Videoblogger jailed

A guy I know, Josh Wolf, was just thrown in jail for refusing to hand over some videotapes he made of a July 2005 demonstration in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle has the details.

The government has scary powers and is using them. Interesting to watch this case evolve and see how Josh is using his blog to get word out to his friends. Josh, on his blog, writes that he is planning to appeal this case all the way. That’ll cost $10,000 to $15,000 in legal fees. Whew.

Road Trip!

Hey, there’s a road trip ahead. A group of videobloggers and Patrick and me are getting in a minivan on Thursday afternoon and we’re gonna drive from San Francisco to Emigrant, Montana. Stops in Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Jackson Hole are on the schedule.

Anywhere else we should stop? Want us to come and visit you? You’ll be famous. Or something. Your video will be on the Internets. If the tubes remain unclogged. Maybe if we’re really lucky we’ll get on Valleywag.

Maybe we should do the “Valleywag Tour of Famous Datacenters in the Middle of Nowhere, USA”. This entry on Valleywag about Google’s new fantastic datacenter gave me that idea. Maybe Sergey and Larry could fly their plane up to give us a tour?

Scoble is Mini?

Ahh that’s a fun theory.

But it’s easily disproved. Jay Greene at BusinessWeek has met both of us. He’ll verify that we’re not the same.

Oh, hell, while we’re talking about Mini, a friend of mine said he had compared notes with all the journalists who’s met him and he thinks that Mini is done by a team of people. I don’t think so, though. It’s VERY hard to fake the writing style of someone else.

Looking at Vista

Whew, the comments on my Windows Vista ship date rant are coming in hot and heavy. I usually would answer them in the comment area, but I think some of the thoughts posted there need more discussion. So, let’s go.

Cody says “Windows Vista is the wrong direction for Microsoft. Instead of putting in MORE bloat, they need to seriously re-work Windows, and make it lean and mean.”

Um, sorry, I TOTALLY disagree. This is SUCH a engineer’s way to look at the world. “Take out the features,” is what he’s really saying. Sorry, I want an OS with more features. I want an OS that’ll protect me against phishing attacks. I want an OS that’ll play videos better. I want an OS that has handwriting recognition and speech recognition built in. And a lot more. You want an OS without all those things? Then load up Linux and take all the crud out and build your own OS. It’s not what the market wants or needs which is why more people use Macs than use Linux on laptops.

Anona says I said that Vista would never slip more. I never said that. I attacked a “journalist” for saying that he knew that for sure. That isn’t something that was possible to report (still isn’t) so that’s why I attacked that journalist, cause I want news to be news and opinions to be opinions. Hint, what I wrote last night was an opinion. Just to make it clear. And you know what they say about opinions, right? Everyone has one.

For the record, go back and read what I wrote when I worked at Microsoft in the last six months: I said I didn’t know when it would ship and that Microsoft should make sure it ships when it’s ready, and not feel pressure to ship sooner than that.

Cody again: “Why does an Operating System need to use so many damn resources? Why?”

Cause it does more. If you don’t like that, go back and use Windows 3.11. It ran on a machine with 4MB of RAM. (Not 4Gigs, 4 megs).

Christopher Coulter says the world won’t forget about Vista’s slip. Well, that might be true, but for Microsoft it’ll be far worse to be remembered for shipping an OS that isn’t finished than shipping one that’s a few more months late.

Asssuck says: >you suckass worm….remember when you were pimping this ?

Go back and look at the last year’s worth of my posts. I think they stand on their own. I do like Vista, still do. But I want it to be a great OS, not one where my friends are reporting tons of troubles cause they didn’t take the time to do it right.

Garth says: “Also is Vista not supposed to make our computing lives easier and simpler or are they trying to shovel everything including the kitchen sink onto our desktop to justify the pricetag ???.”

Huh? I believe Vista DOES make our computing lives easier. The desktop search features are a huge advance. The multimedia capabilities are WORLDS ahead of anything else I’ve used. And the Tablet PC, Speech Recognition, and Media Center stuff that’s in there is WORLDS ahead of Apple. Although watch Apple in a week. Hint hint.

JuanDG writes: “Shame on you scoble, I know MS is not the hand that feeds you any more, but you don’t have to turn and bite it. Shame on you. I was waiting for a reason to unsuscribe, and I guess this is it…”

You should have unsubscribed long ago. I attacked Microsoft before I worked there (told Bill Gates to split up the company). I attacked Microsoft when I worked there (on many many times). I will attack Microsoft now when it does things that I don’t like. If that’s not something you are comfortable with you shouldn’t be reading me.

Booger: “Who are you and what have you done with the real Robert Scoble?!? Or is this real Robert Scoble unmasked?”

I said pretty much the same stuff when I worked at Microsoft. Yeah, my tone was probably nicer.

Myles: “They have to have something special in Vista for the people who are satisfied with XP.”

Let’s just start with TONS BETTER SECURITY.

TomB: “MSFT had a chance to re-work the OS and put it on top of a BSD or a LINUX kernel. They chose to stay proprietary instead. The customers will continue to pay a price for that decsion.”

Sorry, throwing application compatibility out the window would be monumentally STUPID. Stop thinking like an engineer. Start thinking like a customer.

Jeff: “From what I’ve seen, much of what the consumer is going to *perceive* as being “Vista” can already be accomplished by skinning XP and maybe some add-ons.”

If that’s how they preceive Vista then they simply aren’t listening. Maybe that customer would be better off with a Macintosh anyway. Oh, and I’m gonna run Vista on my Mac if they come out with what I hear they are gonna come out with next week.

Miles: “Robert, I’m amused that you post this now. There’s no way you would have posted this as a MS employee. You would have self censored it, or at a minimum, sugar coated it somewhat.”

We’ll never know for certain, but I think at some point I would have said pretty much what I said last night. I never was one of those who cheerleaded trying to ship crap.

John: “When things are working correctly, STFU already. If I have all the drivers to make my USB device work, I don’t need to know that.”

John, have you ever worked on the customer support lines for Windows? Sorry, many users are NOT like you. I agree with you, by the way, but if I designed an OS for myself it’d have 10% marketshare. Or worse.

Jared: “I agree that Vista is not ready to ship but I put the blame on the managers at Microsoft. You have a product that is two years late and you answer “it will ship when it’s ready” at your annual finance meeting? I believe Microsoft is losing their best programmers because they can not offer better benefit packages. They can’t do this since their stock is no good because they have no product(Vista).
Balmer is a good CEO if you need a cheerleader. Microsoft needs better management.”

Jared, you must have mistaken me for Mini-Microsoft. There’s enough blame to go around. When a team doesn’t do a job on time the blame can’t just go to the ones on top. Sorry. I know of plenty of ways that employees made promises that they couldn’t keep either.

This is STILL software. Software is a human endeavor. It’s not something done by a machine. Until a programmer cranks the code out, and it compiles, gets tested, gets integrated with the rest of everyone else’s code, gets tested again, etc etc there’s really no way to know when it’ll be ready. Anyone who says they can accurately predict when software will be ready is a liar. If you expect accurate ship dates in the software industry you’ll constantly go unsatisfied.

James Clarke: “5472 is way better and pretty much usable where beta 2 was an abortion. 6 months is overkill if it keeps getting better at this rate.”

I totally agree that Vista is starting to feel good in lots of places. I’m just going off of my past experience with Windows and Macintosh betas and where they started feeling good in their ship processes. That tells me that October won’t be the date (which is what they needed to nail to get it out in January). What will the real date end up being? That’ll be very interesting to watch and see. I just want them to take the time to really nail this.

I don’t want to see blogs that, when it finally ships, says “wait for the service pack.”

Big conferences are dead…

E3 (the big game conference) is dead. Great analysis.

The truth is you gotta look deeper than that. Look at how you heard about when I quit Microsoft. I talked to 15 people. At a freaking blogger conference which cost almost nothing to put on. And it got, according to one PR guy I know, 50 million media impressions.

So, why does anyone need to go to a big conference to hear the news again? Simple: you don’t. It’s not worth doing.

Not when a CEO can write a blog, get more people to visit it in 36 hours than would probably visit his booth at the Detroit Auto Show.

How do you get news out? Invite a blogger over for lunch. It doesn’t matter who the blogger is. If the news is interesting it’ll spread and spread fast.

I wonder how long CES will survive?