Friday, December 31, 2004

New Years Eve Podcast - The $250 Million Show #12

Recorded with a real mic and about 10 minutes longer than normal. Find it here.


3 Dates Later
Super Happy Fun American TV Family Death Challenge
Eight Page Pullout
Guys On Couch
Rocket Dial

One more thought

Mark Cuban drives me nuts, but this is brilliant.

Reflecting on 2004

With the exception of my wife's health problems AFTER the triplet pregnancy(which are much better), 2004 was a great year full of many personal, family and professional highlights including in no particular order:

1. 10th anniversary
2. Birth of the Triplets
3. Son's second Birthday
4. Fantastic Trip to Belize
5. Founded a new business
6. Started Blogging - and kept on going.
7. Started a Podcast

Lots of travel, lots of new friends, lots of re-connecting with old friends. All in all a banner year. As for next year I resolve the following:

1. Launch our first product very soon.
2. Keep family #1 on my priorities.
3. Keep on media networking (blogging and podcasting and whatever else, can you say Vlogging?)

Well I am sure there are other things like, coolest technology of the year (P910), favorite new website (Flickr) best new bands, best books etc. but I think that its time to wrap it up until next year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Life, Death and Health

These last several weeks my blogging has taken on a more personal tone, which is to be expected with the birth of a child, or in my case a bunch of children. I had anticipated getting back to my usual fodder, but the last week has been a bit crazy. So much so that I haven't been really posting or doing anything other than trying to manage the chaos at home.

Following my wife's homecoming, she began experiencing strange cold spells that happened over several days. We weren't sure what the issue was, but the third episode last Wednesday was so intense and was accompanied with restricted breathing that resulted in a 911 call. She was evacuated to a nearby hospital and we spent the next 24 hours determining if it was HELP syndrome, pneumonia or kidney infection or a combination. She remained hospitalized until yesterday and is now doing better but has some lingering issues that don't seem that bad.

In the meantime our 2 1/2 yr old contracted Croup and Bronchitis, which is very dangerous around preemies. We had to scramble to isolate him and my wife from the triplets, and everything seems to have gotten on the right path.

It is at these times that the fragile nature of life, death, and our health comes into focus and you truly appreciate how amazing the human body and modern medicine have become. We keep crossing our fingers and hope that by this time next week everything will return to normal.

Tate with his "$600 Christmas Gift"

Between Xmas and New Year 009
Between Xmas and New Year 009,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
My aunt Gladys sent Tate a card and $2 for Christmas. We asked Tate what this was and he said it was $600. We fell on the floor laughing and I had to snap this picture for her as a thank you. Captialism starts young.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

P910 Review Part 2 - The prototypical PMD

When I decided to buy the Sony Ericsson P910, I didn't just want another fancy phone. Shawn and I have spent countless hours talking about the evolution of what we refer to as the Personal Media Device. This "PMD" or whatever you want to call it, isn't just a cool phone that can take pictures and make phone calls. This is the device where we originate, consume, and experience content in an always connected and location aware setting.

We see devices become ever more complex and capable of doing amazing things. We see networks evolve into high speed data pipelines that don't really care about who/how/or what they are connected to. Traditional media is created at the center of the network with expensive production budgets. The future world of media, media created at the edge of the network is quickly sprouting up around us as evidenced by blogging, podcasting, self publication, social networking as construct for media dissemination, etc.

So my personal exploration was to find the device or devices that gave me the best glimpse into what that world will look like. I looked at a variety of devices and ultimately decided on the Sony Ericsson P910 for a variety of reasons including some personal bias given my history with Sony and my devotion to a lot of their products.

The device I wanted to use had to meet a number of criteria including:

1. The ability to access the Internet and actually recreate the web experience on the phone.
2. The ability to create media, whether that is pictures, video, or text.
3. The ability to consume media, again along a variety of media types.
4. Good form factors and usability.
5. The ability to eliminate my laptop on business trips.

My take on the P910 is as follows and not necessarily in the order above:

Size and form factor: The P910 is a bit bulky compared to all of my previous phones. Although it is large, it is fairly lightweight. Although I appreciate this as I usually carry a phone in my pocket, I am concerned about the ruggedness of the device once I experience the inevitable drop. The P910 is an interesting device from a form factor because of it's multiple modes on input including normal handset keypad, a thumbpad(a shrunken version of the Blackberry for my money) and a touch screen data entry facility. In addition to this I have augmented the data entry capability by purchasing a Bluetooth full size keyboard. This keyboard is a critical piece to addressing criteria number 5 in my personal checklist.

Overall I have found the size to be fine although not as sleek as the Audiovox that Scoble raves about. The thumbpad is not something that is really useful for a largish sort of man with big digits as I fear I am going to break it off. That said, I find myself varying the different input modes as the situation dictates and find that I like the flexibility and actually use the thumbpad at times. All in all I think that I rate this area as above average.

Software: I like the Symbian OS. It has some bugs that one can expect on any sort of device, but the P910 comes shipped with a variety of applications that allow me to live in the Microsoft required business world I live in, while giving me a lot of flexibility. Specifically the piece I am most happy about with respect to hardware is the presence of the Opera browser. I love how Opera works on this handset. Aside from some network configuration issues I experienced, it has been awesome. In addition to the shipped software, you can get a variety of Symbian UIQ software that has been successful on previous versions of this device (P800 and P900). The biggest disappointment on the hardware side was the limites support for PIM software other than Outlook and Lotus. I regrettably had to migrate from ACT to Outlook which has been disappointing as I think Outlook is a really buggy and disappointing PIM relative to packages like ACT and Goldmine.

In general all of the software I have used has been good and I have tried to really push the handset and have generally felt that is has responded well.

Bluetooth: I love Bluetooth, but the P910 has highlighted some of the bugs associated with Bluetooth which I think is a given when you start to push the limits of bluetooth functionality. I have a Jabra headset that I use with the phone, the laptop and for my podcasts. I have had intermittent problems with dropped connections with the headset and the handset and I have had one major pairing drop off that I found disappointing. In addition to this I have the Bluetooth keyboard that really highlights the bluetooth failings. If I am typing rapidly with the keyboard while connected, I get a serious lag and sometimes dropped pairing. Not good, but if I route around this issue, I can get by.

Internet Access: I have had great success with Internet connectivity. My Blackberry style email functionality is addictive and wrong. I need to stop checking email every ten minutes when I am offline. IM works great. Internet surfing works great. The biggest issue has been network related and I think that relatively speaking the handset and network have performed adequately given the state of this type of technology.

Media Creation: Love it. The camera is a bit light, I wish it were megapixel. That said, the pics are of decent quality and I used the phone to document realtime the birth of our triplets. I guess that might be kind of weird, but the family and friends watching thought it was cool. The video capture is nice too. I need to find a videoblogging hosting site to start posting. I used the sound recorder to record a portion of my podcast, the $250 Million Radio show. I have used the keyboard and blogger to write some of my recent posts including some of the posts right before my kids were born last week.

Media Consumption: Nice. I use Bloglines to keep up to date on my RSS feeds. I can check out any website I normally would surf on my computer, on my phone. I have downloaded both the Daily Source code and Morning Coffee Notes in the last several days. This is the one area that I am a bit disappointed in. The speaker kind of sucks. Adam sounded great. Dave was hard to hear. If I could have transferred the sound to my Bluetooth headset that would have fixed the problem but it isn't an option. Apart from this I can download and play MP3 files and stream video to the phone.

PC Replacement: This device is really close. I can do all my Internet related stuff, email, IM and website surfing. I can review and do minor edits of all Microsoft apps. I can view PDF files. I have a memory slot port that takes up to a GIG. I have a full sized keyboard that is a little buggy, but generally works. If I am traveling with prepared docs for meetings I am good to go. If I have to edit and change docs, I think this falls down.

Conclusion: This is the first PMD that I have owned and it really speaks to me about a world that is just around the corner. A world where you can document your life on the fly, while you run your business, stay in touch with family and friends, and where technology recedes into the background. There are probably cheaper alternatives, but if you want to see why the P900 is the best selling smartphone, and to get a glimpse of your future mobile connected world, I think that the investment is a worthwhile sip at how our world is going to change in the very near future.

Evolving Personalized Information Center

This is really cool. It is a long clip that a friend pointed me to from a recent Slashdot post. Although this is a dystopian version of what may happen, it encapsulates many of the trends that the people I speak with see emerging as the future of media distribution.

P910 Review Part 1 - TMobile

I don't think you can really do a review of a cell phone without some extensive commentary on the carrier you use. Before I go into a really deep review of the Sony Ericsson P910, I thought that some comments on my carrier, TMobile, made sense as a starting point. As some added context I should add that I have a Verizon account and phone, a LG VX6000 and my wife has a Sony Ericsson T637 that she uses with her Cingular account.

I originally set up my account with TMobile after I left Vivendi. I wanted to have a really flexible cellular plan and relatively consistent bills. Most plans in my opinion are predicated on getting you to go over plan and then pay some heinous fees. As I was usually talking on the phone between 1500-3000 minutes a month, I opted for a 5000 minute plan. I knew that it would be next to impossible to go over that amount of time. The base rate for this plan was $99 a month. I added several customizations to the account including:

TZones which gives me unlimited Text Messages
And Tmobile Internet Access (I used to have Tmobile WIFI)

All in I pay around $150 a month with taxes and 411 calls.

Over the last two years I have been generally happy with the service and have noticed a steady improvement over time, probably partially as a result of the acquisition of the Cingular cell towers after the ATT and Cingular Merger.

For the purposes of this review the following are the most relevant to my experience:

Tmobile Internet GPRS
Tmobile Tzones GPRS

When I originally purchased my P910, I simply inserted my SIM chip into the phone and away I went. Everything worked, Email, IM, and Opera. Over the next two weeks, I hit a really bad snag. I could get the default Sony Browser to work, but I couldn't get Opera to work. Opera is the only way to go from my experience, so I spent a lot of time, backing up, reinstalling software etc. Finally I called TMobile. I should have done this first.

I had to be handed to Level 2 and Level 3 support on the various calls I made over the several days I was trying to debug this, but they were always really helpful and knowledgeable about what I was trying to accomplish. I would recommend that anyone using Tmobile with this handset call immediately to get your configuration set.

From a performance standpoint I have been happy. I wish that the handset supported EDGE connectivity, and that TMobile offered it, but generally website load times and email transfer times have been really reasonable given my previous GPRS experiences on a less advanced handset.

In conclusion, I have been really happy with Tmobile in general, and with this handset in particular. I think Tmobile has done a really good job creating a price leading and feature rich network that should fit most people's needs.

So without further ado, the P910 Review in the next post.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Podcasting Chuckle

Wow do I have a backlog of RSS feeds, emails and podcasts. I can see that the next couple of days are going to be busy. In the meantime, check out this.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The $250 Million Radio Show #11

Show #11 featuring:

Deron 5L
The Gospel of Gloom and Gladness
Justin and Tomek
3 Dates Later


Everyone came home

We all came home yesterday. The triplets never made a trip to the NICU, and now they are all home with us. Tomorrow, back to normal posts. I will continue to post some pics on Flickr for a while, but no more commentary, unless of course I can't help myself.

Thanks again.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A New Normal

Well it's been two days and we are taking it a day at a time. Tate has met the new intruders and he seems to like them. Jessica is recovering well and we expect her to go home Saturday. We aren't sure yet when the babaies will get cleared, but we think it will be soon thereafter. Thanks for the emails and calls.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Long Day

Triplets 020
Triplets 020,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Ok, so far so good. The triplets managed to stay out of the NICU. We still have a ways to go, but mom and babies are doing great right now. More new non-cameraphone pics on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

All is well

Mom is doing great.

Mallory 5lbs 9oz
Brit 5lbs 4oz
Tucker 5lbs 5oz

Minutes away

I am standing by. 1

Monday, December 13, 2004

Ok this time it's for real

We are doing the c-section tomorrow morning at 9AM. Guaranteed. Tomorrow I add to the worlds population problem. Oh well. Seriously though, I have to admit that I am struck by the idea that I am going to meet three new people tomorrow who are my children. I guess that isn't a common occurrence.

So as for that P910 review I am working on, and a miscellaneous post about user generated content, I guess they will have to wait. Pics can be found at my Flickr site. View it in semi real time.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Media I am Consuming Now

Books - Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media

TV - NFL, Anything HD like Discover, HDNet, etc. Wow HD is beautiful.

Games - Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas. After you get stuck on a mission, nothing satisfies like cruising around and beating people senseless. Or not.

Music - Pink Martini, Killers, Bright Eyes, My Chemical Romance, Fear Before the March of Flames, Johhny Cash, Cafe Tacuba.

Podcasts - Daily Source Code, Dawn and Drew, Evil Genius Chronicles.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Ringback Part Three

Tmobile launched Ringback yesterday under the name CallerTunes. Of course, I had to try it. Yeah sounds like a good idea, until you actually realize that everyone who calls your phone is going to hear a song. I could play some punk rock. Yeah, not good for business. I could play some classical. No, people might think they are in a telemarketing zone. I really don't know what to do. I ended up selecting Jingle Bells by Willie Nelson as it seemed like the least offensive alternative. The song plays for a really long time before going into voicemail. I think this is going to be a problem.

I have a really good idea though. If you had a personal message that was your ringback tone then that would be cool. "Hey I know you are calling me. If I am around I will answer your call. Unless I don't like you. Then you get voicemail. Then I won't call you back. So if you haven't gotten the hint...." Anyways you could see where that goes.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I jumped the gun...

Its going to be next week. The little ones need to cook a bit longer. Sigh.


Wow. I can't believe it. We are awaiting the results from an amnio test to see if their lungs are ready. If this test is good, then they come out tomorrow at lunch time. I obviously won't be posting much for the next couple of days, but I will be sending a ton of pictures to Flickr. I did a ton today. So if you want to see what happens the URL and RSS feed are below:



Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Why Do I Blog - Media Networking

I saw the posts on this and thought I would add my thoughts about my without further ado, Why Do I blog?

1. Gene Hoffman. When I first met Gene, which I think was 3 years ago, I started checking out his blog that was published on something called Movable Type. I thought this was SOOOOOO Geeky, but his writing was, as Gene is, very interesting. That said, I think his wife Heather is an even better writer. I didn't get it at first, but I thought that this was a really cool way to do web diaries, if I could just figure out how to use that strangely named tool.

2. Education. When I started blogging last spring, it was to understand what the experience was like. I know that I have some serious ADD, and this had the promise of documenting for me, the various things I am interested in over time and it would be the only way to understand firsthand this thing called blogging. I wanted to understand what this medium does for users. Today, I still learn new things as I continue to indulge in my ongoing education and conversation with myself and others.

3. Media Networking - In a world of a million channels, a world where it is harder than ever to find what you are looking for, people will find you through the media you create. I have found that by documenting periodically the things I am doing, seeing, thinking about, I can keep in touch with the many people I have become fortunate enough to call friends. It is a way to keep people posted about what's going on with you, and for you to follow what others are doing. Even more interesting than the people you already know, are the people you find you meet when you put yourself out there.

In the last several months, I have been contacted by people I haven't spoken with in 10-20 years. I have also made the acquaintance of many really interesting people like JD Lassica and others who are fascinated with media in the same way I am. I have talked to people about TV sets. I have had people email me to find out the name of a band on my podcast.

We will distribute media through our network of friends. We will find our friends through the media they create. We will meet people who have common interests through the media that we each create. At a fundamental level, this is why I blog.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The $250 Million Radio Show #10 - The Triplet Special

Ok, so we have the triplet c section scheduled for Friday at noon, barring any sudden change. Here is a nice little pre-triplet podcast. Catch you on the other side.....



Microsoft Passport Insanity Part Two

David Weinberger has a similar issue, although I wasn't as troubled by the kissy face thing.

Sony Lawsuit against Blogger

I read about Kottke getting nasty legal threats from Sony and liked this post here. Having worked at a company that was sued, and PAID OUT over $250 Million dollars to content companies, I am painfully aware of the use of copyrighted material. It would behoove those of us who want to comment and hold stuff out there for others to get acquainted with the copyright laws. If we don't like the ways that the laws are being written, and enforced, we need to do something about it by calling our legislators and creating alternative models that don't step on the laws and invite trouble.

Aside from any issues of newsworthiness etc., the content companies are clearly within their rights to take the actions that they do, and it is a rational approach given existing law. I think the comments that Lawrence Lessig makes regarding the need to change these laws should become important reading material for people who don't like the state of the law.

Ringback Comments

I hadn't checked my RSS feeds this AM, but MocoNews links to this article that suggests that Ringbacks may be a passing phase like when you played that stupid song on your voicemail that you required your friends and family to listen to before they could leave a message.


This morning I had to call our development partner, eMbience, to discuss some product related items. I called Nimish on his cell phone as it was early and I wanted to make sure I spoke with him directly. When the call apparently connected to his cell phone to ring, I heard what I think was a waltz by Beethoven. I am not quite sure which piece, but it was obviously something classical. If I weren't a cell phone geek, I probably would have hung up the phone and tried calling back again. Because I am a cell phone geek, I listened to the phone for a while and then Nimish answered the phone.

As a fan of new cell services, this is really cool. As a general consumer, I am not quite sure I get it. Without some kind of education or information, it felt like I went into some kind of phone telemarketing hell, or my phone wasn't working right. I am sure as consumers figure it out it will be cool like ringtones, but I expect there is going to be a lot of head scratching for a bit.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Microsoft Insanity - MSN Spaces .Net Passport

Ok, so I am more than interested to see what Microsoft has come up with as it relates to blogging and I am very curious what Spaces has. Of course when I go to set up an account, Microsoft requires me to have a .Net passport account. End of demo. I refuse.

When every other blogging tool has a low barrier to entry, why would Microsoft require this? I know that if I blog at a MS site then they will have information about me and all that, but requiring .Net passport is just too much.

It is these types of actions that have me using Firefox and Eudora and Symbian OS on my phone. I just wish MS would learn to play nice.

MiniGPS - Update

Been playing around a bit with Mini GPS. I really think the alert function is cool, but it does have some strange behavior that I hadn't anticipated. You can assign an action to the logging in or logging out of a cell tower. I decided to put an alert that told me when I got to work and that sent an sms to Tom. So as I roll into the parking structure this morning, my phone goes crazy telling me I am at work. I of course know this, but it doesn't want to stop sending me an alarm. I finally get it to stop, and then shudder when I think about the 10 or so SMS messages I must have sent to Tom. He quickly sent me an SMS that said "WTF? 23 sms messages? I will be at work a little later"

Ok, so I have some more work to do with this.....

Bluetooth Update

Yesterdays 'travel without laptop' experiment went pretty well. The only major glitch I had was something associated with bluetooth. I was banging away on my little Stoway Blue Tooth Keyboard and started getting some weird behavior, like stuck keys and long delays displaying text. At one point it just stopped. I assumed the battery was dead. I put it away and started picking with the stylus. Later that day I noticed that my headset was no longer called a Jabra headset but instead had a weird serial number. All of a sudden the pairing with the headset barfed.

I was a bit freaked out and decided to reboot everything. I did this and after some rework pairing all the devices, things were good. I used the P910 and the keyboard all the way home reading websites and RSS feeds on bloglines and managing to get out some emails as well.

I did have a couple o panic moments when I wanted to find some information that was on the laptop, but all in all it was very cool. I think I am pretty close to writing up a big review on the P910.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Pacific Surfliner

Pacific Surfliner
Pacific Surfliner,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Heading Home.

The Metro Red Line

The Metro Red Line
The Metro Red Line,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Subway to Universal City...

Union Station

Union Station
Union Station,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Room where they filmed a scene from Blade Runner. Of course this afternoon they were filming a new sci fi film there as well....

Anaheim Stop

Anaheim Stop
Anaheim Stop,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Angel Stadium.

Solana Beach train station

Solana Beach train station
Solana Beach train station,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Off early this morning to Los Angeles.

What is Moblogging? Postscript

Ok, I expect that this will be a typo filled post as I don't think the spellchecker will work on the handset but maybe.

So my contention has been that mobile blogging will be a different experience than normal blogging. I still think that this is what will occur, but I write this post using my Sony Ericsson P910 and my Stowaway keyboard. With this configuration, I have a replacement for my laptop. I am using Opera to look at websites, and my email client works like a Blackberry. All this while riding the train.

In addition to this I am posting occasional pictures and comments to flickr for cross posting later today.

I don't think there is much of a near term likelihood of normal people using this kind of configuration anytime soon. To me, the short text or picture type messages are more in line with 'mobile blogging' than using this kind of configuration to do my 'normal blogging. Anyway, that's my opinion.

Triplet Update - They are coming soon

We had the last ultrasound yesterday. Jessica is around 32 1/2 weeks and the kids measured, Mallory 4.7lbs, Brit 4.3 lbs, and Tucker 4.7lbs. Based on this the doctor wants to schedule the C section for next Friday. Wow, now this is getting real, they are almost here...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

MiniGPS - Hints of the LBS future

Several months ago when I was doing a survey of J2ME and other handset apps, one of the applications that caught my eye was from a company called Psiloc that makes a product called MiniGPS. I have continued with getting familiar with the Sony Ericsson P910 that I am just crazy about, and last night decided to get a copy of MiniGPS.

It is a really cool application. While most of us in the United States are in the nether region between LBS and non-location aware handsets, this application identifies the cell tower that you are attached to. You can go around and check the cell tower where you are located at during your travels and assign an ID to the tower. For example my home, the Intercasting office, and the Starbucks by my house. Once you have identified these locations, you can actually program events to correspond with your connection to that cell tower. For example, I could send an SMS to my wife when I hit the cell tower past the merge of Interstate 5 and 805 indicating that I am getting close to home. If I took the coastal route I could send her a different SMS telling her I took the Del Mar route.

Of course most of this is novelty today, but it speaks to the power of what LBS will be able to do and also the importance of location as a new metatag for a variety actions that we take as we move around in our increasingly connected world.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Copyright Counter Revolution and the Trend Towards Edge of the Network Media

The last several weeks have been very busy so I thought today would be a good day to catch up on some long overdue RSS feeds and started posts. The oldest started post from two weeks ago was in response to this Robin Good article.

There isn't much to add to what is contained there or in the Wired article referenced other than it is crucially important for us to educate ourselves about what is happening in copyright law with things like Induce, and that we create opportunities for content and media distribution that stand apart as an example of alternatives to the existing infrastructure. The best way to do that is to think through what the missing pieces are for this infrastructure to be successful such as measurement, ease of use, methods of promotion and more importantly to not let these alternatives be polluted by using them to distribute copyrighted materials which will only invite the wrath, pr and armies of lawyers controlled by large media companies.

Monday, November 29, 2004

p910 camera phone pic from 31,000 feet

Got to try out the airplane friendly mode of the P910a on this flight today from San Diego to San Jose. Pretty cool to have this mode. It didn't seem to kill the battery too bad.

Content Ecosphere - Part 2 / BitTorrent

I had a couple of comments to the last Content Ecosphere post and wanted to hit on a couple of the issues raised.

Jason mentioned that BitTorrent has great stats, which I think is very important, and its great to see it. I started down the path of experimenting with BitTorrent a bit, and bought a TShirt, and found that BitTorrent isn't very user friendly, even for someone who is fairly technical. More importantly I think some of the following as existing roadblocks for the time being:

1. BitTorrent seems best for widely distributed files. If you are Adam Curry, or you want to distribute content that has a certain critical mass in terms of audience, then this works well. If you are looking for more marginal content in terms of audience, then you throughput is really low. An example I tried was a copy of Max Headroom shows. I thought they would be plentiful but when I started the downloads the transfer rate was really slow, although it did spike up occasionally.

2. The architecture inherently puts you at risk given the current copyright litigation jihad. The key rulings so far around copyright infringement speak to those that share as guilty of violating the various copyright laws of your jurisdiction of choice. Because you have to share on BitTorrent, you are exposed. Granted sharing open source or Creative Commons material doesn't necessarily put you at risk, the concept that its ok if I download only gets hurt by the architecture, which I think will scare some people off.

3. Nothing is really free. The adware invasion inflicted on people who have used Kazaa and similar services puts a damper on the likelihood of mainstream consumers to use P2P services like BitTorrent even though I don't believe that the situation is similar. I think the lesson many people have learned recently is that opening up your firewall to these types of programs, or making the installation, can become a big drag on computer resources.

4. Barring the above, BitTorrent seems like a really strong distribution option for those who want to proliferate content at low expense. I think that the rate of the MP3 file downloads cited by Jason in his comment is more a function of the relative newness of torrent files relative to MP3 files.

There was another comment regarding how this relates to wireless that I will address separately. If you are interested, the other podcasters displaying the data around this conversation can be found here:

Radio Brothers

Jason and Ben sent theirs in email. If they post them somewhere to link to, I will update this post.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Podcast 9

Out of the holiday haze and back to life. Uploaded Show #9 featuring the following:

The Wrists
Four Letter Lie
Sputnik Monroe

Enjoy the file or from the feed.

If you like or dislike something email me at or put some music at and drop me an email to check it out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sony Ericsson P910 - Initial thoughts

I want to write up a formal review, but I think that's going to take a couple of days of use to get a complete feel for what the moster can do. Here are my initial experiences so far:

1. The contact management integration is great. I was able to put in all of my 1000 or so contacts but it required me to abandon ACT and move to Outlook. I am really bummed about that as I think Act and Goldmine are much better software than Outlook. I had a ton of problems with the calendar functions from Outlook to the handset.

2. Bluetooth integration with my Jabra headset is much better than with the T610.

3. Battery life seems adequate but not outstanding. I think this is going to require a car adaptor for travel and an extra battery pack charger.

4. Memory stick Duo is not the normal Memory Stick. I didn't anticipate that. That is a bummer.

5. Web browsing is really cool, although still a tad slow which is a function of my network to some extent (TMobile). That said my all you can eat data account makes me feel okay about it.

6. The thumbpad is really small as I have read elsewhere, but it is usable. Tomorrow I pair my Stowaway keyboard and get cracking.

All in all I am really excited by this device. The reason I bought a phone that made me cough at the price was to understand the constraints and possibilities of the next generation of handsets. The wireless future is truly exciting. More later.

Thanksgiving email from 2 years ago...

I sent the following to my staff two years ago. I thought it would be fun to share it:

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It's a time to take stock in things as we reach the end of a year, hang out with family and friends, and gorge ourselves on rich foods. It's also the longest stretch of time off we consistently have away from work year after year.

I like the fact that nobody partakes in any commerce, other than buying food and drink, and that it doesn't necessarily favor one religion over another like many other holidays around this time of the year.

I used to help my mom in the kitchen when I was a child and as I got older I latched onto this holiday as the one holiday a year that I placed special emphasis on.

During the first couple of years of my marriage, Jessica and I would begin preparations for dinner the night before, and we turned the evening prior into an impromptu party. Mind you, that really just involved me and one of my best friends starting out with eggnog and then escalating into scotch as the evening progressed. Some mornings me and the turkey had a real rough time as I had failed to drink enough water to offset the scotch the night before.

This night before became a ritual in our house, so we decided to invite any of you who may care to come over this Wednesday night for a little wine, cheese, snacks etc. from 7 - 9 PM.


originally uploaded by brikmaster.
The T-610 was replaced last night. I am currently setting the new moster up. This was the last pic from the old one, looking at its replacement.

Monday, November 22, 2004

User Generated Content - Content Ecosphere

Things go in phases I guess. One of the things I enjoy about blogging is keeping drafts of things that are important to you. I received an email earlier today from Jason Evangelho who does the Hardcore Insomnia Radio Podcast. He asked myself and a couple of others to provide some subscriber data about our shows as he is a fan of our shows (as we are of his I assume). It prompted me to finish this which I began in September, and the answer to Jason's question is now embedded....

I was talking with someone last spring about and generally about the drivers for user generated content businesses. Different people will come up with different conclusions based on their experiences, but to me the formula is as follows:

Hosting + Stats + Audience = Audience + Artists(generally) + Marketable Demographic/Psychographic Data

At we offered the first three, free song hosting, artist stats and audience. The bands/artists drove their fans to the site increasing their stats, and growing the audience. We in turn received more general consumers, more artists, and could derive interesting things from the data for the purpose of advertising, programming etc.

An interesting idea that a good friend of mine often repeats is that people are motivated by only four things: Power, Adventure, Love and Fame. User generated content can arguably reach different aspects of each, but the one that gets tricky is fame. With the exception of the A list bloggers in the blogging world, or bands, or photo enthusiasts, most of us grapple with a measure of audience or more simply Fame. Our efforts want a feedback loop to understand if what we are saying is reaching anyone or if it has any value. We look at our site meter stats or our bloglines subscribers. These are markers but not good absolute measures of fame. They are not Nielsen, or Billboard, or a Best Sellers list or some other equivalent.

The User Generated Content Ecosphere must have some component of Hosting (free or paid), some sense of audience ( I do 'this' somewhere where people might randomly come across what I make) and a sense of Statistics (What am I doing relative to everyone else). There are clearly pieces of this, and I mean this post less as a statement of what must be, rather I mean it to be a starting point of a conversation about what does the alternative media distribution system at the edge of the network look like? Which brings me to Jason's question....

I don't know how many subscribers I have to my Podcast. I do know that instead of working out a BitTorrent or some other alternative distribution ala P2P, I have the luxury so far of using a hosted account I have for some other purposes to host the podcasts I have created. The benefit of centralized hosting is the monitoring of your statistics. As a data freak I comb the logs frequently to try to gleam meaning from what I see. I know that in addition to the many complete downloads I get, there are a large number of small sized requests that transfer very few bites. I have some half baked ideas about what they represent but will withhold commentary until I know more. So, Jason, in answer to your question, here is the detail of the requests for each of the shows I have done as of this morning Tuesday November 23:

59933: 4.44%: Nov/23/04 8:10 AM: /temp/250million05.mp3
56917: 1.56%: Nov/23/04 8:10 AM: /temp/250million04.mp3
49742: 2.12%: Nov/22/04 6:06 PM: /temp/Show 3.mp3
42735: 3.66%: Nov/23/04 8:21 AM: /temp/250million06.mp3
38363: 2.49%: Nov/22/04 6:00 PM: /temp/250million02.mp3
25698: 3.23%: Nov/22/04 6:01 PM: /temp/250million.mp3
18406: 2.24%: Nov/23/04 8:21 AM: /temp/250million07.mp3
878: 0.26%: Nov/23/04 8:31 AM: /temp/250million08.mp3

I roll off the shows at 5 per feed so currently only shows 4-8 are in my feed.

It sort of begs the question to me of what happens with podcasting if we all move to BitTorrent. We definitely defray our costs, but what mechanism do we put in place to measure our audience? How do we know that the data we transfer is ever listened to? What is the Arbitron of podcasting/blogging/moblogging, etc?

High Definition TV

I am a big early adopter of pure technology as it relates to computers. I had a Vic 20 and one of the next generation of PCs for many years. I was a little slow to get involved with BBS's and didn't really hit the Internet until 1994. Since then, I have been using whatever new comes along at all times.

The area where I have been a laggard has been home audio and video. I never bought nice televisions. I never bought a good stereo. To this day, I use a really bad desktop style stereo at home and don't own a nice receiver or speakers. Given my love for music this is really odd. Two years ago I made my first exception.

As someone who is fixated on media, I thought that understanding Hi-Definition Television was important to understanding how home entertainment will transform in the coming years. I didn't think that the transformation was limited to a better picture, rather I thought it would impact what programming looks like and what is important in that construct.

My first step was to buy a Sony HD Ready TV, a 250lb Tube monster. I didn't understand what that meant at the time, but what it means is that you have to buy more stuff, namely a converter that takes a signal and readies it for display. At the time I had Digital Cable and satellite. I looked at both of their offerings and was disappointed by the recurring cost. It seemed fairly high given what the offering was at the time, essentially a couple channels of HD programming.

My next step seemed sort of odd, but I knew that the government mandated over the air digital signals and that the networks would be broadcasting digital signal you could capture with an antenna, so I decided to buy an antenna. I had to install two because the local networks broadcast from two different points at different locations in San Diego County. It has worked great. I continue to get satellite and also get local channels in HD via the antenna.

So why all this? I decided to upgrade. I recently got an HD Plasma TV Sony KDE-42XS955. It is awesome. I am freaked out by the whole plasma thing, but I am convinced that I will be fine for a long time as this is really the home theater TV. I was a not quite early adopter of TiVo, but have now fully embraced DVRs as I added an HD DVR to go with the TV. Tomorrow it all gets set up.

The viewing experience on HD has been interesting. For football, it feels like you are at the game. For other shows, you can actually see the bad acne on some actors. It definitely adds to shows like Cold Case that look more professional that they do to me on normal signals. If you are curious, I would wait a bit for pricing to come down, and if you have satellite, know that you need an antenna for local channels, which is sort of odd.

I haven't had a chance to check out Voom or any of the Mark Cuban stuff, but plan to do so and report back later.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Podcast 8

Is here. The triplet mania, and fantasy football are killing my blogging this weekend. Later tonight. Sure. After I actually get some work done.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Birthday week

I kind of took the week off from blogging. I turned 38 this week which sounds really old to me, but was sort of a strange marker as my mother passed away before she was 38. All in all it was a great birthday, got to spend some time at the spa, caught The Motorcycle Diaries, and hung out with the family.

I have three posts I need to write and a podcast to post probably later this evening.

I also decided that even though I haven't been able to confirm the ship date for the Sony Ericsson P910A, I went ahead and pre-ordered it today. I cant wait to get it. I saw the launch promo which put me over the edge.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Change This - Bootstrappers Bible

I don't usually plug something before I read the whole thing, but the Bootstrappers Bible by Seth Godin. It's long which is why I don't think I will get to it for a couple of days, but my quick skim suggests that this is a great reference piece for my fellow entrepreneurs.

People Who Hate Los Angeles

I read this from Dave Winer. I thought his comments were lame. Then I read this by Doc Searls before I had a chance to put my thoughts down.

Los Angeles is a truly unique city unlike any other on the planet. It is a city dripping with opportunity and seedy characters trying to get ahead by any means necessary. Where Manhattan is a wonderful mass of people and buildings, LA is a city of geography. There is no 'there' there. From the snowcapped Angeles Crest Mountains to the hills of Malibu to the tip of Palos Verdes, Los Angeles is a city you experience by driving through it, in it, around it. It is a car city.

It's a city with no history and a city of dreams. People come here from all over the world to re-invent themselves, to make a new future and to sometimes fail in a really sunny place. Its a city of great wealth and poverty. Driving along Wilshire Blvd. from Downtown Los Angeles through the Central American Pico Union District, to Korea Town, to Mid - Wilshire and the La Brea tarpits, to Beverly Hills to Westwood, to Santa Monica, is truly a cultural experience.

I could go on for pages but more importantly, to me the provincial view of others towards any city is funny. I love New York, LA, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Washington DC, and of course San Diego. Each of these cities have their pluses and minuses that can really only be experienced when you pour yourself into the unique experience that they offer. If you can't take a city for all its beauty and ugly, you should stay home.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Ok, so I post about eMusic the other day and then the company that owns eMusic, Dimensional goes out and buys the Dreamworks publishing catalog.

It's an interesting strategy they are taking, picking up a variety of assets at presumably a really good price. It will be interesting to see what they do next.

Capitol records

Capitol records
Capitol records,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
10 minutes earlier while cruising through Hollywood.

Harbor freeway

Harbor freeway
Harbor freeway,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Dont Drive and Blog! T610 south 101 overpass at intersection of south 110, downtown LA.

Podcast 7

Finished show 7 on the train. Will upload it when I find some Wifi. Had some cool references this week at Podcastreviews, Podcat, and Adam Curry's PodSquad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

eMusic re-launch

For the second time in a couple of months I have been prompted to complete a post that I had saved as a draft as a result of an email. The last time it was an email from Always On. I don't really have an update on that other than I keep forgetting to visit that site in my rapidly diminishing free time.

This time it is eMusic. eMusic relaunched about a month ago. At that time I wanted to give my two cents on what I thought of the changes. [Full disclosure - I oversaw eMusic for around a year and a half, and must say that I wasn't personally responsible for any significant changes to the service offering during that time other than to insist on consolidating it on the same platform as The team at eMusic has done an amazing job with the least amount of resources for a real long time. This is meant as a post from a long time subscriber and fan. That said....]

When eMusic relaunched I spent a lot of time on the site, as I have always done since they have implemented the 40 downloads a month model. I don't know why it bugs me about subscription services, but I feel like I got cheated if my counter resets to 40 and I didn't get all 40 downloaded in a month. There are a lot of good underlying IP reasons for this as well as economic, which I understand given digital music history, but as a consumer it is the same reason I cancelled my pressplay/Napster account.

I overlook this annoyance for two main reasons. 1. eMusic gives me open MP3 files. Very cool. No problems moving files around, no device compatibility problems, etc. 2. It has an amazing catalog of music for music fiends. Almost every indie label of note has a deal with eMusic. Vitcory, Epitaph, Concord, etc. It isn't the service for everyone, but if you like your catalog specialized but deep, there is nothing like it.

So the new owners of eMusic made a major overhaul to the service and moved it yet another platform. Moving from one platform to another isn't a trivial task and it is key to building the future of where you want the product to go. I applaud them on that. In the process they have added a bunch of community features that I haven't really figured out yet. They also added editors which is a great concept for people exploring deep catalog. They added the editors at the same time that they got rid of the recommendation engine. Bad. This was my primary means of finding new interesting eMusic content.

I hadn't been to the site for a couple of weeks, but knew that before my renewal day that I would have to go download something, anything to get to my 40 tracks before they ding my credit card again. Then I got the email telling me about all the cool features. I was pumped. I went immediately to the site and knowing that the recommendation engine was gone that I would see a new article from my editor of choice. Not.

For future reference. Please update ALL the features before spamming everyone. It was kind of disappointing and I still don't know what new tracks to download of the 40 I get.

The bigger question I have for eMusic involves the market opportunity. I met with an acquaintance in New York and we talked a bit about eMusic. I told him that my theory with eMusic was that its THE best service out there for certain customers but that barring the addition of significantly more content, it may have reached the majority of that audience given the growth rates I saw. I hope I am wrong. I will give it a couple of more months to see if I keep the credit card treadmill running, or call it a day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Triplet Update

I got sick over the weekend. When I left BloggerCon I had a real bad headache that over the weekend evolved into some low grade combination illness that isn't deadly, but really has cramped my ability to get stuff done when I should be really working hard. It kind of pisses me off. So what does this have to do with triplets?

I had a big time physical last week and our perinatologist and pediatrician both recommended that everyone in the house get a flu shot. I am sure you can see where this is going. So at the conclusion of the physical I get a tetanus shot, a flu shot, and a pneumonia vaccine. Tate, our two year old had the day previously come home from pre-school with hand, foot and mouth disease or as I call it hoof and mouth disease. I think that the shots combined with my son's amazing viral powers got me in this mess.

Last week at the long ultrasound all the babies are looking good, weighing 3.1 lbs and continue to develop quickly as triplets do. I am sure the triplet updates will increase as the day of reckoning approaches. For those if you who don't know, we DIDN"T use fertility drugs and it doesn't run in the family. I guess we are just lucky.....

Sunday, November 07, 2004

$250 Million Show #6 from BloggerCon

Posted show #6 here. Nothing about BloggerCon just recorded before and after. A little more impromptu for me but given the normal quality or lack therof of the commentary its a normal show. Had an email asking about the first band. The name is Appogee. Very cool country meets electronica from a guy who has done some cool Bright Eyes remixes. All the show credits for #5 and #6 later.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

BloggerCon III Law

The best for last? Loved hearing Lessig put the issues in context and seeing as he is at the forefront of the technology and content wars, there probably are none more aware of the issues large and small. Lots of Hank Barry as well. I meant to ask him and don't recall if the contributory copyright damages claim against Hummer Winblad was ever put to bed. I assume it was. That's a scary thought, because I funded Napster I get creamed. Ouch.

Had to bone out to do the airport thing, unfortunately missing the closing session, The Fat Man Sings. Hope to catch up on it through MP3 files later. All in all a very interesting day. Recorded a podcast before and after that I will throw up on the server, hopefully before my plane leaves. More afterthoughts later. Something about what happens when the most influential bloggers number in the thousands and a gathering like this doesn't work....

BloggerCon III Mobloging

Interesting discussions around moblogging / promise/examples/etc. It felt like the 'anguish', if I could be so free to describe it as such, is largely related to how many of us grapple with how it is different and the same as web blogging, etc. It seems to me that as more tools get into the hands of people to enable this concept of mobile blogging, it will become more clear what it is. I also think and the point was made repeatedly by a few, that there are many people for who the mobile device is their only method of connecting to the "Global WAN". These people will be too busy creating and consuming mobile originated content that they wont really have the time to engage us in a conversation of what is 'is'.

BloggerCon III Post Overload

This was a highly interactive session. I didn't really have much to add. I am not sure that it changed my perspective on overload. Read the right amount of stuff for me. Groom my lists periodically. Keep the time to as small as possible to fee satisfied. The fireworks around commercial speech with David was interesting. I didn't understand the polarized opinions I had heard mentioned elsewhere. I think Dave was right, and I am not blowing him, but HOW he was right was understandably off putting to many in the room.

BloggerCon III - Post Podcasting

The National Anthem - This Land is Your Land....Nice very Jib Jab.

Adam Curry did the first session on podcasting that was lively and interesting. My favorite part was towards the end when Hank Barry raised the issue of MP3 as a format, and Larry Lessig hinted at making podcasting impervious to lawsuit. I don't think a lot of people got it, but my previous post from two days ago echos what they were saying....

It was fun to get a quick word with Hank Barry afterwards as a kindred spirit in understanding the lawsuit issues.

Next Up Overload.

BloggerCon III - Post 1

Up early, heading off to grab some Starbucks and then settle in for a fun day at BloggerCon...More here later.

OK, back on. Latte over on University avenue. Crisp fall morning in Palo Alto. Kind of reminds me of when I worked here back in 1998-1999 at Sun Microsystems.

Got to Blogger Con very early. Decided to start Podcast of show #6 in the parking lot. Realized I never posted the link to show 5 which was an electronic version. Put in some commentary and then went in to register.

Here's where it got a little more difficult. It appears I was in the large group of people who didn't have their registration cards in the stack. Of course I panicked briefly as I had flow here from San Diego and not getting in, or not getting a good seat, would really suck. I got to meet Dave and explained that I was on the list. This was right after the guy ahead of me freaked out. Not cool. Patience, reason, usually works. They pulled up the list and realized that there were a large number of people in my situation, on the list, but not with a card. It could have something to do with the way the cards were first name. That and I saw a guy walk out with a bunch of cards a little while later....Hmmmmm.

Oh well, so here I am set up on wifi and waiting for the show to start. Should be a blast. Saw a couple of people I know already, Stowe Boyd, Andy Abramson...More later.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Podcasting, Copyright, and Lessons from Digital music

Over the last couple of days I have been listening to some of Dave and Adam's podcasts and I must admit that I cringed a bit when I heard some familiar music and caught some comments about using BitTorrent to catch the West Wing.

Specifically this morning I listened to an IT Conversations with Dave from October 27th which was very cool and gave me a lot more insight into Dave than what I have gleaned from his blogs these few short months I have been reading it. He describes podcasting in awesome terms regarding the evolution of the technology, but fails to speak to the IP issues. (Not Internet Protocol :-) )

Podcasting, which I think is not what this ultimately is labeled, has a decision to make. The leaders of this 'movement' or however you want to describe this have two paths that I see. The first path is to savor the technical elegance of what they have created with RSS and enclosures and OPML, etc. and ignore the underlying copyright wars that have been fought since the time of the passage of the DMCA. Napster's solution was elegant. MyMP3 was elegant. We all recognize and bemoan the state of content vs. Technology as articulated by Lessig and others. If people insist on using copyrighted content, and talk of embracing the technology that the media companies despise in a flagrant way, this form of distribution/new media/ edge of the network content will be demonized, litigated and made an example of by the armies of lawyers that fight these battles daily.

The second path is to make this an attractive means of distribution for traditional media. You do that by building an audience. You do that by showcasing those artists and creators of content that embrace the new paradigm. You do that by pointing to useful uses of BitTorrent like software distribution that hold the technology out as being ultimately good replacements for the broadcast or physical alternatives. You do that by approaching the media companies and offering to work with them in innovative ways with their cooperation. I think Warner Music Group is a good example of that with MP3 blogs. You learn the lessons of previous litigation and understand where you are stepping on a landmine and where you aren't. At we weren't found guilty of allowing people to stream from lockers content that arguably may have Fair Use merit. We were found guilty of ripping the CDs and putting the files on servers. That hurts, and it doesn't really advance the argument over Fair Use. At least today.

I heard a comment about a podcaster getting an ASCAP license, which is very cool. But that isn't all that is required. The publishers will argue that a mechanical reproduction of their content requires a license and payment.

An alternative distribution platform, that is spearheaded by well known and intelligent people who can lead the direction of this technology/movement, will ultimately succeed or fail like so many other creative and technically brilliant ideas depending on the choices they make. I hope they show the promise of this technology and get the media companies to move towards us, not move us towards the courts.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

User Generated Content: Godcasters

I read Doc Searls article about the election. It's a great piece, but as a media obsessive, I thought that this article that he references is even more interesting.

This is not unlike Rhizome Radio or other forms of low power FM and AM radio. Very cool, independent of your politics. Inexpensive cost structure, hive like coordination, navigating the edge of administrative and legal definitions.

I believe that the edge of the network media distribution systems continue to find ways around the blockages and constraints of the system to deliver the message, much as TCP/IP was designed to support messaging after a nuclear war. (Ok so I take a little license without explanation)

The bad news is that traditional media will continue to use the resources at their disposal to stop the unfettered development of distribution systems that are not respectful of their current business models. The good news, not unlike the open source movement, is that there is strength in numbers and that the collective intelligence and effort of the edge of the network is a mighty powerful force.

One Vote at a Time / One Customer at a Time

Of course I was glued to the television last night until around 10:30 PM when I threw in the towel. I was doing the math in my head and couldn't figure out how they would get the votes from the provisional ballots to add up. The commentary all night was around the late results in Ohio and how they would close the gap. They did, but not in a meaningful way.

I have scanned a number of blogs today and have seen a lot of people wonder out loud how we could all collectively be so stupid? This makes me laugh. Of course all of us who didn't vote for Bush had strong feelings about why he shouldn't be re-elected, but so did the people who voted for him, and at last count there were 4,000,000 more of them than us.

Aside from the issues and motivations on both the left and the right, to me it really comes down to the challenge we face as well in business, we have to win our customers/voters one at a time. We have to not only get them to love our product/candidate but we have to get them to actually make a purchase/cast a vote. When you boil this night down in the coming days, the side that won was the side that managed to get their people out to vote. We all knew that there was great polarization, but we also knew it was a dead heat. When that happens, those who show up win. They did a masterful job of getting their side to show up. It truly is a meaningful reminder to me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Religion and Politics

This morning I decided to take my son Tate to the polling place to vote with me. As we drove up to the polls I recalled that all of my early impressions of politics were shaped by my great grandmother Henrietta Castillo and my step-great grandfather Abel Sanchez. She was a very short, fair skinned lady who was the daughter of a Spanish minister. Her husband, who wasn't my blood great grandfather but had been married to her for decades before I was born, was a dark skinned Mexican-American from the area that had transferred to the United States in the Gadsen purchase, an area around Nogales and Tombstone Arizona.

I spent a lot of my childhood with them as my father was stationed overseas and my mother worked. They lived in the barrio around the Santa Fe switchyards in San Bernardino. They were the quintessential Grapes of Wrath people. They didn't have much, but worked hard, and were very impactful in my youth. When I was around 7 years old or so, they would sit down with me and show me all the voter information. They would talk to me about the issues, and would tell me all about politics through the eyes of die hard Roosevelt Democrats. Elections have always made me think of them, and I know that my eternal fascination with politics can be traced back to them.

Over time my politics have migrated from their influence from my campaign work in high school for a conservative Democratic Assemblyman from my hometown, to Green Party organizing work in the early 90s, to Jerry Brown volunteer in 92, to Clintonite Centrist Democrat today. I think that if you are exposed early to politics, its hard to break away from those early influences, much like religion. That's not to say that you don't renounce or move away from either, its more that it becomes a part of the things you think about and consider throughout your life.

It wasn't until later today that this fully occurred to me and I laughed to myself when I thought about Tate at the polling place. We walked in and showed our ID and I turned to him and asked him to tell the lady what we were going to do. He looked at her sheepishly and said 'Vote for John Kerry'.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Podcast Update

Will do Show #5 before I head to Palo Alto for Blogger Con. Show 5 will be electronic, hopefully a little Thievery Corporation like if I can find enough chill out music. We sent out an Acme email tonight so for those of you looking to links of the earlier shows, you can search the blog or click on the links below:

Show 1
Show 2
Show 3

Jess overlooking Tikal

Jess overlooking Tikal
Jess overlooking Tikal,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Looking out across the canopy at Tikal - Guatemala. It was like something out of Return of the Jedi. This photo was taken from one of the ledges from the highest point in Tikal.

Caracol - Belize

originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Taking it easy after a climb to the top of the highest pyramid in Caracol.

More Flickr Meets Belize

Ok, so a little more trying out Flickr and the pics will be done. Apparently the free account resets each calendar month so I put up more pictures today. I will cross post a couple and then get back to some serious political website surfing. The end is near!!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Belize April 2004

Picture Archive on June 24 143
Picture Archive on June 24 143,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I spoke about Belize many months ago, but only recently figured out how to put the amazing pictures online. So here is one from a stroll along the water's edge.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

John Kerry

I am what I guess could best be called typical of my peers whether you call them Republicans or Democrats. Most of us who live in California and work in businesses in technology are economically conservative and socially liberal, er maybe even Libertarian in some cases. I have moved over time from left leaning to just a tad bit left of center.

I am not wildly excited about John Kerry, but I don't see how you can vote for someone who has run the country the way George Bush has these last four years. Several calls to amend the Constitution? Record deficits with Tax cuts? Iraq?

Time for change. Too bad Bill Clinton couldn't run again(That should get some excited).

I must say more importantly that after next week, I will miss my frequent helpings of the following:


Thanks for making me care and making me realize how shrill both sides can be.

A closely divided Legislative body should act as a buffer against anything too crazy from either of the potential winners.

Out of Touch & Podcast #4

Travel is bad for blogging, RSS reading, and Podcasting. Fortunately its good for business which I guess is why we do it. I have some topics to catch up on in some posts later, but for now I leave you with a bit of a hard edged version of the radio show....

A couple of things I can't forget. We stayed at the W in San Francisco, enjoyed some great food at LuLu's and EOS, but the most memorable part involves this car. We needed to rent a car to go from SF to Menlo Park for several meetings and when we stepped outside to get into the rental car they brought this monstrosity....

So there we were, a half a tank of gas, a half pack of cigarettes, looking for money for the penguin....

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

CTIA Update

Lots of meetings. Lots of fun. Didn't do the sessions piece so I would say that I didn't see anything earthshaking like at the spring show. In between meetings I saw this post, and realized that the place was across the street and was during an open time.

So I got to meet Russ in person, and also got to meet the founders of Buzznet, Feedburner, and one of the Digital Chocolate people. The crowd got big too fast so it devolved into small groups, but it was fun to randomly get to hang out with some cool people.

Today, more meetings.....

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Show Attribution

Ok so here are the links to the various artists featured in the existing shows:

Show #1
All Thats Left
A Second Chance
Eight Page Pullout
The Gospel of Gloom and Gladness

Show #2
Atomic Garden
Core 13
Sputnik Monroe
All Thats Left

Show #3
Head Change
Sara Schaefer
All Thats Left

Since the publication of the first podcast I there have been 12,819 requests for shows, 1336 downloads of Show #1, 544 of Show #2, and 208 of Show #3. Its been fun watching the power of RSS distribution.

Thanks again to the plugs from Adam and Dave and the nice comment yesterday from Hardcore Insomnia Radio. If you want to send me something for the show drop me an email and put some files up on AcmeNoise.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The $250 Million Radio Show #3

Posted today here. Dave Winer mentioned the show Thursday in his coffee notes. Very cool. I swear I will do the band list for all three shows with links later today or tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2004

October 8 016

October 8 016
October 8 016,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
The coolest guy on the planet checking out the USS Midway museum in downtown San Diego.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Northern California Twice

Next week it's off to CTIA in San Francisco. Should be fun to catch up with a bunch of friends and business associates.

The following week its a quick Friday afternoon flight back up to attend BloggerCon. This should be really cool, and I am trying to sort out my ideal itinerary. I am thinking:

Podcasting is a must. It will be fun to hear Adam Curry live.

Mobile Blogging is next. It is related to what we are working on at Intercasting, and the semantic battles should be fun. Unfortunately my Sony Ericsson P910 will not have shipped by then, so no mobile blogging from that.

I am torn between Overload and Election 2004. I am a political junkie so that has a natural appeal, but meeting Scoble and the topic of overload in general fascinates me much in the same way as meme and idea diffusion fascinates me. So it's looking like Overload.

Law. I can't pass up the chance to hear Lessig. Having been in the eye of the storm between content rights versus technology innovation, this should be a great way to end the day.

This should be a really cool time with a bunch of really smart people.


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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Daily Source Code

Well I was bummed to hear about Adam Curry's mom on his Daily Source Code. Having lost my parents I know how hard it can be to discuss those kind of topics. When the show turned to lighter fare, My podcast, The $250 Million Radio Show got plugged and included a section from the first show. That was cool.

So tonight I sent out show number two. Check it out if you get a chance. I will post a playlist from the two shows later on. After I sleep. :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Always On

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago I read a post by Scoble about Always On. Since I had signed up for every other social networking / neo blogging scheme on the planet, I figured what's one more. More importantly, it's being headed by Tony Perkins of Red Herring and Upside fame. I saw him speak several years ago and really enjoyed his talk.

After signing up for the site, I was surprised to see that he was planning on publishing a magazine about blogging written by bloggers. In concept this is cool, but in practice it seems to me that the pace of the blogosphere doesn't lend itself to a print magazine. Its kind of like sports to me. I don't Tivo football games because the minute I hear the score, I have no desire to watch the game arrive at that conclusion. Most of the bloggy memes I have seen so far sound fairly tired a month or two later, although clearly there are exceptions. So who would buy this magazine? People who don't blog yet, but are interested. Yeah, that doesn't sound too promising to me, but I hope he makes it work.

So I delayed writing this because it didn't seem helpful and its really an opinion of mine that I have developed recently that shows how print media lags bloggy media so badly that I don't read the usual suspects when I fly anymore (Biz 2.0, Fast Co., Wired) I have already read what they are writing a month or two earlier. So tonight I get an email trying to upsell me to become an Always On insider. WOW. So this site had done nothing for me yet. I haven't visited it more than once, and here comes a pitch that feels weak to me. I am going to sign up because it's Tony Perkins and if he asked me for $50 bucks I would give it to him because I used to live Red Herring, but so far I haven't seen a reason to support Always On. I hope he proves me wrong. I'd like that. Guess I need to check out the site more, because I must be missing something.

User Generated Content: New Distribution Models reaction to Robin Good post

The Robin Good Weblog has this awesome writeup in response to the same article I mentioned here. Over the last couple of months I have been trying to synthesize the various conversations and conclusions I have arrived at regarding how media evolves in these posts here, and here, and here, to hit the main ones.

The post I read today hits on many of the same themes. I especially like the comments about media reaching it's zenith right before it is superseded by something else.

Over a quick lunch today I mentioned to the person I was eating with, that today's consumer of entertainment and media is an active participant in what they are consuming in the form of entertainment. Arguably they may even be the creator, or at least a collaborator in it's creation.

The media world in general is both a place of unfortunate perspective looking backwards when one considers the consolidation and homgenization of content, while holding untold potential in terms of what the new media world will look like in the future. To me the key issues to consider as we stutter, lurch, drag, and vault forward are:

1. We must have good/better tools to allow each of us to become creators of content. This includes easy tools that normal people can use, not tools that require people to understand unix command line language, etc.

2. We must create the tools that allow people to find the content that they want to consume, or should consume, or might be interested in consuming (etc.etc.) in an easy way. Think TIVO.

3. Intellectual property rights need to be revisited for a world of digital distribution. When I think of digital music and my experience there it makes me sad. For all of the promise that the various platforms hold, the legislative and judicial frameworks do not support the innovation in a safe way. Please don't take that comment as an IP anarchist, rather, there should be some balance between innovation and IP. The pain shouldn't be $150K per infringement. Does that fit the infraction? I don't know. It sounds severe to me.

4. Networks must continue to evolve. I think this one is happening and holds lots of promise, but things like massive adoption of RSS or things like podcasting are going to create the Pointcast effect which will bring the networks to their knees. As we prepare to launch our wireless application, I am astounded by the relatively small number of network usage for data in terms of actual users and the amount of data being transmitted over wireless networks relative to the Internet. It will be interesting to see how these networks deal with enormous data loads.


Saw this on a couple of blogs the other day and this was much better than copying someone else's XML and uploading it to a server. If you install dircaster.php into a directory, any subsequent uploads of MP3 files will update the XML when the php file is hit by ipodder or whatever else you are using. Very cool.

Monday, October 18, 2004

ChangeThis - Malcolm Gladwell

I was a bit disappointed in the previous version of the ChangeThis newsletter and manifestos. I wasn't really drawn to any and I found one in particular very weak. I was pleasantly surprised to find three of great interest to me this week. Malcolm Gladwell's (The Tipping Point, one of my favorite books of the last several years) piece entitled The Talent Myth was fascinating. If you manage people, or lead an organization this is a must read.

I don't want to editorialize and wreck the story, but it makes an interesting case against hiring the 'best and brightest' and indulging their whims. Instead it makes a strong case that cultures more focused on the systems approach to management and talent are more successful. Think Enron vs. WalMart.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

RSS 2.0 with enclosures

I have had enough 'technology' for the coming week. My Podcast experiment involved the following:

Downloading and getting familiar with Audacity (Open source audio mixing software)

Setting up my cellphone Bluetooth headset to record my audio tracks

Mixing the show

Downloading and installing the LAME encoding software that Audacity needs to convert to MP3s

Uploading the MP3 file via ftp to

Figuring out why I cant get to the URL link (Permissions)

Figuring out where to find an Rss 2.0 XML feed to model my link on

Editing my XML link

Uploading to Acmenoise.

What a lot of work! I thought this would be easy.

If you are using iPodder my feed link is as follows:

$250 Million Radio show

My first Podcast

Ok, been a way a while. But in between the flying and business and weddings, I made a quick and dirty podcast of music to check out.

Here it is. I need to figure out the RSS 2.0 with enclosures thing though....

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Road Warrior

I forgot the feeling of being a road warrior. When I was at Vivnedi I would try to spend a week a month in the New York office. I always came home wiped out from all the meetings I would try to squeeze in each trip, So, this week in New York has brought back those memories. I love NYC, but it can wear you down. So other than meeting after meeting, my other New York Highlights.

Hip Guide failed me my first night in town with the selection of Stone Rose as a cool club to grab a drink. I like some of Randy Gerber's other clubs, but this one, although it has a fabulous view, felt contrived and had terrible service. One over worked model/waitress could barely contain her displeasure at having to run around the whole room by herself. Definitely a pass.

The next night we met Thomas Ryan who was one of the founder's of Cductive (later bought by eMusic) who is doing some work with Virgin Mobile. It was great swapping digital music war stories, but even more interesting were the two places he took us to. We started out the night at Soho House in the meatpacking district. This is a very cool private club that caters to the media and entertainment industry. We had a business meeting set up and this was a great place to chill out and talk business. Afterwards we had an awesome dinner at Spice Market which is located next door (and was another Hip Guide recommendation) This was a great dinner.

The next day was travel hell. Late flight to DC. Fast haul to Laurel. Over to Reston to have the pleasure of meeting with Stowe Boyd. Rush to Dulles, miss flight. Get on next flight. Wait on tarmac for an hour. Fly back to NYC. Four states and half the day in screwed up travel. Fortunately for business it was a fabulous day.

Dinner was at Fiamma, which was a solid Italian experience in a real nice cozy room. Today will be the most packed before an early morning jet back to San Diego.

Monday, October 11, 2004


So heading from San Diego to NYC seemed like a great time to catch up on all the Podcasts I have downloaded as well as the various MP3 files from Web 2.0. I was so bummed out to find once I got on the plane, that the audio levels on so many of the shows was real bad. Of course, Adam Curry's shows were good as were the Audio Activist podcasts, but the Web 2.0 stuff was barely listenable.

I am putting together a music show I want to do sometime next week and I am painfully aware of how bad audio mixing is a major problem for a listener. I would advise those who are making shows to make sure that their mix is good. I haven't found any good tools yet, but I haven't really looked much yet either. I found an opensource mixing tool called Audacity that I am going to try to use next week. More late. I love NYC.....

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Flying to New York today.

Friday, October 08, 2004

More Radio Stuff

Radio Re-Volt - Minneapolis Art project(Walker Art Museum) similar to the previously mentioned micro-transmission post.

Can I Get A Witness! Amen!

This is what its all about. Its DVCam filmmakers or shows filmed on DV like 28 Days later. Its the Mashup creators. Its the hundreds of thousands of bands on sites like Pure Volume. Its the same ethic that started punk rock. Hell, I can play three cords, etc. Its DIY. We technology people look to the blogs and podcasting, etc. but whets really going to be fascinating is when the creative production tools go mainstream. I think that although some of the best stuff I have read in years comes from techno-centric bloggers, the real power is with the 15 year olds at Live Journal and Myspace. This is IM with narrative. IM with history. IM with context.

I communicate in different modes depending on what I want to communicate, or more importantly, how I want to be communicated with.

My communication becomes my media. My information, my persona is a multi modal form of dialogue which is tailored to the delivery mechanism and audience. Our discourse is our narrative to the creation which is our life. Entertainment is active now, not passive, and I am the star of my own show.

Sony Ericsson P910

I have been meaning to get a new phone for a little while. Actually ever since I purchased my Bluetooth Keyboard and couldn't get it to work for lack of a J2ME driver for my Sony Ericsson T610.

So without fail I trek over to the Sony Ericsson site each week to see if they have updated their release date for the P910a. This morning, after a child induced bout of insomnia, I noticed that they finally updated the shipping information to Mid November. I guess I can pre-order it now, although I would prefer a hard date. As my birthday is mid November, this should be a fitting reason to indulge the technology fetish and get my hands on what looks like an amazing piece of mobile technology.