Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Venice Project Invites

I have had a couple of people ask me for invitations to the Venice Project. I don't have any yet but when I am blessed with a couple I will gladly send them out to those who asked on a first come first served basis. Maybe the invite gods will smile upon me soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Attention Warfare

Over the last six months or so I have been evangelizing to the people I know about the Attention Economy and Attention Trust. It's a funny thing to do because the conversation sounds like this, "See in the future you will record your attention and then broker it yourself instead of going through Yahoo etc." That ends up in people rolling their eyes or giving me a strange look. I think, soon you will see...

At any rate I am still convinced that this is one of the most important things going on in technology, media and advertising. In that same conversation I tell people that I have been recording my attention since July and I have it stored somewhere for when I need it. I guess that too sounds a bit bizarre. The physical representation of that is the What I'm clicking on badge on the right hand side of the blog. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that out of the blue, the most visited site that I go to each day is If you go to that link you will see that it is a 1 pixel gif image served up by a company by the name of Atlas Solutions. Ah, marketing folks.

I found myself both concerned and annoyed that somehow some spyware had infected my laptop. I am pretty diligent in doing my virus scans and I think that Firefox has been really good at keeping my computer virus free and spyware free. I was at a total loss for how this thing had infected me and I wasn't sure when it started. I went into Firefox and blocked the domain atdmt from serving cookies. I figured that I was done and moved on.

About a week later, I looked at the badge and to my surprise atdmt was still at the top. I was pretty mad about that and had to dig in to figure out what was going on. I fired up Norton for a full scan. I did a Google Desktop search for *atdmt*. My mouth dropped to the floor. 71 emails contain links that reference the atdmt cookie. Some fine companies such as Sportsline, American Airlines and Microsoft apparently work with Atlas Solutions. I asked my internal guys about getting rid of this plague from my computer and their suggestion was to run a spyware program. I told them that I didn't care for spyware and thought that Norton should be enough. They said that in fact I should run a separate program. I asked which one and they said unanimously that I should use Windows Defender because Microsoft is taking over the spyware market. There were a number of other things that they said that is worthy of a different post that I will follow up on later.

I ran a full Norton scan, I ran a Windows defender scan and nothing came up. Very disappointing. Maybe Atlas isn't spyware, maybe its valuable marketing intelligence. I think not. I went into my root account and turned off logging for the domain. I also spent some time looking on websites for information about atdmt and one of the most interesting things that came up was that when you download IE 7 you are redirected to the Atlas Solutions domain during the download process. It was theorized that the reason was to track downloads. I am not certain that this was the source of the infection, especially given the wide availability of the tracking cookie with other companies I do business with but I was very unhappy that I had no knowledge of this.

This morning I went back to Firefox and doubled checked my prohibited domains. I was blocking but I didn't have Atlas Solutions blocked. I added them. I also went to look at my cookies and realized that I hadn't deleted the atdmt and atlassolutions cookies. I fixed that this morning and hope that for now the problem is gone.

In summary, this long narrative was an expression of what happens when you start to realize what is going on behind the scenes with your data. Certainly most people wont go through all this trouble and effort. At one point Shawn asked me if this was a good use of my time. In fact, generally I would say no but given the gradual slowdown of my computer over time it felt like an important thing to address. As more and more people become aware of their attention and the value of it, I think stories like this and what I would expect to be a backlash will become more prevalent.

Blogger out of Beta

The changes to Blogger that went into beta last summer are now going live. I was happy to switch over but figured out this morning that because I have a large blog I have to wait a bit longer. Drats.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Triplet Birthday Vid

Case Camp in Second Life

I had the good fortune of being selected one of the 40 people to attend the inaugural Case Camp in Second life. One of the organizers has a good post here with much linkage to writeups etc. I was busy at work and had to drop off half way through, which was a bummer, but I really dug what they were doing and hope I can participate in something like that again. It was one of the first meaningful uses of Second Life I have seen. Imagine a shared whiteboard with people walking around and interacting much like you would in real life. Except some people have tails.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mallory, Tucker and Brit turn 2

Today is the birthday of our little babies. They are no longer very little and although they have gotten easier than they were as tiny babies, we have the new found joy of sharing among triplets. It reminds me a little bit of A Clockwork Orange and a little of the old ultra-violence.

It has been a blast having them in our lives and although I couldn't comprehend life with triplets, I can't imagine life without them. They are each so different and special and fun.

Happy birthday to my babies, Mallory, Tucker and Brit.

Korv Party

December 14 2006 008
December 14 2006 008,
originally uploaded by brikmaster.
Lot's of family stuff going on in the background so I thought I would share a bit. This year we hosted the annual Lindgren Korv making party. Here my son Tate is proudly displaying his capabilities at the sausage meat grinder.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Venice Project - Screenshots

The Venice Project Folks gave the greenlight to blog about the service. I will do that later. In the meantime they also sent out a number of screen shots for people to check out. Blogger isn't letting me upload very easily but I put one here. You can also go here to check out some more.

Testing the P990 Video

The Venice Project

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for someone to help us with something technical and I thought of our friend Sander who I figured would be bored now that Divx had gone public. Clearly he was bored because he had already departed and began work on The Venice Project.

It sounds like a really cool effort given the pedigree of the various players (here is a Business Week link). If you don't want to follow the link then know that their previous projects include the companies behind Kazaa and Skype. Sander is really smart and I am sure it will be a great ride.

To my surprise last night I got a beta invite and started playing around this AM. There is a non-disclosure associated with the account so I can't say much until I am told explicitly otherwise but I recommend going to the site to sign up for the beta. I think this is going to be pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Sean (The other Shawn) told me over lunch a couple of months ago now about the site Prosper. I think it came up because the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to a person behind micro loans in Africa. Prosper allows people to borrow and lend money to other people through a marketplace format. People can create groups to lend money to other people. The concept is really powerful and reminds me a lot of the ideas that come to mind when I think about the Attention Economy ideas. I plan on spending some time playing with this some more during the holiday downtime.

Fantasy Football 2006 Epilogue

All my fantasy football leagues have come to a close for the year with the exception of the playoffs. It was a great year of football watching and I have to say that it is sort of bittersweet to know that I am heading into the sports blackhole that is life without football. Sigh.

So as it stands currently I am in the final four playoffs of my Keeper league with a strong team but with equally strong opponents. I ended up with the best record in the regular season.

In my normal league I am in a bowl playoff for 3rd and 4th place. Not too shabby considering I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention.

My lone disappointment was my dynasty league where I had the distinction of a 5 way tie for last place, which I of course won and have the honor/distinction/shame of the first draft pick in next years rookie draft. Although I got my butt handed to me, I really like the team I have going into next year and think I have a shot to contend next year.

P990 Review

This should be easy. I LOVE my new phone. I have the opportunity to check out so many devices that I think I have a good perspective on what is good and what is not good but more importantly I have good perspective on what I like. So before I gush too much let's do the bad.

The Bad.

Cost. This phone is EXPENSIVE. When you can buy a computer or a really neat smartphone, it better be good. I think the P990 hits the mark but its certainly not for everyone.

Buggy UI. The P990 is Symbian 9 and UIQ 3. There are clearly some strange software issues that aren't up in your face but they do surface periodically. Besides the bugginess, which I assume they will fix in an update soon, there was definitely a learning curve in switching from my P910 to the P990. It didn't feel as seamless as I would have expected. I am certain that there are a number of features that I will discover in the future but right now it's just getting back into the old grove with the phone.

Edge. It's probably a carrier issue, but I don't have high speed access on the device(3G network). I am sure Tmobile will get there soon. They just bought a ton of spectrum so its mostly a time issue.

Powercord. After owning 4 Sony Ericsson devices over the last 4 years, they went and switched the power cord. Throw away multiple power cords (home, car, etc.)

The Good.

This phone truly rocks. Rss feed support? Got it. WiFi support? Got it. Multiple audio file support? Got it. Word, PPT, XLS, PDF Support? Got it.

The Very Exceptional.

There are a handful of things that have blown me away. They are...

Battery Life. Something must be terribly wrong, but this battery lasts longer than any power hungry phone I have played with. It also recharges in record time.

WiFi. Trust me, when you get WiFi on your phone, it is going to change your life. I sent 2 megabyte files to my Flickr account over GPRS. Painful. I did it over WiFi. Instantaneous.

Display Quality. The P990 comes with some pre-installed games. I don't play games on my phone (much) but when I checked out the Vijay Singh golf game my jaw dropped. The display is simply insane.

Over the coming months I plan to work the device in a way that maxes out the multimedia capabilities as well as explore new software as it becomes available. Skype please? Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


4 children stand stage left of the microphone...

One of two uncannily similar looking boys walks up to the microphone.

Brit: Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Good. My name is Brit. My mom told me that this dad has this thing called a blog. I am not sure what that is but he does spend an inordinate amount of time at the keyboard. Mom said we can talk on Dad's blog this year to say hi to everyone and since I am the spokesman of my triplet siblings I thought I would say hello first.

I had a good year this year. I sleep. I eat. I play. I occasionally pull my brother or sisters hair and sometimes take a swipe at them with my chompers. It's hard keeping them in line you know? Although dad says I am a bit aggressive I am also really into cuddling, Mom says that I have a really innocent look on my face when I am in trouble. She is easy.

I love trains. A lot. I can't seem to get them out of my head.

Tucker: Ok, Ok enough already. I am Tucker. My year was pretty good as well. I like to hang out with my siblings a lot but I also like to figure things out. Like that time when I was 15 months old and I figured out how to climb out of my crib. Or when I took the blender out of the pantry and tried to plug it in. Or when dad found me standing on the book case doing a Vulcan mind meld with the big screen TV.

I really like to climb the most. I can climb the exterior of the staircase bannister. I can climb the armoire and turn on and off the television. My nannies call me "Spiderman". I don't know who he is but Tate thinks he is pretty cool. Like Brit I share a deep love of trains.

Mallory: My TURN! I can't believe those guys. Mom and Dad tell me that they are my brothers and while I have to admit that we share the same room, and have the same birthday, I can't believe that these two knuckle heads could be my siblings. Brit seems to think he is in charge but in reality I only allow him to think he is in charge. You see, I am the uber child who pulls the strings.

So my year...where to begin...I like pretty dresses, and I like football jerseys (Dad is a sucker for football). I like watching my mom get ready in the morning. When the other guys stay downstairs with the nannies in the morning, I sneak upstairs and take a bath when mom or dad are getting ready. I like blankies, and babies and my morning bottle. Most importantly though, I LOVE MY NOOKIE. I wish I didn't but often times there I am thinking about it. Wanting it. Knowing it will calm me down. Sigh. I bet that's going to end soon.

Tate Hi Mally! Ok enough of them. So I am the big brother. As you can tell, I have to share a lot. Mom and Dad have their hands pretty full with the wild ones. I don't mind too much as I get a lot of special time with Mom and Dad. I am in school right now and I really like it. I take an art class on Tuesday and have some really cool paintings I have made. Right now I am playing soccer and my dad is coaching. He is funny.

Our year was good and some of my favorite times included going to Palm Springs with the family and my Grandma and Grandpa. I love them a lot. I really like it when they come and see me or when I get to go to their house. Dad hooked up a video thing so I can talk to them on my computer and can see them on the screen. Dad says they are still in North Dakota when I see them on the screen but I am not sure.

Mom is still working a couple of days a week as a lawyer at Elan Pharmaceuticals. The days when she doesn't I get to hang out with her and do things. We have our special times like yesterday when we went and saw How the Grinch Stole Xmas. I like to cuddle with my mom in the morning.

Dad works on this thing called Rabble. The Rabble guy looks really funny. Dad also has a whole bunch of phones. He has the Sidekick phone and the Rabble phone and the TV phone and some others that I am not sure what they are called. Dad and I spend a lot of time together on the weekends. We go for rides on trains and go to football games and hang out a lot.

Well, we have to go play now. We hope you all have a happy holiday season and that 2007 if full of health, wealth, and success.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sony Ericsson P990

Last week my new Sony Ericsson P990 arrived. I have been spending a chunk of time figuring it out. Expect a review later this week.