Thursday, September 29, 2005

The $250 Million Radio Show #27

I finally did a podcast. First time in a long time. The direct file is here. I'll post show notes later. Its a longish show for me. A bit of rock, a bit of indie, and a chunk of hardcore.

Delay & Co.

It's great to be back in the office. Been catching up on a to do list a mile long. I have to admit that yesterday I spent a bit of time crawling the various political blogs to get a read on the Delay indictment. I don't have much to say other than how I find it funny that politicians from both parties blame partisan politics on their legal woes. At the point that an indictment is handed down, it seems like its time for that story to end and that it's time for your lawyer to start doing the talking. Tom, shut up. If you are innocent you will be acquitted. I'd enjoy not hearing you talk for a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tate's First football game

originally uploaded by brikmaster.
I had some stupid self inflicted, repeated schedule problems over the last several weeks. One of the last one's involved me going to boo Eli Manning last Sunday evening. Rather than reflect on the chaos preceeding the game, I'd like to share that Tate got to see his very first football game. I expected this to be a little bit less than tame version of a normal Chargers game but boy was I wrong. The whole crowd booed everytime Eli Manning was on the field. Tate had to plug his ears often but seemed to have a blast. Much to my surprise the thing he seemed interested in most were the cheerleaders. It must have been the pom poms! The Chargers crushed the Giants. I am sure that Eli will dread visiting this town for years to come.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Spent time speaking on two panels yesterday and the attending the press reception with Qualcomm showing Rabble to reporters.

I have a pretty full day of meetings and then my four week death march roadtrip ends. I have a ton of follow up work to do but will be glad to be doing it from home rather than hotel rooms and on planes.

I look forward to catching up on my reading, putting together some podcasts that are long overdue and getting to spend some much needed time with the family.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Phone Geek and the Mobile Activists

originally uploaded by DevelopmentSeed.
What an amazing conference I am at. I can't wait until I can spend some time to regroup and talk about some of the things we are covering at this conference. Suffice to say, go check out

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sony PSP - Personal Media Device

Two of the primary trends that we focused on when we founded our company Intercasting were the rise in self expression or consumer content creation and the evolution of the mobile device into what we refer to as a Personal Media Device or PMD. I have written several posts on my blog in the past about some of the devices I consider as advanced PMD’s. They would include the Sony Ericsson P910 and the Sidekick II.

In the last several weeks I have picked up some new devices that I believe warrant a closer look as PMDs. The two newest devices I have been working with are the Sony PSP and the Nokia N90 camcorder phone. I haven’t spent enough time with the Nokia phone yet, but will be doing so over the coming days as I am attending a conference in Toronto called Mobile Active that is focused on using mobile devices as tools for social activism. I have spent a lot of time with the PSP and have a number of thoughts on this device.

The PSP is at first look, one of the most amazing PMDs I have ever seen. The form factor is generally nice. The UI is fairly straightforward. The screen is beautiful. The performance is excellent for it’s primary functions.

When we look at PMDs we think of these devices as devices that have components that allow for both the consumption AND creation of content. The PSP is all consumption. From a consumption perspective though, it is simply amazing. I wasted no time in taking my toy out of the box and immediately went to the Network settings to connect my device to the local WiFi network in my house. I had read about all the cool hacks that people had created for the first version of the software, but rather than explore that, I knew that having web connectivity with a browser was one of my primary use cases and I immediately updated the software to version 2.0.

From this point on I began to explore the various consumption methods available to me. The PSP allows me to view pictures from my memory stick Duo that I have taken on my P910 camera phone. I can also view other pictures if I can get them onto that small little memory stick. I know many people are not found of the memory stick but as a die hard Sony devotee, I am invested in this platform.

In addition to viewing still pictures, I downloaded some MP3 files and really liked the audio quality on the device. I had intended to download some beefy podcasts before I wrote this piece, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll try to load up the device for my next long flight.

I am not a fan of the little DVD format UMD, but I have to admit that it is really small and the playback is really good. Overall the video quality is just amazing. I haven’t spent much time yet trying to playback any mpeg 4 files from my p910 but expect to do that in the next couple of days. The number of titles available for the device is currently small from my perspective which didn’t give me much to choose from but I ended up picking up a copy of Sin City and really enjoyed it.

Gameplay is awesome. I am primarily a football/strategy game/first person shooter player and didn’t see any titles that appealed to me right now, although Madden comes out in a couple of weeks. I opted for Tony Hawk Remix 2, which is a great way to waste time flying back and forth across the country when you don’t have a power outlet for the laptop, which is my primary use of the device.

Web browsing is very gee whiz to me in that it is really cool to know that I have a readily accessible web device that I can whip out at any airport to do a quick check of webmail or go onto our company intranet for my calendar, our wiki, or our reporting area. Unfortunately it feels really slow. Painfully slow. I have had intermittent connection issues and I have been having out of memory issues when I load heavier websites. I am not entirely sure why that is as I have been using a 128 meg memory stick.

All in all a very cool device. What it is missing is anything that allows me to create content. Or at least create content easily. I conceivably could use the web interface to update my blog but the UI for text entry leaves a bit to be desired.

The PSP really showcases how you can step up media consumption from where it is today with the various Ipods to something approaching a nuclear device of consumer time wasting and media overload. What completely baffles me is why there was no thought about people using the device to capture content. I understand that a USB keyboard is coming soon, but it would have been really cool to add some things like a camera. Or Bluetooth to use with my cell phone when I can’t get wifi, which unfortunately is all too common.

As I head out on the plane today with my bag of gadgets I look at each of my devices and find some great things that they each have and some missing pieces that in some configuration would be an ideal device or two for me. I love the P910 for its Opera browser and fairly easy email functionality. I also love that I can take passable quality video and pictures that I can share with others that are mobile originated. I love the instant messenger integration of my Sidekick II and the form factor of the keyboard which lends itself to good textual content origination. The web browser leave a bit to be desired and I can’t wait until they have a better camera. The PSP is the mother of all media consumption for me but that’s about it.

As we continue to see the increased awareness in the general public that we are entering an age where more and more consumers want to create content to share with others, and also consume content not originated from the center of the media network, I believe that we will see the emergence of devices that really begin to marry the best attributes of the many new devices we see in the marketplace. I don’t believe that we will ever get to the fabled one device, but I think we will increasingly find new devices that bring together a deep and useful feature set that will empower users at the edge of the network to become the media broadcast and distribution nodes that we believe is the next inevitable evolution of what we think of as media.

The change of seasons

This summer has been amazing. I am currently sitting on an airplane on my way to Toronto to participate in a conference around social activism and cellular devices. In my pocket is a piece of paper with a list of to do’s that MUST get done this week. While sitting on the plane I realized that today is the last day of summer/first day of fall.

I am extremely excited that I am going to have power on both of my flights today because I know that I have an outside chance of getting caught up on a backlog of emails from the past four weeks and some time to catch up on some blog posts I have been meaning to write. I can review some agreements. I can actually do the work that results from spending time with people in face to face meetings. There has been a lot of meeting and now there is a lot of work. It’s a source of anxiety about being able to get everything done but it is also exhilarating to see things take shape.

What I have found over the last two months is that a lot of what I am working on is stuff that I can’t really blog about. It is killing me to not talk about the various cool discussions we have been having and the really smart people I have made friends with over this summer. Maybe later. Suffice it to say, it has been an amazing time and a lot of the things that we envisioned when we started working on this company, and that I started exploring when I started this blog, are coming to life on a daily basis. We will obviously be able to share more company stuff down the road, but I only hope that later when I can write more freely that I don’t forget to mention some of the awesome conversations and people who I have come to call friends that I have encountered on this really cool journey.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Business Week

Thanks to all who sent us some Business Week love. We ended up making the editors picks in the Tool box, Wireless services section. This has sent a lot of visitors our way over the last several days. Please do check out the other cool sites in the survey that you can find here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fellow Podcaster in a Coma

A really cool guy, Derek from Skepticality went into a coma last week. He is one of our fellow members in AMP and you can read about it here. Someone pinged me today and said there was a rumor going around people that I know that I was in a coma. Not me. I just had really really ugly heartburn. Derek, he needs your prayers.

NFL Sunday Ticket

I am an obsessive football fan. I sat with great joy this Sunday watching a variety of games. Hands down the coolest thing about this last weekend was the new Red Zone Channel from Direct TV. I have been a subscriber to NFL Sunday ticket for several years now, and as an insane fantasy football player, I happily jump from channel to channel watching games. The Red Zone Channel, which unfortunately only focuses on games on Fox, is a channel that switches from game to game for you when scoring opportunities occur. Wow. This is so cool. They kept mentioning that this was a sneak preview and I didn't know what they were talking about as they already had my fee for the season. So the scoop is as follows:

There is a new Superfan option which is another $99 and it gives you the Red Zone Channel as well as a bunch of other stuff including a ton of games in HD. You mean I could have been watching everything in HD yesterday??? Loser. So I guess I need to sign up. Check this out if you are a football fan.

Six Feet Under

Yesterday was a strange day. I had been in New York the entire week before and was really wiped out this weekend. Yesterday was a lot of time with the kids and opening week of football. More on football later.

So I take the triplets for a walk in the stroller and have Tate in a backpack and we head out to our local favorite market. I pick up a really nice piece of Coho Salmon, a beer, and some sparkling water at the store for dinner later that night.

On the way back from the store I slam a good portion of the sparkling water. Once I get home I take the salmon and cover half of it with some really good cajun spices and leave the other half untouched as Tate loves salmon but not spices. While cooking I leisurely enjoy the beer and the first part of the Colts and Ravens game.

After the salmon comes out, I set up plates for Tate and a friend and I start noshing on the spicy piece. About half way through my portion, I notice that I have the worst heartburn I have ever had. I take 4 Tums. It doesn't help. It feels like a serious knot in the middle of my chest, near the diaphragm. Not good. I then start to sweat. I keep hoping that the Tums will kick in. Not happening. Jess looks at me strangely. "Are you OK?". Um, not really. This really hurts. I am thinking I am going to drive over to the hospital nearby.

I call my doctor. He asks about my heart and light headedness. Nothing. Just this really bad pain that comes in waves and some sweating. He doesnt like the sweating. He tells me to call 911. Not good. He says it's prolly not a heart thing, but minutes count. I don't like the sound of minutes count.

Several hours later I am discharged from the hospital with some serious reflux spasm thing. Glad I am alive and glad it wasn't really a big deal after all. I was really glad that I know that if things aren't going well, I have the presence of mind to not tough it out but to make sure that everything is really alright.

Monday, September 05, 2005

New Orleans

I am a great fan of New Orleans. It is one of the few cities I have repeatedly visited for vacation. I have certainly spent more time in New York and San Francisco (and I still consider Los Angeles home). I have been to at least four Jazzfests, one Mardi Gras, one CTIA, and several other random trips to New Orleans just because. I love this city.

I had been stewing on what had happened for a number of days and then I had dinner with John Diaz in Venice last week. John, a plane crash survivor who worked with me at has deep New Orleans roots. His family goes back several generations and his elderly parents (80s and 90s) had just been evacuated earlier that day. John was clearly shaken, and that's a lot to say for one of the most iron willed people I know.

I can't even imagine how long it is going to take to rebuild. It is truly a tragedy. My favorite places include Laffite's Blacksmith shop. Rumored to be the oldest bar in North America. The Napolean House. The best place to chill in the quarter. Note that their website is down. Cafe Du Monde. Nola. It goes on and on and on. It is so hard to believe.

What is even harder to believe is the tragedy that the many people who call this city home are going through. No jobs. No house. Nothing.