Tuesday, January 30, 2007

So What Is Going On With The Machines?

Back in my industrial days...I was into SRL. I think I have posted about them before. An issue or two ago they were in Make magazine and I was excited to see the article. My son Tate likes robots and I was thinking that I should find some of those old SRL videos we watched in the early 90s. A quick scan of You Tube shows a bunch of stuff so I decided to sneak a look and see if this is age appropriate. Um, probably not but I highly recommend checking it out. The Tesla coil is amazing. I will give Tate a couple of more years before we think about making destructo machines...

More SRL

Survival Research Labs on You Tube

30 Days of Deletion - Deleted

I began with much enthusiasm to delete applications from my laptop which was inspired by my annoyance around the practice of payloading applications that is not an uncommon practice. As fate would have it, I ended up coincidentally with some hardcore performance issues that I suspect was caused by 1 or 2 pieces of software that I won't mention since I don't really know the cause. Suffice to say, I sat down and over an hour last week I deleted no fewer than a dozen applications.

The majority of the deletions weren't because I had a problem but were mire because I just don't use the software. Examples of that would include Sharp Reader and Google Video player. Both of these are fine software packages that I just never used.

So the punchline for me is that I didn't walk through 30 days of deletion, rather I just got it all out of the way at once. I would recommend doing that yourself periodically, you know, just like those hard drive backups you do. :-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

The New Blogger

I was just allowed to migrate!!! I don't know what that means yet...stay tuned.

What's with Dave?

We have known Dave Harper for a while. It has always been my personal goal to get to know other people who are in the same space as you are primarily because if you believe in what "we" collectively are doing in a space, there are probably opportunities to collaborate, or disagree, or occasionally just grab a drink and hang out. In my opinion, all boats rise if we are collectively right.

In the digital music space, many of the people I met over time, repeatedly ran into each other down the road. A good example that comes to mind was when MP3.com was acquired and I subsequently ran the various music sites. As the strategy was determined at a corporate level I was required to adjust the companies and change the various approaches of business units. In some respects that was getting rid of people in other cases it was promoting people. From my perspective it was always important to do that with dignity. I can proudly say that most of the people with me would agree and that in general I have a good reputation.

When we started this company we spent a lot of time with some of the people who pioneered mobile data who Shawn had interacted with at Moviso. Guys like Fabrice Grinda and Greg Clayman. We also went out and hung out with people like Dan Melinger from Socialight and Tasso Roumelitos at Wavemarket. We also met Dave because we thought what he was doing is/was interesting and he had been going at it for a while.

This morning while looking over the server logs I saw a referral from Dave Harper's blog where he flames us for misrepresenting that we were first in a number of areas. I am not sure what the source of agita is with Dave and I am not sure what is so important for him to slam us in his blog. For the record though Dave, aside from the semantics, you don't do what we do and we don't do what you do. If our broad marketing speak has you upset then I don't know how to help you. We develop thick client applications. We develop platforms that support thick client applications. We currently support Brew, J2ME, J2SE. We are rolling out Windows mobile, Flash and Symbian. Oh, and we also support WAP and XHTML.

Ultimately the market will tell us who is right and wrong in terms of approach and I think that is more important than claims of first. From my perspective that is actually the more important metric. I feel pretty good about what we see in terms of how the market is developing but then hey, that's my opinion. I don't understand your business, I don't know how you make money and I am not really focused on that. When I look at people who compete with us, I look at the carrier's deck. You are not one of the companies that we think about. If you are on deck and I am mistaken, let me know.

I find it fascinating that bloggers, rather than picking up the phone, or sending an email or even hitting someone up on IM (Dave is on my buddy list), that one would resort to an "open letter" post and not give someone a heads up. I recall at Gnomedex how Dave Winer accused someone about not responding to a post on his blog and how dumbfounded I was that he assumed that we were all going to have a conversation on his blog. Did you ever think that we don't all read your blog?

So Dave, rock on. Best of luck to you and I am sure that we will see each other around. Please continue to post whatever you like but if you want a "conversation" with me, I'd recommend using one of the methods that most readily would get my attention.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Indiekid keeps hooking me up this week. He just sent me an invitation to Wallop which is pretty amazing. If you want an invite let me know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Shawn's Post about Anthem

Shawn wrote a post about our Anthem platform on our company blog that you can see here.

Thomas Ryan is blogging

Yet another smart digital media whore friend of mine is blogging. Tom rules. His blog is here. Subscribe. Tom just left EMI as one of their top digital guys. Tom was one of the founders of Cductive way back in the day. Tom is going to be doing some big things when he decides what he wants it to be. Check out his journey on his blog. Enjoy.

New Intercasting Website

We also just rolled out our new corporate website that provides a lot more clarity. Check it out at www.intercastingcorp.com.

Intercasting Company News

There is an AP story that just came out today that is getting pretty wide coverage that talks about some of our super secret platform strategy. You can see the story here. I will write up a post in the next day or two to talk about what we have been quietly working on for the last year in addition to Rabble.

Also the Business Week link is here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Virb, again

I was chatting with a guy I advise tonight and we were talking about social networking sites, etc. and in passing he mentioned that he liked Virb but there were some things he didn't and I interrupted , "They launched?"

He said well not really but that he was into some hipster indie scene and got invited and had been checking it out. I said," Cough cough, invite me!' Which he did. Spent a few minutes on tonight. Will do some more tonight. The guys behind it are smart and it's been a long time in the baking. Can't wait to report my thoughts a bit later.

30 Days of Deletion - Day 3 The Venice Project

Ok, so I have been slacking. Today's deletion shouldn't count but I am too busy to be creative. Hopefully I get better this week. The Venice Project is now Joost so I need a new file and can delete my old build.

Get a First Life

Sean pointed me to this satire page that makes fun of Second Life - Get A First Life.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MIT Forum Podcast

I am speaking next week in San Diego at an even called MIT Forum that I believe is being co-hosted by UCSD Connect. I will post more details next week, but in advance of that event I recorded a podcast with one of the organizers that you can listen to by clicking on this link. The interview is approximately 20 minutes and covers a lot of the background of what we do and some of the challenges we face. If you have any interest in what we do with Rabble I would recommend a listen.

Tablet Hotels

The good and bad about blogging for almost 3 years is that occasionally you repeat things. So here is one worth repeating. Tablet hotels rocks. I used to stay at The Standard in Los Angeles almost every week while doing a consulting gig. To book a room I had to use Tablet. Tablet is a booking service for a bunch of trendy as well as cheap chic hotels. When we travel for work, Shawn the Starwood whore usually books the rooms as he is super elite and we get some upgrades that make bunking not so bad. When I travel solo, I go with Tablet.

This trip in particular has been a pleasant surprise. I was looking for a room in Manhattan with little notice. Starwood had the Westin and Sheraton and the W Times square at rates from $275 to $375. Not bad. With the exception of the W though there is very little to do or see except the inside of your room. Since it is freezing this is definitely a consideration.

I checked Tablet and found a smoking hot deal on a hotel called the Hotel QT. It is almost across the street from the W and it was like $250 a night. And there is this really funky swimming pool and bar when you walk into the hotel. I will post some pictures on Flickr later which you can see on this page. The rooms are nice, there is free wifi and the hotel is owned by The Standard. I give it two thumbs up.

The Venice Project is now Joost

Early Monday morning, west coast time, I got an email that said that The Venice Project is now called Joost. Find it here. The email also said a lot of invites are coming so I will dish them out as soon as I have them.

On the road again

In NYC. I am behind on my 30 days of deletion. Will continue later on this trip. Flights give you lots of time to think so I have about 5 or 6 posts I am working on. More later...

Friday, January 12, 2007

30 Days of Deletion - Day 2 iLike

Today I came into the office and started ripping out some loud rocking tracks. A little Brand New, a little Coheed and Cambria and a little System of a Down. All the time to the right hand side of my iTunes there is this iLike thing. A couple of months ago a couple of my podcasting buddies sent me invitations to join iLike to see their music selections. I went out and signed up and installed the client. It is pretty cool but since none of my friends are using it, I think it needs to go. If I hear more buzz around this on the scale of Last.fm or Pandora then I will check it out again. Note my deletion isn't a reflection of the value of the software it is more that this kind of software has value based on the network associated with it. My network isn't so the value is marginal. Delete.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

30 Days of Deletion - Day 1 Viewpoint

Based on yesterday's exciting installation of the AIMSPAMLAXO client I have decided that for the next 30 days I am going to delete an application a day that is on my laptop. In some cases I will be deleting applications that I just don't use any more and in other cases I will be deleting things I never asked for that were payloaded through some other mechanism.

Since AIM is fresh I thought I would start there. What secret goodies came with yesterday's install? Well Plaxo wasn't installed so I am guessing that it is actually embedded in the AIM client or it has hooks to Plaxo through some APIs. Thanks for not cluttering up the hard drive. I did however get a new goodie called Viewpoint. Do a Google search on Viewpoint. By doing this I saw what appears to be a new Google feature. They cluster the direct results for Viewpoint and they insert a series of results for Viewpoint Spyware. Cool feature. It reminds me of Clusty.

If you click on the spyware link you find links to things like, Is it Spyware? Why is it on my computer? How do I remove it? I have to agree. Yesterday I had a firewall request for Viewpoint and mistakenly thought it was my mouse pointer. Today I know better. Rather than find out what Viewpoint is, I think I am going to delete it. So today's piece of software is Viewpoint. But let's make sure we take care of everything. Starting with my program list I see that I have not one but two entries for Viewpoint. Naughty, naughty. There is the Viewpoint Manager and the Viewpoint Media Player. Must delete both. I search through my browser and look for the various domains with cookies. No Viewpoint. Ok, good. I feel like it's going to a be good 30 days of improving the performance of my machine and becoming more aware of what people are doing with my Attention without my specific knowledge.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Today I got a notice that AIM wanted to upgrade on my laptop to version 6.0 something. In the last several upgrades I have become annoyed with the embedded pieces in the client. Don't get me wrong, I love AIM and it is my primary chat client, but I just want that. The way it is on my Sidekick. Pure and Simple. The way it was meant to be. I went ahead and upgraded and saw the new web 2.0ish, ajaxy look and feel AIM client. While going through the install I saw a dreaded word, Plaxo. Me no like Plaxo. Sorry. I just don't.

During the registration, the reg screen offered to do a proctological exam of my various contacts in Yahoo mail, Hotmail and Outlook. Fortunately, it said powered by Plaxo which was really thoughtful in that it was full disclosure and I resisted any urge to scan my hard drive.

Its difficult to improve on something that is good and for me the chat clients are all they are supposed to be. As a software developer I understand the urge to upgrade and extend, but I think that you do so with a risk of alienating your core users. And if you are a Plaxo user, you just got a great new upgrade with the new AIM.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Uzees

Lester Craft from Usertainment Watch released a press release with the winners of the Uzees awards which you can see here. The previous post I had here was the video he awarded as best video and I have to admit I loved it. Check out some of the other cool stuff on his list. I met the one of the Ask A Ninja guys at SXSW last year at the Lifehacker party with the dueling Roombas and am a fan of their stuff.

Best Video of Last Year?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Venice Project Invites Revisited

Over the holiday break I picked up a total of 3 invites to share. I just sent them all out this morning. As I get more I will send them to the people who commented on the last blog post in order of occurrence.

Google Docs

I have been absent from blogging which is pretty normal for me in the transition over a new year. Lots of family time, lots of cleaning. As football season was winding down I wanted to set up some spreadsheets for next year as I have both Keeper and Dynasty leagues which benefit from a little thoughtful planning at the end of the season.

While on the Mac I went to fire up Office and realized that I don't have Mac Office. I do have Parallels with Office on Windows but that seemed like a pain so I decided to venture again into yet another aspect of the Google world, Google Docs.

I signed up quickly and fired up a spreadsheet window. It works! Over a couple of days playing around with it I created something like 6 different spreadsheets and actually shared versions with people remotely. As a fairly extensive spreadsheet user it wasn't as powerful as I would normally require but for student/household/lists it is awesome. I did encounter some connectivity issues that barf the spreadsheet occasionally. I thought that was a pain in the butt but until I figure out if the experience occurs elsewhere I will assume it is my problem with Cox. If you are looking for a quick and dirty spreadsheet tool, I'd say this is a first stop.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Welcome 2007

I meant to do a New Years post over the holiday but family obligations made that impossible. Our family had a wonderful time with the occasional rough spots. I think each of us collectively were glad to get back to our respective routines today. Me, I am on an airplane headed to two different cites. Yeah!

So rather than the long post a thought a brief retrospective and some forward looking stuff is in order.

2006 was a year of hard work in all the respective categories. On the family front the kids were very sick for a good chunk of the year with a variety of cough and cold like symptoms (Until mom took them off dairy) and Tate seemed to really enjoy and prosper at school. Jess and I both thought the year was hard but I think we came to the end with a lot of optimism for the coming year. We managed a few family get aways and hope that there will be more in the coming year.

On the personal front I ended up the year weighing less than the previous year although not by much. I have to try to work on that more. I enjoyed a second half of the year that saw me spend a good chunk of my little free time building on my cooking skills and have found that it is a great decompression activity for me a the end of the day and on the weekends when time allows it. I survived turning 40 and was glad that that yearly physical showed improvements in just about every category.

On the business front it was a year of heavy lifting. We developed the second version of our product and quietly worked on a big part of our new strategy that we will unveil early this year. We saw some excellent metrics growth in Rabble in the last quarter of the year and scaled up our team significantly for the hard work ahead.

Across the board 2006 ended with a lot of optimism and knowledge that 2007 can be a great year but that there will be continued hard work to pull all the things together (family, personally, and work).

A big 2006 thanks to my wife who is truly responsible for keeping all the pieces working.

In 2007 I hope to continue my lifelong obsession with technology by dabbling in whatever new stuff comes along. I am certain that on the business side we are looking at a great opportunity we envisioned almost three years ago now and believe that this is the year it all comes together. I hope that personally I get more time with my wife, I have the patience for 3 two year olds at once and continue to give my oldest son all the attention he deserves.

And to you my friends, family and anonymous readers, I hope that 2007 is the best ever for all of you individually.