Friday, October 28, 2005

Hello, Jamie.

I say hello to Jamie, my colleague and happy smiling person.

Also, probably the only person besides me who will read this blog.

You have inspired me to post regularly, erm, semi-regularly, erm, ok, less erratically than before.

Monday, October 24, 2005

My blog is worth $0.00

Ha. Based on Tristan Louis' analysis of the AOL-WeblogsInc deal.

Friday, October 21, 2005

This is a test: Posting from Flock Dev Preview

- Only took a couple of steps to connect to my blog.


- Just dragged and dropped that image from

- Just dragged and dropped that link from the URL field


Update: I think Flock actually publishes more quickly than Blogger!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I've changed the template

Working on a renovation here. Needed to clean up the damage I did to the original Blogger template. Lost the ads, side links, for now. But it does look cleaned up, at least. Gonna build stuff back in. Looking at WordPress.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

How Apple Does It

From Time Canada.

Nuggets [emphasis mine]:

  • Steve Jobs ... [will] tell you an instructive little story. “Here’s what you find at a lot of companies ... You know how you see a show car, and it’s really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can’t do that. That’s impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”
  • [P]roducts don’t pass from team to team. There aren’t discrete, sequential development stages. Instead, it’s simultaneous and organic. Products get worked on in parallel by all departments at once—design, hardware, software—in endless rounds of interdisciplinary design reviews. Managers elsewhere boast about how little time they waste in meetings; Apple is big on them and proud of it. “The historical way of developing products just doesn’t work when you’re as ambitious as we are,” says [Jonathan] Ive [VP, Design] ... “When the challenges are that complex, you have to develop a product in a more collaborative, integrated way.”
  • [H]e recognizes that in an increasingly networked world, in which gadgets can’t just do their own thing but have to talk to one another, that conversation will go better if Jobs has scripted both sides of it. “One company makes the software. The other makes the hardware ... It’s not working,” Jobs says. “The innovation can’t happen fast enough. The integration isn’t seamless enough. No one takes responsibility for the user interface. It’s a mess.”
  • But Jobs doesn’t care just about winning. He’s willing to lose. He has done it often enough. He’s just not willing to be lame, and that may, increasingly, be the winning approach.
  • “The product now is the iTunes Music Store and iTunes and the iPod and the software that goes on the iPod. A lot of companies don’t really have control, or they can’t really work in a collaborative way to truly make a system. We’re really about a system.
  • What Jobs has accepted—the truth that he’s willing to face and others cower from—is that new things don’t want to be born. Innovation causes problems, and it’s much easier simply to avoid it.

Friday, October 14, 2005

AOL Specula-thon

[Disclaimer: I am a TWX shareholder and Yahoo! employee/shareholder. I am not a financial expert, nor do I play one on TV.]

There's a lot of OMG WTF around the heavy breathing between Microsoft and Google and Comcast (and, now, Yahoo!) with the hot honey of the moment, AOL.

So I thought I should do a round-up of all the speculation going around why X wants to buy some piece of AOL.

Why Google wants AOL
  • Defend against Microsoft-AOL tie-up that would vault them into top spot in users/month, and more importantly take away the 11% of Google ad revenue that comes from AOL. (Comcast, Google May Acquire Part of AOL, AP/Yahoo News, Oct 13)
  • Defend Google Talk, extend IM and VOIP market to AIM users; grow good-quality search traffic (Poker Time: AOL is the Flop, John Battelle's Searchblog, Oct 13)
Why Comcast wants AOL
  • More broadband customers; access to more content; access to open distribution network (Poker Time: AOL is the Flop, John Battelle's Searchblog, Oct 13)

Why Microsoft wants AOL
  • See "Why Google wants AOL" above.
Why Yahoo! wants AOL
  • To extend its lead in market share from 99m users/month to 130m users/month, and "to cripple Google" (Rob Enderle) (Yahoo! Said to Join AOL Suitors, AP/Yahoo! News, 10/14)
When I bought this stock at under $12 three years ago, I was thinking: No way could a mediagiant like Time Warner be valued as low as $12. Come on! I mean, it's just AOL muddying the numbers. At the very worst, people will wake up and just spin off this AOL deadweight (albeit a valuable one with 21 million paying subscribers) and clear up the valuation mess.

Well, they've made the "deadweight" more valuable by diversifying from subscriptions and banner ads, to subscriptions and banner ads and text ads, in a rapidly growing online ad market. Now, AOL is really starting to leverage its strength as a distribution channel for all its valuable content (and ads!) by taking down the walled garden. On top of that, they're achieving a semblance of a spin-off (and clearer valuation differentiation from the media business) without losing control of the distribution channel. Give that Richard Parsons a raise.

Well, who wins? I don't know. All I know is this OMG WTF leaves me (and other TWX shareholders) LMAO all the way to the bank. OK, I'd be laughing if I'd bought more TWX. ;-)

Gilberto Gil: Minister of Counterculture

Guardian interview with Gilberto Gil, Brazilian Minister of Culture and jazz legend, "surely ... the only serving politician to have completed a 22-gig tour of Europe earlier this year."


  • "The Brazilian government is definitely pro-law. ... But if law doesn't fit reality anymore, law has to be changed. That's not a new thing. That's civilisation as usual."
  • The two worlds of Gil's music and his politics merged most closely when he announced that he would license some of his own songs for free downloading. Time Warner, which owned the licences in question, quickly announced that, actually, he would not. "That showed me how difficult the situation is," he says. "An author is not the owner anymore. He doesn't exercise his rights. His rights are exercised by someone else, and sometimes the two don't coincide. ... I think it's a good development that the minister of culture of Brazil is looking after the interests of a Brazilian artist ... who happens to be himself."
  • A similar mischievousness seems to have explained the government's response when an official accused Microsoft of behaving like a drug dealer in handing out free software to make customers dependent on its products. Microsoft Brazil sued, but the administration simply ignored the case, and the company eventually withdrew it. "But this is not demagoguery ... This is pedagogy."