The most evil team at Microsoft: the WAVE team

Hey, the Channel 9 team found one of my old videos that didn’t get run and it’s a good one. I’m sure it took a while to get it past the PR team — when I shot it earlier this year I thought to myself “this will never make it to the public.”


Cause it’s the team that builds not only the audio and video functionality in Windows Vista, but it’s also the team that builds (play Jaws movie soundtrack here please) the DRM technologies.

Yes, it’s the most evil team at Microsoft. Damn, and they have a good conversation with me about DRM. We even talk about Cory Doctorow (who hates DRM). At about 19:00 into it the intersections of the interests are mapped out by Steve Ball. “They don’t always align.” That’s PM speak for “they hate each other.”

Oh and don’t miss the demo of Windows Vista’s audio features at 34:40. This is a MAJOR reason why I can’t wait to use Vista, particularly for making videos.

Note: I don’t really think this team is evil, but it shows you the business pressures that teams at Microsoft are under and shows you a little bit about how teams come up with things like DRM technologies.

I hope the Vista team has a bunch more demos like the one at 34:40, too. That was the first time I thought to myself that I had to have Vista. One demo. Now imagine if they have a ton of demos like that?


Listening to Shelley Powers about women in tech

Shelley Powers asks yet another conference organizer “where’s the women?” I’m looking at my plans for my own video show and realize I don’t have a diverse-enough set of subjects on my show yet.

I realize that I’ve gotten mostly male voices for my show so far. Partly cause that’s just who is running the tech industry. Head of Sun Microsystems? Male. Person who runs Google Calendar? Male. Person who runs Printing for Less? Male. Person who runs JotSpot? Male. Person who runs Flock? Male. Person who runs eBay’s new research arm? Male. There simply aren’t enough Mena Trotts to go around (speaking of which I’d be honored to have her on my show — her talk at TED was posted on her blog the other day). UPDATE: can you name a CEO of a recognizeable tech company that’s not male? It’s hard to do. Apple? Male. Cisco? Male. Intel. Male. HP? Male. Google? Male. Yahoo? Male. Oracle? Male. Microsoft? Male.

But this is my problem partly cause I just haven’t focused on making sure my show has diverse voices. Truth is that +I+ can do a better job here and haven’t, for whatever reason (UPDATE: we have a segment of the show called “Digital Divas”, by the way, but it still isn’t enough and there aren’t enough women who are hard-core geeks — most of the engineering departments I have walked through lately are mostly male).

Thanks to Shelley and others for reminding us all to think of that.

But, on the other hand, I don’t want to change my process, either, and I don’t want to devalue the accomplishments of women (I remember when men would get together and wonder if I hired Deborah Kurata simply cause she was a woman or because she deserved it — I kept having to pull out speaker ratings and demonstrating that she was always in the top tier of speakers, usually #1. I hated getting that question. I always put the best person on stage that I could and I tried not to care about their physical attributes).

I simply want the most interesting geeks out there to be on my show. For instance, are you an interesting geek like Heather Powazek Champ (who works on the Flickr team at Yahoo)? I wanna talk with you.

So, if you’re an interesting geek, or know of an interesting geek, who is doing something interesting, or running an interesting company (especially one that is using tech in an interesting way) please let me know. Male or female.

It’s helpful for the next few weeks if they are in the San Francisco area since I won’t be able to really start traveling for a few months yet.

Who would you like to see on a video show?

One thing I have feedback for Shelley on is that a few times I, and other people I know, got her invited to events and opportunities and she didn’t make it for some reason or another. When a door is opened that seemed to be closed before, it’d be nice for her to walk through it and take advantage of the opportunity. If only to set an example for others and to make sure the door stays open. But maybe that’s just me.

UPDATE: several days ago Maryam wrote “the women who inspire me.” She also let leak that she was working on a “Digital Divas” segment of our show.