Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tmobile Android G1 Phone

Ordered mine today. Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Genius, unless you are Tool!

Not sure how many of you have tried Genius yet on your iTunes/iPod. It rocks! Big time!

When I first installed it I was kind of annoyed by the MASSIVE iTunes upsell that is off on the side. I almost didn't get over it but then I started playing with it and figured it out. You select a song from inside your library and then click the Genius button. iTunes then returns a playlist of songs that are sort of like that song or at least seem to make sense to me.

Picture this, you head out on a run and are listening to Metallica and all of a sudden a mile into the run your ipod set to shuffle starts playing Dashboard Confessional's Screaming Infidelities. Buzzkill right?

Genius pulls together a bunch of songs into an on the fly list. For example I just selected Mastodon's Colony of Birchmen and I get back tracks from A Killswitch Engage, It Dies Today, Metallica and Black Flag. Proper running music. Nothing emo. The part I especially like about this is that I of course can make a playlist of all the songs I know but Genius actually picks a variety of songs including a bunch I have never played or listened to. True music discovery.

That is as long as you are part of the iTunes infrastructure. I have 6 Tool CDs ripped into my library and I was excited to get some playlists based on songs like Eulogy, Pushit and Sober. No dice. Not on this software. I am not sure if this is a technical limitation of not having the tracks in iTunes or a policy retribution but I always find the Tool vs. digital standoff pretty funny. And since I love Tool, I can respect that.

It's the economy stupid!

Earlier this week one of the guys I worked with came into the office and asked me what I thought of the economy. My response was that it is pretty ugly. He asked me if I had seen anything like this. I thought about it for a little bit and then responded that the crash in 1987 was pretty ugly and so was the dot com bubble bursting, but that this felt pretty significant. The previous ones felt like they were investor slaughters and that on a day to day basis there wasn't a big feeling of other issues directly impacting me. That may have had something to do with my age and perspective.

This time around has been more concerning because a number of factors seem to be adding up to longer lasting and structural impacts. To me it started with the post 9/11 war stance which seemed not entirely unreasonable pre-Iraq in my opinion. Moving away from an orientation of balanced budgets to a ramping up the war machine is always a cause for concern. While one can argue the merits of our middle east strategy, more problematic to me is the unbelievable cost. The Libertarian in me finds that hard to swallow.

When you layer on the housing and mortgage collapse, with the devaluation of the US dollar and the spike in oil prices, the pain is obvious. This kind of pain hits normal people as the decrease in personal wealth ala perceived housing value and the personal overhead on day to day expenses around food and putting gas in the car.

While the previous crashes or crises seemed like a paper problem for lots of people, myself included in the dot com instance, this one feels like we just spread the flu from normal people to Wall Street and make no mistake, Wall Street is burning.

I don't pretend to be an economist or any wiser than anyone else on these issues but the conclusion of the discussion I mentioned at the top was that yes this is pretty bad and pretty broad based. The good news is that we are resilient and I have the utmost confidence that we as a country can weather any storm and provided we have some leadership to sort through critical decisions during this critical times we will find ourselves back on an upward trend in the not too distant future. Let's hope so.

Headed Home From Seattle, playing with Qik

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Intercasting news

Haven't been here in a while. On the company front though I thought it would be good to share that we announced our launches with ATT and Verizon yesterday at CTIA and also the inclusion of Myspace on Anthem. To date we have launched Sprint, Virgin, Boost, 3UK, Tmobile UK, CSL in Hong Kong and now ATT and Verizon. The New York Times has a nice piece here. It has been a ton of work by all of our team and there is much more to come.