March 31, 2003
Want a glimpse of the future?
Way back in 2000, I was a keynote speaker at <a href="http://www.next20years.com/">The Next 20 Years</a> conference in LA. My <a href="http://www.martinandalex.com/Y2020predictions.htm">predictions</a> were basically trend line extrapolations of the major technology trends. It is very interesting to see that we are still very much on track for the things I talked about.
Lately I have been thinking about where this wild technology ride takes us and have found some interesting voices weighing in on the subject. One particularly scary one is <a href="http://www.futurefeedforward.com/">futurefeedforward: Wal-Mart Opens First 'All You Can Live' Township</a>. The warped vision of the future, but one that could happen. And in fact most of the articles there are very logical extensions of current trends. Not very far out in whack space. Now this is not science fiction, this exercise is more like scenario based predictions. Given recent history, current technology, and probably future technologies, what will different businesses look like? There is another book of fiction about the future that I really liked, but can't seem to find right now. I will post later.
The real interesting thing is how our personal lives will be different in the near or forseeable future. I will keep thinking about that.
March 30, 2003
Patch Management systems review
Good round-up review. Windows patch management tools
Interesting essay on history of network buildouts
<p>Students of the history of technology development and deployments will have fun reading: <a title="Shirky: Permanet, Nearlynet, and Wireless Data" href="http://shirky.com/writings/permanet.html">Shirky: Permanet, Nearlynet, and Wireless Data</a>. Clay reminds us why the big monolithic "build it and they will come" strategy of building networks tends to fail when faced with a much cheaper, although less ubiquitous alternative. This is happening with 3G which is being eroded by WiFi. The core premise which I tend to agree with is that there is not an unlimited demand for data or voice services. Most of that useage can be "cached" until you are connected to a reasonable priced network. That is why people use their cell phones instead of in-flight air. That is why people will use their home and office networks instead of paying alot for something (3G) inbetween.</p>
March 25, 2003
Game security software
<p>Now here is an interesting little niche. Security software for gamers. <a title="PunkBuster Online Countermeasures" href="http://www.evenbalance.com/index.php">PunkBuster Online Countermeasures</a> Basically software that prevents hacked players in your games. Or notifies you. Basically like a personal firewall, IDS and VA for gamers.</p>
more on YouPlayGames
<p>An interview with the founder describing integration with Return to Castle Wolfstein in more detail and system requirements. <a title="RTCWFiles.com - Interview With YouPlayGames" href="http://www.rtcwfiles.com/file.news?ID=3275">RTCWFiles.com - Interview With YouPlayGames</a><br />
One major drawback is that it seems like you have to play RTCW on the servers run by YPG. It would be much more elegant if they had a plug in that let you play on existing community servers or your own.</p>
Another idea someone else is doing
<p>As a venture capitalist I hear lots of ideas for business plans. Some I like and remember, most I forget immediately. I heard one about a year ago that it looks like someone is doing. Making a payment system for on-line gamers to get paid for killing each other. To wager on matches. There is a very comprehensive thread here: <a title="Slashdot | Deathmatch for Dollars?" href="http://slashdot.org/articles/03/03/26/028217.shtml?tid=127&tid=98">Slashdot | Deathmatch for Dollars?</a> on the subject. </p>
<p>I don't have much to add except, watch out for the revenue police and I hope your servers are somewhere hard to find!</p>
Madona gets into net music
<p>Well it looks like one of digital music's most ardent opponents is caving. Madonna has just put her new single out as MP3. <a title="Madonna grooves with MP3 release | CNET News.com" href="http://news.com.com/2100-1025-993941.html">Madonna grooves with MP3 release | CNET News.com</a></p>
<p>It looks like she is actually doing a couple things right. She is selling an unDRM protected MP3 file. And letting it be sold in the subscription services like PressPlay, Rhapsody, et al. Of course it is also available free on teh Gnutella networks, but for convience sake on the fan site and on subscription services it is paid for. I believe people pay a small price for convenience. And getting it from a trusted source. Lets see how she does.<br />
<p>In light of recent current events and as part of my overall interest in ways to really bring to the mass market real alternative energy technologies, I have been looking into electric cars more. In <a href="http://www.pobronson.com">Po Bronson's</a> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0375507493/qid=1048654559/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-9365267-4530368?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">new book</a>, there is the story of John Benson who quit as a designer for ILM and moved to portlan dto start an electric car company out of his garage. <a title="Electromotive Works" href="http://www.e-m-w.com/">Electromotive Works</a></p>
<p>The story of following your dream is very inspirational. The interesting part is going to be finding out if there is a business there. But now i sthe time for clean and green business investments. </p>
A blast from the past
Wow, the web has it all. I found the <a href="http://www.timexsinclair.org/">Unofficial Timex Sinclair 2068 Site</a>. This was one of my first computers. I remember going to the drugstore in Medford Oregon and programming the Timex/Sinclair in basic to print a loop of dirty words on the screen. That was entertainment in little Medford Oregon.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
Was reading about this technology on<a href="http://www.slashdot.com/"> Slashdot</a> and found this very informative overview site: <a href="http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/ert/otec_hi.html#anchor356606">Hawaii OTEC Fact Sheet.</a> Basically there is a way to use the difference in tempreture between depths of the ocean to create vapors that can drive a turbine. That turbine can create electricity. Very cool stuff.
Here is the original thread on Slashdot with lots more links. <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/24/2351234&mode=thread&tid=134">Slashdot | New Power Plant Produces Both Energy & Fresh Water. </a>Especially with the world situation like it is today, these kinds of alternatives need to be better funded. Unfortunately most alternative energy inventions are of the material science variety. I am wondering if there are good software areas that can advance the cause of alternative energy?
A vendor who sells OTEC systems. <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/24/2351234&mode=thread&tid=134">Sea Solar Power - The OTEC Technology</a>
Great Ocean energy page
Great description of OTEC and other ocean based forms of alternative energy. <a href="http://acre.murdoch.edu.au/ago/ocean/ocean.html">Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion OTEC </a>seems to be a tropical thing since it relies on the difference between a warm surface (80F) and a cold bottom (40F). I wonder which are best in the Northwest.
March 24, 2003
Segway is coming!
I took my <a href="http://www.segway.com/">Segway</a> training friday. Just called Customer service and they say i should get it in about 8-10 days. The official chat site is here: <a href="http://www.segwaychat.com/">Segway Chat - Segway HT News and Discussion Forum</a>. What I don't find is the really interesting stuff. How to hack your Segway. How to make it go faster. Maybe I should start my own site about that. I peppered the engineers at training with questions about the OS, power source, interface and other things. They were typical marketing types that actually didn't know much about the guts of the thing. Typical booth bunnie types. One thing that is curious is that I can't get any more detailed information on my order on-line. Amazon only tracks the fact of my deposit. There is on on-line order tracking stuff on the Segway site. Well anyway, keep it here for news....
CISO Risk Consoles
I have been poking around for investments in the Security space. There are many point solutions, but not any really good management consoles. One idea is to integrate a bunch of stuff into a "<a href="http://www.csoonline.com/read/120902/machine_tool_676.html">Risk Console" Here is a good article on these: Risk Consoles - CSO Magazine - December 2002</a>. I wonder if there is a business in Security consoles? And who do you build them for? The IT Manager? The Chief Security Officer? The line manager?
March 20, 2003
See how your car did in crashes
Ever wonder what it would be like to smash up your car but too afraid of the possible bodilly injuries? Check out <a href="http://www.hwysafety.org/">IIHS/HLDI: Crash Testing & Highway Safety</a>. I have been looking at the Honda Element as a fun little surf rig and it apparently has very good 5mph bumpers. I can sleep better now...
Government standards for IT Security
I have been thinking alot about what the new focus on Homeland Security means for IT companies. A very helpful site is <a href="http://www.niap.nist.gov/">NIAP - NATIONAL INFORMATION ASSURANCE PARTNERSHIP ®</a>There you can find all you want to know about what the government thinks is safe IT systems. A great resource for anyone selling to the government. Or anyone who wants to emulate the government ?<
The Common Criteria
After further digging I found the home page for the Common Criteria. <a href="http://csrc.nist.gov/cc/">CC - Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation </a>Sounds like a cure for the common cold eh? Well if you want to build anything in the security area you should aspire to meet the standards set out here. Even though they are from the late 90's, they are what the government uses.
Better Common Criteria site
Here is the master site. <a href="http://www.commoncriteria.org/">The Common Criteria Home Page</a>
I have been doing alot of research on vulnerabilities and ways to keep up on them. The two best databases that consolidate all these issues are: <a href="http://icat.nist.gov/icat.cfm">ICAT Metabase: A CVE Based Vulnerability Database</a> and <a href="http://www.cert.org/">CERT</a>
If you have an extra hour and wanna hear me talk
Follow this link. <a href="http://www.webtalkguys.com/article-ignition.shtml">Article - Venture Capital, version 2003: A conversation with Martin Tobias, venture capitalist at Seattle%u2019s Ignition - WebTalkGuys Radio </a>A current summary of my thoughts on the state of digital media and the Venture Capital opportunity there-in.
Join the Patriot Grid!
If you installed SETI, it is time to upgrade to the Patriot Grid! The Patriot Grid. Have your idle computer time find cures for bioterrorism attacks. I put it on all my home computers!
March 19, 2003
Some great speakers
So I have been looking for some cool home theatre speakers and thinking about successful business models on the net. You might think those two are not related, but you would be wrong. Check out.. <a href="http://www.aperionaudio.com/">Welcome to Aperion Audio </a>Here is a cabinet maker who saw the huge margins in retailing high-end speakers through regular channels and said, "hey I can sell direct on the net a very high quality product at a substantially better price." He has done just that!
Po Bronson's site
For anyone who has been through the tech revolution, crash and eventual re-birth (maybe), Po's site is very good.<a href="http://www.pobronson.com/">Po Bronson's Books, Articles, Stories, Scripts, and Projects.</a> I am reading his current book. I bought The Nudist on the Late Shift for all my employees at Loudeye. He mixes what it is like working in tech with what it is like to mature as an american. Very interesting stuff.
March 18, 2003
Been surfing in San Diego for the last 9 days. Will probably be off line most of the week. Stay tuned...
March 6, 2003
Microsoft Longhorn leaked to the net
The next version of Microsoft operating system will have a new file system. This week a copy was leaked to the net. Here is a quick summary of what is coming. <a href="http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-990912.html">News: Next Windows leaks onto Net</a>
Well this is what Lent hath wrought
So yesterday was <a href="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01775b.htm">Ash Wednesday</a>. Alex and I went to the <a href="http://zeitgeistcoffee.com/pressrelease_2.asp">Top Pot</a> for our last bit of sinning before the 40 days of sacrafice. Had a pink curler and a glass of milk. For this Lent I will be giving up <a href="http://www.fred.net/ultrunr/caffine.html">caffine</a> and <a href="http://www.sugar.org/">refined sugar</a>. This is the first year that I have done both at the same time. Wish me luck
Help support the Seattle Pike Place market
I am on the board of the Pike Place Market Foundation here in Seattle. The organization helps fund the preservation of the market and verious social services in the market. The Seattle Pike Place Market was one of the first places in the country to sell tiles on the floor as a fundraiser. We are continuing the tradition with the building of a new skybridge sometime next year. To get your tile surf over to: <a href="http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/involve/tile/">Pike Place Market - Get Involved</a>
March 4, 2003
If you want to know the history of ordinary things, check out this very interesting book.
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385478194/qid=1046814939/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_2/104-9365267-4530368?v=glance&s=books&n=507846">Amazon.com: Books: Glass, Paper, Beans: Revelatiions on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things</a>
Thinking about Lent
Ok, so I have been thinking about <a href="http://www.kencollins.com/holy-04.htm">The Season of Lent</a>. Today is Fat Tuesday, Madi Gras, a time of festivals all over the world. Last year in Seattle there were drunken riots that ended up in deaths. All this debauchery is basically due to the fact that tomorrow, Ash Wendnesday, everyone is supposed to give up the bad habits and observe some form of abstinance for the 40 days until Easter. In rememberance of the suffering Christ went through.
Regardless of your religious affiliation, I think this is a good time to put yourself through a mental challenge. Every year that is in large part why I get excited about Lent. The challenge of giving up something that is hard to give up for 40 days. And the related challenge of committing yourself to something new and positive and selfless during that same time. I haven't figured out what I will do yet (gotta hurry up), but some of the ideas include:
- giving up refined sugar
- giving up junk food (pizza, deserts, etc.)
- giving up caffine
- committing more time for family over work.
I have done all of these before in past years. Right now, I think Caffine is in the lead. I have been drinking too much coffee and diet coke lately.
March 3, 2003
My new favorite web radio station
I play this all the time to just chill...<a href="http://www.lounge-radio.com/menu.htm">LOUNGE-RADIO.COM with fresh beatz Downtempo NuJazz music</a>