Jonathan Franzen Also Hated Mac Dude

A few years ago, in one of Apple's last big marketing campaigns while Steve Jobs was alive, the company mocked Microsoft by having Justin Long portray a Mac and John Hodgman a PC in TV commercials. Long's comfortably scruffy dude in sneakers was supposed to be cool, while Hodgman's pudgy businessman was supposed to be a dork who couldn't quite catch up to the times. I wrote in 2007 that the commercials were doing something for Microsoft it couldn't do for itself -- make the company lovable. ... (read more)

Apple Commercials Make Microsoft Lovable

At the D: All Things Digital conference Wednesday, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appeared onstage together for the first time in 20 years. One of the topics they discussed was Apple's series of Mac Dude and Windows Dork commercials: Here in the present, while discussing some recent Apple commercials in which an Apple hipster out-talks a nerdy Windows guy, it seemed almost as if Jobs and Gates were acting in starring roles in the same ads. Jobs, in his black turtleneck and jeans and stubbled beard, ... (read more)

Microsoft Seeks Patent on RSS Platform

Don McArthur passes along some huge news in the syndication world -- Microsoft filed for a patent today on the Windows RSS Platform, a common feed database and API that can be used by other applications to read, write and store RSS and Atom feeds: The web content syndication platform ... can be utilized to manage, organize and make available for consumption content that is acquired from the Internet. The platform can acquire and organize web content, and make such content available for ... (read more)

Niall Kennedy Gets Microsoft's Goat

When former Windows Live RSS developer Niall Kennedy saw that one of his Flickr photos was displayed in a Microsoft Team RSS blog post without the required attribution, he swapped it out with one of the web's most infamous pornographic photos, incorporating the Creative Commons logo to preserve what's left of the subject's dignity. I'm not going to show the soul-scarring original photo, because people would have to bleach their web browsers and RSS aggregators, but Matt Haughey's spoof ... (read more)

Jason Douglas Joins RSS Advisory Board

Jason Douglas, the project lead on the RSS Platform at Yahoo and the cocreator of Channel Definition Format, has joined the RSS Advisory Board. The board now has members from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. If we can find a member from Apple's RSS team, we'll be in an even better position to help the big companies and enterpreneurial companies like FeedBurner and Six Apart work together to promote RSS interop and resolve some incompatibilities between different software that supports syndication. ... (read more)

Support the Common Feed Icon

A recent Yahoo study reported that four percent of Internet users have jumped on the RSS bandwagon and begun subscribing to syndicated feeds. Considering the number of ways that web publishers show their readers they offer feeds, it's amazing we've gotten that many: In an effort to make the concept of syndication easier for mainstream users, the next versions of the Internet Explorer and Opera browsers will identify RSS and Atom feeds with the same icon used in Mozilla Firefox. Since the market ... (read more)

Mozilla, Microsoft Promote New Syndication Icon

The developers of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 have agreed on a common icon to represent syndication feeds, an orange radial symbol created by Stephan Horlander for Firefox. Both browsers display the icon in the status bar when a web page has been associated with a feed using autodiscovery, a simple HTML link tag that provides the feed's address: <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href=""> The icon's ... (read more)