I had a great day today; Megan and I went to Open House at JPL, and although it was crowded, it was really cool. We saw a Mars Rover in action, some excellent videos of satellites taking off and being launched, live footage of Earth and Mars and Saturn and comets (taken by satellites ), and saw how they manufacture and test satellite parts. JPL is a good thing.
I just want to thank everyone who's emailed about Ole's Ride for Cancer. I need to post a little form to gather your information, and I will; please stay tuned. In the meantime your support has been very gratifying. I have a Google Alert set for "pathology", and I just saw this blog: Pray for Christin, about a 15-year old girl diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Her prognosis is grim. This is what it is all about, helping people like Christin.
Meanwhile out in the blogosphere, it's all happening...
So Microsoft has given up trying to buy Yahoo (at least for the moment; maybe the stock will get hammered, the price will go down, and they'll try again). Speculation online seems to focus on how badly Yahoo's stock will get hit, but really I think Microsoft was harmed more than Yahoo; they needed Yahoo more than Yahoo needed them. (Remember the recent earning announcements; Yahoo beat expectations, while Microsoft was flat.)
I think this is the best take: Does Ballmer need to go? I don't know about that - my hunch is yes - but Microsoft needs something or they'll die. Sure they generate a ton of profit, and that's great, but there is little innovation left over there. With the Vista fiasco and Office becoming less and less relevant, the trend is clear.
Gigaom replays a McKinsey article on Pixar, including an interview with Director Brad Bird. One of the key bits: "Q: What undermines Innovation? Brad Bird: Passive-aggressive people - people who don’t show their colors in the group but then get behind the scenes and peck away - are poisonous. I can usually spot those people fairly soon and I weed them out." Perhaps Microsoft needs some Brad Birds. [ via Jason Kottke ]
I totally agree with Fake Steve Jobs: The problem with Facebook. "A new study discovers that the vast majority of Facebook apps are an utter waste of time... Facebook is a Ponzi scheme. A handful of VCs have created the illusion of an actual market by funding apps companies and then doing deals with each other -- passing cash back and forth among to make it look as if money is being made." There is nothing there for which anyone would pay. Nada.
Want to see the web 2.0 echo chamber at its stupidest? Check this out: Six new startup stars. I want you to read about these six companies, and tell me whether any of them make the slightest sense to you as a business. Stars? C'mon. TradeVibes epitomizes the narrowness of these companies; "the best way to discover and research hot new startups online". Riight.
So Andreas Klöden won the Tour of Romandie (remember him). And rumor has it the Giro may invite Klöden's team Astana after all... Let's hope so; then we could see Contador and Leipheimer in action in a grand tour...
The Tesla Roadster is supposedly "in production", but it isn't clear how many have actually been delivered. They did just open a store in L.A. - but with a 15-month backlog it will be for marketing, not for sales. "The Tesla store looks more like a cool ad agency or hip restaurant than a car dealership. Its industrial look features poured concrete floors, exposed beams and ductwork, mirrored front glass and planter boxes filled with horsetail stems. The service department is out in the open to allow customers to see what is going on with their cars." Will I visit? Of course!
How cool would this be: Bison could once again thunder across the great plains.
Finally, from Megan today: "two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left".