Andy Delin not impressed with Outlook 2007

Is Andy Delin the new Scoble? A Microsoft blogger with enough balls / management support to say what he thinks even when it may not be completely obsequious? Let’s hope so… especially after I post this up there!

His recent review of Outlook 2007 : "so far I haven’t found too many changes of significance… In my opinion, Outlook is an irony – a productivity tool which distracts and overloads. Outlook knows so much about me – my contacts, my activities, my communications - and yet it doesn’t use this knowledge to guide what information should be given or hidden in a given context."

He’s also made some very interesting insights into why my decision to go back to pen and paper is a good one (and, by the way, I’m still loving it):

An elegant moleskine notebook may be expensive, but in fact, the cost and quality brings a certain respect for your thoughts. You won’t throw that thing away when it’s full, and the book itself is robust enough to preserve your thoughts for years. In time to come, you’ll pick up that elegant moleskine book and flipping through, you’ll recall what you were thinking about in 2006, what you were trying to achieve, what you aspired to and what you were struggling with. This is beautiful. Dare I mention PDAs and Outlook in the same paragraph? Those things are disrespectful of human markings, they are almost programmed to forget. They aren’t trustworthy containers (remember ‘trustworthy computing’ ?).

Trustworthy. Exactly. I’ve lost SO MUCH DATA from Outlook and my PDA over the years it’s disgusting. The whole OST / PST mindfield that Microsoft imposes on you in the name of an Outlook backup is still a complete joke. If I want to find a particular email from the last ten years that I wrote in Outlook, first I’d need to find the right PST. I’ve got them all backed up on CD somewhere, but there is about 20 of the suckers. Each time I re-built my laptop I had to back it up and then would normally start a new one to get the old one off my harddrive. Not to mention the many times I had to re-build Outlook due to PST corruptions. So I’d have to import various PSTs into Outlook and then search the lot of them for the right email.

Now compare that to finding a Gmail message from 2004 (when I started using it in anger). Takes two seconds. One maybe.

Anyway… paper is good. I’m loving it. However, I still haven’t worked out a good way to back it up without doing a daily scan.

Hugo Chavez loves Grandma Funks

Chavez is making geopolitics interesting again. Just as it looks like the Fidelissimo is riding off into a khaki sunset, along comes Hilarious Hugo with his attacks on Bush. According to The Australian:

VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez has taken his anti-imperialist rhetoric to New York’s Harlem overnight and ridiculed US President George W. Bush as a puffed-up John Wayne wannabe. And a supportive crowd loved it.

Mr Chavez stunned delegates at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday by calling Mr Bush "the devil himself" and saying he left the smell of sulfur hanging in the chamber from his appearance the previous day.

He received an ovation at the United Nations, but nothing like the raucous and upbeat receptions later Wednesday at a free university and again overnight at a Baptist church in the predominantly black neighbourhood of Harlem.

Crowds soaked up his critique of the Iraq war, his interpretation of the history of US military interventions and his stories about visiting Cuban President Fidel Castro, who is recovering from surgery.

You have to love this guy. He doesn’t just stay home and slag Bush. He goes to New York muthafraking City and says it. This is a man of the people. He’s also doing almost as much for Noam Chomsky’s book sales as his appearance on G’Day World:

Mr Chavez began his speech by displaying a copy of American writer Noam Chomsky’s 2004 book Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, and recommended it to UN delegates and US citizens.

By yesterday, the book had risen from backlist obscurity to the No. 3 bestseller at Amazon.com

And the reason why the Democrats won’t win another election? They denounced Chavez! They should be getting this guy tattooed on their freaking skulls. He’s doing what they (and the US media) seem too scared to do – criticize Bush in a way that gets people’s attention.

Grandma Funks by the way is a terrific café in Richmond (Melbourne) that I’m having breakfast in this morning and I’ve just discovered they have FREE WI-FI. I’ve been coming here for years because I love the vibe of the joint (and the quality of their latte) but the big free wifi sign on their wall makes it a clear winner for "best Melbourne cafe 2006".

HUgo Chavez loves Grandma Funks

Melbourne’s Top Dogs

I’m in the planning stages for a series of interviews for G’Day World which will contain in-depth interviews with Melbourne’s leading business people. I want to know what makes them tick, how they got started, about their biggest successes, biggest mistakes, and lifetime ambitions.

First cab off the rank will be Geoff Lord. I’ve got an interview scheduled with him for next week. Geoff has been in the news lately due to his large stake in Melbourne Victory, the first soccer club in Australian domestic football history to sign-up 10,000 members. He is also currently Chairman of UXC Limited, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Belgravia Group, Chairman Terrain Australia Limited, Australian Litigation Fund and Terrain Capital Limited, and a Director of the following companies: MaxiTRANS Limited, Triako Resources Limited, Ausmelt Limited, Auto Group Limited, Institute of Drug Technology Limited, Adelhill Limited and Kids Campus. I’ve heard a lot about Geoff over the last couple of years from a friend who worked for him for a while and he sounds like a very interesting bloke, a true entrepreneur.

Then I’m going to work my way through the A list of Who’s Who in Melbourne. Should be fun. Wish me luck.

Another IT Journo Goes Solo

Mary Jane Watson… sorry, I mean MARY JO FOLEY… has announced she is no longer writing for Microsoft Watch and is now going to be writing a blog about Microsoft as her own business.

I’m interested in this for a few reasons.

  1. I had the opportunity to meet MJ last year at a flashy party in NYC and she was lovely. She even pretended to know who I was. I had been reading her stuff for many years and even though I suspected she was just doing a Clinton on me, it had the right effect – my ego was inflated.
  2. For a while now when I’m discussing the future of the media business with newspaper folks, they harp on and on and on and on and on and on and on (get the idea) about "why the world needs journalists". I am usually quick to agree (unless I’m just trying to annoy them, which can also be a lot of fun) but then I ask "but do those journalists need YOU?". We’ve started to see journalists break out on their own and I hope this is a trend which will continue. As I said on G’Day World last week – if Chris Masters, Australia’s #1 investigative journalist, wanted to go out on his own, I’m sure he could find enough corporate sponsorship to pay his annual salary and legal/travel expenses. He has his own brand. What does he need a publisher for these days? Dan Gillmor did it. Om Malik has done it. Now MJ is doing it.
  3. I’m wondering what MJ’s model is. She’s blogging, not under her own brand, but under ZDnet’s. I don’t get that model. I’ve asked her on her new blog how it works and I’ll try to get her on the show for an in-depth discussion.

GDAY WORLD!!! #153 – No More Mister Nice Guy!

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Rich and Cam are back and we’ve decided it’s: NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY!!

Outro track: James Brown, “Gut Buster”
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WWT gets interviewed on About.com

WWT, host of one of TPN’s top rating podcasts, The Cranky Middle Manager Show, has been interviewed in depth by John C Havens on About.com’s podcasting page. It’s a terrific and revealing interview, even though he manages to take an in advertent dig at me for putting out longer shows! He has a lot of tips for podcasters who want to succeed over the long haul, something he can talk with credibility about, as WW has been going for over a year and has seen his audience slowly grow to a serious size. I like this quote from him:

I know why I do it. I’m building the brand, what Tom Peters calls Brand You and it seems to be working. My new e-book (shameless plug) , is the first thing I’ve put out attempting to make money at podcasting to see if the brand has legs. People seem to be responding. I may someday be able to build a real business out of this.

I was saying to Dave Gray (host of our Global Geek podcast) this morning on Skype that most start-up businesses take five years to get to a point where they are sustainable. Why should a podcast be any different? Sure – there are businesses that skyrocket overnight. But they are always the rare few. Most, the vast majority, of businesses grow over time, building a steady, loyal customer base. I’ve always had the same vision for podcasting and The Podcast Network. Too many people are fly-by-nighters. It they aren’t world famous and P. Diddy rich in a month, they suck their thumb and stomp their feet. I don’t tolerate that behaviour from my five years olds and I think it’s pathetic in an adult.

Anyway, enough ranting… good interview WW!

PayPal co-founder puts money into life extension research

From the Mprize press release today:

Peter A. Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of online payments system PayPal, Founder and Managing Member of Clarium Capital Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund, and angel investor in social networking site Facebook, has announced his pledge of $3.5 Million to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging, to be conducted under the auspices of the Methuselah Foundation, a charity co-founded and Chaired by Dr. Aubrey de Grey.

If you don’t know who Aubrey de Grey is, listen to my interview with him: G’Day World #42 – Dr Aubrey de Grey

Very exciting to see more entrepreneurs getting behind life extension research. If Gates and Buffett threw some of their Gigantor cash at it, it could probably get knocked over in ten or twenty years. By the way, Thiel is the same guy who co-produced THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. According to Wikipedia, he has also made early-stage investments in several companies, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Rapleaf, and Ironport. In May 2006 he spoke at the Singularity Summit. I’ve got to get this guy on the show. How long do you think it will take me to get an intro?