The CES unconference

CES is coming up next week. Believe it or not, it’s big. How do I know that? Cause finding hotel rooms is tough (we found some, thank you to our readers!)

I’ve been thinking about how to do some sort of event there. I have Thursday night open and was just about to announce something, but then I saw Doc Searls linking to a CES Unconference idea. Ahh, a CES 2006 Wiki! Ahh, a CESCamp! How fun!

So, I’ll bring my Tablet PCs to some sort of event on Thursday evening. I hear the Tablet PC MVPs are looking to get into trouble with me that evening. I’m off to the Wiki to see which event we’ll crash. How about you, what are you going to during CES week?  I’m stuck in Vegas from January 3 through January 7.

Joel says teaching Java is bad for CS students

Joel Spolsky writes a very interesting essay about why teaching Java in colleges is actually bad for the computer industry (and for the students themselves). I’ve heard the same kind of thing repeated around halls at Microsoft. Almost every team I interview with my camcorder says they can’t find enough C or C++ programmers to get their stuff done. Some on very exciting teams with hundreds of millions of users. Some that, gasp, actually have budget to hire real programmers. And, this isn’t just a US problem. The problem exists at our offices around the world. Every team I talk with says they wish they could hire more hard-core programmers.

Attensa DOES have RSS synchro API

Sometimes I post things without having all the data (although I didn’t know it at the time of posting). What’s interesting about shooting off your mouth in public is that your readers can say “hey, you forgot about this.”

Today is one of those times.

Last night the CEO of Attensa, Craig Barnes wrote me and asked me to give Attensa a fair shot in the RSS world. Today he wrote the same thing on his blog.

I owe him an apology and a correction. Here it is: I’m sorry Craig for not knowing what Attensa had announced. I’m downloading Attensa now to see how it compares to other RSS aggregators. One thing I noticed is that he doesn’t have as many clients out there as NewsGator does. Craig says they are working feverishly on that.

Craig says that their backend is more reliable than NewsGator’s. I’m looking forward to testing that. I’ve had problems using NewsGator on my cell phone, for instance (sometimes it’s hard to mark a feed as read) and sometimes feeds I’ve marked as read come back down as unread. Other people have been reporting other problems with NewsGator’s feeds (Shel Israel told me yesterday that it once resubscribed to feeds he had unsubscribed from).

Let the best API win! Thanks to Craig for correcting my ignorance.

Blogging’s ROI? Doubled wine sales

Blogging doubled Stormhoek’s wine sales in less than a year, says Hugh Macleod.

Thanks for the compliments Hugh! Actually, it’s not my blog that’s been changing Microsoft. It’s all the more than 2,000 Microsoft bloggers that are changing Microsoft. If I were the intermediary here between you and the folks who build the products it wouldn’t be that big a deal.

It’s the fact that you can tell a Flight Simulator developer what you’d like to see in the next version. Anyone who wears a goofy hat like that is easy to talk to!

Oh, and I found blogging does something else. It lets readers correct my mistakes. More on that in the next post…

Want an invite to Naked Conversations’ launch parties

By the way, we’re planning on having launch parties in both Medina, WA (right next door to Jeff Bezos’ house and on the same street as Bill Gates’ house) and in Silicon Valley at TechCrunch’s headquarters (aka Mike Arrington’s house) for our book. If you’d like an invite to one of those, please do contact me. No promises (we have VERY limited space) but we will try to get you in. Those launch parties will probably not be publicized publicly due to the limited space, but they will be pretty nice events. Just email me at