Thursday, March 31, 2005

Info World "Outs" my blog

Here. Ok, so if you've never been here, welcome. The stuff on the right entitled Of Note is some stuff of substance. If you want more, check out our Intercasting Blog.

Intercasting and Rabble in The San Jose Mercury News

We had a nice write up in the Mercury News here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I saw from Brian's blog that they went live last night. Check it out here. I set up an account but won't be able to play with it until tonight.

Intercasting Blog - Goodnight Gracie

In a business you bring different skills to bear. I'm a sponge for information and have a strong technical orientation and am steeped in content. Shawn on the other hand has a lot of talents but foremost among them is his writing talent. If you enjoy my nonsense, you are in for a treat. Check out Shawn's latest post here. It recounts a bit some of the good times that were our journey at Vivendi.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Yahoo 360

Sander hooked me up with a pass. I started to set it up. It looks pretty comprehensive. I gave a heavy sigh when I started filing out the About me and the Linked in section and the Friendster section. Does FOAF just suck really bad? I'll try it later. The groups thingey is cool but it is taking me awhile to get used to it. I never really did Yahoo! except for a spam catcher so I am not sure what I am getting here. I need to give it a real test drive before I have an opinion, but thank heavens it didn't require I use my MS.passport decoder ring thing to get the privilege to use the service. The secret admission stuff is a little tired too. Anyone need in? Send me an email...I'll be your friend.

The Copyright Fairy – Part Two, Well Everybody is Doing it…

In my last installment of The Copyright Fairy, I was concerned with how people would rather not investigate how the law is constructed when there are a variety of resources available to inform them of the state of copyright law, and by extension how their actions, could put them in hot water, especially if they are a high profile figure.

This post was inspired by my comment to a post by Russell Beattie regarding his PSP and his use of BitTorrent to put an unreleased movie onto his device, which is very cool, but not legal. I like Russ and his blog is a daily read for me. My comments to him were partially tongue in cheek as he currently works for the would be Media giant called Yahoo. I think that it’s problematic to work at a company that makes a living off of helping to promote to consumers the valuable intellectual property that media companies create and then post on a highly trafficked blog that you use BitTorrent to get the movies that you want.

It’s totally Russ’s business to do whatever he wants in his home and as the Libertarian that I am, I salute him for exercising that right. I also like the brashness of his comments. It’s good entertainment and I plan to read on in the future.

So after Russ slapped me down for my negative tone and condescending preachy post…

It got me to thinking about two issues. The first is BitTorrent. I love Bittorrent. I sent the guy money and I proudly wear my BitTorrent T Shirt to the gym often when I work out. I make a BitTorrent version of my podcast The $250 Million Radio Show as often as possible even though the majority of the people who get my show download it directly from my servers. I think its an important technology that you should support provided you are using it in a legal manner. Back to my previous post, The beauty of BitTorrent, and the reason that the Grokster case isn’t going to help out people who use BitTorrent is that everyone has to upload to download. This puts you in clear violation of the DMCA as rendered through the various decisions in the various cases adjudicated to date. Lots of legal stuff can be found on Google, I mean Yahoo.

Russ said something to the effect that everybody is doing it and not talking about it isn’t going to help. You can find his direct smackdown in the comments to the post. Well, that may or may not be true, but it is illegal. Period. I may do some things in my house that are illegal, but I am certain that I am not going to post about it on the Internet. That just seems to make sense to me.

The second thing was the conflict between technology and media that is at the heart of what many of us have been working on for a lot of years now. Because I highlight the issue some think that I am stung by the copyright issue and that I hate content companies, etc. That couldn’t be further from the truth. For most of my professional career I have worked for big media or companies that supported big media. I am certain that I will quickly pass that as I have spent a lot of the last several years working in small media and technology. Those of us who play in these waters are aware that you have to walk a fine line. There are some who take an extreme position on either side, but the vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle hoping that the content companies wont quash technology, while enjoying and wanting to find new ways to help traditional content reach new and broader audiences.

The important point is to know where your bread is buttered. When I was in my early 20s I worked at Sony Pictures and managed to get into a preview screening of Johnny Mnemonic. At the same time I was marginally active on the alt.cyberpunk list on Usenet. I naively posted a review and had a conversation with Amy Harmon who is now at the New York Times. She published my comments out of context in the LA Times on opening day. The head of the studio called my boss early Monday morning screaming for my head. When I saw Russ’s post I could see Terry Semel (Former head of Warner Bros.) reaching through the Internet to grab him by the neck. As he clearly pointed out its not really any of my business, but I thought that a word to the wise would be time well spent.

Working with Sriram.

Easter Candy

Dirty Face
Dirty Face,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I DID NOT eat Easter Candy. I swear.

Dave Winer on Copyright and the EFF

Interesting to see this. Maybe the implications for blogging as it relates to copyright is providing some thoughtful commentary. I do actually agree with his critique of some of the large media companies, but copyright law cant be situational.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Intercasting in Time Magazine

We made it into this weeks issue of Time magazine! The article is here.

AMP on Ipodder

The Association of Music Podcasting is now listed as its own node on the directory. Very cool!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit and Liberty

I never thought that I would quote Glenn Reynolds on anything. Its good to see here that Glenn believes in personal liberty. I am just in shock that so few are screaming that this whole nonsense over this poor woman in Florida is about personal liberty. I say to the government, don't come into my house. I respect you laws when I leave it. You respect mine by not coming into my house.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Content Is Queen

Shawn put up our second post on the Intercasting website today. We don't have the RSS feed button up yet, but if you want to subscribe the link is this. Shawn is doing a lot of the heavy lifting on that blog right now, but I will also jump in later.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Association of Music Podcasting (AMP) Part Two

If you like independent music and are into podcasts, come on over and check out the Association of Music Podcasting. We have been working on forming a lasting organization to promote music podcasting in a way that highlights great artists who support new distribution technologies. We have recently started admitting members to the original group of 6, and today bumped the number to 13 with many more to come.

We think that this is the highest quality selection of shows produced to date that all have music where we have the permission of the rights holders.

Prodigem Vs. Our Media

I created a Bit Torrent for my Show # 19 Podcast using Prodigem which you can find here. At the same time I uploaded the file to Ourmedia. I think I screwed up and didn't use the Publisher tool, cuz its still doing something, although what I am not sure. I need to let it run for a while and see what happens. I'll do a review of the publisher tool later. It could also be the massive amount of traffic too.

The $250 Million Radio Show #19

Is available as an Mp3 file here. Show credits here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

EVDB - Part Two

Jason from Weblogs Inc. had some more about EVDB.

Spell with Flickr

This is really cool. Type in a word or a series of words and get the word in images. Here is what I got with Rabble:

rABbYellow LE, Seattle


Check out Zoominfo. Doc Searls had a link to it. Kind of cool, and kind of creepy at the same time. It creates an Internet orginated bio. Mine is here.


This is too bad. I keep hearing this from a variety of people and have started to see a number of posts like this. I know a number of people over there including Greg, who used to do PR for us at Pull messaging is the only way to go.


Brian unveiled his new company yesterday at PC Forum. Haven't seen any coverage other than this. A couple of awesome engineers are working with Brian on this business. I can't wait to see what they have built.


Obey March 18
Obey March 18,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I have been trying to accumulate as many of these pics as I can. One of the very coolest things of sites like Flickr is the ability to check out slideshows of Tags.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Ourmedia has launched today. If you are interested in the idea of open source media, you have to check it out.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Congress vs. The People

I haven't followed the Terry Schiavo case closely. I generally don't like the tough issues around things like capital punishment, abortion, etc. It gets messy really quick and it's too easy to demonize either side or take a position that can be misconstrued later.

That said, as I understand it, this woman expressed to a number of people that she didn't want to be kept alive on life support machines. I haven't heard this disputed. As a Christian, I can't see how people can view being kept alive on a respirator or any other machine as complying with God's will. If God wants you to live without a machine, then you will live. If not, then your time has come. This whole matter is unfortunate and kudos to her husband for trying to let her decision on this subject supersede the grossly intrusive episode we see unfolding. As a believer in personal liberty, and as someone who respects the tenets of faith, I can't understand how anyone could support the interference of people who have such a clear agenda to have their way and prolong the life of someone against their wishes and against what would result in her passing without outside intervention.

San Diego Mounted Police

San Diego Mounted Police
San Diego Mounted Police,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
My Wife and I took the triplets to the San Diego Model Train Museum because Tate loves trains, as many 2 year olds do. On the way out we saw this scary collection of Mounted Police Officers. I didn't take enough pictures to give you a real sense of their appearance, but suffice it to say, they were way scary. A couple of people asked them why they were there with their armored steeds. They responded that there was a protest coming there. We decided that this was no place for the triplets and Tate and split quickly. As we drove past the multiple checkpoints of riot style police, we finally encountered a rag tag group of 30 or so hispanic protestors with signs against the war in Iraq that were mostly written in Spanish. The Governator should have required that the excessive amount of officers be redployed to something more useful because clearly, these five could have wiped out the entire lot of them if they decided to get crazy.

Flickr bought by Yahoo

Here. Not sure if I like that.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Intercasting and Rabble Design

We worked with a great company, Sisu Media for a lot of our branding and design work. Dave posted some of the work here.

Packet Video Part Two

Um, ok so I need to fess up. Fate would have it that after writing this, I would be seated on the plane to CTIA across the aisle from Jim Brailean the CEO of Packet Video. They are doing some really cool stuff with video and phones as you would expect. I actually briefly mentioned my problems getting video off the phone and will send him an email next week. Given all the hype at CTIA around video on the phone, they have a lot of great opportunities ahead.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

These Days

Local KPBS radio started distributing These Days as a podcast. Get it here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

End of the Road Trip

We head back to San Diego today. It's been a good trip. Recap later. Very tired.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Intercasting Corporation and Rabble at CTIA

We unveil our company today at CTIA. Our press release hits the wire later this AM and I will put out a link once I have it. We pushed the Intercasting website earlier this evening and are doing some cleanup. By the time I post this it should be pretty clean. It gives a good overview of what we aim to accomplish at least philosophically.

Our first product, Rabble, passed BREW certification last week and is now ready for distribution on CDMA networks who support BREW. We hope to announce some more things around that shortly.

We have spent a lot of time working on a robust and easy to use personal publication platform for consumers. Its taken a lot of people to get it this far and we are really proud of how far it has come. As Shawn would say though, "We just made it to the starting line."

Participatory Culture And The Empowered Media Prosumer

I am a fan of all the people I have met at unmediated so far including Eli Chapman, Dan Melinger and Jay Dedman. I haven't been reading feeds much this trip, but Eli wrote this piece that I had to blog about.

I really like how it hits on the combination of Create, Promote and Consume, which are concepts we are big believers in. In fact the product we are unveiling tomorrow is built around these concepts. It's been a fun trip the last several months having conversations with a variety of people who see the world in this way and how each of us take different approaches to trying to create different pieces in that puzzle that Eli so plainly demonstrated. Good stuff.

New Orleans Day 1

Last night after we got in, we headed over to The Napoleon House for my traditional and obligatory muffaletta and Pimms Cup.

Afterwards we actually worked. That was a Big Easy first for me.

This morning I also had another first, I went jogging. It was fun making my way through the Quarter on a slightly balmy morning. That was until my iPod battery died. I think I am at the battery failure point right now. Not cool.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rhapsody Part Two

A good friend called me the other day to follow up on a call I had made when I was in NYC. He was calling to catch up but also gave me some grief for making fun of Rhapsody. I told him that the cancellation shenanigans are ridiculous but I thought that Rhapsody was by far the best service available. If you like music and don’t have a problem paying for it, the best experience to date, IMHO is Rhapsody. It is a real music discovery tool. It falls down in a couple of areas but they are minor.

That said, my comments above are as it relates to content and content discovery. The whole scheme that RealNetworks deploys to make you cancel your service with a phone call is worse than laughable. It has been about a year and a half since I have voluntarily viewed a file delivered in their format. Their intrusive and deceptive client doesn’t have a place on any of the machines that I own.

Travel Log - LA to SD to The Big Easy

LA was busy. We started to each get a bit sick. My allergies got really bad and Shawn got a nasty cold. We did the usual all day in meetings thing and then ran off to catch the train to SD.

We got into SD late Thursday, got to spend the day in the office on calls on Friday and then hit the airport, yet again to get to New Orleans.

New Orleans rules. It's one of the places that I come back to very often. I think 4-5 Jazzfests and a Mardi Gras for me. It's going to be a long week.

Request for a Unicorn

Over the last several weeks we have been traveling heavily. Most of the longer distance travel has been on American Airlines. As someone who has been a longtime customer with elite status, you get in the habit of requesting upgrades as you have accumulated a large collection of upgrades. Unfortunately with the introduction of JetBlue in the SD to JFK market, AA has been forced to have comparable prices. I guess fortunately is the better word because a roundtrip ticket between SD and NYC is like $200.

The downside is that getting an upgrade is impossible. The other day I went to the ticket counter and checked the status of my upgrade request. They said that I was on the list but it didn’t look good. I told Shawn that this was a joke. He said that it was better than that. He said it was like a request to have a unicorn. "“Excuse me, I wanted to check the status of my request to have a Unicorn.” “Mr. Oien, we have your request, but it doesn’t look like we will be able to accommodate you at this time.” " Ok. Maybe next time. Ironically I got upgraded today on the flight to Dallas. Must have been a glitch. The unicorn said that he was double booked later today and that after this leg of the trip he had other business to attend to. Sigh.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Travel Log - SF to LA

San Francisco was beautiful yesterday in terms of weather. Our meetings went by so quickly it felt like we weren’t there for more than five minutes before we were rushing off to catch another plane.

Our last meeting was at SFO which was unfortunate as we were flying out of OAK. We had yet another frantic cab ride to catch a flight and got there with at least five minutes to spare.

We decided to stay downtown so we could grab a bite to eat at Ciudad, which is one of my favorite places in LA.

I had a bout of insomnia and did an early morning run from the Bonaventure to the Disney Concert Hall, around Pershing Square and then back to the hotel.

LA is a great place although many people not from here don’t get it. I don’t think I will explain my thoughts on it at this point rather I would say that if you get into town sometime make sure you grab a drink at the rooftop bar at The Standard. It’s not to be missed and to me gives a good flavor for the sense of the city.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Travel Log - Out of NYC and into SF

We 'weathered' our second nasty snowstorm on the east coast and managed to sneak out of NYC after a really long delay and a two hour cab ride to the airport. Glad to be back to the sunny west coast, at least for now. The meetings were fun but exhausting. Got to spend dinner one evening with Todd Rubenstein, a friend, that I got to know through his wife Laurie who worked with me at Vivendi running PR. Todd represents music executives, tv and other music related stuff in technology. We also have kids around the same age so its always a fun conversation covering a range of stuff.

Got into San Francisco last night at midnight or so. I decided to take a couple of mile run this morning. My Ipod dished out the following for my run:

Coheed and Cambria
Saves The Day
This Mortal Coil
Circle Jerks

It was great. A little aggressive but nice in the cool foggy morning as I ran from Fishermans Wharf into Golden Gate Park.

The guy sitting next to me on the flight was Andrew Thomas from CSFB, who coincidentally covered back in the day. He covers Internet and Gaming sectors and was headed to The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco which explains why we had such a bad hotel.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The $250 Million Radio Show #18

Show #18 is here. I'll put credits on The $250 Million Radio Show site later today. I didn't plan on posting it until later tonight, but sniffed out my new xml without my intervention. Actually very cool, but not expected as I have been using the pingform.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Early Press

We probably won't get any press coverage for Intercasting and our product launch until next week, but this is the first piece I have seen.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My Current Media

No books right now, too busy

Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, Its Morning. I love this CD. I can't get enough of the opening track. My 2 1/2 year old is starting to pick uo the lyrics.

Calexico - Feast of Wire. I am a late comer to this band, but I am really starting to dig their sound.

Indie Bands
Supernauts - The management company sent me a track and I have got to say I am hooked. I am going to lead off my next podcast with these guys.

Rome Total War - On Flights Only


Accident Hash Podcast
Other AMP Podcasts

CMJ - Been a long time since I read this. Just recently subscribed.

Friday, March 04, 2005


I plan on doing podcast #18 tonight or tomorrow. After that I hit the road for two weeks. I plan to blog intermittently during the two weeks, but I am not sure how frequently. To be sure there will be plenty of photos from my travels both here and at Flickr.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Real Networks/Rhapsody - I will never use their products

I haven't been a fan of Real Networks for a longtime. I resent it when applications repeatedly steal your MIME types and generally do things to your computers configuration without your permission.

Late last year I did a brief consulting engagement where I provided an overview and evaluation of the various music services. It was fun getting back up to speed on the state of the various services.

After the evaluation I went about deleting the various applications. I had no problem canceling with any of them except Real/Rhapsody. When I tried to cancel, I found out that you could only cancel by a phone call. Hmmm. That's pretty weak for an online product. I called. It was Sunday. They were closed. I couldn't cancel. What a joke. Is that illegal?

This was in December, Yesterday while looking at the army of icons on my desktop I realized that this nasty program was still on my machine and I was STILL BEING CHARGED by them.

I called the number. They asked me why I was canceling. I freaked out. I promised them that I would ensure that there were no Real products on any of the machines that I own and that I would delete the products from any machines that I touch.

I know that the digital music space is a difficult business, but if this is how you have to make your money, I would recommend shorting their stock.

Oien Tribe

Oien Tribe
Oien Tribe,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I find moments like this both amazing and shocking.

New Neighbors - San Diego Telecom Council

Our law firm, Fish and Richardson, have been the most awesome landlords in the world. We have been renting vacant space in one of the nicest buildings in the Golden Triangle area of San Diego. In fact we have been camping out in a corner of a 14,000 sq. ft floor for a long time. Over the weekend somebody else moved into the floor in a similar arrangement with us. They are the San Diego Telecom Council.

I walked around the floor to see who the new people were and to my surprise one of the people working there worked with me at Small world, or rather small floor.

As we are getting down to the wire with our launch, I will take this as a good sign.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

KCRW Podcasting - What No Music?

KCRW in Santa Monica just started publishing a lot of their content as a podcast.

Funny though, nothing from any of their music shows. Hmmm. I like what they have on the sidebar of the linked page:

"Legal constraints and copyright issues currently inhibit our ability to offer listeners our music shows as podcasts."

I am just so surprised. ;-) That said, I am dying to get a podcast dose of Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Podcasting and the Law

One of the guys on the pho list who is a DC lawyer/lobbyist set up a podcasting and the law forum here.