I went to a local bookstore this week to buy a biography about one of the presidential candidates. It was a spontoneous decision to buy this book so I hadn’t done any research ahead of time or looked at any reviews.
So I asked the bookstore owner which book would he recommend about this particular person. I told him that I really want to learn about this person and get a full pciture. He replied, “Are you a liberal or conservative?”
I answered, “No, no, sorry for the confusion. I’m looking to “learn” about this candidate. Which book is the best to learn the most I can about this particular candidate?”
He repeated his question.
Of course his answer was the correct one given the bias in play with these books.
There are a lot of Apple critics out there these days. Including my good friend Fred & Robert Scoble (who I haven’t met but I enjoy his blog)
Their complaints are perfectly reasonable and I totally get it. And I have a feature wish list a country mile long about my Mac/iPhone.
But I gotta confession to make. Ready?
I love Apple.
1. They deliever amazing products. We have four Macs in our house. 5 iPods and 1 iPhone. We wouldn’t be this loyal if these weren’t the best products in their class.
2. Apple hardware is simply gorgeous. I have the Apple 30” monitor on my desk. My colleagues, especially Dennis and Todd lust after this monitor every time they walk into my office. I run presentations on it, sit on my coach and with the Apple remote I can surf in bliss.
3. I have never, never have had a virus on any of my Macs. Period. And I download tons of crap off the internet. I’m testing everything under the sun and then some. And not once have I had a blue screen of death or a fatal software error.
4. I upgraded to Leopard without doing a clean install. It just worked.
5. Video conferencing on iChat just works. I haven’t met a single Windows user where video conferencing worked every time.
6. I’m addicted to iPhoto and iMovie. There is nothing like it. I stream photos in iPhoto to our MacMini connected to our HDTV. It’s stunning. I edit home movies of the kids every month. It’s a snap and it’s *fun*. I modify, crop, tweak, tag all my photos and send them to Flickr to share with my loved ones and all of you. Peace of cake.
7. I download as much music as I can from Amazon w/o DRM. It goes automatically into iTunes and then syncs perfectly to my ipod and iphone.
8. Airport Extreme just works in my house. I have 2 of them to extend the reach. I can open up any Macbook in the house and 2 seconds later I’m on the LAN and WAN. I can mount any drive anywhere. I can access any screen via ScreenSharing.
9. I can bring up Terminal if I really want to geek out and get stuff done. this is a unix machine after all
10. I like the glowing apple logo. And it likes me :)
11. I have a lot of friends at Apple. I know how hard they work to make all this stuff work. They care deeply about product excellence. And I send them a note after each MacWorld and WWDC.
I’ve been addicted to location based services (LBS) and GPS technologies for some time now. I’ve got them in my car, lauren’s car, on my wrist, my photos and on my phone
Google’s new version of Google Maps for mobile is very cool. It ran just fine on my Blackberry. Check out Om’s review here.
We need to figure out how to bring together user generated content with these new services and technologies. Flickr Places meets GPS & LBS is a start. Fred is thinking about Twitter and LBS. Gaming and social networks is natural. How would LBS & Last.fm work? It would be amazing.
I’ve been playing around with Everyscape lately. Everyscape literally drives around each street of several US cities and they create a 360 view of every street. And they let users contribute as well.
Below is a screenshot from Everyscape of our building at Spark. We are on the 8th floor of this 9 story building on Newbury Street in Boston.
How do we get this type of rich data and LBS everywhere and into web services and mobile apps?
As an investor in a several mobile startup companies, I’m optimistic about all of this. It will take time and none of our portfolio companies are going to depend on this but the macro trend here about walls coming down with US mobile operators is great for consumers. But it also makes sense for Verizon long term.
So now the question we should ask is how long before cable operators adopt a similar model and open up? It looks like the FCC is backing off their agenda to open up cable which is no surprise. Ultimately it won’t be the FCC that opens up cable. It will be the market. Cable should be proactive but the trend is undeniable.
Google, Apple or some startup is going to shake up the pay TV market in such a powerful way that we will see cable operators announce something similar to Verizon’s announcement yesterday.
I’m doing a ton of online shopping for this holiday season. At this point I’m thinking that I’ll be able to (hopefully) buy all of the gifts on my list except for my wife’s and my mom’s.
But it’ quite sad to see how bad many of these ecommerce sites are in 2007. And many of these stores are “high end” stores as well. Not clear there is any correlation between low end and high end stores in terms of their shopping experience.
I wish I could name actual stores I’m talking about but it would probably give away the gifts I’ve purchased unfortunately.
But problems include:
-Complicated registration as a requirement. Let me buy as a guest!
-Complicated shopping carts with up to 8 page views. C’mon. This is a joke.
-Can’t save for items in my shopping cart for future purchase
-can’t ship multiple items to multiple shipping addresses
A quick google search tells me there is plenty of solutions out there.
So what is going on here? I wish I could buy everything on Amazon.
“Three nations have not officially adopted the International System of Units as their primary or sole system of measurement: Liberia, Myanmar and the United States.”—Metric system - Wikipedia via Davidslog
Here is my transcript if you can’t read her writing:
This year I do not want so many things! This year I am only having 4 or 5 presents. Instead of presents, I want you to give other children a lot of presents. Kids sometimes do not get a lot of presents. Two of the things I need are books. Their titles are “High School Musical Crunch Time” and “that’s so Raven” book about needing to help her friend and front row seats tickets. I also want an Nintendo DS (like Carolines). I hope you can get me at least 1 of these presents. Thank you!
“There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff and the president himself.”—Former aide blames Bush for leak deceit - Yahoo! News
I’ve been thinking about Facebook’s Beacon a lot lately. And i’ve been playing with some services out there, like Lemonade, that let me share what I’ve purchased.
Facebook Beacon actually has the right vision but it has two main drawbacks:
1. Default behavior is opt-in. It should be opt-out by default. No brainer
2. And Facebook Beacon only works with sites that have a relationship with Facebook.
Dave Winer thinks we should own our own data. He’s right of course but I would also be happy with a site that securely uses my username/password data for all of my favorite web sites.
And then let me share that data with my friends as I see fit. For example, I would by happy to share my Amazon purchases over the years. And I would love to see my friends Amazon history as well. I would also be happy to share all restaurants that I’ve dined at with my credit card history.
For starters this would provide a superior product review service. Hands down.
But I’m even more excited about all the other things you can do with this data set. It would make my social network richer and it would add a lot more depth to my online experience.
I like those opportunities better than using my data for advertising right now.
Update: The NYT actually has their correction online:
"This post has been revised in several places; the earlier version incorrectly stated that the makers of “Beowulf” used the Contour motion-capture system developed by the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Perlman. Another company affiliated with Mr. Perlman did production design for “Beowulf,” but the filmmakers did not use Contour, which promises to improve the look of digital actors by allowing higher-resolution captures. "
The Mozilla folks last week released v3 beta. There was a bunch of confusion about how buggy it would be when the final version ships.
Readers of my blog know what a huge fan of Firefox I’ve been. I’ve been telling developers that are spending more time on Facebook these days not to forget about developing for Firefox. And practially everytime a startup presents at Spark running IE, I’ve been telling them that they should develop for Firefox.
But the problem is that Firefox is letting us down. The quality of their software is buggy and I’m still on version 126.96.36.199. It often freezes and locks up. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s on my Macs running Tiger or Leopard.
This past week I made the switch to Safari 3.0.4. And I haven’t had a single crash or freeze yet.
I miss all of my super cool Firefox extensions so I’m rooting for Firefox to pay more attention to quality.
My browser needs to just work. It’s way too important.
“Facebook should immediately make Beacon 100% opt-in. Not because MoveOn is complaining—because the current system will drive users right out the door. The tiny minority of Facebookers who want to bombard friends with lists of the crap they buy—and friends who are actually interested in hearing about this—can elect to do so. The vast majority who don’t should never have to hear about this ridiculous concept again.”—
I met with a large advertising agency yesterday afternoon. It was a nice validation of everything we have been seeing in the advertising space. All boats seem to be rising.
The growth of ad networks has been tremendous. We are seeing new ad networks focused on vertical markets (hispanic, women, sports, auto, technology, games, etc). There are new ad networks focused on social media and video. New lead generation ad networks. New ad networks based on technology innovation. The list goes on. The pace has been breathtaking on many levels.
I like the ad network model a lot. It doesn’t make any sense for most publishers to have their own ad sales force. It’s expensive and hard. And I’m confident that the ad network growth will continue. There is no end in sight.
But I’ve been thinking more and more about the online publisher these days. While inventory growth and CPM rates are impressive for the ad networks — it’s not clear to me that publishers are getting their fair share of the pie.
Understandably the amount of choice for publishers creates confusion. Which ad network is best for me? And why? Maybe I should use many ad networks? How do I manage it? Am I getting a fair deal with my ad network partner(s)?
We need more innovation and creativity to help publishers now. They need it.
I just checked out the latest holiday card designs offered on Shutterfly and Ofoto (i can’t stand the idea of calling it KodakGallery). And while they are pretty nice I was hoping for something a bit more unique this year.
I know the most unique idea is to design one myself. Unfortunately I don’t have the creativity for that or the time.
So I’m looking for suggestions. Any websites out there with super cool holiday card designs?
This weekend we went down to Connecticut for a surprise 40th bday for my friend Ollie. Ollie is a dear friend of ours from undergrad.
Rob & Brian, my other close friends from undergrad, were at the party as well. Plus our wives and kids. It was a blast. We took many trips down memory lane, looked at old photos and Rob had a video of some embarrassing college moments as well.
In college Rob and I were in a rock cover band. We played at a number of shows around campus. I’m sure were pretty bad and out of tune, but it was so much fun and I remember it like it was yesterday.
After college, Rob went on to join a group with some talent called Angry Salad. One of my favorite songs from Angry Salad is the Milkshake Song. Here it is. Hope you enjoy it.