A sad day for Microsoft — layoffs. The inevitable result of “panic spending”

While I no longer work for Microsoft, after 20 years there I have a ton of friends who are still there.  Microsoft is a company that cares a lot about it’s employees.  The fact that they have just announced layoffs (Mary Jo Foley Todd Bishop Kara Swisher)is a huge step.  I know that the leadership of Microsoft would have rathered done anything else before having to take this step — they know that it will change the company forever.  It really hits home just how serious this recession is.

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Facebook iPhone app is great, and terrible

Facebook and my iPhone are two of my favorite things right now.  My iPhone almost never leaves my hand — and Facebook let’s me stay on top of so many things that I normally wouldn’t have time to pay attention to:  from Dune trivia to Callie’s creative photography.

But, when you mix your Facebook peanut butter with my iPhone chocolate you’re supposed to get something delicious.  This Reese’s Cup has a bad after-taste that I hope gets fixed soon…

The Facebook iPhone app is a nice app that I prefer to using facebook in Safari — but I run into problems daily.  Here’s a list of my top problems…

1) times in the feed are not accurate.  As I leave it running, I think it might be adding new items to he feed list — but not aging old items — rendering a bunch of random times that are worse than useless.
2) friend list displays blank after a bit of use.  Every few days I go into my friends list and it’s mostly blank — but I can scroll.  This requires me to “reboot my phone” — something I wished I never had to do.
3) each tab needs to update only after I look at it (and shake).   Come on — when I update one tab — send the extra 1000 bytes to update the other tabs I’m likely to look at next.
4) show more posts doesn’t work.   It seems to just repeat the last one over and over.
5) occassional crashes — enough said. 
6) doesn’t update “online” status correctly for people viewing in web browser.  Facebook chat definitely doesn’t work well.  People you chat with on a regular browser see strange status states for you.

Facebook — please fix these problems

Rickey Henderson is a Hall-of-Famer

I am very happy to hear that Rickey Henderson just got elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballet with a definitive 94.8% of the vote 

I had the pleasure to watch Rickey as lead-off hitter for the New York Yankees from 1985-1989 and then for a brief stint for the Seattle Mariners in 2000.  The guy was amazing.  You wouldn’t want to show up to the park a minute late.  He would almost always start with a single — and then steal second — and then steal third.

The good guys would basically start with a 1 run lead before the game had even started.

The only time, it seemed, he wouldn’t start the game with a lead-off single is when he would start it with a lead-off homer.

It was great to watch someone with such great talent and results.  He wasn’t political, wasn’t polished, wasn’t great with the press — but boy could the guy hit and run.  He was a total sparkplug for the rest of the team.  All of that and he had a major league career that started in 1979 and lasted until 2003.

I’m happy to see someone get rewarded for his talent and the indisputable results he achieved.

Congrats to Rickey!

The decline of newspapers may be ugly

The world is much better with strong journalists.  Strong journalists keep everyone honest.  It’s been that way since our country was founded.

While I love consuming news online — I fear that the conversion will leave us in a very bad place.  I cringe when I hear about traditional newspapers cutting costs by slashing their editorial staff.  It’s the physical distribution that’s the problem — and overblown cost structures.  We do not have too many professional journalists in the country…  In fact, we have too few…

That’s why I read with trepedition today’s announcement by The New York Times that they have sold for the first time a banner ad on the front page of their paper.  CBS bought a 2 1/2 inch banner along the bottom of page one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/business/media/05times.html?_r=3&ref=media

Is that so bad?  Not by itself, no.  But, it’s one of many steps that have and will be taken to shore up the financials of “old-style” jounralists.  What really needs to happen is for them to take a bold step into the new world — but it’s painful.  What’s next?  Will editorial policy be weakened to appease advertisers?  Will advertisements start showing up in the middle of article text?  Will jounralists be allowed a free hand to be critical?  One step at a time…