Twitter + Summize

This post is late so many of you probably heard that Twitter has acquired the search engine Summize (disclosure: we are investors in the company and i’m on the board along with Fred @ USV).

I met the Summize team back in January in Boston and I’ve been using Summize search every day since they told me about morphing their product to become a search engine for twitter conversation.

One thing to point out is that you don’t have to be a Twitter user to use Twitter search. I use it during sports events (whether I’m watching the game or not), breaking news or product info. Finding & discovering the real time nature of conversations on Twitter is absolutely amazing.

More info about this great combination over on the Twitter blog.

And stay tuned – there’s lots of very cool stuff coming from the new Twitter.

Apple Front Row needs a lesson from iPhone

I have a MacMini hooked up to our big screen in our house.

We use a MacMini instead of Apple TV for two reasons

1) We still (although less and less) need to play a DVD. Mostly for the kids to playback our collection of disks or to watch new movies that come our on DVD first.

2) I like having a browser on the big screen. The wireless mouse/keyboard is a bit wonky from the couch but I like playing music from my Tumblr dashboard or going to any website I want.

I wish Apple would invest more time & energy in their Front Row application which provides media player with a UI built for the tv and their remote control.

Front Row is now lagging behind AppleTV in many features (e.g. no flickr support, can’t buy tv shows or movies etc)

Should Apple try and keep Front Row in sync with AppleTV? Maybe.

Instead I think they just open it up. Let developers create applications for it. The idea of all functionality coming from one company just doesn’t scale.

I’ve known the guys at Boxee for well over a year. I know how great their application is. I’ve seen many demo’s and it’s fantastic. I’ve been slow at installing it on my MacMini because up until recently they didn’t have DVD playback support and we moved houses last month so it’s been a bit crazed.

But this weekend I’m installing Boxee which basically replaces FrontRow with a better and more social experience. It solves all the limitations of FrontRow with flickr support and it works with many many other 3rd party web services. And it’s open source and open for developers.

I think Apple is missing a big one here.

Overkill – Colin Hay

I remember hearing this original song in the early 80’s and I didn’t like it or anything else by that band. but this acoustic version is so geniune (to me). I like it a lot.

Off to the races with location based services

Today the iPhone App Store opened for business. The App store is fan-fucking-tastic. Very fast, easy to naviate and rich apps.

Here are some of the initial apps I downloaded:


When I launched each app, everyone of them asked me if they can use my location data. And they all worked remarkably well.

When I updated twitter with twitterific my profile immediately updated with location data and looked like this:

Yes, yes I know this is a pretty technical display of location but you can imagine what it will look like in the near future (update: already better! see bottom of this post).

Yelp & Weatherbug did exactly what you would expect with my location data. When I clicked for nearby drugstores it showed me places on newbury street, boylston street and huntington avenue. I never typed in a zip code or anything.

Keep in mind I’m using the 1st gen iphone with that triangulation thing. Just wait until we have a real gps radio. And that wait is over tomorrow.

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface with location but credit to Apple for making this a real opportunity.

Now I want a location based wikipedia. It starts with things like a social camera. And then with location based blogs.

We are off to the races.

Update: just installed Twittelator. Location is even better. Automatically includes location with a link to google maps in the tweet. Looks like this: