Thursday, December 28, 2006

Joel says "Scoble is wrong"

Joel Spolsky (who doesn't read his humorous and thoughtful blog articles) talks about Microsoft starting 2 pay 4 blogging support.

There's an interesting debate going on about whether bloggers should accept gifts from vendors.

Lately Microsoft... been getting rather aggressive about trying to buy good coverage from bloggers. A few months ago they invited bloggers out to Seattle to meet Bill Gates, with all expenses paid (hotel, airfare, etc). Last week they send out a round of expensive laptops with Vista preinstalled. These are not loans, by the way: they're completely free laptops ("yours to keep!").

Sounds nice, huh? What could be wrong with that?

Robert Scoble says "it's an awesome idea." He says that as long as the bloggers disclose that they got the laptops free, they're acting ethically.

Scoble is wrong.

Just because it's someones job to do something, doesn't make it ethical...

Effectively Microsoft has bought publicity and goodwill. And even though the blogger has fully disclosed what happened, their message is corrupting the medium.

I've been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery... The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.

These gifts reduce the public trust in blogs...

Anyway. I do not have clean hands. I accepted that stupid cell phone from Sprint fully intending to never write about it, and later decided it was so bad I should just write a negative review. For a couple of years, I accepted a donation of colocation space and facilities from Peer 1 Network, but only because they were the best colocation facility and backbone provider I could find, and only because Joel on Software is really a non-profit, advertising-free site and I was happy to accept the sponsorship. Google donated a Search Appliance to provide search for Joel on Software, also mostly as a community service on their part, which was very nice. They probably intended to get some free publicity out of it. They did.

Microsoft's crazy offer, though, made me think a lot more about this whole thing, and I've decided that from this point forward I'm not accepting anything, full stop...

Today, Fog Creek Software pays the Peer 1 bills. I declined the Microsoft offer and bought my own fully-loaded Dell laptop (a D620) to try out Vista.

Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to Vista... Vista is not reason enough for a new PC. Need more details? Read Paul Thurrott's review.

I'll keep trying, though, to earn your trust.

I can't really comment from the side that Joel's been on; in that I've never taken any 'gifts'. I'm kinda with Scoble in that 'buyer beware' and 4 any article u read u need 2 either research its origons/intentions or just take it with a 'grain of salt'. (You do know that everything on the Internet is always TRUE - right!)

I certaintly agree with his last line in that each writer (blogs or otherwise) has to gain the trust of their readers.


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Too much money floating around

Sam Zell's has a very bizarre (at least from a normal web page/blog) site at

Its well done with an initial recital and then goes into a song (tune to "Raindrops keep falling on my head") but this time its "Capitial keeps raining on my head".


from blog entry Too much capital?

This is in part 2 a followup on one of Troy's sessions from Web 2.0 from the Venture Capital session by Roger McNamee (private equity) and Ram Shiram (seed investing).
Will try and do some more detailed followup on this topic later.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Web 2.0 Summit review from Troy Angrignon

Troy Angrignon has a great review and HUGE detail of the Web 2.0 Summit with 3 days of notes. This is his summary:

  • Web 2.0 is real. In fact, it's even more important than when Microsoft had their epiphany about the internet ten years ago
  • We're at the beginning of the ramp for things like social media and mobile
  • This year, we grew users 10-15%, usage 20-30%, and monetization 30+% and that looks like it will continue
  • video has surpassed text everywhere all the time
  • Internet Advertising is still under-represented so ad spend will shift from 8% of the total spend to about 15% of the total spend and will make this transition very quickly.
  • It's now possible to build an entirely virtual company by outsourcing every single component of it
  • Application development speed continues to leap ahead radically
  • find and go towards the large white spaces
  • there is lots of capital out there; ideas and good teams are the limiters; there's no excuse for not raising money right now
  • web services and mashups are going to explode
  • find passionate users, let them drive your products and your business
  • In fact, let them help you BUILD your product if possible
  • Build your products so that people either love them or hate them; don't aim for the zone of mediocrity.
  • LOVE your users
  • To keep good people, ensure they're passionate about what they're doing, give them the ability to somewhat drive their (and your) success and innovation; engage them in decisions
  • Realize that you can build things now collaboratively across the web in ways that were not possible before
  • Do something bold that changes the game
Goldcorp gave up their sacred data and $500K to make $3.4B in revenues.
Bob Parsons cancelled the IPO because the analysts were too annoying.
Amazon wants to start running your businesses because frankly, they can do it better, cheaper, and faster than you can by a factor of 100x.

  • the better your product, the less you have to use traditional marketing;
  • focus on niches;
  • we're at the beginning of the curve on immersive environments and they will play a larger and larger part in our economy;
  • help people make money on top of your platform;
  • Watch the cashflow (daily!); it's more important than profits (for a smaller company);
  • Making money is better (and way more important) than finding investors
  • Adapt quickly
  • Create passionate users who will help you create your business
  • Listen to yourself; listen to your customers; don't listen to analysts; never listen to the doubters.
  • measure what counts but remember that "not everything that counts can be measured, nor does everything that can be measured count." (be careful what you measure);
  • operational excellence can be a a defensible long-term strategy, and significant point of differentiation; (Microsoft, Amazon, Fedex)
  • Profit or size?
  • Most people: make it profitable right off the bat; then build with revenue as fast as possible;
  • Bezos: go for size!
  • On finding the next opportunity:
  • Calcanis/Dmitry: stay focused on your original business!
  • Bezos: Always keep exploring down dark tunnels for new business opportunities! ecosystems beat platforms beat applications beat features;
  • there was a lot of contradiction regarding how companies should or should not start small. I think it shows that there is no right answer. There will be a plethora of small companies and others will choose to get the funding to get big fast as we did in Bubble 1.0

I wish I was there! I certaintly concur with his thinking on-
  • online avertising is still in its infancy
  • starting a business is now easier than ever b4 (4 the 'webbie' kind)
  • go towards the large white spaces and focus on niches
  • mashups are going 2b BIG
  • get passionate users

He also wrote some of the dailogue on some talks/interviews with:- 

Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley: The State of the Internet Part 3
has some interesting metrics on Yahoo, Google, Customer Acquisition, Advertisers, Commerce, and more ... I've copied out some of the key ones.
  • approx 60% of internet traffic may be Peer to peer filesharing of "unmonetized" video
  • Skype would rank #3 in the world for telecom providers (behind China Mobile and Vodafone). It may still have the title of "fastest product ramp in history". Skype carries approximately 7% of all global cross-border calls and that should double in the next year or two.
  • Blogs continue to double every 7 months
  • American Idol receiving 63M votes (via mobiles + internet) in the final 4 hour round
  • User Generated Content based sites have moved into the top 15 global websites
  • North America is becoming less dominant on the internet
  • Broadband penetration has finally hit the 25-30% "sweet spot"
  • Global Mobile 2.5G/3G penetration has hit the 30-35% "sweet spot"
  • rich media will be the next avenue for US internet advertising spend growth
  • Search is the top customer acquisition tool for online retailers
  • Search is also the cheapest customer acquisition channel
  • eBay has outstripped classifieds 9:1 but the newspapers still make all the money - a correction is inevitable. eBay listings have gone from zero to 921M listings in 8 years
  • Video is most of the P2P traffic
  • Apple has sold $16B worth of iPods and music/videos in only three years
  • Google + Yahoo = ~58% of US online ad revenue
  • Google and Yahoo share approximately 30% of their revenue with their partners

A Conversation with Jeff Bezos
We have removed the "muck"; You come up with an idea, you wade through the muck, and then eventually you get to working on the fun parts. And then when you come up with your NEXT idea you have to go through the muck all over again. up to 70% of your time, energy, and dollars for web-scale apps goes into undifferentiated, heavy lifting and "muck"...."We make you don't have to."...

Korea's MySpace Challenger: CyWorld Revealed
  • 20M subscribers, 40% of the population of Korea; 96% of 20-29 year olds ; 20B monthly page views
  • =Myspace + iTunes + Google + IM + eBay
  • we brought young women in their early 20s (who didn't use the internet) to the internet. We made the entire system appealing visually to young women.
  • the base service is free...but charge for the personalization
  • Integrated with IM NateOn is causing a decline in MSN. NateOn went from 0 to12M users; MSN went from 10 to 6M.

Enterprise 2.0 mashups, with Marc Benioff,
  • You have to move from being a killer app to a killer platform
  • an elastic database; 10 Terabytes, 500,000 subscribers
  • mashup of Google map and into a tool that allows you to find bikram studios. Some third-party did it via iRows
  • We mashed up Skype as well showed their Skype status
  • We now have >400 applications sitting on App Exchange; grab the app you want and it populates your workspace.
  • ... cubes for mashup developers. $20K/yr per cube buys you a spot in our building where you can work closely with us to build your product that sits on our platform.

  • Side note: When I spoke to Michael Platt, Chief Architect from Microsoft at the New New Internet conference in Virginia, he told me that "mashups are the most exciting thing I have seen in years" and the Emerging Technology guy from SAP stated outright in the Enterprise 2.0 session at Office 2.0: "Mashups are the future of our [SAPs] business."

What GoDaddy knows, with Bob Parsons
  • he talked about why they filed for and then withdrew their S1 application to become a public company. It cost him $3M to realize that once he went public he would have to listen to the advice of a lot of people who had no clue about his business.
  • "I met a lot of analysts who didn't know the basics and who focused on short-term financials rather than on good solid business basics."
  • Cashflow is WAY more important than paper profits
  • We will have $340M revenue and cash of $50M of cash flow ($1M free cashflow PER WEEK) so I think we're doing okay
  • When it comes to promoting your company, everybody wants you to fall in line and offend nobody. That's just the wrong idea. To be different you have to be polarizing.
  • we let podcasters create their own ads for us - they're weird and crazy...
  • Don't forget the fundamentals and be VERY careful who you listen to.

Venture Capital: Roger McNamee (private equity) and Ram Shiram (seed investing). I've just taken some of the key points:
  • ... cheap to start a company; it is hard to find talent though :)
  • Content companies are very hard to build and grow
  • ... having too much money is a problem for startups - "indigestion is worse than starvation."
  • ... A lot of the most attractive ideas need less than $1M
  • ... too much money floating around there
  • ...don't equate money with success.
  • careful of increasing your valuation too quickly and pricing yourself out of the market from an acquisition perspective
  • ...Building your business and serving people is your primary job. Raising funds is secondary.
  • User-generated content ... will be huge.
  • ...look at enabling forms of user generated content.
  • ...companies less than $1B don't get any notice from the analysts anymore
  • ...Build something great and the exit will take care of itself
  • ...Just find smart money and work, work, work!
  • ...Focus on the size of the pie, not on the size of the slice
  • ...Find the person who you want to call at 2am with bad news and also with great news and who have the contextual expertise about your business.
  • ...Entrepreneurship is not for lightweights. Life is hard.

I love the last comment and indigestion one.
Like Wow! a lot to take in. Great notes Troy


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Founders starting to get some money in their pockets?

Allan Leinwand (with VC Panorama Capital, founder of Vyatta, CTO of Digital Island) has a post at GigaOM on " VCs, the new liquidity providers".

In it he talks about how VC's that want to put money to work in the new environment where its becoming easier for startups 2 get off the ground, cheaper and faster. Often some of these interesting companies get "quickly acquired by the big players in the space for both the technology and the team". 

"One method that seems to be getting more popular is to have the venture capital go toward providing liquidity for the founders (buying secondary shares). This method can serve multiple purposes:

1) It gives the venture investor the desired ownership;

2) It providers some liquidity to the founders who may be living on sweat equity; and

3) It aligns the financial interests of the company and investors."
Certaintly founders are nearly always interesting in getting some money in their pockets (particularly if they have been struggling for some time running the company and not drawing any salary) but at what price?  

VC and angels are only coming in on the basis they can get a (large) return on their money/investment. Putting some of that investment straight into the founder's pockets is often a big No-No. Be interesting if this is starting 2 change and what % of valuation is viable as a founders 'share'.

Paul Graham also has a piece on this and how the landscape has changed with some companies getting acquired before an A round.


Labels: , ,

Yikes - SSPCA warning gets your attention

Not sure I agree with the unexpected violence on this Xmas video intro from the SSPCA. Have made a short film which features a pantomime horse being beaten to death with a crowbar in front of an audience of schoolchildren.

For those not from across the waters they are the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA)

Scotsman newspaper have an article on it: to be sent to 50,000 e-mail addresses in an effort to stop an annual slump in the number of people contacting the charity over the festive period.

The charity has said it makes no apology for the content of the film which it created in an attempt to shock people into action.


Labels: , , , ,

Some of what really went on behind the scenes for Google purchase of YouTube

Mark Cuban has a very interesting post (from ""anonymous author", who I respect and trust.") on what may have gone on behind the scenes when Google was buying out uTube.

It raises some interesting points:

...Yahoo was deep in the process as well.

...suitors kept stumbling over the potential enormous copyright infringement claims that were mounting

Youtube knew they had an issue and had offered a straight revenue share deal if the complainants would call off the dogs and give them time. The media companies quickly rejected this...

...obvious solution and that is to set aside a portion of the buyout offer to deal with copyright issues.

Nearly 500 million of the 1.65 billion purchase price is not being disbursed to shareholders but instead held in escrow.

...decision was made to negotiate settlements with some of the largest music and film companies.

Youtube approached the media companies with an open checkbook to buy peace. The media companies smelled a transaction...

...they didn't predict Google would pay such an exorbitant amount...

They negotiated about 50 million for each major media company to be paid from the Google buyout monies....

The media companies had their typical challenges. Specifically, how to get money from Youtube without being required to give any to the talent (musicians and actors)? companies would receive an equity position as an investor in Youtube which Google would buy from them. This shelters all the up front monies from any royalty demands.

...big G wants to make sure the Youtube purchase was a wise one. agreement to look the other way for the next 6 months or so while copyright infringement continues to flourish.

...pile some lawsuits on competitors to slow them down and lock in Youtube's position. As Google looked at it they bought a 6 month exclusive on widespread video copyright infringement. Universal obliged and sued two capable Youtube clones Bolt and Grouper.

.. puts enormous pressure on all the other video sites to clamp down on ..content posting ... it shuts off the flow of venture capital investments into video firms.

...Infringement lawsuits will be served on Youtube and the new proud parent Google in the coming months. Google will respond with two paths: an expensive legal fight or a quick and easy settlement with most choosing the latter.


Labels: , ,

Beware inflated Reality, u can't do everything from Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban has an article ("Success and Motivation:Drowning in Opportunity /Winning the Battles you are in") regd running his businesses and some of the issues he faces and what to concentrate on.

He talks about 3 rules:
  • 1. Everyone is a genius in a bullmarket
  • 2. Win the Battles you are in before you take on new battles
  • 3. You can Drown in Opportunity
I agree with most of the article and sometimes 24hrs a day is not enough and u have 2 focus on what u can do.


Labels: ,

Players in IM/VOIP space

Livia Iacolare on Kolabora has an article on VOIP primer and shows the main players in that space (consumer).
This shows an instant comparision of the players regd features.

Talks about:
I'd forgotten some of these and not heard about iVocalize b4. I'll look 2 do another post and try and collect all of the Voip Softphones and IM products out there (at least on the low-end consumer side).


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gizmo has 1c calls to US, 1.5c UK/IRL and free to Gizmo users - PC/Home/Mobile

Gizmo (open source SIP VOIP system) is now offering free phone calls (can be to PC, 
home# or mobile) from your PC to other Gizmo/SIP users.
"That call will be free provided (a) you both are active Gizmo Project users, which just means you make a few calls a week using the software and (b) are calling a qualifying number in one of the 60 countries for which the plan is offered.
...are only able to allow free calls to landline phones in 60 countries, and mobile numbers in 17 of those countries ...

Offering very cheap calls to US landlines (1c), UK(1.5c), IRL (1.6c)
Also offer a free incoming (US only) 775 area code thats routed to you.

Gizmo offer Instant Messaging and now part of IM Federation which is using Jabber as an IM integration gateway (allowing you 2 talk to other IM's via its XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence) Protocol. Trillian and Gaim have been doing this on the PC for years but require a new version each time Microsoft, AOL or Yahoo have their IM wars.
  • Customize Voicemail Messages
  • Gizmo Project and Google Talk are Now Connected!
  • Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Free Mobile phone and Landline Conference Calling
  • Asterisk PBX Support
  • SIP Number
  • VoIP networks can reach your Gizmo account free
  • Access Numbers
  • Calling Other VoIP Networks
  • Call Recording
  • SIP Adapters
There are plenty of other cheap/free-ish VOIP type offerings out their, most using softphone but a few like Jahah (free calls on Xmas day) doing "other" offerings that are more mobile/cell friendly.



Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

System Administration with ooRexx

Howard Fosdick and Jon Wolfers wrote an article in Mar 2006 on System Administration with ooRexx. ooRexx is the Open Object Rexx language.
Rexx, invented at IBM around 1980, was one of the first scripting languages and stands for "REstructured eXtended eXecutor"
This brings me back a couple of years to my mainframe era doing Mvs, DB2, Profs, Cics, Ims etc...

He shows an example script to identify and delete large files on Windows servers.

Howard has an older article Rexx: Power Through Simplicity.
Here's a quick quiz. Which scripting language ...
  • Runs on virtually all platforms and operating systems?
  • Enjoys a strong standard to which all implementations adhere?
  • Comes in object-oriented versions that are upwardly compatible with the standard procedural language?
  • Is known for combining ease of use with power?

Through the first three questions you might well have answered "Perl," but question four is a stumper. Powerful and useful as it is, few might claim that Perl is a language that is easy to learn or master.

Rexx is the answer.


Labels: , ,

Where is Apple going with Intel and potential competition from Sony/IBM with the cell

Adrien Lamothe has a very interesting article (Apple's High-Water Mark?) and his views of Apple v's Sony plus other competition and where it is going, from Mar 2006.
... "Why should Apple worry about a gaming console? For starters, adding a 2.5-inch hard drive, keyboard, and mouse to the PlayStation 3 turns it into a full-fledged personal computer. The real eye-opener is Sony choosing Linux as the operating system for PlayStation 3, breaking away from Microsoft" ...

Apple appears intent on dethroning Sony as king of consumer electronics...

Why Intel for Apple?...

There is a very real possibility the digital media market will quickly migrate to Cell-based computers, if the applications are available...

Apple faces other challenges....

Apple's new outlets have affected the resellers. Some of Apple's old-line resellers have gone out of business. Several have filed a class-action suit against Apple....

The company appears to have reached a point where it cannot reduce its operational costs....

how will Apple's new business model measure up? Is it sustainable?...

appears to be an attempt to create a "Nike effect."...

it can hope the Cell processor turns out to be overrated. This is a real possibility. ...

There are some who think Apple should allow Mac OS X to run on other hardware....

Sony also faces some challenges....

Huge and interesting commentary at the end that discusses the article and points on Xcode, other processors etc.


Labels: , , , ,

HP laptop Pavilion dv6110 poor power connector and battery life

I have this HP laptop now about a month and overall pleased with it but recently the power connector seems to have a life of its own. I'm sitting away and get this pop-up indicating that AC has been plugged out an running on battery. Nope. Still connected. 
Look again and now its back on. Wiggle in my seat and can make it go on/off/on/off. Pushing in the connection (into laptop where  it lights up a small led blue ring) makes it connect again. 
Sometimes I need 2 plug it out and back in again. PITA.

The main bug-bear is the lack of battery life. I get <= 2.5 hrs. They 'claim' (now I need 2 go find where that claim is - maybe on the sales box) 3-3.5 hrs. Found this from previous chat
"previous HP chat : Samson   A normal 6 cell Li-Ion battery lasts 3.5 to 4 hours"

I contacted HP (via Live 'chat') a few times and spent a lot of time going back n forth "troubleshooting" until finally they indicated "its as designed" and 2.5 hrs is pretty good. I can get the 3-3.5hrs IF I boot into DOS (and not the default operating system that comes with it) and turn off WiFi and ensure all USB devices are off. THEN I should get the claimed battery usage! What a load of marlarkey. So I gotta move back 2 the dark ages and do all my "computer usage and productivity" in DOS! Wow!

Hp Pavilion dv6010us indicates no mention of expected battery usage. Safe -huh!

zdnet review on dv6000 indicates
"When it comes to battery life, the Pavilion dv6000's 2 hour, 35 minute battery life is somewhat disappointing; we'd hoped for at least 3 hours."

Plenty of other negative comments regd battery life at.

HP supplied links

Labels: , , , ,

JAJAH moves to ad-funded model; Announces European partnerships

 Alec Saunders has a nice piece about Jahah getting some major validation in the real world.

Two German companies (Pro7Sat1, Germany’s most popular TV station, and Bild-T Online, the most widely read newspaper in Europe), plus News Austria, the leading media company in Austria, will announce relationships with JAJAH. Starting tomorrow, everyone living in Germany, or Austria, will be able to make free phone calls anywhere in their respective countries 

If all this appears 2b gobbeldy-gook (as VOIP provided) then what part of FREE do u not understand.

Jahah allows u 2 call 4 free/cheap anyone via your mobile/cell-phone. They have free calls on Xmas day.
..You simply enter the number you wish to call, press call and… well that’s it really. Imagine, same behavior but the call is free, or up to 95% cheaper...  
Works on Symbian or those that can download Java apps.

It will be very interesting to c the response from the carriers/telco's once this gets user traction in those countries. I believe the rates in Germany are similiar 2 the UK so higher than they should be!

Awh! those telco walls are starting 2 crumple and Mr. Skype predicted that
Phone calls will be free within a decade.

I tried to comment via his (Alec) blog but posting just doesn't appear (needing moderation?)

Robin Good has a review of Jahah over a year ago.


Labels: , , , ,

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Long View of Identity

The Long View of Identity - good article by Andy Oram in June 2006 with views on privacy, trust, anonymity, 3rd parties, reputation from the Identity Mashup conference at Harward Law Berkman Center. 

  • Identity's Two Faces
  • The Urgency of a Positive Holistic Identity
  • Your Transactional Identity?
  • The Compartmentalized Ideal
  • Centralized Identity, Like It or Not
  • Identity: It's Not Your Own
  • Managing Authority
  • Privacy and Data Control
  • Security, Trust, and Liability
  • Persistence and Ownership
  • Secure Data Exchange: Another Choke Point for Identity
  • Solutions: User-Centric Identity
  • Or Does Society Own Your Identity?
  • The Building Blocks of Identity
  • Anonymity: The Starting Point for Identity
  • Aids To Trusted Third Parties
  • Alternatives To Trusted Third Parties
  • Identity and Reputation
  • Identity: The Long View

Identity is something I will cover in more detail and something I've been following for a long time without signs of any magic bullets but interesting developments in the "Web 2.0 era"



13 new companies at LaunchPad - Web 2.0 Summit

 2006 Launch Pad Participants at Web 2.0 Summit

3B is the new online 3D experience. Browse your MySpace page and your friend’s pages in your themed 3D space. Create 3D flickr or Photobucket galleries in under a minute. Decorate the walls and then hangout and chat with your friend’s avatars. It’s free, quick to create and easy.

Adify enables online publishers to sell advertising directly, while retaining complete control over their advertiser relationships. In addition, Adify-enabled publishers can expand their revenue opportunities by participating in one or more niche, content-focused networks. Adify’s service platform includes campaign management, performance tracking, optimization, reporting, billing, payment and media merchandising.

IN THE CHAIR is a music technology company that lets even beginner musicians play with professionals, live or on-demand over the internet, whilst receiving immediate feedback on their performance. New features in version 2 enable user generated content as well as direct access to music from publishers' online libraries.

Instructables is a web-based "cookbook for stuff" where users share what they have built and how they built it. The inventors at Squid Labs started Instructables to scratch an itch: How to record, share, and collaborate on projects as diverse as kite designs, open-source hybrid vehicles, or a family recipe.

oDesk is a global marketplace for programmers and technical talent that lets businesses build and manage remote teams. Hiring managers can choose from among thousands of top-rated technology professionals, and project managers can use oDesk web-based collaboration tools to visually track and verify work. oDesk investors include Benchmark Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, and Sigma Partners.

Omnidrive: The Universal Web Storage Platform. More than just online storage, Omnidrive gives you the power to easily and securely store, share, publish and backup data from any platform or application. No matter where you are, no matter what device you have in hand, with Omnidrive your files are always with you.

Klostu Empowering web communities. Extending social networks. New feature to be showcased (details can not be made public at this point): A revolutionary mechanism for networking disperate communities.

Sharpcast develops software and services that automatically synchronize any type of file, media or application data between multiple PCs, the web and mobile phones. The company's patent-pending universal synchronization platform and APIs seamlessly bridge the gap between offline desktop applications, online services, and all the devices people use to access them.

Sphere Blog Search and Discovery - we help you find the good stuff, a simple idea that takes some smarts to do right. There are a lot of blogs out there. Some of them are great. And a few of the great ones are about things that interest you. We'll help you find those.

Stikkit makes organizing your daily details as simple as jotting down a note or firing off email. Stikkit's "little yellow notes that think" talk to the productivity applications you already use, as well as to friends, coworkers and family, giving you a universal remote for your life.

TimeBridge has created the first personal scheduling manager to give busy professionals a faster, more efficient way to schedule meetings and manage their time. TimeBridge transforms Microsoft Outlook into a hub for collaborative web services, allowing users to bring busy people together across time zones, calendaring systems and companies in just one step.

Turn is the world's first automatic targeting, bidded CPA ad network. Manual targeting and keywords aren’t required, and advertisers can bid on a cost per action basis. The result: amazing simplicity, superior relevance and greater revenue. Turn is led by search and advertising veterans from AltaVista, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo.

Venyo is building a free online reputation management tool to offer a unified and standardized measure of the personal reliability of each user through the evaluation of his contributions by the community: the Vindex™. Certifying the published material quality will increase the trust level of Web2.0 users and advertiser


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

run Redhat and Suse on IBM Power5/Aix using virtualization

 Interesting article on how IBM have added extra's to their kernel and Power5 platform to allow Redhat/Suse to run on it.

Labels: , , , , ,

Get IP PBX system using Mac Mini and iPod

 blue4S: 4S newcom turns the Mac mini into the world’s slickest IP PBX

Berlin-based 4S ...uses SIP for VoIP communication and runs on a Mac mini..., it is booted off an iPod Shuffle... “It is so compact that even on the smallest iPod Shuffle (512 MB) enough room is left for 4 full hours of music.”

Once the system is booted off the iPod shuffle, it can, of course, be installed on the built-in hard disk, leaving the user to enjoy the iPod Shuffle safe in the knowledge that it will also serve as installation media in case of emergency.

The blue4S entry level system consists of a Mac mini, the iPod Shuffle with the 4S IP PBX licensed for up to 250 users and 30 parallel calls, as well as five snom300 VoIP phones. It will be priced at 2,999.00 Euro...

“Conventional PBX systems at this configuration cost ten times as much”, says Harry Behrens. “Due to the flexibility of software vs. hardware and IP vs. TDM, it is also much more flexible and versatile, and the operating costs are a fraction of what users will be used to from their conventional TDM-based PBX”

The system provides a slick and intuitive configuration front-end, which is purely web-based and accessed by simply pointing a web browser to the IP address of the IP PBX.

With just a few clicks, the system administrator can configure inbound number blocks, users, extensions, outbound routing and advanced features such as auto attendant, voicemail, conferencing etc.

4S newcom will donate 51% of the proceeds of the first nine hundred and ninety-nine systems sold to the VoIP Competence Center at the Technical University Dresden. “We are an East German company and like to invest in the local human capital”, says Harry Behrens.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Some people have 2 much time on their hands

 These two guys (Tony vs. Paul)most have spent a lot of time creating this video
Some impressive (2 me) footage and editing tricks but Yikes what a lot of effort

Labels: ,

X little tricks

Dru Lavigne has an article on "Fun with" and looks at some cool stuff u can do with X.
I'll read about
some of the capabilities b4 but not seen easy 2 follow screenshots that makes it easier 2 understand.

  • add in support 4 DRI (Direct Rendering Interface), DRM (Direct Rendering Manager), OpenGL (OPEN Graphics Library) as doesn't come by default from
  • multiple window managers simultaneously
  • pread a single display across multiple monitors using DMX
  • Monitor Other Systems

Labels: , , , ,

Ad-Hoc Clustering 4 MP3 ripping

Raimo Koski gives an example of how to do Ad-Hoc Clustering for ripping CD's into MP3 format (via Wav). Looks pretty simple with some easy to use scripts and if u have lots of spare PC's (with CD readers).

You have right? -- maybe 20 Pc's all configured and ready 2 rip that stack of 1000 CD's and just waiting 4 the right s/w?

Methinks the example could b changed 4 other uses.


Labels: , ,

VOIP on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

 O'Reilly article by John Littler shows how to get VOIP (Sip) running on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet.

His previous article discussed getting Linux running on it.

Now, if I only had one :)

Labels: , , ,

VoIP Hacks book

 VoIP Hacks by Ted Wallingford from O'Reilly article

Some free PDF chapters including:

Hack 3: Wire Your House Phones for VoIP
Hack 11: Sound Like Darth Vader While You VoIP
Hack 40: Skype with Your Home Phone
Hack 55: Link Two Asterisk Servers with PSTN
Hack 96: Build a Standalone Voicemail Server in Less Than a Half-Hour

Labels: ,

Some Skype hacks

O’Reilly has Skype Hacks by Andrew Sheppard  from article

Has some free PDF chapters

Labels: ,

Cool Incoming Call Routing from UK company

 Found on Ewan MacLeod SMS TextNews blog

Blackfin(beta)  (not to be confused with DSP maker for VOIP boards) have a lovely Flash interface for creating incoming call routing for an office. Nice simple drag-n-drop buttons to connect/route main line thru IVR to individual people/depts. 
It also shows allowing follow-me


Ya think some of the major telco's could have a simple interface like this and not need complicated (and trained) telecomm engineers to reprogram PBX's!

Labels: , , , ,

Talk to a Skype user from your cellphone

Santosh has an article (video) on how TalkPlus has figured out how to talk to Skype from their own servers. They sell a service that allows (via small java application u download on your cellphone) u to have a 2nd 'virtual' phone number (up 2 ten numbers), which works over the data channel but appears to some one on the other end as a normal phone call. This allows u to have annoymouse #, one 4 business and one 4 personal etc..

There are other ways 2 get Skype on your cellphone or interact (such as Eqo, IPdrum, Soonr, Epyx, iSkoot (recently got $6M funding from Vinod Khosla Ventures) and Vox) but appear 2b more complicated. Notice that some phones are now starting 2 get Skype (and other IM's) installed as standard.

from Bruce Stewart article also more

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Yikes - FBI can listen to your cell phone even when turned OFF

from ABC post it indicates that ...The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off...

Yikes - u're not safe now. Well if u've got interesting stuff going on that the FBI are taking some notice of u then u'd better b careful.
Be interested in seeing HOW this really works if someone has more low level details.

Found via O'Reilly blog

Labels: , ,

Virtual keyboard - can type on any surface

$180 gets you this virtual keyboard that you can type on any surface. Nice XMAS pressie 4 the geek that has all the latest and greatest.
...uses a light projection of a full-sized computer keyboard on almost any surface...Uses Bluetooth (HID/SPP) connection.

Useful for those with small PDA's or cell/mobile phones that have no (or useless) keyboard

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dell customer service; and how to GET the service you deserve

Dell's customer service used 2b known as the best and one of the reasons they did so well 4 so long. I rarely recommend Dell computers anymore to people - 2 many gotchas and when u have totalled up all the add-ins 2 make it a viable computer its often 2 pricey.

Anyway this guy, Pat Dori, was having problems with his new purchase and Dell were not co-operating so he took a novel approach and got some service ($3000) in the end!

Way 2 go. Reminds me of the guy (Vinny) who video-tapped his conversation with AOL (another guy did Comcast sleeping tech on the job) on trying 2 give 2 the service and all the hassle he had 2 go thru.


Labels: , ,

Impressive Flash site for Windows startup contest site for small business

Microsoft is running a contest with up to $100K and a years office space in New York for a startup with a good business idea.

The site has a very impressive Flash demo with animated/real video of a person taking down your details. Filling in any form again is going to be boring!

The site is also a download of  Office Accounting Express 2007 4 FREE!

More on their press release from their site.
The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2007
...Microsoft will deploy the Ultimate Challenge Van, an RV tour that will begin its journey in Times Square on Nov. 28 and make stops in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago and Atlanta through January. The Ultimate Challenge Van will be a destination where contestants can go to submit their applications and meet Microsoft representatives...

Labels: , , , ,

Simple age validation could have saved you $1M in FTC fine

 from a mashable article

Xanga, the popular social networking site, has been ordered to pay a $1 million civil penalty for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The penalty is the largest ever assessed by the FTC for a COPPA violation.

The charge seems pretty straightforward. Xanga stated that under 13s couldn’t join, but then provided accounts to those who indicated that they were under 13 on the sign-up form (ie. the user’s birth date made them a child). In Xanga’s defense, however, they did require all users to tick a box verifying that they were over 13. Xanga’s mistake was that they didn’t check the birth date - a user whose birth date suggested they were a child would still be given an account if they ticked the box. Over the last five years, Xanga has created 1.7 million accounts for users who entered an age of less than 13.

As mentioned previously on Mashable, Xanga serves some of the youngest social networking users, and has some very strong privacy features in place. The company employs a Chief Safety Officer and provides online safety information for users. In fact, one of the reasons we rarely hear about Xanga is because it’s such a closed community. However, this is a strong reminder that social networks have to be extremely careful when it comes to dealing with underage signups.

Update: Xanga’s CEO John Hiler has responded with a statement: “Xanga has long been committed to making its site safer for its members. When these issues came to our attention, we instituted a stronger, more comprehensive safety and compliance program.” MSNBC is also reporting on the story....

Oops! any web coder can do some simple Javascript validation or even a quick check on the back-end. 
Goes to show you that just having a privacy policy ain't enough!

Labels: , , , ,

Need to turn on comments for posts

Blogger has an article that shows what you need 2 do but I was still missing it after doing the 'comment settings' changes.

When creating a new post there is a Post Options (extra lines/options are shown via javascript) that you need to click (particularly on any old blog posts that don't have 'Comments' allowed) and then click on Allow. This also applys for backtracks.

Labels: ,

Top 100 beta websites

Found this site (by  Top 100 beta websites) that shows the top 100 beta websites in the online web application space.
How does it do it?
Simple really - "as measured by the number of bookmarks at"
Don't u like the KISS princple and how to reuse other web services.

I was trying to find a website that I had seen in the last week or 2 and couldn't find it in my bookmarks (advanced bookmark searching in Opera is another topic).
anyway I couldn't remember any keyword/tag regd. the site and only remember it was in/pre-beta and I liked its home page (style wise)

I'm creating my own beta website and looking to improve its home page (yes it still needs improvement). Some the websites I like (for an initial beta site) were Voices, Project360, Harvest, Dabble, Freshbooks, CalenderHub*, Goowy, DropSend.
there are others (basecamp/backpack, ) but those were the main ones I've reviewed the last few weeks. I like the simple interface, clean design, easy to understand etc...

* also working on another site that will sync contacts, calenders with your cell/mobile phone over the web.

Labels: , , ,

No auto save when creating Posts - beware

 yep - just lost my first (maybe 10-15 mins worth) of typing for a new post.
Hopping back n forth in my browser (Opera 9) with other sites to put in links, check email context etc.  and did a BACK in my blogger Post (active on that window where I was typing) and when came back (FWD) it was all gone!

Live and learn.

Yep - did it again 5 mins later. Same Post!
Moral of story - create in notepad first then copy/edit in blogger when most of story created.

Labels: , , ,

Tags and Categories in beta Blogger

How do I easily create a list of categories and then put any new post into one of those (or 'misc'). Second is then how to tag all entries (ok found that via Blogger/Help) Duh!
The categories is not the same as what Blogger calls lists

I can see plenty of info for 'normal' blogger (not current beta I'm using) and looks as if one of the new features of beta is labels (aka tags)

Taker has an entry Code Snippets: Categorizing Blogger entries he talks about oldcola and delicious version and suggest a different approach using JS to invoke a 'focused' search.
He also talks in Blogger Categories in 5 minutes (A different approach) about how to improve on his last version by using CSS and categories thru JS and CSS tag.

I've not tried either of those (and how much work they are) but I am also perplexed at how Blogger does not come with these (what I would consider 'normal' features) as standard (maybe need to look at WordPress or some others?)

Also BLogger Category and Calendar "add-on" as a tip from Li-Zhao using Pico Search to index your site . Note: an interesting side-menu that dynamically "pops-out" as u mouse over it.

John has an entry on how to use delicous for categories.

WebWeaver has an article of tag cloud from phydeaux3: Code for Beta Blogger Label Cloud article. Nice - will need to add this as a feature to my blog.
He also has been working on delicious2Blogger - Categories for Blogger and trying to get it working the new beta. Seems similiar to what Taker had written about above.  Also has an in-depth look at Beta Tags Evolution on the beta and some speculation on tags. Interesting.

 Had no response on my post at beta blogger group

anyone got any ideas/links?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Startup funding in Ireland

In reference to Web 2.0 Ireland post Web2.0 Funding - a possible scenario
(has good summary of latest IRL govermet budget and BES Scheme and how it can help startups)
as an Irishman in USA and contemplating to return someday, I see a "lack" of visible early stage funding available in IRL.

Now this is written mostly from afar (and hence looking at blogs, websites, VC sites, finance circles, google etc.) although I have a few 'startup' connections across the waters.
The UK has a similar issues but not on such a grand scale.

I see EI/IDA doing some good and the goverment making the right noises just not seen any real concrete results (maybe 2 early 2 tell).

I presume as u indicate those (would be angels) with money in their pockets are getting higher (and potentially less risky) returns from their other investments (property). In that respect it will take quite a bit of correction (signs are there 4 quite some time but not really happened yet) b4 they "need" to go look elsewhere. Also expect they will need some education (and/or brokering) b4 they dabble in 'risky' technology startups.


Labels: , , , , ,