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August 30, 2004

Microsoft pulls file system from Longhorn as predicted

As I have been discussing, Microsoft is parting out Longhorn. On Friday another piece fell on the floor officially: Microsoft Announces 2006 Target Date for Broad Availability Of Windows "Longhorn" Client Operating System. The file system is out. Leaving one to wonder what is in? I don't call what they are targeting in 2006 Longhorn. I would call it ShortHorn.

Posted by Martin at 9:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 27, 2004

Business 2.0 picks up on my theme about Real having no grass

When the Apple/Real bungle started last week, I posted the theorem that Real isn't much of an underdog and doesn't have enough grass to wage a grass roots campaign against the KING OF GRASS, Steve at Apple. Today Business 2.0 :: Online Article :: Marketing Focus :: Is RealNetworks Just Stinky Cheese? makes the same point (albiet 9 days late). Aren't blogs wonderful?

Posted by Martin at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Holy jump'n frogs, Vonage gets $105M!

Vonage picked up $105M today from NEA, 3i and Meritech making the total $208M they have raised! Well I made a prediction a couple months ago that Vonage was going to be roadkill. My contention is that the people who control the pipes to the home are the ones who will monitize those pipes to the greatest extent. That means no Vonage, no separate billing relationship for VOIP. On the one hand you could say this funding proves me wrong. On the other, you could say it proves me right. Investors are scared. They want to gaurantee success, so they plow a huge pile of money into Vonage to make sure no-one can catch them. Eventually someone will buy it. I can understand that strategy. But the bar has been raised to a nose-bleeding level. While the post money valuation was not disclosed, you have got to assume it is somewhere between $300-$400M. That means for these investors to make any money you have got to sell the thing for over $500M! I don't see that happening any time soon. NEA has got to be praying for another IPO window!

Posted by Martin at 11:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 25, 2004

Plaxo's response

I got this message from the Privacy officer at Plaxo.

My name is Stacy Martin and I am the Privacy Officer here at Plaxo responsible for addressing Privacy, Security, and Trust issues pertaining to the usage of Plaxo.

I apologize if there has been any misunderstanding regarding how to discontinue your Plaxo account. According to our records, your account
continues to remain active on our servers. The information is only being used in accordance with your instructions and our Terms of Service. As you have likely not used your account in sometime, nothing has been done though you may have received updates from some of your contacts.

Like many other Internet-based services, Plaxo has a client software component which interacts with your account located within our service (and servers). Removing the software component from your local system does not delete or discontinue the active membership account. This allows members the ability to use the software of different systems without having to delete their membership. I suspect that while you removed the software, your account was apparently not removed from our servers and thus remained active.

Proper instructions for discontinuing your account can be found on our Support site. Simply put, to discontinue your account with Plaxo, you can simply go to the URL: https://www.plaxo.com/delete_account and follow the instructions located on the page.

Nonetheless, if you would like me to remove your account, please let me know and I'll have it taken care of immediately.

I hope this helps. If we can be of further assistance, please let us know.

Thank you,

Stacy Martin

Stacy Martin
Plaxo Privacy Officer 'Stay Connected'
privacy@plaxo.com tel: 650-810-1085


After doing the delete account function, I received this....

You no longer have any information on Plaxo's servers and you have been permanently signed out of Plaxo Online. If you decide to use Plaxo again in the future, you will need to re-register.

Thank you for trying Plaxo.


Well I will see if that is the case. I hope they in fact deleted all my contacts and not just my personal data.
funny that there is not a link to this delete function on the home page. You have to get it from the privacy officer.

Posted by Martin at 1:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The problem with Plaxo

So I was an early adopter of Plaxo. I have over 7,000 contacts and most are out of date. There are lots of duplicates. I was hoping Plaxo would provide some releif. It didn't. It doesn't do anything about duplicates. It is very intrusive and pestering. I started getting so many requests for updates that they felt like spam. Less than 2% of the update requests I sent out were returned. Now it is a typical chicken and the egg problem in that if everyone was a member, the system wouldn't have to send e-mails for updates and your contacts would be kept up to date automatically by the server. But everyone is not a member. After about six months I removed the software from my machine. I thought that was the end of it.

But yesterday I heard some more about the musical chairs at Plaxo with Shaun leaving and noticing that they claim 3M users. I remember from the digital music player stats wars that there was a significant difference between downloads and useage. I bet that is the same with Plaxo. I bet I am counted in the 2M even though I no longer have the software. Then I got to thinking, hey I uploaded all my contacts to their server! What happened to those? Well apparently they are still there. And I bet Plaxo is spamming them. Apparently a friend of mine signed up and looked me up on the Plaxo system and it said I was still there. This is not a very nice thing to do. I wonder what recourse I have to ask them to remove my data from their system? Isn't it my data? What about the 7,000 contacts I gave them? All the privacy information on their site only deals with your own personal information about you, not others that you shared.

Hummm. I e-mailed the privacy officer. Lets see what they say. I smell a lawsuit.

Posted by Martin at 11:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Blogger integrates AdSense

Blogger has integrated AdSense. Duh. Both owned by Google. And Typepad will probably do the same thing. Keep your eye on NWVENTUREVOICE.com for a longer post about my thoughts on e-commercizing blogs.

Posted by Martin at 10:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More thoughts on BioDiesel

Haven't been following this much over the last couple of months, but had a very nice chat with some folks yesterday that want to build a consumer brand in BioDiesel. I like the idea. It is a classic chicken and the egg problem. The wonderful thing about biodiesel is that you can just pour it into any diesel car and it works. The B100 (100% bio) is about $3.35 a gallon, so about 1/3 more than dinosaur diesel. The B20 (20% bio, 80% dinosaur) is about 25cents more and still gives you significant mileage and emissions savings. So the issue is, how do you either get the price down to match dinosaur or get consumer demand up to match the premium price? Starbucks took a commodity and convinced us to pay a premium price for it. No-one has been sucessful in creating a premium brand in fuel. I wonder if you could? One of the problems is that the distribution of normal gas is an oligopoly controled by the majors. There are few independent gas stations. The margins on Texaco, BP, et al are controled by the manufacturer and kept low. The owners make all their money on beer and cigarettes. And these things are everywhere. What if there was a gas station that had all the regular gas plus BioDiesel, electric vehicle hook-ups, healthy food, natural car care products, etc.? Would you go out of your way to patronize it? What if it's prices were higher? A large part of the problem is that there are environmental regulations on where you can put a gas station. There is no such restriction on Starbucks (maybe there should be).

Humm. How to start a business creating a branded commodity like biodiesel? interesting exercise.

Posted by Martin at 10:07 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Car power gadget I gotta have

My inbox brought me a tasty treat this morning: ThinkGeek :: Firepod. A cigarette lighter plug in that has USB and fireware power out. My Blackberry gets power from a USB cable. My cell phone has a USB charger. Many things are getting that these days and this is a must have! Even my camera gets USB power.

Posted by Martin at 9:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

congrats technorati on money

Om Malik on Broadband: Technorati gets fed VC dollars

Posted by Martin at 9:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tossing Ecto

I installed Ecto as a blog client but have been unimpressed so I am deleting it from my system. Going back to w.Bloggar which is solid and has an upgrade coming. Major issues:
1. confusing interface.
2. not intuitive how to post. No dafault button, you had to use a Ctrl key sequence.
3. Did not read formatting defaults from MT configuration correctly and I had to keep resetting formatting to convert line breaks.
4. No multiple file upload for images. Neither does W.Bloggar, but that is a feature I would have switched for.
5. Preview not as good as W.Bloggar.
6. Slower than piss. Slowed my whole system down. You could watch metal rust in the time it took to post.
7. No compelling new features.


Posted by Martin at 9:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tossing shareaza

Performance and file quality has degraded so badly that I am deleting the software from my machine. Another win for the record labels.

Posted by Martin at 9:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

IBM research readies SpamGuru for Lotus

Well the world of spam fighting is now complete. IBM Research - Anti-Spam Filtering has joined the party. I believe IBM has a better record of moving things from Research to product than Microsoft does, but the history of these kind of moves is not good. What works in the academic lab doesn't hold up in the real world very well. Why wait for this in Lotus when you can buy a cloudmark plug-in for Lotus today?

Posted by Martin at 9:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hard drive prices drop (again) to $.41 per gb

Saw a 120gig drive for $49.99 this weekend at Fryes.

Max HD size (GB) Avg $/GB
Oct-99 27.2 14.670
Mar-01 75.1 7.060
Mar-02 160 1.880
Sep-02 160 1.880
Nov-02 250 1.200
Aug-03 250 1.000
Nov-03 250 0.562
Feb-04 250 0.556
May-04 250 0.500
Aug-04 300 0.520
Aug-04 300 0.417

Posted by Martin at 9:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Configuring my WiFi access point

Thanks to Rafe's recent article on: Solving Wi-Fi Interference :: AO I figured out that I didn't have my Cisco 340 Aeronet access point configured optimally. It appears that most accesspoints (802.11b) run on default channel 6 out of a possible 10 in and around 2.4ghz. There are companies that make software to round-robin your channels to get optimal performance. But Good Old Cisco put this feature in standard to their 340 Aeronet. So I just turned it on and Zampow better performance. There are four other accesspoints in use by my neighbors and a couple of phones. I used to have interference so bad that I moved my phone over to 5.8Ghz. Maybe if I had figured out this earlier I could have saved the upgrade.

I doubt it. Would have lost me a chance to buy a new toy. Never miss that one.

Posted by Martin at 7:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I scooped Wired

Got my September Wired today. On the last page they have a photo of a lost file sign posted on a tree in South Park by their offices. I picked one of those things back on Aug 1 and posted the picture Aug. 18. MGTMoblog: Lost thesis. Lost in the air from a WiFi connection to the FTP server.

Interesting deal. Next time I will post sooner.

Posted by Martin at 1:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

Mark Cuban funds a search engine against Google

IceRocket Search. Not sure the features they are optimizing are the ones that are going to attract the masses or a real business model. Search has always been a proxy to sell ads. At this point Google's ad network is probably more valuable than their search.

Posted by Martin at 5:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another corporate intelligence service

Well NetContent has launched Scoop.com which sounds basically like Lead411, but won't give me a free account without asking for a credit card. Don't like that so I will not be doing a full review. Maybe someone there will give me a real account? This service is for $29.95 a month as well. Would be nice to do a shoot-out of these services to see which is best for a start-up. I would guess these services differentiate on reports/detail pricing and depth/breadth of sources.

Posted by Martin at 1:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Installing SUSE Linux Pro 9.1

Well I finally got rid of my last Win 95 box. I have a Sony DPP55 dye sublimination printer (an old one). Until Jan of this year there was No Win 2K driver for the thing so I had to keep a Win95 dedicated box just to print. Now that is understandable since Sony doesn't sell the printer anymore, but I am glad they finally got the message that units were out in the field and wrote one. So I had a PIII with 1GB RAM, a 4GB system drive and a 30Gig SCSI storage drive and lots of video and audio cards (circa 1997). I thought, hey Install Linux and see how it goes: So here is how it went.

I really bought SUSE on a whim. Was in Office Depot cruising the gadget isles and oogling the flat panels. Not really looking to buy software, just checking what is new. In the OS isle, SUSE had cool packaging and the Pro version had a web server and lots of extra utilities, so I snapped it up. Decided to pay for the user manual and the install script and graphical UI.

Back at home, I started at 7:30 at night last thursday during a re-run of Friends. The first thing I noticed was that the user manual was written by Brits and they mispelled lots of things and used funny sentence structure. I already had Windows installed and there was no clear installation procedure for that. The documentation leaned toward a clean install. It did talk about "repartitioning" the windows partition, but didn't explain what that was and how that would work. So they ask you to boot from the CD. Well if you already have a boot drive, your BIOS has probably been reset to not boot from the CD (as mine was). So first thing you gotta do is enter the BIOS editor, find the section to turn on Boot from CD, and reset that. Not exactly user friendly behavior. But the manual did address this for the Aladdin BIOS that I had, although they had the wrong screens and menu options so I had to hunt and peck a bit.

After I got the machine to boot from the CD, it started a nice grey screen and the installation process. The quick start manual encouraged me to "just accept all the defaults". But being somewhat technical, I was a bit hesitant to take the defaults when it asked to resize my windows partition and some other stuff. But I plowed ahead anyway. Just before I had started this process, I deleted everything of value from the machine. Leaving only the Win95 OS and some apps. I probably deleted over 20,000 files and a couple hundred directories. Basically majorilly screwed with the FAT tables. So when the installer came to resize my windows partition, it choked and complained about inconsistencies in the FAT and admonished me to defrag and chckdsk. Gee, wish they had told me that sooner. So I started that on the 30GM file disk (where Linux was being installed).

2 hours later the tasks finished. So I restart the install. Again same error "resizing error shrink it by other means" and suggested using something called LBA which it left undefined. So the chckdsk and defrag had not done something right. By now it is 10:00 and I am watching the Last Comic Standing (betting on Scott Heefferman). Rather than trying to figure out what LBA is, I decided to just reformat the damn drive to get the tables in sync. By 10:15 with the reformat done, I restarted the install. It hung for 10 minutes. Hard reboot. Hung again. Hard reboot. 10:40 install of disk one completed. 10:45 it asked for Disk 2. Apparently it shrunk the windows partition fine. Progress! at 11:00pm I recieved an "updates failed" message as the set-up tried to go out to the internet to look for updates. "path problem". The dreaded path problem is what Rich had warned me about. Not really caring about updates, I rebooted and at 11:05 the system came up just fine. It asked me if I wanted to boot windows or Linux. I choose Linux. It boots fine, it recognizes all the hardware, I get the internet browser going fine. I decide to put off application installs or more testing till morning.

Done. So 3:35 hour install of SUSE. Not bad for an OS. Keep it here for stories of how the apps work.

Posted by Martin at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Little known SyncML error

So for the last three weeks I have not been able to syncronize my Nokia 6230 with my PC. I changed everything I could think of, the passwords, the amount of data, the type of data, etc. No dice. So in uncharacteristic style, I called Nokia support. After getting through the "well we dont' see that phone in our US catalogue" problem, the guy was VERY helpful! A first time for me with customer support. Apparently SyncML pukes on certain kinds of recurring entries in Outlook and on blank names or weird characters in names in the contacts. There was a contact in my OUtlook with a blank name, but having a company name. There were also some names with "&", "/" and " in the names. I took all weird characters out and filled in the blank. Everything synced fine. The error that I got from SyncML was not descriptive at all. It said "sync failure". They could use a better error code. But now you know!

Posted by Martin at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2004

Lone programmer introduces private e-mail service

PRESS RELEASE: David Did What Goliath Didn't -- He Stopped Spam. Well the self released press release is a little mis-leading and self serving, but this guy has put up a very simple version of what many people are looking for. A post office monitored e-mail system. Basically you have client software which checks for and applies a "stamp" from the central server. The system only hands out stamps at a certain rate, so if you are a spammer and trying to send lots, the server won't give them to you. You can set your e-mail client to only accept "stamped" mail. There are of course ways to game this system, and while he talks about it as an "open" system, in the end it is another walled garden. But some version of this "1st class mail" will get traction. The key is how to deal with exceptions and people outside your walled garden who you want to get in. Exactly the same problem as white lists.

Posted by Martin at 8:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Real sticks their foot in it against Apple

MacDailyNews - News reports the Mac faithful response to Real's attempt to "rally the people" to open up the Ipod to Real formats. What Rob doesn't understand is that he can't hold a candle to Steve in terms of customer loyalty. The Mac guys are total zealots. There is no way to paint Apple as evil in their mind. Funny that Real with MAJOR player share is trying to act like underdog to Apple's 2% market share. The pot calling the kettle black. Real has never been a place of the people. Rob took all the pages out of the Microsoft monopoly playbook and added some more. Now that they are getting beat by their own playbook (msft) they want to go back into the underdog position and get some cred back. Too late Rob, you already blew it.

Posted by Martin at 1:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

Review of Lead411.com

I have been singing the praises lately for all the cool tools out there today to make running a start-up so much easier. It is amazing what you can outsource and datamine from the right web sites. The nice guys at Lead411 sent me and offer I couldn't refuse, a free account just for reviewing their service. So here is my review:

Sign-up process and pitch:

Lead411 is basically a sales lead generation site. You can get news of financings, personell changes, big deals filtered by their industry categories and served up in a web page and/or e-mail. They collect lots of this data into company profiles as well that include company contact information, key employees, business description, etc. They will also sell you lots of marketing lists sliced and diced 100 ways.

What I liked:

- The price is right. For this information, many services will charge ALOT more money. For $24.95 per month or $199 per year, it is a bargain for any sales force.
- They have an interesting affiliate marketing program to sell the service through. Looks like an effecient channel.
- The company profiles, while very sparse on operational details, are quite deep in personal contacts. The handy "vCard" download by each person's name is very cool. I was impressed that at even small start-ups (like Akaba Inc) they had a meaningful number of contacts (in this case 3).
- The personalization of the filter to your interests is quite granular.
- The daily e-mails with "leads" have an excellent format and allow you to quickly prioritize what you want to see and click through for more detail (HTML mail).
- e-mails are listed for almost every company contact.

What I didn't like:

- In company descriptions, some categories are buckets. Like employees. It is probably set by a person.
- Not all the information is indexed. For example, Lead411 showed zero press releases for AkabaInc. On their site they had 8 press releases starting on July 17, 2001 thru Sept. 23, 2003. Maybe it was an archive problem, or just the data source Lead411 is sniffing. But in any case, since it is not complete, I immediately become suspect of my search results.
- Some click-throughs didn't work. For a compay Arxan which I know something about, clicking through from the Lead411 site to press releases didn't work. No error message, nothing. Just no forwarding to the site. Also, Arxan site had 5 press releases and only 2 made it to Lead411.
- Continued data inconsistencies between the company sites and Lead411. For Arxan, there were jobs listed on the site as available but Lead411 didn't list any.
- Lead411 uses a taxonomy to categorize companies and events for those companies, but I don't know where they got it from. It doesn't seem to be SIC codes (which would be understandable). It seems to be their own invention and some categories having overlap. When a company dreams up their own taxonomy I get worried.
- When listing company contacts, most phone numbers are just the switchboard not direct numbers.


If you are looking for an easy way to find lots of contacts at a company and stay updated on their press releases, this service would do the trick. You get alot of marketing names for your buck. At this price, you can afford other sources as well. A great inside sales tool to do calling and e-mail prospecting.

Posted by Martin at 3:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FCC tries its hand regulating SPAM on phones

The FCC has tried a new rule to combat mobile spam. I would guess that they have more leverage over that (relatively) closed network than the internet in general. In mobile, there are fewer entry points into the network and therefor more control. There are always ways in and around though. And I also see that legitimate players like SOHU can still run afoul of the laws.

Posted by Martin at 8:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now this is fun

What to do with those gadgets that turn out to be useless? Or too frustrating? www.weblowitup.com > WeBlowItUp. Very satisfying. I am sending them an old cell phone right away!

Posted by Martin at 7:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

A web publisher finds a profitable model

Wired News: Net Publishing Made Profitable shares Adam Engst's adventure in micropublishing PDF books. Buried in the article is a tidbit which is an "Ah Ha" moment that many may miss. For the price of his PDF books ($5-$10), you get free updates. These are mainly MAC technical books. The content changes as software gets updated and patched over time. Woa, so all of a sudden you get subscription like access to current technical content for one up-front cost? Physical books can't provide that. Higher priced web content portals can't match the economics. wow, that just might work.

Posted by Martin at 1:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cool site noting common UI issues

Abandoned Cart is a site dedicated to little annoying things in web User Interfaces that get us all peeved. Well written and thoughtful about how and why certain UI things are stupid. In a "what were they thinking" kind of tone. I recommend having a look for anyone who is thinking about designing a Web UI. Could save ya a lot of time.

Posted by Martin at 1:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just when I had thought I found the perfect phone...

An astute reader, Rob Currie from Redpoint pointed out:

Hi Martin,

ATTWS is replacing 850Mhz TDMA spectrum with 850MHz GSM spectrum and as a result the newer US targeted tri-band phones are 850/1800/1900. If you purchase a foreign tri-band then it's usually 900/1800/1900 - a huge loss with respect to coverage due to the better propagation of 850.That's why I went with the quad band v500/v600. I've run across a lot of people purchasing 900/1800/1900 tri-band phones for world coverage and in the process severely handicapping their home coverage without knowing it.


So I walked over to talk to our resident ATTWS experts in the telco group and did find out that my coverage on ATTWS is about half what it could be. This because my phone only connects to ATTWS cells running at 1900. Now with the Cingular network merger, they have inmarket roaming so I can use the 1900 Cingular cells as well. But all new GSM antennas at ATTWS are going to be 850. So the real killer phone for world coverage (including US) is a quad phone doing 850/900/1800/1900. Well off to e-bay....

Posted by Martin at 1:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What if you could start over?

Seth's Blog: Starting Over asks a provocative question? What if you could start over? What if you could set the standards for a car from the get go? The Chinese certainly have shown no fear of being authoritarian. Why should they burden their growth with dependence on outside energy? Why not make all the manufacturers pony up to a higher standard from the get go. We here in the "1st" world could benefit if they did that.

Let's hope.

Posted by Martin at 9:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Consumer Reports article on how ineffective CanSpam is

Bradenton Herald | 08/15/2004 | Consumers: CAN-SPAM act no help. When do consumers hold politicians accountable? I know everyone in DC voted for the thing because they wanted to pass something that they thought their constituents wanted (and they did), but what happens when their solution doesn't work? Will the electorate hold them accountable? Spam legislation isn't typically a voting issue in an election, but maybe it should be. If they can't pass effective laws around something like Spam, what makes you think they are doing a good job in other areas?

Make sure you keep that Cloudmark software active.

Posted by Martin at 9:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004

Poll results

Well your votes are in on What is MOST important to start-up success

Great Market 20 %
(15 votes)
Great CEO 12 %
(9 votes)
Great Managemen Team 33 %
(25 votes)
Great Product 18 %
(14 votes)
Great PR/Marketing 2 %
(2 votes)
It's a mystery 12 %
(9 votes)
Total votes 74

Looks like most people believe in management team. I tend to agree. Management team and CEO are the most reliable factors in a company sucess.

Posted by Martin at 6:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How NOT to upgrade from MT 2.6 to 3.0

OK, I am over it. Here is what NOT to do:

1. Do NOT create a new database
2. Do NOT run two parallel installs
3. Do NOT export from 2.6 and import to 3.0.

This causes all sorts of unnatural acts. Since I don't have a back-up of my old 2.6 database, I can't recover from this mess, so I am just going to take my lumps and move on. I will leave the 2.6 individual archive files out there to keep google page rank, but they won't work well. Hopefully google will find the same entries with the new archive file names and start linking to those.

The RIGHT way to upgrade:

1. Upload 3.0, overwrite the 2.6 files.
2. Run upgrade script.
3. Make CSS and Index template changes that you want to keep.


Learn from my mistakes...

Posted by Martin at 6:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wow, UltraWideBand by Christmas!

Thanks Mark for point out this in your recent SNS.

"I first brought this rather amazing technology to SNSers attention perhaps five years ago, when it was still in the R and D stage. This week Motorola's Freescale chip spinout got approval from the FCC to begin shipping UltraWideBand chipsets (immediately) for product integration; the company expects to see products using these chips as early as this Christmas (see Quotes)."

This means 110mb wireless between devices. That means wireless video to my flat panels, wireless sound to speakers, etal. Just in time for my new house! Glad I waited.

Posted by Martin at 5:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hard drive prices flatten and even go up slightly

Yesterday at CompUSA, the harddrive on sale was 129.99 for a 250 gig drive. That is 52 cents per gig which is actually an increase. I see alot of hard drive guys going into the external storage business (with case) to try to keep prices up. Most smaller hard drives are actually much higher per gig cost. I wonder who buys those?

Max HD size (GB) Avg $/GB
Oct-99 27.2 14.670
Mar-01 75.1 7.060
Mar-02 160 1.880
Sep-02 160 1.880
Nov-02 250 1.200
Aug-03 250 1.000
Nov-03 250 0.562
Feb-04 250 0.556
May-04 250 0.500
Aug-04 300 0.520

Posted by Martin at 4:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well I agree with Jason on one thing

Vibrant Media, for desperate and stupid publishers. - The Jason Calacanis Weblog - calacanis.weblogsinc.com

Posted by Martin at 2:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thinking about web privacy

Go to this URL: Junkbusters: Alert on Web Privacy. It will tell you how much information your browser is sharing with web applications. How trackable you are on the web. I am thinking about all this because I just installed Tor which is a P2P network of onion routers that provides connection-oriented anonymizing. Hopefully it is a free version of the pay for Anonymizer service which operates private proxy servers. My experience with these cloaking services in the past is that they break too many sites and make surfing too hard. So many sites cookie you these days and require lots of openings in your browser to provide personalizization. Usually I don't mind this (Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, etc.) Many times I do. With my firewall I need to specify these settings on a site by site basis. That is too difficult also. What would be nice is if I could surf in stealth as default, but am asked/told when sites are looking for more information. And I don't mean just asking to accept cookies (the IE function). That is too low level an ask. Many sites cookie you 30 or 40 times. I want one ask and the computer to take care of the rest.

Posted by Martin at 1:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The power of Camera phones

I heard the FotoLog pitch last week and one thing the CEO claimed has really stuck with me. He said the ubiquity of cameras (because everyone always has their phone with them) will breed whole new forms of behavior and a next generation of web photo services. All the self-serving of that comment asside, I would have to agree. V 1.0 of photo services were basically all trying to sell you photo paper re-prints of your digital photos. Replication of the old model. Most of the digital photos I take with my camera phone I don't want to print. I just want to share. This IS a whole new behavior. Like my photoblog. And some pictures here:
Cloudmark and AhnLabs sign a major strategic deal in Korea:

Posted by Martin at 12:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thoughtful piece on music DRM

It's the End of the CD as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) :: AO By Rich Luhr, the research guy at AO. While largely a regurgitation of research reports with little personal insight, it is a good roundup of what analyst are saying about DRM and the future of the CD. Basically that it will never take. DRM that is. I am not so sure. I hope it doesn't, but there are just too many large companies with a vested interest to let it die. Consumers are not going to drive this one like they did software copy protection. The software industry had a built in upgrade requirement. Music doesn't. A song is a song is a song.

Posted by Martin at 12:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2004

It's official, Rob Glaser is Washington's foremost leftist

Calling the Seattle Times article a "puff piece" may be a bit of an understatement. His "left of Che" politics are presented as somehow laudable. I half expected to see Rob behind Ted Kennedy at the DNC when he was advocating armed rebellion in the US to overthrow a "king with a father named George". It is not the terrorist we need to worry about in Seattle, it is people like Rob who get so far out in left field that their desparation causes them to justify radical acts. Listen to the Democrats. Talk about politics of fear. They invented it.

Posted by Martin at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What would you pay for a top VC?

Infectious Greed: Paying for Top Venture Capitalists points to an study showing entrepreneurs are willing to take a 10-14% discount on their equity to get a name brand VC. I know from personal experience that this is the case. But one should look for more than a name. When I was raising money for Loudeye, alot of name brand VCs came calling. In the end, I took the ones I liked working with best and who I believed would actually work.

I recently posted How to Shop for Venture Capital over at NWVentureVoice. The key to remember is that this venture thing is a long term business relationship. Price is not the only factor to measure. Value is the ultimate goal. Entrepreneurs who only optimize for price are not optimizing for their business. As a VC, that tells me something about how they will operate if I invest. Something very telling.

Posted by Martin at 10:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to leverage the web when starting your next company

Everyone should be so resourceful. NW Venture Voice: August 2004 Archives

Posted by Martin at 10:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New look and simpler 3 column format...

Thanks Brad for sharing your style sheet! You did a very smart thing by deleting the #Container piece. Then you don't have to worry about making the left and right parts float in relation to the container like I do. By just deleting that the 3 column deal is much easier to code. Also, thanks for pointing out the improved readability of the color #000000 over #666666. It makes the text pop! So I changed all my colors to that where I want it to pop. I also changed the font size from x-small to 11px. I belive it is only two points larger, but it makes a readability difference. Thanks!

#center {
float: left;
width: 650px;
overflow: hidden;

.content {
padding: 15px 15px 5px 15px;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
color: #000000;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 11px;

#left {
float: left;
width: 200px;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;

#right {
float: left;
width: 200px;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;

.content p {
color: #000000;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
font-size: 11px;
font-weight: normal;
line-height: 140%;
text-align: left;
margin-bottom: 10px;

Posted by Martin at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Trying new Blog authoring client

Zempt didn't do it for me. Don't feel like reconfiguring Bloggar for my new paths for mt 3.0. I am going to try ecto blog which is recommended by Rafat Ali, the man, the myth behind Paid Content.

Posted by Martin at 10:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

PhoneConnector says it is a Windows problem...

Well I may not have to return the PhoneConnector after all. I received this e-mail with the fix. It seems to work. For some reason they blame it on Windows resetting the default audio device. I don't know whose fault it is, but all applications seem to be playing together happilly now. Playing music on the speaker and talking on the regular phone over Skype. Wow, customer support that actually solved my problem!


Dear Martin Tobias,

Hmm…something didn’t go quite right with your installation. Windows has a bug that automatically sets your default audio to a new sound device. PhoneConnector specifically corrects this issue during installation but for some reason it didn’t work for you.
Here is what you need to do. With the PhoneConnector plugged-in go to your Windows Control Panel and set your default Audio Device to your normal speakers and microphone. Your speakers should now work normally for all your ‘other’ sound applications at this point. (Skype not included).
Now from Skype click FileàOptionsàHand/Headsets. Select the “Audio In” and “Audio Out” settings to “USB Audio Device” (this is the PhoneConnector device). Leave your “Ringing” to your normal sound card.
That’s it! All other sound applications (CD player, Windows sounds etc, will use your normal sound card and Skype will use the PhoneConnector device!
Please let us know if this corrects your issue.
PhoneConnector Support

Posted by Martin at 10:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PhoneConnector RutRo, spoke too soon

Well this is one of those Whoops... The PhoneConnector is an astoundingly simple device. Unfortunately it needs to be a little smarter and complex. It re-routes all your sound in/out to the USB device. that means that if you have speakers they stop working. If you pick up your phone you can hear your music and DVDs but that is not an optimal experience. When you unplug the phoneconnector device Windows complains about alot of DirectAudio errors. A reboot fixes that, but you shouldn't have to. I pinged the company for a solution, but their web site is silent. Leads me to believe their driver is pretty simple and can't handle multiple audio devices. Crud. Another gadget to return.

Posted by Martin at 8:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, and Trackback is broken too

When you delete a weblog from an old installation of MT, you remove all the entry numbers from the database so the trackback script pukes. Check this out: Deep Green Crystals: this is a cool site

Lesson: You can upgrade from MT 2.64 but you can NEVER get rid of it! That doesn't sound like much of an upgrade to me...

Posted by Martin at 6:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More MT archive upgrade problems

Thanks John for talking about my MT archive comment problem today. The suggestion to just turn off comments on those old archive pages would be grand if I hadn't already deleted the old weblog in MT 2.64 (stupid!). Don't do this! Now I can't change the configuration of those individual archive files without running some massive script over them to remove the comment code. I did just that on one entry here: Deep Green Crystals: this is a cool site and it worked fine, but is not scalable to 732 entries. I thought about importing the entries again into MT 2.64, but the app would give them all new entry numbers and generate different file names anyway which would break the Google links also.

There is a bit in MT 3.01 which says "keep backward compatible file names" which sounds promissing, but does not deliver. They simply create 001234.html file names instead of the new "friendly" file names of Cool_post_here.html. But when you import to 3.01 you get all new entry numbers as well so the files are not name compatible. What would solve all this would be an option in MT 3.0 import which says "preserve entry numbers". Then warn you when you are trying to overwrite and offer you suggestions for magaging conflicts. Then you could have mt 3.0 regenerate the same file names that google has but with the new formats.

Another annoyance is that the 2.64 and 3.0 style-sheet.css files are different with different names for tags. This means that the 2.64 archive files will render in the 3.0 index template, but when they use discontinued css tags, those show up in the post as random codes. Very distracting.

Basically, MT fix the upgrade process with archives !

Posted by Martin at 6:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cool utility for tracking domains

Thanks to Troy for pointing me to SnapCHECK.com. Every domain registrar today needs a hook. These guys have a database of expiring domains and track what is expiring when. You can find out what will be come available soon. Kinda a cool thing to know if you want a domain that is already registered.

Posted by Martin at 5:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

VOIP made easy...

While I was waiting for Cisco and Sipura to come out with the hardware to connect my traditional POTs phone to my computer (without tying me to a network), tiny startup PhoneConnector solved my problem with a nifty little $39.95 USB box that does just that with no frills. While the others worry about multiple lines and baking in voicemail, number portability and all sorts of other fancy features for the ISPs of the world, Phoneconnector does one thing simple, cheap and very well. You plug in a regular phone on one side and plug the other into your PC. You choose what network you are going to use (I chose Skype) and it works. When I pick up the phone, I get a dial tone. When I dial the number (if I have configured Skype to convert numbers into Skype IDs), skype dials the number. If I want to use the Skype interface on the computer I just mouse away and I hear the ring and pick up just like a regular phone call. Hey, call me at martintobias2 on Skype!

The only thing that is a bit weird is that the little white box has gotten VERY hot. Like too hot to hold. Don't think that is normal. They probably need a fan in there, but don't have enough power. Maybe more holes. I see some manual "upgrading" happening to the housing.

Posted by Martin at 4:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now here is Leverage for a start-up

I have been impressed over the last couple of years at how easy it is to rent most everything you need to start a company. Shared hosting, interim executives, outsourced fulfillment, outsourced customer service, software over the web, programming services, and design services. Many of these industries are project oriented with lots of out of work people looking to fill holes in their schedules. Very good market to be serviced world wide!

My friend Tom Ryan sent me a great story about how he leveraged these services to start his latest company:

"You’d be interested in this story – I got my logo, business cards and website all done for less than $400 via finding a site called www.designoutpost.com – have you heard of it? I’d think you’d like it – basically, it’s a site where a bunch of out-of-work graphic artists worldwide hang out, and primarily consists of message boards. I ran a logo contest for $100, and ended up getting about a dozen or so submissions from all over the world. I picked a Russian guy who had just relocated to Venezuela, and had him do my cards and website as well. I use iKobo to wire him the money and he picks it up via an ATM in Venezuela. It’s such a cool little way to get started with cheap graphic arts for start-ups. "

cool huh?

Posted by Martin at 1:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tom Ryan starts a temp CXO service

Tom Ryan, former CEO of TrueActive software and former workmate of mine at Andersen Consulting has started yet another interium CXO service in Seattle. Welcome to Athena Chiefs!? Interim CXO COO CEO Services for Early Stage and Fast Growth Companies. Tom is a dedicated thorough guy who can help. Northwest needs more of these kinds of services.

Posted by Martin at 1:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New favorite dub radio station

Jon Buck, founder of dublab wrote me a mail after reading DGC. I clicked over to his web radio station and it is now in my favorites. If you like Dub music, you will love dublab!

Posted by Martin at 1:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Lazy American Gadget

One of my core investment tenents is: Americans are lazy. The Toymaker's Workshop has a new "invention" that proves just that (if they sell any). A motorozed ice cream cone. Could you get any more lazy?

Posted by Martin at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Borland to distribute Paypal/Ebay SDK

Borland to distribute tool kits for eBay, PayPal | CNET News.com Old post, but I am just going back to this when thinking about next generation market places.

I haven't seen any truly innovative uses of the eBay or PayPal apis. I would like to see some. I can imagine a whole list of easy to use services I would like as a Blogger. Maybe I should start that company.

Posted by Martin at 11:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 9, 2004

cool server tracking tool

What to know what your ISP's real uptime is? check out Netcraft Uptime Survey. Lots of fun tools there too. You can find out who is gaining sites and who is loosing sites in the battle for shared hosting world domination. You can also see what your sites are running and where your servers set in the heirarchy. Very geeky fun stuff.

Posted by Martin at 11:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Feeling audioly challenged

So just bought the Klipsch RW-12 Reference subwoofer for my home theatre. Need more thump in the bump!

Posted by Martin at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Upgrade to MT 3.01 has NOT fixed my comment spam problem

Since MT changed archive file names in 3.0, I had to leave the old ones there. And the comment spam bots hapilly find the files and use the comment script to make comments. Unless I blow those files away (and my Google pagerank with it), I can't get rid of spam. I have a couple of ideas I may try. Maybe using the Mt3.0 comment script on the MT 2.64 archive files? Will letcha know.

Posted by Martin at 10:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fixed CSS problems with new three column layout

Thanks to Steve for pointing out formatting problems with my new CSS for DGC under MT 3.01. God how I wish MT would fix these problems FOR me! Well, after two hours of futzing around with CSS, here is the solution. Basically with the Absolute tag in CSS, it will position your content (in this case the right and left link boxes) relative to the browser window in absolute terms from the upper left corner being 0,0. That means that the absolute is in relation to the browser window itself. So with my prior settings, when the browser was full size, it worked fine. When you resized, it made the link bars overwrite the rest of the content.

The fix is to get rid of the left and right absolute tags and use a big left margin to move your right box over. Leave the Top tags to get the boxes to appear at the top of your page. If you take that out, the linkboxes go to the bottom of your page.

#leftlinks {
position: absolute;

top: 85px;
border:1px solid #FFF;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;


#rightlinks {
position: absolute;

top: 85px;
border:1px solid #FFF;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;

Posted by Martin at 10:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Just got back from 5 days on the Harley

You can find the photos here. Previously I had hoped to go up the Alcan, but work got busy, so I ended up only with 5 days. So went with my buddie Art up to Whistler where we stayed for two days because of rain. Watched alot of movies and sat at Starbucks. Good. Then over 99 to Cross Canada 1 over to Kamloops. Then through Salmon Arm, down through Kelowna, through Pentictin down to outside Winthrup WA to the Sun Mountain Lodge. Today hiked through the North Cascade Highway down to the Redhook Brewery and back home.

Posted by Martin at 8:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 5, 2004

Moved to DGC to MT 3.01

So with the family out of town, I finally get a couple hours for delayed SysAdmin stuff. Two hours and fifteen minutes later and I have my Deep Green Crystals and all 624 entries and 204 comments ported over to MT 3.01. I hope this addresses my comment spam issues. I waited for 3.01 because the import function of 3.0D did not import entries from 2.64 correctly (lost comments and other things). The process was mostly copy and paste of code in templates then an export/import, but there were a few gotchas to watch out for...

- Had to use Netscape to export entries. IE didn't work even with the tips suggested. And make sure you use Save As a .txt file. I tried to copy and paste the entries into WordPad and created a .RTF file. MT 3.01 didn't understand it (MS probably put some random bits in it).
- The new Style Sheet CSS in Mt 3.0 changed some of the formatting codes and names of sections (for the better). It requied a little hunting and poking to get the right tags around my new text. Would have been nice if the divisions were named the same though.
- Same problem adding three column format as I had with 2.64. Come on guys, provide a standard 3 column layout! I still have some resizing issues because I am using Absolute positioning on my left and right columns, but I will fix that tomorrow. Here are the three key bits of code to change/add to your .CSS file if you want a three column look:
1. Make the container larger:
#container {
line-height: 140%;
margin-right: auto;
margin-left: auto;
text-align: left;
padding: 0px;
width: 900px;

background-color: #FFFFFF;
border: 1px solid #FFFFFF;
2. Give the Center div a left and right margin
#center {
border:1px solid #FFF;

overflow: hidden;

3. Create a left links division
#leftlinks {
position: absolute;
left: 62px;
top: 85px;
border:1px solid #FFF;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;
4. Create a right links division.
#rightlinks {
position: absolute;
right: 62px;
top: 85px;
border:1px solid #FFF;
background-color: #FFFFFF;
overflow: hidden;
Then put what you want in your Main Index template for the leftlinks and rightlinks section.

One trick: Leave your 2.64 files on the server, especially the archive files. They will render with the 3.0 templates. Won't look great, but you won't break so many links in Google. With the new file names and formatting I am waiting to find the broken links, but I trolled Google a little and most are working because they go to the old Archive files that are still there.

Off to bed!

Posted by Martin at 12:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 4, 2004

Microsoft launches Blog service in Japan

Reuters.com reported today that Microsoft in Japan has launched a blog service with target of 1M users by year end. I wonder why they are doing that in Japan and not MSN in America. Maybe it is really beta.

Posted by Martin at 2:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AOL buys MailBlocks

Reuters.com reported today that AOL bought MailBlocks a challenge response anti spam company. I don't really understand this as it is only one (not very effective) technique. Unless AOL plans on buying a bunch. Or if they got a steal of a deal. Which is probably the case as no price was announced and MailBlocks was a small company anyway. The consolidation continues.

Posted by Martin at 2:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Engaging interview with a sustainability activist

"Activist" is a word that makes me cringe for some reason. It conotes limited thinking, single issue focus and typically the finges of things. But aren't entrepreneurs "activists" for their companies? How do unpopular ideas get popular? Through activism.

Grist magazine just published a very interesting interview
with Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism, Inc. Lots of good thoughts on the right questions to ask when thinking about energy sustainability. The most productive approach by far (after all these years) is to design better, more effecient energy consumption devices. It can be done.


It wasn't until 1976 and Amory Lovins' piece in Foreign Affairs -- "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" -- that I found an internally consistent approach to solving the energy challenge. The trouble was that Amory, a physicist, wrote so technically that almost no one would take the time to try to understand him. I only did because a man I highly respected said that this was the approach for which I had been searching. But I had to go through the article with a ruler and a dictionary, line by line, figuring out just what he meant. None of the other TreePeople would even try. So I translated Amory's end-use/least cost analysis into English and started teaching it to the third graders and senior citizens to whom we were teaching environmental education.

Stripped of the technical language, it made a lot of sense (and still does). His analysis asked: What is it that we need energy for? Illumination, comfort in buildings, mobility, hot showers, and cold beer. And what is the cheapest and best way to meet our desires for those services? Turns out when you ask it that way, no kind of new power plant makes any sense, because electricity, a very expensive and high-quality form of energy, is only needed to meet about 10 percent of what we really use energy for. Most of our needs just require low temperature heat or liquid fuels to run vehicles. But almost every official energy policy starts with what kind of power plant to build. Even many environmentalists ask, "Should we use PVs or wind rather than nuclear or coal?" Wrong. We should construct our buildings so that they stay comfortable using insulation and good passive solar design, our cars so that they will get 100 mpg, and our factories so that they have no carbon emissions. Doing this turns out to be the cheapest option, buys the most environmental protection, and is the only policy that preserves a democratic society. It's a lesson we still have to learn: Technology is the answer! But what was the question?

Posted by Martin at 7:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

DRM is really an attack on Linux

Reading Linux, digital rights on collision course | CNET News.com I had one of those rare Ah Ha moments. Maybe I am just slow to make the connection, but it is now obvious that DRM is a back-door attempt by Microsoft to lock out Linux. All the major DRM schemes are exclusively Windows client compatible. The very way DRM works is in conflict with many of the open source licenses out there. The VP of Linux at HP is so worried about this that he used his keynote at LinuxWorld to talk about it. DRM is one more Windows platform lock. And it is gaining traction. Ouch.

Posted by Martin at 6:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 3, 2004

What I want from Web 2.0

Just posted this to VentureBlog:


Andrew, "David" and "modest" are two words I would not have expected to see in the same sentence, but bully to you for breaking new ground!

Good to see the both of you (and many more friends) at the recent BlogOn shindig. The night before I spent two hours trying to pay $15.99 for 24 hours of broadband connection only to have to debug their system myself (IP address assignment problem). There were a couple of weak WiFi signals available out the window, but most were WEP protected and breaking out AirSnort just to check mail seemed like overkill. Although Any@Web caught a couple of wardrivers trying to hack the WiFi connection! In the morning, the surf reports for Ocean Beach said it was small, blown out bad surf. We went anyway and had a great time in medium, decent shape, no wind waves. On the way to the conference the MapQuest directions were wrong. There was voice cell phone but not data coverage. My Jabra 250 Bluetooth headset randomly paired with another device and forgot all about the new Nokia 6230 it was recently in love with (bought from Taiwan - not available in the US - and hacked onto ATTWS). Lots of people on the WiFi connection made it frustratingly slow. Ouch! where did that surly rant come from and where is it going?

Posted by Martin at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The most random things come from having a blog...

I received the following e-mail late last night (name removed)

I am working with a television show that is shooting in and around Chicago. It is a reality based show featuring a host of entrepreneurs. This week we are shooting an episode featuring our businessmen/women on a corporate retreat. We are looking to find a venture capitalist/motivational speaker to speak with our group of 9 people for about 45 minutes to an hour or so. The catch is that I just found out about this tonight and we are looking to have the speaker come out this Wednesday, August 4.

Please let me know 1. If you would be interested in speaking; 2. If you would be available this Wednesday afternoon to come out to a suburb of Chicago for the show (We can arrange all the travel for you); and 3. What would your rate be?

I appologize for the late notice, and I appreciate your taking the time to consider the opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks again!


Wow, isn't the web wonderful! Just because I publish my thoughts about venture capital on a blog, someone can find me on Google and invite me to be on a reality tv show. I will let you know if I accept and how it goes.

Posted by Martin at 6:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joining the MoBlog craze

Well my Nokia 6230 made me do it. Don't know exactly what I am going to post, but I found one very scary sign at Kuleto's in San Francisco. Check it out.

Posted by Martin at 3:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hacking my Nokia 6230 onto ATTWS network

I bought a unlocked Nokia 6230 on Ebay (actually from a guy in Bellevue that ships from a wharehouse in Taiwan. Very cool in that the keyboard has the chinese characters on it. But of course ATTWS does not support the phone yet. Lots of searching on the web didn't turn up the exact right settings. The Nokia site and Wireless Services did not get me the right settings by SMS because they don't support the phone yet. I tried to download some settings for phones that looked similar, but to no avail. So here dear reader I have the WAP, MMS, and Internet settings for the Nokia 6230 running on ATT Wireless.

Settings' Name: AWS MMS
Homepage: http://mmsc.mobile.attwireless.net
Proxies: Enable
Primary Proxy:
Secondary proxy: :8080
Data bearer: GPRS

Connection Settings -> Bearer Settings
GRPS access point: proxy
Authentication: Normal
User name: [blank]
Password: [blank]

Settings' Name: mMode
Homepage: http://hoome
Proxies: Enable
Primary Proxy:
Secondary proxy: :8080
Data bearer: GPRS

Connection Settings -> Bearer Settings
GRPS access point: proxy
Authentication: Normal
Login type: Automatic
User name: [blank]
Password: [blank]

Have fun! I love the phone! I have a bunch of music loaded on it. I also use the FM receiver quite a bit. With the camera in my pocket I definitely take more pictures and movies. I recorded Finn saying something for my ring. very fun.

Posted by Martin at 3:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kerry pandering for votes with alternative energy pitch

Not surprisingly, the Suadis are not alarmed by John Kerrry's pledge to end U.S. dependence on Saudi oil. His proposals are only election year politicing for votes. He doesn't really have a plan. The primary thrust is to try to move imports from the Mid-East to Russia or Africa. So you trade the political instability of one region for another. Saudi Arabia has 25% of the worlds reserves. America will have to deal with the mid-east for the foreseeable future.

In the past, I have suggested that just such an energy independence initiative is what the country needs now. But not shifting sources and wordsmithing "alternative technologies". We need an energy independence goal like we had a space race goal against the Russians. The goal should be complete self sufficiency from ANY foreign source. This would achieve two goals the counrty needs now. First, economic benefits around a new round of serious investment in new ideas. Two, the security benefits long-term to having options. Not that we will exercise all those options, only that we have them. Our energy consumption would be under our own control. This is vital for the long-term stability of America. We can't keep using our superior military force to protect our economic interest at all political costs. Now, I don't expect such a propoal for energy independence out of Bush, but at least I know he has a clear picture of what it takes to stabilize the system we now have. Kerry is dreaming of a utopia that is not attainable in this lifetime.

Posted by Martin at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Micropayments projected to be big (maybe)

PaidContent.org: August 02, 2004 Archives makes a very insightful observation about micropayments. While the vendors are arguing about which micropayment approach is more effective (direct-to-bill, merchant aggregation, prepaid accounts or direct transfer), consumers are happily signing up for all you can eat subscription models that obviate the need for micropayments at all for things like music. This is something that we see alot in venture, alternate behavior crushing the need for a technology solution at all. Think about Cable TV. Would it be a large business if you had to make an active choice to buy each channel every time you wanted to watch it? This gets back to one of my core investment thesis: Americans are lazy. No, I don't want to make thousands of little buying decisions, I would rather make one larger one. Ringtones asside, Micropayments are going to struggle with this problem long-term.

Posted by Martin at 6:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 2, 2004

World Record Bluetooth file transfer

Wi-Fi Toys reports a 1KM file transfer from a standard bluetooth cell phone. Thought it was safe to walk around with your cell phone Bluetooth on default? I use my Nokia 6230 with a Jabra 250 connected, but I am reconsidering it. There is an increasing group of BlueDriving hackers that are taking up where WarDriving started. Security threats everywhere. Investment opportunities everywhere...

Posted by Martin at 3:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack