Daily Archives: December 26, 2006

Microsoft plays fun games, ending at CES BlogHaus

Scott Beale is one of those who got a fun puzzle in the mail from Microsoft over the past few days.

I think it’s an ingenious way to get people to come to the CES BlogHaus we’re putting on (the contest ends in front of the Bellagio on January 8th, which is where the BlogHaus will be). Of course I’ll be there.

I’ll also be at the Tablet dinner (open to everyone) on January 9th. Last year’s deal was a lot of fun.

Why United States will remain dominant in tech…

I was just reading the Global Voices Online blog (excellent blog, rarely is about tech, but brings lots of news and opinions from around the world) and saw this post about an Iranian blogger who is tired of having her blog “filtered” by its government.

On Sunday Maryam took me to a party of Iranians she knows (the host was the one who got us our loan for our house). Lots of engineers. My brother-in-law is there. He’s working on some secret stuff for Apple. Won’t tell me what’s up. But, his role is key.

If you look around Silicon Valley you’ll see lots of immigrants who are making the technology that fuels the companies, both big and small here.

See, we’ve imported smart people from all over the world. From places that have governments that mistreat their citizens.

As long as those places continue mistreating their citizens, the United States will remain dominant in tech and other geeky endeavors.

Our trick is not to mistreat our immigrants so they keep coming here.

One other thing I learned from the Iranian party where I was one of only two American-born people (the other was my son)? Every single one of them loves our Thanksgiving holiday, even though none of the food is a staple in Iran. I think it’s partly that they are thankful a place like USA exists so they can come and work on things they want without having some government goon turning off their work (or their blog).

TechMeme doesn’t care if you link to IT

WinExtra makes an interesting point. He thought he could get listed on TechMeme just by linking to the top story there. That’s NOT how TechMeme works. TechMeme requires someone to link to YOU. And not just one “A lister” either. Multiple.

For instance, I’m in TechMeme and just cause I linked to WinExtra here doesn’t guarantee that WinExtra will get on TechMeme.

One thing that’s hurting WinExtra’s ability to get people to link to it? I can’t find a name on the site for the author. I generally don’t like linking to blogs that I don’t know who authors them.

Google not pointing to “best in their class” says Blake

Blake Ross (of the Firefox team) writes about how Google is playing with the trust (and good feelings) that we have built up with Google. He writes: “The tips are different—and bad for users—because the services they recommend are not the best in their class.”

Oh,  that’s a brilliant point and why Wikipedia’s approach might take share away from Google. Wikipedia has its own problems (it can be gamed, just like there’s a fool who messed with my own wiki and made that content less accurate) but based on my searches this weekend, Wikipedia points to “best in their class” information much more often than Google does.

Google arrogant?

Mary Jo Foley: “Microsoft has — justifiably — been called arrogant. But Google takes arrogance to a whole new level.”

I’ve been hearing this more and more lately at Silicon Valley parties. I think there’s a disconnect at Google about how they are viewed by the outside world and how they view themselves. Will that matter? It did to Microsoft — eventually — when Microsoft got so arrogant it thought it could take on the government (Microsoft lost that argument, if you remember, even if losing didn’t hurt as much as some would have liked). Will Google follow the same path?

I think at the end of the day you’ll find that Google is one of the fastest learning big companies. It’ll be interesting to see if Google continues pissing off people outside of it. Especially as Google grows extraordinarily fast (they are attempting to double in size in the next year, according to some people I’ve talked with).

And, at Shel’s party I met someone who had some founder stock in Google. That guy is still bullish on Google. The consensus at the party was that Google wouldn’t be stopped — at least not in the next quarter or two.

Whether it’s arrogant or not, Google is the company to watch right now. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft can take some of that swagger away.

Back from Christmas

No, Dave Winer, I’m not out of California … yet. But tomorrow I get on a plane to go somewhere outside of California that I can’t yet share publicly about (I’ve been asked to keep quiet until I arrive where I’m going Wednesday evening). Hopefully the Verizon Wireless card will work where I’m going. It’s going to be an exciting week. By the way, nice to hear that Dave Winer will be coming to the Seagate/PodTech BlogHaus at CES.

So, how was your Christmas? Mine? I got a MacBookPro 17-inch model, thanks to my brother-in-law who got me a good deal from Apple. I need a bigger hard drive, though, so don’t know if I’ll be taking it on my trip this week.

The weekend was a grouping of parties. Saturday saw John Furrier and family along with Theresa and Tim of TangoDiva dropping by for some fun. I forget what we did on Sunday. Heheh. Yesterday we went to my dad’s house, then to Shel Israel’s house.

In both places yesterday I met people who said “I try to read your blog, but can’t understand it.”

In other words, I was using technical terms like “wiki” or “blog” or “podcast” or, even something even more geeky and that they didn’t feel comfortable here, so left.

On the other hand, a friend who hangs out with the Channel 9 crowd says that that crowd thinks lately I haven’t been geeky enough.

Demonstrates the problems making anyone happy while writing a tech blog. It also shows why the audience sizes here will remain small (at least compared to the audience watching the average American football game).

I write for a passionate audience. If you don’t know what things mean here, I’ll be happy to help out.

Lately I’ve been doing a LOT of reading on the political scene in the United States. They use words I’m not all that familiar with either, like “reapportionment.” If you aren’t really deep into the political scene you’d have no idea what that meant. And, if you ARE deep into the political scene, you can use such terms to test whether the people you’re talking to are really “with it” or not.

By the way, I hear Wikipedia is trying to build a search engine to challenge Google. It already is damn close. You want to learn something you don’t know anything about? Google won’t give you the answers — Wikipedia will. In fact, I think I understand why Google gave up on its “Answers” thing. Wikipedia is just taking over here. For instance, look at the entry for “reapportionment.” You think you can get better info than that anywhere else? I haven’t found it.

Oh, no, I’m not headed for the World Economic Forum, like Tony Perkins is.

In other news, I wish I had kept my dad’s Apple II.

As usual, I’ve been keeping my link blog up to date. Tons of interesting stuff from more than 440 different leading tech blogs.