Peter from Bug Labs stopped by yesterday and there are lots of cool things happening at Bug. They are getting closer to shipping their first units of BUGBase and initial set of modules. So I got to play around yesterday.
Although the product hasn’t shipped yet there is the beginnnings of an active forum & wiki where people are starting to exchange ideas, information, ask questions and provide feedback.
And applications are starting to appear on BUGnet from the community.
Here’s one that caught my eye called AIMMotionNotifier. It combines the motion sensor module with AIM. Here’s the description from the developer Graymath:
Application that notifies an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) user of a motion detected event. Sends the user the GPS information describing where the motion event occured. After the components are snapped in, the LCD screen calls for a valid AIM screen name and password, as well as valid target screen name. Room for improvement: on screen LCD keyboard for login fields, more responsive GUI for login failures, etc.
At first I didn’t get this app but now I think it could be extremely cool and will probably use it.
The app has already been downloaded over 100 times which is kinda remarkable since the hardware isn’t even out yet.
“The dominant factor for the decline [in paid clicks] was Google’s design,” Lamberti told Epicenter at Search Marketing Expo in Santa Clara, California. “We’ve seen Google reduce its coverage [ads served per page] significantly over the last year, and it’s by Google’s design. Query growth [the percentage of search queries] is up 53 percent, year-over-year. [The] long-term prospects are extremely positive. I’m not saying that Google isn’t experiencing macroeconomic issues, but I just don’t think that report reflected that.”—James Lamberti, SVP, ComScore via No, the Sky’s Not Falling on Google, Says ComScore | Epicenter from Wired.com
It looks like they cited some stats from Nielsen or something but I can tell you that they are widely different than the stats we have internally at the company.
Here’s what our server logs tell us:
-during 2007, Veoh’s audience grew rapidly to 21million unique monthly viewers from 2.5M in the beginning of the year. that is a world wide number but a big big chunnk of that is from the US market. multiple times bigger than the SAI post.
-users are watching >30million hours of content per month on the Veoh network. that was the stat at the end of 2007. I don’t have the latest numbers for January but that’s a far cry from the numbers SAI reported.
-even more interesting in some ways is that the VeohTV app (still in beta) which allows users to download the original video and watch full screen with a TV UI, etc is being downloade about 1 million per month (not reported by SAI but very significant and a key part of the Veoh platform and strategy).
Update: the SAI folks added the numbers above to their post. Thanks!
This morning I received this email from Anthony who is the founder of the Hype Machine.
——- Original Message ——- From: Anthony Volodkin To: Fred Wilson; Bijan Sabet Sent: Wed Feb 27 00:07:36 2008 Subject: Hype Machine scrobbles to Last.fm!
Fred & Bijan,
Was thinking of you two while working on this, and it’s now available.
When you listen to Hype Machine it can scrobble to your Last.fm accounts.
Click the Last.fm tab in the preferences to set it up.
Hope you both are well!
That’s right boys and girls. The Hype Machine now scrobbles to last.fm which means that it keeps track of your listening & music history and sends it over to Last.fm.
Why is that cool?
Because it ties to together my favorite music discovery (hype machine) with last.fm which provides a social network for music fans, keeps track of your listening habbits, recommendations from friends and even my own radio station.
I couldn’t be happier. And while I miss YottaMusic because it was so easy and also scrobbled to last.fm it didn’t provide the same magical discovery that Hype Machine gives me every day.
Robert Scoble subscribed to my FriendFeed last night so I was just thinking of FriendFeed this morning when I read on TechMeme this that they just raised a new round.
I’ve been checking out FriendFeed for awhile. Here’s my profile/feed over there.
Right now, they have a good start at a number of popular web services so you can see when I add something to delicious, when I love something on last.fm or whenI update this site. The idea is to have one place to keep track of all your friends activities.
I’m not sure my friends will get more info from my FriendFeed vs following me on Twitter or this tumblelog. Right now I have almost 400 people following me Tumblr and almost 300 on Twitter. There are about 20 people following me on FriendFeed - I wonder what that will look like 6 months from now.
One thing that is pretty cool is the FriendFeed stats page. Here’s what it looks like:
As they add more web services and more people it will be interesting to see how this changes and evolves.
We have about 100 gigs of music on my home server. All of the speakers in our house are connected to this server in one way or another.
My new laptop has a 160 gig drive but I have lots of other stuff on it and as a result I don’t carry my entire mp3 collection on my laptop.
So I create a “bijan macbookpro” uber playlist. Copy just the subset of the tunes from the server to the MacBook Pro I want and then from there I create a variety of playlists and smart playlist so the tunes work on my iphone. If I neglect to copy the songs I want than I end up streaming from my home server thru Simplify Media.
But my collection is growing. I mostly buy music these days from Amazon - either a physical CD or from the Amazon mp3 store. I add them to my laptop and then every week-ish I then copy those files to the home server. If I want the Sonos to pick it up right away I have to VNC into the MacMini that runs the sonos desktop app and tell the app to scan my server or wait for the nightly scan.
If I add the files directly to the server then I have to copy the files to my laptop as well.
This problem is compounded because we have multiple laptops in the house and multiple ipods. I even get notes from my daughter about putting tunes on her ipod (she’s 8 years old). I’m the sys admin, music librarian and household DJ.
There needs to be a better way to sync my media better across all of my devices.
Apple’s “Smart Playlists” work great for one way sync from a computer to an ipod. But there is no way to sync multiple macs and have their music sync. iTunes specifically doesn’t allow this because they built the system assuming that all file sharing was illegal and protected by DRM. Well I buy my music w/o DRM so why does my player assume otherwise?
We need a smarter content synchronization system. I want to buy a song or album on one device and it should be automatically distributed to my server and my various devices.
(I remember reading a post by Dave Winer about how much syncing sucks a few months ago. He’s so right - I wish I could find that post. Update: just found it here.)
This excerpt from the recent Obama/Clinton debate is quite significant in my mind. It was in response to the question about a possible meeting with Rahul Castro of Cuba.
CLINTON:I would not meet with him until there was evidence that change was happening because I think it’s important that they demonstrate clearly that they are committed to change the direction. Then I think, you know, something like diplomatic encounters and negotiations over specifics could take place. But we’ve had this conversation before, Senator Obama and myself, and I believe that we should have full diplomatic engagement, where appropriate. But a presidential visit should not be offered and given without some evidence that it will demonstrate the kind of progress that is in our interest and, in this case, in the interest of the Cuban people.
OBAMA: I would meet without preconditions, although Senator Clinton is right that there has to be preparation. It is very important for us to make sure that there was an agenda and on that agenda was human rights, releasing of political prisoners, opening up the press. And that preparation might take some time. But I do think that it is important for the United States not just to talk to its friends but also to talk to its enemies. In fact, that’s where diplomacy makes the biggest difference.
CLINTON: But there has been this difference between us over when and whether the president should offer a meeting without preconditions with those with whom we do not have diplomatic relations, and it should be part of a process. But I don’t think it should be offered in the beginning because I think that undermines the capacity for us to actually take the measure of somebody like Raul Castro or Ahmadinejad and others.
OBAMA: Because the problem isn’t — is if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time, and I think that it’s important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step. That’s the kind of step that I would like to take as president of the United States.
“As for countering what she sees as the empty Obama brand of hope, she offers only a chilly void: Abandon hope all ye who enter here. This must be the first presidential candidate in history to devote so much energy to preaching against optimism, against inspiring language and — talk about bizarre — against democracy itself. No sooner does Mrs. Clinton lose a state than her campaign belittles its voters as unrepresentative of the country.”—The Audacity of Hopelessness - New York Times
Those are counts of the bills that both senators have introduced. Obama’s count is in two years as a senator. Hillary’s is in six. And, honestly, most of the ones that she has introduced are just weak, honoring someone or the other, declaring a month/day for “______ awareness,” and naming unnamed courthouses and post offices.
One thing I noticed in watching way tooo much CNN yesterday while stuck in airport hell, was how much the cable networks pay attention to silly stuff like soundbites from the various debates where the candidates say the same thing over and over again.
I wish the networks talked about judgement and leadership and cite examples like this data. Much more helpful than Clinton’s talk about being ready “Day 1” and Obama’s soundbites.
Sophia: daddy, when i’m 10 I’ll be an adult and all grown up me: really? Sophia: yeah, when you are ‘double digits’ that means you are an adult me: but i like that you are my little girl Sophia: I can be grown up and your little girl. me: you are so right.
The top story on Techmeme at the movement is about the iPhone SDK and speculation that it may not ship in February.
My guess is that it will either ship later in the week or early March so I’m not terribly worried about this.
I do have high hopes for the SDK and what will be possible when it’s in the hands of the community of developers.
My wish list for native apps:
-wireless calender sync with MS Exchange server. -local search across iphone calender & address book -dial phone numbers directly from calender -video camera -task manager that syncs with some desktop or web service. ideally exchange but I’ll even take iCal -wireless gcal sync
I continue to have a love/hate relationship with my iphone. I used it exclusively on vacation because my Verizon Blackberry Pearl doesn’t work outside of the US. I forwarded all of my Spark email to my gmail account. I discovered that Gmail on the iphone is about a billion times better than dealing with Exchange email. It’s faster and more reliable.
Google is making a push into the online medical records space. Unlike enterprise software companies that have been at this for decades now, Google is targeting consumers - not hospitals. Smart.
The natural reaction will be privacy and security concerns. I’m concerned about that too.
But patient directed care is overdue and this is a big step. It’s crazy that your medical records aren’t in your possession and you don’t have access to them all the time. I want to see what the doctor wrote down about my last visit or my visit 5 years ago or my child’s exam.
Somehow we all got over the security & privacy matters when it comes to personal finance but healthcare got away. Can you imagine if personal financial information was managed like medical records?
I don’t know if Google is going to be the winner here or another big company or if it will take an emerging young company the focus and will to figure out the right combination of technology and user experience.
But this is a good sign and I’m quite excited about it.
I’m catching up on all of my favorite blogs right now while I’m still on vacation.
I’m really enjoying great posts about cloud computing from Fred and Alex.
When it comes to basic web infrastructure, startups have a variety of build vs buy decisions. Bandwidth is always a buy decision so that’s not really a choice.
But there are various choices when it comes to storage and computing. Build vs buy. Hardware is cheap but that’s only part of the true cost.
Amazon Web Services has been a great choice for many startups. Most of the ones I’ve seen up close use S3 and some are using EC2 to get started.
I agree that going with a big company like Amazon is a smart choice for this stuff especially in the beginning as user demand is unclear and the costs are low at first. And it’s easy to get up & running. And we are seeing alternatives coming online like Rackspace new computing service from Mosso. I’m guessing that Microsoft and Akamia will have similar services sometime in 2008. Maybe IBM will follow as well?
But at some point a startup goes to the next phase of it’s growth and at then they have to make another build vs buy choice. Cloud computing scales but at what price or cost?
The AWS Success Stories page lists early stage companies. I’d love to see a blog post or white paper that describes the costs of AWS or Mosso as a web service goes from 500k active users to 1M active users to 5M active users (and up) along with various assumptions on storage and computing requirements.