27 February 2006

Internet TV Reborn

There's just way too much cool stuff going on right now. Here's some more. Democracy Player is a piece of software that combines bit torrent technology with RSS and video to create a high resolution internet television experience that has to be seen to be believed.

I think it's excellent not only because it's cool to have free, meaningful programs to watch but because it hints at the future. A future where people contribute because they want to, because they love it and it's fun. Not because they think they are going to get rich. While the networks and RIAA squabble over IP rights people are putting the technology to work to create free content. After all, content really boils down to conversation, and it is starting to seem silly to pay for content when there's so much free content, so many free conversations to become part of.

Oh yeah, it's free and it's open source. :-)

23 February 2006

Has Blogging Run out of Steam?

Trevor Butterworth posts this article about how blogging is dying and how it's never going to overthrow mainstream media.

In my opinion he completely misses the point. He is a mainstream media writer. He seems to think that people are attempting to blog for a living and that if there's no business model, there's no point. The point is this: it's a conversation. That's it. If you don't think conversation is important in it's own right then I recommend "The Cluetrain Manifesto". In fact I recommend it anyway.

The conversation may head to commercial gains but it often does not and is not expected to. Blogging, if it intended to have any commercial value at all, typically generates money from the halo effect, similar to open source software. Yes, some blogs are not that interesting, but many are. And now with podcasts and video blogs, it seems clear to me that although CNN is probably at no risk, neither are the 4 million or so or so blogs out there.

The really interesting thing is that he put a link at the bottom of his post that links to a blog that he setup specifically to capture comments for this article. ;-)

20 February 2006

The Google Future

A new article on CNNMoney.com predicts four possible Google futures. Well worth the read for those of us that subscribe to the ways of the "do no evil" guys.

13 February 2006

Multi-Touch Interaction Research

I am big fan of great user interfaces. I have written before about how interface design progress has been severely stunted by the web. I happen to think that PDAs, the only widespread users of consumer touch screen technology have been severly stunted by the BlackBerry. I know people who use them, love them, but seriously... it can't be because of their user interface.

Here is some really intersting progress on the touch screen front sent to me by ceilingtiles. Check out the movie demo.
Multi-Touch Interaction Research

10 February 2006

Caterina.net: GoogleTalk transcripts not only freaky, but potentially illegal

Catarina points out some privacy issues with regard to chat recording in this article Caterina.net: GoogleTalk transcripts not only freaky, but potentially illegal.

I wonder if it's legal for me to turn chat recording on at all since I don't usually say to the person I am chatting with, "Is it OK with you if I record this chat?" No, I just have it turned on, because it's the default and it might be handy some time.

Skype (no, I don't work for them) encrypts the data from point to point so there's nothing to record except on the client machines, so there's no issue about third parties snooping but still, maybe we should be asking for peoples permission to record our chat conversations with them.

Mini Review: The Big Moo : Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable: Books: The Group of 33,Seth Godin

Seth Godin has put together a tasty little book telling us that to have a remarkable business (and I would argue a remarkable life) you need to give up being perfect. Give up being all things to all people. Give up going after that big market because there is no big market. Give up being boring.

There are many, many individuals and niches just waiting to be explored. How, be remarkable. Decide what you are up to and find a way to be remarkable at it. This book will not disappoint.

It's also about an attitude. A new attitude that seems to be emerging in technology, psychology, science and in some (very succesful) businesses. An attitude that there's more to life than profits. There's more than me first. Sharing, helping and grace are becoming the new competitive edge. You can't treat customers like cogs anymore.

What̢۪s remarkable about this book? It was written by 33 volunteers, all business and marketing and life gurus, assembled and fostered by Seth and 100% of the revenues are being donated to charity. I think that̢۪s remarkable.

Check it out here: Amazon.com: The Big Moo : Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable: Books: The Group of 33,Seth Godin

I am going to buy 10 copies to give away.