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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, December 03, 2006. Sunday, December 03, 2006

Recorded a podcast this evening with Calacanis and Rojas. How long was it? 40:58. Amazing how all good podcasts are 40 minutes long.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Titantv.com is a killer TV listing web app. Nicer than the original Yahoo TV grid, without all the Ajaxy slowness. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Spruce is a killer hill. Once you start going up, it's just up, up and up. No chance to chill! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

On this day in 1999, MacWEEK (now defunct) covered the introduction of Manila. Believe it or not, Manila is still a product, and UserLand is still operating.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Al Jazeera: "Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, has said Iraq is in the grips of a civil war and many people are worse off now than under Saddam Hussein." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Hipmojo says we're not in another bubble. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm coming to think of myself as ProtoBlogger.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Someday you'll be able to watch a commercial you like over and over and over and over.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Each segment of On The Media is available separately. For example, the segment I commented on yesterday is broken out on this page.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yahoo screwed up Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BTW, I just noticed that Mike's headline, "Yahoo Gets Trashed by Users," exposes an insider's perspective. Companies that see users as adversaries are troubled. And analysts who encourage that aren't doing anyone a favor. This is why I finally left Silicon Valley, it had become dominated by this distrust of users. This is such a blatant example. The users are saying it so clearly. Yahoo screwed up. Even the people from Yahoo see this (the company used to have performance as a core value).

They all go through this, Apple had the Apple III before they produced the Apple IIe. IBM had the PCjr. Microsoft shipped a version of Word that didn't work, and at first couldn't understand what the users were saying. Me, I learned the lesson with Thinktank 128 on the Mac that had less features than the product we had on the IBM PC, which came out earlier. You can't break users Mike, and that's what Yahoo did. Explaining it as Users Behaving Badly is totally missing the point.

Postscript: Sometimes I think Radio, which was initially a success, was another example of breaking users. A year after its release I wished instead we had produced a Manila that runs on the desktop. Creating a whole new codebase and design for a blogging CMS wasn't such a great idea, in the end. Two architectures is one too many for a small company to support. And there were lots of features in Manila that never made it into Radio. It's totally technically possible to run Manila on the desktop behind a Fractional Horsepower HTTP Server.

If it ain't broke don't fix it Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Mike Arrington checks in on the mess with Yahoo TV.

Mike, as a former regular user of their service, I don't read the comments on their blog as hate, but we are frustrated. If there were an adequate replacement for the service on another site, the frustration level would be nowhere near as high, but while Yahoo's original service wasn't all that great, it was the only one out there that actually worked.

There's nothing theoretical about this frustration. Imagine you went out to your car this morning and found that Lexus had changed the way the accelerator worked, so that you had to restart the engine every time you wanted to press the gas pedal. This is the new modern way for cars to work they'd say to you. Ohh, but I just want to go to Starbucks and pickup a latte, you think. They say they appreciate the feedback, but the car keeps working the same brain-damaged way.

Most of us are accustomed to dealing with big companies that are really dumb about us as customers. All that's happened here is that Yahoo is now one of those companies. Would you *hate* Lexus for being so dumb (in the example, assuming you drive a Lexus). Nahh. Hate is a very strong word, so please be careful about using it, esp to describe a class of people that I'm in. I don't hate Yahoo, and if they fixed the service today (bring it back to its former functionality) net-net I'd be happy. I really just want to be able to find out what's on TV now, a nice movie perhaps, or find a news show when I want to find some news (an increasingly difficult thing to find, btw).

This is an important area btw, video on computers is hot, and this is video on computers. It's a convergence point, the fact tht Yahoo has the only usable listing service (or had) could have been a big advantage for them. As soon as one of their competitors creates a workalike, I bet news travels quick, and we'll all forget that Yahoo ever had a listing service.

Jeremy Zawodny and Les Orchard who work at Yahoo, comment.

Postscript: Bad news for Yahoo. TitanTV looks like a workalike to the old Yahoo interface (even a little nicer). I had tried out a bunch of others and none were as good, until this one. I'll try using it and keep you posted.

How to become a third-rate country in six short years Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named football.gifWatching Meet the Press this morning interview a Bush advisor lie, lie and lie. This is the guy who wrote the memo that leaked, where he told his boss the truth about Iraq. I look forward to the day when I can run a mashup of Meet The Press, and provide a running commentary. The name of the site would be What They Really Mean, and below the speaker would be a translation, in English, of what the spinmeister is saying.

Listening to these guys I think the US has gone crazy. When did our future become the future of Iraq? It's insanity. We had the leading economy, military, a great country. Iraq was one of a hundred despotic states, no tradition of freedom or intellect, a mediocre economy. What exactly was in it for us in merging with this third-rate country? We've lost our minds.


Last update: Sunday, December 03, 2006 at 7:53 PM Pacific.

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