New Gates Memo: Information Underload
I am a pawn in yet another well-orchestrated Microsoft PR scheme, this time
to promote the idea that Microsoft can out-search Google on the desktop, on
the Web and in the enterprise.
The first movement was the
announcement of Windows Live Search, now in beta, which can search the Internet,
your own hard drive and, with the help of SharePoint, your company's network.
The day the beta was released, Microsoft played the second movement when Bill
Gates sent out a memo
explaining that we all suffer from information overload (too much junk) and
information underload (not enough of the right junk). The answer? You guessed
it. Microsoft technologies, especially Windows Live Search.
The crescendo was Gates'
speech on the same subject to the CEOs of 100 of the world's largest
companies (not sure if Eric Schmidt was invited).
And as a bonus, the very same week Gates showed off the new rev of SharePoint,
Server 2007, which just so happens to support that smashing idea of enterprise
Sure, I tossed some sarcasm into this report (a lot of sarcasm is borne out
of jealously), but I have to give Mr. Gates credit. He is the only one, I believe,
that has grand visions for the future and the ability to back them up. That
is something to be jealous of.
Video Killed the Internet Star
My old boss Bob Metcalfe (besides inventing Ethernet, he was publisher of InfoWorld)
publicly predicted that the Internet would ultimately collapse due to a lack
of proper infrastructure and unbridled growth in traffic. Every so often others
make a similar prediction, but unlike me, they don't credit the father
of Internet doom and gloom. Now the big phone companies are complaining that
all the free
video they are forced to carry will be the death of the ‘Net -- unless
they get paid extra to build dedicated channels to carry this stuff. What do
you think? Should telcos and ISPs charge extra for that one-hour pro wrestling
show you just downloaded? Tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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They're Spying on You and ME!
This whole U.S. government spying (terrorist monitoring, in Bush admin parlance)
is getting a lot of attention. Some telcos are denying that they willingly hand
over records, the press secretary brags about how the feds are only trying to
protect us, and every day we learn of new and deeper techniques, including a
move to track more domestic calls.
Nothing really upsets me until I learned that the FBI is hoping to hunt down
government leaks by poring
over reporters' phone records. I try and avoid expressing opinions
here, but one of the great things about this country is a free press -- one
that exposes wrongdoing, even if it occurs it the executive branch. And these
reporters are equal-opportunity exposers, going after everyone from Richard
Nixon to Bill Clinton. Even more troubling is that high-level government officials
themselves leak, so they can decide which leaks to hunt down and which to ignore.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.