Monday, January 31, 2005

Ode to Johnny

A letter to Johnny Carson from Steve Martin.

Link to NYTimes via Dave Winer.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Me too.

A great rant on cell phones from Mark Cuban... I happen to agree.


Monday, January 24, 2005

What's up Doc?

... and conservative Christian groups think SpongeBob Squarepants is a little light in the loafers?

Link via Xeni at BoingBoing.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

First & Last

This is one of the best designed cell phone's I've ever seen. Too bad Siemen's is dropping out of the business.

Link via Gizmodo.

Voice Over IP Networks

I started using Skype last week. Actually purchased some SkypeOut credits so I can make calls to any Land Line (POTS) phone numbers from any high speed internet connection -- Ethernet, WiFi, etc. ("Skype to Skype on the internet are free).

The quality is surprisingly good the rates are incredibly low. Calls to my pals in Vancouver sound great when I chat with them from Toronto -- even from WiFi hot spots around the city.

A company called Vonage is also gaining serious traction in the global VoIP market and now Bellster, a new P2P VoIP service, is looking to join the pack.

The P2P space is really heating up so it was just a matter of time before something like Bellster showed up :-)

Link to BoingBoing.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bunny Suicides

Admittedly not a topic to make fun of... but some of these panels are hysterical.

(Note: you can't see this on the image above but the Video Cassette Case reads "Fatal Attraction")

Link via MeFi to an artist in Belgium?


Looking at this makes me feel kinda funny, like when I climbed the rope in Gym class...

Onkyo says:
“we’ve thrown in every feature, connector, and port we can think of, including some nobody is ever going to use.”

Link to Engadget.

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours"

UC Irvine researchers have found that men and women have very different brain designs. Women have more much white matter and men more gray matter related to intelligence. Still, there are no real differences in general intelligence between the two sexes.

Link via BoingBoing.

Microsoft & Bloomberg?

Might Microsoft buy Bloomberg? What sounded like an idle (and odd) rumor is heating up. Microsoft MVP and Regional Director Bill Evjen is blogging about why such a purchase might give Microsoft a leg up in the financial services space.

Link to MJ Foley.

Monty Python goes HiDef?

The United Kingdom's Film Council wants to encourage people to see more specialty films and thinks installing high-tech projectors is the way to do it.

Link to Wired.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

DRM costs Sony, big time.

This is admission is a huge deal for SONY and illustrates the perils of being both a huge technology provider and a huge content provider.

Link to Yahoo! News via Cory.

Owwwt Sourcing

Internet and Cellular Phone Technology Replaces Last Courier Pigeon Service in India.

Link via Corante.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Big Numbers

The Consumer Electronics Association estimates that last year the American citizens spent a record $113.5 billion on consumer electronics, and they’re projecting that we’ll drop a tidy $125.7 billion on iPods, flat screen TVs, robotic dogs, and USB cup warmers this year (and these figures aren’t including computer equipment).

Link to Slashdot via Engadget.

Kinda makes me wonder if Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" isn't just around the corner.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Nailing down a diagnosis

From an Associated Press report:

"This is the second one we've seen in this hospital where the person was injured by the nail gun and didn't actually realize the nail had been imbedded in their skull," neurosurgeon Sean Markey told KUSA-TV in Denver.

News item here.

Cassini-Huygens Probe

I think this is a really big deal and that the US media has been rather quiet (or maybe it's just because I'm a space geek) but man, The European Space agency just successfully sent and landed the Cassini-Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan (furthest landing from Earth ever). It took 7 years for the probe to arrive and it ran for just 4 hours during descent to send telemetry back to Earth. In my view, a significant achievement in the history of mankind by French, Italian and other European contributors.

Way to go!

Lot's of coverage at Susan Kitchen's great Space blog here.

Flash animation of the Hyugen's Probe desent on Titan here.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Oy Gevalt!

This link dropped in my mailbox this morning from a new freind... looks like a book promo... and a brilliant one at that.

Props to all my Jewish freinds and family! :-)

Link to VidLit here.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Moscow Metro Art

Panoramic Photo of Kievskaya Moscow Metro Station

There's a scene in one of my favorite movies "The Russia House" where Sean Connery and another actor appear to be browsing in a Museum (heads tilted, inspecting something on the wall you can't see) then... a subway car comes roaring into frame in the near background (an awesome shot by director Fred Schepsi).

It's nice the see the beauty of Moscow's tube stations getting 'props' and wider exposure on the web.

Link to Moscow Metro photo gallery here.

Human Clock

A different picture, produced by humans, displayed every sixty seconds...

Link via BoingBoing.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Apple's Business Model

A great interpretation and very cool infographic,
"Apple's Tipping Point: Mac's for the masses".

Link to Paul Nixon's weblog.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

SNL in HD (Coming April 05)

High Definition is an interesting phenomenon. I've seen Leno a few times in HiDef and it's pretty scary. You can see bad make up jobs on starlet guests and you can see where the cleaning staff missed coffee rings and dust on Leno's desk. HD applied to SNL may produce some unintended consequences of it's own :-)

Link via the Lost Remote.

Proposed Changes at CBS

A great Top Ten list re: Recommended changes at CBS News :-)

Link via the Lost Remote.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CIA "ghost" plane?

Would you like an aisle or a window seat?
(I wonder if they serve "special meals")

Link via Xeni at Boing Boing.

Giant Iceberg

I wonder how many snow cones this thing would make?

NASA movie here.
Link to Slashdot article here.

Brace! Brace! Brace!

Mac mini

The video stream of Steve Jobs keynote is available here.


Guess the rumors were true... and he did it all without smoke and lasers!
More info and pricing here.

UPDATE: I just realized the Mac mini with an AirportWiFi card could easily be controlled from an iBook or PowerBook using Remote Desktop or Timbuktu. This would make a sweet, powerful and mobile workstation for encoding, ripping, burning, a shared iTunes library/playlists and various other cool applications.

Some great dramatic review notes on Steve's performance here (via Om Malik on Broadband).

Same goes for the tiny iPod called the "iPod Shuffle".

More info and pricing at here.

iPod Lounge has a photo gallery here.

Geeks can get full keynote coverage from Engadget blog here.

Monday, January 10, 2005

There! Are you happy now!

"The burgeoning field of happiness studies is unearthing all sorts of interesting findings, many of them summarized in these two articles by University of British Columbia economist & "Professor of Happiness" John Helliwell. Rich countries are not happier than poor countries; people tend to revert to the mean after a happy event; money has only a modest effect on happiness; and, hey, good news! you get happier as you get older.

Some quotes:

...after reaching a low point among the 35-44 year-old group, subjective well-being thereafter rises systematically and significantly, with those 55 to 64 as happy as those aged 18 to 24, and those aged 65 and up much happier still. The size of the changes is large...

Link via MeFi.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darn it people like me"

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

"Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, researchshows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior"

Link to Scientific American via MeFi.

Friday, January 07, 2005

TiVo bails on Cable

Most of my Canadian pals haven't yet used a TiVo.
I had one for two years in silicon valley and man are they sweet!

Given the fact that TV viewship among 18-35 males is going south fairly rapidly this gradual "pivot" from Cable content to Internet IP based content makes a lot of sense for TiVo. I just hope they've timed it right.
Link to Slashdot.

Another reason it makes sense is because the incumbents (Networks, Studios, Cable Companies) are loosing it. Their persistence in wanting to quash any and all forms of P2P content distribution and implement a digital broadcast flag are obvious: they're loosing control of distribution.
Link to CinemaMinima.

Text of a TiVo handout introducing their Developer Tools (from this weeks CES Las Vegas) available here.

More TiVo CES coverage from PVRBlog here.

UPDATE: So at the last minute CEO Mike Ramsay pulled the plug on a deal with Comcast. OK, it was probably a bad deal and he was ballsy in making the call, that's what CEO's do. New York Times article (1/17/05) here.

I have an idea: Hey Mike, how about a deal with Apple? :-)

UPDATE: (1/17/05) and I swear to God... I saw this a couple of hours after my suggestion that Apple talk to TiVo :-)
Link via Om Mailk and the NYTimes.

UPDATE: Professor Ed Felton pipes in here with a great question: "What went wrong with TiVo?"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Gates on Commies

OK, I tried hard to let this one go... but it got me to thinking:
"who's culture is it anyway?"

Perhaps Gates's Waggoner Edstrom PR handler was playing the slots when the interview took place. We're sure to hear more on this.

Link via BoingBoing.

Poster Credit.

Photos from RC Planes

So, OK, this one is like a 10 out of 10 on the geek-o-meter but I still think it's really cool. Photos from around the world taken from cameras mounted on radio controlled airplanes.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mobile and Open: A Manifesto

Howard Rheingold wrote a great manifesto for TheFeature outlining what he thinks it is going to take to create a healthy and diverse mobile mediasphere. He invites your comments at the site.

"The devices that most people on earth will carry or wear in coming decades could become platforms for technical and entrepreneurial innovation, foundations for industries that don't exist yet, enablers of social and political change. However, it is far from certain that mobile media will go the route of the PC, where teenage dropouts like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and millions of others actively shaped the technology, or the Internet, where search engines were invented in dorm rooms and innovators like Tim Berners-Lee gave away the World Wide Web for free without asking permission or changing any wiring.

Powerful interests recognize the dangers such a world poses for business models that depend on controlling and metering access to content, conduit, or services for a mass market, and they are acting to protect their interests. That's what digital rights management, extension of copyright laws into what formerly had been the public domain, the broadcast flag, spectrum regulation policies that favor archaic technologies and incumbent licensees, trusted computing systems that bake all these rules into monopoly silicon are about".

Link via BoingBoing

Professor Felton's 2005 Predictions

Here are Ed Felton's predictions for 2005:

(1) DRM technology, especially on PCs, will be seen increasingly as a security and privacy risk to end users.

(2) Vonage and other leading VoIP vendors will start to act like incumbents, welcoming regulation of their industry sector.

(3) Internet Explorer will face increasing competitive pressure from Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft's response will be hamstrung by its desire to maintain the fiction that IE is an integral part of the operating system.

(4) As blogs continue to grow in prominence, we'll see consolidation in the blog world, with major bloggers either teaming up with each other or affiliating with major news outlets or web sites.

(5) A TV show or movie that is distributed only on the net will become a cult hit.

(6) The Supreme Court's Grokster decision won't provide us with a broad, clear rule for evaluating future innovations, so the ball will be back in Congress's court.

(7) Copyright issues will be stalemated in Congress.

(8) There will be no real progress on the spam, spyware, and desktop security problems.

(9) Congress will address the spyware problem by passing a harmless but ineffectual law, which critics will deride as the "CAN-SPY Act."

(10) DRM technology will still fail to prevent widespread infringement. In a related development, pigs will still fail to fly.

(11) New P2P systems will marry swarming distribution (as in BitTorrent) with distributed indexing (as in Kazaa et al). Copyright owners will resort to active technical measures to try to corrupt the systems' indices.

(12) X-ray vision technology will become more widely available (though not to the general public), spurring a privacy hoohah.


Real Jumps The Shark

A fairly accurate analysis and an interesting prediction from Christopher Carfi on where Real is headed:

"Here are my predictions on where this story is going to go. Real is going to continue to swim upstream against not only Apple and Microsoft, but also a host of others such as in the downloadable music and video space. They will continue to attempt to cut deals with "last mile" intermediaries such as Comcast, Earthlink, and others to get automatically installed on desktops in the gaming space. They will work with Vodaphone, Nokia, Sprint and others to get their players as the "default" media and game players on mobile devices. And maybe this "ignore the customer, but focus on the intermediaries" strategy will be successful for them, which will only happen if they are able to get complete lock-in, which is increasingly unlikely as other alternatives become available."

Link to "The Social Customer Manifesto".

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tsunami: Satellite Photos

Banda Aceh Shore (Before Tsunami)
Link to high resolution image.

Banda Aceh Shore (After waters recede)
Link to high resolution image.

Many more photos on the DigitalGlobe QuickBird Image site.

Link to DigitalGlobe.

Someone from Denmark (I think) has synch'd up some Satellite photos of before and after the Tsunami here.


Whether you like them or not (I'm more a fan of their earlier stuff) this is pretty cool.

Link to Wired's Cult of Mac blog.

Extreme Whale Watching

At Chicken on the sea, we filet by hand...

Link to an MPEG video stream.

BBC on Blogs

Americans are becoming avid blog readers, with 32 million getting hooked in 2004, according to new research.
BBC sites the Pew Internet and American Life Project.


Monday, January 03, 2005

WSJ on Video Blogs

I happen to agree with the Wall Street Journal on this one.

I watched at least 6 video clips on Boxing Day in both the Quicktime and Windows Media formats that appeared in my RSS news reader (Shrook for Mac OS X). They arrived via Feedsters RSS Video feed found here.

Link to The Wall Street Journal article.

To fly...

"To fly is everything!"

A museum of early aeroplane history. Includes galleries of movies of aviation pioneers (watch an early flight from Wilbur Wright's point of view), and links to early aviation patents.

Link via MeFi.

RIAA and spyware

Professor Ed Felton points to and comments on an interesting story asserting that the RIAA has released intentionally infected music files onto P2P file sharing networks.


Digital Media Predictions

Some interesting predictions on media trends in 2005.

Link via Filmoculous.