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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, June 13, 2006. Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Scott Karp: "I say a little prayer for Om." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Now that Dvorak is on the record as a self-declared troll, maybe we should start a directory of "troll spammers," people who, if I succumb to the temptation to link to them, my CMS would automatically remove the link for. BTW, the person laughing on the Dvorak video is Scoble, not me. I was disgusted by the guy. (Dvorak, not Scoble.) I take this stuff seriously. People who lie and call it journalism are scum. That they win awards for this crap something for the award-givers to deal with.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named docMom.jpgI had my phone talk this morning with Lisa Williams, who will lead the Emotional Life discussion on Friday at BloggerCon IV. It'll be the third instance, the first was led by John Perry Barlow, the second by Julie Leung. The idea is simple, blogs aren't just about tech or politics or business, sometimes they're about people, and sometimes they play a big role in helping us get through difficult times. Sometimes it's real simple, here are the lives we lead and how they relate to others. Sometimes the truth is so close to the surface, there can be no masks, who we are comes out through our online persona. This is the riskiest topic we tackle, it's the double-diamond slope of BloggerCon, but it's also potentially the most rewarding.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Technology Review: "Until the limited beta launch of Google Spreadsheets on June 6, technology bloggers and other early adopters greeted each new Google service with enthusiasm -- seeming to relish the possibility that Google was contemplating a serious move against Microsoft Office." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

WSJ profile of Jeff Pulver.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Another great video blog post from VloggerCon. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

SanDisk, a week after Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named sandiskplayer.jpgI've been using the SanDisk MP3 player for about a week, and think I have discovered the way to use the device. Every day, before my walk, I erase all the content and add the podcasts and songs I want to listen to on the walk. It's the only way to find the stuff I'm looking for. I'm not saying there isn't a sensible way to locate stuff on the SanDisk while walking, but I haven't discovered it yet. It seems to have all the options that an iPod has, but for some reason much of the content I'm looking for doesn't show up in the menus? It takes time to figure these things out, but time isn't one of the things I want to spend on these devices. I really want it to "just work."

I tried recording a podcast with the player at Vloggercon but there were a couple of problems: 1. It produces a WAV file as output. I'm sure I could figure out how to convert it to an MP3, but I'm not likely to do that because... 2. The recorder distorts the speakers voice, it comes out more high pitched. You can barely recognize my voice. You can make out the words, but it doesn't sound like me. Same with other men with deep voices who I interviewed. Oy.

It's nice to have an FM radio. Not much more to say there.

And the nicest thing is that it interfaces as a disk drive, so to get stuff on the player you just copy files. That's the only way to go. It has DRM support, if you insist on using one of the fascist services, but you can ignore it. Whew.

On the downside, not sure what they use for a playlist format. I wish there were an XML-based standard. I also wish it ran Windows or Mac software so I could copy my favorite scripting environment over there to manage the user interface. That would be something. I'm sure it won't be long before someone figures that out, but then again, I doubt Microsoft would license Windows cheaply enough, and Apple has its roadmap and its working, and it doesn't include players that run software.

As Ze Frank says: "Asshole."

More. The player is beautiful to look at, and it has a nice weight, it feels good in your hand. But the buttons are too small for a guy with big Polish potato farmer fingers (like me) and there are frustratingly stupid design decisions, like putting the lock switch so close to the headphone jack that you have to use a nail to slide it over. Hard to describe in words, but unless your fingers are shaped like the tip of a pen, you're going to feel awkward locking the unit.

Also, the wheel should be used to scroll through individual songs or podcasts. What a missed opportunity. Instead, you have to hold down the ultra tiny fast forward button for what seems an eternity. Don't these guys look at the competition? Or do patents prevent them from using these ideas? Either way, the user loses.

Postscript #1: There's a firmware update for the Sandisk, but it requires a Windows machine to install it.

A picture named grandpa.gifPostscript #2: Phil Miseldine says that we should blame capitalism for the patent mess, because without patents, companies wouldn't invest in "innovation and research." I'm familiar with that argument, of course, and know something about innovation and research, and I promise you there are plenty of reasons for companies to innovate and do research, without patents. And there isn't a lot of money spent to research the kind of stuff that they're issuing patents for these days. How much do you think Apple spent to figure out that the scroll wheel should navigate through individual songs and podcasts? For that matter, how much did Apple spend on podcasting itself? (Hint, they got it for free, no patents.)

Video at VloggerCon Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wouldn't it be nice to have awards for the best video shot at VloggerCon?

I got an interesting interview with PC pundit John Dvorak, explaining how he lies, knowingly and repeatedly, in his articles about Macs, and therefore has no integrity as a supposed award-winning journalist.

This video was shot at the opening party for VloggerCon.

Postscript: Schlomo, one of the organizers of VloggerCon, apparently, thinks awards are a dumb idea.

Evening no cigarette notes Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Steve Gillmor: "Life is good."

Mike Arrington's TechCrunch was one year old yesterday. That's quite a run. I knew it was a hit, the first day I saw it, and I'm proud to say that was pretty early. Mike has a rare talent, and enormous energy. He deserves much success, and I'm sure he's on his way to achieving it.

And Om Malik is taking a chance on himself. He's a talented man with a big heart, and I'm sure he'll do well too.

Later this week I'm off on a quick trip to NYC on business and to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. He had another close call in April, but once again the Miracle Man pulled through. Three times we thought that was it, but each time he comes through, and each time he's a happier dude, and each time I'm more grateful we got to share these years.

A picture named butt.gifFor me, tomorrow is a big milestone, which I choose to remember as the four year anniversary of no more smoking for Dave. My record is still perfect, I haven't smoked since June 14, 2002. Not one puff.

I am still an addict, and once in a while, very rarely, and for a very short period of time I think it might be nice to have a smoke. But more often I curse the smoker who makes me breathe his or her poison.

On Sunday I found myself walking behind a mother, smoking with her two pre-school-age children. I didn't say anything, because in this country in 2006, it's not allowed. But there ought to be a law.

Hey, but Steve Gillmor said it all. It's good to be alive! Nothing like almost losing it make you appreciate what you got.


Last update: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 9:49 PM Eastern.

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