Archive for the ‘Robert Scoble’ category

Upgraded AppleTV to 2.0. “WOW!” (pics)

February 13, 2008


The update process is finished and all I can utter is “WOW!”

Apple’s onto something here. They have a healthy array of content available and it’s all nicely integrated into .Mac and iTunes (of course) and the HD stuff… OMG! It’s about frickin’ time Apple! But, I’m so glad I waited and so VERY glad I didn’t have to buy yet another piece of hardware just to enjoy what should have been there in the first place.

The HD podcasts are awesome. I’m a nature nut having spent half of my formative years camping in all kinds of conditions with the Boy Scouts. So, all the outdoor HD content is just making me tickled happy.

Just rented Transformers in HD just because… well, I want to see how good a modern film in HD will look on the newly updated Apple TV, how long it will take to download and what the user experience turns out to be like. Will post more once I have something worthwhile to relay. I can already say it’s slow going at 1% after 10 minutes of dowload time already. Really wish they’d buy into a Bittorrent or Akamai solution to pump this stuff down faster. Maybe that’s being held in reserve for AppleTV 3.0…?


(oh, and btw fwiw, the desktop pic on the laptop is from Robert Scoble’s recent trip to Davos… how’s that for attribution Mr. Scoble? Thanks for open-sourcing your photos!)

Gizmodo’s CES Prank

January 10, 2008

Excessive. Childish. Funny. The last straw?

[FINAL: I’ve unsubscribed from Gizmodo’s feeds and hope you’ll consider it too. Their advertisers should impress the message upon Gizmodo if we can’t seem to get through.]

[EDIT: OK, I’ve had time to digest it… and while it’s still gets me to chuckle (I’m shaking my head in disbelief as it’s happening)… it’s more dangerous (intentionally strongly worded) and damaging than anything. What was done is being termed corporate sabotage and seems to me to be a term worthy of the act. What Gizmodo has done is to wantonly cause potentially serious harm to those they chose to victimize. Judie has posted an interesting point of view on the financial side of the stunt. If you’re Motorola or Sony or some other corporation spending large sums of money to attract the press and consumers to your exhibit only to be INTENTIONALLY sabotaged during your presentations… It won’t take a judge too very long to see there is a case here. It won’t take a jury too very long to see there are damages. It won’t take Gizmodo very long to backpedal and fire/suspend/reprimand the folks who did this.

Now, I also recall Robert Scoble drawing our attention to the fact this was going to happen and telling people to cover their IR ports. Can’t recall if he blogged it or commented it somewhere. Good for Robert raising the alert. Too bad it wasn’t heeded and acted upon in a larger way. Wish I had the foresight to call the CES pipe and drape decorators and suggest they take some serious preventative action. We live and we learn.]

Twitter’s Blocked in Dubai! WTF!?

December 3, 2007

Site blocked

OK, this place is so officially NOT the “internet city” it’s billed as. iChat’s not being allowed through either. What next? I get thrown in jail for blogging this crap? (Tin foil hats get me through airport security, btw. They give me a wide berth. Must be the nervous tick in my eye.)

Simply means I go try something else. DAMN! Twitterific’s not able to download tweets from Sucks. Sucks. SUCKS!

Will someone please FedEx me the last two days of my friends Tweets or just send them with Mr. Scoble. I’ll read them in London on Friday. UGH!

Plaxo’s OpenID Implementation Falls Short

November 21, 2007

Regaining some good connections via LinkedIn. Along with that comes the occasional Plaxo request from someone I’ve recently connected with at LI. I’ve read Robert Scoble suggest a hot and cold bent toward Plaxo and I’ve finally experienced my “cold”. Yeah, I understand Plaxo’s “beta”. Still…

I like OpenID. It’s convenient and I wish more services implemented it well. Plaxo’s implentation is broken right now. As I don’t have a password at Plaxo (I’ve only ever used the OpenId method)… I can’t get in. So, Darin… sorry, whatever you had to say is outside my reach.

Safari RSS v. Google Reader (PIX)

September 11, 2007

The undisputed heavy-weight contender of the world… Is Google Reader.

Call me a pessimist. Call me a Doubting Thomas. Mr. Scoble was right. Google Reader has it all over Safari, endo, NetNewsWire, even some other things I tried that can’t quite be disclosed until some time in October (wink, wink).

Starting fresh with Google Reader is super easy. Migrating from a heavily entrenched position in Safari isn’t hard either. It’s the mental and emotional migration of going from the one thing to something world better that takes a big leap of faith. How’d I make the break? Follow along:

  1. I first had to realize there was a problem. Safari RSS is actually quite good – up to a point. Past the 300 feed mark (or so) it just gets a little dicey and unpredictable. My biggest complaint was seeing updated feed notices despite the feeds not having been updated. That one thing precipitated the fall.
  2. Admitting there might just be something better.
  3. Downloading and evaluating the options.
  4. Swapping horses.

This last one required just a modicum of work. Download Safari2OPML, run it, open up Google Reader (in Firefox… my Safari install is partially borked and doesn’t play nicely with http upload… which could also explain some of the ass pain I’m having with Safari in general… I digress.)




Upload the resulting OPML file to Reader.



Now, you’re really not done. I mean, where do you go from here? Sure you add more feeds. But, what if you want to read content offline? No problem. Google Reader has Gears under the hood which syncs for offline enjoyment (AS LONG AS YOU’RE NOT USING SAFARI 3.0.3). There are hints at the Google Gears site Safari support is not far off. Well, OK, we’ll not hold our breath.

Firefox works just peachy with Gears. So, not only is Safari RSS out… Safari is out (for the time being). Apple’s also hiring a Safari Evangelist. At least they recognize the need…

Scoble’s Social Graph Videos TRANSCRIBED

August 27, 2007

Mr. Scoble’s Trilogy on Social Graph Based Search is a fun watch. Recommended! (maybe helped to poke a hole in the ‘searchability’ theory though)

If you read the comments, there are LOTS of people weighing in that they don’t have the time to WATCH it. If you have an interest in SEO and SEM stuff… make time. I did. I think his last posit (the Yahoo! one) has a great deal of merit. You might not put 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 toghether to arrive at his same conclusions without the bennies of the previous 30 or so minutes. But, for those of you short on time, I’ve transcribed it.

Robert, if you’d prefer I take this down… I’ll happily comply. Likewise, if you want to run with it and flesh it out further for your own purposes… Go for it!

Social Graph Based Search

Good morning, I’ve been thinking about this since hearing Jason Calacanis at Gnomedex.
Theres a revolution coming in search, Social Graph Based Search. It will overtake Google, in four years.
You probably didn’t get here from search. Search doesn’t index video. and I’m intentionally anti-SEO’ing this post.

SEO resistant technologies…
1) Pages are studied by GYMA. Tags – Title, H1 & other headings, paragraphs
Results are built off of repetition (with gaming filters applied). Google’s version of this is PageRank. Paid links are indistinguishable from organic links. This came to a head at the SES conference.
2) Techmeme works differently than a search engine…
Started with 1,000 of the top tech bloggers with emphasis on linking behaviors. Built a fabric of websites (10-20K blogs).
Getting added to the fabric is based on a critical mass of buzz. The scooper gets top position on the meme. Hangtime on Techmeme is based on strength of signal.
SEO resistant because you’d have to be in the first 1K of tech blogs OR be trusted by same.
SEOs can’t break into the trust ring easily.
3) Mahalo even better… because 100 people trusted and paid to work with 1,000+ in community.
User generated content checked by the 100 and verify quality of content.
SEO resistance via the 100. Sanitized by nature of the business.
4) Facebook appears not to be a search engine. A social graph.
35M in the social graph. Matters because it’s all interlinked on a basis of trust.
Starting to sound similar to others.

Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook covered in part I.
Some fit in search. Some don’t.
Mahalo’s absolutely going after search – Google specifically.
Just look at the HDTV results at Google. ALL of them mention HDTV in title and desciptor tags and probably have lots of inbound links.
What DON’T you see? Manufacturers.
But, what do YOU do first? What do you need to know? Know who the manufacturers are! The noise is wacky at Google.
Google has a profusion of services now.
Go to Mahalo and look for HDTV. You see lots of high quality, pertinent, useful links – top to bottom.
It’s still incomplete… But, high signal. No noise.
I’d have to refine my Google search to get close to this.
That’s TODAY. Give it four years and see where both of these guys are.
Google’s going to have to change FAST to understand social behaviors.
ORKUT’s not used in their own search and they own it.
The small guys come in and write their own rules and put a jujitsu on Google.

How would we build a new search engine ala these three?
H1, P and linking.
Bootstrap the old system. Right on top of it (“it” = Google).
Mahalo should add a Google undergirthing.
The humans are simply advanced searchers and will get better over time.
How about the trust level?
Jason -> The 100 -> fans out from there with ratings and high-grading.
Based on affinity, ratings, etc the power paging starts to take root.
From here Mahalo and Facebook can study one another and rank/weight things with some high confidence.
Facebook has figured out how to lock out the spammers.
Loss of credibiility is a simple matter of scratching out the entrants.
Techmeme has already built the fabric of trusted individuals. It’s pure and clean.
Four years because…
Mahalo, two years (Facebook and Techmeme) for mainstream to catch on. Mossberg/Markhoff will take a while to get to it.
Two years for people to move over AFTER the mainstream reviews weigh in. Classic adoption cycle.
Two years of obviously better search results are necessary to be the catalyst.
Inviting open debate via video or postings.

Extra bonus round
This stuff doesn’t scale well!
Google Reader example… at personal limits 5-800 feeds. Some of which are agreggates of other feeds.
Can read more than 1,000 items superficially. Not recombinating.
Mahalo’s probably at a certain threshold. Assuming a certain community size you yield a certain amount of pages created per day.
There’s some math checking needed here… Still. Some critical mass is being built in this model.
What if the algo allowed for everyone having their own little Mahalo?
If each of us made fabric based on our own N degrees of seperation… it COULD scale.
The 100 yields 30,000 items. Jason’s not going to be complacent with The 100. He’s going to grow from there.
“He’s a loud mouth!” -Scoble
Watch Yahoo! They have some weird mojo going on. They’ve invested in small things. They’re the wildcard.

A-List Blogger Turns A-List Commenter?

August 14, 2007

There are three guys responsible for me getting into reading and writing on the blog scene: Robert Scoble; Jeremy Zawodony and Russ Beattie. Apparently, a bunch of crap has gone down and Mr. Scoble (so called out of sincere respect) has bowed out for a while. Jeremy’s life is taking great new direction (congrats!) and Russ… Well, he’s baaaaack!

My hope is the Scobleizer will continue his link blog while he’s architecting his return to blogging. It’s usually chock full of interesting stuff and not just the things in his bailiwick. He’s the epitomy of “eat like a hummingbird, poop like an elephant” ala Guy Kawasaki. He could go all kamikaze on us and come back and close comments too… somehow I don’t see that happening though. Just isn’t his style. ‘Course, things change. Funny that.

I’m just glad Dave and Jason hugged and made up. Talk about your Bad Sinatra! Kinda tense there for a spell.

Crouching Leopard. Hidden Features.

June 16, 2007

No, this is not a spoiler posting. I’m pondering what other of the hidden features might leap out at us. What they might (or hopefully, might not) be. The role of Apple’s Developers and how that could change in the near future based on things like Google Gears. The real gem of my screed is at the very end.

Please, consider adding the gwhiz blog to your RSS feed reading. Thanks!

First up? Everyone’s favorite (and hopefully, first) non-Apple app they run to when they buy a new Mac… QuickSilver. Apple has this quirky habit of glomming onto other people’s REALLY good ideas and making them, well, their own. I’m specifcally calling to mind things like Watson (aka Apple’s Sherlock), Konfabulator (aka Widgets) or VirtueDesktop (aka Leopard Spaces). I’m sure there are more which are not top of mind. I can only hope Apple doesn’t do to Black Tree’s QuickSilver or Delicious Monster what they’ve done to these other of their innovative developers.

Have to plead ignorance here… Do Sun, Microsoft or Linux pull these kinds of stunts with their OS builds? Swiping from their developers I mean…

The flip side of that is Apple does do right by some of their developers. CoverFlow for instance. Which seems to be taking more and more prominent positioning in their lineup with the new CoverFlow powered Finder.

Second up – Open Sourcing. When Apple’s not being strongly influenced by the innovations of others (pat on back, nicely politely put) they’re doing some MARVELOUS stuff with open source bedrock. CalDAV. Mongrel. SquirrelMail. Ruby. Java. Blojsom. Some of the Teams components in Leopard Server we’ve been told in the public forum are based on lots of open source goodness. So, please, despite all my dissing on Apple this week… I can diss my own family. Someone else pulls that crap and I’m all over them 🙂 I LOVE Apple. I simply want to see them do right by their developers. I recall someone suggesting Apple’s coming up short in this regard (must look at my CoComment threads – yep, it was The Scobleizer). I happen to think that’s spot on the money.

Which brings me to the third and final point. I’ve been an Apple Developer since I left Apple in 1994. Before that I was firmly in the camp of Apple’s internal developers as one of their “Systems Engineers” (what a GREAT job during such a DARK period… jogs self back to present). Ahem. We were secretive then and that was under Spindler and Amelio. I can only imagine how things have changed under Mr. We Will NEVER Do A Video Ipod. That’s all good and fine and I can certainly appreciate the mystique that promotes. Still, when you’re a developer and you’re trying to build the next best thing to page swapping… well, secrets kinda crimp your style.

This is one of the dirty little secrets of the Mac developer community. We have to route around Apple. Read another way, we have to route around the damage. On the one hand they say they love their developers. And, to a degree I believe them. But, then they do things that don’t match up with their declaration of love. The big example I wave around is probably the most important. I’m not the worlds best coder. I’m largely self-taught. Once upon a time I was among the first hundred or so Newton Messagepad developers. Even then (much as today) there has not been a place for Apple’s Developers to swap experience outside of the WWDC meeting. (EDIT: appears I didn’t finish out the thought… Apple is putting their developers in a position to go akimbo to their NDAs by talking outside of channels)

Why, in this day and age, can’t Apple break off a nice little chunk of their Web Crossing Forum software and make a petri dish for us? That way the conversation is contained in a hermetically sealed space. Apple can control the inning and outing of information. And, most importantly, we developers can discuss stuff like Leopard’s upcoming features under the watchful eye of Apple (but we both know I was thinking Mordor). I want to become a better developer. I want to hire people who share their coding talents with others (net “givers”, not net “takers”).

Anyway… I’m looking at Leopard (OSX in general) imagining all it can become and the pace at which it could get there. Apple’s not doing the platform any favors and they risk losing fine and innovative developers like Mark at ClamXav (and aspiring ones like me) who are expanding the utility of the platform more out of a sense of cause and community than anything. Hopefully, Apple swings closer to the middle for the sake of the platform rather than hang out in the relative safety of the cloister in Cupertino.

One more thing (ouch!)… IF Apple’s approach to developing for the iPhone is really (and I’m skeptical) centered on web deployable apps AND Google’s Gears is emerging as the take-your-web-apps-offline king of the heap AND Google and Apple are deep under the sheets THEN don’t you think it is reasonable to expect some day things like the iPhone and OSX even will no longer require an installed app? Think about that one and get back to me.

iPhone Baiting

June 11, 2007

Curiosity it killing the cat (and no, not the lolcat… we’re talking the real deal here).

Need someone(s) proficient with Flash, CSS, Java, FLEX and Silverlight to help with an iPhone experiment.

We’re going to build very specific pages which (if they work as expected) will cause an iPhone to be deposited at very specific pages ONLY the iPhone could have reached.

Anyone game? We’re itching to see what will and what won’t work.

Now, if a certain Mr. Scoble will come through with one of his Super D Duper iPhone seeds to play along with out little experiment.

Remember The Milk

June 6, 2007

Remember The Milk is an old app with a new (offline) twist thanks to Google Gears. One day into it and I LOVE IT. Thanks to Mr. S and his link blog!

If you like Google Reader… you’ll like Remember The Milk. Families can keep mutual lists, publish them to web or RSS, email them, even contribute to them by phone.

As Borat would say, “Ver Niiiiiice.”