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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, November 30, 2006. Thursday, November 30, 2006

Scott Rosenberg: "Are we going to spend the next two years pretending that we're still 'nation-building' and 'fighting the terrorists' while American soldiers keep filling body bags and Iraqi morgues keep overflowing?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Russell Holliman says Apple still thinks it owns podcast. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

When Amazon says "If you order this in the next hour and pay us $3.99 extra you can have it tomorrow," they're full of it. I've now done it twice, and gotten the normal 2-day delivery. The first time I chalked it up to chance, but yesterday I went for it again, and from the tracking page, it's pretty clear the order is still sitting in their warehouse. I think they should at least (automatically) refund the $3.99 when they don't deliver. It costs me more than $3.99 of my time to file a complaint. But I'm willing to do a blog post about it. Anyone from Amazon listening?  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Living in Berkeley is really getting my legs, heart and lungs in shape. On yesterday's walk I decide to go straight up, from the top of Solano Ave, to see how far I could get. Well, I went all the way up to Grizzly Peak Blvd, it's straight up for about 2 miles. I'm pretty psyched, but I have no idea what I can do to top that. That's the toughest hike around here. Coming down was actually harder, my knees were all wobbly by the time I was back on flat land.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was telling a friend about an old psychadelic song from the 60s, wondering if the lyrics alone would help at all, then I found there was a video of the song up on YouTube. Voila.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Rojas-Winer-Calacanis podcast device Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named evilpreacher.gifMichael Gartenberg made a list for the Rojas-Winer-Calacanis podcast device. Peter responded positively to my query, so we're going to meet on the 21st, here in Berkeley, to talk about the device. I agree with many of the things Michael says, but there are some I strenuously object to. And there are others I'd add to the list. I'll explain.

First, did you think I'd really go for no RSS? You gotta be kidding. That's the whole point. The trick to these devices is to simplify, to remove features, and having it be an RSS aggregator simplifies it a whole lot.

Since we agree that it should have built-in wifi capability, why should it have USB? USB may be a little faster, but if I can save money and space by only having one communication interface, then I'm going that way. I don't see myself pushing content from a desktop or laptop to the device, I see it downloading on its own over wifi. I do think I'm going to have to tell it what to subscribe to over the interface, the podcast discovery mechanism really has to be on a system with a rich user interface. Wifi has plenty of bandwidth for that kind of communication.

I agree that it's a good idea to stay lean and mean, but I don't accept a premise that says we have to make this work with less resources than Apple and Microsoft. Peter, Jason and myself are designers, not bankers nor are we manufacturers. That's why there are banks and plenty of Asian companies that can make devices to spec. We just need a good business person with chutzpah to rep us. I don't think there's any shortage of chutzpah between the three of us. Why can't we raise $100 million to make this baby? I know John Doerr's phone number. We used to be neighbors.

One thing's for sure, if I have any say about this, we're going to zig where Apple and Microsoft are zagging. At the first sign of DRM, I'm out. It's amazing that they left this door open. The guys from Hollywood can threaten us, but my podcasts are free for copying, as are all their podcasts, as are all podcasts. This is a podcast device, so it has no DRM. Period. Non-negotiable.

Another zig to their zag, which I think is a good idea, is a reasonably open design process. I don't want to do it completely open, because there are parasites out there (wish there weren't) so any really non-obvious ideas will stay off the blogs. But having a healthy public discussion is a good thing, it will make our podcast device a more powerful, more competitive product.

Phil Thompson suggests a fractional horsepower HTTP server. Of course. Doh!

Thomas Beutel chimes in.

WSJ debate Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm participating in a Wall Street Journal debate today. It's an interesting process, better than the usual interview, because you get to form complete thoughts, and they have to run them verbatim. I can't say what we're debating, or who my adversary is, you'll see all that when the debate is published (online only). But I'm having a good time with this.


Last update: Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 6:28 PM Pacific.

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