Lame toppings …

The weekend before last, I took my son Sam out to spend some time with
my parents in the Bay Area of California.  While we were there we
also ran around so that he could visit with with my sisters and their
families.  On the Saturday he and I ran down to Big Basin,
one of my favorite parks just outside of Silicon Valley.  We spent
several hours hiking around the immense trees, enjoying the quiet, and
the incredible coniferous forest smells.

On the way back we met up with my sister Susan and her family.  We
ran to get dinner at a local soup and salad place.  As usual they
have the dessert bar, with soft ice cream.  Sam wanted a ice cream
cone, and so we walked up to the machine and I pulled a chair up for
him to stand on … he is really wanting to do everything
himself these days.  He did a good job of filling his cone with
the mixed chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and then asked if he could
get some “sprinkles.”

We walked over to where the “sprinkles” are, and I was surprised that
they only had raisins, broken Oreo cookies, coconut shreds, and crushed
peanuts.  No other choices.  I immediated commented to Sam,
“Oh man … they only have LAME sprinkles!”

Sam  immediately replied, “Daddy … I want lame sprinkles!  I want lame sprinkles!”

To Sam … even LAME sprinkles are better than no sprinkles.  I’ve become tainted with age.  We did have some peanuts, and Oreos.

Amazing … Novell opens the door for new leadership!

Wow … I’m wondering if there might be a glint of sunlight out there
for Novell.  Once again … and long over due … there has been a
change of guard in the executive ranks of Novell.  Jack Messman is finally out the door, along with the CFO.

I have to admit that I’m only willing to call Jack an executive … not
a leader.  From all of my experiences, and watching the direction
that Novell has taken, I would have a difficult time calling him a
respected leader. 
Instead, most of the employees that I have talked to felt that he
created an oppressive, dictatorial workplace that suppressed the
potential of the company.

All I am hearing today are the IMs of joy coming from all directions … employees and investors.

Good for the board of Novell.  No matter what, the culture and the
overall energy level in the Novell offices just jumped several notches

Where to get Cat5e Cables … Home Depot?

Last month I was working on rewiring my data center rack to install a
slew of new machines. It was on a Sunday afternoon, and I had to
run and pick up some CAT5e patch cables … but where was i going to
get them on a Sunday?

I had a few other things to pick up from Home Depot, and so I went back
to their electrical section and looked around … sure enough they sell
3′, 7′, 15′, 25′, and 50′ pre-made patch cables. Even multiple
colors! I didn’t even want to look at the price.

I was shocked … but in the good way! When I looked at the prices they were just under
$1/foot! I couldn’t believe it. A 3′ patch cable for ~$2.98
… the 25′ was $24.95. I bought enough for my rack, and some

Yesterday I walked into CompUSA to buy a video card … something that
I don’t think Home Depot would have. While there I figured I
would check to see what CompUSA charges for CAT5e patch cables.
This time I was SHOCKED … in a bad way! CompUSA was charging $14.95 for a 7 foot cable in the store!

We have reached an interesting tipping point in computer technology
when I can run down to the local hardware store (Ok … the local Home
Depot!) and pick up a CAT5e patch cable … at a good price.
Technology is continuing to weave itself into our lives … becoming a
more and more natural extension of our lives … leading towards the
inevitable substrate transition …

Adobe … the dark horse

I’m back working on several very cool Internet/Web projects now. 
It’s fun to get back deep into the Internet, and catch up on what is
going on with the bleeding edge.  There are several areas that I’m
now really digging in … video on the net, and the whole SEO, web
marketing, web advertising, and affiliate marketing.

One thing that has now become evident to me, is that the acquistion of Macromedia by Adobe
was brilliant.  Adobe/Macromedia is now making huge inroads in web
properties, and seems to be linked to a lot of the best things going in
Web 2.0.

First lets look at YouTube … all based on the Adobe/Macromedia
Flash player.  So distribution of video on the Internet quickly
becomes ubiquitous and platform independent! 
Google Video?  Same thing … Adobe/Macromedia Flash player. 
There are now a half dozen video related sites … all using the
Adobe/Macromedia Flash player.

Besides the fact that the player is everwhere, and it’s on all the top
operating system platforms, by using the Macromedia player, the videos
can quickly be embedded anywhere in any web property.  This is one
of the core value propositions that we are leveraging in one of my new start-ups.

So then we get to Flex
Amazing stuff.  Again, Adobe/Macromedia now has a platform for
creating advanced applications, providing rich UI, and the player is
everywhere!  And the one key feature is that they can escape much
of the “sand box” surrounding current AJAX applications!  Writing
applications in MXML is now easier … they have adopted the Eclipse
development environment … and their plug-in can escape issues like
cross-domain access.  In one of my other start-ups, we’re looking
at embracing the Flex technology for all of it’s benefits.  We
immediately get a ubiquitous, cross-platform solution that produces
user content that can be embedded in any of the top web properties on
the planet.  Nice.

Oh yeah … and Adobe also got Cold Fusion in the acquisition.

I started to think about new metrics for measuring the success of companies in the Internet.  One possible metric is user viewable pixels … or even a percentage of user viewable pixels.  For example if you went to
and looked at the page.  Out of all of the viewable pixels, who’s
technology “owns” what percentage of those pixels?  In the case of
CNN, there are all sorts of Adobe/Macromedia ads running, and even if
they are 10% of the viewable pixels … that is a lot of web real
estate.  Some sites are more.  Again … think of Google
Video … there Adobe/Macromedia has a huge
percentage of viewable pixels.  If you add in the number of Cold
Fusion sites on the net?  Adobe has a lot of the “web-top” now in
their pocket.

I think that people so quickly forget about the battles for the
desktop, and the complaints about Microsoft “controlling” the
desktop.  What is amazing to me is the penetration that Adobe now
has with the Acrobat reader, and Flash player … and the tools for the
creation of powerful content.

Philippines Videos

I completed a couple of short, amateur videos of my trip to the
Philippines and put them up on YouTube. The first was just of a
cab ride through Makati to the Manila Airport. The second is the plane flight from Manila to Baguio.

I’ll do a few more … I’m wanting to get back into creating videos.

Identity Verification … by Tiger Direct

A few weeks back I made an on-line purchase – for the first time – with Tiger Direct.
When completing the purchase – a $3000+ Plasma Display for a client – I
was really surprised when I was presented with a notification that I
was going ot have to answer some questions to verify my identity!

Ok . .. so I was thinking some steps … but never would have imagined
what I was going to see. I was presented with a page that
appeared to contain an iFrame, and it suddenly filled with a set of
three multiple-choice questions. As I read the questions … I
was shocked.

  • The first question had my city name – Heber City, Utah – and it
    asked me to pick which street address was in that city. It listed
    four street addresses … and sure enough one was for another property
    that I own. Uh … ok … kinda’ weird.
  • The second question? This is the one that got me. It
    asked me to identify the name of someone that I know … and listed
    four names. The second name … was the married name of my
    younger sister. No way.
  • The third question showed a street address … and asked me to
    identify the city that the street was in. I immediately
    recognized the street address … but could not identify which of the
    four listed cities it was in … funny … must have been an old rental
    or something.

It really was a weird experience to see that type of personal detail
… being asked on a web page. Overall, I like it … it was a
cool system and I can see where it would be very tough for someone to
gather those pieces of information. At the same time, it was
strange to see personal information gathered in such a way.

What made me think about this tonight was when a friend indicated that
he requested his annual free credit reports today. He said that
the same system was used to verify his identity to request the reports
… wild.

Skype unblocked!

I’m not sure that I want to say that it’s over … but as of today I
can SkypeOut again! I spent weeks on their on-line forums, and
posted 16+ support requests through their website (NONE of which were
ever answered!) and then as of today got a personal message on the
on-line forums indicating that I was unblocked.

My Skype account was blocked when I unsucessfully attempted to purchase
Skype credit with my credit card from the Philippines. That was
on the 28th of May! They blocked my account that night … and I
have been struggling to get it unblocked – on a daily basis – since

Sure enough … I can use Skype again!

Technological life getting biological implants?

I like this one even better.  So what we seem to be doing is
planning for the future, when technological life has taken over. 
In this future, entities that have come from the technologic substrate
will be able to have biological implants!

Ok … all kidding aside … this is till pretty cool stuff. 
We’re making huge advances in the merging of biological and
technological life!

Scientists Couple Nerve Tissues With Computer Chip.


RNA Interference

I first heard about RNA Interference a few years back … caught this article today – here is the full text
– that talks more indepth about the tools and techniques.  This is
amazing stuff … I have read a few papers about the possibilities and
they are endless.  The first article that I saw was about a
possible gene therapy using RNA interference to possibly change your
eye color!

Now we are talking about modern body/identity modifications!

Sharpening the tools of RNA interference. Nature May 23 2006 8:13PM GMT [Moreover Technologies – Genetics news]

RFID Implants … do it yourself?

When I read this article I immediately began to think about all of the
science fiction movies where the various characters are always trying
to REMOVE tracking devices from themselves.  I can remember the image of Arnold pulling the giant round tracking module from his nasal cavity in Total Recall.

This article, however, is about a growing number of people who are now
inserting RFID tags into themselves!  Well … in some cases they
are having doctors do it … but the one web page referenced includes
the list of items to do it at home!

Of course this links me back to Pete Ashdown‘s comments last night about integrity
… we spoke about this breifly after the Utah Bloggers conference had
ended.  It’s cool to see people who are ok with being tracked …
and aren’t afraid of anything that might be gathered about them. 
They are ok with where they go, and what they do.

I’m going to keep thinking about this one.  I have been thinking
that with the younger generations adopting lifestyles where ‘body
modification’ is becoming the norm, they will be more and more open to
technological implants.  If you are willing to get tattoos, and
have piercings, then when might you go for subdermal animated LED
impants, or RFID tags?

Social Consequences and Effects of RFID Implants?.