TechCrunch UK, although running for a couple of months now, had its official launch last night. I was fortunate enough to get an invite, and I decided to fly over for the event primarily because Mike Arrington was going to be there and I wanted to finally meet him (we’ve had several conversations over email and phone/skype but we’ve never met in person). Mike didn’t show.
Sam Sethi is an entrepreneur, technologist (entrepologist) and consultant. Sam has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years for companies like Microsoft (strategy director in MSN UK ), Netscape, Gateway Computers and CMGi, in a variety of senior technical and marketing roles. Most recently Sam has been charged with setting up TechCrunch UK.
Iâ€™m interviewing Sam this Wednesday morning (30th Aug 2006) for a PodLeaders podcast. We will be talking about TechCrunch, the Live Web (Web 2.0) and anything else that may arise in the questions!
As always, if you have questions youâ€™d like me to put to him, feel free to leave them in the comments and Iâ€™ll put them to him.
The key features are tabbed browsing (including â€œQuick Tabsâ€?, a way to see multiple web pages on a single tab), a continuation of the minimalist approach on the UI and toolbars, and enhancements to the RSS reader built into the browser. The team says theyâ€™ve made significant improvements in CSS rendering as well, a problem I noticed in the previous beta version.
All the work that has to go into keeping the browser afloat is time that could have been better spent on making Vista work as first advertised.
All of Microsoft’s Internet-era public-relations and legal problems (in some way or another) stem from Internet Explorer.
John’s solution is that Microsoft should:
pull the browser out of the OS and discontinue all IE development immediately…. Then, Microsoft can worry about security issues that are OS-only in nature, rather than problems compounded by Internet Explorer.
I wonder if Dean Hachamovitch and the IE team are worried about their jobs now that John has put that sugestion out there. Somehow I doubt it! John’s idea, while superbly timed and very well argued is destined to be ignored by Microsoft. Giving up and conceding defeat is not the Microsoft way.
IE7 Beta 2 caveats – According to Microsoft’s IE Group Program Manager, Tony Chor,
there is no supported way for IE6 and IE7 to install side-by-side
IE7 is beta software – install it at your own risk!
Google inadvertently released some confidential information last week – the information was in the speaker notes of a PowerPoint file posted for the Google investors meeting. Greg Linden downloaded the PowerPoint file not realising fully what it contained but as soon as he started blogging about it, it was pulled from the Google site and a sanitised pdf version was posted in its place.
What did Google have in this PowerPoint file? Amongst other gems, according to Michael Arrington on TechCrunch, slide 19 contained the following:
Store 100% of User Data
With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).
We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. For example: Firefox team is working on server side stored state but they want to store only URLs rather than complete web pages for storage reasons. This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.
As we move toward the â€œStore 100%â€? reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache. An important implication of this theme is that we can make your online copy more secure than it would be on your own machine.
Another important implication of this theme is that storing 100% of a userâ€™s data makes each piece of data more valuable because it can be access across applications. For example: a userâ€™s Orkut profile has more value when itâ€™s accessible from Gmail (as addressbook), Lighthouse (as access list), etc.
Google aims to offer 100% storage for users?
Greg goes on to further point out that:
the notes to slide 14 contain revenue projections for next year, also something I didn’t notice previously. Because Google published these projections to their website, even briefly, they were forced to file a 8-K with the SEC
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Google’s highly secret plans to host all of our confidential information, were accidentally released on the Internet for all to see? Google can’t be trusted with their own private information – in those circumstances, how do they expect anyone would trust them with their personal data?
Word on the blogosphere is that Google are developing an online calendar application called CL2 – Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has pictures of the app here.
An online calendar is something I would find very useful – I have loads of information in my calendar on my desktop but I lose that when I go out an about with my laptop. I use Apple’s iCal as my calendar application but I don’t have a .Mac account so I can’t synch my Calendars across the two machines.
30boxes has a facility whereby I can add my appointment info into 30boxes and subscribe my iCal application to that – this is half of the solution I am looking for – this is ok for events moving forward but I have a good few recurring events set in iCal which I don’t want to add again. Also, I often look back over my calendar to see “when exactly did I have that meeting?”, etc. For these reasons, while it is a good start, 30boxes is seriously lacking by not having the ability to import an existing calendar.
I don’t know that Google’s calendar will have this functionality either – I don’t see it in any of the screenshots on TechCrunch but surely they have thought of it – I can’t be the only person to have this issue!
I received an invite to take a sneak peek at edgeio this morning – edgeio is Michael Arrington of TechCrunch fame’s latest startup. The tagline for edgeio is “Listings from the edge” so the name comes from the word “edge” and “io” (input/output?).
The idea behind edgeio is that people can advertise items for sale from their website or blog and if they include the “Listing” tag with the post, the edgeio site will automatically find the post and List it on edgeio. Edgeio will therefore become a free version of Ebay (you won’t have to pay to be listed on edgeio, you simply post on your site including the “listing” tagin your post) where you maintain ownership of the data!
This is very similar in theory to the structured blogging concept Salim Ismail of PubSub talked about when I interviewed him here last December. I haven’t talked to michael about edgeio (yet) so I don’t know if edgeio will read and display structured blogging metadata.
I tried out a posting this morning on my WordPress.com blog (I don’t think posting for sale items on this site is appropriate to its content to date) and sure enough it showed up on edgeio – it took a few attempts to get it to show up but I think that was down more to my ineptitude than to any problem on the edgeio side!
You can claim your website/blog on the edgeio site so all future postings on your site are associated with your profile and you can link your profile to other services like LinkedIn, Flickr etc. You can also associate your profile with where you live in the world, which is handy obviously – esp when selling large/heavy items like I posted this morning.
Edgeio also have a sidebar you can add to your site, listing your posts on edgeio (and other people’s posts if you have very few) – edgeio say that this function:
can add useful content to your website and in the future can be the source of income.
As you can see below edgeio allow you to add tags to your listing and also metadata like price and status
However, I couldn’t find the pricing or status info I added anywhere
Overall, I think this is a fantastic idea (I have listed several items on Ebay and never sold any of them!). It needs a bit more work (I couldn’t find currency info for example) but this is still very early days for this application so I have no doubt it will only get better and better.
I tried adding the sidebar widget to this site but it doesn’t appear to be functioning yet – what appears in the sidebar is the edgeio homepage! Also, I have just realised that the posting I put up on my site never received a trackback from edgeio – still it is listed in edgeio so I can’t complain.
I added the tags “Cork” and “Ireland” to my edgeio listing – anyone posting from Cork or Ireland should do likewise so we’ll be easily able to find each others items.