group, is providing PR work for them without charge.

3:13:23 AM    Mudpit 

I'm not the only one pulling an all-nighter at Microsoft tonight. I leave at 4 a.m. to go to the PDC. The Virtual Earth team is working on something for the PDC. They just gave me a sneak peak. Oh, my. Wednesday is gonna be a big day. Ship ship ship!!

Is there passion at Microsoft? Are there teams who run like startups? Are there people who care about what they do? Damn straight.

Oh, and there's a whole crew that's working to make the lives of Katrina victims better tonight too. More on that in a second.

Damn, I'm getting email from other teams that are working on stuff for PDC too.

2:54:18 AM    Mudpit 

Have you ever worked so hard you've made yourself physically sick? I'm there. It's 2:33 a.m. We're putting up about 30 videos in the next week. I call it "Shock and Awe" week -- that's more videos than we do in an average month. This is the best work I've done in the 1.5 years that we've been doing Channel 9. I really appreciate the help my team members have given me. Jeff Sandquist, for plowing ahead, Charles Torre, for being the real geek on the team, Adam Kinney, for keeping us creative. Beth Goza is on leave. I miss her.

I just posted five new videos. Something for every geek. Map Hacks. Software Factories. .NET Security (every .NET developer should watch that one). Source Control. Women.

Women? Oh, that one is gonna get me in trouble with HR, I just know it. You find out about my past. Yes, I know Dee Dee Walsh. Yes, we danced on top of the tables at the 1994 GeekFest in Las Vegas.

This was back before I became a Microsoft employee. Long before. She was my inspiration. Showed you didn't need to be an arrogant jerk to be in the software business. That you could have fun at what you do.

But that video has a more serious tone to it. In it they discuss what it's like being a woman in the software business today and the challenges that brings to bear.

Anyway, Jennifer and Dee Dee are leading a panel at the PDC talking about women in software development. Both men and women are invited.

2:45:40 AM    Mudpit 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
10/1/2005; 12:42:33 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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