Category Archives: blog

The End of the Affair on audible.com

Going back to world war II genre…I recently listened to an audio book “The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene.

It was voiced by Colin Firth, who did a bang up job as Maurice Bendrix, the protagonist. With many catholic underpinnings, this book highlights a couple’s struggle with faith, during the bombings of WWII, their ability to cope with their affair, their confrontation with disease and ultimate demise. I highly recommend the audio experience…

end of the affair

iPhones, android, and the new T-Mobile G1

First time in over a year that I am excited again for a new phone / gadget. I will admit, the iPhone has kept me entertained and involved with the continuous stream of apps (currently enjoying the recently downloaded Vicinity), Pandora for music and as always, the photo tool whereby I can show friends snaps from past weekends.

But, I have now had it with that ever frustrating device.  My patience has been expended and my nerves are frayed (not really, but sounded dramatic).  Sometimes my iPhone rings, sometimes calls go straight to voicemail? Hmm, and I rely on my phone for business!  Since this is my third iPhone in under a year, I dont think this specific device is buggy. Its much bigger than that!

NYT Rendering of a Google mobile enthusiast!

NYT Rendering of a Google mobile enthusiast!

Thus, my curiosity for the latest shiny object is (drum roll) the latest android based phone from Google. When does this hit AT&T’s network? Please….soon?! The NYT article suggests it has similar functionality to the iPhone, will enable additional apps that the iPhone (and Apple) prevent (ie free calling via skype type tech) but will not have Flash enabled video?

* Side note: Adobe came out with Flash 10 this week after many months of beta…and yet mobile is so far behind with using Flash? Flash enabled video on the web accounts for 85%+ of all videos viewed according to a recent article….so why isnt the iPhone (or any of these smart-phones) enabling Flash? Obviously to engender the usage of their own core tech…but annoying! Requiring video content publishers to encode in various file formats for the web and then for mobile platforms (expensive and time consuming and limiting adoption)…but that is for another rant!

What are the pitfalls for this new device you ask? As the article suggests, “…where Android really falls down is in the department. There’s no companion program like iTunes to sync your photos, music and videos to the phone; you’re expected to drag these items to the phone manually after connecting via USB cable to your Mac or PC. More time-consuming fussiness.”  Since I sync my life (music, photos, calendar) daily, this could be very problematic?  MocoNews (a PaidContent site) has an interesting review of the feature set.

What I look forward to are the android features: “voice dialing, picture messaging, built-in audio recording and the ability to turn any song into a ring tone are all included — no charge.”

Not earth shattering, but enough fun on long train rides to keep this enthusiast from catching the bored bug. As the Google blog on mobile described in an article titled “The Future of Mobile”, “…. it’s safe to say that the mobile phone may be the most prolific consumer product ever invented.”!

NYT photo of android handset

NYT photo of android handset

Google launches meme tracker

Techcrunch (and Google’s blog) reported today that Google launched a new blog tracker and search site.

I often look at Digg or Yahoo‘s “top search” box on Yahoo’s home page to get a sense of what people are talking about, looking for, etc. Digg may have a delayed effect and Yahoo’s result may be more mainstream than what interests me?

Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search

Will see if Google’s new site surfaces timely and relevant stories or themes “before the masses” and/or at the same time as Drudge (which acts as a proxy for mainstream media).

Advertising and Twitter

We are getting closer to the atomic level of advertising and micro-blogging.

TechCrunch reported on a company called Twittad.com that allows for advertising on a person’s Twitter page. As the article so accurately points out, most folks dont visit individual pages of Twitter’ers. Instead, they read the feed on their own page. At least that is my behavior.Twittad will presumably push an ad into the feed in some form or fashion to make this work?

TwittAd application for micro-blogging monetization

TwittAd application for micro-blogging monetization

Thus, we are getting closer, but not sure this is the elegant solution. The article didnt address third party feed aggregation, such as Facebook. I have 27 people following my Twitter feed, but 448 people on Facebook that theoretically see my Twitter updates (ie my Twitter mentions show up in my Facebook feed as I connected the two).

If you extend this “audience” to my LinkedIn, my blog, etc…the micro audience will seemingly overlap, despite getting marginally larger. How do deal with this will be figured out in short order I believe.

Morgan Stanley’s Internet report – March 2008

Their annual “internet trends” slide show was released and is available in a slide show format on TechCrunch (amongst other places).

Few interesting take-aways for me:

– Enterprise solutions, 15 years ago, used to be of higher quality than consumer facing ones, due to security needs, scalability requirements, etc. (not necessarily the case these days with consumer apps and adoption/usage)

– Usage from 2005 to 2008 has evolved…less ebay and amazon and more social interaction (facebook and live.com) – projecting that forward, what does it mean for penetration and reach?

– Mobile – new computing cycles, consumer focused and application friendly (as the carriers move towards open platforms (he says skeptically) what type of usage patterns and trends begin to evolve?!

Interesting to review the charts and graphs to put into context that we are still at the early stages of a long term growth pattern for our medium, despite the shorter term ebbs and flows of the growth cycle.

Request for a new feature set on WordPress

In my categories box on the wordpress publishing tool, it would be cool if the site dev team built in functionality whereas my typing into the field to create a new tag would autoscroll against the categories/tags I have already placed in my tag cloud.

Thus, it would reduce or remove the scenarios where I am creating new tags that are almost exactly similar to tags created in the past!  Sometimes I just dont want to scroll through the 100s of tags I already have placed in the prior postings looking for the exact description.  Lazy?  Maybe….

“Social Design” blog

One of my interests is design and UI with respect to web sites.  

Often on the web, we build cool, exciting, technically sophisticated applications, tools, products…but often ignore/overlook/dont care about: (a) will the end user be able to use said mentioned product and/or (b) does the design and interface achieve a high degree of value to the end user?

 Here is a site that may be of interest if you have similar curiosities on the subject / domain?  A blog recommended by a Mr. Jomo Moir (head of design for MarketWatch):  http://www.bokardo.com/