Joshua Tree, California

A few weeks ago, Lauren and I took some time to celebrate our anniversary.

We started the week in the desert, exploring and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and Coachella Valley Preserve. I visited Joshua Tree on my own a few years back and it was so much better to make the return trip with my wife.

After a few days we drove west and spent the rest of the week relaxing at the beach. The west side of LA has really grown on me.

Twenty three years and counting with my best friend. Luckiest guy ever.

 

Some thoughts about Google Duplex

Google made big news at their developers conference with the introduction of a big AI initiative called Duplex

It feels like the response has fallen into two camps:

  1. The ethical implications of this technology and has Google thought it through and do they have the DNA to consider all the unintended consequences.
  2. This is a potential breakthrough in AI amd will usher in a new wave of innovation.

I guess I don’t share either sentiment.

I do believe Google will consider and address the ethical implications because they will either want to from the inside or will have to due to external pressure (ie regulatory or competitive alternate products).

But this product demo that created such a stir is a bit of a yawner for me from a user perspective. It reminds me of those apps that allow you to send a fax from a smartphone. It’s duct tape for old Infrastructure

Instead I would rather see Google use it’s financial and engineering might to get everyone online and connected in a decentralized way via API so office hours, reservations, communications arent addressed thru computers pretending to be humans.

But my real issue is this feels like vaporware to me. Time will tell if my Spidey sense is correct but right now I’m getting that this demo is just going to remain a demo for a long long time.

Some recent news from the Spark family

Lots of stuff happening with Spark portfolio companies over the last few weeks. 

Stack Overflow for Teams launches and available today

Discord teams up with Microsoft Xbox

CTRL-Labs (brain machine interface) hardware and SDK coming later this year

Investing in Rarebits

Oculus Go Cuts the VR Cord 


*while Oculus is now owned by Facebook, I still consider them in the family :) 

Some thoughts on Oath

Been thinking about my blog here on Tumblr since I posted about Kottke.org yesterday

I’ve been writing down words, sharing thoughts, music and photos for 11 years on this Tumblelog, powered by Tumblr. 

Tumblr ran independently for 7 years or so and then was acquired by Yahoo about 4 years ago. 

Yahoo was then acquired by AOL which is owned by Verizon. 

Verizon then combined AOL and Yahoo and called that newly combined entity Oath

I looked up the definition of the word oath:

It means a solemn promise

So what is that solemn promise Verizon is making to it’s customers. 

Are they making a promise to Tumblr and this community? 

I really hope it does but they recently sold Flickr to Smugmug which makes me feel like they aren’t investing in their current products and current customers. 

And it’s not a great sign when a CEO doesn’t use their own products*

So I don’t know what I’m going to do with this blog. I’ll let you know when I do. 


*harsh but true.  

Kottke at 20

There are some blogs that have been around for seemingly forever.

Blogs like AVC, Scripting News, Daring Fireball, Gotham Gal, MA.TT, Om’s blog, and others. I am grateful that those folks have been writing and sharing their thoughts, spanning often decades.

Yesterday, I caught Craig Mod’s recent podcast and his guest was Jason Kottke. Kottke.org is another one of those blogs that has been part of my daily blog diet for as long as I can remember (Kottke.org is 20 years old and counting!).

If you are a fellow fan, give the interview a listen and also consider supporting this internet treasure.