Friday, November 30, 2007

Ed Zander, Motorola's CEO is stepping down. Here's why.

It's the RAZR - Motorola's One-Trick Pony.

It's official: Google's going to bid on the 700 mhz spectrum. Here's why you should care.

It's not like there was really any doubt that they would, but today the G-men made it official: they're going to try to buy up the highly coveted 700 mhz spectrum the FCC is putting on the auction block come January.

For those of you wondering why the crap you've even read this far, bear with me a little longer and I'll try to break down the (potential) significance of this.

In 2009 every analog TV in the US will cease to work because broadcasters will be required to shift from an analog signal (on the 700 mhz spectrum) to a digital signal. This leaves said spectrum open for the FCC to auction off.

So what?
Without getting into the technical details (mainly because I'm not smart enough to know them myself), this particular frequency has the ability to travel long, long distances (much further than cell phone towers) and can penetrate walls with little problem, as we know from decades of watching TV using rabbit ears.

Think wireless, high-speed Internet everywhere.

This makes wireless/cell phone carriers salivate at the possibilities. They're already charging people an extra 20-50% extra to access the Internet/e-mail from their phones on a slow, crippled network (ever tried to browse the web on a phone, other than the iPhone?) and an extra $60/mo to use the Internet wirelessly from a laptop. Think of what they could offer, and charge for, having ubiquitous wireless broadband coverage!

The catch
The FCC ruled (thanks to much lobbying from Google and others) that whoever owns the spectrum must support "(1) open applications, the right of consumers to download and utilize any software applications or content they desire; and (2) open devices, the right of consumers to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer."

Consumers - 1, Big, Bad Wireless Provider - 0

Still not sure why I should care
Google is now going to be bidding on the spectrum (which has a $4.6 billion entrance fee). This is, essentially, making the wireless providers wet themselves because Google appears to be all about giving people the choice to do whatever they want, with whatever equipment they want. Think of this as not having to buy a new phone every time you switched cell phone carriers - any phone would work with any carrier.

And that one phone can run any kind of software you want. You won't be restricted to "T-Zones" from T-Mobile to browse the web, or "V-Cast" from Verizon to watch your TV shows (and the subsequent fees from those carriers).

The real kicker
And what if Google made all that wireless spectrum free to access? Many speculate Google will provide free wi-fi for everyone. You can use any phone or mobile device on it. You can access it, and use as much of it as you want (no 5MB/month limits, for example) without cost.

So if you can use any software on any device with better coverage than your cell phone, can you think of any reason to sign a two-year contract and pay $100 a month to a wireless carrier?

Or how about shelling out $60 a month for DSL or cable Internet?

That's why the big Telcom companies are a bit worried.

But what's Google's motivation?
Google has billions in its coffers because it has become a very effective advertising medium. (I've written about this before.) By offering free WiFi, and providing an easier way to use your phone and search from it, Google will be opening up an entirely new, highly lucrative revenue stream.

Not only are you able to target ads by specific location, but theoretically the number of searches would skyrocket if the Internet is available, for free, everywhere.

What restaurant owner, for example, wouldn't pay for an ad to come up when anybody searches for "restaurant" on their phone, within 10 miles of his business between the hours of 3 and 9pm?

You can't get much more targeted than that.

Thoughts? Am I off my rocker? Did I miss something? Leave word in the comments.

For more reading, see a CNET article here.
Thanks to Engadget for the pic.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Maybe you know a guy

I have this friend/Internet acquaintance I met through my other blog who runs a very popular site and is in search of some advertisers.

And when I say "very popular" I mean to the tune of over a million page views a month and ranked in Technorati's top 60 most popular pages. It really is a great site. I'd recommend checking it out. (And if you're going to check out his site, check out my site, LivSimpl.) :)

His readership consists of people "trying to improve their lives by becoming more productive, more organized, healthier, fitter, calmer, saner, better off financially, and happier with their families."

People who need to be saner, calmer and healthier. Sounds familiar.

I figured I'd put the word out and see if you knew a guy or had a friend of a friend or some relative who's looking to reach such people. The rates are more than reasonable and ads can be purchased in one-month chunks with discounts for multi-month purchases. And he said he'd give me a commission if I found anyone. :)

Let me know if you have someone in mind or, if you prefer to contact him directly, just let him know that I sent you.

For more details, click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yet another new Gmail login screen - more evidence of a new UI

Gotta give credit to my hot, intelligent, loving, caring, tech-savvy wife for snagging this screenshot of a NEVER BEFORE SEEN GMAIL LOGIN SCREEN!!

I totally would have put some starbursts and violator in here if I knew how.

As you can see, said screen is touting the benefits of Google Docs, Google Calendar as well as a host of other Google products. All this the day after rumors started flying again regarding Gdrive and Google's desire to store ALL your information.

A stretch? Perhaps. But you gotta figure that if people at Google are sitting around designing/testing new login screens, there's gotta be something just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I don't know if it's as short as everyone thought it was going to be, but my wife certainly thinks it's short enough. :)

So there it is. Or there I am. Whatever.

Sorry about the cheesy pose. I must have knocked myself on the chin at some point today because I have some weird mark/spot on there now. The pose is my vain attempt at covering it up.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The people have spoken

It would appear that 65% of citizens of the world wanted me to shave my head. I had my doubts. But then people took to the streets (see above photo, taken in the streets of the Holy Land). You may not be able to read that sign in the background, but it says, "Dave shave! Dave shave!"

I have heard you my loyal followers. I have heard, and I have acted.

My head is shaved/buzzed/whatever. Pics coming soon.

Thanks to my peaceful followers for the picture.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey bikini - the only way to be thankful

I didn't know Pilgrims even had bikinis. Shows how much I know.

I'm guessing some light-hearted pilgrim probably laid this turkey out on the table but not for the First Thanksgiving - that would have been tacky. Definitely for the second though.

So he's just placed the bird on the table and he has some stupid grin on his face that basically says, "Get it? Get it? It looks like the turkey went tanning with a bikini on? Get it? Funny, huh?" and he's looking around, waiting for the laughter to erupt but everyone just sits there looking at him like, "Frigtard. You just screwed up Thanksgiving. Again." (The previous year, this same individual thought it would be funny to welcome his Native bretheren with the first ever "arrow through the head" gag.)

Speaking of shooting people with arrows, I wonder how the Natives would have reacted. Maybe on the Third Thanksgiving they would have taken it a step further by only putting a bikini bottom on the bird, thus effectively presenting a topless turkey to the conservative pilgrims (by this time the original prankster would have long since been ostracized for something involving his mother's wedding dress, the mayor's best horse and an ear of corn. See picture right. Minus the dress and horse).

Anyhoo, I'd be willing to bet the Pilgrims were pretty ticked off because they thought they'd put an end to all this immoral turkey business with the ostracising and now the Natives thought this new culture the white man* brought was freakin' hilarious and how every Thanksgiving from that time forth (until they got fed up and stuck the Natives on reservations) would involve scantily-clad turkeys.

Great. So the early, violent history of our country was all because some wise-@$% pilgrim decided to bake a bikini on the second-ever Thanksgiving turkey.

If you want to have an authentic, Second Thanksgiving Turkey, you can prevent it from cooking in strategic places by putting aluminum foil on said places. If anyone would care to experiment with their bird today, e-mail me a pic so we can share with all the other kiddies.

Happy Thanksgiving.

*I use the term "white man" loosely. Who's to say there weren't some mult-racial pilgrims coming from Puritan England during the 1700's? It's best to equally represent all people in this day and age. Happy Kwanzaa.

Bikini turkey courtesy of here.
Arrow through the head courtesy of here.
Pilgrim picture courtesy of here

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Napkin Notebook

All great ideas are originally scribbled down on a napkin, right? Might as well carry some around with you just in case inspiration hits.

Their website is pretty good too. You can see what others have scribbled down on virtual napkins or jot your own thoughts and pictures down as well.

It's a fun concept. Kinda pointless, and not really related to this blog, but a good concept just the same.

Three days left to vote in the "Should I Shave My Head Poll"!

See the upper-right column of this blog. And if you don't mind, please leave a comment on this post as to why you voted the way you did.

And here's a slight spin on the whole idea: if you were me, would you shave your head?

Ponder. Discuss.

Pic courtesy of whatever this site is.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A possible change in careers

So I think I want to become a bouncer. I really think I could pull it off. I have the "x-factor" - that intimidating demeanor that makes people inherently fear me. And while my arms aren't quite as big as that guy's, a few trips to the gym, some "special sauce" and I'd totally take care of that.

Bouncers don't have to take drug tests do they? I don't think they do. Does anybody know for sure?

I'd stand outside popular venues like churches (see above photo). If I didn't like the way someone smelled, or the cut of their jib, I'd pick them up by their trousers and toss them to the gutter.

At non-religious locations I'd only let people in who slipped me $20 bills.

And all I have to do is wear all black, sun glasses and look menacing. I'd probably crack my knuckles a lot and flex my pecks. If someone appeared to be bothersome I might even growl.

To really polish off the the look I'd have to shave my head. Ever since my dream about playing poker with Martha Stewart I've been tossing the idea around anyway, so it wouldn't be that big a deal.

Speaking of, I put a poll about shaving my head in the upper-right corner: vote, and leave your print on my head.

In addition to being physically domineering, I have some ideas that I think could really reinvent the bouncing industry.

For example, instead of just being mean to people who try to sneak in, why don't we (and by "we" I mean bouncers everywhere) hand out small stuffed animals to people who are patiently waiting in line. A little positive reinforcement never hurt anyone.

Also, since we (and by "we", I mean bouncers everywhere) have a captive audience with everyone waiting in line why not sell advertising? Every five minutes I'd read a 10 second blurb about a product or service, kind of like you hear before a traffic report on the radio:

"When you feel like crap tomorrow morning after a night of partying, remember to take Tylenol. Extra Strength Tylenol, on sale now at Walgreens."

It's like printing money my friends. Like printing money.

Well?? What do you think of my idea of switching careers from advertising to

Cute stuffed animal pic courtesy of Katie's Kreations. For security reasons I can't tell you where I got the picture of my new colleagues, the bouncers.

I think I'd feel overqualified

The Physical Demands requirements for a job listing:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms.

To sum up:

1. The demands of the job are what it's going to take for someone to be able to do the job. Thank you for that apt description of what a "demand" is.

2. You must sit and, on occasion, reach. Maybe talk a little too.

The sad thing is that this job paid almost 40% more than what I'm making now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Gmail login screen

Checked your Gmail account lately? Noticed the new login screen? See?? I wasn't making it up.

Unfortunately, no obvious UI changes other than the contacts which I'd mentioned earlier. But I'm guessing they aren't done yet.

Just an observation

A different kind of people ride the train during the day than during rush hour.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Preach on Elder Holland! Preach on!

This morning I decided to listen to what was probably my favorite talk from this last General Conference, Elder Holland's "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent" (video link here).

Talk about the epitome of "bold but not overbearing". Elder Holland does a wonderful job of explaining in no uncertain terms our views of Jesus Christ. What a testimony to the divinity of Jesus Christ and His Church!

And I'd just like to say *sniff, sniff* that I am so blessed to have the roommates I do, and I read Baptists at Our Barbecue and now I totally know the church is true.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Did AT&T give the NSA unristricted access to the entire Internet?

According to this article in the Seattle Times, a former AT&T tech named Mark Klein is going to go before Congress and testify that the NSA came to AT&T and worked out some kind of arrangement where they'd have access to all web and phone traffic.

ALL of it.

Without warrants.

Carte blanche access to everything.


"In an interview this week, he alleged that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the help of AT&T and without obtaining a court order."

Apparently they built some secret rooms in various AT&T facilities with some pretty advanced equipment:

"...Glass prisms that split signals from each network into two identical copies. One copy fed into the secret room. The other proceeded to its destination, he said.

"This splitter was sweeping up everything, vacuum-cleaner-style," he said. "The NSA is getting everything. These are major pipes that carry not just AT&T's customers but everybody's."

Check out the rest of the article. It's a very serious accusation, and if it turns out to be true, it's a huge, huge deal.

The Patriot Act is started our country down a slippery slope that has, allegedly, resulted in this. I can't help but wonder if the inherent conflicts between privacy and "national security" will result in "the Constitution hanging by a thread."

Photo courtesy of Gizmodo

Friday, November 09, 2007

Umbrella squirt gun - make others wet while you stay dry

There's a funnel at the top that feeds directly to the squirt gun handle. I'm seriously kicking myself for not coming up with this on my own. Brilliant.

Photo from here

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Microsoft is scary

Yes, this banner ad for Microsoft could be taken a number of different ways.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A quote on advertising from Winnie the Pooh

"When you...think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

Very wise Pooh, very wise.

Photo via here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

GooPhone announced - not really

So, Google didn't announce a GooPhone today, but they announced that they're part of a partnership to create an open source platform for phones which is pretty much what everyone has been saying for quite a while. OK. Great.

T-Mobile and Sprint are definitely in and part of the "Open Handset Alliance" (which is probably why Sprint recently announced they'd be unlocking their phones). The platform will be called Android and the first handsets will be available sometime next year.

Details are a bit scarce, but you can check out the Official Google Blog and Engadget's liveblog of the announcement for more info.

Money quote from Eric Schmidt, Google CEO:

"Google announces products when they're ready..."

Is that why Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar are all still in beta?

A family update

I'm determined not to turn this blog into a mushy, "Oh, my kid did the cutest thing today!" blog. That being said, my kid is really cute. He's setting the curve by being in the 99+ percentile for both weight and height (at his four month checkup he was 20 lbs 9 oz). He's now a little over five months old and we have him in 12 month clothing.

We've recently started feeding him rice cereal which he's been pretty good about eating, but I think it's because he likes sucking on the spoon, not because he likes the cereal.

Anyhoo, if there's anything else you want to know shoot me an e-mail or leave word in the comments.

There are some additional pictures of him here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Surrounded by sewage

Sorry I haven't written for a while. Thursday and Friday of last week were spent shooting a TV campaign which meant I was out of the office and getting home late. Apologies.

For anyone who doesn't know what it's like to be on set when filming something, allow me to enlighten you: it's boring.

Sure, there's lots of food and depending on where you're shooting, the location can be refreshing. Such was the case Thursday evening as we were shooting in a beautiful park. The Fall colors, cool, crisp air and the setting sun were all wonderful. It sure is good to get out of the office every once in a while.

Cut to the next morning. I'm sitting two stories underground in a sewage treatment facility surrounded by warm pipes that read "circulating sludge". To be fair, the room we were in really was quite clean. It was more the psychological affect of siting amongst huge pipes carrying my poop from yesterday that made me a bit uneasy. If there were ever a time when I didn't want an earthquake to hit, that would have been it.

We were asked to be on location at 9:00 am. Not problem. Remember how I said it was boring? We didn't start shooting anything until 11:15.

I did get a lot done in that amount of time though. I sorted through over a thousand pictures on my lappy and divided them into events. Then I went through my Address Book and added photos to the contacts who didn't have them yet. I also read a few articles in the latest issue of Wired. All in all, not a bad morning.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

There's no place like my office. There's no place like my office. There's no place...

I've always liked my office. I have a door and two windows, one being very high that lets in beautiful natural light. I enjoy carpeting, a nice sized desk and an Intel iMac on which to work.

But after seeing this guy's workspace, I have a whole new appreciation for how good I have it:

Plus he has to wear a collared shirt and slacks to work. Ouch.

Want to feel better about where you work? Check out the winners of Wired's Saddest Cubicle Contest.

Do you have something that could have made the list?

Sometimes I don't believe in freedom of speech

It's not my thing, but maybe you'll like it.

The link will launch iTunes and will highlight what you need to listen to. All you gotta do is hit play, baby.

Just promise you'll listen to the whole thing, mkay?