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Permanent link to archive for 2/20/01. Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Great, United can't match Delta's prices, but they can give 100+ people $25 tickets to Europe. You're still clueless United!


Zeldman cracks me up. I know too many of the people Jeffrey is alluding to in his latest. Scary.


Had a nice late-night talk with Dave Winer. I hear his mail was ripped off. That sucks. But I'm suprised that folks in Dave's neighborhood don't think about security more. I live in an area that costs less than 1/10th what Dave's does and my mail is more secure (to rip off my mail you'd need to break into my garage).

Course if you want my junk mail, I'll give it to you. Heck, my wife will even give you my electric bill if you want it. Course you have to promise to pay it. Remember, we live in California. Beware of what you wish for.


Speaking of poor security, I wonder if I'll be able to hack into Dave's 802.11b network that he's getting tomorrow (802.11b networks are notorious for having poor security). Heck, Dave has some cheapskate neighbors -- I wonder if they'll get off on stealing his bandwidth. I'm just kidding. Dave has some neighbors who control more than their share of the world's wealth. I just find it ironic that some folks are into stealing Dave's mail. Heck, I could care less about his electric bill, I want to steal his bandwidth! If you find me sitting in my Jetta in front of his house with my laptop, you know what I'm doing.

Oh wait a second. I already AM stealing Dave's bandwidth. This blog is running on his servers, using his bandwidth, and I'm not paying for that. How much longer do you think Dave will let me steal his bandwidth? Hmmmm.


Regarding China: I went there as an evangelist for video capture systems manufacturer Winnov about four years ago.

Lowlight (for me): I got food poisoning at a Microsoft dinner. That food poisoning was first in a chain of events that brought about a friendship, a marriage, and eventually a birth. Weird things can happen when you get sick on Microsoft food.


Did I mention that Winnov was funded by Sean Connery? Yeah, that one. It was weird when he'd call on the phone. The guy who got married (and subsequently became a father) due to my food poisoning was Sean's step son: Olivier Garbe.


Being in China changed my life. So many things there opened my eyes to the changing economic world. We take so many things for granted here. Clean water. Clean air. Uncrowded conditions (yes, even Silicon Valley is way less crowded than Shanghai is). Oh yeah, and freedom. Freedom to vote for the idiot of your choice. Freedom to publish ANYTHING on the Internet. Freedom to read ANYTHING on the Internet. Freedom to say that our leader is a damn idiot. Try that in China and see how far you get.


One of my favorite memories: standing in a square near the center of town at about 10 p.m. and befriending some 10-year-old school girls. They spoke English. Within three minutes there were literally hundreds of people surrounding us listening to our conversations. They were chiding the school girls to talk with us. And listening. Genuine interest. It isn't everyday that they see Americans interested in them. That'll change, of course, but it was a magical experience that I'll never have again.


Another memory: listening to the Jazz band in the Peace Hotel. Imagine American Jazz copied perfectly, but with very little improvisation and stiff military-style band members. Still, was very good and shouldn't be missed.


Another memory: talking with Leo Laporte on KGO Radio (back then he did a radio show on KGO radio about computers and I helped run his chat room -- now he hosts a couple of shows on TechTV). I remember that it was 10:20 a.m. when I got on air and we talked for quite a long time by radio standards (it was 7:20 p.m. back in San Francisco). Leo couldn't believe that I was in China because the telephone connection was so good.

We talked about all the construction that was going on in the city (as well as the new class of geeks that were visiting our booth at the computer show I was helping exhibit at). About 15 percent of the world's construction cranes were located in Shanghai at the time. They made Las Vegas look like a Mickey Mouse operation.


Another memory: visiting a local college pub where no tourist would ever go and finding that the bar owner spoke English, served Budwiser beer, and was playing American big band music. Weird. Shot to hell all my "red China" stereotypes.


Another memory: asking a student at the university why Chinese put up with their leadership? She asked me the same thing. Yes, their leaders had made mistakes, but overall were good for the country. Couldn't the same be said of ours? She reminded me of slavery, the genocide of our Indian population, the treatment of our minorities. She had a point.


This weekend I visited the railroad tracks through the Sierras that the Chinese built. We don't know their names, but we know the Stanfords, and the Crockers (executives on the railroads). Why don't we know a single name of a Chinese worker who built the first transcontinental railroad that continues to be used today?

I salute people who build things. The Chinese changed the world by blasting tunnels through solid granite and building walls to protect the railroad from snow that survive over Donner lake more than a hundred years later. (Yes, it's +that+ Donner lake -- the one where some of our first overland pioneers starved to death because they didn't cross the Sierra's at the right time).

I wish my work would survive 100 years. I know it probably won't. Course I doubt I'll lose my life putting on conferences for programmers. And so far I haven't gone hungry either.


I'll write more later this week. Too tired to go on.

Oh, one tip: if you have a chance to visit Shanghai with Garbe's wife -- do it. She'll get you into the best restaurants and hotels and you'll have a better time than Clinton had. I guarantee it.


Permanent link to archive for 2/19/01. Monday, February 19, 2001

I survived a weekend of snow and fun. Do I really have to come back to work?


Something about sitting in traffic for seven hours trying to get to the slopes. I got some time to catch up with my son. Turns out he's getting bugged by some of the kids for being a slowpoke. Heck, they haven't seen him ski. The kid knows how to ski -- fast. Now if he could only learn to stop.


What do I remember about the whole weekend? Two incidents:

1) In the first lift line of the day a Northstar employee offered my son some candy. Another gave him a high five. Good start to the day.

2) At the end of the day my son fell and bloodied his lip. A Northstar employee was right there offering to help and got some tissues.

3) In the ski school an instructor named "Bob" made my son feel welcome and gave him memories that he's been bragging about ever since.

Yeah, these guys ended up with $200 of my money in their pockets, but at least I felt good about it and look forward to doing it again. If only more companies had such a clue.


Are we ready for a whole new kind of science?


Isn't it time to stop the war on drugs?


Everytime I see an intro screen, I think of this Web site:

Permanent link to archive for 2/16/01. Friday, February 16, 2001

Zeldman wants to have us have our users upgrade their browsers. I love this idea, but think most people won't do it. Heck, I can't even get my son's school to switch from old Netscape to new IE cause the technology person in charge there hates Microsoft and she also knows that Netscape 6.0 isn't ready for prime time yet.

One good thing has already happened. The Web design lists are again talking about design because of Zeldman's push. That's what's great about leaders. They make us think. We might not agree with them (or we might be forced by economic circumstances not to) but folks like Zeldman are great for the world. For evidence of this, see the discussion that happened right here this week because of my reaction to Zeldman's announcement at the Web Design Conference.

Now go upgrade your browser damn it! :-)


I still don't understand why folks are telling me to code my pages with XHTML specs in mind. Just what does all that work get me?


I'm mad that I missed the P2P dinner, but I attended my son's school's Technology Committee meeting instead. We're working on a new Web site all built with Manila. It's fun stuff.

I've been reading the P2P reports. Sounds like the world is in good hands. I can't wait to try some of the products that will come out soon. I also can't wait to talk with co-worker Steve Gillmor to see what he thinks.


I'm off later today to Northstar for a weekend of skiing and fun with my son. If you're there, a few of us are meeting at the cafe on top of the mountain at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Look for a blonde guy. That's me.


The de-facto standard list for *technical* p2p discussions is:

The p2p working group ( is really coming together, and its list will hopefully soon evolve from a bunch of "ping" messages to an active list.


Next week is gonna be hell. Two CDs, tons of audio and video to process, and tons of expense reports to catch up on.

Permanent link to archive for 2/15/01. Thursday, February 15, 2001

If you're an Adobe Photoshop user and looking for a good mailing list, this one is a good one:


Another day of little blogging time. So many projects, so little time. Oh well, it beats working at Dell today!


Microsoft is up to something in the Instant Messaging space codenamed Hailstorm. I wonder how developers will be able to use this stuff in their own apps?


There's been lots of interesting stuff coming out of the Peer-To-Peer conference O'Reilly is holding this week. Dave Winer has pointers to the most interesting stuff on but I just saw this announcement from Sun about its new P2P effort named Jxta. Will it beat Microsoft's .NET effort? Too early to know for sure. I know some folks building really interesting P2P stuff on top of .NET too, so we'll see where it goes from here.

Permanent link to archive for 2/14/01. Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Someday I'd like to be as good as Paul Andrews.


Jon Kennedy wrote this in one of the private newsgroups I belong to:

Watching on TV the cool live NASA feed of the space walkers on the new space station Alpha. They are hooking up the Destiny module. Helmut cams rock! Live and in color with running commentary. Go here to see streaming NASA TV in embedded Windows Media:

Streaming Real Video here: - but the sound isn't nearly as good

Waaaaaaaaaay cool.


Wow, we actually have some discussion going here based on my comments about Web standards. What a treat. Join in and let us know what you think about Web standards.


February 2001
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This site will have information about what's happening in Robert Scoble's life. It's also where people will come to "get Scobleized." Robert Scoble is the founder of the NetMeeting Zone and the Microsoft Train Simulator Fan Site and is an editor on the Thunder Lizard division of Fawcette Technical Publications, Inc. if he manages not to get fired before you read this.

scoble·ized (scblzd) v. A condition of pain, disfunction, or malfunction: I've been Scobleized.
This page was last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2001 at 1:54:19 AM
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