“I like this one”

"I like this one"
"I like this one",
originally uploaded by inky.

While shopping for plants, Julia found this one tucked in the back. It was kind of lonely & sad and didn’t have a price so they gave it to us for free. We don’t have a dog, we have an avocado plant.

Other activities include Aikido lessons for Tyler and his weekly soccer game. We placed him in a league with kids a year older than he is to challenge him a bit and I think the extra competition is good for him. He’s a bit more focused at practice and he’s got a great coach who’s working really well with the kids. They won their game handily and Tyler really mixed it up despite being the smallest on the field.

My little experiment with internet classifieds worked like a charm and we sold off our old refridgerator Saturday morning. I listed on craigslist, edgeio, and an internal Yahoo list. A toss up between craigslist and the Yahoo list for the number of leads but in the end it was an Alameda buyer that found us on craigslist that settled with us just 48 hours after listing the fridge for sale.

Sunday was spiff up the house day. After picking up plants (above), I painted the bathroom, patched up some holes in the toy room ceiling left over from an old light fixture that I had replaced a few weeks back, and painted some exposed wood. Oh, I also got up early and went for a nice long run which may be why my legs are so sore right now!

Jonathan Schwartz on Scott McNealy

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End of an era. Scott McNealy steps aside as CEO of Sun Microsystems and hands the baton over to Jonathan Schwartz and we have another CEO blogger! Jon has a great post recounting the first time he met Scott and this:

There is no single individual who has created more jobs around the world than you. And unlike Henry Ford and some of the industrialists that preceded you, not all of those folks just work for Sun – I’m not talking hundreds or thousands of jobs, I’m talking millions. They ended up in America and India, Indonesia and Antarctica, Madagascar, Mexico, Brazil and Finland. They ended up everywhere. Everywhere the network travels.

No single individual has spawned so many startups, fueled so much venture investment, or raised so much capital without actually trying – just with a vision of the future that gets more obvious by the day.

The Network is the Computer. Scott was one of the few who saw this back in 1992 and we are only now beginning to see how prescient that vision really was.

Video Advertising – two approaches

Apple announced today that it will run graphical ads in the lower-left hand corner of the iTunes product as users listen to podcasts on their PC. Advertising Age goes on to write that this will help offset the costs of producing and hosting podcasts. Everyone will be looking at this closely.

In other news, I’ve been pointed to another version of advertising, one that comes from and is amplified by the community. Here’s the Firefox Flicks community on “other browsers” in Wheee!

Video editing fun with Remixer

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Check out the latest out of Yahoo Research Labs. Save & edit your favorite clips from the SF International Film Festival, re-arrange, lay down a soundtrack and share.

. . . developed in collaboration with Yahoo! Research Berkeley and the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University. Besides the online gallery, a selection of the best remixes will screen at Edinburgh Castle.

I really look forward to coming back and seeing what people put together. Totally amazing! Remixer.

TechCrunch on Mapping Services – Yahoo “by far the best”

Ok, a little shameless high-fiving all around for the folks behind Yahoo Maps. Here’s Frank Gruber on TechCrunch after comparing Ask, Google, Mapquest, Windows Live, and Yahoo:

Its fast Flash interface, multipoint directions, live traffic information, and easy send-to-mobile feature make it the hands down winner. It also features the most robust API options.

Check us out at maps.yahoo.com/beta

VGA on a Cellphone

vod904sh.jpgFollowing on my previous post on Tivo on the cellphone, if you’re going to do it, you’ll want one of these phones. True VGA on a phone has four times the resolution of the best screens out there as well as some other goodies:

It offers a range of advanced features such as a 3.2 megapixel camera; a Motion Control Sensor (for playing 3D games), and a Face Recognition function that authenticates handset owners by sensing their facial characteristics.

Another interesting feature is the ability to indulge in instant messaging with those in close proximity to you using Bluetooth.

Love the IM over Bluetooth!

If you have a small screen, you need to be able to point it anywhere

Russell Beattie has his Tivo streaming to his cellphone and says, “who needs Location Free TV or a Slingbox if you have a TiVo sitting there already? And all those $5 a month video plans? Forget it. This is awesome stuff.”

Mass media is being sliced into ever smaller chunks. First it was the 200+ channels that allowed you to find something interesting. Tivo and the DVRs let you capture just what you wanted from the stream. Then video-on-demand let you dip into a large back-catalog of programming served up by your cable or satellite company. With video search and video archive sites you can now find pretty much anything online including regular network programming on places like iTunes if they’re going with the flow or Bit Torrent if they’re not. In this environment, the fixed video programming served up by the mobile operators feels constrictive.

Pull in your favorite shows and have Tivo suggest what else might be interesting. Use the fat pipe of your cable to catch everything and the intelligence of your Tivo box to filter out to just the stuff you want. Use the cellphone to sample the cream of the crop while you’ve got some downtime.

Orb DVREverywhere, check it out.

DEA agent shoots himself in the foot

While giving a demonstration on weapons saftey to a group of Florida schoolchildren, a DEA agent shoots himself in the foot with a pistol. The shocked class shouts “Put it down!” when he limps over to continue the demonstration with a semi-automatic rifle.

Footnote: the man’s career is ruined as he becomes the nation’s laughing stock, is barred from future weapons safety seminars, and is too recognizable to be an undercover agent.

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Julia’s Special Day

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Today was Julia’s “special day” at her pre-school. I spent the morning with her and met her classmates (there are 15) and put faces to the names she sprinkles in here conversations. There was some singing and we identified the weather for the day. After 11 straight days of rain, Julia optimistically said it was “sunny” but we could see that she was just being relative – it was misting instead of pouring sheets.

The activity of the day consisted of sorting jellybeans by their color into different piles, counting them, then pasting flowers that represented the jellybeans onto a sheet of paper. It was neat to see how each child approached the problem and how some were more effecient at sorting through the tasks than others. “Payday’s on Friday!” I said to one of them when she handed in her work but the joke was lost on her.

Julia also, because it was her special day, got to pick out which toys would be set out for playtime. There are four boys in the class and they were clumped up in the corner and when Julia indicated with her “wand” that the box of cars would be set out, the boys all frothed, “oooh, caaaars.” It was a classic guy moment.

Micropayments

I attended the HBSTech event on the Evolution and Future of Micropayments last evening in Mountain View.

Presenting were:

  • Preston Roper, VP of Marketing, BitPass
  • James Hall, co-founder of FTVentures, a fund with deep experience in micropayments 
  • Peter Ashley, Director of Merchant Services, PayPal
  • KC George, Manager of Product Innovation & Coordination, Visa USA

The session was not as interactive as I’ve become used to when attending other tech events in the Valley and was more of a "hold your questions until we’re done" affair but it still was very informative with lots of juicy snippets after the jump.

Continue reading “Micropayments”