Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2007

My Two Wheeled Partner

Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle , a good look at my typical morning commute , as well as Charles, my co-founder of Loyalty Lab and the inspiration for my two wheeled commuting. (Psst...he's the one in the spandex in the photo.)

A Good Virus

Viral email. Viral websites. All examples of good viruses. Want another? Gmail solicited and got a viral video , showing how a Gmail really gets from the sent folder to the recipient's inbox. Savor and enjoy.

Way to go, JetBlue

We recently flew JetBlue back from Boston. While my flight was only marred by a finicky TV (fixed with an attendant's handily supplied folded up cardboard insert that defied electronic physics but worked), Amy's was much worse: no TV's on the flight worked at all. None. Coast to coast, with no DirecTV? Man, I may sound spoiled, but at least I have my laptop and movies with me; no such luck for Amy. Luckily, that new Harry Potter kept her entertained, but yeesh . What came in the email this AM? Check it out: Dear Amybeth, Thank you for flying with JetBlue Airways on flight #477 from Boston on August 17, 2007. We apologize that the DIRECTV® programming was inoperable during your flight. As a gesture of apology and goodwill, we have issued each customer on your flight a $15 JetBlue electronic voucher. When you are ready to use your voucher, please call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) with your confirmation number XXXXXXXXX for this flight. The voucher is for you and is non-transfe

Twitter, meet Facebook

A short while ago, I blogged about the overwhelming and, in my opinion, unjustified hype about Facebook . My opinion still remains the same: Facebook is still way too much of a closed network to take advantage of many of the obviously better properties of Web 2.0. It does have one effective by product, however: all that hype is driving critical mass. That means more people will use Facebook than other, more elegant solutions. It also means they don't have to embrace open standards: they can command a large enough audience to force other sites to create Facebook "applications" and include them in their buried infrastructure, as that's where the eyeballs are. Take status updates, for example. Twitter seems to be waning in popularity, as Facebook is waxing. Sure, Facebook status updates are there, but they lack the sheer usability of Twitter. Can I get SMS updates of my friends' status messages? Who knows: on Facebook, you might be able to, but it's infinitely ha

Finally! Good Uses Of the Web In Video Games

Since the major consoles and all PC's are almost sure to be connected to the Web these days, I've always been surprised that there have not been more developers taking advantage of the connected nature. EA, the largest maker of video games, finally has started to play in the space, introducing the ability to have the real-world weather affect the conditions in a game you are playing. While limited to NCAA Football right now, "EA is encouraged by the weather feature's popularity and will add it to Madden and the entire sports portfolio soon." More interesting are some of the other areas EA has been playing in this regard that I was unaware of, including the ESPN sports ticker running live along the bottom of the screen, displaying real-world realtime information, and...gasp...automatic roster updates!!! But take this further: Grand Theft Auto could advertise upcoming movies on billboards, and have them change as the release dates change. Need For Speed could in

A Sharper Guillotine Blade

As Richard Solo waxes, it appears my old mates at The Sharper Image are headed for an ignominious end. With rumors of bankruptcy in the Ionic Breeze-laden air, investors are dumping stock, and the lawsuits are looming large. Personally, having invested a decade of my life in the company's success, I'd hate to see it end this way, but it sure seems headed that way. What's needed now is an investment group to buy the company, liquidate/reduce the footprint of the stores, and focus on relaunching the brand as an online destination. For instance, a line of products from Engadget and Gizmodo: focus on taking preorders for the Optimus Keyboard, and the like. A clearing house for new, cool and hip products: Japanese phones, concept products, mixed with old reliables like USB-powered devices at low prices. And finally, they would need to mix the business model: RSS feeds of the cool blogs with pay per click ad revenue, mixed with revenue from product sales and affiliate commission

Your Second Life Comes SECOND

Um. I don't know what to say. There are so many ways to look at this article from WSJ about a man's Second Life "marriage" interfering with his real life, I hardly know where to begin. For instance, when did the Wall Street Journal become the Jerry Springer Show (Rupert??? Hello????)? Why did these people agree to all participate in the article, knowing they'd be exposed for the absolute insane people they are? And, most of all, given the clearly irreconcilable differences here, why is this not just a case for a quickie divorce? Read for yourself to see a cross section of online society becoming a supermarket tabloid: Is This Man Cheating on His Wife? Alexandra Alter on the toll one man's virtual marriage is taking on his real one and what researchers are discovering about the surprising power of synthetic identity. By ALEXANDRA ALTER August 10, 2007; Page W1 On a scorching July afternoon, as the temperature creeps toward 118 degrees in a quiet suburb east o

Closed is NOT the new Open

Seth Goldstein is a man who's views on Web 2.0 I tend to value. His blog recently proclaimed that "closed is the new open." In essence, that closed networks, like Facebook and MySpace, done right, are better than the random collection of open network tools, like Flickr and Twitter. Apologies to Seth, but I most vociferously have to disagree. Case in point: today's launch of Plaxo 's Pulse network. I'm a big fan of Plaxo, as it solves one of the most frustrating problems of people like myself with large contact lists: it creates the ability for someone to update their information in one place, and Plaxo subscribers immediately have their address books updated with the new information. Although my 7000+ contacts seem to frequently cause performance issues with it, I have stuck with them, and even upgraded to some of their premium services. For instance, the ability to immediately be reminded of an upcoming birthday, and send an e-card, personalized. Fantastic

24 hours of Travel = endless stories.

Random thoughts from a recent whirlwind business trip to Cincinnati (24 hours; 12 of it on a plane): United's 777's are huge . With a 2-5-2 seating configuration and three separate sections in Economy, each the size of a normal 737, this thing packs them in. However, it is easily one of the most poorly designed planes I have ever been on: - The seats in Economy are so tightly packed, it's insulting. Especially when you compare to JetBlue or even Southwest. - Why don't people ever learn that design and compromise almost never go well together ( Ayn Rand taught us this, folks.) For instance, who's the brain surgeon who said "we want a multimedia system at every seat in Economy" and then followed it up with putting a metal case the size of a desktop PC under every seat? This lovely setup gives you a choice: a place to put your bag, or a place to put your feet. Nope, you can't do both. Outstanding. - Those first class "pods" are truly something