Monday, October 20, 2008

Comupter assisted gardening

Neat toy I saw this weekend, the easyBloom plant sensor, helps you pick the right plants for your specific growing area and helps diagnose plants that are in trouble.

The senor is first plugged into your computer's usb port and allows you to register for the service. The you plant the extended device into the ground where you want to plant or where you have already planted something.

Over a period of 24 hours the device records various details about the soil composition and the growing zone.

The company has a database of over 5,000 plants that it then compares results against and provides recommendations.

From the site:
  1. Plant recommendations. Use our sensor and web site to find out exactly what plants will thrive in any location - indoors or out.
  2. Plant monitoring. Find out what is wrong with an ailing plant and get expert advice on how to bring your plant back to health.
  3. Plant Library. Search our 5,000+ plants, create a personal library of your plants, add notes and other information - all with our easy to use website.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Giant plans and small boxes

Its been a year since I last posted. It feels like even longer. Scanning for inspiration today I stumbled across a post by Chris Brogan that seemed timely. Here are the main points:
  1. "Decide what matters most. Articulate it in the largest possible way. It’s easier to drill down when you have the larger goals in mind.
  2. Put constraints around HOW you’ll accomplish the goals you’ve set out to accomplish. Include accountability in the constraints.
  3. Figure out what you need to help you achieve those goals. In my case, I need two other people and some more education. You’ll need something else.
  4. Make your goals public in some form or another. (This helps with accountability)."
He continues, "If you can put your giant plans into small boxes it will help you move towards your goals."

One goal I have is to get back to creating content, be it written or otherwise. My content creation experiments got pushed to the back seat along with the blog last year and I want to change that.

Looking back on those efforts they seem dated now. In the gap I missed out on the whole Twitter explosion and I don't really have any regrets about that.

I have been deeply involved with Flex and AIR desktop applications but some of those projects could have used some small boxes along the way too.

I finally got an iPhone. I have played the waiting game with Apple since I got my first SE in 1988 and I wanted to wait for the 3G network.

The iPhone is sharp. It looks good, feels good and provides a portable computing platform unlike anything else I have seen. Its ok as a phone but I knew that going in. I like the headphones and try to use them when I can but in regular use sometimes its hard to hear the other person and hard for them to hear me.

Call management and especially voice management is awesome. Being able to delete voice mail without having to listen to a menu system is great. I have used the speaker phone and it works fairly well too.

Like everyone says I only turn on 3G when I have to get data and am not on a wifi connection because it does drain the battery. Hitting the "find me" button on Maps is super cool.

My favorite app Art Envi Deluxe:

The main thing the iPhone has done is freed me from a desk by putting a computer in my hand. You may say, "I've been getting email on my Blackberry for years."

I say, "whatever, fraking Blackberrys..."

Maps and mobile data are gradually finding their way to automobiles, the last human environment to be enabled. With the new XOHM WiMAX and the whitespace projects I expect one of the next big things to be a mobile broadband cloud. Fast access everywhere is going to change things, just like the iPhone has changed things for me.

So as I think about content creation in the year ahead I am going to focus on small projects that involve mobility and connectivity.

My last goal is to have fun. Its been a hard couple of years.

(Oh yeah, transfer blog to wordpress!)

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Second Life...the street finds its own use for things

TechCrunch hasn't been that excited about Second Life, until now.

From TechCrunch:

"Last Saturday night I noticed that Australia’s answer to Robert Scoble (in a good way) Microsoft’s Nick Hodge was in Second Life chatting to The Podcast Network’s Cameron Reilly via Twitter. I jumped into Second Life to join the conversation, making it the three of us. I Twittered my presence and provided a link. Within 30 minutes three had blown out to around 15 people, or 20 different people over 3 hours. With voice in Second Life we discussed a variety of topics, from Second Life itself, to Web 2.0, politics and the environment."


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

AT&T buys Aloha's 700MHz

Tired of waiting for the auction, AT&T buys Aloha's spectrum.

From The Street:

"AT&T got a jump on next year's radio wave auction with a $2.5 billion bid for Aloha Partners' 700-megahertz spectrum licenses. In the deal, AT&T would take ownership of former UHF channels 54 and 59, the so-called C block of wireless spectrum Aloha had acquired in the past few years. Aloha owned the largest swath of licenses covering about 80% of the population in the top 100 cities.

From the press release:

"Customer demand for mobile services, including voice, data and video, is continually increasing," said Forrest Miller, group president-corporate strategy and development. "Aloha's spectrum will enable AT&T to efficiently meet this growing demand and help our customers stay connected to their worlds."

From Unstrung:

"AT&T's experience on deploying UMTS at 850 MHz makes 700 MHz a great fit with its existing network," says Gabriel Brown. "In particular, the carrier should be able to source attractive 3G handsets that work at both frequencies."

Brown says the price AT&T has paid for this spectrum is "full but fair." He calculates that, at a price of $2.5 billion for 12 MHz of spectrum covering 196 million people, AT&T has paid roughly $1 per MHz per head."

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How to beat (compete) with Google locally

Terry Heaton takes a look at how local media can try and compete with Google for local media dollars.

From the post:

"So in order to compete with Google at the local level, we also must become an advertising system. There are a variety of ways to go about this, but here are five things that are required for making it happen:
  1. Define and identify the Local Web.
  2. Organize the Local Web.
  3. Provide tools to help it grow.
  4. Serve it by enabling commerce across the network.
  5. Sell the concept to the community."
I think Terry forgot number 6: Give up.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Turner signs deal with Kaneva (updated)

I don't see any press releases about this but here is the word from Paid Content:

"Now the Time Warner division will try for a relationship with a little more depth, signing a one-year deal with Kaneva to build and test virtual worlds for its entertainment networks. Turner gets access to Kaneva’s technology and tools to create and use Web communities and “virtual spaces” on Kaneva’s site and in the virtual world of Kaneva .

One of the Turner spaces will act as a virtual portal for the rest. One intriguing twist: each Turner virtual community and “Virtual World” space will include an embedded video player streaming related Turner content. Earlier this year, Kaneva integrated synchronized viewing of YouTube videos, which sounds like a precursor for this."

The full release from 3pointD:

“Our exploration with Kaneva of virtual worlds is yet another example of Turner staying at the forefront of consumer technology trends,” said Blake Lewin, vice president for TBS, Inc.’s New Products Group. “Through this opportunity, we hope to leverage the Kaneva platform to explore how users interact with our brands in a virtual world."

Christopher Klaus, founder and CEO of Kaneva added, “Turner is an ideal flagship media partner for Kaneva. Turner’s high quality programming and credibility is synergistic with our unique focus on delivering entertainment to the masses inside a virtual world. As a result of this partnership, we will provide entirely new ways for audiences to watch, participate and interact around their favorite TV programming.”

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Terry's 10 local TV assumptions

If you read this blog you know that I am a big fan of Terry Heaton. He's not pulling any punches with this post:
  1. "The TV audience for local media isn’t coming back.
  2. News — and especially local news — is being increasingly commodified.
  3. The local weather franchise is moving to The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, and a host of outside providers who’ve made their applications easy to find and easy to use.
  4. Advertisers themselves will put a halt to the blue smoke and mirrors of mass marketing.
  5. We will never, NEVER overcome revenue losses to our legacy platforms through portal websites alone.
  6. The people formerly known as the audience are entertaining themselves and each other. The best we can do in this scenario is to support it — let people show off. Teach them to know what we know.
  7. The network-affiliate system isn’t just changing; it’s history.
  8. A successful internet sale is AGAINST television and all mass media. This is why the lack of dedicated web sales people is beyond problematic.
  9. The local advertising community needs to be taught about internet advertising, and we have to do it.
  10. Local media MUST move forward along two separate paths of profitability, one maturing as rapidly as the other is growing."


Thursday, September 27, 2007 - not dead yet gets another year of life.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"Following a keynote speech Tuesday at the Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Conference & Expo, Tony Ponturo, vp global media and sports/entertainment marketing, also said that Anheuser-Busch decided to end its 25-year title sponsorship of NASCAR's Busch series and its role as the official beer sponsor of NASCAR so it could invest more in entertainment and the digital space.

"We wanted to get through the step of, 'OK, should we continue into '08 as we build our marketing plans?' and that was the decision," he said. "I think it (Bud.TV) is something that could have an ending someday, but I think if we keep learning from it and if we keep seeing assets from it ... then it makes sense to continue the site."

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Monday, September 17, 2007

In-car Wi-Fi

Bridge Ratings has a report that looks at the coming availability of in-car Wi-Fi.

From the report:

"Of the estimated 30 million users of wireless access technology in the U.S., 75% or 23 million have wireless accessed Internet radio. In fact, 48% of those accessing the Internet via wireless technology seek out Internet radio. The number of Internet radio listeners accessing wirelessly will grow to 77 million by 2010 as wireless technology penetrates the average U.S. lifestyle.

ABI Research forecasts that the total number of Wi-Fi-enabled consumer electronics devices will grow from just 40 mln shipped in 2006 to nearly 249 mln in 2011.

Mobile WiMAX customers will grow at an annual compounded rate of 64% between 2009 and 2012, when telecoms embrace WiMAX as a fixed wireless broadband service, according to Pyramid Research.

By year 5 of in-car Wi-Fi acceptance, traditional radio can expect to see the amount of time spent listening to fall below 19 hours a week and by year 8 when we project that more than 23% of the U.S. public will have adopted wireless Internet technology in-car, weekly time spent listening to traditional radio will fall below 18 hours per week.

The availability of wireless Internet in-car poses a signficant threat to traditional as well as satellite radio. This study projects that the growth of Wi-Fi in-car should reach more than 50% of the U.S. population after nine years of market availability."

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Comcast buys BuddyTV

The acquisitions continue.

From PaidContent:

"Seattle-based BuddyTV, a TV community site, is being acquired by Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), has learned from sources. BuddyTV took a loan of $250K from the Charles River Ventures’ Quick Start Seed Funding program back in May, before taking a $2.8 million investment from Gemstar-TV Guide this summer.

The site competes with a wide range of TV-related blogs and communities, but co-founder Andy Liu told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer this summer that the site was receiving 3 million uniques per month and that it now has 20 employees. It seems likely that BuddyTV will be used in conjunction with Comcast’s site, as well as Fandango, which it acquired in the earlier this year."

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Friday, September 14, 2007 free classified ads is a classified ad site from KMTV and its five radio stations.

From Lost Remote:

"It is its own brand and does not have the names/logos of the TV or radio stations on it. For now, users can post everything, including pictures and videos, for free. Eventually the site will charge for the pix and video, but the text ads will remain free."

And there is a blog that highlights listing.