Daily Archives: March 27, 2006

MP3 of the week and other stuff from my aggregator

AVC posts an MP3 from the Violent Femmes and calls it his MP3 of the week. I had a listen and it's pretty good. You can pull it up and listen to it while you read the rest of this post.

I read on Kathy Sierra's blog that Eric Freeman is now the vice president, technology, for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts online. Wow, that sounds like a fun job! I bet Eric'll get lots of requests for free tickets and tours, now. Speaking of which, I'd love to do a 10 video about the technology behind Disney!

Hey, Chris Abraham, I'm an anti-smoking fascist. It's one thing I appreciate about California. Have you noticed that the housing prices have gone up continuously since smoking was banned there? Hmmm. Glad to hear Scotland is joining the fascist groups. When we got back from Europe EVERYTHING stank. Yuch.

Oyvind Solstad blogs about computerized gyms. Yeah, yeah, I gotta get meself into the gym. Getting some exercise would be a good way to deal with stress.

Susan Kitchens links to the WorldMapper and the Map Room. Cool stuff! How did we ever live without computers? Speaking of maps, Mikel Maron links to the Worldkit 3.0 and optimized OnEarth Landsat. Stunning, he says.

Lo-REST? Interesting conversation about REST APIs for Web services developers has been happening over on Steve Maine, Don Box, and Dare Obsanjo's blogs. Steve has the links.

Microsoft's first blogger, Joshua Allen, talks about all the fun Microformats stuff that happened at Mix06 last week. Hey, guys, we need Microformat applications to demonstrate all the cool stuff you are talking about. Without applications all this stuff just is talk.

Google's Print Auction, last week, got bashed by BusinessWeek.

John Nack, over at Adobe's blogs, continues finding the coolest stuff to look at. This time he shows you an image that took 720 hours in Illustrator to build. Wild.

Thinking of dating an experience designer? You should check out the OK/Cancel comic first. Heheh.

Susan Kitchens, again, found this amazing video of juggler Chris Bliss.

Jeff Atwood, author of the coding horror blog, says that Windows Live Local's having two entry boxes is too difficult. Oh, I totally agree and have told the team that. They are working on it.

You can now Ether Tris Hussey. I wrote about Ether a few weeks back. It's a service that lets you add a phone number to your blog. Call the phone number and you get an automated assistant who'll find an open spot on your schedule and arrange payment for services.

Dave Huth's video blog on "where does laughter come from?" is, as you might expect, fun! This is a whole new way to embarrass your kids when they are older.

Caterina Fake (she is a cofounder of Flickr) says now is a bad time to start a company. David Heinemeier Hansson, the guy who wrote Ruby on Rails, says, in response, "it's a great time to start a business." My thoughts? It's getting harder to get noticed now than in 2001, but if you have a killer product you'll get noticed. Didn't Google start at about the height of the bubble in the late 1990s? Great ideas and great companies will withstand all tests.

Developer Scott Hanselman is trying to raise $10,000 for diabetes research.

Darren Barefoot writes "God Bless Seat Guru."

Two design students came up with a desk that lets teenagers hide their porn. Oh, boy. My son just built me a desk in Second Life. I wonder if it has this particular feature. Hmmm.

Wanna win $10,000? Try out the Made in Express contest. Dan Fernandez has more on that on his blog.

Andrew Stopford links to some cool Windows Presentation Foundation demo videos that were shot at Mix06 by the 10 Crew.

Back to work.

Update: I pulled one link out of here because it was old and I didn't realize it. 

Ajay, nice rims!

So, on Friday, when I was driving up 101 I came up behind Ajay's cool "Speak W Me" car. This is the one that has an array microphone (and tons of computer and audio equipment in the trunk) and where you can tell the car "play Black Eyed Peas Shut Up" and the right song will start playing.

Someday we'll all have a geek car so cool. But, in the meantime, the rest of us will need to look at his blog. Nice new rims Ajay!

Ajay is the founder of a company that is working on speech recognition software for cars and portable devices. Pretty cool stuff. 

Second Life +is+ an OS

I've been following this discussion over on Dave Winer's blog. Jarod Russell says there's no way that Second Life is gonna be the next OS.

I think he hasn't seen inside of Second Life yet or seen just what a developer can do with it.

You can store files there. You can script things (there's a whole API). In fact, it's a platform. You can build a video game inside of second life. Or a music store. Or a dance studio. Or a city. Or a helicopter. Or a video screen that plays whatever content you want. Or fountain that spits blood.

Or, pretty much anything you can dream up. And it already has a monetary platform so people are willing to pay for things you develop!

Soon you'll be able to blog inside Second Life. Soon you'll be able to run more applications.

This is why I think Microsoft needs to pay deep attention to it and why my son says it's the most addictive thing he's done so far.

It's easy to ignore right now. It takes several hours to really get into Second Life (unless you're 12, then it just takes a few minutes). There aren't very many people in there yet (wait until the hoards show up, though, the traffic is going up about 17% a month). It has a wild frontier feel about it (which means it's easy to get a business established right now — in four years it will be far harder to get noticed).

But, back to the point. This is a platform inside of a platform. Eric Rice was the first one to really explain that to me.

Hey, maybe I should go all Steve Gillmor on you and say "Google, Yahoo, Microsoft are dead." Well, everything has a second life. :-)

Future of credit cards and anti-wifi laws

Phillip Torrone writes about the future of credit cards. Oh, I so want one. Patrick and I were having lunch with Tara Hunt, Rachel Clarke, Ernie Svenson Adriana Linares (lawyer tech expert), and Chris Messina. Patrick leans over and says "can I have more money?"

"For what?"

"I wanna buy you a Samurai suit."

I say OK, and proceed to load $35 into Second Life, which gives him 10,000 Linden to spend (the suit was 500).

Maybe I'll get him one of these new credit cards.

By the way, the other thing we talked about at lunch was the anti-Wifi laws that are put into place in many states to protect the telecom industry. Scary stuff. New Orleans is getting around that law because it's considered under a state of emergency. But, what will happen when the state of emergency ends?

Onward toward a better week

One of my coworkers, Tim Sneath, and I were just talking and he said he saw that some people were confused by the news last week (he's getting calls). Some people thought we had announced that there would be a business version, released in November, and that a different version would be released in January. Not true.

Same version, it just takes two months to get it into the retail channel. This happens every time Windows is released (I was on the betas of Windows 95 and had the final code almost two months before it was on store shelves). MSDN Subscribers who get Windows OS releases will get the gold disks sooner than you'll be able to buy Windows Vista from, say, Dell or Acer.


Oh, and how complex is Windows Vista to ship? Well, take a look at this post/picture from J. P. Stewart. He's a test lead on one of the networking teams. He posted a picture that shows how many new features Windows Vista's networking stack has. Now, remember that that's just for Networking. There's a similar team for security. A similar team for audio. A similar team for video. A similar team for imaging. A similar team for printing. A similar team for UI. A similar team for kernel. And on, and on, and on, and on.

If one of those squares isn't ready to ship, it can hold up the whole boat. So, when people are looking for me to point fingers, or explain why this is late, there's no real way to do that. Not unless I get around to every team. I've been walking around Microsoft for two years with a camcorder. That has turned into more than 600 interviews. Out of 60,000 people. Getting a complete story just is very difficult. But, I come back to that image. One square. If it's not ready, we shouldn't ship.

Anyway, there's a ton of cool stuff coming through my aggregator. I'll try to get a bunch up in the next post.