Join us at Doug Engelbart's house

The guy who did “the demo.” Who invented the mouse. And a whole lot more.

We’ll be streaming video from his house at about 4 p.m. today. Join us.

UPDATE: we had a TON of problems getting live video done at his house. Turns out he’s in a cell phone dead zone. Neither Sprint nor AT&T works inside his house. Amazing that in Silicon Valley’s richest neighborhood there’s still such dead zones. Anyway, his DSL line wasn’t working either. Funny, cause he was around at the invention of the Internet and it still doesn’t work for him.

The problems continued when we got home. We can’t figure out how to record the video we’re playing in Mogulus. We’ll figure that out tomorrow, or we’ll just put it up on YouTube or something. Luckily the Mogulus team will be on the bus with us on Saturday so we’ll get help from them with our technical issues.

The interview was amazing, as usual. I could talk with Engelbart for hours. He is simply the most amazing inventor/visionary I’ve interviewed in my journey.

Facebook lets me back in…

I just received this email.

I answer Mike Arrington and several others in a video that now is up at

UPDATE: In the video I cover a whole bunch of topics and take questions from the live audience that was there when filmed. Also, I told the audience that I am not using any Facebook data outside of Facebook and will delete the test account we used on Plaxo to do the tests.

Hi Robert,

Facebook’s Terms of Use broadly prohibits the running of automated scripts on the site because they can be used to commit malicious attacks, send spam, and generally try to undermine the integrity of the site. When our systems detect these types of scripts, they immediately disable the account of the user responsible as a preventative measure. This is what happened in your case – your automated script was exhibiting the same behavior as other malicious scripts that we have blocked before so your account was disabled.

Our standard process for handling cases when an account is disabled for security violations is to allow a user to appeal and remedy the situation. This is the process we have followed here. Since you contacted us and have agreed not to run the script again, we have reactivated your account. You should now be able to log in with your normal email and password. In the future, please refrain from running these types of scripts again.


User Operations

What I was using to hit Facebook — unreleased Plaxo Pulse

OK, so I’ve been released from my NDA. I was alpha testing an upcoming feature of Plaxo Pulse — this feature has not yet been released and now that my account has gotten shut down it’s not clear whether it will be released. It is a Facebook importer that works just like any other address book importer.

What does it collect?

Names and email address and birthday.

Why those? Because it’s trying to connect Facebook names with names in its database.

For instance, it learned that of the 5,000 people in my Facebook account about 1,800 were already on Plaxo.

It did NOT look at anything else. Just this stuff, no social graph data. No personal information.

Why do this?

I wanted to get all my contacts into my Microsoft Outlook address book and hook them up with the Plaxo system, which 1,800 of my friends are already on.

It’s ironic that you can import your Gmail address book into Facebook but you can’t export back out.

Unintended advantages

I’m getting dozens of emails asking for my script. See, there’s a ton of people who WANT to be deleted from Facebook. So far Facebook has been denying them, saying it’s impossible to delete everything you’ve ever done from Facebook. Well, if you go over to Rodney Rumford’s blog you can see that’s totally hogwash. Facebook CAN totally delete you from Facebook IF IT WANTS!

Well, I will talk to the developers about that later today. Suw makes the same point in a Seesmic video, by the way.

Me? My account is still down and haven’t heard back from Facebook yet. Since it’s just about 7 a.m. here in California, I expect it’ll be a few more hours before I hear back.

Facebook claims it is a “utility.” Well, I like how Kara Swisher put it. Hint: “utilities” have due process and don’t just shut down someone’s account without a warning. You should see the comments on my last post. Some people didn’t even knowingly break the rules and never got a good answer for why their accounts were shut down.

Oh, and Jimmy Wales (the guy who founded Wikipedia) wrote me and said, about my attempts to get my own social data back: “This is the kind of thing that I would consider to be a *benefit to our customers* rather than a *threat to our business*.”

Anyway, it’s interesting being in the middle of a Twitter storm. Hundreds of messages about this issue have been written since I first posted last night. countdown begins

[podtech content=]

There’s only a few more ScobleShows before it closes forever. If you missed the news and my reaction last month, it’s worth recapping that Rocky Barbanica and yours truly are leaving PodTech (our last day is January 14th) and then we won’t be doing any more ScobleShows (old ones will stay up for your viewing pleasure. Translation: Google still brings a huge amount of traffic). We’ll have something new to announce on January 16th, but in the meantime we’ve been busy cleaning the pantry and bringing some fun “final shows” to you.

Here’s one, with Mike Butcher who runs TechCrunch UK. The sun never sets on Mike Arrington’s empire now.

Anyway, it’s been quite a run. Thank you to Seagate, my sponsor last year, we got hundreds of interviews and millions of viewers. Every company who got on my show for free should send them a thank you note for helping you get the word out and for covering my expenses and keeping me from charging a dime (compare that to leading industry conferences who charge you $18,000 to get on stage).

Seagate is also sponsoring next week’s CES BlogHaus which has about 500 people signed up for it, yikes! Here’s highlights from last year’s CES BlogHaus.

For the rest of the show we’re sponsored by AMD which is enabling us to do live streaming video starting tomorrow at 2 p.m. from Doug Englebart’s house and next week at CES.

Thank you to both of my sponsors. I really appreciate the support you’ve given me and PodTech and it won’t be forgotten.