Monday, August 31, 2009


Firstrade: Online Brokerage Firm
Simple and affordable. For you. For the casual and serious investor alike. One of the lower charging online brokers. 10,000 types of mutual funds offered.

Firstrade: Online Brokerage Firm
This is a great online only place for early investors. It is cheap, it is easy. They don't ask for a minimum amount in the thousands of dollars before you can start investing.

The site is very easy to navigate. It scores high on functionality. Firstrade does stocks, bonds, mutual funds. Many reviewers have ranked it above Schwab, Ameritrade and Etrade.

Anil Dash On Google Wave

Image representing Anil Dash as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

Best Of Anil Dash
Anil Dash: What Works: The Web Way vs. The Wave Way
Google Wave is an impressive set of technologies ..... whether Wave will succeed as overall in becoming a popular standard for communications on the web ...... I think the answer is no, and the reason is because the Wave way is not compatible with the Web way. ...... When RSS feeds were new, it was easy to understand their potential immediately ........ Combines chat, document editing, and message threading — wikis + blogs + comments + IM ....... Delivered as a very polished rich user interface
Bill Gates, Chrome OS, Natal, Wave
Blog Carnival: Google Wave
The Google Wave Developer Community Will Be Vibrant
Five Blind Men And Google Wave
Google Wave: Organizations Will Go Topsy Turvy

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September 2009 NY Tech MeetUp

A special talk by Dan Bricklin, co-inventor of the spreadsheet, followed by an interview with web luminary Anil Dash.

Demos of mind-blowing tech developed at our local universities:

- GreenDot (computer vision tech developed at NYU)
- CuZero (advanced video search developed at Columbia)
- Musically Intelligent Machines (developed at Columbia)
- "Teaching Robots to See" (technology developed at NYU)

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What's The Big Deal About Real Time?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Real time has been all the rage. Twitter opened up the Pandora's box. Now everyone wants to do everything real time. The fact that something is real time seems to be more valuable than the content thus delivered. I think this whole thrust for real time is the web wanting to reach its promise. If some event took place 10,000 miles away, I should know about it in real time. That just makes sense. So, no, my attempt is not to belittle real time.

I have tried to content from another angle. What if there were a search engine that would take minutes to find exactly what I am looking for, or even days, months? What if I am doing cutting edge research and there are unanswered questions. I don't know where the answer will come from, but once it does, I want to be able to know, in real time. But can I put my query in now, and have my search query result delivered to me when it is finally available? The result should come to me no matter where it pops up on the web. That is real time, but then it is not. That would be a really smart search engine that knows exactly what I am looking for, and that keeps searching, and that is still searching when the right result is not available yet. But once it is, the engine delivers me the result. In real time.

I want to be talking to people I don't personally know, I want to be talking to dead people, I want to be talking to people not yet born. With real time, sometimes you can get caught among people you already know. That is not a bad thing, but that is such an incomplete circle.

Twitter Should Hand Over Search To Google
Search: The Human Vs. The Machine
InRev TwitIn Now Does People Search
Dynamic PageRank And Real Time Search
Microblogging Search: What Took Google So Long?
Square Search
Blogger Search Gadget: What Took You So Long?
Wolfram Alpha: An Answer Engine, Not A Search Engine
Real Time Search: Twitter Is Not Doing It

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Friday, August 28, 2009

CubanSpeak: Controversial Take On Entrepreneurs

Success & Motivation: What Entrepreneurs Should NOT Do Mark Cuban

If you got a billion dollars, and you claim you have people pitch business plans to you every day, I believe you. But I don't have to take the rest of the rant.

Cuban's blog post tells me it is as hard to be an investor as it is to be an entrepreneur. How do you figure out which horse to bet on? Even the obvious ones are not obvious, or Yahoo would have bought Google when Google offered to be bought not long after launch.

If you want to keep your money safe, keep saying no. You will have your treasure minus the inflation. But if you are wanting to grow your money, or even grow it like crazy, then not being able to find that dark horse must really itch.

And as for tall talk, only a handful of companies engage in paradigm shift products and services in each generation. It is hard to spot them, it is hard to get in once you do spot them. But a young Steve Jobs always talked in terms of changing the world, and changing the course of world history. He did deliver. He invented an industry.

How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? That is harder than picking the winning stocks on the stock market. You need instincts, instincts that deliver.

On Business Models: Free Is Not Always Good
Free Is The Future: Picking A Fight With Mark Cuban

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Memory Upgrade

For memory upgrades for your Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Sony and Toshiba machines. For your server, laptop, Mac, or PC.
The upgrades are factory original. Ensure peak performance. Upgrade now.

I don't know if someone told you, but we now live in a link economy. You might have great content, you might even be a big brand from the pre-web era, but unless many many websites and blogs link to you, you are not going to show up high in the Google search results. And if you don't, it is like you are not even around.

Links are all the rage. Links are the currency that the web economy thrives on. Link building is a fundamental activity. If you are convinced link building is important, and are now looking to learn how to do it, one great option you have is to visit that lists hundreds of articles, blogs, and websites that will help you with the exercise.

CubanSpeak: Change And The Internet

The Internet is about to change Mark Cuban WebHooks or PubSubHubBub

The billionaire is bold in his assertions as usual. He is not always right, but he is always confident. More often than not, he is right. He likes to challenge assumptions. He likes to break away from the flock.

I don't think the internet has been dead and boring at any point. It has gotten more and more exciting over time. But I can sure do with more excitement, if that is what Mark means.

WebHooks and PubSubHubBub look promising. Sure. But there is some hyperbole in the original declaration. Hey, but then that is Mark Cuban talking.

The two promise to take real time to a whole new level. That sure is exciting. I am sure the two will be but members of a large family of similar applications. These are exciting times we live in.

On Business Models: Free Is Not Always Good
Free Is The Future: Picking A Fight With Mark Cuban

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The FriendFeed, Facebook Merger

The Would-Be FFugees Shouldn’t Pack Up And Find A New Home Just Yet TechCrunch

Facebook buying FriendFeed has been one of the more exciting developments in tech as of recent. There has been much speculation as to if Facebook did it for the talent or the product. It has to be both. Facebook had been copying little features here and there from FriendFeed. So why not go all the way and acquire?

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

If you think social media is a sideshow, possibly even a distraction, then this is hum-ho news. But if you think social media is no hype, that it is a big deal, like I do, this is a huge deal. This merger is a big deal.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

But this is not a Twitter killer merger like some have been suggesting. Twitter is in a slightly different space. FriendFeed was half way between FriendFeed and Facebook in terms of functionalities. It was a choice between imitating Twitter and acquiring FriendFeed. Facebook made the right choice.

Facebook Landgrab: A Friday Midnight Call
Facebook And Mashable: Social Media And Social Media Blog
Is Google Wave Social Enough To Challenge Facebook, Twitter?
Facebook's Ad Space Is Different
Facebook Faceoff Firefox
Fractals: Apple, Windows 95, Netscape, Google, Facebook, Twitter
What Should Facebook Do

Facebook buys FriendFeed: Is this a big deal? CNet
Facebook Acquires FriendFeed (Updated) TechCrunch

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bing + Yahoo + Wolfram Alpha

What Wolfram Alpha Really Did This Summer: Struck A Deal With Bing. TechCrunch Google, which has a geek rivalry with Wolfram over the growing area of using structured data to improve search results. ..... Wolfram Alpha is not as approachable as Bing ...... Wolfram Alpha is the “technological equivalent of a boring uncle ...... In the end, Wolfram could have more luck licensing its data to other search engines than bringing people to its site, despite the surge in “fall traffic” Stephen Wolfram is still hoping for.
Ganging up on Google, eh?

I guess it makes sense for three small search players to gang up and see if they can dent Google's huge lead. But ultimately it is about the user experience. If Yahoo is at 20% and Bing at 10% and Wolfram Alpha at 1%, if they gang up, it is not necessarily true that the combined property will take 31% of the search market. Combined they are still but one product. And users are going to decide if they want to keep using Google for search, or they want to switch to this other product.

Bing has been more of a presentation of search results rather than core search innovation, but that still counts. And, boy, the marketing. I guess that is also innovation, just not in search.

Search is raw. There is so much room for growth and innovation. And Google knows that to be the case.

Twitter Should Hand Over Search To Google
Search: The Human Vs. The Machine
InRev TwitIn Now Does People Search
Dynamic PageRank And Real Time Search
Microblogging Search: What Took Google So Long?
Square Search
Blogger Search Gadget: What Took You So Long?
Wolfram Alpha: An Answer Engine, Not A Search Engine
Real Time Search: Twitter Is Not Doing It
Distributed Search

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Something's Rotten, It's Not The Fish

The Truth: What’s Really Going On With Apple, Google, AT&T And The FCC TechCrunch how the Google Voice application hurts “the iPhone’s distinctive user experience.” ..... over the last few months Apple expressed dismay at the number of core iPhone apps that are powered by Google. Search, maps, YouTube, and other key popular apps are powered by Google. Other than the browser, Apple has little else to call its own other than the core phone, contacts and calendar features. The Google Voice App takes things one step further, by giving users an incentive to abandon their iPhone phone number and use their Google Voice phone number instead (transcription of voicemails is reason enough alone). Apple was afraid, say our sources, that Google was gaining too much power on the iPhone
This is a generational conflict. Apple and Google belong to two different generations of tech. This small iPhone app conflict is symbolic. The larger conflict between the two brands is to be seen in the smartphone arena where Apple sees the phone as a smaller desktop, and Google suggests there is nothing much to download, all apps should be web-based.

A happy ending would be if the costs for calls start sliding down dramatically. How do you do that? Serve ads like for search.

Weekend Reading
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Twitter Should Hand Over Search To Google

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

For Twitter, Sharing Data With Google Would Be Suicide TechCrunch on Twitter giving Google their firehose feed ..... if Twitter was a publicly traded stock its value would drop by 75% the second that deal was announced
Google, Facebook and Twitter do not exactly inhabit the same space. Google does search, Facebook does social graph, Twitter is about tweets, the atoms of real time social interaction.

Why can't I search my Facebook wall? If you have been active on Facebook for a few

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

years, you would have a rather elaborate wall. How do you dig into that wall to find something? The same applies to other parts of my Facebook page. I don't have that many links like some people I know, but I do have hundreds of notes, but primarily the wall. Facebook should be able to do it in-house, but if it can't, I say bring Google along. Let the search people do search. It is not true that only the latest entries on my wall are relevant to me.

The same applies to Twitter. A close friend of mine who just got on Twitter did a search on my name to want to follow me, and he could not find me! That is awful. If you can't find someone whose name noone else shares, and who has more than 17,000 followers, good luck with the rest of the crowd. And if Twitter search is that bad with names, you can only imagine how bad it is with tweets. I have stopped using Twitter search months ago. There was a time when T

Image representing TechCrunch as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

witter was my bookmark. I would tweet an interesting link and search it up weeks later. Now that has not been an option for months now. What happened? Twitter grew? That should be good news.

Twitter is in dire need of a robust search capability that can comb through all tweets, real time as well from the archives. That should not be hard to do because you are only asking to search through what rests on the Twitter servers. You are not having to index billions of webpages like some others. But Twitter search is not delivering right now. Either do it in-house, I say, or bring in the big dogs of search. For the user to be able to search through all tweets

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

will raise the value of each tweet. That will push tweets more actively out there into the cybersphere, deeper. Tweets will become more integral to the web experience.

I happen to belong to a school of thought that Twitter should let Google handle search. The user will benefit. Tweets will go up in value. And then it would be for Twitter to monetize the value added tweets, and the value added Twittersphere.

I respectfully disagree with Edo Segal on this one.

Twitter Number 115 In New York City
Twitter, TechCrunch, And The Stolen Docs
The Best Follow Friday I Ever Received On Twitter
Space, Time And Twitter: Are There Plant Twitters?
My Twitter Suspension Lifted
Can Tweet Google, Can't Tweet Twitter
Monetizing Twitter: A Few Ideas
How To Increase Your Following On Twitter
Is Google Wave Social Enough To Challenge Facebook, Twitter?
Real Time Search: Twitter Is Not Doing It

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