Citizen Bill

The thing I love about this, aside from the man bites dog routine, is the fact that Bill Gates gets an urge to do something new in Windows and uses the product like a consumer would (except he can get immediate attention from support). Good for him. Of course he’s right about the usability… too bad he can’t switch to a Mac.

So I gave up and sent mail to Amir saying – where is this Moviemaker download? Does it exist?

So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated.

[From Full text: An epic Bill Gates e-mail rant]

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Read more on Bill Gates at Wikinvest

The Death of Stealth Mode

Stealth mode is pointless because everyone has figured out that it’s faux scarcity with a PR objective. Just go into alpha release and skip the whole stealth mode shtick.

If you’re starting a company and want to stay in “stealth mode”, make sure you understand the impact of your Form D filing and factor that into your plans. And if you’re a lawyer for a startup company, please tell your clients about the public disclosures you make on their behalf!

[From Redeye VC: The Death of Stealth Mode]

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HuffPo wants to be a newspaper

Man does anyone else get chills at the thought of Huffington suggesting the only responsibility of journalists is to “ferret out the truth”? Who’s truth… she doesn’t say? If for not other reason the public’s trust in professional journalism has faltered in recent years exactly because too often they have done what Huffington suggests, present a proposed truth instead of reporting the facts.

“This is one the major problems of old media,” she [Ms. Huffington] said. “The illusion of presenting two sides of a story instead of just ferreting out the truth.

[From HuffPo wants to be a newspaper » mathewingram.com/work |]

A Response to Fred Wilson’s Talk at Widget Web Expo

Josh was asking me about the Fred Wilson keynote at WidgetWebExpo and I asked him to send me a list of questions that I would respond to and he could post. Here ya go.

Last week, Jeff Nolan — VP of NewsGator’s SaaS divison — attended the WidgetWebExpo in NYC. There, Fred Wilson gave a talk based on a blog post he published that morning called “Why Widgets is The Wrong Word for What We’re Doing.” That blog post and the discussion that took place at the conference provided a fair bit of fodder for discussion on the blogosphere as well as in the tech/widget space. I decided to ask Jeff if he’d like to provide another perspective in response to Fred’s comments. Enjoy!

[From Q & A with NewsGator Widget's Jeff Nolan (Part. 1) A Response to Fred Wilson's Talk at Widget Web Expo: NewsGator Widget Blog]

No Tax Incentives for Cleantech

Count me among those not in favor of ANY tax incentives for hybrid or plug-in vehicles. While good intentioned, the only certainty is that they artificially inflate the price of vehicles and do so on the backs of taxpayers. Basically what happens is that auto manufacturers manufacture scarcity in order to ensure profit margins price points, then use the “well you are getting $x thousand back as a tax incentive” as part of their sales pitch.

Auto manufacturers use the argument that they are selling these vehicles at a loss in order to achieve manufacturing volume efficiencies. Bullshit, if they aren’t willing to absorb the loss in order to get to profitable manufacturing scale then stay out of the business altogether instead of asking taxpayers for a handout. I’d rather not see my tax dollars lining the pockets of car companies through the offsetting nature of tax incentives (consumer gets a tax incentive, business gets to charge higher prices).

BTW, I still want one.

General Motors is lobbying for a $7,000 tax credit for buyers of the $30,000 $40,000 2011 Chevy Volt — more than double that originally offered for Prius buyers. The automaker’s arguing the credit should be based on battery capacity. “What we favor is actually a sliding scale depending on how much battery you have on board,” said Jon Lauckner, GM VP for global program management. “When I talk about $6,000 to $7,000, we’re talking about a battery that’s at least two times the size of a typical conversion plug-in or even a plug-in hybrid that we would offer.”

[From 2011 Chevy Volt: Volt To Get Twice The Batteries, GM Wants Twice The Tax Credit]

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Google Ad Planner

Look out comScore, Nielsen, and Hitwise. Anytime a company like Google puts out a product that is functionally rich and does it for free, the companies that sell something similar are going to suffer. This happened when Google Analytics came out, it will happen here.

What will be interesting to watch is how companies that are offering ad spend analytics will adjust to accommodate Google. I am thinking Rubicon Project and AdMeld specifically. It may be that these companies are not affected because they are optimizing spend across a portfolio of ad networks, of which over 300 exist to chose from.

To make your life easier, we’re introducing Google Ad Planner, a research and media planning tool that connects advertisers and publishers. When using Google Ad Planner, simply enter demographics and sites associated with your target audience, and the tool will return information about sites (both on and off the Google content network) that your audience is likely to visit. You can drill down further to get more detail like demographics and related searches for a particular site, or you can get aggregate statistics for the sites you’ve added to your media plan.

[From Inside AdWords: Introducing Google Ad Planner]

Idiot Savant?

It’s hard to know who the bigger idiot is in this story… of course he could be a trend setter but first he needs to do a better job of marketing because from the way he describes it his life sucks and that’s not exactly a way to drive higher bids.

A lovelorn Yorkshireman who put his life up for auction on the Internet said Tuesday “idiots” had made fake bids which pushed up the price of his home, job and lifestyle to unrealistic levels.

[From Man auctioning Aussie life says 'idiots' made false bids]