Liz notices a bit of sexism in reporting about Mind Camp

Liz Lawley, on misbehaving, notices that women in technology aren’t being given a good rep in media reports and that to get more women participating in the tech field we need more positive representations of the women who are already here and takes on a Seattle PI reporter who quoted Tara Hunt. Update: I fixed this paragraph to properly reflect the right publication.

Tara and Liz are both gifted with far more intellectual horsepower than I am. Tara is starting up her own company (actually she’s doing marketing for Riya, not quite starting it up herself) and Liz teaches college and is on sabattical working with Microsoft Research and Microsoft Search.

John’s blog post does seem to present a one-sided view of Tara, as she points out on her blog. She’s very impressive (I’ve talked with her several times) and her company and product (Riya) are getting lots of attention. I had lengthy conversations with both Liz and Tara yesterday and came away from both thinking “I wish I were smart like them.”

But, this is what’s great about blogs. If someone provides only one side of the story, others can provide more.

Update: John replied on his original blog post as to what his intention was.

Is tomorrow’s event one of Microsoft’s last “big launches?”

There’s changes afoot inside Microsoft. Bill and Steve have been repeating in the press that Microsoft needs to ship software faster. At Mind Camp this weekend a couple of people asked me what that meant. To me it means “don’t take big dependencies.”

See, SQL Server hasn’t shipped in several years. Why not? Because they added the .NET Framework deep inside SQL Server. Now, these aren’t two small teams that met once over pizza and beer and decided to do this. No, these are two HUGE businesses. It’d be like if GM and Toyota got together and decided to do a new project together with each other’s technology.

It is that sizeable and that important.

So, is this one of Microsoft’s last “big launches?” Looks like it will be for quite a while.

That said, tomorrow’s events will be on video on either the Launch Tour 2005 Knowledge Center or the Microsoft Speeches and Keynotes page.

Live.com to get Firefox support “very, very soon”

By the way, remember last week when I said Microsoft doesn’t care about influentials because we don’t support Firefox and didn’t get it working in Live.com? Well, last night I had sushi with Sanaz Ahari (and Chris Pirillo and Ponzi Indharasophang). You might not know Sanaz, but she’s one of the key team members that’s building live.com.

She apologized for not getting Firefox support done. She told me she, and her team, had been working 18 hour days to meet last Tuesday’s deadline and she got sick the week before launch so simply didn’t get it done. She says, on her blog, it’ll be “very very soon.”

It’s another reminder to me that software isn’t written by machines, it’s written by people, and when deadlines hit sometimes you can’t get it all done and have to prioritize what’s most important to get done.

She also says that Live.com has a lot more to come and that it shouldn’t be judged on its first day in business. It’s now my home page, so I’ll report when new goodies show up.

Update: Scott Isaacs, the guy who invented a lot of DHTML stuff and who is building the framework underneath Live.com, Hotmail, MSN Spaces, and others, just posted his thoughts on this topic and post.

Slide your way into new photo sharing site

Max Levchin has a new company sliding out onto the Net as we speak. You might know him from when he was a co-founder of PayPal (was its CTO for the first four years of that company’s life). His new company, Slide, has as its corporate goal to take RSS and make it simple enough for his mom to get value out of it. The first effort Slide has is sharing personal content. You can see his shared photos, for instance, on http://max.slide.com but there are some other cool Slide site examples: One’s a HotOrNot site, another is an Engadget site.

Hmmm, I want this as a gadget in Windows Live.

Washington Post says Microsoft to offer 100,000 books free online

I talked with some members of our content acquisition group on Friday. The Washington Post today had an article on their efforts. The BBC has another (we made a deal last week to scan 100,000 books in the British Library).

Why is this significant? Because we are offering libraries and publishers much better terms than our competitors are offering. For one, they get to keep a copy of every scan we do for their own purposes. But there are other differences too between our efforts and those of some of our competitors.

What is so interesting about scanning books? Well, we have a bunch of things we’re thinking of doing with those books. For one, it makes our Tablet PC much more attractive. Reading a book on a Tablet is WAY better than reading on a horizontal screen. For two, we have some ideas on how to make searching that knowledge base much better.

It’s about thrilling audiences. The company that makes great content available in the best way will build an audience. Where you find audiences you’ll find advertising. Our business is in a race with other businesses to build audience-thrilling experiences.

Our efforts here sure are making for strange bedfellows, though. We’re supporting the Open Content Alliance, which is setup by Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive. Now THAT is interesting! Why? Because the Internet Archive already houses the entire Grateful Dead library (among a lot of other things) for free! And, is a place that many video bloggers host their files. Again, for free! Brewster made a bunch of money off of his sale of Alexa to Amazon and is donating machines and bandwidth to the community for free.

I hope Microsoft continues supporting Brewster’s efforts. I think what he’s doing is hyper important to the long-term health of the Web. If you haven’t checked out the Internet Archive, you should. I hope I get to meet Brewster someday and thank him for what he’s done.