Preview: Junto Boyz
Business & Technology, Politics, and Random Posts from the Left, Right, and Elsewhere
"THE SOUNDS OF SILENCING"... ARROGANCE OF THE LEFT IN AMERICAGreat editorial by Peggy Noonan. Revealing and disturbing actions of the left are described. Of course to be fair, the right does have crazies like Ann Coulter, but it seems the extreme words and arrogance of the left is more commonplace.The Sounds of SilencingWhy do Americans on the left think only they have the right to dissent?The Wall Street JournalFriday, October 13, 2006Four moments in the recent annals of free speech in America. Actually annals is too fancy a word. This all happened in the past 10 days:At Columbia University, members of the Minutemen, the group that patrols the U.S. border with Mexico and reports illegal crossings, were asked to address a forum on immigration policy. As Jim Gilchrist, the founder, spoke, angry students stormed the stage, shouting and knocking over chairs and tables. "Having wreaked havoc," said the New York Sun, they unfurled a banner in Arabic and English that said, "No one is ever illegal." The auditorium was cleared, the Minutemen silenced. Afterward a student protester told the Columbia Spectator, "I don't feel we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. . . . The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration."On Oct. 2, on Katie Couric's "CBS Evening News," in the segment called "Free Speech," the father of a boy killed at Columbine shared his views on the deeper causes of the recent shootings in Amish country. Brian Rohrbough said violence entered our schools when we threw God out of them. "This country is in a moral freefall. For over two generations the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum. . . . We teach there are no moral absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children." This was not exactly the usual mush.Mr. Rohrbough was quickly informed he was not part of the legitimate debate, either. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post: "The decision . . . to air his views prompted a storm of criticism, some of it within the ranks of CBS News." A blog critic: Grief makes people say "stupid" things, but "what made them put this man on television?" Good question. How did they neglect to silence him?Soon after, at Madison Square Garden, Barbra Streisand, began her latest farewell tour with what friends who were there tell me was a moving, beautiful concert. She was in great form and brought the audience together in appreciation of her great ballads, which are part of the aural tapestry of our lives. And then . . . the moment. Suddenly she decided to bang away on politics. Fine, she's a Democrat, Bush is bad. But midway through the bangaway a man in the audience called out. Most could not hear him, but everyone seems to agree he at least said, "What is this, a fund-raiser?"At this, Ms. Streisand became enraged, stormed the stage and pummeled herself. Wait, that was Columbia. Actually she became enraged and cursed the man. A friend who was there, a liberal Democrat, said what was most interesting was Ms. Streisand made a physical movement with her arms and hands--"those talon hands"--as if to say, See what I have to put up with when I attempt to educate the masses? She soon apologized, to her credit. Though apparently in the manner of a teacher who'd just kind of lost it with an unruly and ignorant student.On "The View" a few days earlier it was Rosie O'Donnell. She was banging away on gun control. Guns are bad and should be banned. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who plays the role of the young, attractive mom, tentatively responded. "I want to be fair," she said. Obviously there should be "restrictions," but women have a right to defend themselves, and there's "the right to bear arms" in the Constitution. Rosie accused Elizabeth of yelling. The panel, surprised, agreed that Elizabeth was not yelling. Rosi[...]
CONGRESS WIMPS OUT ON REBUKE OF JAPAN'S COMFORT WOMEN CRIMES
The Korean American community rallied to get a resolution passed that would formally acknowledge Japan's "enslavement of more than 200,000 Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, and other women and girls in the 1930s and '40s to provide sex for imperial Japanese soldiers."
I helped in this cause by contacting numerous friends, emailing information about this resolution, and encouraging people to write to their representatives in Congress. Unfortunately, this effort failed since the Japanese government brought out it's bigger lobbying guns on the Hill.
I just read that it was Hogan and Hartson
, a top D.C. law firm, and Bob Michel, former House Majority Leader, that were the muscle for Japan. I'm sure the Japanese Government is a big client for them and that they are just doing their job, but I still have to say, "BOB MICHEL IS A TOOL!" (Immature rant allow for such a post :)
Some news articles on this bad decision:
"Congress backs off of wartime Japan rebuke""Cold Comfort: the Japan Lobby Blocks Resolution on WWII Sex Slaves"
MORE LINKS ON GOOGLE, YOUTUBE AND THIS SPACEYou hear it, don't ya? The DeathStar music? Or at least the "One million dollars!" shout?"Google's Growing Grasp" from Time Magazine, Oct. 1, 2006."The Future of Social Networks - Communication" GigaOM's Robert Young.Dot-Com Bubble, Part II? Why It's So Hard to Value Social Networking SitesOctober 04, 2006 in Knowledge@WhartonLess than three years after emerging from nowhere, the hot social networking website MySpace is on pace to be worth a whopping $15 billion in just three more years. Or is it?Is the much smaller Facebook, run by a 22-year-old, really worth the $900 million or more Yahoo is reported to have offered for it? Maybe. Or maybe this is Dot-Com Bubble, Part II, with MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and the other new Internet phenoms destined for oblivion when the fad fades."What makes this hard is that these companies seem to be so many years away from the kind of earnings that the valuation numbers are forecasting for them," says Andrew Metrick, finance professor at Wharton. The $15 billion MySpace figure "would imply that a lot more people will be on MySpace than are currently on it." (full article)Coming Attraction: YouTube's Business ModelOctober 04, 2006 in Knowledge@WhartonA deal between YouTube and Warner Music Group to share music videos and revenue could usher in an era where the interests of content copyright holders and freebie-loving consumers align. Or it could wind up being just another stab at a business model for YouTube. The outcome will be determined by how the revenue between copyright holders and distributors like YouTube gets shared, say experts at Wharton.Creating a revenue sharing model that is satisfactory to all is easier said than done, these experts note. It's a fundamental question: If "information wants to be free," as many assert, how do you make money?On Sept. 18, 2006, YouTube, the largest video sharing site on the web, and Warner Music Group announced a deal to distribute WMG's music video catalog on YouTube. The catalog includes music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews and other special content. In addition, YouTube's bevy of amateur video producers can use WMG's music library as soundtracks for the content they upload. As for copyright management, YouTube plans to build a content identification and royalty reporting system to identify video content -- such as the most recent Madonna video -- and divvy out payments to artists. The system, to be launched by the end of the year, will allow WMG to authorize rights to YouTube users. Advertising revenue will be shared between WMG and YouTube. .....While details about the WMG/YouTube deal aren't fully fleshed out, some experts at Wharton are optimistic. Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader says YouTube's latest partnership (it also has a promotional deal with NBC) is "the single biggest business development deal in the history of digital media. This changes everything, and people will look back at it as a turning point." (full article)[...]
KI-MOON BAN, SOON-TO-BE U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL
Ban, Ki-moon of South Korea is expected to be Secretary General of the U.N. I don't know if his low-key style what is needed at this time, but hopefully he'll at least use his administrative skills to clean up the U.N. Very glad that Kofi Annan is gone. I hope they dig up a corruption trail that sends him to jail. More here:"No honeymoon for new UN Secretary General"
"Aspiring U.N. Chief Is a Harmonizer, Not a Rock Star"
GOOGLE ACQUIRES YOUTUBE... WAS IT WORTH IT?
I guess the question is, "Will it be worth it?" It's difficult to place a value on such deals
and many times you can only eyeball whether it was a good or bad deal a few years down the road. I'm sure part of the incentive for Google was to lock out Yahoo! and other competitors from acquiring YouTube. Imagine if Yahoo! acquired YouTube? Google would always be second or worse in an ad space that has higher CPMs/CPCs than text AND seems to be the next big growth segment of online advertising.
If there could be such a controlled competitive field for Google, I'm sure they would have strongly considered to battle it out with YouTube and the rest of the field. How long would it have taken for Google to catch up especially since they seem to be maturing and focusing their resources more strategically now?
Anyway, here is the official press release
. Dissenting view from Mark Cuban
. Posts from Michael Arrington, where he brings up some good points on Google's relationship with Fox
, and PaidContent.org has more here
:- Stock for stock transaction (for $1.65 billion)
- YouTube will operate independently to “preserve its successful brand and passionate community”.
- YouTube will continue to be based in San Bruno, CA, and all YouTube employees will remain with the company.
- The number of Google shares to be issued in the transaction will be determined based on the 30-day average closing price two trading days prior to the completion of the acquisition.
WORSE HAIRCUT IN TEN YEARS
Quick post before I take off for the airport. I went to this random hair salon in Palo Alto today. I asked for a trim and got a chop job. Afterwards I looked like Shemp
from The Three Stooges. (image)
The worse part about it was that I had a meeting afterwards. So here I am looking like Shemp or a Chinese food delivery boy from the 70s facing these people that I don't know and probably thinking what I was thinking. Really sucked today.
REVISITING ASIA... "ASIAN FAB 50"
A couple articles from Forbes that brings me back to my days in Asia. Definitely miss noodles houses, dim sum, and grouper in Hong Kong. Yes, grouper is the best fish to eat there. Miss BBQ houses, stews, and other random stuff in Seoul. Anyway, here are the articles:"The Asian Fab 50""Richard Li's Tangled Web"
CORPORATE BLOGGING & SOCIAL SOFTWARE SPACE HEATING UP... BUT CAN WEB 2.0 BE ADAPTED TO BUSINESSES?It's been almost two years since I met Tony and he told me about his vision for GoingOn, and then he asked me to help build this company. While I wasn't planning to do another startup for a few years, joining him was one of the best decisions I have made. It's been a fun ride so far and has been exciting to see the market develop and move faster than we ever foresaw.One healthy sign of an early market is the number of competitors leaping into your space. It's been interesting to watch over the past several months some of competition that has been popping up:- Five Across, which use to be a private-label IM (instant message) client and had a blogging platform (Bubbler) targeting the SMB market, completely changed to become... a blogging and social networkng platform. They position themselves as a "platform for social networking and communities." It's interesting because over a year ago they approached us to partner with them. I wonder where they got the idea for their revamped product and business model? Anyway, they recently signed a deal with the NHL, which was great for them and everyone in this space.- Pluck, which use to be a RSS feed reader company, now primarily sells a blogging and social networking platform called SiteLife. They have taken a good approach in focusing on newspapers and media companies.- Crowd Factory is a recent entrant into our space. One interesting note is that they promoted their product on our homepage/platform a month ago. I don't know why since we don't have that much traffic nor have we marketed our site enough to deserve such attention :)- Cerado is a CRM company who recently launched products (i.e. "Business Blogging" and "Social Networking for Businesses") in our space and like Crowd Factory promoted themselves on our platform :)Then are there others such as iUpload and Kintera, and overlapping players such KickApps and MyBlogLog to name a few.Unlike many consumer "Web 2.0" plays, this competitive environment is not made up of one-feature companies that hope to generate enought traffic and get sold. All these players are selling something of value to companies and generating revenue, so it makes it a much more exciting market than something like the online calendar space.In recent news, ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe continues his "Enterprise 2.0" discussion with this post, "Can Web 2.0 be adapted to the enterprise?" Of course. And of course I'm using a broader definition of "enterprise" than Dion, but I believe any of the companies I listed above will say that the consumer "Web 2.0" movement will transform how companies operate, sell, market, and function behind their walls. Omidyar Network's Christine Herron has some more information on this ("Web 2.0 Consumer Technology Hits the Enterprise") along with an overview of other applications and technologies reflective of this movement she see saw at DEMOfall.[...]
"ONLY A MORON WOULD BUY YOUTUBE"... GOTTA LOVE CUBAN
You gotta love Mark Cuban. In his latest public speech, he says only a moron would buy YouTube
due to the potential lawsuits from copyright violations. Also the latest report from comScore Media Metrix doesn't help YouTube's valuation and potential sale:MySpace Leads in Number Of U.S. Video Streams Viewed Online, Capturing 20 Percent Market Share; Yahoo! Ranks #1 in Number of People Streaming
comScore Media Metrix, the leader in digital media measurement, today released an enhancement to its U.S. Video Metrix service, with the inclusion of Flash video content as part of the monthly rankings for streaming video sites.
More than 106.5 million people, or about 3 out of every 5 U.S. Internet users, streamed or downloaded video during the month of July. In total, nearly 7.2 billion videos were streamed or downloaded by U.S.
Yahoo! Sites ranked as the top property by unique U.S. streamers with 37.9 million, followed very closely by MySpace, which attracted 37.4 million U.S. streamers. Fast-rising YouTube ranked third with 30.5 million U.S. streamers, followed by the Time Warner Network (25.7 million U.S. streamers) and Microsoft Sites (16.2 U.S. million streamers). (full press release)
I wonder what Mark Cuban would value Facebook at?
WALLOP LAUNCHED... YEAH, I'M GOOD
Here's a bit of ego rubbing... rub, rub... rub, rub. In my AlwaysOn column back in February 2005
, I expressed how I thought Wallop should have been publicly launched to compete with MySpace
during the initial rush in 2004. I wish Microsoft would have taken my advice sooner since it's a little late in the game, but Wallop
has finally launched as a separate entity with Karl Jacob at its helm. He's a serial entrepreneur who has built successful companies, so it will be interesting to see how Wallop grows and develops in the consumer social software space.
More from TechCrunch here
, Mashable here
, and CNET here
FACEBOOK WORTH $1 BILLION?A few days ago when the NY Times broke the news that Yahoo! was offering Mark Zuckerberg around $900 million for Facebook
, there was buzz and questions around whether Facebook was worth that much.
Fred Wilson has a good post and discussion about this on his blog here
Without going into a detailed analysis, my gut says Facebook isn't worth $1 billion. Maybe half? Who really knows, but the core of their site are college students so it's a limited market versus MySpace. Of course, I believe social networks are moving towards smaller affinity groups versus large aggregation plays, so Facebook should just stay in their current positioning.
I think it's a dangerous move to open their environment to non-college users to better deal with the pressures of maintaining rapid growth rates. The security and comfort of a college-only user base is a factor in their success, so maybe they should stick with this market and focus more on generating revenue from their current user base. Expand to book sales, campus coupons, or whatever else works within the online world. I believe this is regardless of whether they get acquired by Yahoo! or not.
REALITY CHECK FOR CLINTON AND THE LEFT
It's amusing how there's some uproar on the leftside of the blogosphere on how Clinton was ambushed
by Fox's Chris Wallace and how he should have never trusted those "right-wingers" (Huffington's "Bill Clinton's Bipartisan Love-In Blows Up in His Face"
I prefer posts from thoughtful blogs like The American Thinker
(definite read for those that want to learn the truth beside Clinton's statements
Bill Clinton, Bin Laden, and Hysterical Revisions
Last week, former president Bill Clinton took some time out of his busy dating schedule to have a not so friendly chat with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. Given his rabidity, Mr. Clinton might consider taking a few milligrams of Valium the next time he allows himself to face “fair and balanced” questions, assuming once wasn’t enough that is.
This wasn’t Mr. Clinton’s finest hour. In fact, it could be by far the worst performance of his career, which is saying a lot given that his acting skills were typically much more apparent than his policy-making acumen when he was in office.
Republicans claimed that Clinton was obsessed with bin Laden? He did too much to try to capture the infamous terrorist leader?
Do the facts support such assertions, or is this the typical Clinton modus operandi: when questioned about your own mistakes, bring up Republicans, neocons, and conservatives
– the liberal equivalent of lions and tigers and bears…oh my – and how it’s all some kind of a conspiracy the complexities of which only Oliver Stone fully grasps.
Historically this line of attack has worked quite well with an adoring interviewer that buys such drivel hook, line, and sinker. However, what Mr. Clinton and his ilk seem to forget regularly is a recent invention known as the Internet. It is indeed odd the former president is unaware of this, inasmuch as his vice president created it.
Regardless, this tool – with the assistance of search engines and services such as LexisNexis – allows folks to go back in the past to accurately identify the truth. Sadly, as has often been the case with the rantings of the Clintons, their grasp of the past is as hazy as their understanding of what the word “is” means. At least that is the charitable interpretation.
Nothing but GOP support for getting bin LadenWith that in mind, a thorough LexisNexis search identified absolutely no instances of high-ranking Republicans ever suggesting that Mr. Clinton was obsessed with bin Laden, or did too much to apprehend him prior to the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000. Quite the contrary
, Republicans were typically highly supportive of Clinton’s efforts in this regard. (full post
ME? THE BACHELOR?
My wife found this amusing when I told her I got an invite through Linkedin
about being a possible Bachelor candidate
."Did they actually see you?!"
She was referring to my extra 30 pounds of love I developed over the years and knew Linkedin, as a professional social networking site, didn't ask for pictures or marital status. She offered to write the ABC staffer that sent me the mass invite and explain how I was married and overweight and how I would hurt their ratings, but I declined.Dear Bernard,
ABC Television's hit reality television show, The Bachelor, is searching for its next star. After viewing your profile on LinkedIn, the casting producer has selected you as a potential candidate.
ABC is using LinkedIn to find its next Bachelor because this time around, they're looking for an accomplished professional. LinkedIn is about your professional life instead of your personal life, so we don?t know if your marital or relationship status qualifies you for the show. However, your professional profile fits the bill.
If you think you'd make a great 'Bachelor,' please let me know by reply and I will contact you regarding next steps. LinkedIn respects your privacy and will not release your contact information, so you must reply to the email above for us to pass you along as a candidate...
MTV BUYS HARMONIX MUSIC SYSTEMS FOR $175 MILLION
Just posting this because I know Doug Glen who sits on their board of directors
. I worked with Doug on one of his projects a few years, so hopefully he got some gravy from this deal :) More from TheDeal.com:New York media giant Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks said Friday, Sept. 22, it would acquire music-based videogame developer Harmonix Music Systems Inc. for at least $175 million in cash.
In addition to the headline figure, the terms of the deal call for Cambridge, Mass.-based Harmonix shareholders to be eligible for earn-out payments through 2008, if certain financial targets are met, a statement said.
"The acquisition of Harmonix advances MTV Networks’ strategy of connecting with target audiences by creating immersive, multi-platform environments that extend to every device they use,” Judy McGrath, MTV Networks chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
The acquisition follows a November 2005 partnership through which MTV Games featured Harmonix’s PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero in original programming, creative promotions and competitions, across several media.
MORE ON HPRich Karlgaard's blog has some good points and comments
from his readers to think about:
Jay Keyworth didn't leak anything to CNET that wasn't widely known. Mark Hurd had told analysts much the same thing about HP's strategy three months before Keyworth's phone conversation with CNET.
The Post also says that Pattie Dunn felt resentful she wasn't included on the board's technology strategy committee along with Keyworth and Tom Perkins.
Lastly, I was talking today with a friend who runs his company's HR department. He said the effect of this scandal on HP recruiting will be "devastating" for years ... particularly at the VP level and up.
"WEB 2.0 WINNERS AND LOSERS"
Wired's Michael Calore has his list of Web 2.0 winners and losers
, but his piece seems a bit dated and boring. Flickr, Odeo (Odeo?
), Writely, del.icio.us, and NetVibes are his winners. Zzzzzzz....
His losers are MySpace
, and Friendster
. His description of Friendster seems to be his old notes from three years ago. Yes, it's boring but always of interest to read for you (us) tech geeks out there, especially since it's a short article.
"BORN IN THE USA, MAKING IT IN KOREA"... FINANCIAL TIMES ARTICLE MENTIONThe Financial Times ran an article on my friend, Jimmy, and his current company, Innotive, today. I blogged about Jimmy several times before, such as this post here. We did two startups together and his current company was the one I was advising and helping out during my last nine months in Seoul. I asked him and Peter, our other co-founder from those two startups, to consider looking at Innotive, which they did and eventually took over the management. I'm still an advisor to this multimedia software company. Anyway, some good news will be announced soon for Innotive.As for the article, I heard that the print edition had a full picture of Jimmy, so I'll probably go buy a copy tomorrow. It's the lead story in their Business Life/Entrepreneurship section. Unfortunately, the reporter, who was kind enough to mention me, wrote that I was a "San Francisco-based technology consultant and blogger" so I didn't get a plug for GoingOn. It was months ago when I was interviewed by her, but I don't think she ever asked me what I was currently doing. Well, when we start becoming more active publicly in the coming months, I'm sure there will be more opportunties to plug GoingOn.Anyway, since it takes a paid account to access the article online, I'm going to just post the whole thing.Born in the USA, making it in KoreaBy Anna FifieldPublished: September 20 2006 18:58 | Last updated: September 20 2006In a grey room in a run-down building in southern Seoul, twentysomethings in T-shirts and flip-flops are tapping away furiously at their screens, an electric guitar propped up against one desk.Here at the headquarters of Innotive, a software revolution is taking place. The engineers are working on a new kind of content integration and delivery programme that brings together all kinds of media – photos, video, text, hyperlinks and music – with the aim of challenging the might of Microsoft PowerPoint, the market leader in presentation software.The company is also at the cutting edge of another revolution in South Korea: it is funded by a small group of private investors and is not linked to any of the chaebol conglomerates that dominate the country’s business environment.Innotive’s software enables large volumes of data to be transferred and accessed quickly. It can handle many different types of content and many large files at the same time.“PDFs, Flash Macromedia, 2D, 3D, animation, video, audio and hyperlinks – it can all be integrated into a single programme that can be accessed from computers, PDAs, mobile phones and set-top boxes,” enthuses Jimmy Kim, Innotive’s 35-year-old president.Mr Kim demonstrates with a sales presentation used by Nissan Infiniti dealerships, which he describes as being “like Minority Report”, the futuristic Hollywood movie in which Tom Cruise’s character manipulates data on a transparent screen using a specialised gloves.With the presentation appearing on a huge flat-screen television, Mr Kim taps the screen to change the colour of the car or to zoom in on its features. Tap again and it shows a video; once more and it brings up the list of specifications. Users can even draw on the screen and see their marks appear in the presentation.In South Korea, customers include SK Telecom and Korea Telecom, and the Chosun Ilbo and Donga Ilbo newspapers. International clients include carmakers H[...]
THE POPE MAKES SOME SENSEA few good articles to think about on the recent uproar created by Pope Benedict XVI:Time's Jeff Israely has a good piece...The Pontiff Has a Point His take on Islam, however clumsy, raises tough truths about reason and religionThe American Thinker, of course, has a couple solid articles...The Pope’s DilemmaThe Pope, Jihad, and “Dialogue”And a clip from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies...INTERFAITH DIALOGUE: In a scholarly address last week, Pope Benedict XVI quoted the Christian Emperor Manuel II Paleologos (1350-1425) saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."There are two parts to that statement. One can understand why the view -- Paleologos' view, not Pope B16's -- that Islam brought "only evil and inhuman" innovations might give offensive. But such a view is tame compared to what many Saudi and Iranian clerics preach now, in the 21st century, about Christianity, Judaism and other religions.As for spreading the Islamic faith through the sword, that is incontestably what both Shia and Sunni Militant Islamists continue to advocate. The Ayatollah Khomeini wrote: "Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!"Surely, this is a view that deserves further consideration and discussion. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI should consider saying something like this: Some of our Muslims friends have taken offense at my remarks. We understand that, and we are distressed by it. We would hope our friends also understand that there are Christians, Jews and indeed moderate Muslims who believe they have cause for offense -- at a time when Militant Muslims routinely justify mass murder in the name of Islam. And the other day in Gaza, two journalists, both Christians, were forced to convert -- not by the sword but at gunpoint, a distinction without a difference. If there was outrage over this act by those now protesting what we have said, word of it did not reach our ears. We would ask that violence and anger subside and that serious dialogue begin. We are therefore planning to invite several leading Muslim religious leaders to visit us here in the Vatican for inter-faith discussions. The Vatican has long welcomed people of all faiths. We would ask that Muslim religious leaders invite us to continue the conversation in Mecca. Religious authorities have in the past insisted that Mecca was off-limits to non-Muslims. Is it not time to end this archaic and intolerant prohibition?[...]
ELECTORAL FRAUD... A NEW PROBLEMGlenn Reynolds has good article on growing electoral fraud issues
with the implementation of electronic polling.Can I call 'em, or can I call 'em? Nearly four years ago, I predicted charges of electoral fraud before the polls had even opened in the 2002 elections. I was right, and such charges have only grown louder as in recent elections.
It's easy to dismiss this as the grousing of losers, for the good reason that that's pretty much what it is. But although it's easy, fun -- and basically the right thing to do -- to heap scorn on the purveyors of silly conspiracy theories, we shouldn't stop there. One of the great risks of the modern world is that when a cause is propounded by loudmouthed fools, we tend to dismiss the cause as well as the fools.
But in fact, there are lots of reasons to worry about ballot security. Computers are inherently insecure, and electronic voting machines are basically computers. As this report illustrates (complete with video), Princeton researchers were able to hack a Diebold voting machine in short order.
FLOCK NOT FLYING... BART DECREM STEPS DOWN
Private Equity Week reports how Bart Decrem
, founder of Flock
, has stepped down from his position as CEO. Flock tried to create a lot of buzz without substance in its early days about a year ago, and I remember hearing various stories on some of their team members' arrogance. I'll probably write that off as lack of experience since I'm assuming many of them are first-time entrepreneurs.
Anyway, it's an obvious bad sign for a startup when their founder leaves in its early days. It's either because he realizes Flock is a sinking ship and he's selfishly not going down with it or because the investors pushed him out due to their disappointment or lack of faith in his management skills.Valleywag has more bits here
JEFF PROBST IS A MORON... SURVIVOR HOST REALIZES ASIANS ARE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS
With all the controversy surrounding this year's Survivor
, CBS has the host of Survivor, Jeff Probst, go on the phone to provide some keen insights into their thinking and the life-changing knowledge he received, which all ignorant white people should learn from, from this year's "supreme race" approach:"When you start talking to a person from Asia, you realize -- Wow! They have all different backgrounds!"
This dude lives in LA! How could he not be somewhat aware of Asians and other minorities? Does he live in Newport Beach and only hangs out there with his buddies from Kansas and his dog, Toto? Jeff, email me and I'll teach you how to speak "Asian" at a huge discount. Typically, I charge $2,500 per hour, but I'll make it $1,000 for you. Also forget trying to learn Spanish and Portuguese to connect with the Latinos you just learned about, you just need one language lesson... "Latin." Huge discount. Call me.
Anyway, check out the primary article from The Washington Post here
and more from Defamer here
FORMER GOVERNOR GEORGE RYAN GOING TO JAIL
ENTERPRISE 2.0?... GOINGON NETWORKS IS ENTERPRISE 2.0I came across Dan Farber's post on "Enterprise 2.0 = Next Generation IT" and the various discussions around the term "Enterprise 2.0." His colleague, Dion Hinchcliffe, drafted a definition with a nice graphic:Enterprise 2.0 in general describes the liberation of often previously inaccessible corporate information to be opened up to general discoverability, consumption, and reuse using a Web-based model.I would add to Hinchcliffe's definition that it is not simply opening up corporate information but opening up the corporate culture to the commonly practiced behaviors within the consumer "Web 2.0" space. While obvious and esoteric, this is important to emphasize because it will be a point of tension and conflict within companies for years to come as they struggle to deal with open conversations between themselves and their customers, partners and the media. As the number of "Web 2.0" users grow, the workforce will become more familiar with blogging, sharing, mashing up, and other behaviors and practices of this new era and companies will eventually be forced to play catch up.Our team, at GoingOn Networks, deals with this everyday since we are by definition an "Enterprise 2.0" platform and actively selling to the market. After we did our "soft beta" launch several weeks ago, we started poundng the pavement to sell our "private label MySpace" to companies and organizations. Through these discussions, we learned an incredible amount in terms of what companies want, expect, and don't know about. And we continue to learn.Dan Farber points to related posts, so I read Jerry Bowles' post on "Top 10 Management Fears About Enterprise Web 2.0" which comes more from an IT perspective. This is important for our company down the road, but not so relevant now since we're strategically focused on selling to marketers as a first step. Why? Least path of resistance. We're providing powerful communication tools for marketers and making life easier for them where they don't have to go through their IT departments. This is similar to tools such as WebEx and Citrix's GoToMeeting. Corporate employees didn't have to go through their IT departments anymore to access and use such meeting tools. All they needed was their PC and a credit card.Vinnie Mirchandani has an interesting checklist definition of "Enterprise 2.0," which I'll answer some of them from our startup's perspective:a) supports choice of customer deployment of functionality as a service, and in installed mode YESb) is architected and priced/sold as a series of services YESd) largely automates bug fixes/upgrades which require little customer (or service partner) interventionYES. The beauty of software-as-a-service and the benefit of being a GoingOn customer is that we are constantly upgrading our platform and integrating the best features and third-party technologies into it.g) commits to transparency to customers around product quality, customer service ticket resolution, outages (where provided in SaaS mode) etc.YESi) actively encourages a on-line developer/integrator community and pushes for an "op[...]
ARRINGTON VS. CARR, ROUND TWO!... LINKING TO A-LISTERS' POSTS? THAT'S SO 2003
It's been amusing the past couple days seeing all the action around Nick Carr's post, "The Great Unread"Robert Scoble
, Shel Israel
, and Michael Arrington
are but a few of those who rip into Carr. For me, I didn't understand what he was complaining about. That he, Nick Carr, has to kiss ass to A-list bloggers (I'm assuming his traffic doesn't put him in the A-list)? That he, Nick Carr, only ranked 615 on Technorati? That he, Nick Carr, wants more attention since he doesn't have too many friends? :) (okay, that was mean)
For me, I blog as an outlet to my random thoughts and as a service to those who visit my blog. I read a fair amount each day, so I try to at least share the links and articles I come across. Whether it was just a couple hundred to a few thousand readers, who cares? I don't since I'm not trying to get rich through this or sell books or fill a gaping hole of loneliness. Due to work and our recent move to Palo Alto, I barely blogged for two months and now I'm slowly getting back into it. Also over several months my Technorati ranking dropped considerably from about 2,500 to 11,898. My traffic dropped too, so I probably moved from a B-lister to a C-lister. Do I care? No. I know I lost readership, but I'm more focused on simply sharing information with others and amusing myself through writing. Eventually, as long as I write some interesting posts, I know new people will visit and stay on as readers and some old ones will come back.
One specific point I disagree with Nick on is his comment that "the best way, by far, to get a link from an A List blogger is to provide a link to the A List blogger." That's SO 2003. Since Nick is an author of a decently known book, he might have by-passed some of the long steps towards building your blog's audience. From my experience, the best way I received links from A-list bloggers, which created more visibility, is when I wrote an interesting post and emailed them asking to link to it. I never wrote to specifically kiss ass to a certain blogger, so that he could link to me. This sounds stupid to me. I would just focus on writing good posts, so more people would appreciate my writing and decide to link to my blog without prompting. The beauty of the Blogosphere is that it is egalitarian.
JOE FRANCIS IS A TOOL... "GIRLS GONE WILD" CRUISE?
HatTip to Paul Kedroksky
. My wife hates it when I call out people and use 4-cent words to describe them, but after she reads this article that reveals Joe Francis to be a 1-cent fool then she'll give me a free pass this time.This article by Claire Hoffman
is solid and a great perspective into the character and lifestyle of the "Girls Gone Wild" founder. Definitely a revenge article that needed to be printed and glad the LA Times editors gave it the green light. Seriously, what a loser and tool.'Baby, Give Me a Kiss' The man behind the 'Girls Gone Wild' soft-porn empire lets Claire Hoffman into his world, for better or worse
Joe Francis, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, is humiliating me. He has my face pressed against the hood of a car, my arms twisted hard behind my back. He's pushing himself against me, shouting: "This is what they did to me in Panama City!"
It's after 3 a.m. and we're in a parking lot on the outskirts of Chicago. Electronic music is buzzing from the nightclub across the street, mixing easily with the laughter of the guys who are watching this, this me-pinned-and-helpless thing.
Francis isn't laughing.
He has turned on me, and I don't know why. He's going on and on about Panama City Beach, the spring break spot in northern Florida where Bay County sheriff's deputies arrested him three years ago on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking and promoting the sexual performance of a child. As he yells, I wonder if this is a flashback, or if he's punishing me for being the only blond in sight who's not wearing a thong. This much is certain: He's got at least 80 pounds on me and I'm thinking he's about to break my left arm. My eyes start to stream tears.
This is not what I anticipated when I signed up for a tour of Joe Francis' world. I've been with him nonstop since early afternoon, listening as he teases employees, flying on his private jet, eating fast food and watching young women hurl themselves against his 6-foot-2-inch frame, declaring, "We want to go wild!" (full article
PHOTOSHOP AND THE MAINSTREAM PRESS
Not sure if you've been following the recent unethical behavior of several photographers and news outlets, such as Reuters, but definitely chalk up another win for the blogosphere. Several blogs caught these idiots doctoring photos to promote their own biases.
TCS Daily has a good piece by Peter Glover called "Photoshop of Horrors"
:The recent discovery by the Blogosphere that Reuters had doctored a photograph taken in Beirut throws the spotlight once more on the thorny issue of ideological bias, intentional or otherwise, in the mainstream media (MSM).By refusing to investigate the many other photos supplied by Adrian Hajj (though the news agency has withdrawn all of them) Reuters betrays two fears. First, of exposing its reputation further and, second, facing accusations of institutional bias. A British blogger has raised serious questions about the coverage generally and the German newspaper Bildt has revealed that the "soldier" carrying a dead girl from a house allegedly destroyed in an Israeli air strike in a photo beamed worldwide is actually a professional Hezbollah PR man. Elsewhere the Blogosphere has revealed discrepancies in other Hajj photos, inconsistencies in time stamps on other media photos, and evidence of the same photo being used more than once in the MSM as evidence for separate Israeli attacks.
)The People's Cube has a hilarious post
on this, "Flat Fatima - Revolution In News Photography"Improve your war footage and get Pulitzer-winning dramatic pictures with the moaning Flat Fatima™. Her classic heartbreaking posture will easily manipulate audiences into forming the desired opinion on any conflict.
SERIOUSLY ANNOYING, ANGRY AT THE WORLD LOSERS
Just a brief post before I go back to work. Since we're in a beta stage
there are bugs and issues our users face and we try to answer or fix them as soon as possible. 90-95% of the people we deal with are reasonable. A small percentage of these users are upset about some issue, which is cool with me because they have a reason to be. But there is a very small group of users that are serious drama queens. In my eyes, they have no reason to be upset, but want to get upset. Angry at the world losers really annoy me.
Of course the customer is always right, so I have to swallow my pride and deal. Maybe next year I'll clarify this vague post and write some details down but without the names to protect the dorky... Valleywag