Re¢ently

  1. DMB at Fenway Park in 2006?

    brian on 2005.11.21
    at 09:03 pm

    Nancies.org reports the Dave Matthews Band may join the elite list of musical acts with the great honor of playing at Fenway Park.

    Very cool. Sign me up.

    Posted in: Music

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  2. More on the $100 Laptop

    brian on 2005.11.21
    at 05:57 pm

    If you’ve been following the One Laptop per Child initiative as I have been, then you maybe interested in this 8 minute video interview with one of the engineers on the project, from the machine’s unveiling at a recent UN conference in Tunisia. (via )

    I continue to be fascinated with this project.

    They also suggest that some of the companies contracting to build the units may make a commercially available version for purchase by the general public, for perhaps $200.

    Why is this interesting to me, someone with access to dramatically faster and technically advanced computers? It’s the network, as Sun might say. The units, even when powered off, continue to act as WiFi mesh network nodes. Only one or two of the machines need to have a connection to the outside internet for all of them to.

    If this happened in your neighborhood, you would have a peppy and robust shadow internet, even when the power goes out. Imagine the implications for public safety in times of inclement weather and other emergencies. A whole neighborhood or city could keep up to date, with out everyone requiring a generator.

    Oh, the possibilities…

    Posted in: Hardware · Technology

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  3. Aardvark'd DVD

    brian on 2005.11.21
    at 03:33 pm

    Watched Joel Spolsky’s documentary trailer today on Google Video. Looks like an outstanding film I’d very much like to see. However, I will not be buying the $20 DVD.

    To me, to see a film once is not worth $20. I have no desire to keep a copy of this potentially interesting film, and even if I loved it, I would never watch it again, and thus have no need for hard copy.

    I might go to a movie theater once or twice a year, and own no DVD movies I bought myself. I put my money where my mouth is. I do watch movies when they come to the small screen, but would watch more if I were allowed more control of where and when I could watch them. I would call this an untapped market.

    I’m certainly not saying everyone (or anyone) shares my views, but I feel Joel, as a leading software business mind, is missing on a big opportunity. Funny that its lacking considering his last entry on digital media distribution!

    I would have, in his shoes, chosen an H.264 download (with BitTorrent ) option alongside the DVD purchase option. There will be folk who want to keep a high-quality hardcopy, and they should get to have that. $20 is reasonable for that.

    However, I would like to download a copy for a more digestible $5. I think the sheer volume of downloads would offset any cannibalization of the DVD sales, in addition to the saved costs due to no packaging, two rounds of shipping, manufacturing… and BitTorrent would make the bandwidth very reasonable (ask Cringely ). Sounds lucrative.

    Afraid of piracy? Well, the tools to buy that DVD and change it into the format I described above exist in abundance. People will invite friends over to watch the movie, even! Gasp!

    If anything, a legal download provides a reasonable and easy alternative to piracy. It’s working for Apple right now. I don’t think FairPlay will be the end all of digital media rights management, but its a solid, first reasonable and reasonably successful attempt. The only thing I’d add to a download like Joel’s would be the downloader’s email address, which the downloader would a) know was attached, b) have to enter into the purchasing webpage to get emailed a link to the torrent file.

    Yes there are easy ways around these small features, but that’s the point. They keep honest people honest… if you share this on P2P nets and we see it, we’ll know you put it here. You can’t worry about those who will just strip it out, because of the DVD ripping issue I mentioned above.

    Piracy will be a given, but you can’t criminalize all your customers because of it. Give reasonable people reasonable options to stay above board, and this will put the piracy percentage to its minimum. That will net you all the profit you deserve.

    I cannot believe that digital delivery was not strongly considered by Joel. He’s a sharp mind. So even if we don’t get a downloadable option, I’d hope he’d post his thoughts on what made him go traditional in this case on his blog.

    Joel, I look forward to seeing your film, if you give me the opportunity to!

    Posted in: Media · Movies · Software · Technology · Web

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  4. SSE is to RSS as...

    brian on 2005.11.21
    at 03:13 pm

    MS announces today SSE, Simple Sharing Extensions, a way to make RSS two-way communications. It was released under the same Creative Commons license as RSS.

    As I am not a developer of this sort, I am not qualified to say it’s a good spec or not, but the promises look… eh-hem, promising. Common, open specs are good all around. I’d love to see it integrated so that it can work with the vCard format for syncing contacts, and the iCal (.ics) format for lightwieght, standards-based calendaring.

    I propose that SSE is pronounced “Essex.” (Here’s what Essex is.) This would also help distinguish it vocally from Intel’s SSE. The next letter after the “E” in Extensions is an “x” so it would be a natural. Saying “Ess” gives a nod to the two “S’s” and avoids the trouble-prone option of calling it “sex.” The last thing anyone needs is more “sex” on the internets.

    Posted in: Standards · Technology · Web

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