Monthly Archives: August 2009

mobile vs located

Sometimes the important thing about a device like an iPhone or a Kindle is that it’s portable, also known as mobile. For example they let you carry a lot more books around than if the books were physical.

But sometimes you’ll have a thing like a Boxee, which is a living room device, that’s important in the same way. That way is that it’s *located*. A Boxee is designed for living rooms. It’s the right computer for a living room.

If you use a Chumby as an alarm clock, which is the form factor it copies, it’s located when it’s in your bedroom by where your alarm clock used to be.

A mobile phone with a computer in it is portable, sure. But if you get a phone-based app that’s designed for your living room, then it’s located.

Even a standard PC is located — it’s the right computing tool for your desk.

Located apps complement the place where you are. Some apps are mobile in that they are supposed to be all over the place. A phone is like that — the point is to be location-independent.


This augmented reality deal blows my mind. I am in awe. It makes me want to laugh madly.


What about located music? When is a music app located?

The thing I’m working lately has a located aspect. The fact that it’s located is the point of it.

YouTube in Hulu territory

YouTube Biz Blog: Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and CNN Clips Coming to YouTube

The flexibility we provide partners in monetizing their content was a key factor in Time Warner’s decision to come to YouTube. You’ll see a variety of ad formats (like overlays or in-stream ads) on their content, depending on the kind of video you’re watching, and both Turner and Warner Bros. will be able to leverage the strength of their sales forces to sell their own ads on the site. We will also be integrating the Time Warner player into YouTube.com.

So Google is getting deeper into Hulu’s territory of licensing tv shows, but doing it in a way that’s more self-serve. Where Hulu controls the ads, YouTube empowers the company that owns the show to sell the ads for itself. This is typical of Google’s identity, in the sense that they always prefer to be doing code rather than content. I imagine that content providers are also taking on the risk of unsold ad inventory, which means Turner and WB are committed to the business rather than dabbling.

Music startups: the new kite eating tree

Dan Frommer: Music Startups: What A Crappy Investment

If MySpace does end up buying music service iLike for anything near the $20 million reported by TechCrunch, it’ll be just the latest disappointing return for VCs — who have poured millions into the digital music startup industry with little to show for it. Venrock’s David Pakman, who was previously CEO of eMusic, says on Twitter that iLike actually raised more than $35 million, not the $16 million reported elsewhere. “Ouch!” he adds. “Music startups aren’t great investments.”

It’s not like investors don’t know this already. I think there’s a bullet point in the first-day handout for new VCs: the copy paper is by the receptionist, the boss’s wife’s name is Dolores, and _no music startups_.

See also: Kite-Eating Tree.

Kite-Eating Tree

long lasting web sites

Yahoo!’s Picks of the Week (12-9-96)

If June can’t have a silent night, at least December can — and in several languages to boot. What we mean is, just in time for Christmas, Jako Olivier has gathered together the lyrics of the carol Silent Night, Holy Night, as translated into a number of languages. According to Jako, “it’s been said that [the song] has been translated and rewritten in 230 different languages.” At this site yule find a variety of vernacular versions, including Afrikaans, Halaka, Irish-Gaelic, Norwegian and Sesotho. So, no reason to feel left out this season when you hear a group of carolers gently crooning, “Bosiu bo kgutsitseng, Tsohle di phomotse.” Submit any lyrics you might know if you don’t see them posted here.

And as it happens, the Silent Night home page is still there, 13 years later. It’s thousands of years old in internet time, like the stonehenge of the web.

It’s an incredibly robust piece of work.

portable clouds vs packages

How is a portable cloud different than a package containing multiple files?

“Portable clouds” is a name for the idea that the “cloud” of the Internet is / can be made portable by copying portions of it onto your local networks, desktops and portable devices. Another way to say this is: really great replication and caching of the web.

On the one hand you have web pages that can easily move from host to host and URL to URL, like single page applications. Apps that use local storage (a feature of HTML5) rather than databases, for example.

On the other hand you have containers with multiple files in them, like the epub format for ebooks. Epub is a zip file whose contents are structured according to an industry standard. The contents are mainly HTML.

They’re evolving into the same place, or maybe they’re two different technology lineages competing for the same niche.

See also CMX.

starting apps from console in OS X

Here is a shortcut for starting apps from the console in OS X.

  1. Create a shell script named “o”, as in a lowercase letter ‘o’.
  2. Chmod 755.
  3. Put it in your path.
  4. Put this in it:
    #!/bin/sh
    open /Applications/$1*

So then you can start Emacs with the command o Aq instead of open /Applications/Aquamacs Emacs.app/ and Firefox with o Fire rather than open /Applications/Firefox.app/.