Archive for January, 2007

I’ve been Scobleized in real-life!

January 8, 2007 12:42 am

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. After the Bill Gates keynote, where the HP TouchSmart PC was unveiled officially in a video clip, an actual unit appeared in the suite, seemingly out of nowhere.

I think this is the TouchSmart PC as shown in the Bill Gates keynote  The big black-and-silver thing is the real deal

I was flabbergasted. When I first saw it, I blurted across the room to Karsten Januszewski “Hey, there’s one of the things I’ve worked on!” (during the development phase I had some good help from Karsten.) Turns out Microsoft and AMD had arranged for a unit to be unboxed at the BlogHaus after Bill’s mention of it.

Being the geek that I am, I mentioned to Scoble that I worked on one of the applications on it (yup, I work for HP). He says, “Does everyone here know about that?” I say, “No”. So he tells everyone, and next thing I know I have lights, cameras and microphones in my face and am awkwardly talking about the product and the program I was involved in. Scobleized!

There’s something about lights and cameras that makes you very uncomfortable when you’re caught off-guard like that. Still for some reason you agree to being interviewed and showing off the software you’ve worked on. I guess we’re all drawn in by whatever “fame” can come out of being on camera.

Anyway, I hobble through four or five of these nerve-wracking question-and-answer sessions feeling incredibly self-conscious and cotton-mouthed. By the last one I think I finally said something coherent, and I’m sure the guys who got me first are now regretting it.

I’m still all mixed up about this. Can’t sleep. Oh well, whatever happened happened. Can’t change it now. It’s on tape. I thought all that would happen this evening would be Bill Gates talking about the PC, and me getting a little conversation starter out of it. Oh boy was I wrong!

But it’s good to finally be able to write about this thing that I’ve been a little part of on since before PDC05.

So I’ll leave it at that for now. Let me know how much of a fool I made of myself once you see footage. I don’t even remember who all I talked to. I guess Google will be my friend.

Oh, and one more thing. I think this was the first time I’ve seen a “connector” in action. One loud sentence from Scoble into the room started it. And then he just slid back (and watched me make a fool of myself, I’m sure). That’s a connector for you.

Thanks for my 15 minutes of fame, Robert! Let’s see what happens next.

My first trip to CES and Las Vegas

January 7, 2007 7:26 pm

I’m sitting here at the Seagate / PodTech / AMD bloghaus after having run around all day setting up printer drivers and other good stuff at our booths.

I tried getting into the Bill Gates keynote, but didn’t make it. What a waste of $20 on cab fare. Robert Scoble even told me before I left that there would be streaming video of the keynote at the bloghaus. I guess since the product I worked on for so long is going to be featured in Bill’s note, I wanted to be there.

Anyway, it should be exciting to see the product unveiled along with whatever Bill is going to say about Vista.

I got my first glimpse of “The Strip” on my way back and forth to the Venetian, and even saw a little of the Bellagio fountain show.

Well, the keynote should start in about five minutes, so I better get this posted.

Vista – the DRM feeding frenzy?

January 1, 2007 8:50 pm

Robert X. Cringely says that what Microsoft is doing with the Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in Vista is help the media companies reselling us stuff we already have. He talks about how the media companies have been successful at this once already: when we bought CDs to replace our vinyl records, and when we bought DVDs to replace our video tapes.

True.

Then he goes on to saying that all the new Vista DRM technology will form the basis for selling us the same stuff once more, but this time protected from piracy.

I would add the following: The original “re-sell” happened to work because we saw value in going from analog to digital. No more worrying about scratches on the records and deteriorating magnetic tapes. We got better sound and picture quality to boot. Deep down though, I think, we wanted to make sure that we got content that would survive “forever” and be ours “forever”. Well, the transition to digital accomplished that.

So what can possibly drive this next wave of reselling us the same stuff? High-definition digital video (I think Robert Scoble said something like this a while back too). It’s the last chance the studios have to resell us the same stuff once more. And this time they want to get it right: no piracy, hence all the DRM technology.

I can’t wait for the mass market to wake up and find out how buggy, error-prone and restrictive the whole high-definition-with-DRM thing will be. It may not happen until it’s too late. I’m almost hoping that things will be so bad that everyone will just say “I don’t need to own those stinkin’ movies or the expensive equipment to play them. I’ll just invite some friends over and we’ll make music together or tell stories”.

Nothing beats the high-definition of your imagination.

And maybe we should worry less about “owning” hollywood-generated content. Maybe we should focus more on generating our own.

A Voluntary Simplicity manifesto

2:02 pm

Inspired by the manifestos at gapingvoid.com, here’s my Voluntary Simplicity manifesto:

——————

The free market economy of boundless growth is unsustainable, since we live on a planet with finite resources.

Future generations have just as much a right to enjoy life as the current generation.

Future generations have just as much a right to enjoy a life of the same quality as the current generation.

Conspicuous consumption, as demonstrated by American consumers, will destroy our natural resources if adopted by countries such as India and China. A lot of people in India and China are already aspiring to the lifestyle of American consumers.

The only way to change things in the world is by changing personal behavior.

Once you’ve changed your personal behavior for the better, get others to follow.

The only chance you have for getting someone to do what you want, is to demonstrate that you do it yourself.

Voluntary Simplicity is about living more purposefully with a minimum of needless distractions.

People who practice Voluntary Simplicity realize that more material possessions do not equal increased happiness in life. Often, the opposite is true. More material possessions can actually diminish happiness in life.

Voluntary Simplicity does not dictate how or how much you simplify your life. Only you can decide when you’ve reached the point of “enough” in your life.

Voluntary Simplicity is not about depriving yourself, living in poverty or lowering your standard of living. It is about living more consciously, focusing more on “inner life” than “outward appearance”.

By practicing Voluntary Simplicity you can become a role model for a new lifestyle that will enable future generations to enjoy life.

By practicing Voluntary Simplicity and spreading the word you can help change America’s conspicuous consumption philosophy. You can help people in other countries see that there is another way to live besides consumerism.

——————

To find out more about Voluntary Simplicity, check out the links in the sidebar on the right, and also take a look at these links: