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May 31, 2005

Hey, I have got two patents!

When I was founder of Loudeye Technologies, we filed a bunch, but I never really remembered which ones had been issued. Today messing around in the patent database I found out. #6873877, Distributed production system for digitally encoding information, and #6732151, Methods for forwarding voice messages to an email account. Wow, cool.

Posted by Martin at 8:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 30, 2005

NYT missed some Microsoft guys

Funny the news behind the news. This weekend, the NYT did a story: The Microsoft Millionaires Come of Age - New York Times with many of my friends in it. Now I don't subscribe to the Treason Times, so a friend had to send me the link with the following very nice commentary:

It's a shame they don't drill down to the next level and talk about
how you msft millionaires helped others get a life!

Take me, for example.

I'm running a business that is kicking ass thanks to a couple of
years at encoding.com.

That was the best education I ever had.


Paul Clark - Walkthrough Media, LLC
13322 Greenwood Ave N, Suite 405, Seattle, WA 98133
Tel: (206) 696-3334 Email: paul@walkthroughmedia.com

No thanks required Paul, you are the best! Great to see my partner Rich and Ignition Partners in there as well. One way to read the article would be to conclude "isn't that nice those people can now do what they want after working so hard." Another, more appropriate way in my case, would be to conclude that now many people have the resources to persue their passions. The most interesting stories are of people who have passions that involve helping other people (start companies for example). What fun is it to be so smart if all you do is use it to play around? I much prefer energizing others to follow their passions as well.

Posted by Martin at 9:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I decided to not do this

No, I decided I don’t want to live on the beach for a year. There was a time when I did. And sometimes when I am surfing I REALLY REALLY want to live on the beach for a year. But recently I have decided this is NOT what I want. Living on the beach for a year would be checking out. Even if I brought my whole family with me. Checking out of my friends, out of my blog, out of venture capital, out of my hobbies, out of my life. Checking into a holding pattern. Note, I don’t have the goal to live on the beach forever. Now that is something different. And the beach would matter. A deserted beach in tent in Mexico right in front of an epic left point? no. Malibu? different question.

When I signed up for this goal, I was in transition and living on the beach for a year to figure stuff out sounded good. It no longer does.

Posted by Martin at 8:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Found the new all consuming javascript

It is under "edit your account" on 43.allconsuming.net. Along with the import function for your old all consuming account. This is not where I would put it. Why not put a link to it on the page where you are editing your "consuming now" list?

Ok, got it working now. But of course I have some comments:

1. I like the ability to specify all or only some tags. But it would be nice to have even more control. Like for example if I could rate things on a 1-5 scale and only display my 1's or my 5's. That would be cool to have on my blog different buttons. What I love (the 1's), what I hate (the 5's), etc.
2. Nice that you can change the number of items in your list, but not nice that you cant use "all". I put "all" instead of a number of items in the list and the list rendered empty. Now my list will vary in length as I add things and as I delete things. If I want my complete list I shouldn't have to limit it before hand. So I put in a large number (15) and it only showed the number in list (8). I half expected to see 7 blank lines, but you guys are better programmers than that. So good in fact, that I bet you can figure out how to implement a more elegant solution for "all" entries.

Posted by Martin at 7:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bravo new All Consuming!

When I got back from the holiday weekend I had a very much anticipated e-mail from Erik in my in-box! He has integrated All Consuming with 43things.

Now while I would have rather Erik sold it to me (i DID make an offer), being integrated with 43Things and expanded beyond books to movies, albums and more is the right thing to do. I am VERY glad to see this happen and look forward to using the new All consuming that much more.

But before you get the idea this is a love fest, here is the part my faithful readers always expect: The Gotchas:

1. The importation process of your old allconsuming.net account into your 43.allconsuming.net account is not easy ot find. It should be on EVERY page of the new site. Takes too much hunting.

2. The import process is not seemless. It got my read books fine. But the new site only has "consumed" or "being consumed". so the ones I marked "not completed" were tranfered as "being consumed". What I want is a "I tasted it and it was shit so I spat it out" option.

3. The dates are not easy to find on imported entries. When I was going through the ones that were imported incorrectly and trying to mark them as "consumed" I couldn't find the dates of my last entry. That was the date that I abandoned it. Would be nice if this were the default or something.

4. I know you guys are tied in with Amazon, how bout importing my book reviews from there? I know I asked Erik about this before, maybe now you have the resources.

5. It is non-obvious how to set up a java script include from the new site. This is one of my favorite tricks of allconsuming and I hope to continue to use it. come on guys, you can afford the bandwidth now!

Posted by Martin at 7:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Where is the Renewable Energy money?

Tired of reading about all this government money available for renewable energy but don't know how to find it? Well fortunately this vertical is fairly well organized and has their own database of state programs which support renewable energy here: DSIRE: DSIRE Home. Reading this I see that Washington state is sorely lacking. Probably because we are totally spoiled with cheap hydro from BPA. But that will change soon.

Posted by Martin at 9:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2005

More meat for the NPU fire

Haven't posted about NPUs for some time. I remain extremely bullish on my investment in IP Fabrics. Last week Raza Microelectronics finally "officially" unveiled their high end NPU which I had heard rumors for some time. No surprise that Warburg Pincus is behind it with Beau Vrolyk on the board. Beau an I have often bashed brains about the future of NPUs and what will happen with the hardware and software. Nice to be able to talk publicly about something I have known about for over a year. This is a good thing for the NPU market. After a year of major vendor pull-back from the NPU market and Intel taking all the marbles, it is good to have a new entrant.

Here is Linley's summary of the announcement:

===Raza Discloses Powerful Processor, EoS Chip
At Spring Processor Forum, stealth startup Raza Microelectronics (RMI) announced its much-anticipated multicore processor, known as the XLR. This powerful device contains eight MIPS64 processors operating at speeds up to 1.5GHz. Although it was announced only this week, the XLR has been sampling since December.

Like most network processors, the XLR uses multithreading to improve the efficiency of its scalar CPUs while processing many packets in parallel.
(David Hass, the XLR's architect, was formerly an architect at Nexsi, a failed NPU startup also funded by Raza.) Each XLR CPU switches among four threads, for a total of 32 threads on the chip. The XLR is the only commercially available MIPS processor to implement multithreading.

Along with its high-speed CPUs, the XLR contains 2MB of cache memory and a crypto engine capable of 10Gbps of AES, 3DES, SHA-1, or MD5 encryption. It supports 12.8GB/s of peak bandwidth to DDR2 SDRAM or RLDRAM. The processor connects to the rest of the system through two integrated 10GbE MACs or four integrated GbE MACs as well as other high-speed interfaces. RMI quotes a list price of $850 for the high-end XLR but offers lower-cost versions with fewer CPUs and other restricted capabilities.

The company positions the XLR for a wide range of control-plane and data-plane applications. The chip is well suited for high-end control-plane designs; compared with Broadcom's BCM1480, the XLR offers more CPUs, more clock speed, and multithreading for a lower price. We do not, however, expect the XLR to displace traditional NPUs from Layer 3/4 routing applications, due to the XLR's greater cost and power dissipation and incomplete software solution. Instead, we see the XLR competing with Cavium's Octeon in data-plane applications that require greater per-packet processing, such as security (intrusion prevention/antivirus), IP storage, and web switching. Octeon lacks the XLR's multithreading capability but offers a hard-wired DFA engine, useful in many security applications.

At the same time, RMI also introduced its Orion chip, designed to provide packet service over the Sonet/SDH network. The Orion family includes products for OC-3, OC-12, or OC-48 Sonet rates and 8 FE ports, 2 GbE ports, or 3 T3/E3 packet ports. The Orion architecture consists of a Sonet/SDH mapper and an Ethernet interface. The mapper includes a Sonet/SDH framer, pointer processor, VCAT (virtual concatenation), LCAS, and GFP framer. The Ethernet interface includes MACs, MAC forwarding, and a traffic manager for 2K flows. The chip may be used for Ethernet over Sonet (EoS) or to switch Ethernet traffic.

Although vendors such as PMC-Sierra and TranSwitch have been shipping data-mapping products for similar applications, RMI offers a highly integrated chip with sophisticated traffic-management capabilities that include dual-bucket policing, random early discard, and shaping. As a late entrant, RMI's challenge is to use Orion's unique features to establish a position in this nascent market. --LG/JB

Complete coverage of Cavium's Octeon and similar processors appears in our report "A Guide to High-Speed Embedded Processors."

Posted by Martin at 8:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hats off to Ross Mayfield

Ross is again pioneering new ground by going against the grain and trusting the blogsphere when announcing his venture financing: Tech-Confidential: Flacking by blog. I have got to hand it to Ross, this is a very cool move. In my experience, giving this kind of information to the main-stream Venture media only tends to bring phone calls from accountants, lawyers and bankers anyway. Why not give the scoop to the blogsphere? I am going to do this on my next financing...

Posted by Martin at 7:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2005

How important power is to technology...

I remember when we choose a new office for Loudeye, we didn't much consider the power requirements. We figured we were right smack dab in the middle of the city and we coul get all the power we could ever want right? Wrong. The building only had 800 amps. We needed something like 2000. The local power vault for the block wasn't big enough. Know what you have to do to get more power? That's right, pay for a grid upgrade for your whole block! So we did.

Google knows this. This guy: phil ringnalda dot com: Just how much power does Google need? dug into the Google purchase of some land in The Dalles Oregon right next to the BPA hydro dam. That's right, a steady supply of power for a data center. If you are going to have a Google size data center you need a Google of power and you can't get that everywhere. Access to clean affordable electricity is increasingly becomming THE critical issue in large compute farms.

Posted by Martin at 5:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2005

Social networking software...

I am always interested to see how an hour conversation with a reporter gets parsed in a story. Recently, I spoke to Josh Jaffe at The Deal about social networking software. My comments got wrapped up into a wide ranging story from Blogs to social networking to collaborative software to wikis here: Blogs and social networks and wikis, oh my! | Josh Jaffe The Deal. If I knew that I would have had more to say. The thrust of my conversations with the reporter were around how collaborative architectures are uniquely able to solve many of the emergind distributed problems on the internet. Like SPAM, viruses and fraud. Having over a million people "sensors" voting on what SPAM is gives Cloudmark a level of intelligence and responsiveness that simply is not possible with any other single CPU based algorithm. I believe this is a fundamental, powerful and underappreciated aspect of distributed network collaboration architectures.

Josh got my comments right, but hid them in a long article. Nice to see my friends Sifry and Ross in there though!

Posted by Martin at 10:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

GotLogos, a great resource

Thanks Kevin Kelly for the pointer to: Logo Design by Got Logos - Custom Logo Design at Incredible Prices. It fits in very well with my ongoing theme of how do you start a professional company DIRT CHEAPLY. I remember when I had the Encoding.com logo designed, a local design firm did it for about $5,000. Then I found out that it was not work for hire and later had to pay $12,000 to own the design free and clear in all it's form. The old design firm trick is to retain ownership of the design and you have to go back to them every time you want to use it anywhere for anything. For the Loudeye logo we paid over $50,000. I like $25 much better.

Posted by Martin at 8:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

American Ex-pat in Japan sounds the warning on peak oil

Bill Totten is a well respected ex-pat living in Japan. He recently posted: Bill Totten's Weblog: The Likely Impact of Global Oil Peak on the United States a very long very pessimistic view of what is going to happen to America due to their current energy policy and dependence on foreign oil. In the first half he lays out the current state of our dependance (no argument here). In the second part he predicts lots of dire consequences due to limited public policy options. At the same time, I just finished reading The Bottomless Well, which predicted an infinite supply of power (mostly focusing on electricity) due mainly to American ingenuity and the transition from a mechanical world to a silicon world. I tend to agree with the later more. America will innovate our way out of this. Especially as more and more of the very smart people from out last great revolution (technology) set their sights on this problem. Most traditional energy analysis models vastly underestimate the effect on demand that the conversion to a silicon economy is bringing. The BTU consumption is steadilly shifting from oil as a fuel to electricity as the fuel (generated centrally by coal or nuclear). Transportation is the last great outpost of oil dependancy and even that category is being affected by the silicon economy (Prius, solid state drive trains, etc.). When you factor in those effects, the picture is less bleak, but no less urgent.

Posted by Martin at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The full Cantwell press release on Biofuels


Posted by Martin at 9:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Senator Cantwell proposes more Biodiesel incentives for Washington

She was down at the new Biodiesel station in Laurelhurst: komo news | The Push For Cheaper Alternative Fuel. With the price of biodiesel already close to the price of regular diesel, this ammendment (if she has the chops to get it passed) would ensure that is is 30-50 cents CHEAPER. Very cool. I understand she is taking some Seattle Biodiesel to the Senate floor this week to help make her case.

Posted by Martin at 8:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2005

Bush to tour Biodiesel refinery in Virginia

I hear alot of people talk down the President on biodiesel, but my in my experience he is a strong supporter of biodiesel. Now the whitehouse has him visiting a biodiesel refinery in Virginia as part of trying to get congress to pass his energy bill. TimesDispatch.com | Bush plans to tour biodiesel refinery. True this is mostly a publicity stunt and his energy bill is much more about oil drilling and coal than alternatives, but there is over $2B in there for alternatives. The Energy Bill promotes energy that can be gotten very quickly. For as much as I love Biodiesel, it is still a gamble to get all the pieces together. If the industry had to produce 1B gallons tomorrow, it would be VERY difficult.

Posted by Martin at 6:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 11, 2005

New biodiesel pumps in Seattle

PSBJ broke the story this morning: New biodiesel fueling station opens in U District - 2005-05-10. And it got a mention on the local NPR station. I am an investor in Seattle Biodiesel who will be providing the fuel, so it is good to see more retail outlets. NPR got the price of biodiesel wrong though. They quoted $3.50 per gallon for B100, and that is the prevailing price, but due to some recent tax incentives that this new station will be passing along, the price is going to be under $3.00. At one station in Tacoma it is $2.45 per gallon. With regular diesel at $2.70, Biodiesel, the cleaner, renewable direct replacement alternative is now CHEAPER! Now that is an innovation that will drive adoption.

Posted by Martin at 9:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2005

Now here is a disturbing site

How much do you think your region sends away every day to buy oil and natural gas? Well the web has an answer for the Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho). It is over $30M per day, more than we spend on public K-12 education, three times our state budget deficits, and most importantly, more than our traditional industries (logging and lumber) bring back into the industry. Money spent on fossil fuels is forfeited from the Northwest's economy. The site also offers a newsletter to stay up on local events related to oil imports. This is an excellent example of local action.

Posted by Martin at 7:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The latest in offshoring

You have heard of outsourcing offshore and nearshore, but what about to a ship? Outsourcing off Los Angeles?. It was bound to happen eventually. Some guy is going to rent a huge ship and fill it with the best cheap programmers he can find and park it exactly at the edge of US waters (out of range of H1B visa) but close enough for clients to pop over on the launch for a meeting. Well that solves many of the time issues.

Posted by Martin at 12:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 9, 2005

Set America Free has a plan

I have been posting for some time that we need a new national plan on the scale of taking a man to the moon to get America off dependence on foreign sources of energy. Many others are also picking up this refrain. Now I find one idea for a "blueprint" to do just this: blueprint.pdf. A little heavy on the conservation side and some specific technologies like Plugable Hybrids, but the general thrust is accurate I believe. It is fuel source diversification. Leverage existing infrastructure and diversify the fuel sources. That means Biodiesel and Ethanol through exisiting fueling infrastructures. That means figuring out clean coal. Let's get going!

Posted by Martin at 10:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Edrive Systems is commercializing the hackable Hybrid

These guys: EDrive are trying to commercialize the Plugable Hybrid system I have posted about before for the Prius. They are going to have to have a clean, easy to install package for Prius owners. I bet they won't get around the Prius warranty which will be the major barrier. They replace the batteries and reprogram the computer. I would install one, but don't know if it will be a big business. Cool application though.

They are doing for "demonstration purposes only" now at "substantial cost". To get them to market cost and scale will be a pretty big investment. Not one I would make as a VC because you have a monopoly (toyota) who can totally FUD your customers into not buying. I wish them luck though.

Posted by Martin at 9:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 6, 2005

Considering LEDs to replace incandescent bulbs

I am considering putting LED based light bulbs in all my house to replace all the incandescent bulbs. The primer on how LED's work and their comparison to incandescent is here. Apparently these guys: Welcome to LEDbulbs - LED lamps and LED Bulbs are the leader in selling the bulbs. Look for a review soon.

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

May 3, 2005

Novozymes and NREL announce 30-fold reduction in ethanol

www.novozymes.com announced on April 14 that in the lab they have created ethanol from cellulose at 0.10-0.18 per gallon. Since the bogey is 0.80 per gallon to be competitive, this is a MAJOR advancement. In technology my bogey is a 10x improvement over the old process. This is 30x. Now it is in the lab and there is alot of other stuff to get this process into a commercial setting at scale, so the cost will probably go up. But there seems to be room for some of that overhead. I wonder when this will be in the field.

Posted by Martin at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 2, 2005

Iogen close to opening first Cellulose Ethanol plant

Iogen recently announced that it has opened a small plant and is looking for a place to build a $300M 50M gallon plant. What is the difference between Cellulose Ethanol and regular corn Ethanol? Cellulose ethanol is made from all the left over stuff of farming and timber. All the stalks left in the field, old woodships, whatever. Stuff that is today burned or left to rot. Corn ethanol actually takes alot of processing and, well, corn. Iogen now has 170 people, KP, Royal Dutch Shell and others as investors. Would have been good to be in that one early. But then again early was 1970 and I bet there have been a few re-caps along the way...

Posted by Martin at 9:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Going Biodiesel for my comuter car

While Rich is optimizing for bike and large family hauling, I am optimizing for around town economical driving with biodiesel. So fter reading the TDI forum alot: TDIClub forums: Viewing forum: New Beetle TDIs, I had the Beetle TDI itch. Have been itching to buy another TDI (after the Touareg). Sunday I decided to get the New Beetle and called all over town (Seattle). Found a great one at University VW, Platinum Grey, DSG Auto, leather, Xenon, MonSoon, etc. Being the end of the month they were dealing and I just went down and picked it up.

After some searching here, I ordered the following upgrades:
Weathertech rubber trunk liner black (TVA)
VW Splash gaurds (TVA)
fog lamp covers - the metal mesh, are the solid orange ones better?(TVA)
Clear G2 tail lamps (TVA)
TVA aluminum sport locks (an impulse) (TVA)
and the RocketChip (rocketchip)

Just filled it up at Dr. Dan. He had a cool chrome "Biodiesel" emblem to put on instead of a TDI emblem. I like it...

here are the pics.

Posted by Martin at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack