Sunny Day

As winter drags on, a semi-warm sunny day is a priceless commodity.

Today was one of those days, with the temperatures nudging 32 degrees and a cloudless sky.

I took advantage and went for a walk through the forest preserve near my home with my family. It was a great opportunity to get some shots with our new camera, and some much needed fresh air and sunshine. I'll spare you the endless family pictures, but here are a couple of nature shots.

Merlin Mann on Twitter

I still don't 'get' Twitter, but I did subscribe to Merlin Mann's Twitter RSS feed, and I have to say, I'm enjoying it. Here is today's:

"Every time you sniff and say somebody has "too much free time," the part of you that used to love making things for pure joy dies a little."

Some of my recent favorites:

"SEO advice that doesn't begin with "1. Don't rely on horseshit tricks" is -- well, frankly -- very probably horseshit."

"Making a plausible-looking fake email from Admiral Ackbar. For a talk. For my job."

"I think traces of a Baltimore accent are creeping into my vowels. I'm like an impressionable 14-year-old girl. It's tree-ew."

"Developing a rash whenever you shave more than twice in five days seems like a sure sign of chronic hobo-ism."

"Local TV news is like a refrigerator that I know is empty, but which I inexplicably keep checking anyhow."

"Emo boys are a little like Jenga; remove the spikey belt and key ring, and everything falls apart in a sad little pile."

"Just insinuated an adorable stuffed bear into the crook of Ellie's right arm. Crazy-cute, but admittedly a bit "Weekend at Bernie's." (Ellie is his infant daughter)

"The Grammy awards must be what it's like when boring people do mushrooms."

"Just referred to a limo as "The Hoopty Noir." Why am I even allowed to type?"

So I'm digging Merlin's 'twits', but I can't imagine following more than one or two people and I REALLY can't imagine getting updates via SMS.

Java Email Server 1.6.1 Released

A new version of Java Email Server (JES) is available.

The new version is mostly a cleanup release. However, this release does fix a major issue introduced in version 1.5 that caused issues when used without a default SMTP server.

You can download the new update from the JES homepage:


Microsoft + Yahoo = ???

I have to admit, it is really hard not to look at this very skeptically. First, Microsoft is offering a 62% premium on the current stock price. That seems like an awful lot to pay. And I don't care who you are, 46 Billion is a lot.

Second, I just don't see the synergies. Now, from a purely functional perspective there is some value. Obviously Yahoo! has a significant user base and presence. They also do several things pretty well (Flickr, Email, Search, Finance Portal, etc.). But this isn't a way to leapfrog Google. Assuming they don't lose any market share during the integration, the combined (worldwide) search market share is still only 16% compared to Google's 62%!

Furthermore, the technology stack couldn't be more different. Is Microsoft really prepared to run their internet presence off of PHP any MySQL? They've already purchased one major email service (Hotmail) and took over three years to migrate it from Apache/FreeBSD to Windows. Would they leave the Yahoo platform intact or migrate it to Microsoft technologies?

If you migrate it, you're going to end up with a lot of 'extra' Yahoo! engineers. If you don't, well, then you don't really have a lot of cost savings as part of the deal, you are just buying duplicate products for the (diminishing) revenue.

If this goes through, how many Yahoo! engineers will land at Google or new startups before Microsoft even has a chance to launch the first round of layoffs? This may be part of the plan, but it doesn't seem likely that the first ones to leave are necessarily the dead weight you would want to dump anyway. How many new startups are they instigating, who will in all likelihood be more competition for Microsoft.

Could someone else swoop in and grab Yahoo!? I can't imagine that happening at the current price, unless they were just trying to drive up the price. That seems like a long shot though.

If this deal goes through, I'm calling it the second nail in the Microsoft coffin. The first of course being the delayed launch of Vista and the poor adoption.