Critical Section


Tuesday,  04/22/03  12:00 AM

A busy day in the blogosphere...  enjoy!

John Tabin picked up the April 5 issue of le figaro, a French newsmagazine; the cover asks "Iraq, the next Vietnam?"  Talk about crummy timing...

L.T.Smash: Desert Bloom.  "After Friday prayers, a large group of men protested the US military presence.  No one was arrested, tortured, or executed afterwards."

Here's a cool site: How Americans can buy American.  Including extensive lists of French and German companies to boycott...

Ask Jeeves follows Alta Vista and Yahoo and does a search engine redesign.  Competition is good!  But, with Google as the clear leader, the others have to differentiate...  Why would I use Ask Jeeves?  I don't know.

Another terrific day-by-day today.  Becoming a daily habit for me...

Mitch Kapor of Lotus fame has released Chandler, an Open Source PIM.  Can it compete with Outlook?  Who knows, there was a time I didn't think Mozilla could compete with IE, but now I use it all the time...

A busy day for online music:

This is really cool.  Slashdot describes Synapse: "Students at Caltech and Harvard have developed a system that analyzes playlists and learns people's listening patterns.  It then channels its knowledge into generating streams of music that the people themselves would like to listen to."

Speaking of music, MacCentral reports Apple will hold a special event April 28 featuring "announcements that will be music to your ears".  Probably not the rumored acquisition of Universal Music Group, more likely the rumored debut of Apple's online music service.  BTW, Motley Fool has an interesting analysis: American Idle - about the state of the music industry and why Apple and Universal would be a good fit.

NapsterAnd - remember Napster?  Of course you do.  Well, Salon reviews a new book about the rise and fall of Napster, "A file-trading ship of fools".  My brief personal experience with their engineering team confirms - they had a great idea and a great application, but a terrible business.

Real buys Listen.com.  Yep.  $36M for a service (Rhapsody) which took $150M in investment to get started, not a bad deal.

Motorola takes Wi-Fi to the living room.  So does everyone else :)

In a former life I was GM of Intuit's online billpay service...  at the time, consumer adoption was lower than analysts expected, and we said consumer adoption would not really begin until online billpay was "better than free".  Well, C|Net reports Banks are offering sweetners to paying bills online.  This could do it.  And this is why: Banks cash in as more bills are paid online.  We all know someday all bills will be paid online, but will it be in five years, ten, or fifty?

{ I've been paying bills online with Quicken for ten years.  Writing checks is so 1900s. }

Discover reports you can turn anything into oil.  But Steven Den Beste says nope.

Tim Blair thinks the Mac needs one more key.  I agree.  Although the MacOS has better usability than Windows in many ways, the lack of consistent keyboard shortcuts is a defect.  After that, he goes on beyond Zebra!

Robert Scoble keeps describing joining Microsoft as "taking the Red pill".  I don't know.  Microsoft is a great company, no question, but with Windows and Office they are the Matrix.  I actually think joining Microsoft might be "taking the Blue pill".  And I think part of taking the Blue pill is that it makes you think you took the Red pill...

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