Scripting News for 3/3/2007

Today’s links 

Pretty soon the list of things to revisit will be long enough to form the chapters of a book.

Randall Stross: “Free wifi is to the cafe what cold air was to the cinema.”

I wonder what Scoble’s new project will be?

Maybe Apple doesn’t need all the funky iTunes stufff people are putting into podcast feeds??

More validation for Marc Canter, and this time he’s in the story. He’s got the right idea, smart guy, works hard, says what he thinks without beating round the bush.

The Mashable guy wonders wtf Cisco is doing buying the tattered remains of Maybe their customers could use a social network.

Cisco Social Network Yes 

Why Cisco should have a social net…

They have employees, customers, suppliers, developers, partners, future acquisitions.

Having a social network in 2007 is like having a one-off identity system in 2001, and a website in 1998.

Everyone’s gotta have one. You, me, your friends, my friends, Cisco too.

Maybe Ning should get into optical switches? 🙂

Hot water 

We had another in a series of earthquakes on Thursday night; a 4.2, quite a bit bigger than the previous two or three. It was centered near Walnut Creek, just a few miles from Berkeley.

In the morning, no hot water. The heater must have a safety feature that turns the pilot light off in the event of a relatively strong quake. Inconvenient to be sure, I like to take a shower every morning, but I can go one day without. I called the repair company whose sticker was on the heater, scheduled an appointment between 2 and 5PM.

They didn’t show up by 4:45PM so I called, they had lost my record, after a bunch of negotiating they sent someone out, he didn’t get here until almost 10PM, but it was a simple thing for him to relight the pilot, and next time it goes out I’ll know how to do it myself.

This morning I appreciate hot water about 100 times more than I have in a long time. I have lived without it before, at a hippie commune in Florida where the water was heated by solar power; on cloudy days you took cold showers. But it had been a long time.

We live at a pinnacle, or is it a house of cards? Someday maybe it’ll all come down, maybe for a long time. I know I’ll miss hot water. What else?

Affordable Water Heaters 

I had a bad experience yesterday with Affordable Water Heaters of San Carlos, CA.

At 7AM, I called the company, because their sticker was on the heater (I incorrectly assumed they had installed it), made an appointment for between 2PM and 5PM.

I called at 4:45PM to find out when they would be here, and was told that they had lost the appointment. I was speaking with Jerry (he wouldn’t give his last name) who said he was the owner. I asked what they wanted me to do, assuming that they would either send someone out, or help me find another repair company to deal with the problem. The owner said he couldn’t do anything, and suggested I call around, maybe another company could send someone out. I asked repeatedly why he thought another company would be able to do what he wouldn’t. He hung up. I called back, he hung up again.

I called a few other repair companies, and none of them could come out until the weekend and all wanted to charge extra for weekend service. I called Affordable back, spoke with Jerry again, and told him what they said, and again, he said he wouldn’t do anything to help. He said quite a few times they had no record of me calling, I asked each time why he thought I cared. I asked for his last name, he wouldn’t give it.

I recorded their hold-message, which ironically tells you how important water heaters are (I know!) and how much they care, and how professional and responsible they are. That I had enough time to think of recording it and actually do it gives you some idea how much time I spent on hold.

I called back yet again and spoke this time with a guy named Dan, who found that they had a cancelled appointment, and could send someone out right away (this was at 5:45PM). Around 10PM, after waiting eight hours, 15 hours after I called, the repairman arrived, immediately fixed the heater. I tipped the guy $20 for coming out so late and paid the $69 service charge.

Net-net: Use this company as a last resort. They lose appointments, and don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. The owner is incredibly rude. Not a company I would trust with my time in the future.

Postscript: The SF Chronicle did a story about the company and their stickers, they hung up on the reporter, David Lazarus, several times before talking with him, so I guess it’s not just customers they dislike. According to the Chron, the president of the company is Lee Roux, not “Jerry.”

Postscript #2: He hung up on KGO’s reporter too. What a company.

Who invented the web? 

On a flight from SFO to Boston the person in the next seat thought Tim O’Reilly is the inventor of the web. I was surprised to hear that, but if you think about it, the hype sort of says that.

He claims to have coined the phrase Web 2.0™ (often summarized as “invented” in the press and on blogs) and I guess it’s logical to assume that the inventor of the 2.0 version of something is the inventor of the thing itself.

I explained that he is actually something other than the inventor of the web, what exactly that is, I’ll leave up to others to say.

BTW, interesting to see what comes up on a search for invent “web 2.0”.

Also, I did not invent the web. 🙂

7 responses to this post.

  1. First-name memory mashup confused by Tim B-L, too, maybe.


  2. I’m with Amyloo. The confusion is the “Tim” part. At best, T.O’R “discovered” a name for “web2.0®”…Sidenote: Many years ago, I read Katie Hafner’s excellent book, “Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet” — Does anyone have a suggestion for a similar book (well researched, but highly readable) on the origins of “The Web”?


  3. What a hassle with the pilot light. I wonder if you called PG&E – they say they will come out and light a pilot light.


  4. Eddie, I did call PG&E and got their automated service.

    The soonest they would schedule a visit is Monday. Needless to say I wasn’t willing to wait that long for hot water.

    Rex & Amy — I hadn’t thought of the Tim connection. Thanks!


  5. Dave, would you say that it’s pretty definite that when OPML 2.0 is frozen that it will not have a cloud element?


  6. RE Mark Canter: Total agreement with users owning data, able to take it anywhere.

    My major political goal in this life: a simple/powerful information ownership amendment to the US Constitution, along these lines:

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Amendment XXVIII.

    1. All information pertaining to a citizen of the United States is the property of that citizen, notwithstanding the source of that information.
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = == =

    Govts, corporations, and similar entities will fight tooth and nail to prevent such a thing. Our future freedom demands it.

    — stan


  7. Posted by Chris on March 3, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Jason Calacanis (as always) has an interesting idea on Scoble’s announcement:

    “Scoble to be a daddy?”


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