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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, August 01, 2001. Wednesday, August 01, 2001

DaveNet: Big Blank Machine.

Hey I've been nominated for an award by Wired as a Tech Renegade. "Mavericks, geniuses, and intellectual outlaws. A person whose ideas are changing the world." Guess I'd better get busy doing all that.

If it's happening in NY, let me know. I'll be in the Big Apple Saturday through Tuesday. Bringing my laptop and cellphone and staying at the Grammercy Park, as usual. Want to have a dinner on Monday night? But of course.

RSVP: Dinner in NY on Monday.

This time I want to have the dinner in Little Italy. How about Vincent's Clam Bar, 119 Mott St, at Hester St (212-226-8133). "Little Italy restaurant serving fresh, cheap and spicy seafood dishes clams, mussels and squid."

Dori Smith found a THINK sign on eBay. Jeff Gilbert found another.

On Wes's DG, Robert Scoble makes a brief appearance and drops two big turds. Is he the Talking Moose? There still is some doubt about that. Did we hire him as our new Director of Marketing? No doubt about that. He starts on August 15, and we already have a stack of work for him to do.

Brent: "Don't call me an artist."

Adam Curry: "Folks want to talk about MTV's 20th anniversary, which is today."

Kodak vs Microsoft 

In this confusing News.Com article about Kodak vs Microsoft, there's one nugget. Kodak wants to control the experience for users of Kodak digital cameras. Their business model apparently depends on being able to make money from processing photos.

Microsoft, on the other hand, wants to offer users choice, but of course there's a catch. They make money on all the processing. Kodak says this is a tax on the Internet. It's easy to see why they think this is unfair.

But how often will we print photos in the future, when the Web is so much more efficient and cheaper?

A shift in perspective 

Kodak is now a Microsoft developer and dealing with the kinds of conundrums and steady narrowing of the playing field that we've all been dealing with. Welcome Kodak, seriously.

But Kodak had options other developers don't. In 1996, when Apple was in play and Sun was rumored to be buying them, anyone with $4 billion in market cap could have bought Apple and created an open zig to Microsoft's constantly-closing-box zag.

Why didn't they think strategically? Didn't they see this day coming? And who is thinking strategically today?

What about Apple? 

Today, Apple's market cap is about $6 billion.

However even though we like Mac OS X, Apple's position has eroded substantially since 1996.

Their operating system strategy is not at a stable point, and with Microsoft about to ship Windows XP, the first consumer OS that doesn't blue-screen all the time, the classic Mac OS is about to be totally nailed, and Mac OS X is too rough to be a realistic competitor to Windows XP.

Watch the video 

Last night I watched the video of the shoot out at the open source summit last week. I highly recommend watching the debate portion, it's about a half-hour, and if you think patents aren't going to be a big part of the landscape of the future of software, you owe it to yourself to hear from the Microsoft spokesperson, Craig Mundie, that you're wrong. If you believe patents are protecting little guys from the BigCo's, think again. Please, to the O'Reilly people, let's get the transcript of this discussion on the Web asap.

In the Q&A section, Mundie said you can always challenge a patent in court. A developer in the audience said that costs a lot of money. Mundie said "Get your money." Great, so it's about money and lawyers now. When you hear Microsoft talk about innovation, complaining about judges running the software industry, remember that. I had not heard this line of reasoning before. I thought there were some levels that Microsoft would not stoop to. Apparently there was room to go even lower.

Three people made outstanding contributions on that panel. Brian Behlendorf, who explained clearly why "shared source" isn't much help; Mitchell Baker from Mozilla, who eloquently said that one huge company is a bad ecosystem; and Tim O'Reilly who spoke on behalf of independent developers who just want to create cool software.

I sent an email this morning to the participants in the Open Source Summit process.


Last update: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 at 6:04 PM Eastern.

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