How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You’re Looking At It.

The quote below is a reminder that “being green” and reducing energy consumption doesn’t have to come from grand plans and painful economic consequences… it can literally be as simple as changing one lightbulb. What’s really fascinating in this article is the fact that Wal-Mart is behind this movement to convert everyone to CFL bulbs, not because of simple economic reasons associated with selling more products, but becuase it saves their customers money. Critics of WM should step back and give credit to the company for this move, as should their shareholders.

How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You’re Looking At It.

What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.

Official .Mac blog hangs a shingle

Apple’s .Mac blog asks readers what they want them to blog about… only problem is that they don’t have comments turned on, you have to e-mail them. One point for having a “official” blog, 1 point for asking people what they actually care about, -1 point for not having comments or trackbacks. Apple still comes out ahead but only because I subtracted 1 for not having comments and trackbacks combined.

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del.icio.us API URL Switch Breaks Apps

I noticed that my Cocoalicious app was running in offline mode and bookmarks I was sending to the app were not being posted in del.icio.us. I recalled that del.icio.us went through some service upgrades recently and thought that this may be the reason that I was having a problem… of course you would never know that by looking at del.icio.us’ blog or anywhere else on their support page. I discovered on the Cocoalicious blog a post that confirmed the API switch and related problems with the app, as well as a quick workaround.

That del.icio.us should change their API, or in this case create a new API that breaks the previous one, is totally unacceptable. If you as a software or service publisher are making APIs available the presumption is that third parties are doing something with them, and that fact then puts the responsibility on you to not break their app with subsequent API changes. In the very least if you do make a change you should try to figure out what consequences are in store for people who use your service (and in this case there are 2 well known Mac apps for del.icio.us posting and a Firefox extension… it’s not as if this would be a big deal to investigate as part of their QA process).

Welcome to the world of web services and what that brings with it.

BTW, as an aside, one of the things that SAP does as part of the NetWeaver certification process is commit to third party application developers that if they are using certified APIs we promise to support those APIs fully intact for 2 subsequent releases from the current version.

UPDATE: Yahoo! did provide notification and warning of the API switch, as this post on the del.icio.us blog indicates. It was my error to put this all on them.

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So, it would appear that the del.icio.us API URL has changed recently, and that it’s causing problems with Cocoalicious. I was able to solve the problem simply by opening Cocoalicious, going to Preferences, changing the API URL to:

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Well that sucks…

I guess my Intel Mac running Camino doesn’t qualify. A better way to do this would be to have a blacklist of specs that null you out, e.g. 80386 computer or IE5.1 (is that even a version?). What about mobile devices, is AOL eliminating this part of the market with their “spec police” approach? Guess so, dumb.

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On Being Fuzzy

“Google is fuzzy because we yet not know, Microsoft is fuzzy because we do.”

This is quite possibly the most insightful comment in the entire thread about the double standard that exists for how bloggers treat Google vs. Microsoft. I won’t wade into the debate about the double standard, which there clearly is, but it’s no different than how bloggers treat Apple vs. Microsoft or pretty much anyone vs. Microsoft.

Some would suggest that Microsoft has an image problem, but that is far too simple and likely less of a cause of this, more of a symptom. Whatever the cause, the simple fact of the matter is that people think they know what Microsoft is all about, much like they do with SAP (if they are even interested in our $400 billion a year market). We’re fuzzy from the moss growing on us, not because anyone wants to touch us.

How do large companies become exciting? Stop trying would be the only meaningful advice I could offer. This is not to say there is nothing to get excited about, it’s just acknowledging reality… big companies aren’t exciting because we pretty much know what they are all about, at least we think we do, while small companies (and it’s funny to use “small” when describing Google) are exciting because we simply don’t know what they won’t do.

I mentioned Apple previously and they are clearly not a small company. What makes them the exception is Steve Jobs, a CEO that is a force of will and someone who never wilts when the opportunity to be a maverick or a disrupter presents. Apple is exciting because Steve Jobs is exciting.

Back to Scoble’s point about the double standard… the blogosphere is never going to treat Microsoft with an even hand regardless of how many good things the company actually delivers. At some point Google will be in the same position and we can bring this up again.