Archive for May, 2011

Why Ballmer needs to go

I’ve heard lots of things lately talking about why Steve Ballmer needs to either step down as CEO of Microsoft or be ousted by the Board of Directors.  None sum it up better than the following article:

Gregs Bite: there are calls for Ballmers head on a pike | MacTech.

I’ll offer a bit of my own experience as to why.

In the past, I’ve attended conferences where Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or other CEOs were giving the keynote address.  The buzz was always about what they were going to talk about.  What new products would they announce?  What new strategy would they outline?  What new vision would they share?

This past January, I attended CES in Vegas where Mr. Ballmer was delivering one of they keynote addresses.

On a bus heading back to my hotel one afternoon, I overheard a couple of people talking about their interest in attending Ballmer’s keynote address.  It went something like this…

Person #1: “I’m really fired up to see Ballmer speak, I wonder if the line is going to be long to get in?”

Person #2: “Me too!  I can’t wait to see him do the gorilla thing on stage!  I wonder if he’ll do the yelling and screaming thing also?”

Person #1: “Yeah!  Gotta love a guy that gets up on stage and acts like that!”

That’s what they were excited to see.

No mention of Microsoft.  No mention of products.  No interest in strategy.  No curiosity about vision.  Just if he’d get up on stage and act like an ape. (For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about search YouTube for some of Ballmer’s more famous antics.  You’ll see what they were talking about.)

This is sad.

When a corporate CEO is reduced (by his own actions no less) to little more than a circus sideshow act, it’s time for a change.

A post script to this.

A couple of days later I found myself sitting behind two completely different people discussing the conference and Ballmer’s keynote talk.

Person #1: “So what did you think about Ballmer’s keynote?”

Person #2: “It stunk.  I was hoping he’d at least do the gorilla thing once or twice. I left after the first few minutes.”


Might be time for a change in Redmond.

Happy Geek Pride Day

That’s right!

Today is Geek Pride Day.  Time to celebrate our geekness.  To bask in our cerebral capacity.  Time to proudly proclaim we are geeks.

Geek Pride day is all about recognizing that which makes us special.

I found a great list of “geek rights”.  You can view it here.

So get out there today and celebrate!

We’re all geeks here.  Fly that Geek Flag.  Wear that World of Warcraft t-shirt proudly.  Laugh, snort and giggle at random bits of Star Wars trivia.

After all, geeks really do make the world go ’round (or at least the internet).

I knew this was real…

Now I just need to find out where it is.

Love the confidence, but…

HP: TouchPad will be number one-er! | TiPb.

I’m really wondering what they are basing this on, other than hopeful maketing.

The article makes a great point in that there really isn’t a #2 yet in the tablet market, and for HP to come out and say this when they don’t even have a tablet.  Wow.  Sounds like a lot of usless blather to me.

Maybe HP should wait and see how things go.  WebOS isn’t exactly something people are standing in line to get their hands on.

The geek in me…

really wants one of these for my office.

Check out the link below the image.


Dutchman integrates a 4.5GHz water-cooled rig into his d3sk — Engadget.

Meetings will never be the same

AppleInsider | Qualcomm bringing augmented reality SDK to Apples iOS.

The whole AR thing really intrigues me.  It’s got a ton of potential…not to mention a cool factor that’s off the charts.

I can just imaging all the people in meeting jumping little motorcycles off the boss’s head.

Be sure to check out the full article (above) and the video (below).

Morning Apps

What’s your number? 

No, I don’t mean your cell phone number.

I’m talking about your “Morning App” number.

“What the heck is that?” you might ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s a rating of the number of apps on your smart phone/tablet that you use in the morning before you get out of bed.

Yes, before you get of of bed.

It’s not the number you use before noon.  You must be in bed and not yet dressed, coffeed, showered, brushed, primped or preened.

Much like your “sleep number” (I’m sure there’s a trade mark there so I hereby acknowledge that and state that I don’t own that phrase – hint hint please don’t sue me), I’m proposing a “Morning App” number.

It’s a way to separate the power users from the casual techno-wannabes of the world.
So, here’s my proposed scale.

1 = 0 apps — “What’s an app”?  Nuf said. These are the people that still think cell phones are just for making phone calls.

2 = 1 − 2 apps — Casual user.  You know what an app is, but you still actually have a life.  You text a bit, might browse the web, but Angry Birds are more likely to crap on your car than be on your phone.

3 = 3 − 5 apps — Solid “techno” user.  You use the device to monitor your life and keep track of most things.  However, you still can lay claim to some sense of reality…The Sims is reality…right? 

4 = 6 − 9 apps — Whoa there buster.  You not only use apps for just about everything, but you check your Facebook Wall before saying “Good morning” to the person sleeping next to you.

5 = 10 or more apps — Chances are you don’t have enough life to have a person sleeping next to you.  However, if you are one of the few that does, you text them to say “good morning”….right after you turn on your coffee maker with an app.

Personally, I think that it would be a great service to people to know what their “morning app number is”.  


Well for general personal compatibility reasons if nothing else.


I’m happy to report that I’m a solid 3.

First app I use…well…the clock on my phone.  It’s my alarm.  Wakes me up in the morning.  Gotta hit the snooze button a couple times.

Second, once the snooze cycle has ended, I tend to check the Weather Channel app to see what the day is looking like.  Lately it’s been more along the lines of looking to see if it’s going to be a normal day or if it’s going to snow in Wisconsin, in May, and really PISS ME OFF!!  No, I’m not bitter about the cool spring we’ve had.

Third, yes (hangs head in shame) I glance at my email.  No I’m not proud of this.  Yes, I’ve tried to break myself.  But I just can’t do it.  There.  I’ve admitted to it.  That’s what, the second step in dealing with a problem?

Fourth, I’ll glance at my calendar and see what fun awaits me at work for the day.

Fifth, (and this is very rare so it barely counts) but I might play a game of sudoku just to get my brain going.  Yes, I haz mad sudoku skillz.

That’s really it.

Pretty simple and straight forward, but yes, I do all that on my phone before I get out of bed.

The day used to be that people would roll over, smash the alarm clock and either go back to sleep or stare at the ceiling.  Maybe even have a conversation with their “someone”.

No sir.  Not today.  Today we can play FarmVille (yes another trade mark…blah blah, ownership not mine…blah blah, don’t sue me…blah blah) as soon as we wake up. Never mind actually talking to the person next to us.  

My wife and I have reverted to grunts and other guttural sounds in the morning.  No conversation before we are out of bed.  I tried that once and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

So, if I have something to say in the morning that needs saying, let’s just say that I’ll be texting her and risking moving my number up to a 4.

So what’s your number?  

Microsoft + Skype???

OK…does anyone else think this is strange? I know they need to revive their phone business, but Skype?

Oh..and there’s the price tag. $8.5 billion?


Does anyone (other than Balmer) think Skype is really worth that?

And it even pops balloons…

And it even pops balloons…

Replica Dead Space plasma cutter filled with deadly lasers 

Pretty darn cool.  Could be fun to have in meetings for that person that drones on and on.


Filed in the WTF drawer.

I know it’s a lamp…but what the heck???