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Saturday, December 25, 2004

We've Moved!

That's it. My blogs have now moved to my own site and dedicated hosting. Only its more than just dedicated hosting. I put out the call not long ago for some good people, and I'm gathering together some very talented bloggers and net programmers to create the next thing in blogging, a blog news organization. We want to create a network of blogs that works together to create a news site, but without all the crap of traditional media (and I should know, I work for the bad guys as well). The Blog News Channel aims to be the first news organization to provide personal news, written by real people who you'll get to know, each covering a beat obsessively like any good blogger. Everything you liked about blogs, all in one place, arranged and organized in one place.

For now, we're still building the interface that makes it all tick, but four blogs are already up and running for you to digest. InsideGoogle and InsideMicrosoft retain exactly the same obsessive focus that brought you here in the first place. BusinessBits (RSS 2.0 / Comments RSS 2.0) written by Devin Reams, a business major at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will have a focus on corporate moves and the stock market (stay away from Google and Microsoft!). Finally, The Society Junta (RSS 2.0 / Comments RSS 2.0)is our look at politics, from "BFranklin", a longtime political blogger and insider. You can also go to our Open Source (RSS 2.0 / Comments RSS 2.0) blog, where Amit Agarwal will soon begin blogging about the open source movement and all those subversive computer movement like Linux and Firefox (think of it as the anti-InsideMicrosoft). Coming blogs will focus on independent films, Apple Computers, and Gadgets, plus I'm still recruiting bloggers for other subjects (if you're able, email me at

I think this can be the start of something special and new. If you'd like to be a part of it, let me know. I've got ambitious plans for (for now it just says hi, but bookmark it, because its going to get real interesting), and I'll need good people to lend a talented hand. Everybody, make the trek over there, because this post is the last one you'll see either at BlogSpot or LiveJournal, so I'll need you to change your bookmarks and RSS. I want to know what everyone thinks, so email and comment your butts off. Let's welcome the New Year with the Blog News Channel!

Postscript - I'd also like to give a major shoutout to Matt from LSBlog, who has given me an enormous amount of assistance. Without his help, this would have taken weeks, instead of six days. Check out his blogging software, LSBlog, at It has some major advanced features you wish your blogging software offered, and is definitely worth it.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays

I 'd like to wish a merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it, and happy holidays to everybody else, or at least happy vacation. Whether or not this is a special time of the year for you, use it as the opportunity it is and spend time with your loved ones. I've been to far too many sad occasions these last few months and trust me, you never know when you'll get another chance. Please, party, talk, and just sit around, but make the most of it.

Four New Unpatched Windows Vulnerabilities Discovered

Slashdot reports that four unpatched Windows vulnerabilities have been found.

C|Net has details on two of them. A Chinese security group, Xfocus, discovered them and posted the details online. The first one is an image vulnerability, that an attacker could take advantage of to compromise your system when you view a specially crafted image. The other is a problem in the Windows Help system, and could affect any program that opens a help file. Basically, all versions of Windows and all browsers and email clients are affected.

Security Focus has the info on the other two bugs, also found by Xfocus, a Microsoft Windows Kernel ANI file parsing crash and Dos vulnerability. Both vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to either crash or freeze a system.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

More Discussion On The EU Court Decision

Todd Bishop has a roundup of all the opinions in the press about Microsoft's loss in the EU Media Player trial, from the despondent
This is a very serious setback for Microsoft - Bloomberg News
to the triumphant
Right decision, wrong continent - Boston Globe


Possible new, with MSN Search Beta at the top of it. As long as I don't lose MyMSN, a simpler, easier to read is a good thing.
(via SEO Roundtable)

Microsoft Looks Back At 2004

Microsoft has released its look back at 2004, and what it considers its major accomplishments of the year (some of which were released, other which are in development), including:
    Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
    Windows Marketplace and MSN Music
    Huge strides for Xbox, including Halo 2 and Xbox Live
    MSN Premium
    MSN Search
    MSN Spaces
    MSN Hotmail upgraded and with more storage
    MSN Messenger 7.0 beta
    Microsoft Operation Manager 2005
    Microsoft Virtual Server 2005
    Office 2003 Service Pack 1
    Microsoft Office Live Communication Server 2005, the product that will bridge the three major IM networks
    Visual Studio 2005
    .NET Framework 2.0
    SQL Server 2005
And the grandaddies of them all:
    Windows XP Service Pack 2
    Longhorn (which may be a long time away, but still underwent a lot of work in the last twelve months)
What will 2005 bring for Microsoft? So far, signs point to a very good year, especially for the MSN division.

How To: Optimize Adobe Reader 7.0

Microsoft's Jonathan Hardwick has some tips tips on his MSDN blog on how to speed up your install of the new Adobe Reader 7.0 so it loads faster. His advice:
  1. In Edit-Preferences, do the following:
    • General tab: turn off “Automatically save document changes”
    • Internet tab: turn off all three checkboxes
    • Page Display tab: turn on “CoolType”
    • Search tab: turn off “Enable fast find”
    • Startup tab: turn off “Show messages and automatically update”
  2. In View-Toolbars, turn off “Rotate view” and “Search the internet”. Under “Show button labels”, turn them all on so you can figure out what the heck those icons means.
  3. Fire up Windows Explorer and do the following:
    • Navigate to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\
    • Right-click to create a new subdirectory, and call it plugins_uninstalled
    • Move all the .api files from the plug_ins subdirectory to your new plugins_uninstalled subdirectory, except for AcroForm.api (for form-filling) and EScript.api (dependency of AcroForm.api).
  4. Finally, go to Start-Run-All Programs-Startup, and right-click and delete the “Adobe Reader Speed Launch” link that Adobe silently added to your startup process.
Of course, many of these changes will cause you to lose some functionality, so check to see if you need any of them. Still, getting rid of many of these extraneous features should do more good than harm if all you want to do is read PDFs.

MSN Search Will Be Everywhere spoke with MSN product manager Justin Omer at Search Engien Strategies Chicago, and he explained to them how MSN Search will start making its way into a variety of Microsoft products. There are no plans for bundling the toolbar suite with other products, such as Office, Internet Explorer or even Windows, but technology from the new search engine and the Desktop Search will make its way into a variety of products, and many products will take advantage of MSN Search, if you have it installed.
"However," Osmer added, "the technology behind [search] is a cross-company effort right now," and it's already being used in a number of Microsoft products. "The technology will be important to Microsoft across the board," he said. "The search effort has helped the company to reinvigorate search."
Microsoft wants to avoid any situations similar to what happened with Windows Media Player this week. When MSN Search goes fully live, Microsoft will release APIs that will let both web and product developers take advantage of it. Don't be surprised if someone puts that API to use to put MSN Desktop Search in all sorts of Windows applications, from RealPlayer to Photoshop, or even as a Firefox extension. Microsoft aims for MSN Desktop Search to be the way all products search the system for files, and the API is what will make that possible.

Don't expect MSN Search and MSN Desktop Search to leave beta at the same time. While both are part of Microsoft's new search strategy, they are still being produced by different teams, Osmer explained. Interestingly, he also noted that MSN Desktop Search is based largely on code from the Sharepoint server products.
We took that shell, made it unique to us for the client environment, added bells and whistles, and integrated it into the toolbar suite.
Also, MSN Search may not add web history ever, since from a security standpoint it creates more problems than it is useful. Google has run into many issues and criticism from the fact that if you've ever typed in any sensitive information into Google Desktop Search, someone can likely find it and use it, a problem which becomes even worse when security flaws allow outside attackers use of Desktop Search results. Osmer praised this and other advantages of MSN Desktop Search, including its use of the Windows logon to protect your results from other users of the computer, and allow multiple users on a computer to all use MSN Desktop Search seperately. Only one user can install GDS per system. Finally, Osmer could not resist taking a dig at Google for their endless beta periods.
Some people release the beta for long periods of time. That's not our model. We want to have it in beta long enough to collect user feedback and make sure whatever we turn into the final meets certain criteria, but we want it to be as short as possible.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

John Battelle Predictions For 2005

John Battelle did a very good job with his predictions for 2004, and his look ahead for 2005 looks pretty solids as well. Go read his post in a new windows, and come back here for my thoughts.
    #s 1-3 - He's damn right, and you'll see a lot of moves in that arena, including from myself. If got a team of very talented people putting that together right now (be ready to update your bookmarks and RSS feeds).

    #4 - Old media will try, but any strides they make will be through purchases, not innovation. Old media is traditionally terrible at pulling off new technologies on their own, and they view many of these technologies as competition, and attempt to create incompatible "new" things. The urge to monetize will kill many of these efforts, since the vast majority of the internet will refuse any subscription services.

    #5 - I think we'll see Blogger take some pages from MSN Spaces, and design a "Plug-and-Blog" version of Blogger for the vast majority of people. We'll start to see more industry standards as well.

    #6 - Why would they stop?

    #7 - Google needs to diversify its revenue streams, so this has been a given for a while. By this time next year, Froogle and similar non-advertising offerings will make up 10-15% of Google's revenues.

    #8 - I disagree. Microsoft will gain 3-5% of market share as soon as MSN Search Beta goes public. There's no reason a company that has decent market share with horrible search wouldn't gain share when it launches a very good engine. By year's end, Microsoft will be marketted as the search engine that's "just as good as Google" (it won't be, but it'll be close enough for most) but does more for you.

    #9 - Firefox will reach 15% by March, but will not crack 20%. Microsoft will market the AOL browser as the new Internet Explorer, while taking all the lessons AOL learned from making the browser and putting it in an IE update at the end of the year. If MS doesn't release an IE update, it will make sure to put MSN Explorer on as many systems as it can. MSN 10 will have many of the features Firefox has, while being more accessible.

    #10 - Don't be surprised if this is hyped, but never materializes. If it does, it'll be like A9: very interesting, but nowhere near hitting the big time.

    #11 - Search engines will become more like regular companies, dealing with the local issues, just like everybody else. Even capitulating to China is something they'll learn to live with, because if they don't someone else will, and there's plenty of money involved.

    #12 - Yup.

    #13 - Double-yup. And don't be surprised if Yahoo makes a spectular failed bid.

    #14 - Apple will launch a video iPod, or it will lose a lot of market share. Portable video players already exist, and they will start to sell very well. The fight for portable media players will mirror the Palm/Windows CE battles. And Google TV Search is on the way, of course.

    #15 - I have never believed in the market for mobile web. The mobile web will turn into the same thing handhelds turned into: useful for professional, but never as big as the hype made it out to be.

    #16 - I will read John's book, and give it a favorable review, because I have always liked his writing. Unless its a huge departure, in which case we will all discover new synonyms for "suck".

    #17 - John, good luck. I'd love to hear what you have in mind. I'd also love to beat you to it.
What else will happen? Will MSN Search continue to grab headlines and red state net users? Will Google finally open up and reveal what goes on inside its walls? Will blogging conquer its problems with ethics and editing? Will Desktop Search ever live up to the hype? Will Google conquer search spam? Will Google Images ever get updated? Will Slate still exist? Will MSNBC still exist? Will Steve Ballmer start blogging (Bill Gates never will)? Will newspapers ever catch on with younger people?

MSN Search Wiki

The MSN Search Weblog announces today that they have a wiki over at Channel 9. I find it kind of cool that the first topic listed for each section is always "competitors". They even link to the forums at Webmasterworld. Microsoft sure is more community oriented than most people think, and more so than some of its "competitors".

Microsoft Loses EU Case

Windows Media Player 10The Europen Union court has upheld the earlier ruling against Microsoft, and the software giant has already said it plans to try to settle the case. The ruling holds in place sanctions against MS that include unbundling Windows Media Player, revealing confidential communictions protocols, and paying over $600 million in fines. More importantly, this ruling makes those sanctions go into effect sooner, rather than later, since the case's main point had been Microsoft lobbying for a stay.

If Microsoft cannot settle, it will undoubtably take as much time complying with the rulings, in the hopes that it will win a future appeal. Most likely, Microsoft will claim that, like in the case of Internet Explorer, Media Player is too tightly integrated with Windows, and will take a very long time to unbundle. Microsoft counsel Brad Smith said the company had not decided yet whether to appeal (waiting for a settlement), but had two months to make that decision. A statement on Microsoft's web site said that the company was hopeful, since the court said it had established a prima facie case in support of its position on the major aspects of the case, arguements which are now required to be considered on appeal.
Rick Sherlund at Goldman Sachs said, "Our view is that the decision itself is not that harmful for Microsoft's business, but rather sets a precedent where the EC could argue that future enhancements to the operating system such as search or antivirus must similarly be unbundled."
It's an excellent point. If courts are going to rule that Microsoft must remove enhancements from the OS because they are anticompetitive, then why should Microsoft make those enhancements? While Media Player was made to compete with Real, it has become a much better product, and, over time, far less "evil" than Real's offering. If you unbundle Media Player, what will people use? The non-user friendly non-supported Winamp? The bordering on spyware RealPlayer?

Microsoft's antivirus and antimalware solutions are not being released to combat Norton, but because consumers have demanded them, but will rulings such as this one hurt Microsoft's ability to release these sort of products? I certainly hope not. While no one wants to see Microsoft take down small but innovative companies, everyone who uses Windows wants it to get better. Well, Windows is better off for Windows Media Player, and that alone makes this ruling a bad precedent.
(via MarketWatch)

Microsoft Comment Spam War Goes Mainstream

Well, now eWeek has picked up on the MSDN comment spam problems I've been writing about the last week or so. MS has been employing all sorts of measures against the spam, which originates mostly in China, including moderated comments and turning off commenting on old posts. A much simpler solution would be to replace all the URLs in comments into redirect URLs, much like Blogger does. Considering how bad these things have gotten, redirect URLs should be standard at this point.
(via Alex Barnett)

The Future: Journalism Is Dead

This Flash video is just unbelievable. I love it and hate it at the same time. EPIC 2014, by Robin Sloan, chronicles what will happen over the next four years, as companies like Google tear down all notions of information and news media, destroying traditional media institutions and giving every user access to information that is as personalized and communal as it is sensational and devoid of ethics. I agree that, the way things are going, traditional media will be destroyed by the internet. However, I believe that a new form of media can be created on the internet, one that leverages citizen journalism with old media rules of ethics and organization. You'll see more of what I mean over the next few weeks. Is traditional media dying? Yes, but that doesn't mean that the news has to die as well.
(via Alex Barnett)

Paint.NET Server Swamped

The Paint.NET team has been getting complaints from the the Washington State campus IT detartment. The server output 75 gigabytes in one day, something like 10,000 downloads. They've limited the server to 42 gigabytes a day for the time being, and a mirror has already been set up. Still, I think its great that so many people are downloading such a quality product. I wonder how many referrals I sent their way?

UPDATE Paint.NET got Slashdotted! Now their servers are doomed. Luckily, this also means someone has set up a torrent and a mirror

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Microsoft's 7 Tips For Bloggers

Microsoft's Small Business Center's Jeff Wuorio says "a blog can be a boon for your business", and offers seven tips for corporate, and all, bloggers on how to get started. The areas to focus on:
  • Identify your audience
  • Decide where your blog should live
  • Start talking
  • Get into the practice of "blogrolling"
  • Emphasize keywords
  • Keep it fresh
  • Watch your traffic closely

Microsoft Sells Slate

Microsoft has sold Slate, the popular online magazine, to the Washington Post for and undisclosed amount. Slate, which had been controlled by Microsoft since its launch in 1996, reportedly draws six million users a month, and manages to break even financially. Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg promises that Slate will not see any major changes. Slate will continue to be available on MSN, which, according to Investor's Business Daily, drove 50-60% of its traffic. In an interview with IBD, Weisberg indicated the Slate was sold for less than was ($500 million).

The Seattle Times reports are that the Post had been seeking unique content distinct from its newspaper articles for some time now. Reuters points out the sale came only one day after Slate published a piece critical of the Post's series on maternal homicides. Slate's Redmond offices will be shuttered, but its New York and Washington bureau's will remain operating.

From Slate's home page:

And just to the right of it:
press box: The Washington Post's Muddled Maternal Murder SeriesThe Washington Post's Muddled Maternal
Murder Series

Microsoft Sells Links Studio To Take-Two

Microsoft has sold Indie Built, developer of Links, Amped and TopSpin to New York-based publisher Take-Two Interactive. This comes just months after MS closed down their XSN-team sports games studio, back in August. The sale of the company and its golf, snowboarding and tennis video games, represents the end of Microsoft development on sports games, and a is part of the strategy to focus on platform defining games in the Halo 2 mold. Take-Two is expected to continue running the studio, and comtinue employing its 70 Salt Lake City-based employees. The studio was sold for an undisclosed sum.

My opinion: They should have given it away for free, in return for a guarantee from Take-Two that all future Grand Theft Auto games are released on the Xbox on or before their Playstation release dates. That would be worth a lot more than whatever Indie Built was valued at.

Report: MSN Has Caught Google

A report to be published in the next issue of the British weekly New Scientist says that MSN Search has caught up with Google, at least on technical grounds.
It asked software engineers to test an early version of Microsoft's MSN Search service. The experts gave MSN Search high marks for quick retrieval of data, for the quality of hits, the ability to respond to natural-language questions and possibility of finetuning the search.

"The differences between the search engines are now so slight, it's going to be hard for any company to differentiate on technical grounds," Chris Sherman of SearchEngineWatch website in Darien Connecticut, told New Scientist.
Because Google basically reinvented search, there is a perception that catching up to them is impossible. If Microsoft can erase that perception, then it can beat Google based on its other offerings. Of course, the first step to pulling even with Google is releasing MSN Search Beta to the general public.
(via News24)

A Look At Ten Years Of Access

This is hilarious. Just read the whole thing, seriously. It's worth it.

Microsoft, WSU Release Paint.NET 2.0

Apparently, Microsoft has a free alternative to Windows Paint, designed and built with MS's guidance by students at Washington State University. Paint.NET v2.0 (released today) is only a seven megabyte download, and represents one of the most professional alternatives to Photoshop I've seen. Not everyone can pay the enormous cost of Photoshop, and Paint.NET v2.0 has plenty of advanced features, including the most important one, layers. It also has unlimited undo, lots of effects (and you can download more, or even create your own using an API), ink support for Tablet PCs, red-eye removal, auto-leveling, and layer importing from other files. One cool design feature: Dialog boxes become transparent when laying on top of the image, so they don't block your view. I wish Photoshop did that! It's not going to challenge Photoshop for market supremacy, but its light-years ahead of Paint. A must for any Windows user. What a great product!

(via Rick Brewster's blog)

DOS: More CPU Intensive Than Windows

Ben, the Virtual PC Guy, posts about a fascinating and little known fact about DOS. Apparently, unlike modern Operating Systems, which stop doing anything when there is nothing to do, DOS doesn't even know what that means. When you're doing nothing, DOS is actually locked "in a very tight loop of code which is responsible for blinking the cursor and checking for new user input". So DOS actually uses any and all available processor cycles. You need a modern utility to actually get DOS to slow down. Interesting.

Halo 2 Increases Xbox Live Usage 500%

Usage of Xbox live increased 5X since the release of Halo 2, from one million in the week preceeding release to 5-6.5 million, a trend which is reportedly still going strong. This data comes courtesy of a study by Sandvine, courtesy of David Fries' MSDN blog, where he says:
Not like this is something we didn't know was going to happen, but interesting nonetheless...
I think an increase was expected, but these levels are unprecedented. Xbox Live is credited by many as being a significant contributer to Xbox's meteoric rise in market share.

Monday, December 20, 2004

MSDN Blog Embroiled In Slashdot Flame War

Microsoft's Peter Torr has an MSDN blog post about his experience with Firefox. Although Firefox is perceived as more secure than Microsoft Internet Explorer, as he points out, many of IE's security features are not present in Firefox, especially the digital signing of downloads and warnings about malicious programs. Whether or not IE is less secure than Firefox is a question that begs investigation (sheer number of viruses proves nothing, since IE is attacked as the top browser), but the absense of warning dialogs is something Firefox should address. He also bemoans the fact that Firefox is downloaded from mirrors, a process that is 50 miles west of safe, and that there's no easy way to turn off some plugins.

But that's only the beginning of the story.

The post got slashdotted:

How Can I Trust Firefox?
Internet Explorer
Posted by timothy on Monday December 20, @09:11PM
from the how-could-anyone-trust-ie? dept.
TheRealSlimShady writes "Peter Torr (who?) from Microsoft invites a certain flamewar with his essay 'How can I trust Firefox?' He raises some interesting security related points about the download and installation of Firefox, some of which should probably be addressed. The focus is on code signing, which Microsoft is hot on. Of course, the obvious question is 'Do I trust Firefox less than IE?'"

So, back at MSDN, Peter gets his with 200 comments:
# - firefox is teh rox! sux0r
# - Btw, didn't your mother teach you to always save to disk instead of running files from the online location! tut tut
# - Yeah - I know - "Wait until the next version. It'll be awesome. Honest." (c) 1972-2005 Microsoft, Inc.
# - Uh-oh, here comes slashdot...
Anonymous Coward
Flame on!
# - Congratulations, you just started a flamewar. >:(
# - You sir, Peter Torr, are a tool! You REALLY need to take the time you spent analyzing Firefox, and do the EXACT same thing with ALL MS software prior to XP SP2. IE only gained its current level of security as a result of SP2 which has taken HOW many years to reach this level? Think about it.
# - The solution is perfectly obvious. Entice a acquaintance to download and install everything before you; then get the binaries from he or she once you have determined everything to be safe and sound.
Everyone needs a guniea pig. A naive co-worker, gullible little brother, perhaps one of your elderly parents if you're the ungrateful type. But regardless, the result is the same: Better them than you!
In fact, I don't trust this webpage.. it's running I'm outta here.
# - I never heard of Firefox until this blog.
I installed it and like it better than Internet Explorer now.
Thanks for the tip guys. I'll make sure to tell everyone about Firefox now.
# - I'm sorry, I'm not drinking your Koolaid, and less and less people are these days, thank $DEITY.
# - That was surprisingly long for derived bull$#!7.
# - Hehe, this blog is M$ BS all over, i have never had trouble or suspicion obtaining and getting firefox, and i DO know better :P
# - Die Microsoft! Die a horrible and painful death by a thousand throw-ups and homosapien bacteria that digests you from the inside out! Mwahahaha!
# - Bill Gates: Peter, what sort of sycophant are you !!
Peter: What sort of sycophant would you like me to be ?
# - Stop spreading such FUD.
# - I'm sure your boss is very impressed with your defense of IE. Your promotion and bonus check are on the way... er... yeah.
# - Boo! What's this censorship bullpoop! Tell me what a police state looks like, this is what a police state looks like! I'm burning my copy of XP in effigy right now! Die!!!
Hehe. Flame wars cool.

Compare All The Desktop Search Tools

Goebel Group has put together a handy matrix to compare all the major free desktop search systems. It looks at
Autonomy Beta 1.7
Ask Jeeves Desktop Search
DT Search
Google Desktop Search
MSN Toolbar Suite
and compares them on:
Download size
Operating System
System Requirements
File types
Browser Supported
Content Integration
Enterprise Integration
(via Search Engine Watch)

Microsoft Faces Big Decision In EU Court

This week is the deadline for European Union judge Bo Vesterdorf to decide if a March ruling requiring Microsoft to unbundle Windows Media Player, disclose certain communication protocols, and pay $611 million in fines, will go into effect immediately, or be stayed indefinetly pending appeal. Given past rulings, MS has only a 50% chance of being granted a stay, says BusinessWeek. BW also discusses the possibility MS will lose on Media Player, but get the stay on the comm protocols, since once revealed, they can never be made confidential again.

Digitally Signed Email

So, today I got my first digitally signed email, a email sent to a Hotmail account, but read in MSN Explorer. I'm not sure who's responsible for checking for digital signatures, MSN or Hotmail, but I applaud it either way (and I especially applaud Apple for using it). Still, shoudn't digitally signed email not wind up with the rest of the junk mail?

Clipping Tool For MSN Deskbar

The Interoperability Blog presents a neat tool for the MSN Deskbar: 25 (or so) lines of code that add a clipboard function to the Deskbar. The idea is that you can type "clip [shortcut]" and get the URL of any shortcut you've stored pasted into the clipboard. While a useful function for power users, I don't see too many people getting it (especially since you'll need to compile it yourself). I have a solution, of course: If it's such a small amount of code, why not just build it into the next update of the Deskbar? Shouldn't prove too hard.

Postscript: I must admit that after blogging about "Interoperability Month" Saturday night, me and the little lady had twenty minutes of bad jokes and giggling about the word "interoperability". I don't know what it is, but that word has hilarity written all over it. I'm afraid this post may start it all over again...

Scoble Ignites Wrath

So, Scoble ranted about how Microsoft is getting its butts kicked all over the place by the iPod, and about what needs to change. People are pissed at him.

Yeah, it was an insulting rant. Who cares? He's right. Jeez. Google needs a kick in the pants, too, but anyone who steps out and tries to criticize them will get eaten alive by the blogosphere.

Still, back on topic, Scoble's only right if Microsoft wants to beat Apple now. MS took years to beat Palm, but did it by offering cheaper, more advanced products until Palm ceded the marketplace to them. There's no reason Microsoft might not be taking the same tactic with Windows Media devices. In fact, don't be surprised if that's exactly what happens.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


So, I'm slowly making my way through the list of bloggers interested in joining in my plan to create a network within the blogosphere. I'm in the process of contacting everyone back. You can still contact me (I can never have too many good people). I've pretty much settled on a domain, but if anyone knows of a good, available domain, I could use some help. More importantly, I need advice on web hosting providers, so please contact me at if you can help, or to submit your interest in signing up. I would recommend sending a link to your blog, or something you've written extensively about online, since if you don't, I'll just be asking you for it anyway. I also need someone with experience in website programming, specifically some more advanced techniques (you'll see what I mean).

Anyway, why should you be interested? The pitch:

There are countless thousands of blogs out there. So many bloggers write for months and give up when they realize they have no audience. I'm looking for the bloggers who are willing to post numerouse times per day in a news-driven style about targetted topics, so as to leverage the blogs against each other, creating a blog network that takes advantage of the combined strength of all the bloggers involved. I need well-spoken bloggers who are looking to increase their visibility, and are willing to be consistent, dependable, and professional enough to earn the respect of the blogosphere.

If you want an example of what I mean by consistent and news-driven, just read this site. I post 2-300 times per month, and my goal is a simple one: Don't miss a single news item. If you can offer me a decent commitment, I can offer you a decent opportunity.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Unicode Blog Sponsorship

Sorry, but I just couldn't resist mentioning it.

Michael Kaplan ends one of his posts with:
This post brought to you by "ᄴ"
... because, as he explains:
3 - Inspired by the television show Sesame Street, which used to suggest that each episode was sponsored by various letters and numbers. While the folks at CTW get the high profile sponsors like A-Z and 0-9, I will be looking to the rest of Unicode to sponsor my posts, from now on....
I just think that's great.

This post sponsored by ₪.