Tag Archives: Scobleizer

Another Sync Option

Things seem to be moving on in the calendar synchronisation arena with the release today of an official Google solution to synchronise Outlook calendars to their online Google Calendar.

In reporting the release, whilst he said it seemed good, Scoble suggested that Plaxo was a better option as it synchronised to a whole raft of other platforms too, rather than just a single platform – he is apparently using Plaxo to link Outlook through to his Mac, and keeping his iPhone in sync too – almost the same setup that I am trying to get going. Now if you’ve read my blog recently, you’ll know that I’ve found a pretty big problem with the Plaxo synchronisation of recurring appointments – my assumption is that Scoble doesn’t have any recurring appointments in his calendar, or that he hasn’t noticed the problem…

Anyway, from my point of view using the new Google Outlook Sync on the PC end and Spanning Sync which a Mac owning friend has recommended on the other would accomplish what I need and get my calendar across, so I thought I’d give the new Google option a go.

Unfortunately the first attempt doesn’t look good. I installed the software onto the PC end, and set it going. The software has a nice little tooltip that keeps you informed as to what it is up to. The number of appointments that it was synchronising seemed about right, and it claimed to have synchronised them – unfortunately when you took a look at the result on the online Google Calendar the view for March only had three appointments of any sort – considering that this month includes Easter, there should be nearer to fifty. My first thought is that maybe there was some sort of problem with the appointments – one of the other tools I’ve tried used to run into problems if certain punctuation characters appeared in any of the text fields of an appointment – but the Google Sync didn’t report any problems.

Suffice to say, as with Plaxo I’d recommend backing everything up, and carefully looking at your calendar if you give it a try – as with any synchronisation solution it has the potential to really mess things up! I guess I might take a look once it goes through a couple of revisions, but for my current task, it’s not really up to the job.

Google Calendar – shared calendars originally uploaded by Spinstah

Nice Work if you can Get It

Scoble has highlighted again Markus Frind and his PlentyofFish online dating site, after an article about the site appeared in the New York Times.

The site is probably the kind of business that most internet entrepreneurs wish they had. It continues to be a massive success – the NY Times article states that it is earning Markus $10 million a year, for about ten hours work. He has only one permanent employee, and his users don’t pay anything to use the site – it is entirely advertising driven. Most of the support is provided by other users, for free, as is the administrative tasks of vetting the online singles notices.

When you also realise that the site was written in the first place as a programming exercise because he wanted to learn ASP.Net, and he’s kept the site free almost as an exercise in seeing how long he could go before it got too much to handle. The site won’t win any design awards either, but much like Craigslist the site is successful, seemingly despite the acknowledged failings in the web design.

Perhaps all of that is an indication that with all the snazzy design and grand plans in the world, being a success on the internet is just as much about having the right idea, and shed loads of luck as anything else…

Popularity Contest

Pretty well as soon as he moved over to the site, Robert Scoble’s blog Scobleizer has been at the top of the blog list of those hosted on WordPress.com. However last week, came the shock news, he is no longer top! The current top site pulls in 500,000 visitors a day, and about a third of all files served by the WordPress.com servers are from the site. So what’s the content? An entire blog filled with cat pictures… (which Beth certainly is enjoying…)

You Know When You’ve Been Scobleized

It was quite amazing back in December, to see the effect of having my blog linked to by Robert Scoble, almost immediately there was a noticeable jump in my traffic that lasted for a good week or so. Scobleizer, like Slashdot, is one of these sites on which getting a mention can really boost your traffic, sometimes to unmanageable levels.

One example of this was the effect this week when Scoble posted about the Coding Horror blog. Now I’ve actually been reading Coding Horror for quite a while. Jeff Atwood writes a broad mix of articles, primarily about good programming practice, but broadening into all sorts of other areas.

For example, recent articles that have raised a smile include ‘Lotus Notes: Survival of the Unfittest‘ – both my current and previous employers have used this delight for e-mail, and after all those years and many updates it’s still no better – and ‘Revisiting Edit and Continue‘ that argues that the return of the ability to edit a running application in Visual Studio 2005 is actually a bad thing.

Anyway, now the results of the Scobleizing have died down, I’d definitely recommend that any .Net programmers go take a look at Coding Horror.

Scoble Goes Off On One

Usually Robert Scobles blog is a pretty good read, however I’m not quite sure what he was on yesterday, but he seemed to throw a massive mud slinging session over a MacDailyNews article about the recent Microsoft announcement that when released Longhorn will be called Windows Vista. The general gist of the article is that many of the features that will be included in Windows Vista, MacOS X has already in Tiger, or are fixing problems introduced in previous versions of Windows. To some extent it’s the kind of post, and on a site that I wouldn’t really have registered had it not been for Scoble’s reaction.

However, it seems I’m not alone. Later on Scoble printed a summary of some of the responses, perhaps the one that best sums up my opinion being the one from John Wulff called “When Cheerleaders Sneer“:

I really enjoy Scoble’s blog, but sometimes he crosses the line from entertaining evangelist to petty mudslinger.

The key point from my point of view is that looking just at the two operating systems, Tiger is already out there and shipping. However some of the earlier announced features of Windows Vista, for example WinFS are being dropped out to ensure a timely release. Indeed there is speculation that the next major release of MacOS X, Leopard will ship by the time Windows Vista finally gets released, so there is really no point in comparing either two future products, or an existing product with a competitors potential product. You can only compare two existing, shipping products.

Really all these school playground style mud slinging sessions don’t get anybody anywhere, and it was somewhat of a surprise to find Scoble having a go.

Scoble Feeds The Conspiracy Theorists

Reading through the new postings to Robert Scoble‘s blog, the Scobleizer, I came across a posting that as a Mac user I found pretty funny.

The posting is on the subject of a video of the recent Longhorn RSS announcement, however due to limited bandwidth, rather than posting two versions, he had only posted a Windows Media streaming file. This had caused problems for Mac users because the Mac version always shows the lowest bandwidth stream in the file rather than the largest. To his credit he is now chasing up the relevant team at Microsoft to sort out the problem.

The reason I found the whole thing funny is that most Mac users try to avoid dealing with the Mac Windows Media Player because of the generally poor performance. Also quite apart from the performance, even the latest version won’t run all the videos that the Windows version displays, and streaming video to it is just a waste of time.

Whilst I’m not convinced, many Mac Zealots will have you believe that Microsoft deliberately put out a poorly performing version for the Mac to give the impression of cross platform support to encourage people to use the format, but then to argue that to get good performance you really need a Windows machine, as the Mac can’t cut it. Whilst there may be a myriad of reasons as to why the bug wasn’t spotted sooner, the admission on Scobleizer can only add fuel to the conspiracy theorists!

Swiss Mapping Better Than Google Maps?

A few days ago the Scobleizer highlighted a Swiss equivalent to Google Maps.

Having had a play around with it, I’m definitely impressed. It combines both the overhead photography with the maps, by highlighting ground features with icons and symbols where required. More than that, it links to a wealth of information related to the icons. On top of all that it scrolls around and zooms in and out smoothly.

However, it is only really useful if you’re planning on visiting Switzerland…