Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Monday, September 19, 2005

OK, this is too much. My wife is bugging me to turn in my slides. Oh, yes, I've turned into one of those evil Microsoft employees who gets a Webcast (I'm giving one on TechNet this week and MSDN next week) but doesn't turn in my slides.

I used to hate speakers who didn't turn in their slides on time. Now I've gone and become one of those jerks.

"You're sleeping on the red couch if you don't turn in your slides," my wife just yelled at me. Geesh, can a guy get a break? Not with Maryam. She's yelled at a lot of people to get in their slides (she is one of the Webcast producers).

Anyway, you can watch and see if I turned my slides in or not at 11:30 a.m. PT on September 21 which is when I'll be doing a Webcast with Jeff Julian and John Alexander. Dean Andrews has more details on the TechNet webcast weblog.

Maybe hearing about corporate blogging isn't your thing. Well, there's other TechNet Webcasts listed here on a variety of topics.

Next week I'm doing a different Webcast for the MSDN side of the house. You can read all about all this stuff on the MSDN Events Blog and the MSDN Webcasts Weblog.

11:52:39 PM    Mudpit 

Loomia added Channel 9 to its video index. Thanks!

In the meantime I found Truveo, which is also doing video searching (I like Truveo's layout better cause they have little thumbnails of the videos -- it's interesting how much data is communicated through those little pictures). Oh, come on, there's a lot more out there on video than THAT! ;-)

11:40:54 PM    Mudpit 

Really sad news. Foxpro MVP Drew Speedie and his son died in Yellowstone after they fell off a bridge on Friday. The news has been roiling through the Foxpro blogs (lots of links are on this tribute page and on these blog search engines -- Google; Technorati; Feedster; IceRocket). This is really sad news and will definitely dampen spirits at the MVP summit coming up next week here. Drew was known by lots of people and is listed as an attendee at next month's Southwest Fox conference.

This just hits me in the gut.

By the way, Drew was a blogger. Here's his last entry. Here's another one where he said he's looking forward to the upcoming MVP Summit.

Rick Schummer says his community lost one of its best. Tears are streaming down my cheeks too Rick.

Ted Roche has a picture of Drew and his son, Brent, and says "Drew was a very talented man." Drew and his son were often seen at technical conferences, he says.

Ricardo Almeida reported on hearing Drew speak at an industry conference: "Drew Speedie has justified his name. Showed in 1 hour and 15 minutes, more than many VFP developers do in one day."

4:28:08 PM    Mudpit 

Remixing is becoming an interesting trend with software developers. Kalu Kalu, who is studying software engineering at the University of Waterloo takes Chandu Thota's Feedmap (which is at the right side of my blog) and remixes it with Google's Maps. Are you working on any remixes? Cool stuff!

4:10:09 PM    Mudpit 

Oh, I wish I were at Demo. But, because I'm not, I'm getting lots of press releases. Here's one for VideoEgg. Video publishing over easy, the site says. Sounds fun! I wanna try it. If anyone has, let us know how good it is.

It's main selling point? It makes "playerless" videos. Hmmm, gotta try that.

Anyway, this gets me onto my other topic: blog search sucks.

Here. I want to find more info about what was announced at Demo today. So I search for "Demo." And I get a lot of noise. Why? Cause "Demo" means different things to different people. For some it means to destroy. As in demolition. For others it means to demonstrate. As in "demo." But today it means stuff that happens at the Demo Conference. As in "Demo." So, let's see if any of the engines help you. Google? Search for "Demo" and you get all three mixed together. Technorati? Same thing. IceRocket, same thing. Feedster? Same thing.

I can hear my son saying "alright Microsoft boy, what should happen then?" Well, why can't the blog search systems look for patterns. I guarantee you that there's a lot more blogs that today say "Demo Conference" on them than existed last week. Searching on "Demo Conference" by the way, doesn't seem to be much better. While poking around I notice that most of the sites that I'm looking for are using the DEMOfall tag or title. I do a new search for DEMOfall and that works pretty well. Why didn't any of these engines ask me "are you looking for "DEMOfall?"

Anyway, I could keep going. This just shows that there's a TON of innovation room left in search engines. We certainly aren't done with the job yet.

4:02:25 PM    Mudpit 

Maryam and I will be at Les Blogs in Paris on December 5th and 6th. Loic Lemeur has put up a conference blog. We're also visiting London, Belgium, and Ireland too. Oh, and, that also means we're doing a Geek Dinner in London on December 10. Cool, I finally get to try some of that wine that Hugh Macleod has been talking about.

Can't wait. I hear it's gonna be the wine and chocolate tour.

3:48:54 PM    Mudpit 

What's Loomia? Loomia is a podcast and videocast search engine plus much more. Cool, I'll have to play with that later.

Of course, whenever someone says they do videocast searches I instantly do a search for "Channel 9." This one failed too. Sigh. Still waiting for a real video search engine.

3:44:11 PM    Mudpit 

I've gotten a bunch of notes that we're sponsoring a college puzzle challenge. Looks like fun. It's a free, annually held puzzle contest simultaneously run on college campuses across North America.

3:40:38 PM    Mudpit 

Heh, I totally missed this demonstration at the PDC. Turns out our research arm in China came up with a way to erase things from photos (link goes to report). Here's the whitepaper where the researchers revealed what they were doing.

3:33:42 PM    Mudpit 

How do you take something old and stodgy like figuring out your net worth and make it fun? Mix in a little social software and you get NetworthIQ. They were written up in the New York Times the other day and run on ASP.NET.

3:27:30 PM    Mudpit 

Julian Bond has the black helicopter view of Windows Vista: Why Longhorn will be the end of MS.

Oh, Julian, if your view of our OS turns out to be right I'll be the first one in line waiting at the Bellevue Apple store to buy a super dooper Steve Jobs' approved Macintosh.

"But then you and I are not Microsoft's customers."

That's absolutely not true. A great deal of Windows Vista's sales will come from normal everyday people walking into Best Buy and Fry's and other stores around the world and buying a copy to upgrade their existing PC.

You're absolutely right, though, that you have a choice of what OS you're gonna run (particularly after Apple switches over to Intel machines -- lots of people I know are planning to compare OS's again next year).

It doesn't sound like Julian watched any of the videos over on Channel 9, though. But that certainly explains the black helicopter view of our world that he has.

Last week Michael Gartenberg told me that Windows Vista would succeed or fail on marketing. After reading this I totally believe Gartenberg.

We have lots more work to do to regain our customers' trust, that's for sure.

2:53:49 PM    Mudpit 

Seattle PI: RSS gets its due at Microsoft developer conference.

"It wasn't mentioned as often as Windows was, but one techie term was uttered with extraordinary frequency during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference here last week: RSS."

2:43:55 PM    Mudpit 

Another look at Google's blog search makes me far less impressed than I was last week.

Use Memeorandum. Find any story that interests you. Now turn on Memeorandum's blog search (click preferences at the top of the page and check "Show Link Search" and click on "Done." Now, under each top headline you'll see an entry for "Link Search" that includes links to Google, Bloglines, Technorati, and Ice Rocket for JUST THAT ENTRY. This is killer because now you can really dig into the long tail (you know, those blogs that don't have many people linking to them).

Now, I've been playing with this all weekend long and finding that Google's blog search rarely brings back links while Bloglines and Technorati are generally doing a better job (and, even though Memeorandum works from a white list out, it seems to be doing the best job overall -- most users will rarely want to click on blog search to see more commentary on a specific post).

Translation: I still am relying on other blog search engines to find new and cool stuff. Google's new entry didn't change my behavior the way that Memeorandum did.

How about for you? Now that Google's blog search has been here for a few days, what do you like about it? Hate about it?

2:33:09 PM    Mudpit 

Tech Crunch: Memeorandum is Exceptional.

I agree. Every hour I've been watching it today to see what's hot. You can see the conversation happen. Look at the conversation that happened around's RSS extensions. Every relevant blog is linked there and you can use blog search (click on preferences to turn on the blog search capabilities of Memeorandum) to see everyone commenting on a topic, even the famous long-tailers.

This lets you look at a conversation from a number of different angles. Without having to read 1,400 feeds to find it all (which is what I used to have to do).

2:23:59 PM    Mudpit 

Marketers around the world are preparing for Christmas. In fact, most of their work has already been done. So, now the guessing game starts around what will be the hot thing for Christmas. I've found a good indicator is what's sold out in September in stores in areas heavy with geeks. I've found two:

1) 4GB iPod Nano. I can't find them anywhere. Lots of 2GB ones left on store shelves, though. Although only in white. Black is definitely the hot color.

2) 802.11 "a" routers. I went to four stores yesterday and couldn't find them anywhere. Why are these hot? Well, if you have an Xbox 360 and a Media Center. Oh, wait, I'm not supposed to talk about those yet. Heh! Let's just say that 802.11 a networks are gonna be hot this Christmas.

What do you think will be the hot thing this Christmas? Anything sold out in your neighborhood?

2:16:40 PM    Mudpit 

Ahh, it's nice to take a day or two off and catch up on sleep. Not to mention catch up with Maryam.

Yesterday before Maryam came home I setup my Slingbox. Oh. My. Gawd. This thing rocks.

I'm watching my TV from work. Don't tell Bill, OK?

First of all, it just worked. It worked the first time, even through Microsoft's corporate network (I have a brand new firewall protecting my house, too).

This is awesome. I can watch my TV anywhere in the world now. And it works great with the Comcast PVR that I have so I can watch all my recorded videos too!

One problem though. Everyone I talk to says that the cable industry won't let this go on for much longer. I think that'd be a major mistake. Here's why: now that I can watch TV anywhere in the world I'm far more likely to upgrade my cable. I have an inexpensive package right now. But now that I can record stuff and watch them from my hotel rooms (I travel a lot) I'm far more likely to buy the movie packages. This is huge. I hope the cable industry sees just what a big deal this could be for them.

Disclaimer: I was sent a Slingbox for free. Retail price is $249 at Best Buy. I am gonna buy one of my own, though, and pass mine onto another blogger. This is worth spending my own money on.

11:01:00 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; 12:42:47 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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