mPulse

Monday, February 28, 2005

Another happy Powerbook user…NOT ME!

Ben McConnell bought a new Powerbook this weekend. [here]

<pout>

To all sponsors, or Apple staff: Please note the sub-title of this blog. I want to be a Powerbook evangelist.

Comments on United Airlines and Mileage Plus

On January 31, I went on a rampage about United and Mileage Plus. On Feb 25, Lessig posted that he flew his 1 Millionth mile on United, with no recognition.

Today, Johnnie Moore and Jon Strande weigh in on the same topic.

I am flying United on Wednesday and Friday. I used to be excited about travelling on United. Then I flew Alaska Airlines last week. United, you need to re-invigorate your brand, your company, and your staff.

Make me want to fly United again.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Obligatory Existence Ping

Yes, I am still here. I have been involved with the kids and family this weekend, so posting was light.

I am travelling to the Bay Area on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, and have some time on Thursday night, if any fellow bloggers want to grab a brew somewhere on the peninsula (I am staying in the San Mateo/Burlingame area).

Friday, February 25, 2005

Google blows the S

Apparently Google currently does not recognize barewords that end in "s". [here and here]

Oops!

Microsoft viral sickness

Adrants points to the MSN Search viral page, MSN Found. [here]

Rumour has it that these are the twits that Scoble flamed for not getting it; his post is a classic. [here]

Steve Rubel continues the flaming. [here]

John Battelle turns up the flamethrower as well. [here]

Autolink Killers

Here are some autolink killers for you. [here]

Thanks to Steve Rubel for this.

At Sea-Tac

I am now at Sea-Tac, on a very snappy 54Mbps wireless connection.

Had great meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. Had some very interesting feedback on the strategic product analysis I am performing. I will be able to do some work on the plane to hammer out my ideas.

Back to the grind tomorrow. And then out to the Bay Area next Wednesday for more client meetings.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Corner-Case Bug in GrabPERF

Just found a corner-case issue in the GrabPERF system where the charts would return an error datapoint in a graph if the server did not send an HTTP return code. However, the data tables did not see the same issue, and the data was just ignored.

Turns out that I don't factor in this empty return-code scenario in my code lookup table. Added an empty value, and voila!

Ugh!

Comments on a client dinner last night

Went out with a client last night to have dinner. This is a contact I have known since my last company, so it was good to re-affirm that he is still looking at the space that I work in the same way as when I last talked to him.

He does challenge us to look at things in a whole new light and offered up one piece of advice last night. He said that the company he works for is notorious for coming up with the "right" answer, but maybe not the best answer. And this is because the envionment and culture of the company is such that the ability to quickly parse, analyze and make business decisions on data is valued over taking the extra time to walk away for a while from important decisions, and try and gain new perspective on them.

In the wild ride that was the dot-com boom, I saw a lot of that. I am starting to see a lot more of it again. Rational, considered decisions are being replaced by the need to be the thought-leader, or the first-to-market.

Getting out away from the office allows me to place a greater perspective on the challenges we face as a company, and hear how some of the decisions that have been made are affecting us out in the marketplace.

It is always an eye-opening adventure. And sometimes, being outside your comfort zone is good. As long as you take the time to process what you have heard and seen.

But if there was Google Calendar…

Jeremy Zawodny hits it...and he works for Yahoo. [here]

Google Linkages

The Six Degrees of Separation for Google. [here]

Author also agrees that Google is becoming evil.

Correction: Jeff Reynar did not work on Google AutoLink

Thanks to Scoble for this. [here]

Jeff, I apologize for any harm our bashing may have caused you.

However, AutoLink is still inherently evil...

For those that are interested…

I will be at RedWest from 9:30AM - Noon today, and then at MSNBC from 1-3PM PST.

Call me if you know the number...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In Redmond

In my hotel in Redmond...beat. Been up since 2:45AM EST, and it's now 11:52PM EST.

Working on tomorrow's meeting data. Going to bed very soon...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

At Logan…

I work for an elightened company that pays for airport wi-fi. So here I am at Logan, watching the flotsam and jetsam of the modern age drift in and out of the nearly abandoned terminals at 4:15AM.

No really intense observations, other than I am early, which is nothing new if you know me.

Waiting for the Alaska Airlines borading gates to open up...

Will be offline most of tomorrow

Me, Alaska Airlines/American Airlines, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are off to Seattle tomorrow.

Be online late tomorrow night, after meetings and a client dinner.

WebPerformance may be flaky for a few hours

Downloading some large files using my home network. You may see some unusual performance results in WebPerformance while this is going on.

Do not adjust your set.

Media for travel tomorrow.

Any suggestions on media for tomorrow's travel? I am stuck in the air for 7 hours flying to Seattle.

Monday, February 21, 2005

John Robb sees Auto-Link as a serious fiasco

John Robb, one of the founders of the fine company that I work for, agrees with my opinion that Auto-Link is the final crack in Google's "Do no evil" facade. [here]

It is also an issue that could see MSFT come out and stomp Google into a googol of tiny pieces.

Marc Canter: Thompson was the original blogger

Marc Canter says that

All bloggers owe their heritage to the original Gonzo.


[here]

Amen.

The subjectivity and raw opinion in HST's work colours my writing to this day. it is difficult for me to write professional, technical documents without wanting to launch into a preternatural screed (two words I learned from the Good Doctor) on the opic I a writing on.

I was accused by a VP in my company last week of not being able to dumb myself down to deal with where our customers are in relation to where I am. HST had no patience with dumbing down, or pulling punches. He told people what they needed to know in as visceral a manner as he could.

May blogging honour the heritage of HST.

Domains for Sale worth something!

I am trying to ditch a bunch of extra domains I have (see here). According to the Certified Offer Service from NetSol, They are worth about $1,500.00 a piece.

I'll take that as a starting bid. But I agree with this article in thinking that they are worth more...much, much more.

Hunter S. Thompson, RIP

Read this online this morning. I was broken, crushed, disturbed. [here]

In some ways, it is appropriate to hear of his suicide. I could not envision him fading slowly away from disease or dementia.

May he have a safe journey in the Great Land Shark.




Looks like I know what I will be reading on my many hours on the plane Wednesday and Friday. I have many new HST books I bought months ago...never cracked them. Now I am compelled to re-visit the place where I discovered that the madness I felt when I was 17 was shared by others.

In the accutane fuelled psychosis, I found HST. I discovered that if I wrote down those thoughts, those ideas, those flashes of dangerous confusion, I could survive the meltdown of my brain chemistry.

Twenty years later, still recovering from the Accutane damage to my brain chemistry, I am actually impressed that he chose his own exit strategy. HST was always a master of the situation. He most likely reached the point in his life, made in the coldly rational, if inexplicable, madness of his mind, where it was time to bow and depart, rather than be carried of the stage.

I do not condone or condemn his exit. But I understand that he needed to go this way. For him, it was the final act. The final trip.

You will always live on. Those who do not understand you, what you meant to the rest of us, they have never had to look into their minds and see the bats, the lizards, and the monsters that live there. Hey faced those creatures and drank with them for 67 years. May I be so lucky as do be able to find that balance.

The gargoyles and bats of my mind raise a toast to you, Hunter.




Someone who sees his departure the same way I do. [here]

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Oh Dear! Google AutoLink infringes on a Microsoft Patent

Read mere from Dan Gillmor here.

If either of the parties is interested, I can scrub the rust off the Steel Cage I have in the basement, a leftover from the old Browser Wars era.

Blogger Burnout

Great article in the SFGate/SF Chronicle on blogger burnout. [here]

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Another reason I am not an A-List Blogger

Dave Winer lost his iPod for a few hours today. [here]

Me, I can't imagine why I would want one. Guess I am not hip enough to be an A-List blogger.

[Expletive Deleted] Google! They are OFFICIALLY EVIL!

Steve Rubel posts that the creator of Microsoft SmartTags is the Sith Lord behind Google's AutoLink Feature. [here]

His homepage is here. If you create HTML and want to tell him how you feel about AutoLink, email him here.

Seems that he specializes in recognizing linguistic and conceptual pattern in electronic documents, most likely for the purposes of identifying them in search algorithms.




C|Net News Article here.

cURL upgrade for GrabPERF Server and Agent

Just upgraded cURL on the servers to 7.13.0. [here]

Let me know if you see any weirdness in the WebPerformance data.

Some comments on the Day in the Life of Tom Peters

1) Tom. Please. No pics of you in shorts!



2) Ummm....suit too big? I know a good tailor!






Would post a day in the life of me, if it wasn't so boring...maybe when I am in Seattle next week.

Marketecture

One Microsoftie's first encounter with this term. [here]

The author describes his reaction to the word as
the same metal-on-chalkboard feeling as neologisms like "guesstimate" and "advertorial".


He links to a length article which actually explains the term...yuck. [here]

Martin Schwimmer On Auto-Link

Read a Trademaerk Attorney's opinion. [here]

Scoble has excellent comments on Google AutoLink

Scoble and I have had our differences of opinion before, but I agree with him on this one. [here]

SmartTags == AutoLink == B-A-D

Friday, February 18, 2005

Long Weekend

Cameron turned 6 yesterday...yikes!

Gutter guys coming...it's -15C and they want to sell us gutters?

Other than that, should be quiet...

Don’t compress PDFs

They are already compressed. I wrote about this here, and the folks at Port80 Software remind you not to here.

Andy King has tips on how to compress the somposition of PDFs. [here]

More on the Google AutoLink Stir

eWeek

I still think that, despite the protestations to the contrary, this is an intrusive attempt by Google to embed itself more firmly into your life.

Sound Familiar?

More on the idiots at andresaluk.com — Comment and Trackback Spammers

The andrewsaluk.com is now a live server hawking online casino gaming. Oh, and it appears that the domain has been relocated to China; was previously in South Korea.

Looks like these morons are slamming a lot of sites. Thankfullt b2evolution has very effective anti-spam tools.

Someone else is posting on this. [here]

Oh look! Someone has come up with a nice .htaccess hack to nuke these bozos! [here]

Hope everyone is enjoying Northern Voice…

Steve Rubel.

Darren Barefoot

Jeremy Wright

Travis Smith

Susannah Gardner

Tim Bray.

And, of course, THE SCOBELIZER

All at Northern Voice.

Damn. I have to work...say hi to everyone.

eBay still in trouble

Looks like eBay is still seeing extreme fallout from their fee hike decision. [here and here]

Now the SFGate/SF Chronicle story does remind us about eBay Seller whining over the years, but this is still a business whose entire existence depends on keeping their sellers and the sellers' buyers happy. eBay is an intermediary; and intermediaries can and have been replaced before.

I am not saying that eBay will fall soon. However, imagine if Google decided that it could provide an auction clearing/payment system at a much lower cost? Or Microsoft? Or someone else?

eBay has the benefit of a near monopoly position. This makes the battleship slow to turn around when nimbler competitors appear.

Bad news for SSRIs

As a consumer of SSRIs [here], this piece of news REALLY concerns me.


Antidepressants increase risk of suicidal behaviour: study

Suicide, depression, and antidepressants

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and suicide in adults: meta-analysis of drug company data from placebo controlled, randomised controlled trials submitted to the MHRA's safety review

Suicidal Behaviour Caused by Antidepressants "Cannot Be Ruled Out"

Thanks GSK....




More. [here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here]

Looks like GMail is going live soon

I just got an invite to join GMail (have an account already...thanks!) that originated from filling out an interest form when GMail went live last year. Guess they are trying to get everyone in now.

Beta going poof soon.




SOGrady posted the email we have all received. [here]

Hiring…yes…companies are

SOGrady notes that a number of the large bellweathers in Tech are announcing hiring. [here]

I have noticed that, after a 3 year absence, my inbox is seeing slow trickle of recruiters, mainly those looking for low-hanging fruit in tech-support and junior development positions. *YAWN*

If recruiters actually took the time to read my resume, instead of the work and education experience areas, they might notice that I am so far from what they want that asking me if I am interested in a position like that lowers their company's brand in my opinion.

I would love to see some quality enquiries; not because I want a new job, but because it shows me that someone took the time to find out about me before contacting me.

Private-Label Browsers and comments on a lost “browser war”

Looks like Firefox could become the genesis of the private-label browser, unencumbered by nasty platform/OS/Service Pack limitations. [here -- courtesy of the XSLT:General blog]

I believe strenously that Microsoft has committed a serious error in limiting the upcoming MSIE 7 update to Windows XP SP2 machines. It will not drive the large corporate IT departments who still use Windows 2000 to upgrade. It will increase resentment towards the company, which will be actively commented on in places (such as here).

I use Windows XP SP2. But as you see from the sub-title of this blog, the next computer I will buy for myself is going to be a Macintosh Powerbook. And I will run Safari, Firefox, Camino, and (very, very occasionally) fire up some 6 year-old, badly maintained version of MSIE for MacOSX.

When I use Windows, I will use MSIE to compare the look and feel of the pages I build. And nothing more.

If Microsoft wanted this new browser to be a true update, and not simply an addition to their program of forced obsolescence, they would have made it free of OS restrictions. What Microsoft has said is that if you don't run Windows XP SP2, your browsing experience will be sub-optimal, less secure, and unsupported.

Web designers, this means that you will have to have yet another platform to test your Web designs, as MSIE 5.5, 6.0, and 7.0 will all interpret CSS, CSS2 and other design features differently.

So, what is the big deal about MSEI 7.0? It shows the Web community that Microsoft has still not learned the lesson that Firefox is teaching: be everywhere. Microsoft, the OS is not the platform of the future; the browser is the platform of the future. And a browser that can run anywhere, anytime, in any language, on any hardware, will win.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

More Blogger woes

Damien Katz feels the same way about Blogger [here] that I do [here].

You have to wonder why Google hasn't done something about this...or maybe it no longer fits in with their master plan.

State of the Blogger

Just to keep you up to date on what's going on in my life...

I will out of town for most of the next two weeks, so you will likely see postings at odd times and in aggregated chunks as I get caught up from performing my real job.

Had the first of a series of meetings (concall today) with customers asking them key and probing questions about what they want to achieve. It is interesting to re-visit with some of these clients and refresh my memory of what they need to achieve Web performance excellence. I have been locked up in my office all winter, and need to re-gain some perspective on our overall purpose and mission.

After this, I have to hunker down and attack the incoming flood of projects. A component of this will be learning the ins and out of Visual Interdev so that we can generate custom reports. Should be a lot of fun, as it has been a while since I learned a new programming language.

Off to a meeting...

MSIE 7.0 won’t play in corporate America

Oh yeah! Forgot this little tidbit...MSIE 7.0 will ONLY be available for Windows XP SP2. [here]

So, all of those organizations (you know, the large corporate ones) which run Windows 2000: Tough Luck.

How AdSense works (or doesn’t) for you

Some in-depth analysis on how AdSense may or may not be profitable or rewarding. [here and here]

Now I have AdSense ads on my site, mainly because they are unobtrusive, and I need to finance replacements for my creaky hardware somehow. Although, it looks like that is not going to happen before the 256-bit PentiumX is released in 2030.

Oh well, enjoy.




Hugh, of course, nails my whining to the wall. [here]

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Another reason why I won’t install the Google Toolbar

As Steve Rubel points out, Google is stealing some of Microsoft's worst ideas. [here]

I wonder how long before the wave crests, and the undertow sucks Google out to the Island of the Damned.




Seems that for once, Dave Winer and I are on the same wavelength. [here]

And here comes Dan Gillmor. [here]

TDavid kicks in his comments on Google Evil Tags. [here]

No Stanley Cup this year

The NHL has officially cancelled the 2004-2005 season.

A sad day. I say that this opens the door for all hockey teams that are playing to compete for the cup, as it appears that it belongs to the people of Canada, and not the NHL.

Some interesting info on this can be found here.

Some hints on MSIE 7.0 Features

Jeremey Wright hints at some of the features we might/will see in MSIE 7.0. [here]

Again, composition and design standards are important; but do not forget the networking standards as well. It will take a lot for me to switch back to MSIE, but it would be good to if the Internet doesn't have to design itself to fit the foibles of a single browser platform again.

The power of ecommerce supremacy

A while back, I posted a letter from the president of eBay about how they are having to perform some strategic back-pedaling to recover from their sense of supremacy in the online auction world. [here]

Today I read a post on how Google may be having an impact on the auction business as a whole. It also posts to a fictional description of how Google achieved true online supremacy. [here]

It is true that other companies have all of the apps that Google has; the genius in Google is that they will be unified on a single patform, tied together to deliver a fully-realized work/home/play/buy tool. Why go anywhere else, when Google can find it for you? Which is faster: Amazon's native search, or Google's search that points to the appropriate link on the Google site?

Google drives people to e-commerce sites. It is how buyes find sellers. All players need to realize this, and get on the bandwagon, or they will get lost in unfriendly, and unprofitable, territory.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Linux Journal under DDos Attack

This is currently posted at their site.

Linux Journal DDoS Banner

This is what site performance has looked like, up until they put up the 458 byte banner.

Linux Journal DDoS Performance

Ouch.




The LJ site returned to normal service at approximately 20:50 EST, February 15, 2005.

MSIE 7.0

That is not a typo. The great man spoke the words today. [here and MSFT Press Release and here and here and here and here
and here and here]

Will it be better...?




The quote:

Building on those advancements, Gates announced Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware. The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.


But what will those features be?


  • Complete CSS2 support? Hell! CSS1?

  • Full HTTP/1.1 compatability?

  • Final removal of ActiveX?

  • Truly enforce [X]HTML standards for publishing?

  • Simple extensibility for any developer?

  • Themes/Chrome?

  • A matching version for MacOSX?



They know they are in trouble. They are generating buzz. But if they have just patched and incremented MSIE 6.0, without re-engineering the core parser, rendering and networking engines, then it won't be worth talking about.

Come on Microsoft: Impress me.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A face only a … mom? Mom? Where are you going?

Isn't he cute?



I love these drooling beasts...thanks to Damien Katz for the link.

More on MSIE

After linking to a group of articles on MSIE and interoperability [here], there comes this post that speculates on a MSIE update pre-Longhorn. [more here and here and here]

My guess: They have to, and they know it. They have to do something to make the browser lighter, faster, and more secure. And they know it has to be good. Very good.

Brilliant comments on CRM “solutions”

Scott Jones of SalesBuilders has an excellent and very succinct critique of CRM "solutions". [here]

Scott nails it: a CRM is just another application. It's usefuleness is completely reliant on people knowing how to use it, and actually using it to help isolate and identify the links and opportunities which will allow them to grow their business within existing customers and obtain new business from prospect.

At my former company, a large CRM solution was implemented. Took over a year, involved at least one full-time consultant and 3 staff members. And when it was complete, nothing. It was slow, clunky and difficult to maintain. People avoided it. And it showed.

Are there any honest stories out there -- not originating from CRM vendors -- of how a CRM solution allowed companies to more quickly identify and isolate new opportunities that would have been overlooked without such a solution? How did it help you gain new business and grow revenues from existing customers?

Are they out there?




Paul Lavallee adds more to the conversation here.

Delivery — Two perspectives

This comment on the British DIY giant B&Q's sponsorship of Ellen MacArthur's solo round-the-world sail cracked me up.

Ouch.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Browser Stats Release

Here are the local stats for browser percentages.

Blog
Local Blog Stats

Entire Server
Local Server Stats

Thanks to Tim Bray for starting this.

Ogilvy + Mather may comment on FAUX Mailing

Site-9 has more comments on the faux Ogilvy + Mather email that he received. [here]

Apparently, mine was one of the 30 blogs that linked in to his article. [here]

The quote at the end of the new posting, as seen in Fortuune, leads one to see how O+M will talk their way out of this debacle.

An HP-Sun Merger?

Read this commentary.

Could be an interesting mix.




Then again, someone else says that HP should by Gateway. [here]

This idea has the smell of doom about it.

Something wrong with LiveStrong

Received my order of LiveStrong Yellow bracelets on Friday. I am wearing mine right now, despite something that Samantha found. She flipped it over, and said "Oh look, Made in China".

My heart sank. I m a firm believer in the global economy, but you woulda thunk that Lance Armstrong could have supported some US firm, somewhere. A firm out there somewhere in the US or Canada would have been happy to donate some time or resources for this cause.

Just disappointed, that's all. Will still wear the bracelet.

Outage — February 13, 2005

I was offline for about 4.5 hours this morning while Comcast "upgraded" part of their infrastructure. Sorry about that.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Carly may get $42 million

I am sorry, but this disgusts me. She fires 15,000 people, brings down HP, gets fired, and gets a windfall! Everyone else I know who gets fired or "asked to step down" gets squat. [More here]

These positions entail a high-degree of risk -- C-Level execs better start accepting risk as a component of their packages. Why should I join your company and take a chance myself, if you (Mr. CEO, Ms. CFO, etc.) aren't taking one yourself?

I am already exposed enough, being an "enemy" alien in the US (I know I'm Canadian, but they sure don't treat me like a neighbour), so what makes me motivated to join a company where I will lose everything and get kicked out of the country, and the CEO makes millions, if the company fails.

Email? What is this Email you speak of?

Russell Beattie has 400 pending Email messages. [here]

I have heard other bloggers complain of this as well. [here and here and here]

I can't remember a time when I have received more than 5 Emails in a single day. Most of those are automated server messages telling me when backups are complete, etc.

I'm not complaining. I remember when I worked in Tech Support (before the Ticketing System was installed) that my inbox was always full. But I learned quickly how to delegate, reply succinctly, and be verbose when the situation demanded it.

I know I don't get 100,000+ visits a day, and have adoring fans and vitriolic enemies, but to have an Email backlog like that is truly astounding.

Stupid attacking domain — andrewsaluk.com

Looks like some bozo has managed to take over a large number of machines and launch some sort of zombie attack against blogs. If you see andrewsaluk.com filling up your referrer log, block the hosts. They are likely zombies.




Just checked the domain (IP address 211.180.238.254) -- it originates in South Korea. Definitely points to either a script-kiddie or a zombie on a high-speed connection.

[FOLLOW UP: here]

Opera sings a tragic aria about Microsoft and “Interoperability”

Hakon Lie, CEO of Opera, nails Bill Gates to the wall using his own claim to support interoperability. [here]

This is a brilliant rant on Microsoft and they're lack of support (or half-baked attempt to support) Web Standards initiatives. MSIE is a six-year old engine, groaning under the weight of it's own bloated code. Lightweight "skin" browsers using the MSIE engine can't, and shouldn't, save it.

I can't wait to see MSIE 7, because no one is going to wait for Longhorn. By Longhorn MSIE's market-share will have dropped below 50%.

Collaborate or die.




Hakon Lie Apparently said the same thing directly to Scoble. [here]

A more complete commentary here.

Friday, February 11, 2005

On donations

You have noticed the donation buttons.

Some people are vehemently against doing this on their blogs. These are usually folks who have more disposable income than I do. They are able to afford fancy subscription services and new servers.

I limp along on six year-old, second-hand hardware. It needs to be retired, and sent to the happy circuit board in the sky. So, I have ads and donation buttons.

Now, I get less than 200 hits a day, so it is unlikely I am going to get rich off this.

But I am not against the idea of advertising on blogs. In feeds, bad. On the actual web pages, ok. "Purity" is good; but too much of it and you end up like Richard Stallman. A man of vision and moral standing...who is seen as beyond the pale philosophcally for most people.

Have advertising on your site. If I am interested, I may even click on them. But, then again, I could install adblock into Firefox and never see them at all.

I am a contradiction. Life is more interesting that way.

Asbestos is big money…in AdSense!

Guess that someone has figured out that AdSense will pay big dollars for Asbestos click-throughs. [here]

Guess everyone is getting rich except Halliburton and WR Grace.

Bay Area: Here I Come!

I have a bunch of client visits in the Bay Area on March 2-3. Looking forward to being back on my old stomping grounds...Pancho Villa Tacqueria!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cool features of the Slurp! Bot

Yahoo Search Blog has a great posting on how the Slurp Bot tries to conserve bandwidth by making use of compression and cache-control headers. [here]

As a Web performance fanatic, it is heartening to see that these folks have taken such care, and put such thought into their indexing crawler. They want it to be accurate, but they don't want to slam your site.

A while back, I had to write a robots.txt file for WebPerformance to keep the MSNBot from stomping the site on a daily basis. This site uses frames and query variables to produce the various performance graphs. Well, the MSNBot was indexing every page and every variation almost daily. Finally, I said go away, just to that crawler. All the others are fine. Maybe MSN Search should take a page from the Yahoo! (Inktomi) Bot development team.

How big companies manage their Brand Image

Jennifer Rice points us to the Honeywell site where the company explains how they manage their brand image. [here]

It is actually something that I am familiar with, as our company went through a similar process last year, so that everything that the company put out had a unified look and feel, and that everyone was able to understand what the core vision was. There has been some drifiting, but even in a small company like mine, managing the brand and presenting a unified vision of the company makes you loom much larger.

There are a number of companies I have come across that don't understand the need to present a clear, concise and focused brand image. When I see presentations or documents from these organizations, it does not matter how successful they are, or how cool their technology is. I have reached a level in my life that I want a level of maturity in the material that I am presented with.

Acting and speaking and writing with a unified voice indicates that the company is organized and focused on their own success. That will win me over every time.

Comments on the kuro5hin Blogging HOWTO

BL Ochman has her comments here. Her comments on the blogging pundits/evangelists/wild-eyed fanatics at the end of the article. Sort of the same way I feel about PodCasting.

The Head Lemur also makes a brief, yet sarcastic note of this...

Maybe I should read the original now...

Cool software…for the Powerbook I don’t have

Dave Winer posted this about a cool app called Feeder.

Got all excited. Went to the site.

App runs on Macs only.

Crushed.

Once again, foiled by not having a cool computer.

Wash your hands of SOAP

This article by James Governor highlights the issues with the use SOAP for Web services.

As a hack and slash programmer, SOAP is daunting, and very difficult to implement and use; in most cases, I would rather go straight to a database.

Make Web services EASY! That's all. Simple calls to known APIs in programming languages used by Web programmers. That's all we want. We will use a Web service if is easy to plug in to what we already have.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Chuck is getting married…

Prince Charles, heir the British throne, will be marrying his companion, Camilla Park er Bowles in early April. [here]

Why do I care? Well, I am a citizen of the Commonwealth, so I still great affection for the British monarchy. But as well, Charles and I have this odd tie -- we were born on the same day, twenty years apart.

So every day, on my birthday, I raise my glass and drink a toast to the Prince of Wales.

And I will do the same on April 8.

The things you do will get noticed

Yesterday, I received some major kudos on a project that I developed for my personal Web site about 2 years ago. It sucked about 3 weeks of my time during a lull at work, and I got to learn a lot of very cool things.

When I was contacted yesterday, there was also some discussion that this little side-project helped resolve a large roadblock that this person was encountering in a project that they were working on with a tight deadline. The writer also could not believe that I was giving this information away for free, given the amount of time and resources that this very knowledgeable person had invested in finding the information, before he found my site.

It is always good to get positive feedback on something you have done out of personal interest. It motivated me to go back and re-examine this project and see how I could improve it further.

THank you.

Someone else is advocating Cache-Control policies

Learn how to do this on your servers. You will:


  1. Have faster loading pages

  2. Reduce your bandwidth costs



Who's against that?

Strategist Block

I have been trying to fight through a block I have had regarding a strategic survey I am working on. I can't plough through the wall, so I think I will take my notes home and try and brainstorm when I have some peace and solitude. Get up early, and spend some quiet time in the attic and watch the snow fall, and try and put myself in the customers shoes and understand the kind of questions they might...or might not...have.

How do other people with busy families and small children do this? How do they get the time to be creative and strategic, will not short-changing the other vital aspects of their lives?

Help?

New Apache

Server is now running Apache 2.0.53...fresh and hot this morning. [here]

Comments on Louie Louie

I am throwing the glove down.

I want your best takes on Louie Louie, that song that every band has played at least once. Versions that make the original pale and run screaming.

Some rules.


  1. Has to be recognizable as Louie, Louie

  2. Has to be available somewhere

  3. No reggae



My contender -- The Sonics. In comparison, the "seminal" version by Black Flag version is wussy and weak. And given that The Sonics recorded theirs in 1966, it just proves that this band was the genesis of driving, power garage punk.

Bring them on.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Will be in the office tomorrow…

...so posting will be lighter than today. Have a few things to clean up....ugh!

Seattle, here I come

I am heading out to meet with clients in the Seattle area on February 23 and 24. Will be a good time and I get to talk to a lot of cool companies while I am there.

An important question

Why, oh why, does Windows suck?

I wish I knew...

Off to install my 87 new critical security patches...still haven't gotten an offer from anyone to ship me a WiFi enabled Linux Laptop, or a PowerBook for testing and "paid" blogging purposes...

While you were at lunch

If I had a cube (Note to self -- never work for a company with an OPEN floor plan again), this would be the show I would watch.

My work area, no matter where it is, always has that post-apocalyptic je ne sais quoi to it...

A refreshing change

Wil Wheaton. We all made fun of him when he was Wesley.

Now, he is an Adult. About my age (Ok, same age as my corporate VP younger brother). Same concerns, habits, pets, job interviews, hobbies and clubs we all have.

And he writes very well.

Read this to make your day.

Is Google ranking blog results differently?

Hans Henrik raises an interesting question in his blog: Is google ranking the results from blogs differently than for static pages?

If they are, then this begs the question, when will we see a blog search tool from Google? You know they have to working on one. They would be silly not too, especially given the move by Ask Jeeves this week.

Google Maps == Dead Sexy!

Darren Barefoot posted about Google Maps.

Ummmm...wow. What more can I say? Clear precise maps. Great zooming. Clear directions. Took all of the best from everyone else and ... well, wow.

Interesting comment from Jeremy Zawodny. And he works at Yahoo!, which had my go to map application for many years.

More comments from Geek News Central here.

John Battelle woke up and noticed it too! [here]

Ok, the Head Lemur sums it up. [here]

Ummm...wow. My hometown. No street maps, but it's on the map!

But I still won't work for you.




Seth Godin thinks Google Maps sexy too. [here]

Monday, February 7, 2005

Oh yeah, Halliburton had some of this action too

Hence the need to target those frivolous Asbestos Lawsuits...

W.R. Grace indicted over asbestos claims.

I mentioned this a while back...some people close to The Obsfucator are tied to this asbestos thing.

I have no sympathy for the asbestos industry. A high-school friend of mine lost his father due to a one-time, one-day exposure to asbestos 30 years ago. This material is hyper-dangerous.

It killed Warren Zevon. [here] 'Nuff said.

Customer Service Breakdown

How many times have you encountered this?

Too often? Well, I have encountered it too often. I rarely shop in person anymore, just because of this. If retailers don't start to get it...well, you know.

A Blast from the Past

An old colleague of mine, Dr. Zulu-at-a-Bar-Mitzvah, has turned up on the streets again. He has managed to get new id with the name el Furioso printed on it, and is playing bass in a Vancouver punk band called Aging Youth Gang.

The good doctor was a plunker the last time I saw him; AYG is a definite throwback to the screaming thrash and punk bands of our shared youth, and his bass talents have come a long way in 15 years -- I will let you try and determine what he has been doing for that time.

It brings back good memories from a time so long ago.

FedEx — Human and Machines

Great article on how FedEx needs automated customer tools, and humans too! [here]

The Takeaway.

For every anxious caller that FedEx diverts to its Web site, the company saves as much as $1.87. FedEx says its call centers handle 83,000 fewer calls per day than in 2000—currently 470,000 calls per day—a saving of $57.56 million per year. FedEx also claims that its Web site handles an average of 60 million requests to track packages per month. These requests cost FedEx 3 cents each or $21.6 million per year, but would cost over $1.36 billion per year if all those people called. Still, by allowing its customers to keep calling reps like Steward, FedEx spends nearly $326 million per year.


Can you imagine an economy of scale that allows you and your organization to save $1.87 for every call your call centre does not have to answer?

The NSA Web Site is so secret…

...no one is allowed to see it...

NSA Web Site

A little patch at 18:00 on February 4, 2005 and POOF!

Interesting…Ballmer going to “spend more time with the family” soon?

Silicon Valley Watcher has this tidbit that concludes that Ballmer may be "retiring" soon.

I agree that the Appearances of Bill have increased exponentially recently and that many stories have appeared of Microsoft's lack of new "vision". The question is whether Bill can provide the credibility and leadership that Steve Jobs return to Apple did.

I care less and less about "traditional" applications every day. The operating system is a way to get to the Internet. In that regard, can Microsoft really re-invent itself and move completely into a virtual world? Can Bill lead a company that has a great brand, but is increasingly not seen as innovative?

How will Bill Gates ensure that there is the internal leadership at Microsoft to allow him to truly walk away from the organization and be pleased with where the ship drifts? How is leadership developed in Microsoft today? Is it? Does Microsoft truly attract great leaders?

GrabIT2 has a new friend

My little PHP/cURL Tool called GrabIT2 has a new playmate.

Someone with programming knowledge has taken the basic idea and made it more functional. Cool! I like the echoing USER-AGENT string. I know how to do that -- I may copy it.

Maybe I need to go on tour with Chris Lawler

Chris Lawer is stating that he is available for speaking engagements. [here]

I made the same plea a while back.

Anyone need a management-customer strategy/Web performance excellence double-header?

Sunday, February 6, 2005

eBay Will Respond to Customer E-Mails with Real Human Responses!

eBay woke up. What a concept! A real person answering your e-mails. Now, of course, the downside of this is that the e-mails will be answered in Bangalore and Mumbai, and will still be from controlled response scripts.

But still, it's somewhat of a concession from eBay that they stumbled a bit...and that the response to the latest earning results may force them to re-think their end-to-end response.

Oh, and in case eBay missed it, the "Lincoln Fries" were auctioned at Yahoo! Auctions...And JupiterMedia is talking about alternatives to eBay. [here]

Re-invention is a wonderful thing. And the response from the community is likely to be...when will eBay begin encouraging its leaders and evangelists to take to the Blogosphere?



A Message from Bill Cobb

Since becoming the President of eBay North America in December, I've spent a lot of time listening to you, our Community. There's a lot on your minds right now. I've been taking it all in and thinking hard about how we can make sure eBay remains a fun, safe place to trade, and a prosperous home for our many dedicated sellers.

One of the issues I've heard a lot about is our recent fee increases, particularly the increase in Store Inventory Format final value fees. I've also heard concerns about customer support, the amount of change we make to the site on a regular basis, and trust and safety. We're listening to everything you have to say.

eBay has become a hugely successful marketplace as a result of the innovation, enthusiasm and hard work of our Community. The site has also become more complex as it has grown to meet many of your needs. So our challenge is to keep pace with the Community's changing requirements, while preserving the things that make eBay so special. With that in mind, I'd like to give you a preview of some upcoming changes for the United States and Canada.

eBay has a fantastic Customer Support team, but Meg and I agree we haven't invested enough in giving our CS reps the flexibility and tools they need to really take care of you. So, to start, within the next 90 days, we'll shut down most of our automated email responses. Our users will get a "real" e-mail response to their questions - you'll hear from a human being who will try to help you with your problem or question right off the bat. We will only use auto responses to acknowledge receipt of spam or policy violation reports.

We also think the time has come to expand phone support. Currently phone support is available only to Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium PowerSellers. Starting April 1, all eBay Stores owners also will have access to phone support. We'll provide details on the benefits of phone support to Stores owners soon.

We know pricing is a critical issue for our sellers. While we stand behind our decision to increase final value fees on Store Inventory Format listings - because they make sense for items that list with insertion fees of two cents - I know this increase has been difficult for some of our sellers. To reward our eBay Stores sellers, we'll be crediting $15.95 - a month's Basic Stores subscription - in May to all sellers who operated an eBay Store for the month of April. Stores owners will receive more details on this soon.

We also want to do something for the rest of our sellers. I'm happy to announce that effective at midnight tonight, eBay.com and eBay.ca will reduce minimum insertion fees for Auction-Style listings, Fixed Price, Motors Non-Vehicle and B&I non-Capital Equipment Categories from 30 cents to 25 cents (CA$0.35 to CA$0.30). eBay Germany has always used this pricing, and users there have benefited from higher conversion rates on items with lower starting bids.

One of the great things about eBay is the candor and passion of our Community. Your input keeps this company focused on what's right and important. Later this month, I'll be hosting an online meeting to hear more from you. You'll see more details on the Announcement Board soon. And I'll periodically post notes like this one to talk about issues of importance to all of us.

eBay has never stopped listening to our users and we never will. I know many of you already have Meg's e-mail address and frequently send her messages about things you care about. I hope you will do the same with me. My e-mail address is billcobb@ebay.com. I promise I'll read every e-mail. And most of all, I'll listen.

Sincerely,

Bill Cobb
President
eBay North America

ROBERT SCOBLE DOESN’T READ [Was –Pocket Wars? Please…]

My point was NOT about pocket wars, as Scoble seems to think it is. My point is: Where the (&^*%&$%$*^(*&&^ do people get the money to pay for all of this crap that dominates their lives? How does Scoble pay for it?

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT I HAVE SOMETHING "COOL" IN MY POCKET?

This post seems to further substantiate my view that most residents of the US cannot read between the lines, are ideologically cast in stone, and lack a sense of sarcasm.

White headphones do not pay the bills, feed the hungry, educate the poor, and help bring a better standard of living to people. If Scoble thinks that white headphones are the cure, he is about to get dropped from my read list.

This post is closed.


The more I read posts like this from Scoble, the more I realize that a lot of the Bloggers that I read live in a completely different universe from the rest of us in the real world?

I am sorry, but the more I read, despite Robert's unflagging entusiasm for Microsoft, Tablets, and other things, the more I realize that he leads an extremely privileged life that bears no resemblance to a reality that I know.

I know...a bitter old man on a rant. Sorry.


Scoble comments below. He missed the point.

  1. SiliValley and Seattle are not the norm. Please come to Massachusetts.

  2. My point was: How can people with kids, mortgages, schools, and real lives keep up with portable media, hot new tech and trends?




I would love to be hot and trendy with cool tech and lots of places to go. Guess I have other "reality-based" needs to deal with.

Macs are expensive, but…

Ouch!

Der Spiegel is frank with Mr. Gates

Wow! No spineless pandering here! I was stunned. Would have loved to hear the audio of how this interview went down.

Courtesy of Scoble.

Starbucks will rule the World

Waiting for StarbucksOS, but until then, Starbucks Coffee Liqueur will have to do. [here]

Steve Rubel Nails the Mainline Tech Media

Steve Rubel nails the mainline tech media (media in general) for sleeping in on weekends. [here]

I always wondered why, in a 24/7/365 world, C|Net News publishes a lame "Weekend Edition". Heck, even if it turns out to be a rumour...someone should be checking it out.

CONFIRMED: Ask Jeeves Buying Bloglines

Read more here.

You kind of knew this was going to happen, as Bloglines is an idea that someone would try and turn into a revenue-stream.

Russell Beattie has the best comment on it. [here]

Charlene Li's perspective here.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Welcome Vincent DeCugis

Vincent introduced himself this week in response to my post on sending in an abstract to the OSCON 2005 organizers.

A former director at W3Ping, he has moved on to other enterprises and now has started blogging at design4speed. Hopefully he continues to add content on Web performance.

$87M Headquarters = Lousy Pledge Programs

WGBH is building a brand new $87M Headquarters. [here]

Maybe this is why their pledge programming is so awful.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Russell Beattie joins Yahoo! Full-Time

See Here.

Congrats Russell. I miss the valley and the cool companies that are there. But I am also not willing to move back to a place which is so hideously expensive, where the public education system is awful (parents are asked to supply basic supllies such as pencils, toilet paper, etc. because Propostion 13 has destroyed the California Education system), and the business ecology tends to be very inward-looking.

However, if Yahoo! made me an offer...

Tablets! Everywhere! Must Flee!

First there was Scoble.

Now Jeremy Zawodny (I LOVE Polish names!) has spotted them at Yahoo!

The only two I see regularly belong to colleagues of mine, and neither of them is ever in tablet mode, that I have seen.

If you work for Symantec and you are reading this blog…

...please drop me a line. I am seeing a large number of visits, and just wanted to know what makes this so interesting to you.

Now, I don't go out of my way to say hello to all of my visitors, but this person visits very often!

Caffeine Addiction

Darren Barefoot is attempting to give up his dependency on Caffeine. I commend his efforts.

I just discovered that the screaming headache I have had all day is due to a lack of caffeine. Two cups of Instant Coffee == No Headache.

Helluva cure, but that's life.

American Express engages in LCD marketing*

Joi Ito pointed me to the post about Ogilvy & Mather doing "bullshit marketing" for American Express.

American Express is a company I have a lot of respect for. But when they start treating their techno-savvy customers as complete doufi (plural of doufus), then they slide down into the morass of spam-spewing card purveyors that flood my snail-mailbox daily.

And Joi Ito gets asked to pimp stuff in his blog. I never get asked to pimp anything. :-(




This is still circulating around the next. See more here.

*LCD Marketing == Lowest Common Denominator Marketing

Difference of Opinion

Port80 Software in San Diego is a team who is dedicated to improving Web performance.

However, they just recommended Maxthon, which uses the MSIE engine. [here]

I can't buy into that. It still uses a core browser which has been patched but has not evolved since 1999. Until Microsoft releases a browser that can handle HTTP Pipelining -- don't understand why it can't do it...unless there is a technical reason -- I will stick with Firefox.

Apparently I am a UK Punk Label

Newest Industry

Rocking! Maybe I can get some free kit and schwag!

Online ads — What’s the big deal?

Ok, so I have both Kanoodle and Google Ads on my site. Total Revenue this far: $0.

I am not completely sure what the hoopla is. Then again, I get less than 200 hits a day. Guess that could be an issue...

Russell Beattie is back to Google. What's your opinion?

Microsoft Patchapalooza!

13 Patches! One Day Only! February 8! Be there! [here]

50 GMail Invites….

Dang! I got 50 44 too!

Drop me a comment if you need a GMail account!

Anyone know of a good Windows SmartPhone?

Palm continues to implode. Apparently the amazing broken Treo 650 (You know, the one with the new advanced filesystem that doesn't allow users to transfer all of their information?), has just gone up in price by $100. [here]

Oh well, it was a cool company once...

GMail Invite Extravaganza!

Ross over at Strategize now has 50 (fifty) GMail invites.

Woah! If you need one, see him. I have mine.

Killing your brand, the NHL way

Hallejujah! Someone else gets this.

Maybe we should all throw our money into the Free Stanley Movement.

Just in time for the Weekend Job Listings

Halley Suitt provides us with two articles on Dysfunctional companies.

3 signs of a dysfunctional company

Negotiate a peace agreement with your boss

Some day I will relate the tale of woe and misery that surrounded the bully manager that I had to suffer with for over a year, until he was released in disgrace from my former employer. He was perhaps the finest example of humans who should not lead.

Important Products you have never heard of

How many of you out there have bought something from the Goya label lately?

We do almost weekly. We are addicted to their Fruit juices (apricot, guava) and they make great products to fulfill our need for Mexican food.

Why haven't most people I know heard of them? Well, for one, their products appear in the "international" or "ethnic" aisle of the supermarket. Why? They are as good if not better than the stuff that most people buy from the regular sections.

A tip: try a new brand every week. Walk down that aisle of the supermarket that you never go into. You may be surprised.

There are other markets that we can all learn from.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Flu Season Hits Home

Kinnear last week.

Samantha Tuesday-Wednesday of this week.

Cameron today.

And now...I have it...posting might be light for a while.

Destroying Adwords…One Click at a Time

Apparently someone has come up with a way to bring Google to its knees.

Also here and http://business2.blogs.com/business2blog/2005/02/how_to_bring_go.html.

A cunning plan...


More on the potential to smash AdWords here.

Only a year behind…

Glad to see the competition is about a year behind where we are.

The Four-Phases of IT/Business Alignment by Mary Nugent, BMC

“Where everybody knows your name…”

Be careful what you say and who you say it about. Thomas Mahon, the hottest new blogger, was "dressed down" by one of his former "colleagues".

Thomas then dispatches the cad with some of the sharpest words I have heard for many a year.

Bravo Thomas...too bad I dress like mountain climber after a hard week; I might mortgage the house for a fine suit by this master of the blades.


Thomas mentions in his post that Savile Row is quite small. It is. For those who have not had the pleasure of being there, it is a tiny street, a stone's throw from Green Park, Near Berkeley Square. I know this because I accidentally stumbled over Savile Row during a jet-lag induced walk at 2AM a few years ago.

I was stunned when I realized where I was. Someday I hope to take Samantha there. She has formal training as a pattern-maker and designer, but has been sidelined due to Visa issues, two kids, and chronic carpal tunnel in both arms. She would probably be astounded to watch a true master at work, and it would be like me getting 10 minutes with Tim Berners-Lee or (rest in peace) Richard Stevens.

Contextual Seach from Yahoo

I like this. And the Firefox integration is sooo easy!

Read more here and here.

New Education, More Learning

In an e-mail I had with Scott Jones last night, I talked about how I was getting an business and marketing education through some of the best minds in the world...those in the blogosphere.

Then Kathy Sierra weighs in with some comments on upgrading your users/customers.

That is how I am using the blogosphere. I have gained more insight, mentoring and information on sales and marketing in the last 3 months of reading and writing a blog than I likely could have through an intensive MBA program. I have been easily able to transfer this new knowledge into my day to day working life, and see what I do, what my employer does, in a whole new way.

I have been upgraded.

Now, imagine if you do the same with your customers. Expose them to people who are passionate about your products, people who use your products and services in innovative and exciting ways. They will see you in a whole new light.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Two Ships Passing in the Night

Just before bed, I had to add this.

Obviously, this person has not seen this.

Would love to see his updated review!

Great Links for Travellers

Looks like I may be doing a lot more travelling in the near future. Got handed a really cool research project that involves customer interviews, strategic positioning, and market research. All of the elemnts of my bag of tricks I want to exercise.

In that vein, here are some cool tips for frequent travellers.

David Parmet gets Scobelized

Check this out.

I had something like this (much smaller scale) happen to me when Sitemeter went out.

Sitemeter Hits

Why Performance Reviews are Evil

Read this. You will understand.

I have been lucky to be on the good side of performance reviews for most of my career. And, when I don't have to deal with them every single hour of every single day, I lavish instense attention on those customers that I speak with, write to, and meet with. I treat them as though they are the only customer I have at that moment.

But the other side of the coin is that the customer has to give me 100%. I have been learning that there are some customers you can't help because they are not ready to be helped. The hard part for me is learning to say no.

MSN Gets CSS’d

MSN gets new CSS driven design. [here] Substantial comments.

Comments from an MSN Developer. [here]

Gmail as an RSS Feed

Just noticed that when I went to my GMail account, the Firefox Radar Icon popped up.

I dropped the link in FeedDemon. You can now get your new Gmail as an RSS Feed.

Ummmm...wow. Looks like I may be one of the first to notice this...or I missed it completely the first time around.




Yup, missed it the first time around. Can you see the giant "L" on my forehead (not brought to you by eBay).

Seth Godin Quote Week Continues

Seth, who I am quoting way too often this week, has three great posts on finding a job. [here and here and here]

I am one of these people. I have a degree in History. I work in high-tech. I can write code when I want to. I can limp around linux, Windows and pretty much and Unix-like environment. I know a fair amount about HTTP, TCP, SSL, Apache, databases, MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL, QA, Customer Service, Marketing, Sales and a few other things I can't remember now.

Macs don't scare me.

So, what does the work world do with a polymath generalist? Employers hate people like me, because we don't fit a mold, a niche. I hate structured job roles. I want to achieve excellence, not mediocrity.

I got my last job by sending an e-mail to all of the executives at the company and saying 'Look, you need me. You will not get better without me. Hire me now.' Two months later I was leaving the Bay Area for Massachusetts, much to the chagrin of my former employer, to join a company that created a position for me.

I want to work for companies that do that. Companies that build themselves around key people, amazing talent, a desire for excellence.

The growth trend of more small companies appeals to me. Hey, even a company of one can be huge.

Thanks for the great read.

Windows iPod Edition

You have to Giggle at this.

I wonder what BGates uses...Scoble?


Scoble uses an iPod. Hey Robert, when you move on to a portable media player that is more cool, can I snag your used iPod?

Yahoo Starts Blogging Service…In Japan

Yahoo has started a new free blogging service for the Japanese market. [here]

Unusual to see Japan as a test market, but you have to think that someone at Yahoo Corporate is playing with the new Yahoo Blog Tool that will be released in the US.

Any comments from Yahoo! Blogging Team?

Someone’s Marketing Team Needs to be Synergized

What does "Synergized" mean? It is a term you her a lot in the Merger game; it effectively means we are going to fire a whole bunch of you.

I received an e-mail at 1:43PM EST, February 2, 2005 for an event. I will provide the time and place, but not the name.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Radisson Hotel Boston
200 Stuart St
Boston, MA 02116


Yeah, that's right. It as already started.

Execution failure.

Not the only one moving to a new site

Joi Ito.

Windows WinAmp Edition

Dan Gillmor is asking the Internet Community to assist Microsoft Name its new version of XP, sans Media Player.

My contribution is above.

Joi Ito is looking for contributions as well. [here]

Rob Enderle weighs in here.

Boogie Knights

Weird...but cool. [here]

Drop Testing a Toshiba Tablet

Ouch!

I have never dropped a laptop, but I have caught my eldest prying the keys off a Toshiba Tecra 8100. Ever had to put the keys back on a laptop? When you are ham-handed like I am...it was a two-hour curse-fest with Samantha laughing at me, scolding the boy and grimacing at my language -- simultaneously.

One of the shift keys was never quite the same.

Then two years later, I found his younger brother doing the same thing to another Toshiba Tecra 8100.



Ok, this story is better.

PC mini in a Mac mini case

This is an abomination. But I am not sure which group, the Windows Regime or the Mac Mob, will consider it the greater heresy.

I can’t connect to rpc.technorati.com

All of my posts for the last 12 hours or so have been hung up in the PING phase. Looks like the Technorati Ping Server (rpc.technorati.com) is down or unavailable. I can't even open a TCP connection to it.

A Rant Against Lotus Notes

I have never had the pleasure of working for an organization that uses Lotus Notes as its primary corporate e-mail program. And I never will work for one; this is one of the core beliefs that guide my life.


  • I will never work in a mill or plant

  • I will never work in a restaurant

  • I will never work in retail

  • I will never work for Google

  • I will never use Lotus Notes



Lotus Notes is a long-lost relic of the early 1990s, when GUI design was in its infancy and the precepts were still being laid out. This site, categorizes 70 reasons for the loathing that this dinosaur evokes.

Number #71: Lotus Notes still can't receive HTML e-mail messages, 10 years on.

Article link courtesy of Damien Katz.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Getting scanned from Comcast IP address — AGAIN

This time, the IP (67.164.122.83) is definitely a client computer.

It's hitting me once every 15 minutes, like clockwork.

Time to add another entry to the IPTABLES config. Done.

The Reality of Usability, Standards and Design

In an interview with InfoDesign, Jared Spool talks about Web Design.

The TakeAway:

I learned quickly that business executives didn't care about usability testing or information design. Explaining the importance of these areas didn't get us any more work. Instead, when we're in front of executives, we quickly learned to talk about only five things:

1. How do we increase revenue?
2. How do we reduce expenses?
3. How do we bring in more customers?
4. How do we get more business out of each existing customer?
5. How do we increase shareholder value?

Notice that the words 'design', 'usability', or 'navigation' never appear in these questions. We found, early on, that the less we talked about usability or design, the bigger our projects got. Today, I'm writing a proposal for a $470,000 project where the word 'usability' isn't mentioned once in the proposal.

I need to live in Australia

Battle over the Google Bonus Plan

John Battelle broke the story of how Google will assign bonuses.

Then Russell Beattie leaps in. He slams this idea. As do I. Google will create a culture of have and have nots. And with morale being anecdotally reported as low due to the publication of money made by people when Google went public, I continue to feel that Google will implode or get acquired within 5 years.

What do 1919 and 2005 have in common?

These are likely to be the only two years since its presentation to the people of Canada that the Stanley Cup will not be presented to the best team in hockey.

The Free Stanley group is seeking to change that by restoring the prestige of the cup, and presenting it to the best hockey team playing in 2005. This could be exciting adventure, making hockey truly worldwide.

There are hundreds of teams worldwide who would leap at a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. I know I would...in a heartbeat.

Oh, and for the folks in Boston who may have forgotten hockey...the 1972 Bruins.

The 1972 Bruins

Moving from Typepad to b2evolution

This morning, I decided that I had to re-locate to blog server that I ran myself. Typepad was kind enough to provide me with a 90-day free subscription, and I would been happy to use MoveableType. But when I went to install Moveable Type, the process was far more complex than I had time to dedicate.

b2evolution appeared straightforward. I installed it. Found that it had a Moveable Type (or Typepad) import feature. Exported my Typepad data, including the images. Imported it. Blog was done.

Really, it was that simple. I was shocked. By 3PM EST, I was tweaking the layout and the template, not futzing with the content. Kudos to the b2evolution team; this is a truly amazing lightweight blog platform for someone like me, who wants something to work right out of the box.

I will keep you informed as I continue to use this product.

Open Note to Seth Godin

Seth:

Typical notes about how we don't know each other, blah, blah, blah.

On point, your comment on the PC. You said:

I had to use a PC today in order to run Exact Target to do a mailing. I was stunned and astonished at how much the experience has degraded since my last exposure.


I know what you mean. But I am stuck.

I could mortgage myself and use a Mac. I would kill for a Powerbook in any size. I think they are cool. I love Apple.

Truth is, I work for Windows Regime. I have a mortgage and two kids. My disposable income does not exist.

I would love to say that I have tried the alternative, but Linux Desktops don't cut it for me. I want a machine that is dead sexy. I want an OS that gets it.

I want a Mac. And I can't have one.

I can have Firefox on Windows, but that's just not the same.

Thanks for the Firefox Evangelizing...and for reminding that the OS I use isn't sexy.

Sorry Scoble.

Stephen

In case you need Amazon’s Phone Number…

This is a great little tidbit from the Church of the Customer. [here]

What are your top 5 search terms? As a company, you should know these. This is how people find you...and look for you.

Microsoft Technical Evangelist

The news that Microsoft is looking for a development technical evangelist has been banging around the net this morning. [here and here and here]

Hmmm...is this the equivalent of a Jedi or a Sith Lord? I leave that to the community to decide.




This thread lives! [here]

Blogger servers and log analyzers

First it was Russell Beattie Getting Hacked.

Then, Jeremy Zawodny.

Now, Dave Winer weighs in on lousy log analysis software.

I wrote my own hit-tracker a while back to handle Typepad, but now that I am using B2Evolution on my own machine, I will have to hack my log analysis PHP to use their slightly different logging table.

Just goes to show that even cool software can have issues.


Looks like it was a hole in my one of my fave log analyzers, AWStats, that allowed the breaches.


Damn! 400 Blogs were attacked!

Welcome to the New Site

Hello and welcome to the new site.

Here, I will be able to manage the site more effectively and not get hammered with intense hosting fees.

Hang on for the ride...it will be fun!