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IE7 Beta 2 is available as a Public Preview

Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview

Microsoft has made Beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7 available to the public – just go to the page linked above, and follow the links to download. No hoops, no beta invitations. Even worked just fine in Firefox. :-)

I’ve used Beta 1 pretty extensively, and it’s pretty slick. Tabbed browsing makes it feel closer to the Firefox experience I know and love. Looking forward to seeing what’s new in beta 2.

Dave Winer notes that Microsoft is finally shipping an RSS platform – you can subscribe to feeds in IE7 B2, and it even handles enclosures. Will be interesting to see how well this works.

If you’re interested, go get it, then let the world know what you think!

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Buy My Nephew’s 16 Pound Ball of Chewed Bubble Gum on eBay

eBay – BIG Gumball 16lb wrigley bubble yum bazooka

My nephew Marcus is weird, in a cool, geeky sort of way. Years ago, he started creating this giant ball of chewed bubble gum:

His mom let him keep it in the fridge, and now, he’s selling it on eBay:

This is a CHEWED gumball. I started it 6 years ago for a Guinness
record attempt, but it didn’t take.  It weighs 16 pounds and is the
size of a bowling ball.  It has been stored in my refrigerator for
these past years and there is no mold or anything growing on it. It is
solid gum, all chewed and formed into a ball. I have not allowed others
to add to it.  The gum is all genuine chewed by me.  I have become a
legend here in Boise, people come from miles around just to open my
refrigerator and see this large pink beast. I would like to thank my
mother as well for allowing to take up space in her refrigerator for
these past 6 years.  No wonder she is an angel.  I doubt your mother
would have allowed it.

For you gum manufacturers, this could be quite the centerpiece on
your boardroom meeting table or displaying in your reception lobby.

All things being said, I am a poor kid trying to earn money to go to
a car show with my dad.  Your bid will at least support a great
father/son activity.

Shipping…will be interesting

This is a great marketing opportunity for someone. You’re not just buying the gumball itself as an object – you’re buying the great story that went into its creation. :-) And how much is a great story worth to you?

The money goes towards a worthy cause, too. Marcus is an extremely talented artist, and fascinated by hot rods. He’s done several professional illustrations/caricatures of hot rods, and his most recent project is Rusty – and old mongrel of a Ford pickup that he’s going to turn into a hot rod:

Support a young car hacker and his dreams! There’s still plenty of time to get in on that eBay auction! :-)

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Gnomedex 6 Selling Out Fast

Gnomedex 6.0 will be held June 29th through July 1 in Seattle (same Bell Harbor Conference Center as last year). Of the 300 seats, 100 are already sold out, and Chris only opened up registration to the public a few days ago (after letting past attendees take a crack at registering, which of course, I did :-)). Everyone expects it to sell out within a couple of weeks, max. If you’re interested in coming this year, get cracking!

Why would you be interested? It’s the most unique conference I’ve ever been too, and the most fun I’ve ever had as a geek. Period. Single-track, all in one room, some of the smartest people on the internet. The networking opportunities are unreal – I met so many cool, influential people last year that I couldn’t even start to quantify the cool opportunites and relationships that developed as a result. And it’s a bargain – a 2.5 day conference, with lunch, lots of snacks, and great facilities, for only $499.

There were some problems with the WiFi and internet connectivity last year – it seems that 400+ geeks with laptops, blogging and uploading photos to Flickr in realtime overwhelmed the 2 T1 connections the conference center had. I’m working with some folks inside Intel to see if we can use WiMAX to supplement that backhaul, and provide better bandwidth this year. Nothing for certain yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

If you’re going to be at G6, drop me line – I’d love to meet you there! :-)

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Bloglines Mobile Feature Request – Reformat Linked Pages for Mobile Viewing

I was thinking this morning about a killer feature that I’d love to see in Bloglines Mobile – the ability to reformat/re-render linked pages on the fly. Google Mobile does this with their Mobile search – when you go to a linked page, a proxy reformats the page for easier viewing on your mobile device. Services like Skweezer also offer this kind of functionality, and you can even use Google’s method on any URL you like with their Mobile Page Translator.

I use Bloglines Mobile a LOT on my Pocket PC Phone. Even though I’m subscribed to 700 or so feeds (broken up by category), EVDO is fast enough that reading feeds on my phone is just about as fast as reading them on my laptop. However, when I come across a link I want to follow, outside of the feed I’m reading, I often hesitate when I’m using the Mobile version, and ask myself if it’s worth waiting for the whole page to load and get reformatted in Pocket IE.

I would LOVE to know that clicking a link from a feed in Bloglines Mobile would take me to a mobile-friendly version of that page. Heck, just use the existing Google proxy/translator, or Skweezer, or something similar! Other services do – no need to reinvent the wheel here. If there were support for something like Greasemonkey in Pocket IE, I’m sure we could figure out a way to do it ourselves. Make it an option we can turn on or off.

Mark et al at Bloglines, are you listening? Does anyone else think this would be a fantastic idea? :-)

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My Office 12 Beta DVDs Arrived

I don’t know if it had anything to do with my complaining that I couldn’t get access to the Office 12 beta using the code I got at PDC, or if the timing was just coincidence, but a DHL package with some DVDs showed up at home yesterday, containing the Office 12 beta bits, and an extra disc of “PDC Content”, which I haven’t looked at.

I installed Office 12 this morning on my X41 tablet, and will be trying it out. Got to find the NDA/disclosure rules to see what I can talk about and what I can’t, but there’s plenty of interesting info out there already, so I don’t feel a strong need to be a “source” of information for everyone.

If this was a result of someone at MS reading my post, thank you! :-)

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Dave Winer Pays Comcast 3 Million Dollars

And you thought YOUR cable bill was high; Dave got a receipt from Comcast for $3,030,000.00. He posted a screenshot to Flickr.

Not a bill, but a statement showing he paid that much. Comcast claims it was a glitch. I’m sure we’ve all had something like this happen to us at one time or another – remember my recent travails with Verizon, with their order system repeatedly insisting that I didn’t exist as a customer?

Sure, we may just sigh, and roll our eyes, or laugh, but Dave makes an important point:

I asked for a refund. The operator laughed. I said it was not funny.
This crazy system we’re building is going to melt down one day.

Amen!

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Dell 700m, X41 Tablet, Samsung i730, Nintendo DS

While taking the comparison photos of the Dell 700m and the Lenovo X41 Tablet, I thought “what the heck”, and pulled the two gadgets I then had in my pockets out to join in the fun.

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