Major challenge for WiFi phones

I used to think that wifi phone will be a real threat to cellphone providers in urban areas as we see things such as urban wifi networks take off. For a fixed fee you could get a phone number from a company such as Vonage or Skype and make all the calls you want. Wifi also gives you added functions such as location-based services and all the features of browser-based internet access such as access to your RSS feeds, a podcast client, shared address books and calendars, etc. 

Then it occured to me that the form factor of wifi phones have a major hurdle to overcome. If they’re ever going to be a threat, they’ll need to make it dead easy to connect to wifi networks. Wifi networks all feature WEP encryption or some other sort of access control. Because there is no standard and unless you have a T-Mobile account and are standing in a Starbucks, there is no real nationwide wifi network so you’ll need to enter a new key depending upon where your wifi access point is located.

So the challenge is simply this. How do you enter a 128-bit encrypted WEP key on phone keypad without going crazy?

Why you need to syndicate full text feeds

Many have writtten about the need to publish full text feeds. Most from the perspective of the reader who is not likely going to be bothered with excerpts in their reader. I subscribe to 74 feeds but only one of them requires me to click through (Good Morning Silicon Valley if you must know, I just love their headlines) so I guess this puts me in the "full text please" camp. Anything that requires extra action on the part of the reader is adding friction and is going to lose out to others that provide you what you need without any extra clicking around.

Today Richard MacManus brought up another compelling argument for full text feeds that I had previously overlooked. 

. . . I’ve been trying to find a way to say for a while, it may mean that the future of blogs isn’t so much people subscribing to full text feeds of individual blogs. But people subscribing to amalgamated feeds of more than one blog, or mixed-author ‘on the fly’ feeds that have a limited shelf life. In that scenario of course, the full-text feed becomes an integral part of the system. Because if you don’t publish your full content in your feed, you will miss out on all the remix and topic-focused feed action.

I’ve lately been playing around with systems that take notice of what you read and try and learn something about you based on what you subscribe and read. Thinking this through, the more full text  information you can give such a system, the more information it’ll have to work with.

In the world of mashups, you don’t want to show up to a mix tape party with a cd of 30 second samples.

Julia blowing bubbles

Bubbles by Dav

Now that we’re out of a kitchen, we mooch dinner whenever we can. This weekend we decended upon Mie & Dav’s place. Mie gave the kids a bubble set and Dav took this really great photo.

Mac Porn

The sheer beauty of their design and packaging brings out a bout of technolust. Jason O’Grady posts a pictorial of the unpackaging of his brand new MacBook Pro. He even takes photos of the styrofoam cutouts!

Apple embeds poem in Mac OS

Text of a poem that’s embedded in the new version of MacOS which runs on Intel chips. Apple today confirmed that it was put there to prevent piracy (or at least make those that pirate their software think twice.)

There once was a user that whined
his existing OS was so blind
he’d do better to pirate
an OS that ran great
but found his hardware declined.

Yahoo Startup Kit

I’m not going to post about this at length because Chad Dickerson pretty much sums up everything I wanted to say (although I do like Havi’s label of this as an early Valentine’s Day gift). Suffice to say, Yahoo has basically open-sourced all their UI designs so you no longer have to build widgets like sliders, tree controls, or calendars from scratch.

I have a quote by Leonard Lin on the bottom of my Yahoo 360 page. Now, more then ever, it rings true:

Part of the Yahoo! spiel is that they see themselves as having one of the world’s best kitchens for chefs to come in and do their thing. All I have to say is, there are mouths to feed. Let’s get cooking.

Google’s Real Market – Small Business

Keen observation by Phil Sim on Squash – follow the money trail and you’ll see that Google’s real customers are the small business clients that are buying advertising, not the millions of users running searches. This puts them in direct competition with Microsoft who sees their fastest growing market in the SMBs.

People have questioned why Google needed to acquire Measure Map. To me, this is the obvious answer. Analytics will be at the heart of Google’s SMB offering. Let’s remember what Google’s core business is. It’s selling advertising. Who is it’s core customer base. SMB’s for whom contextual advertising finally represents a cost-effective marketing mechanism. How much penetration do you reckon Google has into this market. Bugger all. How can Google most effectively increase it’s core revenue. By getting more SMBs to do more contextual advertising. How can they do this? By helping SMBs to understand the effectiveness of electronic sales and marketing. How can they do this? By offering SMBs free CRM and marketing analytics.

If you follow that, then look for Microsoft to go shopping for an analytics package (it looks like they have a basic one already) to plug into their Office Live suite and look for Google to buy up a Netsuite or Salesforce.com to plug into their Ad Sense portal.

Yahoo Olympic Coverage

olympic.jpg

Those of you who follow sports on a regular basis probably already know this but if you’re like me and haven’t had the time to catch up on your TiVo backlog of Olympic coverage, Yahoo’s got a great micro-site which pulls it all together for you. Turin 2006 Winter Olympics on Yahoo! Sports has been specially formatted to host larger format photos (today’s shot is a great example), exclusive analysis, and also features RSS feeds of the latest news and medal counts.

More Julia-isms

When Julia has a stomachache, she says she has a “stomach egg.” It took us a while to pick up on this and it wasn’t until she complained to Izumi about an “egg” on her knee that we finally figured it out. Applied to other areas of the body it kind of makes sense. I think we all sometimes wake up in the morning with a “back egg” or a “neck egg” but we eventually shake it off and it’s gone.