November 22, 2003

Microsoft Lies, Scoble Style

I did something I haven't done in a while. I read a few items on Robert Scoble's weblog. I used to read his stuff more often, but since he's become Microsoft's voice in the blog world, I've found it a bit hard to stomach most of the time. It's not Robert that bothers me, he's a great guy. It's the effect that Microsoft appears to have had on him. I think he's forgotten what it's like on the outside already.


Anyway, I couldn't help but to notice something he said that can't really go unchallenged. Err, I mean "uncorrected." He's clearly wrong. :-)

In this post he says:

On the plane last night I met a social worker who owned Microsoft stock. Lady is retired. 75 years old. What happens if I say something that gets us hit with a billion dollar fine? It comes out of her pocket. The $50 billion dollars in our investment accounts doesn't belong to Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer or me. It belongs to her. Think about that.


According to my sources, Bill Gates himself owns roughly 1.1 billion shares of Microsoft. And according to Microsoft's Investor Relations site:

As of October 31, 2003, there were 10,812,468,881 shares of Microsoft common stock outstanding.

Let's see, that's approximately 10% of the company that Mr. Bill owns.

Saying that the "$50 billion dollars in our investment accounts doesn't belong to Bill Gates" is wrong on several levels. Bill Gates actually "owns" $5 billion of that cash, doesn't he? Scoble is trying to imply that Bill is not an investor. Not only is he an investor in Microsoft, he is the single biggest individual investor in Microsoft.


On the plus side, he partially redeems himself by being honest about Microsoft and security.

One reason I don't like promising fixes, though, is cause we don't have much, if any, credibility left when discussing security. So, any promises would ring hollow.

No shit?

+1 for stating the obvious. A lot of folks higher up in Microsoft that probably wouldn't be so honest (you know, stating the obvious and all) in public.

Perhaps Bill also generates a reality distortion field, but one of a very different nature than Steve Jobs.

Don't even get me started on his notion of XP service pack #2 helping with Windows security in a big way. What about all the Win98 and Win2K users out there?

Longhorn might be delayed until they figure out how to fix the security problems it already has? Great. That means they've designed yet another OS with a poor security model. As if good security as a requirement is somehow so new that it came up after Longhorn was designed. How long have Microsoft's OSes been used by businesses in network environments again?

Posted by jzawodn at 06:11 PM

My Linkblog is Available

A few days ago I noted that I need a link blog. Since laziness is often the mother of invention, I've created one. From the outside it's little more than an RSS feed and a sidebar labeled "recent linkblog links" on my main blog homepage.

Subscribe here

Behind the scenes, it's a separate MovableType powered weblog that I've stripped down to just two simple templates. This allows me to post to it using my handy command-line tools. Someday I should write up how I put it together.

This should reduce the clutter on my main weblog, allowing me to focus there on writing about things I really care about without being distracted by propagating miscellaneous links.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:12 PM

November 19, 2003

PostgreSQL 7.4 Release Thoughts

I know it's been mentioned all over the place already, but after reading about the PostgreSQL 7.4 release, including the more detailed changes that Bruce published, I'm very impressed.

On my TODO list for next year (that's 2004, in case you're not sure) it to play with PostgreSQL a lot more than I have in the past.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:04 PM

Is Google The Next DNS?

I was reading about the new root name server going up in Russia on Daily Daemon News and noticed something I hadn't paid attention to before:

ISC operates one of the 13 root DNS servers as a public service to the Internet. ISC has operated for IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) since 1993. F answers more than 272 million DNS queries per day, making it one of the busiest DNS servers in the world. F is a virtual server made up of multiple systems and runs ISC BIND 9 as its DNS server.

Interesting. How long will it be until the number of web searches outnumber the number of DNS lookups handled by the root DNS servers?

According to Google handles 250 million queries per day (as of Feb 2003). We know that's only increasing. But I don't know how quickly. Anyone got a good reference for that number?

More importantly, when (or if?) the number of web searches surpasses the number of DNS queries handled by the root servers, what will that say about the need for a good domain name? Maybe movie previews will all end with the phrase "Google keyword: ..." instead of AOL keywords.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:40 AM

November 18, 2003

CVS Commit + Weblog = Changeblog

In response to my recent post about CVS Commit Notifications via E-mail, Jason Gessner writes to say that he's done something even cooler. He's rigged up a way to get CVS Commit info posted to a weblog using Net::Blogger (which I've played with before (here, here, and here) too and use to post 95% of my entries from Emacs now).

He demonstrated it at (PDF) and has an example on-line.

Cool stuff.

That reminds me, in a roundabout way, of the RSS feeds of CVS Commits that I setup at work. It's more popular than I expected it'd be. There are people other than me who use it...

Posted by jzawodn at 09:44 PM

November 17, 2003

MaxDB (from MySQL & SAP) is Available

And it comes with stuff like:

  • Support from SAP and MySQL
  • Views
  • Cursors
  • Stored Procedures
  • Triggers
  • Snapshots

And assorted other goodies...

Go here for more details.

See Also: My previous entry on MaxDB.

Posted by jzawodn at 03:46 PM

Keep me away from heavy machinery today...

I've managed to screw up an amazing amount of trivial shit today. I don't know what's up, but you won't see me anywhere near a backhoe or crane.

I left my visa pictures at home. So I drove all the way back to get 'em.

Then I walked over to the travel office to drop off my visa stuff. 95% of the way there, I remembered that I left the signed letter that goes with my visa application on my desk. So I walked back to get it.

Then I dropped off all my stuff at the travel office and Lori the travel lady asks "Where's the other picture?" Apparently they need both pictures even though the documentation only mentions a single picture. So I walked back to get that too.

It's amazing I remembered to breathe today. And that I didn't manage to leave my ass at home.


It'll be, uhm, interesting to see how this day plays out.

On the bright side, I had a good weekend.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:54 PM