When technology just works

Today I needed to visit a medical specialist for collection of something. I had to pay $250 as my insurance did not cover. I sent a check as requested however today they had not record of receipt. Not wanting to write a second check and then find they cash both, I logged onto my online banking right there with my iPhone (miracle I could remember my login and password as all important logins like this are different and normally I need my notes) and I’m able to confirm deposit and even view a scanned copy of the check. Confirming the date they are still unable to find. I’m able to use an office computer and print out this confirmation to show them proof of payment.

The technology of the iPhone and the thoroughness of my bank online check verification solved the hassle, simplified the confirmation and greatly reduced the stress of the situation. At T-2 days the technology worked and I was most grateful.

Learning SEO the painful way

Indeed I have a goal of launching a consolidated site of my online presence at ronaldbradford.com at some time soon, and even now I have found I’ve made some SEO 101 mistakes, just in my testing site, and my temporary placeholder.

As a database expert I see plenty of database 101 mistakes with most clients, so part of why my site is going nowhere is I don’t want to make SEO 101 mistakes, especially as I’m not launching a new site, but a migration of existing content to one site.

I see nobody at O’Reilly has made improvements to the redirection mess of the MySQL Conference website as described by Farhan Mashraqi in Someone please change mysqlconf.com redirection, and so rather then linking to www.mysqlconf.com which I have done, I’ve linked to the direct page, which I’m sure will probably change after the conference making this a broken link.

I am concerned that a larger organization can’t get this right. Is SEO/SEM not important to them? It will also be of interest to see what happens here with Sun acquiring MySQL. Sun did a rather detailed job of MySQL content on www.sun.com. Time will tell I guess.

NY PHP – Sun & MySQL: A New Hope

Tonight’s New York PHP community meeting was a talk by Philip Antoniades the MySQL Systems Engineering Manager.

With an interesting topic opener “A New Hope” I could not resist to hear Philip’s official MySQL presentation.

Some small points I took away from the presentation.

  • Sun is committed to Postgres with Josh Berkus and a team of 20 people.
  • Solaris.next is the next version of Sun, I thought that was a cool internal name, be it obvious
  • A marketing slide of the highest traffic websites listed Meebo, yousendit, alexaholic, techcrunch, feedburneer, istockphoto and vimeo as reported by Pingdom. Not sure were they get their data, but Google, Yahoo, FaceBook, Wikipedia, MySpace, Fotolog are sites I think of as high traffic. Indeed 3 of these listed sites I’ve never heard of.
  • MySQL 5.1 is expected GA in late Q2 (no year was mentioned).
  • Falcon in 6.0 was listed as the “Next Generation” transaction Storage Engine, an interesting term I’d not heard of before.
  • Sun provides Hosted Database Services (i.e. the cloud) via network.com.
  • MySQL has had an influx of Sun Engineers (60-80).
  • MySQL is being benchmarked more on Sun H/W.

This talk did remind me it’s time to download Open Solaris. With the interesting comment that out of some 1,200 Sun Engineers over 1,000 were Macbook users gives me great confidence it will work just fine on my Macbook.

Out of other discussions there was talk of ZFS, so this will be interesting in what backup opportunities for MySQL without a true Online Backup solution may exist.
Also there was discussion with Sun’s GUI Tool NetBeans, and this casts light on how this will sit with the MySQL GUI team and MySQL Workbench.

Interesting times, this new hope.

Microsoft, Yahoo and Open Source

There has been plenty of press this week regarding Microsoft making a bid for Yahoo. This week the Wall Street Journal Article From Uncertain Future To Leading Yahoo Bid has prompted me to the following observations. I quote several points:

The bid, he said on the call, is “the next major milestone in Microsoft’s companywide transformation” to incorporate online services.

as Microsoft pushes the bid and, if successful, tries to meld Yahoo with Microsoft.

Microsoft had been negotiating to buy online ad company DoubleClick Inc. but lost that deal to Google, which paid $3.1 billion. Microsoft in May countered, spending $6 billion on online ad company aQuantive Inc.

While Microsoft should continue investing in its own online services, it needed to speed things up through acquisitions.

Once a company had a critical mass of buyers and sellers on its online-ad system, it could hold sway over much of the industry. In computers, Microsoft achieved that position with its Windows operating system. But on the Internet, Google was quickly taking on that role.


The Alexa Ratings has Yahoo as the number 1 real-estate property, outstripping Google. What’s important to realize that Yahoo along with many top traffic websites not only use Open Source, but their business is run on Open Source. At the database, there is MySQL powering Yahoo, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Fotolog and Flickr for example. Google also uses MySQL within critical components (not the search engine).

One can only hope that if such a bid is successful, much like the Sun acquisition of MySQL , that strong components of the Open Source ideal infects the much larger host.

I was thinking of taking this popular Tux & Microsoft Office image and badging Tux with a Yahoo logo, or perhaps he needs to be planting a big neon sign in the center.

The Hatchery July Event


Wednesday night I attended my second Hatchery event. The Hatchery is an opportunity for organizations and clever individuals seeking venture capital to make a proposal in a formal panel process with venture capitalists. This month’s event included 3 presenters, all 3 different from last month, each presenting in a better style (thanks to being prepped) in a revised format that included a longer presentation time, and an opportunity of questions from the floor. So the presenters.

safeTspace.com


On the Internet there is “no way to prove who people say they are”. safeTspace.com is an attempt to address this problem starting with the vertical of creating a safer Internet for children. This is a noble pursuit, it’s clearly needed, I applaud the attempt but it’s a battle that I believe can’t be solved via traditional means. I compared this pursuit with a two very common problems. 1: SPAM. This can’t be solved without eliminating the underlying email protocol that is flawed. 2: VIRUSES. This can’t be solved without the underlying Microsoft Operating System that is a virus incubator.

With these two examples there will always be spam filters and spam programs competing to eliminate spam, and the issue for example of false positives. There will be always be anti-virus software attempting to fix as quickly as possible problems or identification *after* a new virus is found and released to the world. Until Microsoft re-defines the way it secures it’s underlying operating system, and application suit from the ground up, those users that use this OS will continue to live with daily concern of viruses. Enough ranting.

It would appear from the presentation there are two steps of the process, authentication and verification. The authentication process involves a physical person verifying the child in question is a physical real person. The verification process is either a fingerprint scanner, or a camera. Fingerprint scanners for example are not secure, and there are plenty of non-standard entry level models already available, so a fingerprint could be faked. Photo recognition, what’s stopping somebody putting a photo of the child in front of the camera.

The problem is the system is only half of two necessary parts. Authenticating a real person to access the Internet doesn’t stop this person from then doing anything like pretending to be somebody else. While the purpose of the pursuit is to ensure the reverse, this first point can also occur. The co-operation of all websites is needed but how can you get a buy in from sites such as MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube etc. I work in this industry, I know people that work for these organizations, I work with large organizations such as these, I know this type of implementation will not happen easily without significant incentive, and there are millions of community web sites, millions.

It was interesting that this project started “from something that came out of an argument”. A comment that was re-iterated by one of the panel saying this was a good thing. I can’t say I agree here, active discussion promotes collaboration, and opinionated views. Arguments rarely achieve anything other then resulting in personal attacks and usually is over something less then very important.

While all three key people were all from the Department of Homeland Security (good to see them all there for the presentation), the comments regarding the proposal included the lack of a technology security expert, and resources with significant Sales & Marketing background. This re-iterates what I have learned from my experiences in working with startup companies and venture capital using the Bell Mason Diagnostic (BMD). This approach tackles 4 different stages of development, 4 quadrants with 12 axis of analysis that covers Technology, CEO, Product, Team, Software Development, Board, Business Plan , Cash, Marketing, Financeability, Sales and Controls. What I know and don’t have in any of my own ventures is contacts and involvement of people covering these areas of required expertise. It’s an important checklist with anybody that has an idea.

ParkWhiz.com


The second presenter was for ParkEhiz.com, a quick and easy way to search for and pay in advance for parking. With one click access to your city, Google Maps mashup integration, slider refresh of distance and price (but not rating) the website provides quick access to information and quick filtering, something necessary for a website success, and something that can kill you in performance with a successful site. Still, good points scored from me here for the practical site.

The presenter did a good job. While clearly a technical person, his enthusiasm towards the idea was evident and this is one side to promoting you idea. There were clearly areas of greater analysis in the business plan necessary such as securing major clients, and considering ideal marketing and pricing plans. Panel Investor Hugh Cullman post presentations comments stated in his discussion that the zeal of the presenter and not just the business of the presentation contributed to evaluating proposals early in the funding process. At the ring of the 7 minute timer, when asked to complete the sentence the reply was “it’s going to be a 7 slide sentence”. The presenters know the terms before the presentation, they were also prepared prior. It’s very important that your professionalism includes following the rules.

The ParkWhiz Guarantee is an interesting offer. A 100% guarantee is parking is not honored. This will become an issue if the “phone for an alternative” floods the most likely single phone operator for now. With a dependency on more traditional communication means additional resourcing will always be necessary.

Convenience is a strong selling point. However, having worked for a failed Internet startup from 1999-2002 that had 3 rounds of funding and one significant project that worked with bringing *buyers* and *sellers* together I had a number of points of input. The most significant is meeting the technology capabilities of the “buyer” and “seller”. I saw huge problems here, and this was clearly raised by one of the panel members saying “I know my parking garage just got an answering machine”. In this instance, the reliance on Parking Garages to have Internet access, and to use this in a timely manner will simply never work. Likewise for those looking for last minute parking, people may not both have readily available Internet access not the desire to pay in advance. Combine the management fee for this service of 25%, and I’m sure the desire of less reputable garages for a cash business, as well as the handling of money twice is also and overhead. That is taking money from the buyers, and then passing onto the sellers.

To overcome this I would suggest two things. First, for this to work you need to meet the sellers with the technology they can support, and the most I could see here is cell phone text messaging. No more. The second is providing a monthly fee service for buyers, that again via Cell phone, Text Message, email or PDA version provide a buyer with a list of parking garages with prices and times in the area provided. Would a service of $5-$10 a month work here. Well I guess only trial and error can tell. I did find out that a PDA version of the website existed, however on my iPhone (which is a full web browser), I was stuck with the PDA version.

Newstin


The final presentation was Newstin, a Global News Aggregator. On first inspection this site showed nothing more then what I get with Google News. The presenter who didn’t stand still (making it interesting for the videographer) was quick to indicate the key differences, the first was the number of feeds being significantly more, and the second being translation capabilities via a machine translation technologies.

This presentation described the direct competition with Googke, Topix.net and Factiva, and similar services as Bloomberg. This information is always necessary, you have to set your apart from your competitors. You have make yourself unique. That uniqueness was the schematic keyword search and integrated translation. This analysis included a patent. The presentation included description of technology partners and it seemed while not clear to indicate that translation was performed by a third party.

The service however is a niche product at $2500 per year. It was also immediately clear that Americans and America can never be considered a primary source for this service. I’ve spoken previously regarding my opinions on the clear lack of World News by the US media, and a clear false view presented to the viewing public in this country. My thoughts on CNN International was also echoed by one of the panel. The key target market is clearly Europe, a point raised many times by the panel. What was not mentioned and I consider an emerging market is Asia. Korea, Japan are powerhouse large Internet communities and I’m sure China and other Asian countries will become likewise.

And to include a quote from the presenter, when asked how much money do you have left from initial funding the response was “Just about enough to get me here to ask for more”. They were clearly asking for a lot and with 30 staff in Prague, Czech Republic resources were also working for peanuts.

Post Presentation


One great thing about this meetup is the opportunity to talk more with the presenters afterwards, to also network and this time (as well as before) and the opportunity for a drink with some people following completion. I had a chance when discussing an idea to mention The Purple Cow by Seth Godin. A quick and easy read, but an inspiration in thinking outside the square. I had an opportunity to show my Moo Cards which last month were on order, but used by one of the presenters. What was surreal was as a showed my cards, one was randomly selected just as the NewsTin presenter approached. The card selected was of the Praque Castle (the only Praque photo of the collection) and Praque being the home city of operations for NewsTin. Coincidence!

The fobar of a Web 2.0 website

Web 2.0 is all about community driven content. Recently eBay purchased Stumble Upon for $75 million. There is a problem here. When I first heard of the site, I looked at. I remember going back the next few days, and I was sure it hadn’t changed. Then I started taking screen shots. Having forgotten about it now for over a month under a discussion today, I took another screenshot. In over a month, from June 3rd to July 15th there has been no content change to the website. There has been a change to the counter of number of stumblers, and a change of image for a Recent Stumblers, but the “content”, the recent popular web site on the first page of the website remains unchanged. Check out my screenshots.

-rw-r--r-- 1 rbradford rbradford 568715 2007-07-15 19:13 stumbleapon.15072007.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 rbradford rbradford 570622 2007-06-03 21:32 stumbleupon.03062007.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 rbradford rbradford 580385 2007-06-04 18:25 stumbleupon.04062007.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 rbradford rbradford 586082 2007-06-07 00:22 stumbleupon.07062007.png
-rw-r--r-- 1 rbradford rbradford 570792 2007-06-15 02:03 stumbleupon.15062007.png

The algorithm is banned in China

This is an image I took yesterday of a billboard “The algorithm is banned in China.”. I don’t get it. This one has “Ask” in the bottom of the image.

I remember a few months ago seeing “The algorithm killed Jeeves”, and it had no reference to “Ask” on it, so I assumed it was some reference to Google Killing askjeeves.com. Need to find that photo.

Found it. I took this photo below on Apr 20, 2007. Note: there is no Ask logo like the one above.

Truemors, Tumors, Dribble

I was sent this email.


http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/06/by_the_numbers_.html

By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen – Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09

I have had my flatmate talk about it a lot in the past day. So I checked it out. Here is my view.

My Review

I’ve heard the name “Guy Kawasaki” but never read his stuff, or followed him. My first impression was the 2007 MySQL Conference and I was suitably impressed. See MySQL Conference – The next keynote with Guy Kawasaki

So some of my comments following this site — Truemors.

$1,115.05. I spent $1,115.05 registering domains. I could have used GoDaddy and done it a lot cheaper, but I was too stupid and lazy.

55. I registered 55 domains (for example, truemors.net, .de, .biz, truemours, etc, etc). I had no idea that one had to buy so many domains to truly “surround” the one you use. Yes, I could have registered fewer and spent less, but who cares about saving a few hundred bucks compared to the cost of legal action to get a domain away from a squatter if Truemors is successful?

Me: Your an idiot, and I don’t use the term lightly. I had great respect after one presentation, I even referred to his talk last night at a meeting for people to improve their presentations, but you paid 3 times the price for one domain, ok, but for 55, and then he hasn’t covered the name to well. A few quick typos and people have already registered names and stuck up google ads.

4. I learned four lessons launching Truemors:
There’s really no such thing as bad PR.
$12,000 goes a very long way these days.
You can work with a team that is thousands of miles away.
Life is good for entrepreneurs these days.

Me: There is such a thing as bad PR if your not “Guy Kawasaki” a name that draws a crowd.
$12,000 does go a long way if you spend it wisely. $399 for a logo, I could have done in 10 mins in Photoshop, and I’m an amateur. I’ve got better free logos on my sites. You have to get to being a successful entrepreneur before you can say “life is good for entrepreneurs these days”

Conclusion

I could make a comment on a number of his points.
My conclusion is he certainly polarized people. The responses are either completely for, or completely against.

If you want to read on, here are a few comments I’ve taken from his own blog comments which I found interesting. For those lazy and just like scanning.
Oh, and if you go to his site, the top reference on his own site is people bagging his site. Yeah that’s really good PR – Screen print at the end.

=========================================================================
Poor Guy! I have a number for you: number of websites needed to destroy your reputation: 1.

Wait, a minute you’re an “expert” on startups, and you spent more than a $1000 on domain name registration? Hahaha! LMAO

To me, Truemors would have been better if you:

1) Spent some money to have some juicy content prepared for launch to be submitted by random people.
2) Focused the product to a specific topic. Digg started out with technology only. Truemors could do celebrity gossip?

OK, here’s a “truemor”: I just scanned the comments below and Ray’s Jun 4, 2007 12:33:34 AM posting was so LOL funny *I* damn near messed myself. :-)

$4,824.14 for legal fees… What did the lawyers do for you? Did they come up with your terms of use? Do you have a privacy statement? Do tell!

Interesting numbers – but totally irrelevant! The whole point of business is to make money, not how carefully you spend what money you have! It would seem to me that Web 2.0 is all about hype – getting cheap eyeballs and selling them! Could you repost in a month or so and let us know when you’ve started making money?

You’ve proven you can start a web2.0 site for under 15k? WTF. Are you serious or are you just in your 30’s and senile? Most “successful” web2.0 sites get off the ground with less than $1,000.00. Truemors will be a graveyard in a month… might as well throw in the towel now.

You paid $399 for that logo!?? You could have told me…I would have created something better than that for free… Honestly, most of the things look a huge waste of money..
Guy, I guess this might offend you, but lately it seems you’ve been investing in some bad ideas. The idea for your new site is “okay”, however the layout is so terrible that the first time I saw the site, it was so annoying I skipped the article that brought me there and closed my browser tab.

Want to hatch a great idea?

I attended The Hatchery tonight. A rather brilliant opportunity for you to pitch your present idea “The Gauntlet”, and get “The Panel” to provide expert advice your friends are not going to tell you. Ultimately you are also seeking money as well as expertise.

The panel tonight for June 6, 2007 was excellent. A great mix of experience and expertise. I was impressed with the level of knowledge and diversity of questions asked. They were all smart people!

  • Emcee – Yao-Hui Huang
  • Natalia Allen – Design Futurist, Schlossberg Flynn
  • Anne Andiorio – Digital media, services, technology guru
  • Stacy Robin – Managing Partner, The Degania Group
  • Pamela Robertson – Partner, Edwards, Angell Palmer & Dodge
  • Sarah Tavel – Analyst, Bessemer Ventures
  • Peggy Wallace – Co-Leader of NY Forum, Golden Seeds

So, “The Eggs” for the evening were four.

Smart Medical Consumer

We started with Dr. Banu Ozden and Smart Medical Consumer. The concept was “Web Services for consumers for their medical finances”. The mission is to help people besides being a profitable company. The target is the Consumer Health Care IT which is presently a hot topic, and the target audience was subscribers – people that use this site to hold medical expense data, and visitors for providing information.

There were a number of things that stood out for me. First, when presenting slides, use a larger font. A slide is a summary, not a resume on a page for example. Second, they are trying to base a revenue model on Internet advertising rather then a subscription model. This may be ok, when the advertising can be very selective, but as it was indicated they would be seeking their own advertising, a very time consuming task. For anybody that follows the Internet closely, you can’t solely based your revenue model on this and expect to predict accurately the results. While it appeared there were strong skills and experience in IT, there was a clear lack of Internet knowledge. The web site is very drab. While it’s serving a purpose and attracting generally a lower level of attendee, web sites get 3-5 seconds viewing time unless you have gone to the web site specifically. For this project the bulk of visitors are going to be people who stumble across the site.
A question raised by the panel, and discussed more with the people around me was security. The question was not answered satisfactory, infact it was not part of the presentation, it should have been. Security is critical, and the web is inherently insecure. This will be a hurdle I believe this site will not overcome.

FlyUpload

FlyUpload – share your files, is a file sharing site. They offer nothing special, nothing new, nothing different. There was plenty of talk about being better, but in reality it was unclear. Combined with the founders being former founders of a previous startup, from which they purchased the IP, and is still in operation, an unclear advertising model, and unclear answers towards both the concerns of bandwidth and ultimate purpose. It appeared from the presentation, they were going to share your information as an advertising means, and also analyze your data for advertising opportunities. The presenter was unclear in a number of topics, and simply repeatably didn’t answer the questions posed by the panel.

Match My Pet

Prior to this presentation, there was a short break, however the slide for this site Match My Pet was put up. So, discussion was definitely more on this topic then the last. It lead to a number of jokes, like is this a dating site for pets etc.

The presentation of the idea was actually the best so far. The presenter gained the interest of the audience via some clever input, such as “P2P” (Pet-to-Pet), “B2B” (Breeder-to-Breeder) and P2B. They provided a one stop shop including GeoPet, PetStore, Recipet, Pricipet, Wikipet, and Vet911. It was clear from words of the presenter he was targeting “Breeding Services/Matching Services”, however a question from the panel was “Chapter 1 of the VC book – Focus” and it was clear there was not a clear focus. I also feel the presenter didn’t quite get the question in all dimensions. It also related to vertical. There was some talk about the horse breeding market, however it was also clear this was more as a by product rather then selectively researching and targeting this audience.

This project obviously started from having fun, and moving from there into a business. To be successful however, you need a plan, and to speak in front of potential VC’s you need a rock solid plan. This wasn’t that.

I think there is opportunity for the site “Pimp your Pet”. I also think, there is an opportunity for a “Hot on Not” for pets, obviously people love their pets.

License Sandbox

Augustine Fou of LicenseSandbox got it. I don’t know if HatchedBy seeded the presenters to a crescendo but they ended clearly on the best presentation.

His point was clear, his slides were minimalistic, yet portrayed his point clearly, also showing the fruit of this venture (i.e. photos), and he knew the VC talk. He used the right buzz words, and he knew his figures when asked by the panel. So what is.

“Find+License+Pay” An opportunity to target the non-professional content providers, what he calls “The Meaty Middle Opportunity” between the dollar bin and the expensive “getty type” service. While he quickly ran out of time (speakers get a 5 minute egg timer) there is clear potential, and they are targeting something unique, but clearly value adding. First by negotiating with the larger ad agencies, facilitating buyers and sellers and adding a layer of intelligence into the clear minefield of finding valuable content. In addition, for me he hit the spot. I am a serious photographer, everybody tells me I should sell my stuff, however I don’t want to have to be drawn away from what I enjoy, the taking photographs in order to market and sell my stuff. This could be a happy medium and I’m definitely going to try it out.

Augustine was also up on what’s hot, with his Moo Cards. I wonder however, how many people like me were able to know that immediately!

Closing Comments

I remember a TV show in Australia called The Dragons Den. A similar upmarket pitch your presentation for money, and the panel had money to burn.

The forum was excellent, but for me I’ve not got one idea at a stage. I actually need the help getting to the stage to being able to present to VC’s.

In addition, all presenters need to look closely at the presentations to learn how to present better, be better prepared, relate better, and also know how to answer questions. The personalities of the panel were different, you could interprete from the types of questions how the answers needed to be structured.

Top marks Yao, I think you are at the leading edge of a great concept here in NY.

Some ideas

Almost forgot to mention, here are some ideas.

  1. There was no opportunity for the audience to say anything, with the limited format this could be a disaster, however I propose two options.
    • There is a 5 minute breakout between each talk, allowing the audience to at least approach the speaker, give 15 seconds what they would like to contribute to, let the speaker hear them all, then decide to schedule more dialog. Interested parties get to hear all the 15 second inputs from the crowd.
    • More and more people will bring laptops (you will need more chair space), but savvy people can post comments very quickly and a moderator could collate, and say there is 5 minutes at the end of the moderator asking questions from the audience. This way it can be controlled via time. Very easy to leverage technology to do this. At a recent conference of 1500-1600 people, up to half the audience had laptops, in the smaller breakout rooms it would have been more then 50%
  2. I’d like to see more an ideas incubator, maybe more a town meeting type style. The problem is structure. It would need some consideration, the upcoming Hatch Match in August may be the place, will need to wait and see

Google Street View Camera

Google Maps Street View Camera
There has been plenty of news about Google Maps Street View that I blogged about recently.

I wanted to know how they do it, well here is how they do it.
Google Maps zoom: here’s the device and vehicle behind it.

There has been plenty of news this week, images of tunnels in New York, which is apparently a security risk, a guy attempting to climb over a fence in front of an apartment block, a guy leaving a known sex shop.

Some articles I found interesting were Google Zooms In Too Close for Some and All-seeing Google Street View prompts privacy fears.

Google Maps adds real-time images

Yesterday I was amazed to see yet another new feature in Google Maps.

A new button [Street View], gives you are real view of the street in question, you can rotate the image around 360 degrees, and move up and down the street. Now not all areas have been mapped yet, but you will see highlighted in blue what is.

It’s rather amazing what they can do. Presently they have images of San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Miami and New York.

BTW: On the news tonight (Wed May 30) there is already controversy over the feature. People have been able to zoom in and see great detail of people, sometimes in places were it may be inappropriate.

Got the next great web thing!

I joined a new meetup group New York Dot Com Hatchery on advice from my friend Marc. Now only if my schedule keeps in NY for the event I’ll be very much looking forward to going.

I think this statement on the www.hatchedby.us website sums up the opportunity for expert advice.

The payoff – Your friends won’t tell you the truth, we will. And we can make your billion-dollar dreams come true. Your odds for success? Better than buying a lottery ticket.

Cool Photo Printing Site

I just came across Moo as a link from Fotolog.

This site gives you the option to get a photo like card on the front, and text on the back. The interesting part is that you can do 100 different photos in the batch of 100, and it’s the size that grabs me. I’ve been looking for something different with my various sites including Admiring Creation and Heavy Horse Day and GeekErr. Just now trying to get all my photos ready for printing!

Website of the Day – Slideshare


I came across an interesting site while reading World’s Best Presentation Contest Winners Announced by Guy Kawasaki called SlideShare.

It’s a happy medium between the bulk of image sites like Flickr and Yahoo Photos and video sites like Revver and YouTube where you can easily add Text to what you are wanting to say in a Slide Show. Interestingly enough, like most Web 2.0 Communities people will come up with ideas you never considered, for example check out Evangeline Lilly where this is effectively a portfolio photo shoot of an actress. Clever.

Get behind a new exciting site

As I write this blog I have over 90 draft blog posts. That’s 9-0. Why do I have so many posts? The main reason is I want to say something, and I’ve either not completed it, or researched it sufficiently to consider the entry complete.

This frustrates me as sometimes I just want to get the word out on something, or of my opinion, or of something great I’ve discovered. I do it for me, I don’t really care if anybody actually reads my stuff, but I’m surprised sometimes when I get comments how people actually get to see my blog.

JotThat is a surprisingly simple yet brilliant idea. It’s quite simply a site for making Jots, making quick notes, making a passing comment, noting a thought, something you want to either remember or something you want to say in a simple Jot form.

What makes JotThat in my eyes? Well it’s simple, and I strive for simple. It’s extremely easy to use. It’s built on MySQL, so that gains my attention. It’s something just a little different from everything you see each day.

I especially like the new feature of being able to email your Jots to your account. I was at the train station tonight, then later at dinner with some great input from somebody. I wanted to write it down (I forget things a lot more these days), so instead of adding it to notes in my PDA, I simply emailed it to my JotThat account. Easy as!

The site is still in early stages, but please get behind a project. I always like to get referrals from people on everything from websites, products, even services like a good dentist. I recommend you check this one out, as well as supporting the MySQL open source community.

What is the maximum number of colons ':' that may appear in a valid URL?

In idle conversation I was asked by MM.

Question: What is the maximum number of colons ‘:’ that may appear in a valid URL?

* If you said zero to one, then you are victim of browsers, and you have never used anything but a browser.

* If you said one, then your a novice.

* If you said two, then you have probably seen http://host:port at some time.

* If you said three, then you would be correct, the elite.

http://user:[email protected]:port/location

For the record my initial answer was 2.

NY Tech Meetup – Idea Virus

On more thing that came from the NY Tech Meetup last night was the Idea Virus. It was handed out on a piece of paper. Here is what it said.

Idea Virus

  1. Think of a novel or awesome idea
  2. Write it on the back of your business card
  3. Spread the viral idea to somebody else
  4. Duplicate and re-propagate ideas that you like

When you go home, leave your accumulated ideas in the Halloween bucket. Check out idea-virus.org to see the results.

So I goto the site, and all I get is a Not quite ready yet… message page. They should have a least put up what I just typed out, and maybe some more “Coming Soon”, or submit to a email or something. 15 mins of work, rather then 2 mins of work would not leave people like me going “Well why bother!”