Apple guy gives Xbox team some advice

Chuq Von Rospach, who works at Apple, gives us some advice on how not to introduce a product. Funny how soon he forgets that I couldn’t find an iPod Nano 4 GB black in time for our wedding anniversary a few months back. We finally found one about a month later, but truth is it is extremely hard to make enough gadgets to go around — especially when demand goes nuts.

I just bring this up because I’m seeing reports of iPod Nano shortages again — this despite MONTHS of sales and preparation. The Nano is very simple to make compared to an Xbox (it has far fewer suppliers to rely on, is much smaller too so can be shipped in greater volumes).

I notice a little bit of FUD, there, though, cause Apple fired IBM and went with Intel (IBM is the chip vendor for the new Xbox). Why did Steve Jobs fire IBM? Cause IBM couldn’t get Steve Jobs any new portable chips, which is why Apple hasn’t shipped a new portable computer in quite a while. Did that cost them sales? You betcha! When I met with Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, he was showing me his new Sony portable computer. Said he went with it instead of an Apple product cause it was a “ton faster” according to him. It’ll be interesting to see what Apple brings out in January at its MacWorld show. I brag about Matt cause he’s one of those guys who’s always used Macs.

Oh, and Chuq wrote about the folks who were waiting in line last night: “Sorry, but some people need to get a life.” Oh, Chuq, how about THESE PEOPLE. Do the folks who wait in line for YOUR products (er, just to be able to visit your stores, even) need to “get a life?” Got it. Hey, Apple folks, if you’re waiting in line to buy one of Apple’s new products after next month’s MacWorld, come and see what an Apple employee thinks of you!

You’re always welcome to stand in our lines, though.

Tom Biro wonders when RSS is really gonna get simple?

Tom Biro saw that we were getting together with the Firefox team to make the icon common, but is wondering when we’ll get together and make subscribing to a feed very simple.

Well, that’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? Anyway, the IE team is doing a lot of work on user testing trying to get this as simple as absolutely possible.

I’m actually a lot more worried about other things rather than can an average user figure out what subscribing is for. I have no doubt they’ll figure it out. After all, the home page of the BBC now has two RSS icons. Even the EUFA told me they were seeing plenty of usage of its RSS feeds.

No, the thing I’ll be asking in my next interview is just how manageable have they made the feeds. After getting several hundred feeds myself it just is a mess. People move URL’s all the time. What happens then?

Or, if you have 1,000 feeds, can you have feeds removed automatically if they don’t publish after a certain time? For instance, I’ve removed Eric Rudder’s feed from my list cause he hasn’t published anything for months. Same for Christopher Brumme. Why should your aggregator continue hitting their servers?

Then I’ll be asking about multiple computer usage. I have two computers sitting in front of me. And two more at work. If I read a feed on one, does it mark as read on all? (NewsGator does this, which is why I’m sticking with NewsGator compatible feed readers like RSS Bandit, FeedDemon, NetNewsWire on the Mac, etc).

Does it make it easy to delete or move feeds? Rename them? Organize them into folders? I can’t wait to see what developers do with the WinFS technologies that’ll be out shortly after Windows Vista ships next year.

Longer term, do my aggregators start seeing patterns in my feed reading? Does it compare my patterns to others and suggest new feeds that I might like? Sort of like Amazon notices that people who buy my book also are buying Jeremy Wright’s book?

Grouper relaunches its video network

John Felser, CEO of Grouper Networks recently wrote me and told me about a major new relaunch it just completed. I told him I’d check it out. This morning I was playing around and, damn, this is cool!

They have a video service where you can capture, edit, share, and watch video. No limits on sharing size. You can take the videos with you on your iPod or Portable Media Center.

What do you think? How does this compare to the big guys’ video portals?