What’s up with Orkut? There’s

What’s up with Orkut? There’s this new “online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends” that’s causing quite a bit of comment here and there, in blogs and other newsgroups. After all the badmouthing that I’ve seen of services like LinkedIn and Plaxo, it’s funny to see the degree of interest.

Their secret ingredient, it would seem, is that you can’t sign up! What a clever marketing scheme, exclusivity, has built up quite a lot of attention. Anyone who knows a two year old knows that there’s no better way to generate interest than in denying access! Their other secret ingredient is that apparently they have been acquired or backed by Google, which is always a way to get attention.

And the beat goes on: Tim Bray on Orkut; Even AKMA wants in! And here’s Don Park!

The two Howards: Dean and

The two Howards: Dean and Stern. Everyone is wringing their hands about the way Howard Dean acted out on the night of the Iowa Caucuses. I heard well known pundits talk about ‘the defining moment of Dean’s campaign.’ What a bunch of nonsense. This was a non-event, a crazy moment at the end of a long day with a huge crowd of revved up supporters. And indeed some of my friends who support Dean have commented, more eloquently than this, in his defense as well.

Forgive me to mention the other Howard in the same breath, but the best came on Howard Stern’s show, who by the way, was making fun of the commentators and siding with Dean. A caller said that it was a classic ‘Rocky’ moment and that all you needed was to hear the theme from Rocky playing in the background and it would just ‘bring a tear to your eye.’ I can’t play it for you here, but either use your imagination, or take my word for it: it was one of the all time funiest moments on Radio.

Channel Dean: “An RSS feed

Channel Dean: “An RSS feed that’s like a clipping service for people interested in US politics.” Dave Winer and some co-conspiritors have created something really cool: a new feed which brings together a series of feeds that all relate to US Politics. As I’ve said before, hats off to these kinds of innovation. I’m just loving it! Here’s the RSS (XML) link if you want to try it.This development raises some interesting questions/ideas:

  • What is the Dean-bias of this feed? Is it in fact a feed for people interested in US politics or one for Dean Supporters interested in US Politics. And with the subtlety of marketing and political campaigns these days, how do I even tell the difference?

  • It’s pretty cool to see CNN articles right next to BBC, Salon, AP and NYT articles. For me, as a reader, it’s exactly what I want. How do the content providers feel about it? Is this anything new with respect to intellectual property and copyright?

Keep ’em coming. This is what makes this space (“this” = RSS, Blogging, Syndication, etc.) so exciting.

Microsoft Money 2004. Disappointing. I

Microsoft Money 2004. Disappointing. I started preparing my taxes and so I thought I might upgrade my Microsoft Money to the 2004 from 2003. I am a fairly comprehensive user of Microsoft Money, and so every year I do this, and frankly almost every year I am disappointed.

There are almost no new features, enhancements, simplifications or whatever. Am I a sucker? Every year, I probably wait 2 to 3 months after the upgrade comes out to order it… I am well aware of their tack to extract yet another $50 from me (less the $20 rebate which) but I still fall for it, in the hope that even if nothing visible changes, bugs are fixed that will save me time even though I never am aware of it. Still I’d say if you are thinking of upgrading to 2004, you can safely skip it.

Goody, Goody! Mary, over at

Goody, Goody! Mary, over at LockerGnome notes: “…to look like a Windows application. With JGoodies you can give them what they want, and a whole lot more besides!”. This is in reference to a great UI framework for Java called JGoodies.

As it turns out, the app I’ve been working on lately has been using JGoodies. Check it out, it does make a lovely WindowsXP looking UI with Swing actually possible. No small feat.