Sexy IT calendar causes uproar

Whew, an female IT calendar in Australia is getting a bit of attention.

Whoever funded this should have seen the controversy coming a mile away. I must be getting cynical in my old age, but I have a sneaking suspicion they knew that a controversy was coming and that it’d sell calendars. But the heat got too hot in the kitchen, so to speak.

Unfortunately this isn’t an issue I’m willing to touch on my blog. Why? Cause our attitudes toward sex and toward smart women just are totally messed up and there’s no way I can fix that with a blog post. Translation: I’m chicken. Heheh.

It’ll be interesting fodder for BlogHer, though.

Update: heheh. Maryam blogged about the exact same thing, even though we didn’t plan that out, then started telling me off cause she read my blog. It’s funny blogging together. We’re so competitive. Maryam says she’s a narcisist. Heheh. I love her too!

Is an anti-trust lawsuit on Eric’s list?

Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, says to call him an idiot.

No, sorry, I’m the idiot here and Eric isn’t an idiot. At least not when I’ve met him.

But, he says that Google hits every conceiveable problem, but faster. Well, let’s see, how long did it take IBM to hit anti-trust problems? It was founded in 1888 and if I remember right its first problems were in the mid-60s (so around 70 years). Microsoft was founded in 1975 and had its first anti-trust problems in the 1990s (so around 20 years). So, that must mean that Eric is preparing for an anti-trust lawsuit already, no?

Update: that link above came from John Battelle’s blog. Battelle also has an interesting interview with Vint Cerf, Google’s “old fart.” (That’s what Vint told me to call him when I spoke at Google last year, but he’s really Google’s evangelist, and inventor of a few minor little Internet protocols).

Blocking Blogger

Ethan Zuckerman asks “what do India, Pakistan, China, and Ethiopia have in common?”

They are all — apparently — blocking

Ethan co-founded a blog called “Global Voices Online” which monitors all this horsehucky. His analysis of the problem is good.

This sucks. Not sure what we can do. But, one thing it does is guarantees that America will have a steady flow of immigrants for a long time to come. On PodTech’s small team alone we have immigrants from all over the world. Tomorrow our cameras arrive and the first thing I’m gonna do is interview everyone so you can hear their stories about why they came to America.

Reading the Microsoft portable media player tea leaves

Engadget has more on the rumored Microsoft portable media player.

The reactions in the comment area on Engadget are pretty interesting.

Looks like the readers are focusing on hard drive space. I think that’s the wrong place to look. At Gnomedex I was going around asking people how many megs they had stored on their iPod. Average answer was around 8GBs. So, having only 30 isn’t necessarily a deal killer.

Second, it’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft has a wifi exclusive for very long. If Apple lets Microsoft have that for more than a month you’ll see people saying that Apple is dying again.

I’d take a 30GB player with Wifi over a 60GB player without any day of the week. Why? Cause I hate wires. But, with Wifi I could listen to streaming audio or video again. And, Microsoft is more willing to bring me a subscription music service than Apple seems to be. I’d rather have a player that gives me a choice on that account.

As for not working with “Plays for Sure.” Well, this is cause that program had no teeth. I heard that players were released that wouldn’t play for sure and that made that program unusable.

As to “leaks” coming out? Well, Microsoft can’t control partners and non-employees, or even employees. I doubt this stuff is being leaked on purpose. I’m sure the PM’s are furious about this stuff being disclosed.

The most disappointing thing about all these rumors? That this player won’t be released until next year.

I’m not waiting. I’m getting a new iPod with my equipment money this year.

How about you?

Update, Joshua Allen, Microsoft’s first blogger (seriously, he was) says to calm down. Good points. I got hot and in a bother about Longhorn and it still hasn’t shipped.

Wanting to use “dead” Office and why we’re not

Why is backward compatibility so important? Because humans hate change. Me too. I’m swearing left and right at Gmail and Google Calendar. I’ve spent the past decade on Microsoft Outlook with Exchange so of course I’m gonna be mad about the change. But, notice that I +am+ changing even though I’m one of Microsoft’s fans.

I miss so many little things I’ve learned over the past decade that have just become second nature. From clicking Alt-K to parse a name and change it to an email. To being able to drag and drop things between folders. To being able to sync my calendar onto my Cingular 2125 phone.

Our corporate Gmail is supposed to work with Outlook but there’s a problem and I haven’t figured it out yet. So I’m stuck on the Web page until I figure out why the POP system isn’t working with Outlook 2003.

But it’s the small things that are frustrating. I’ve sent so much email that I can practically send email with my eyes closed. But using Gmail is frustrating. Sometimes it’s hard even finding the “reply” link.

Microsoft should be scared, though, because I think more and more startups and small companies are gonna go the Gmail route. Why? Cause it’s easier to get started. No server needed. Just sign up for Gmail. Outsource your email to Google. And Microsoft does NOT understand how to market on the Web.

Microsoft has domain email too, but, quick, go to MSN Search and do a search for “email for your domain.” (The result is even worse for Microsoft if you do that search on Google — although Office Live is advertising on Google, but not on MSN, ironically enough). Do you find anything about Microsoft’s hosted email? No. Why? Because Microsoft’s Web site for Office Live (which is where small businesses can get email hosted) is poorly designed for search engines. Its title tag has NOTHING about email. So, how, again, will it get listed on search engines for business or corporate email solutions? It won’t.

Microsoft’s marketers should be forced to study how search engines work. Google’s marketers understand this deeply. Which is why Podtech is using Gmail and not one of Microsoft’s solutions.

Here’s Microsoft’s other competitors for email for your domain: Windows Live Custom Domains. Notice how much better this site is designed for the Web? Office Live should be forced to study with these folks for a while. Or, Microsoft’s Exchange Hosted Services. But, notice that nothing in the title tag there says anything about email. I had to look all over for this site on both Google and MSN search and had a tough time finding it (and I knew it was there, cause the team that did this gave me a demo).

Search engine optimization starts with really thinking through what people are gonna search for and making title tags that match that. A title tag is what appears at the top of your browser. It is one of the most important things that affect where you’ll be in search engine results.

If people can’t find your company for what they search for, do you really exist? And, for everyone who’ll click on the ads on the right, there are quite a few who won’t. Particularly geeky influencers, like Matt Cutts pointed out yesterday.

Here, one more time, based ONLY on these Web pages, which would you rather use? Gmail or Exchange?

To me Gmail’s page is nicer, more Web friendly, and simpler. Did Microsoft give me enough ammunition to go into my boss tomorrow and say “we should dump Gmail!”

No. And that’s for someone who could even find this page in the first place.