Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hello From Flushing

Steve Jobs

I ordered the book. That was months ago. If you know what I mean. And waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I went online to and filed a complaint. I never received the book, I said. I was immediately refunded. I used that money to immediately reorder. This time I was closely tracking the delivery. One notice said, delivery attempted. Two days later the notice said, delivered. Delivered? I never received the book. I went to the post office. They gave me a print out. See? Delivered. They said. I talked to pretty much everyone in the building, including the landlord. No book, nowhere to be found. I figured either the post office lied to me, not very likely, or there is a Steve Jobs fan in the building. Or the delivery man himself is a Steve Jobs fan. I went online to Amazon. This time there was no refund. The book was delivered, they said. I did not get the book, I said.

Oh well, I thought.

Today I bought the book from this sidewalk bookseller. The cover price said 35 dollars. I haggled. I looked interested, then I walked away. The guy came after me. He said 30. I said 25. He said okay. I don't have the cash, I said. I need to get money from the bank. How long, he asked. Five minutes, I said. Then I reached into my pocket. I had 21 dollars. This is all I have, I said. You can have this right away and I will take the book. He thought for a split second. He looked at me. He took the money, and gave me the book. I could not believe it. I had just brought the price down by 14 dollars. When will you be back, he asked. When will you be back with the four dollars? Five minutes, I said. And I walked over to the ATM at the bank on the same block. On my way back I bought a mango lassi for two dollars. So I had a 10 dollar bill, a five dollar bill and three one dollar bills. 20 minus two is 18. I gave him three dollars. I was trying to get one dollar ahead. He took it. Then he grabbed my mango lassi. Can I have it, he asked. Sure, I said. He made it look like he gave me the book for 24 dollars when we had already brought the price down to 25 from 35. Mango lassi does not count for payment, it counts as hospitality.

I don't know if he got one dollar ahead, or I did. But I finally have the book now. This sidewalk bookseller just beat Amazon in delivery - instant - price - really low - and there is no way Amazon can match the experience.

Tip: try haggling.

"Where you from?" I asked as I walked away.


Steve Jobs And NeXT
Steve Jobs — 1955-2011
Steve Jobs Stayed A Pirate
My Disagreements With Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs: 1997
Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs' Departure
An Ode To Steve jobs
Steve Jobs: iPad 2 Announcement
Steve Jobs At A City Council Meeting
How Steve Jobs Gets Things Done
Steve Jobs Should Never Have Been Fired
Steve Jobs: Android Rant
Sculley: Scum

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

60 Milli Seconds

Bathymetric/topographic map of the Arctic Ocea...Bathymetric/topographic map of the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The ocean route might make sense for inter-continental destinations, but I think air is still the best option for dense cities.

ExtremeTech: $1.5 billion: The cost of cutting London-Toyko latency by 60ms
the first ever trans-Arctic Ocean submarine fiber optic cables ...... a smattering of branches that will provide high-speed internet access to a handful of Arctic Circle communities ....... All three cables are being laid for the same reasons: Redundancy and speed. As it stands, it takes roughly 230 milliseconds for a packet to go from London to Tokyo; the new cables will reduce this by 30% to 170ms. This speed-up will be gained by virtue of a much shorter run: Currently, packets from the UK to Japan either have to traverse Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean, or the Atlantic, US, and Pacific, both routes racking up around 15,000 miles in the process. It’s only 10,000 miles (16,000km) across the Arctic Ocean, and you don’t have to mess around with any land crossings, either. ...... The massive drop in latency is expected to supercharge algorithmic stock market trading, where a difference of a few milliseconds can gain (or lose) millions of dollars. It is for this reason that a new cable is currently being laid between the UK and US — it will cost $300 million and shave “just” six milliseconds off the fastest link currently available. The lower latency will also be a boon to other technologies that hinge heavily on the internet, such as telemedicine (and teleconferencing) and education. Telephone calls and live news coverage would also enjoy the significantly lower latency. Each of the fiber optic cables will have a capacity in the terabits-per-second range ..... Currently, almost every cable that lands in Asia goes through a choke point in the Middle East or the Luzon Strait between the Philippine and South China seas. If a ship were to drag an anchor across the wrong patch of seabed, billions of people could wake up to find themselves either completely disconnected from the internet or surfing with dial-up-like speeds. The three new cables will all come down from the north of Japan, through the relatively-empty Bering Sea — and the Arctic Ocean, where each of the cables will run for more than 5,000 miles, is one of the least-trafficked parts of the world. That said, the cables will still have to be laid hundreds of meters below the surface to avoid the tails of roving icebergs
New Scientist: Fibre optics to connect Japan to the UK – via the Arctic
In mid-August, construction should start on the first submarine fibre-optic cables to cross the Arctic Ocean ....... The longest of these links will become the world's longest single stretch of optical fibre. ....... the biggest threats to cables in warmer waters: fishing trawlers and ships' anchors ........ Reduced transmission time will be a boon for high-frequency traders who will gain crucial milliseconds on each automated trade. Optical amplifiers will boost signal strength every 50 to 100 kilometres. The firm also plans to drill a tunnel 40 metres deep to take a shortcut through the Boothia isthmus in the Canadian Arctic ....... Isolated Arctic communities will also be connected by extra sections of cable that branch off from the main one. ........ "choke points" such as the Luzon strait near Taiwan, the strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia, and the crowded and politically unsettled Middle East. ....... Ships must be built to withstand the pounding of ice as well as waves. ...... Icebergs can plough more than a metre into the ocean floor, endangering cables. Greenland's icebergs extend to depths as great as 170 metres below the sea surface, so Arctic Fibre will lay cable at least 600 metres deep in the Davis strait, where icebergs are most likely. The underside of sea ice also has ridges, or "bummocks", that reach depths of 18 metres, so Arctic Fibre aims to stay at least 50 metres down.
Ars Technica: Europe moving 60 ms closer to Japan with new undersea cables
The climate change-induced retreat of Arctic ice has had one positive effect. The Arctic Ocean is now sufficiently navigable that cable-laying ships will be able to plant undersea cables directly linking London with Tokyo. ...... 6 pairs of fibers with a 1.6 Tbit/s capacity per pair will be laid, and minimum latency between London and Tokyo will be 76.58 milliseconds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Venmo In Flight

Human Bird

Source: TechCrunch

Wi-Fi, Tablets And Smartphones

iPad 3G and iPad Wi-FiiPad 3G and iPad Wi-Fi (Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano)The Next Web: New Wi-Fi roaming initiative could soon allow your smart device to connect to hotspots automatically
... could see billions of smartphone and tablet owners effortlessly switch between mobile and Wi-Fi networks, without the hassle of locating hotspot hosts and keying in passwords....... a technical and commercial framework for Wi-Fi roaming, which will use a device’s SIM card to authenticate a device on a Wi-Fi hotspot without any input from the user ...... the initiative could offload mobile data to a residential or business-owned wireless network
And while you are at it, why not also extend this to laptops? Smartphones make sense, tablets make sense. But if you keep the laptop out, the iPad will have even more of a field day.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nexus Tablet

Nexus OneNexus One (Photo credit: pittaya)I am a Google fanboy. How about that! What I don't understand is as to why a good Android phone costs the same as the iPhone. I don't understand why the Nexus phone is not on a Republic Wireless like wi-fi only infrastructure run by Google.

Android and Me: Rumor: Nexus tablet is a “done deal”, to retail for as low as $149

A $150 tablet begs for a $50 smartphone. I don't care if you run ads and have to go below the cost price.

CNET: Google Nexus tablet a ‘done deal,’ claims report
MG Siegler: The Sub-$200 Nexus Tablet
Business Insider: RUMOR: Google Is Getting Ready To Release A $150 Answer To The Kindle Fire

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Britannica's Next Step: Go Free

Britannica just went all digital. But that is not enough. They need to go all free as well. The way to do that is to, well, go free. Add the embed feature. So if I want to embed a paragraph from the Britannica at my blog, I should be able to do it. And when I do it, Britannica gets a link from me. Make it easy to share.

Collect data on users. Run smart ads. Offer high school versions of articles.

Going digital is no longer enough. Go free. There is tremendous money in going free.

Well, they are. For a week. They should extend that to a month, then a year, then decade.

Go digital. Go free. Go mobile. Go social. Do the Spotify thing. I want to know what my friends are reading on Britannica.

Britannica Blog: Change: It’s Okay. Really.
ReadWriteWeb: My Adieu to Britannica Print
In my adult years as I moved about from one place to another the 100-plus pounds of books traveled with me, virtually never opened for casual browsing. I guess I just wanted them nearby. The set crossed the country twice as I moved to Los Angeles, then to New York. Finally, after 20 years I realized that I had to give up this totem of my past and thought that I could sell the set to a library or a collector. Alas, they were worthless, even back in the pre-Wikipedia, pre-Web era, and they went off to be recycled...... Normally, access to the online costs $70 the first year. Finding pricing information on their website isn't easy. .... Perhaps it is fitting that we write about this news today, the birth date of Einstein (you can look it up).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Holi

TechMeme Beats South By

Image representing Livestream as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseSocial Media Week was a fulfilling experience for me. I did the LiveStream plus Twitter thing. I ended up going to only two events overall, I think. But I was otherwise immersed.

I had no desire to become the top global influencer of SXSW, but I did want the LiveStream experience. And I was going to tweet sum, populate the SXSW hashtag.

The first day was disappointing. SXSW does not seem to allow LiveStream. That is so short sighted. The thinking obviously is you pay close to a thousand bucks to show up for the panels and events and parties. You can't watch for free online. That is cable TV thinking, and we all know where cable TVs are headed.

I already knew from before the Kumbha Mela of tech started that hyperlocal connecting was going to be the winning theme. And as for celebrities, Robert Scoble goes everywhere, why only SXSW?

SXSW has not hit me so far. Granted I am holed up in NYC. But something tells me I am going to be in Austin for the first time next year, and, well, we will see.

If the idea is to get the pulse of the tech industry, TechMeme does a better job on a daily basis.

GroupOn Did Not Launch At South By South West
South By South West
This South By South West Thing
SXSW: Not Going


Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Blogosphere Blooms

Česky: Toto je ikona pro sociální síť. Je souč...Image via WikipediaFacebook is like the McDonald's chain. The blogosphere is like the endless number of Chinese restaurants. Collectively the blogosphere is bigger. And that's the way it should be. I am an avid blogger. I am a glad, avid blogger.

Nielsen Wire: Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Blog Readers
.... consumer interest in blogs keeps growing ..... over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006. ...... 6.7 million people publish blogs on blogging websites, and another 12 million write blogs using their social networks. ...... 7 out of 10 bloggers have gone to college .... Women make up the majority of bloggers ..... Bloggers are active across social media: they’re twice as likely to post/comment on consumer-generated video sites like YouTube, and nearly three times more likely to post in Message Boards/Forums within the last month ...... Three out of the top 10 social networking sites in the U.S. – Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr – are for consumer-generated blogs. Blogger is the largest of these sites with more than 46 million unique U.S. visitors during October 2011, making it second only to Facebook in the social networking category, and Tumblr was the fastest-growing social networking or blog site on the top 10, more than doubling its audience since last year from home and work computers to 14 million unique visitors. Overall, these three blogging websites combined for 80 million unique visitors, reaching more than 1 in 4 active online users in the U.S. during October 2011. ..... 92 percent of Pinterest’s audience also visited Mass Merchandiser sites during the same month.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

TicketMonkey: Many Logos Before The Winning Logo

Welcome to The Jungle!

TicketMonkey: When Manick Met Matt
TicketMonkey: Manick And Matt: M&M
Mayor Of TicketMonkey
Manick Bhan: The BhanMan Of TicketMonkey
TicketMonkey "Monk-A-Thon"

More To The Naveen Story

Naveen Leaving FourSquare

You don't want to believe everything you read in the media, but obviously there is more to the Naveen story than first emerged. My only sources of information are what are publicly available.

Business Insider: Co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai 'Tried To Fight' His Departure From Foursquare
A source who spoke with Selvadurai during his final discussions with Foursquare says Selvadurai feels pushed out – pushed out by his cofounder Dennis Crowley and the Foursquare board of directors....... Selvadurai told the source he was financially "screwed" when he was forced out too. ........ It's unclear how Selvadurai was financially damaged. When an employee leaves a startup, their salary stops and stock options stop vesting....... The severance was complicated enough that Selvadurai had to bring in a lawyer to help...... "[Selvadurai] tried to fight it," says this source. "It was a contentious thing. He was pretty f---ing upset." A second source familiar with the situation tells us Selvadurai's departure wasn't a simple firing or a resignation: "These things can be very gray." ...... one source tells us Selvadurai and Crowley "hadn't been getting along" for some time now. ...... Another source close to Selvadurai tells us he has, for a while now, felt lost at Foursquare and he has been frustrated about his role....... "Foursquare has a CEO; that job is taken" says a source briefed on Foursquare's founder divorce. "Might Naveen be happy about that or not, I don't know. I can see that as being hard." ...... Selvadurai worked hard to make Foursquare what it is today. But Foursquare has always been Crowley's dream. Crowley has been working on this company in some form for years, even before iPhones or his first startup Dodgeball existed. ...... Selvadurai, Foursquare PR, and Crowley declined to comment....... Jack Dorsey, who some have called the next Steve Jobs, was pushed out of Twitter. The board didn't feel he was ready to be CEO....... The exception may be Google's Sergey Brin, who heads "special projects" while his cofounder, Larry Page, runs the company as CEO. ....... When cofounders do stick around, it's often in non-operating, lower-profile roles. Yahoo's David Filo still works in a cubicle, even though he's a billionaire. Apple's Steve Wozniak never wanted a say in running that company. ...... A source close to Selvadurai can't imagine him being happy with a role like Filo's....... "Naveen is a proud guy and a real entrepreneur -- someone who probably wouldn't want to remain in a situation that wasn't fulfilling for him," says a source.
AllThingsD: Checking In With the Foursquare Founder Parting: More “Tense” (Of Course)
In a terse note, Sevaldurai wrote that he would remain on the company’s board and as an adviser, as well as the “single most vocal user” of the popular check-in service. ...... according to numerous sources inside and outside the company — the impetus for Selvadurai’s departure was a lot more complex and fraught than he or the company indicated. ...... Twitter went through the mother of all contentious partings — twice, in fact — in an ongoing battle among its founders. ...... Selvadurai and Crowley, who had together become New York’s highest profile entrepreneurs in recent years ...... they had come to the conclusion over a series of talks over the last several months that there was no place for Selvadurai any longer at the fast-growing start-up. ...... “This company grew very quickly and a lot of senior management has been added,” said one person with knowledge of the situation. “It got to the point where Naveen was not in charge of much.” ....... since Foursquare began adding execs — I have a list below — he had become ever more sidelined, ending up with a small team focused on platform efforts and supporting APIs. ...... “Naveen was no longer heading any meaningful area of functional responsibility, so things got tense” ....... the departure was not ugly or closely related to either a recent stock sale by employees or its most recent funding in June that valued Foursquare at $600 million. ...... “Dennis and he don’t hate each other — things just changed” ....... “When you look at all the external stuff, Naveen’s leaving was really not tied to anything in particular. The business was really starting to mature … and there is eventually a line in the sand between building a product and building a company.” ...... Foursquare now has 111 employees ...... the discussions about roles at the company became more pronounced. ..... Naveen and Dennis agreed that there was not a place for him day to day ...... Crowley’s public goodbye on Twitter was short and, yes, sweet

Monday, March 05, 2012

Phagwah/Holi In Richmond Hill: March 11

Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill

The 24th Annual Phagwah Parade in Richmond Hill, New York:

When - Sunday, March 11, 2012
When - noon
Where - Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street, Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Route: Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street > west on Liberty > north on 125th Street > to Smokey Oval Park at 125th Street.

Gothamist: Holi/Phagwah Celebrated in Queens
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Naveen Leaving FourSquare

Image representing Naveen Selvadurai as depict...Image via CrunchBaseI just read the headlines. I have not read the full length articles yet. But I must say I am very, very surprised. This was so unexpected, to me it was. Unless the split between the two cofounders was quite tilted, or if by now after having raised several rounds of money Naveen's percentage ownership in the company had become really low, or the guy has come up with the next big thing, I mean. I have thought of FourSquare as a company that could end up with an IPO.

Now let me go read. The guy himself has a blog post on the topic, I think. Let's hear straight from the horse's mouth. If I were him I'd have left my equity still in the company. Because that money is growing. I wonder what he did.

GigaOm: Naveen Selvadurai, Foursquare co-founder is leaving
Business Insider: The Co-Founder Of One Of New York's Hottest Startups Is Checking Out
Pulse2: Foursquare Co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai Stepping Down
TheNextWeb: Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai announces he is leaving the company to work on new projects
AllThingsD: Foursquare Co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai Leaving
Naveen: Next
VentureBeat: Cue violins: Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai leaving the company
CNet: Foursquare co-founder Selvadurai to leave company
TechCrunch: SV Angel Also Buying Up Foursquare Stock. Dennis Crowley Emerges As Big-Company CEO

Okay, so the guy sits on the FourSquare Board.

Looks like the guy sold his stock to Spark Capital, one hopes only some of it.

Okay, so the guy feels like he has done all he can and he needs to move on.

It is possible some of the VCs in the picture have been gently working towards this end.

Pinterest Competes With Twitter, Instagram With FourSquare
FourSquare Should Rent A Stadium
FourSquare, I Was Not Here
Instagram Now Bigger Than FourSquare
FourSquare SMS Based Check Ins: Sometimes Messed Up
436 Friend Requests On FourSquare: Accepted
FourSquare's New Round
FourSquare Has 6000000 Users

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Robert Scoble Favorited My Tweet

Robert Scoble on the red couchRobert Scoble on the red couch (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

Robert Scoble Now Following Me On FoodSpotting
Robert Scoble Retweeted Me
PlanCast Failed For Not Catering To Its Power Users

Robert Scoble favorited my tweet. That is news in my world. I am surprised I am on the guy's radar. I am an admirer of Robert Scoble. I don't know anyone else who does social media quite like Scoble. Kudos.

Pinterest Competes With Twitter, Instagram With FourSquare

Friday, March 02, 2012

Baratunde Thurston, The Ultimate Black Guy, At The Googleplex

Baratunde Thurston At The Web 2.0 Summit
Baratunde Thurston: The Brain Behind The Onion
Baratunde Is Funny

Buy the book on Amazon.
Official Site

Pinterest Competes With Twitter, Instagram With FourSquare

InstagramImage via WikipediaLies, Damn Lies And Statistics: Instagram hits 25 million users – you heard it here first

I am talking in terms of my web diagram. I think Pinterest has the potential to surpass Twitter just like Instagram has surpassed FourSquare.

Pinterest feels mainstream like Twitter never did. Twitter has always felt a little nerdy. A very smart friend once asked me what the hashtag was. The idea of checking in can be a barrier. But sharing photos? Photos with twists and tinges? That old adge about a picture being worth a thousand words. And the whole thing about social. Fred Wilson once derisively referred to Facebook as "a photo sharing network." Another way to look at it is that was a compliment.

At universal gigabit speeds there might be video versions of Pinterest and Instagram. But something tells me photo has staying power. A photo can be consumed in a split second. But short videos can play. And there are so many details to a video. There is room. There will be room.

Eric Schmidt: Mobile World Congress

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Kim DotCom On Outdated Business Models

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Kim Dotc...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Kim DotCom: "Piracy comes from, you know, people, let’s say, in Europe who do not have access to movies at the same time that they are released in the US. This is a problem that has been born within this licensing model and the old business model that Hollywood has where they release something first in one country but they show trailers to everyone around the world pitching that new movie but then the 14-year-old kid in France or Germany can’t watch it for another six months, you know? If the business model would be one where everyone has access to this content at the same time, you know, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem. So it’s really, in my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the internet and that’s what it all boils down to."
I had never heard of the guy before his arrest, although there was no avoiding the MegaUpload name. I agree with the statement above. Movies should be released globally online at once. For $1 per viewing. The movie studios would make tremendous money at that price point.

The Movie Industry's Non Innovation
What Price A Movie?

Paul Orlando's Reaction To My Social Media Week Achievement