September 25, 2007
SceneCaster on 3D Media Sharing
The SceneCaster team is on the DEMOfall stage. SceneCaster makes 3D available to anyone who can enter a keyword into a search engine like Google. They are opening this up to communities and have even opened this up to Facebook users. They'll allow people to both create and embed 3D scenes.
Mashable writes: This network is for creative professionals and those that enjoy media-sharing. It’s an interesting way of taking pieces of social networking and the virtual web-based communities that are gaining a stronghold for Internet culture. SceneCaster lets you add all sorts of images, effects and items to your virtual 3D space–it’s integrated with Google’s 3D Warehouse, which hosts a good amount of 3D images, both recognizable and imaginary.
Video & More Kicks off DEMOfall 07
DEMOfall07 kicks off this morning in San Diego unveiling new video technologies. First on stage Digital Foundation showing Splash, which is a video content platform that provides entertainment grade delivery over any network.
They're using Amazon web services to deploy splash and pay only for what they use, which means capital costs for next to zero. They say their competitors are Akamai Technologies, Limelight Networks, and Move Networks.
GlobalCast is next up, a platform which enhances delivery of content 3-dimensionally through revolutionary patented capabilities that allow seamless integration of broadband content delivery and full-scale interoperability on a continental and global scale.
Client MetaRADAR is also up in this segment, which I wrote about earlier this morning. Performed with grace under fire (back-stage technical glitch), they showed RADAR, the world's first MediaMasher. While yes, RADAR can help you navigate video, RADAR is not all about video.
As a rich new media delivery platform that transforms both web navigation and content discovery, RADAR provides people with a easier and more effective way to navigate and explore all digital rich media across multiple platforms, from mobile devices to the desktop.
With RADAR, you can manage, navigate and discover ALL of your digital rich media under one roof. Today, you have to go to hundreds of sites just to keep up. RADAR solves this by bringing together all your favorite meia and websites in a way that is visually stunning and remarkably easy-to-use.
ClipBlast is an online video widget, which makes it possible to search, navigate and watch the Video Web without having to launch a browser or visit a specific Website. They try to go beyoond pure video search, by helping viewers personalize and discover videos, using streaming real-time indexing to alert them of the most recent and relevant videos as they come online. He throws out a $4.3 billion number out there, that will be spent on advertising on the v ideo web, eluding to the massive opportunity in this space.
MotionDSP is a consumer video site that dramatically improves videos uploaded from mobile phones, digital cameras, security cameras and webcams. They're launching FixMyMovie, which can enable your mobile phone to become a viable video camera.
MetaRADAR Launches World's First MediaMasher
Client MetaRADAR is on the DEMOfall stage this morning unveiling their new RADAR platform, the world's first MediaMasher. Cool name, eh? It's essentially a rich new media delivery platform that transforms both web navigation and content discovery.
In simpler terms, RADAR provides people with a easier and more effective way to navigate and explore rich media across multiple platforms, from mobile devices to the desktop.
Imagine being able to easily navigate and access everything under one roof. Today, you have to go to hundreds of sites just to keep up. RADAR solves this by bringing together all your favorite meia and websites in a way that is visually stunning and remarkably easy-to-use.
RADAR provides quick access to rich media content from hundreds of leading providers and can easily be customized, enabling users to add their own feeds, websites, social communities, news sources, video links, photographs, blogs and more.
Pioneering a unique navigation and display system, RADAR simplies frequently used features such as search, social networking, content creation, downloading, browsing, messaging and much more.
September 24, 2007
Kennedy Years: Brothers
I went to one of David Talbot's book readings recently. For those unfamiliar with him and his work, David is the founder of Salon.com and recently completed a book on the hidden history of the Kennedy Years entitled Brothers.
It largely focuses on John and Robert. The drama of the book is largely associated with what and who was really behind both John and Bobby's deaths. What did Bobby and the family know? Others? What was interesting to learn from Talbot in-person and through his book, was how little power John Kennedy had over national security at the time.
From one book excerpt: "The Kennedy brothers and a small circle of their most trusted advisors, repeatedly thwarted Washington's warrior caste. These hard-line generals and spymasters were hell-bent on a show-down with the Communist foe."
What I love about Talbot and in particular, his commitment not only to the subject matter but to revealing the truth, is his sincerity, and his ability to weave in and out of journalist style, story-telling dialogue and historical facts. Finally, its his belief that this is a story that must be told since so many of the dynamics are still a mystery thirty years later.
September 23, 2007
Eat, Pray, Love
I briefly referenced Elizabeth Gilbert in an earlier blog post, but didn't go into the details of her journey in newly released Eat, Pray, Love.
Her book is exactly that: a journey of an American woman in her early thirties post-divorce. What bothered me about the first third of the book was how narcissistic and juvenile it felt both in her emotional development and in the quality of her writing.
Given the glowing praise from all the editorial greats, it made me feel as if I shouldn't have this reaction if her writing was worthy of such global literary acclaim.
A really great writer can integrate themselves into a novel and yet make the reader relate, resonate, feel, move, inspire. About a third way through, I accept that it is her dialogue, that it is her diary, that it is about one woman's journey, but no one else.
Occasionally we are blessed with the gift of someone she loved or met along the way, but only in snippets and you find yourself wanting more of them. I, like others I know who read the book, longed for more character development of those she wove into the story.
The drama around a successful couple's New York divorce was far too accentuated for anyone who has either been to the bottom and back again, or lived a more trying life. I'm now re-reading Unbearable Lightness of Being and Elizabeth at 35 versus Kundera's Sabina is a tough comparison.
That said, it is a modern drama. Sex in the City meets the third world, but its one character alone, out on a limb, trying to survive, learn a lesson or two and find God along the way.
She is amusing at times and aroused a chuckle in me more than once. Her post-western divorce escape began in Italy (to discover all things pleasurable), then led her to India (for all things spiritual) and then finally to Indonesia (Bali in particular, to learn about balancing the two).
All of it was very familiar to me since I've spent a chunk of time in all three places. Hence, I very much resonated with her recap on the people, culture and what each ultimately stand for.
Her dialogue (to us, not with us) while in Italy read more like a college student's diary, yet she expands beyond herself for the first time when she reaches an Indian ashram. How can you not? Here, alone on a hill, she makes peace with her ex-husband, learns about patience and gratitude through meditation, yoga and God. God, meaning a spiritual connection to the holiest of Gods, one beyond structured religion itself: the best kind.
She writes, "Your treasure -- your perfection -- is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart." Hear hear.
Later, before she finally leaves India for her final destination to resurrect her past misfit living, we read about the infinite. "But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed, infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendance all just part of this larger human search for divinity?"
This part is obviously beautifully written and there are snippets of beautiful threads throughout, so while I don't think it deserves the kind of acclaim it received, I found it a 'fun' read.
And while I applaud her for sticking it out on the ashram and digging deeper for spiritual truth, I was disappointed that she didn't focus on her spiritual growth for longer before diving back into a relationship.
TC40 Photo Album Uploaded
September 22, 2007
West Coast GREEN: Thinking Differently
Not a week goes by in my professional or personal life where I don't meet someone new exploring sustainable living, about to attend a 'green' conference or more commonly, I discover that an existing friend or business contact has moved from traditional tech into all things green.
A friend from CNET recently migrated to Building Green TV, a girlfriend left a global branding company she founded to re-build a home in Marin that embraces green design and construction practices, and a former Wired News reporter bud is now a co-founder of Matter Network, which examines the strategies, technologies and products that are powering the shift to a sustainable economy. And that's just the beginning.
And why not? There are certainly a ton of opportunities.
Gore's book and movie have certainly raised awareness about the issues at hand and his outward-bound PR campaign to change the way people think about global warming and other green-related issues seems to be paying off.
Clearly, he's not the only one encouraging Americans and the rest of the world to think differently. Plus, we have new political candidates adding all things green to their campaign pitches, much more aggressively than they did four and eight years ago.
West Coast Green was in full force in San Francisco the past few days. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was on the speaker list, as were many experts on green building and sustainable living. Some of the topics included: solutions for climate change, lifecycle building challenges, an unusual look at green 'buildings,' global ecology, hatching a green building business, intersection of sustainability and spirituality (right up my alley), as was harmony, beauty and sacred geometry.
They also addressed the business side (also up my alley), such as cost effective techniques for green building, planning and land development, and greening project management. They held a panel on green solar as well as a business transformation boot camp (gotta love it), as well as a session led by David Rousseau called 'getting your green projuct funding.'
September 21, 2007
Highlighting Industry Voices & Smiles
In addition to the 40 companies on-stage and others in the Demo pit, TechCrunch40 added fireside-like panel discussions with leading illuminaries in the Web 2.0, social media, search and software industries. A few of these icons and friends of icons we heard from below.
Digg's Jay Adelson
Clearstone's Sumant Mandel
The ever-engaging Guy Kawasaki
And then of course I ran into a few fabulous industry folks in the hallways.
Sam Whitmore and Jim Louderback
And yes, there were women at the event as well. Catarina Fake and Esther Dyson sat on a couple of the expert panels and I ran into Janice Frasier on Tuesday.
TechCrunch's Heather Harde
Mobissimo's Beatrice Tarka
Mint's Donna Wells
Living on a Hill in San Francisco
I live on one of those hills in San Francisco. You know the kind; the ones that you read about in novels or have seen in movies. My 'hill' is the kind that you climb (in a car or on foot - it feels the same). When you come down the other side, you have this feeling you nearly mouth out loud in the moment, 'thank god I had a light lunch.'
I guess I'm no longer a newbie here and yet, I still get excited by the dips and the highs and am always aware of and grateful of the fact that I'm here -- for now, for however long my stint in this remarkable city may be.
So, I've had a few 'hill experiences' that have nothing to do with physicality. Not really.
I'm a Comcast user as I'm sure many of you are. Here's what living on a hill - a high San Francisco hill that is - gives you.
Most definitely a view. The view, the view, the view. Yes, yes, yes. And also:
Comcast man: What seems to be the problem?
Me: Connection. It's not as fast as it should be, nor as fast as everyone I know who subscribes to a DSL or cable internet access service. What's odd is that it appears to be worse when its raining or the weather isn't great.
Comcast man: Could be where you live in the city?
Me: What do you mean? This area doesn't support fast Internet access? Living in this neighborhood means I'm out of luck?
Comcast man: Not necessarily this specific area, but it could be. You live on a hill.
Yeah, I live on a hill and great Internet access has to do with living on a hill?
When I start to roam with my landline cordless, it gets spotty. Comcast man #7 comes for a visit .
Comcast man: What seems to be the problem?
Me: Well, when I leave my home office, or travel a mere two feet from the phone base, people say I sound like I'm in China? (meaning remote access but more -- remote access combined with an ocean crashing in the background with a little static on the top of it. Kind of like my grandparents line in the country in the early 1970s).
They try to come up with a solution, suggesting that perhaps if I didn't have a router, I'd be all set.
Me: "Hmmm, so I can't have Wifi AND use a landline phone at the same time? In the same house?"
Comcast man: Could be the location.
Me: Don't tell me. It's because I live in a hill?
No response. Pause. Still no response. "Because I live on a hill?" I repeat. It gets worse.
The toilet. It's been replaced and is performing much better than it did before. The old toilet simply wouldn't flush at the best of times but thankfully it didn't have to do with the weather like it does with my phone service and Internet access. Because I live on a hill of course.
One more thing. When I go away on a business trip or sometimes when I'm away only a mere day or two, I find dust on my windowsill. Why? Because I live on a hill of course. There must be an Earthquake Comcast rep to verify this.
Me thinks that perhaps San Francisco has a few more earthquake tremors than it says it does -- in other words, a minor one or two perhaps, every day. So minor that perhaps we notice nothing more than dust on our windowsill? Especially if we live on a hill.
September 20, 2007
Musicshake: The No Brainer Music Project
The two Korean founders had quite the presence on stage, as one danced his way onto the stage while another drove a laptop, while jamming to the mixed tune. The mixed tune, we soon learn, was created by a nine year old.
Musicshake is the 'no brainer music project,' they tout. Mom can make her own ring tones and a child can whip up a ear-pleasing result without knowing a thing about music.
You can choose strings with a guitar or other instrument, then decide on a pattern and then select what you want to overlap with what pattern. Users can record their own voice if they wish.
Other notables: Musicshake owns 100% of their IP. They already have 170K of music patterns in their system and expect to have one million by the end of 2008.