Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fail!


Yeah, I'm certain you've heard about this, but the massive FAIL for the owners of 30GB Zune's that deathlocked themselves at midnight last night is still pretty damn funny.

Don't worry about an uptick in iPod sales as a result because 1) If you own a Zune, you're too stupid to own an iPod and 2) there's only been 8 of those Zunes sold anyway.

Doh!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

REAL electronic ticketing


NWA has finally rolled out its mobile barcode boarding pass system which I'll be using to board my flight tomorrow. This is real E-Ticket technology that's been long in coming, and for me, this will make my trips through the airport even faster.

Though I'm kinda unsure how the TSA dudes are going to work with it since they always 1) make ink check-marks on the boarding pass document. And 2) you typically pass through the metal detector WITH your boarding pass in-hand ... something that will be impossible with your mobile phone.

(and no - the above image is not my boarding pass ... that would be stupid to post an image of your pass which includes your frequent flier information which is pretty easy to hack)

Mac v. PC

Monday, December 22, 2008

Russian "Hot or Not"


You have to see it for yourself.

Click here. Yup, this is the official Russian Federation Ministry of Defense website. Specifically the gallery section ... now scroll down. Nope. Keep going until you see, "Miss Russian Beauty Contest"

Ok, now I want to know; Where's the US Military's counterpart website??

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Needed or necessary?


Its been over a year since I sold TheCity.com to the law firm representing Circuit City, and finally we're beginning to see their brand change. Last weekend in NYC, I walked past one of their Manhattan locations that featured the new signage, and even though they struggle through bankruptcy proceedings, the rebranding campaign continues.

Will the change do anything for sales? I know how much my part cost them, but I'm curious about the entire campaign and have to ask the question, is it worth it and was it really needed?

Are there things that you are doing in business that could be abandoned with little to no ill effects on your future revenues? Are you making decisions based on their impact to your bottom line? Really, are you? Why not? In fat or lean times, all decisions should come back to revenues.

And no, the domain is not yet in use.

DIE DIE DIE!!


Absolutely the best thing I've seen in a while. (link)

Damn, I'm still giggling...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where in the world is Steve?


Anyone else think that its odd that we're only 3 weeks before the keynote for MacWorld Expo and there's no announcement of Steve Jobs on stage as usual? Sure, the announcement is typically late, but this time around its really late.

Conspiracy theorists have at it! ;-)

UPDATE - Well, guess ol' Steve isn't doing the keynote. They just announced it.
Also - the announcement was done after the close of today's stock market. That makes the rumors about Steve's health stick to the wall that much more. I figured that they would do a "changing of the guard" kind of keynote, ala the previous MacBook/Pro press conference, but perhaps Steve's health has fallen faster than they figured and Schiller had to step in. The late announcement is also probably ringing the MacWorld Expo's phones off of the hook with people asking for refunds.

And yes, I'm still planning to go.

Kinda weird that I posted the original blog entry just this morning....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Survive? or Thrive!


I remember like it was yesterday back in 2000 - Almost exactly 8 years ago this month when marketing spending literally shut off. My interactive media company's monthly revenues fell off the map with a 75% drop as customers shunted all media spending. We made it through and emerged on the other side stronger than ever before and this time around, we're continuing strong into territory that our contemporaries are back in the same trouble again as we all were 8 years ago. (I'll post more about how I did that recovery later)

So, what's going on here? Why are we looking to hire, when others are cutting staff and battening down the hatches?

A few things - first off, interactive ad spending is showing itself to be fairly resilient in this economy. I believe this is a result of the fact that you can track back revenue dollars directly to media spends for email marketing, keywords, etc. whereas in other spending (outdoor, broadcast, etc) you can't track those dollars. As a result, you don't know that your media buys are bringing in revenue, so you keep with what you KNOW is working (ie. interactive) and cut back on the rest - or shift those dollars into interactive.

In regards to us directly in terms of what we're doing right (and what we might be doing wrong) when we cmae out of the last downturn and prospered, we didn't change our value prop as things got good, such that we're operating with the same mentality that we had when things were really tough. Remaining in an downturn mindset keeps us focused on what's important at all times, regardless of how good things are (or aren't). Our clients continue to receive value from our relationship thus projects (and revenue) are continuing in ernest.

Mind you - every month we have to sell our A/R and while about 25% of our revenue is contractually recurring, we haven't adopted the attitude that we're bullet proof. Exactly the opposite is true. If anything, we're selling harder (and smarter) than ever and continue to add clients to our portfolio as we move forward.

As long as we continue to provide ROI much like online marketing is doing against other media, I believe we'll continue to prosper in these tough times.

Is your mentality one of survive or thrive?

Better yet, what is your competition doing?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Next chapter


Some entrepreneurs are cursed with the "Never say die" attitude. Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for tenacity. But blind devotion to something that goes into uncharted (red) territory and sticking to it even though the voices inside (and out) are screaming at you to shut it down just isn't healthy nor does it make good business sense. Too many a founder continue to pile headstrong into an area where there's no hope of success for plenty of reasons, but it takes someone will not only humility but also vision to cut the cord and move on.

Today I sat down with a young founder who recently made the decision to discontinue operations on his venture to head into what he believes will be greener pastures.

I commend him on his decision to back away from where he is - not that I thought it was doomed to fail, but because the mere fact that he made the decision shows entrepreneurial maturity and a lack of emotional tie to a business that would cause him to fixate on the opportunity of possible, yet remote, success and blind him to the reality of the lack thereof. The decision he made is something that future investors and business partners should be aware of, but probably will never be privy to.

In the book that will tell the story of his life as an entrepreneur, his call to close this chapter and pen a new one is a telling insight into his character that will ultimately bring him success in the long run.

I look forward to reading what's next in his book.

So close it hurts...


These guys were SOOOOO close to cool, it hurts.

Putting a PICO itx board in a ZX81 - COOL.
Not utilizing the membrane keyboard - LAME!

They might as well just put it in a cardboard box. Seriously, you can't put it in that case unless you use the keyboard.

Bears....In....Spaaaaaaaacceeeeeeee.......


Cute and cool. Hard to put those two together, but these British school kids shot of their teddy bears in space is way cool, and very cute!

Read about it here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm jealous


Seriously, is this the ultimate toy or what?! The only civilian owned Harrier on the planet.

Check out the website.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stronger sibling


A while back in a post about the iPod Touch and the iPhone, I assumed that the innards of all the units were identical, sans some input controls, speakers and radio/bluetooth. Today I learned that the newest iPod Touch actually has the fastest CPU of all of its siblings, including the latest iPhone 3G. The second gen iPod Touch touts a 532 MHz CPU versus the 412 MHz CPU's installed in the other units.

While I'm kinda bummed that my 3G iPhone doesn't have the faster CPU - I'd bet that battery power was an issue, so I'm (kinda) cool with that.

What's more interesting is that as a gaming platform, the faster Touch can render roughly DOUBLE the number of polygons than the slower CPU powered devices.

Yup, DOUBLE.

Interesting, eh?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Impact!



Check out the meteor that streaked across the Canadian skies last night. Groups are searching for debris that experts are certain to have impacted the surface.

Sooo cute!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speed revisited


I've been clear on how I'm so underwhelmed by the 3G performance on my 3G iPhone. Not only with speeds, but its terrible impact on battery performance. Mr EVDO Treo had excellent battery life, and while the thinness of the iPhone is nice, if it was a little fatter but had decent battery life, I'd be cool with that.

But back to speed...

I was always thrilled with my Sprint EVDO card which would routinely deliver 1.5m/sec. Earlier this fall I observed that I was getting around 2.4m/sec in Los Angeles and today I am amazed to report the speeds shown in the graphic above in little ol' Green Bay!

Imagine that - excellent speeds with not only good battery performance but awesome signal strength even when inside a building.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Skynet started as a anti-spam app?


Thanks to Don for sending this in. He wonders if we're working on a version like this - I take that to mean that he's looking for emails on hair growth? ;-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tux and a Kindle



On my flight from DTW to London's Heathrow airport, the guy way across the center aisle had a Kindle. Actually seeing one in the wild was kinda like seeing Bigfoot, or (gasp) seeing a Zune! (actually, he kinda looks like a Zune kind of guy, eh?

Ok, and even though I've seen this before, it still makes me smile. They rebooted the in-flight video system and we're all treated to a Linux boot sequence. The little boy just ahead of me proclaims, "Hey mommy, its a penguin!". Cute!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Where's Laslo?


Ok, while its not quite as cool as an airborne laser that is used to pop popcorn , this new battlefield laser system from Northrop Grumman is a close second. Each package is a 15kW instant on, sustainable fire laser system that can be used in group configurations with up to eight packages to deliver some real destructive power downrange. Not bad for something thats about the size of a medium suitcase, granted it has a bit of an appetite for power.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lipstick?


I know, I know, the whole "lipstick on a pig" thing was abused during the election, but looking at this Dell laptop its the first thing that came to mind.

So, today's word is that Dell is betting that a little custom paint will make their laptops sell better.

I highly doubt it.

If you want to make your product sell better Michael, I suggest you do something to be remarkable. As Seth would say, you need to be a purple cow. Being that Dell is in the middle of the commoditized PC market, aside from some freaky hardware config, there's not much they can do. After all, regardless of what it looks like, its still a windows machine.

Dude! You're still getting a pig!

Let it burn


If consumers are buying your competitor's products over yours to the point that your business is in financial trouble (in this case, the US automakers), what should you do? Lobby for billions in bailout? Er, no. After all, a bailout only delays the inevitable. Should government force you to make eco-friendly cars? No!

You need to make products that consumers WANT to buy! I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Take a look at the top selling cars in January of 2008.

1. Toyota Camry: 31,601
2. Honda Accord: 23,957
3. Nissan Altima: 21,635
4. Honda Civic: 20,993
5. Toyota Corolla: 20,736
6. Chevrolet Impala: 17,544
7. Chevrolet Cobalt: 17,310
8. Chevrolet Malibu: 14,105
9. Pontiac G6: 13,942
10. Ford Focus: 11,600

Ok, first thing. The top 5 are foreign car makers. If you look at the costs to build those cars, the US automakers have roughly 2 to 3x the labor costs of the other guys. And no, its not because they are paying slave labor pay rates, its because they're not beholden to the UAW in terms of pay, benefits, and the ultimate of all sins, paying people NOT to work. Insane. Truly insane.

Second thing : see any hybrids in there? Nope. So, if the demand was there, the sales numbers would be there. So why force the manufacturers to make cars that aren't in demand - which is what the liberals in congress want. Agenda based policy is doomed to fail. (Need me to cite examples? No, I didn't think so.)

When you look at all vehicle sales for Q1 2008, the top selling vehicles are :

1. Ford F-150 : 94,551
2. Chevy Silverado 1500 : 90,903

Yup, the two top spots go to TRUCKS! The Prius comes in at #13 with 42,907 units sold.

Economic forces apparently aren't enough to force the automakers to do what's needed in terms of breaking the union contracts and becoming smaller, faster and more market focussed.

Bankruptcy is exactly what's needed. I'm sure they'll survive, but until they change their business they'll keep needing money which none of us can afford to give them. How can we bailout companies that refuse to be competitive??

Simplify, cut costs, focus and dominate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is it?



Anyone care to guess what this is?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whiteboard pong

Sorry, I'm too much of a geek NOT to post this.

Enjoy.

So annoying


So, the iPhone is arguably one of the most capable handheld devices on the market today. Yet there's one thing that the iPhone, thanks to AT&T, does no better than a $9 flip phone.

SMS MMS

If you SMS me a picture, I get a silly SMS message that proclaims that you've sent me a picture and in order for me to retrieve said picture, I have to visit some lame URL, type in a username and password which are unique every time (and impossible to remember) and then I get to view a scaled down version of whatever you sent me.

Ok, aside from the obvious fact that the phone doesn't just receive the image, why can't AT&T send me some sort of tinyURL type link which is unique to me to get these messages??

I mean, its so 1999 its boggles the mind that Steve Jobs and company would even tolerate such insane abuse of technology on an Apple product like this.

Is this a sign of what life is like when you sell your soul to the devil??

Amazingly satisfying


Really. It is. You know you want to. CLICK HERE!

YOU CAN'T RESIST!!

Just what we need


In terms of energy issues (notice, I'm not gonna call it a energy CRISIS), this is something that I can get behind 100%. Our electrical grid needs to get away from carbon based powerplants. Period. Wind and solar are nice local solutions for additional power, but they are not reliable in terms of being able to produce on demand and usually plans for these involve some sort of electrical storage system, and those are terrible for the environment.

Aside from the energy source switch from carbon to nuclear, the other issues are around electrical loss from transmission lines. But if you took these types of small power plants, you could decentralize our grid and keep power local and be able to ratchet up as needed and also be able to have local solar/wind farms that would have their greatest impact locally.

Are there issues? Sure, but its the best thing out there that will actually solve energy needs while reducing our needs for carbon based energy production facilities. (we have two massive dirty coal plants here that I'd love to see shut down and replaced by nukes)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Video time again!

Sit back, get some popcorn (but don't make it in our microwave!) and enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I (don't) apologize for this


Does this image offend you?

Actually, I don't care if it does or doesn't. If an image use facilitates me telling a story or illustrating a point, then I'm gonna use it. Especially if it is relevant to the details of the story - regardless of what someone or a group of someone(s) might think.

In a preso by a really smart guy from IBM, he put up an image of packaged meat as an illustration of how IBM is working with the grocery industry to track meat from each end of its supply life cycle with RFID chips to combat issues around mad cow, etc.

However, when the slide came up, he apologized to vegetarians for the image. And yes, it was a serious apology.

I've always hated "PC" (and I'm not talking Microsoft) and I'm wondering as to when it will all end and how far is too far.

I think its gone far enough.

Misc thoughts on the Summit


As the Summit heads towards its close this afternoon with Al Gore, here are some of my takeaway thoughts.

1. Its been well run. Hats off to the organizers.
2. The WIFI actually works. Many conferences fall on their face with this, but the WIFI has been more than solid.
3. Thanks to AT&T putting a temporary mobile site here at the Palace Hotel. This gave all the iPhone users full bars on both Edge and 3G. I'm sure this was appreciated all around.
4. Speaking of iPhones - my first impression was that more than half of the attendees had them. But during the AT&T CEO's talk, John asked for a show of hands, and I'd say that it was WELL over 50% of the attendees, perhaps 70%.
5. Lots of Macs. Yeah, its a bad sample group, but its safe to say that 80%+ of the attendees had an Apple laptop.
6. Networking value. I met a lot of great people. My only regret is not being able to meet more. I only scratched the surface considering the attendee list that we were all given.
7. Content value. Very high. Great speakers. 'nuf said.
8. Overflow. Hmmm, if you spend bucks on coming here, you'd think they'd have enough seats in the ballroom. If I ended up in overflow I'd bust ass for a refund or discount on next year.

All in all, great conference. I'll be here next year.

Party like it's 1999!



I can't help but compare and contrast two people at the Web 2.0 Summit. Namely Yahoo's Jerry Yang and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Jerry's had a bad year - make no bones about it. And after seeing him firsthand, I don't think its going to get any better. Listening to Jerry talk about Yahoo! as a business strikes a deep chord back to the mid to late 90's when Yahoo! was the rage for online communities.

But we're in 2008 and online communities aren't anything like what they were 10 years ago, but not in Jerry's mind. The order of magnitude on how he doesn't "get it" is startling when you think about the size of an organization that be presides over and the dollars involved.

Now take a look at Zuckerberg. He knows his users. He accurately observes what's going on online and understands at a fundamental level where they are, and more importantly, where Facebook (and the rest of the online world) is headed.

I also can't help but draw parallels between Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems. Both have an identity problem and both have leadership that needs to step aside and let a capable experienced leader step in and do triage to try to save the patient.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What motivates you?


I had the opportunity tonight to sit and listen to a great conversation with Lance Armstrong at the Web 2.0 Summit. Lance was inspirational, thought provoking, funny and somber over the 45 minute conversation.

My take home quote from Lance was in answer to the question, "What motivates you?". His reply?

"I am motivated by the fear of losing"

Yup. I can relate to that.

Can you?

(sorry for the shot of the screen in the room - the lighting was crap and my iPhone didn't get any decent shots of him on stage in front of me.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things I want


I'm trying not to drool, but the updated Canon prosumer HD cameras are something sexy sweet.

I can't wait to get mine.

And so it begins


With the election hours old, Russia makes a bold move which while might be surprising to some, wasn't to me. Russia has been out there, building like a supercell in June in Tornado Alley and now they're letting us and the world know that they're about to move into a new Cold War with the United States and NATO.

In addition to the international threat, the Russian President (which we all know is just a puppet for Putin) also made some rather remarkable changes to the Russian Constitution. Namely extending the presidential term - how nice of him.

Put into perspective how Russia is cozy with countries such as Iran (who is also rattling the sabre), Venezuela and how they "nationalized" several industries (oil) and their recent issue with Georgia where they effectively tested the waters on militaristic expansion.

If you are primarily worried about what's happening IN our country, then you are blind to the real game going on OUTSIDE of our borders.

The vote yesterday is going to bring change all right. Change in ways that Obama's supporters could never fathom.

Its interesting to note that the Russian (or near Russian) folks here at the Web 2.0 Summit are VERY worried about this recent development and several that I've spoken with were pro Obama and now aren't so sure. While they think Obama will be a good "talker" (their word, not mine) they don't think he'll command any respect in strength positioning and his words about cutting not only military spending, but R&D money on new weapons is seen as a sign of great weakness internationally. (see video)

FYI - this is the LAST political post on this blog - I'm going to bring back the original blog that in some respects was the FIRST blog before there were blogs back in 1999. Go here for my politically minded thoughts.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Please login


Try something for me....

If you have a Northwest Airlines WorldPerks account on NWA.com, login and take a a look at your miles balance, perhaps check your upcoming flights and then do something important.

Go book a flight.

Notice anything? Yup - you've been logged out and need to log back in to book your flight.

WTF? You were just logged in, all verified and ready to book a ticket somewhere cool and exciting, but NOOOOOOO. The web geniuses at NWA make you log back in again to book said flight.

The best part - you can click on worldperks while getting a flight booked even as a guest, and guess what? The Worldperks part of the website checks the cookie and knows who you are. Seems that the guys in the booking part of NWA aren't quite as savvy as the rest of the crew.

Sorry, this is just silly and downright idiotic in today's world. Totally.

Friday, October 31, 2008

MBP battery weirdness


After a week with my new MBP, I'm pretty happy. Its solid, well built and no major issues. The only weird thing is with the battery charging times and apparent discharge while sleeping.

First - charging. As you can see here, the battery indicator on the side of the machine shows a full charge, yet the charging indicator in the menu bar says it will take over an hour to fully charge.?! What gives? The percent charge is 92% - so it will take an hour and 18 minutes to charge the remaining 8 percent??This doesn't make sense at all.

When have a full charge - I can unplug the MBP, use it for 5 minutes, and then plug it back in and it will claim over an hour to charge the battery after only 5 minutes of usage?!

When I screen shot the image above, the MBP had been in sleep mode (cover shut) and plugged in while I ran to lunch and did some errands. When I shut the cover, the battery indicator claimed 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge. I was gone for an hour and a half, and that's when I got the above image which says I have 1:18 left after sitting charging for 1:30.

And if I take my fully charged MBP and stick it in my bag, jump on an airplane, say from LA to Green Bay and then pull it out to use it and plug it in, it will claim 2 hours or so to charge. Hmmm, I didn't use it at all since putting it in my bag. Sure, the battery will draw a teeny tiny amount to keep the static RAM juiced, but nothing like what the battery management is claiming.

Is there something wrong here? Yes. Is the battery working at 100%? Yes, I think it is. I think the battery management software is the culprit here.

Anyone else having these issues?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why websites matter



I'm in L.A. tonight and I'm in the mood for sushi. So, I hit maps.google.com and see what's close by. Two look promising, and I'm going to pick one purely by its website.

After all - I'm not from here. I have to judge them somehow, right?

So, I picked the one from above.

The one below? Nope. Sure it had decent reviews, but the design of the website, combined with the really annoying music that plays on each page turned me off. Sure I bet someone thought the cute Japanese music was nice, but no. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD do that thing.



So, when you look at your website and think, "its good enough" perhaps you need to think again. I run into this all the time and I'm always amazed at how the owners don't think that the look and the feel of their website matters.

Trust me, it does.

I'll believe it when I see it


Today the DOJ signed off on the Northwest / Delta merger. The DOJ, in their infinite wisdom, said, "...The merger likely will result in efficiencies such as cost savings in airport operations, information technology, supply chain economics, and fleet optimization that will benefit consumers," they wrote. "Consumers are also likely to benefit from improved service made possible by combining under single ownership the complementary aspects of the airlines' networks."

Riiiiiggght.

Congrats to the board and the major shareholders of Northwest who finally got an exit strategy.

Sucks for the rest of us. (sigh)

I better get my ass in gear burning up my miles....

Zoom zoom!


I'm in L.A. today and I stopped to take a few minutes and go through some emails so I hauled out my new MacBook Pro, connected my Sprint EVDO card and went about my business. A friend emailed me a video link and when I pulled it up, I thought, "Dang, that loaded fast".

I'm used to maxing out my Sprint EVDO connection around 1500kbps - sometimes slower depending on where I am. I decided to fire up the speed test and take a look at the connection and WOW! I was amazed to see ~2500kbps. So I did it again, and again and after about 6 tries, I figured it has to be right.

Contrast this with the horrid AT&T 3G service with my iPhone. ;-)

It kinda makes we want to hack the EVDO card into the MacBook Pro somehow ... hmmm ....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Conspiracy theory


Firmware beta 2.2 2 has been seeded to developers for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and first gen iPod Touch. However, the latest iPod Touch ships with a yet unreleased firmware and the beta that's been seeded out isn't for the new iPod touch.

So, what gives?

Aside from the cellular radio and bluetooth, the touch and the iPhone are identical... right? (or should I ask, "aside from the speakers, display and the volume controls, the old and new touch are identical, right?")

Is this a signpost about something new coming?

Or just a nothing that should be ignored?

Does anyone know what display sizes the video chip in the iPhone and iPod touch can drive?

Can someone write a little benchmark app and benchmark the iPhone and iPod touch?

I'm just curious... and January isn't too far away... I'm just sayin'....

We The People...

I want my MTV





Ok, I'm impressed. I've been dissing MTV for years for the LACK of music for being "Music Television" and today, MTV (mtvmusic.com) gained some cred back with their move of putting every music video from their archive online.

For Free.

This also includes MTV unplugged, etc. so there's some amazing stuff in there.

Free software day


Hey Macheads! Codeweavers is offering its CrossOver software FREE today ONLY! (thanks to low oil and gas prices) You have to pick which version you want and only one per customer.

So, get off your butt and get it while you can today!

(I think they're getting hammered .... website is SUPER SLOW)

One device or two?


Today the Dash is $199 on Amazon. That's a pretty sweet deal such that I'm kinda on the fence about getting one. For as much as I travel in other cities, a dedicated GPS would be handy to have.

But my iPhone essentially does everything the Dash does and carrying another device isn't something I really want to do, but I would if the device was worth it to me.

Of course, when I'm using the iPhone as a phone, its useless as a GPS since it doesn't get data while on a call. (I guess it might be a bad thing to be talking on the phone and examining GPS routes all while driving.... eh?)

Google Maps on the iPhone rocks... I live it on when traveling and having traffic is also a huge deal for me when driving around cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles and has saved my butt on more than one occasion.

I've passed on a GPS last year for Christmas from my family since I didn't think I'd use it since I had Google Maps on my phone. But does the GPS experience trounce Maps on a phone enough to justify owning one? Not to mention that the Dash needs a subscription to get updates, etc. but that's cool since it has a GPRS modem in it. If you don't get the subscription, its a plain jane GPS.

Any iPhone users out there also carry/use a dedicated GPS?

Square peg, round hole


I've always followed a simple rule when hiring staff ; even though you have a posting for a position with certain responsibilities, you shape the final position around the candidate to maximize their utility.

So many companies waste good talent by forcing them to fit into a position which serves the company need, but misses the mark by ignoring the individual's true capabilities.

Remember - any company is only as good as its people and in tough times, its the raw talent in the staff that makes the difference.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Didn't we defeat these guys?


Take a read.

And remember, all he wants to do is "spread the wealth around".

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When is a tax cut not a tax cut?


Both candidates are proposing tax cuts. Fine. However, there's one little detail with the definition of a tax cut. A tax cut is a decrease on the amount of taxes paid to the tax man, correct? So why is it that Obama is proposing tax rebates for those folks on the bottom of the pile who don't pay taxes? How can you get a rebate or tax cut on something that you didn't pay in the first place??

Now, I'm pretty good with logic, and this isn't a tax cut. Its redistributing wealth.

But then again, Obama said plain and clear that this is exactly what he plans to do. "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."



Ok folks - pony up your checkbook and write those checks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

3D force feedback

Back in college while I was generally avoiding going to class, I spent (blew) my time messing around with Power Gloves, and other gadgets hacked into my IIgs and Mac IIci. While those times were a lot of fun, entertaining and educational, there was the problem of force feedback when interacting with objects in 3D space.

With that in mind, check this out. Sweet!

Sick of traffic?


Moller has put their original prototype on Ebay yet again.

If you like cruising at 2-4 feet on your way to work, then happy bidding. Of course, I'd bet you would look way cooler in it than the dude in the pic. ;-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Want change? I'll give ya change.


Hmmm, let me get this straight. In 1999, the government pushed to ease loan requirements to enable people WHO COULD NOT AFFORD THE LOANS, TO GET LOANS.

And now we're all surprised that there's trouble?

And who's writing the so-called "bailout plan"?? The SAME MORONS WHO CREATED THE MESS BACK IN 1999!?? Heck, better yet, the architect of the whole thing has been tapped by the Obama campaign for financial/economic advice.

You gotta be kidding me.

You think the presidential election is important? I'd almost worry more about the House and the Senate. Please, please, don't vote for incumbents. They (both sides) want to give us change? No, its is US who should make the change. Send them all packing. Hell, a whole group of freshmen can't do much worse.

Imagine a company run this way ... Oh yeah, remember Enron?

every day....


They keep rolling in.... While putting someone else out of business isn't a reason to go into business, it does make for a good guerrilla marketing program....

What's amazing is that we're pulling NEW units off of their subscriptions.. Its like the customers get 2-3 months into the purchase and are just looking for a way out.

And there we are ... with a program that they just love. ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ya think?


Thank God for the warning sign, else there'd have been trouble!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't compare


The TMobile G1 is the first in what should be a long line of Android powered phones. However, I have to warn you about jumping to comparing it to Apple's iPhone. Why? Because the G1 is a phone and the iPhone isn't.

What I mean is that the G1 is meant to be a phone first, and the iPhone is meant to be a handheld computer with phone capabilities. On the iPhone, the phone isn't primary. Huh?

Take a look at the G1 - it has physical buttons for phone, calendar, etc. (ala the Treo and other "smartphones") The iPhone doesn't. Some call this an oversight on Apple's part, but you need to think longer term than the current (and even new) crops of smartphones.

Apple isn't interested in phones - they're interested in ubiquitous computing. This is why the G1 is going to miss the boat long term. Of course, I expect other phones to emerge that are more handheld computer and less phone powered by Android to take on Apple's rising dominance in the space. That's a given.

But then again, we all know Apple's got more small form factor computers en route. The blogspshere has been alight with rumblings the past 30 days.... not that I've been talking about this for a while, but really, the industry doesn't get it the way Apple does.

Trust me on this.

Ps - to be honest, I'm slightly jealous of the keyboard on the G1. ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am your FAAAATTHHHEEERRRR!!

Hey - there's a Star Wars game out for the iPhone!! $9.95 - why not try it out?

I'll tell you why. On second thought, actually, I won't. Watch the video below instead. (and you'll save yourself the $10 bucks.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A plane in your back pocket


Actually, four planes in your back pocket as Austin Meyer, the creator of my favorite flight simulator, X-Plane, just released the iPhone version of his amazing software.

Austin's app needs a lot of CPU power on the desktop/laptop to play, and the fact that he's got it running on the iPhone says a lot of the platform's capabilities. I had no idea this was coming from him - though someone HAD joked about it at EAA this summer. Know I know why Austin was grinning.

Sweetness. ;-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Uh guys, BETA code has real world issues



I'm sure United Airlines appreciates Google's BETA software after the $1B run on their stock after the news postings.

Hey guys, BETA code has repercussions in the real world.

It goes back to my review of Google from 4 years ago, "Google? Yeah, its like a college campus, only less productive."

True then, truer today.

Dear Mr. Obama

Round 2

Ok, I giggled, but still... effective? And effective at what?

Monday, September 8, 2008

In honor of service


Sorry for all the political crap, but I can't pass this by.

In response to a question from Stephanopoulos about if he ever thought about serving in the military, Obama said, "And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honourable option. But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."

Aside from the blaring bullsh*t alarm, I think Obama fully articulated his complete lack of understanding for the motivation for our servicemen and women in THEIR PURSUIT TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY. Obama says he didn't join cause there was no ongoing war.

You don't join to fight, you join to serve.

In retrospect, I think Obama did the military a favor for not enlisting. I'm sure my military friends would agree.

(I picked a naval officer for this shot since my father served in the Navy)