Friday, August 19, 2005

Scripting News: 8/19/2005: Steve Jobs

Scripting News: 8/19/2005: "At lunch today with Scoble and Dean Hachamovitch we spotted Steve Jobs leaving the restaurant. We all went out and shook his hand. Don't think he knew who I was. He was giving Dean shit about how they were copying all their features in IE7."

It's a good thing that Steve Jobs went to Tabbed Browsing class after he dropped out of college, otherwise the entire industry never would've thought of tabs because Steve Jobs never would've thought of it. </sarcasm>

update: Scoble recounts the encounter here.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Some Thoughts on MSN Filter

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Some Thoughts on MSN Filter: "think it is pretty cool that MSN is allowing folks experiment with ventures like MSN Filter. However my personal opinion is that in its current incarnation it's a lame knock off of the stuff coming out of folks like Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis and it doesn't have a chance of making much [if any] money for us since they are eschewing targetted ads. "

I just finished Built To Last last week. This reminds me of some discussion they had about 3m. The company pushes evolution in their products, setting up incentives for departments to take risks and branch out into new areas and products. That strategy requires a good framework for deciding what projects should be encouraged and which should be cut. It sounds to me like MSN Filter is a project that should've been or should be cut rather than invested in. I wonder what mechanisms exist in Microsoft to encourage new experimentation with products, and how they determine whether to pursue them or not.

A company like Microsoft should be encouraging new product growth, but they also need healthy mechanisms to determine which projects to pursue and which to leave alone.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Instructions in user owned fields, or, your message is ready sir

After getting every emails from people saying "The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:" I got to wondering. Why do I get so many emails like this. The message is not ready to be sent, it's already been received by me. Am I supposed to send it somewhere else now? I had a similar connection when I saw a blog post by Yaron on the aardvark blog titled [Headline Goes Here]. I thought "am I supposed to enter the headline for this topic for him?".

I've seen enough of these types of messages to realize fairly quickly that the message wasn't intended for me, rather it was intended for the creator of the document. So what is that message doing in the body of the content? My thoughts: If you're going to put a message to the user in your software (which they probably wont read anyway) don't put it in the area that they own. I'm ok with combo boxes that say "needs value", or "select blah here" because at least those values aren't usually submitted if the user forgets to select them. They typically cause a warning "you forget to select blah there".

Here's another thing... obviously "[t]he message is ready to be sent...". I'm looking at it aren't I. Actually no, it's not ready to send, there some stupid generic message in the body of my email.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Apple may still have legs, but who's legs are they?

David RD Gratton: Apple may still have legs: "I believe Malcolm Gladwell would say that Powerbook, in the hands of a business connector like Darcy, is going to be highly infectious to other business people."

I think apple has a lot of potential. I wouldn't invest in apple however because of one huge problem. As I predicted before, I still think, when Steve Jobs dies (or retires) Apple will die with him. The company will not survive the transition to the next CEO.

Now I could be surprised. Steve may be spending his time building an organization that aligns with the values that made Apple successful in the first place. Or, he may just be spending all his time criticising the powerbook and ipod design teams efforts until they produce the devices he envisions.

Here's the thing I've observed about Steve Jobs. His ego requires constant inflation, otherwise it goes flat. My hypothesis is that Steve is incapable of building an organization that would survive after he left because that would be a huge blow to his ego. Now things may have changed since Steve's brush with mortality. Hopefully he's begun to realize that Apple computers is more important than him, and it should be strengthened to withstand his eventual retirement. Here's the rub though, without that information, I wouldn't invest in Apple computers on any kind of long time line. Without changing how the company works, Apple, as a successful company, will end sometime in the next 20 years.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wired News: New Diet Trick: Induce Bad Memory

Wired News: New Diet Trick: Induce Bad Memory: "'A few things would need to be ironed out before you could take this out to the real world. You would have to show that the effects are longer-lasting than just an hour,' Loftus said."

Like you would need to figure out how to most effectively strap the subject into a chair, exactly which images to show on the projector, and don't forget to put drops in their eyes to keep them from drying out... that'll cure that ultra-violence... I mean food craving.

I couldn't help but think of clockwork orange when reading this article.

Sony's dirty little secrets

Sony's dirty little secrets: "He doesn't exist. Colombia Pictures made him up."

A good little summary by Ars of Sony's recent ethical "issues".

Monday, August 01, 2005

Microsoft and DRM

Top Arguments To Microsoft and DRM (Really Just To DRM): "Many of you are trying to place Microsoft as the “DRM bad guy” when all they are trying to do is allow you to actually use the media you purchase! If you want to lead the reform on DRM, more power to you! That’s where the fight needs to be, at the root. Microsoft is not the root here;"

If Microsoft decided to become an organization championing against DRM and in favor of fair use, then they could make the industry swing back in an innovative direction. The problem here is that nobody with creative ideas to apply to content "protection" appear to have the resources to make this kind of thing happen.

Microsoft is in a good position because they own "the VCR" so to speak. If Windows media center favored user experience over content protection, we (Microsoft and I, the consumer) could start exploring some new and innovative ways to add value to content. It seems unlikely though, my guess is that Microsoft has too much vested interest in their current relationships with content owners. The types of ideas I would like to see explored are probably too disruptive to the industry.

Why can't I just pay 100 bucks a month to download any TV show I want without commercials? Or, how much would I have to pay per month to download any TV show I wanted without commercials?

The definition of insanity.. The Music Industry - Blog Maverick - _

The definition of insanity.. The Music Industry - Blog Maverick - _: "There is an old saying that the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting the outcome to change”

I think of this saying everytime I hear about music industry efforts to impact piracy."

I like it when Mark takes on the music industry.