Monthly Archives: March 2006

Unique Error Reporting Dialog

Several software applications provide feedback forms in case of an error or crash (Windows, Firefox, etc.). Today I was browsing a blog that had an embedded VideoEgg player and it popped up a unique error report, requesting help and offering a free t-shirt for helping them track down the problem:

VideoEgg error dialog with an offer for free T-Shirt for helping track down the error

I like this approach. It’s very hard for developers of free consumer applications to track down and solve reported “crash” problems in the field. At Palm we had a couple cases where we contacted individual users and did remote troubleshooting with them. I think we sent them some free Palm schwag for their help.

Tom Cruise at Yahoo

The big event yesterday at Yahoo HQ was a visit by Tom Cruise (and Katie) as part of our Influential Speaker series. Lots of internal debate and snickering concerning just how “influential” Tom Cruise is, but for sheer entertainment and star power, Tom’s hard to beat. I like to call it Famous People that our CEO knows. (Having a previous movie studio head as a CEO does have it’s benefits!)

I didn’t even try to attend in person (check out the line of people waiting to get in), but did catch the internal webcast. The talk started over an hour late, but Tom was pretty entertaining. Lots of talk about his movie career and a couple more sneak peeks at MI-3 coming out this Spring.

For my money, I prefer to see movie stars just as they are: actors. I don’t want to know their political leanings or hear about Scientology or something about the couch. In this case, Tom Cruise delivered — he’s a Big Time movie star and that’s all that matters :)

Check out tons of pictures on Flickr: ytomcruise.

Tom Cruise at Yahoo, 2006-03-21

Yahoo! Messenger Launches with PSTN (Again!)

Back in December, we launched the public beta of Yahoo! Messenger 7.5 in eight countries. The significant new feature is PSTN (aka regular phone network) support, both to and from regular phone lines. That launch was kind of different for us because, although we did launch a US-English client, the service was not available inside the United States.

Tonight we did a beta refresh and officially launched the US service as well. Compared to other launches I’ve been through on this team, this one was pretty smooth. Having the service actually available here in the US should be a big win for the product and future voice offerings.

We also updated the client software for our international sites: Germany Spain France Italy Hong Kong Singapore. Now you can get the beta (and service) for both of the US clients as well: United States Español.

Yahoo! Messenger 7.5 Beta

Zempt Development Ending

From Adam Kalsey’s blog:

The tool that Bill Zeller and I created for posting to Movable Type from your desktop is being wound down. Zempt will live on at the SourceForge project page, but there will be no future development on the project. The domain has expired and will not be renewed.

All the source and the latest Windows installer are up on the SourceForge project page if anyone wants to continue development on this handy tool. The original intent was to release on Mac and Linux as well, but I’m not sure how far they got with that. Adam doesn’t say why they’re abandoning this, but I could imagine it’s a matter of other projects going on. I’m curious how big of a market there is for a desktop webposting tool like this.

I did find Zempt very well done and appreciated some simple capabilities like reading the RSD description so I don’t need to enter a long, nasty XML-RPC URL. (Mobile blogging applications could really benefit from this.) It also has full support for all MovableType fields and features, including choosing the text formatting filter (I use Markdown).

SixApart Acquires SplashBlog

It looks like SixApart has acquired SplashBlog, the mobile photo-blogging site created by SplashData (creators of several nice mobile applications). The press release was light on details, but I’m anxious to see what kind of integration they are planning to do. when I last commented on SplashBlog, they had changed their client software to only support their own web service (previously they had support for TypePad).

The SplashBlog Palm client is really well done, giving users a clean application for posting photos and accompanying notes to their blog. I keep an eye on this app because it would make a great general-purpose moblogging client, if only it could connect to different services.

(Via The Blog Herald)