Just wanted to let folks know about three upcoming events at which I’ll be speaking:
Leopard Server Event in Scottsdale: this Thursday Feb 26th the Apple-sponsored roadshow comes to Phx to show off the new featues available in Leopard Server. Our friends at MacMedia (the best apple reseller in Arizona) have graciously given us a speaking slot. And our other friends at Parallels have given us the green light to publicly demo the soon-to-be-released Parallels Server product. This will be an interactive talk that covers topics of virtualization on OSX, Parallels Server, and how you can virtualize an existing windows or linux server and run it alongside any of the twenty production JumpBox applications. This is a free event and they’re capping registrations at 200 attendees- it will sell out so grab your spot now if you’re in Phoenix.
SXSW talks on Mar 7th & 8th: I’m doing two different talks at SXSW this year. Friday Mar 7th at 5pm I’m facilitating a Core Conversation (BoF) talk in Austin called “A Developer’s Cookbook to Leveraging Virtualization.” This will be a group brainstorm of all the various ways that v12n can be used to simplify a developer’s life- from testing to dev to a production deployment. The next day at 5pm I’m on a panel called “Bankrupt your startup in 5 easy steps.” This is a humor-infused look at some of the pitfalls that confront early-stage companies. Like learning via the “anti-pattern” in programming, we’ll show you what NOT to do, cover the common ways in which early companies fail and offer anecdotal advice on how to defend against these situations.
Under the Radar event on Mar 20th: The good folks at UTR are putting on an event called “The Business of Web Apps” that will showcase emerging startups with have game-changing technologies. We’re honored to be one of the companies presenting. I’m doing a 6min talk and will unveil a new product of ours that will definitely change the game. They have a rockstar line-up of companies presenting and it should be an unforgettable day. Registrations are capped at 400 attendees – the event is in Mountain View, CA, get a seat today.
If I get video capture for any of these talks I’ll be sure to share here. In the meantime c’mon no laryngitis…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a “dude where’s my car?” moment. I chalk it up to a perfect storm of missing neurons – having zero sense of navigation coupled with a general absent mindedness for things my brain considers to be mundane details. Fortunately though technology is improving fast enough to cover for my mental deficiencies.
The latest firmware upgrade to the iPhone brought some neat features, one in particular I’ve found to be extremely valuable: the GPS-like ability to locate your current position on a map via cell tower triangulation. This was the killer app in my opinion for jailbreaking an iPhone before this upgrade to get the old Navizon app. I’m happy that Apple chose to include this feature in the core functionality of the iPhone so now I don’t have to futz with the jailbreaking headaches in order to use it.
The most obvious use of the new cell triangulation feature is to be able to pick a destination and say “get me there from here.” But there’s another less-obvious use case I’ve discovered that when coupled with a technique that my buddy Josh Knowles invented, becomes super useful when you’re on the road.
The problem: when you’re doing back-to-back trips to big cities and driving cookie-cutter yugo rental cars, things start to blur together. In the rush between meetings, the parking garages start to look the same and you forget what your current rental car looks like (let alone where you parked it). *An aside- the psychological explanation for this phenomenon is interference theory which basically says when things are similar enough yet slightly different, it completely confounds your short-term memory.
This very situation happened to me a month ago when I was at MacWorld. I was in SF driving from the hotel pursuing a navigationally-adept MacWorld attendee in my crappy rental car trying to keep up and entirely oblivious to where we were going. I ended up parking in a garage somewhere near the Moscone Center on an unknown floor and following this guy to the show. I never mentally snapshotted where I had parked though and all I remembered about the car I was driving was that it was blue and cramped with manual windows and a cheesy stereo.
The outcome of this frenzied cannonball run to MacWorld was that after the event I realized I was 3 blks away in some direction from a non-descript parking garage that had about 6-7 floors and a tiny blue car parked somewhere inside abutting one of the pylons. I was able to track down the right garage and the right floor and ultimately the car but not after first going through that desperation “crap i’ve lost my wallet” period and being thoroughly frustrated hunting for 45min.
The solution: When you park your P.O.S. car, you can hit the “current location” button on your iPhone and then the “more options” button to drop a pin to mark your position. Depending on how dense the cell coverage is, the location feature is very accurate (within 100 feet). Next snap a photo with the iPhone’s camera so you have a mug shot of your vehicle with some landmark or unique feature in the background. You now have all the key info necessary to find your car without using any of your short-term memory.
Now I realize this will seem like major nerd overkill to the ordinary person – and I don’t disagree. But for those of us who are missing those key neurons that enable navigation and remembering a series of similar-but-different details, this is a quick lifehack that can save some frustration.
But more importantly, I see this as part of that “mind like water” goal of freeing up mental RAM from storing trivial details and offloading them into trusted repositories so we’re able to do our thing and not sweat the small stuff.
Watch this youtube series when you have an hour to kill- it’s extremely thought-provoking:
I knew we had long since departed from the gold standard but I had no idea of the ratios by which banks are legally able to fabricate and disburse new money in the form of debt. Apparently this is authorized for banks under a rule called the fractional reserve. As with any opinionated piece, take this with a grain of salt but there are some interesting thoughts:
The system in its current form is a treadmill that by nature guarantees the slowest runners to fall off no matter how fast they run. With a finite money supply of X required to pay X+Interest – it’s not possible for everyone to make it. Worse still, the treadmill once in motion must continuously accelerate in order to function. Common sense tells you that you can’t speed up a treadmill indefinitely and hope to stay on it.
Nowhere in any school system or mass media channel are these mechanics ever explained, or even acknowledged for that matter. We outlaw ponzi schemes and yet condone a financial system which is functionally equivalent? Given the inevitability of the outcome, the universal impact to every citizen, the magnitude of the impending damage and the potential curability of the problem (these are things we have the ability to change today- not like trying to stop an asteroid or reverse the greenhouse effect), why are lesser problems that are beyond our control getting all the attention? The silence around the acknowledgment of this issue and the search for a viable solution is eerie.
The argument that banks need to be for-profit institutions charging their customers interest in order to survive is usually backed by the idea that repayment failures cause losses and need to be offset somehow. If you dissect the process though, the interest rates and penalties are what cause most of the foreclosures and forfeitures in the first place. How’s that for a super-sized chicken/egg sandwich?
For all the sound and fury around the importance of our government establishing a balanced budget, it’s a meaningless activity until the currency behind it is stabilized. It’s like negotiating a salary while leaving the currency type as a variable – you’d probably be stoked about securing a $1MM figure until you realize the currency is in Lire or Yen.
It’s annoying to find fault and propose no solution. The proposal of the video is to convert all banking institutions to become non-profit entities that distribute dividends to their customers, abolishing what is effectively usury. I don’t know anything about the entity that funded the creation of the video and I haven’t given more than a few hours of thought to the implications of this proposal but I believe they’re essentially calling for banks to become credit unions. I can’t think for the life of me what kind of personal gain the author of the video stands to make by proposing this- which means I’m inclined to believe he/she is suggesting it for the right reason.
Bottomline, this is a thought provoking video series. There are no doubt entities that stand to make huge profit by keeping the broken system exactly the way it works now. Learning that the Federal Reserve is neither a government entity nor does it have any reserves was a shocking discovery – maybe others knew this already but that is a mind-blowing revelation to me. So my questions in thinking about this stuff at this point are:
What is the agenda behind this video? What are the downsides of the ideas proposed here that I’m missing (other than the obvious short term inability for banks and government to fabricate money when they need it)?
How can I become a bank (just kidding)?
Who are beneficiaries behind the Federal Reserve and why isn’t this entity named something more indicative of it’s private, for-profit status?
Is it truly feasible that the beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve would ever allow it to be dismantled and replaced by “credit union only” type system?
Wouldn’t achieving a more even distribution of wealth have positive effects on the economy for the same reasons that breaking up power monopolies fosters health in the form increased competition, activity and exchange?
If money were only allowed be conjured into existence when it was used to create tangible and immediately-usable infrastructure that facilitated more efficiency and growth in the economy, why would we not pass such a rule (the modern day gold standard where the gold equivalent is infrastructure of provable value)?
What is the most fair and plausible way to correct this broken system at this point and make it sustainable so everyone lands on their feet?
How many watch lists do you get added to when you suggest ideas like these? I guess I’ll find out…
Why does Ron Paul appear to be the only candidate addressing this issue?
If there’s anyone who is knowledgeable on this subject who wants to get together and talk over coffee- I’m interested in wading through the issues and understanding this better.
WHY: social networks will follow the same trajectory of instant messaging services 5yrs ago. We were talking tonight on ReadWriteWeb about how many people misinterpreted Open Social as being an open data exchange initiative for social networks. That it was not, but Dataportability.org is. And as it gets adopted I predict we will see a similar sequence of events that led to the commoditization of the IM platforms. Consider this:
Right now we have a balkanized landscape of social networks, at least 15 major players with varying levels of dominance depending on the country. Remember back when you had to run ICQ and Yahoo messenger on your desktop alongside MSN messenger and AIM because you had friends on each network? Dashboard products like the ones mentioned above emerged though and they unified the messaging so you could chat with whomever you liked via a single interface. Effectively the IM channels became irrelevant – your only awareness of which “carrier” you were using was maybe the color of the dot by the person’s name in the dashboard.
Now granted, this analogy isn’t entirely analogous (probably more accurate would be the advent of the jabber protocol), but right now social networks are like the IM services were B.C. (before consolidation): you have to sign on to each individually and maintain disparate profiles in multiple places. But as more players adopt the blueprints put forth by groups like Dataportability.org and we transition into A.D. (after dataportability), you’re going to see the same type of commoditization occur to the social networks. Now keeping in mind Clayton Christensen’s “law of conservation of modularity,” value never just evaporates, it gets teleported to a different layer. Where do you think the value will reside once the networks themselves become commoditized?
Bingo- the unifying client that is used to manage one’s communication and presence across all networks. You won’t login to Facebook/Hi5/Orkut/Beebo/Linkedin/whatever to interact with your peeps at that point, you’ll fire up your _______ client and have a single place to talk with everyone and manage your identity. This sequence of events seems inevitable to me and the startup I would keep my eyes on (besides our own ;-) is the one that has killer Flex UI designers on staff and is living/breathing the DataPortability specs right now thinking down this path. If that happens to be you, drop me a line and let’s talk.