jump to navigation

90-9-1 rule October 11, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , 1 comment so far

Web usability expert Jakob Nielsen has a post suggesting ways that online communities can encourage more users to contribute

…starting from a rule of thumb that :

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions

Mobile IM October 9, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Telecoms, Wireless , 2comments

Martin Geddes (-ve) and Paul Golding (+ve) have a couple of good and contrasting posts about mobile instant messaging, compared with texting (SMS)

My Treo smartphone and multiprotocol IM application give me an atypical experience …eg. My SMS conversations do have a visible chat session (and are threaded by person); and a PC client doesn’t flag up that I’m a “mobile” IM user

I hardly ever use mobile IM. My current situation seems to be :

I tried to check some of these things over the weekend, but couldn’t get my IM application to connect

Tom Peters on “House” October 6, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , add a comment

Tom Peters gives an interesting ‘assessment‘ of Hugh Laurie’s character in “House M.D.

The Ideal Business October 1, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , add a comment

Extracted from Richard Russell’s most popular article on his Dow Theory Letters website [via "The Independent"], The Ideal Business… :

  1. …sells the world, rather than a single neighborhood
  2. …offers a product with an “inelastic” demand
  3. …sells a product which cannot be easily substituted
  4. …has minimal labor requirements
  5. …enjoys low overhead
  6. …does not require big capital outlays
  7. …enjoys cash billings
  8. …is relatively free of gov’t and industry regulations
  9. …is portable or easily moveable
  10. satisfies your intellectual needs
  11. leaves you with free time
  12. …is one in which your income is not limited by your personal output (lawyers and doctors have this problem)

Review – Songbird 0.2 “Test Flight” September 30, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Music, Review , 3comments

Songbird seems to have improved a lot since the v0.1 media player that I tried last year. It supports video and plays my FLAC music files (though doesn’t display the ‘ID3‘ info), and the memory use seems a bit more under control. More comment when v0.2 launches properly

I’d like a management tool with ratings and smart playlists, but no DRM (and I used J River Media Center, not iTunes, before I switched from MP3 to FLAC). I’ll have Squeezeboxes, so if it worked with Slimserver : great

Songbird’s networked features look interesting, but I had an app for Odeo (like iPodder) that collected podcasts for my server, so I need to view the screencast again, to see what it could really add for me

AuPix September 25, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Personal, Video, VoIP , add a comment

Tomorrow I start a new job, as Finance Director of AuPix Ltd, a Bristol startup working on ‘Video and Voice over IP‘ (VaVoIP). It took an opportunity like this to tempt me back into regular employment, and I’m really looking forward to it!

AuPix acquired IPR from SCOTTY Group, video technology which had been developed by UK-listed Motion Media plc before its 2004 ‘merger’ with SCOTTY. The AuPix team is mostly directors and engineers from the former Motion Media

Dieter Rams : Ten principles of “good design” September 21, 2006

Posted by mark in : Design, General , add a comment

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Dieter Rams remains an enduring inspiration for younger designers, notably Jonathan Ive and Jasper Morrison, who have acknowledged his influence in their work at Apple and Rowenta respectively.

…from Rams’ Design Museum profile [via Signal vs. Noise]

Jonathan Ive September 19, 2006

Posted by mark in : Design, General , add a comment

Business Week has an article about Jonathan Ive, head of the design team behind the Apple iMac and iPod …[via Signal vs. Noise]

He talked about focusing on only what is important and limiting the number of projects. He spoke about having a deep understanding of how a product is made: its materials, its tooling, its purpose. Mostly, he focused on the need to care deeply about the work….

“One of the hallmarks of the team I think is this sense of looking to be wrong,” said Ive at Radical Craft. “It’s the inquisitiveness, the sense of exploration. It’s about being excited to be wrong because then you’ve discovered something new.”….

Thinking about “design” as simply style or fashion misses the point….What really sets Apple’s products apart is the “fit and finish,” the ultimate impression that results from thousands of tiny decisions that go into a product’s development.

Startup Review September 11, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , add a comment

Startup Review blog …[Found via Guy Kawasaki]

Extracted from the introductions (short and long) :

I plan to make only one post per week …a detailed case study on a successful Internet company …about ten hours of work per company

It will be written with a slant towards the investor’s perspective…. My name is Nisan Gabbay and I am currently working at Sierra Ventures, an early stage VC firm

I will focus on US-based start-ups. Since I live in San Francisco there will be some Silicon Valley bias here

A future of geotagged photos September 5, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Geo , add a comment

As usual, Jan Chipchase asks some interesting questions about human interaction with technology, this time about a (future) critical mass of geotagged photos

Elements of it border on ideas I suggested to Sharing Places, about creating time lapse movies from geotagged images

FairPlay DRM cracked September 4, 2006

Posted by mark in : DRM, General, Music , add a comment

Macworld reports that :

Anti-copy protection activists have released a new solution that breaks Apple’s FairPlay DRM, which secures iTunes-purchased tracks.

The solution, QTFairUse6, comes from the same activists who this week unleashed FairUse4WM, which can strip copy protection from Windows Media files

…[Found via Dave Farber's IP list]

Update: Microsoft has released a ’security patch’ for FairUse4WM

BEN – “Growing Pains” September 1, 2006

Posted by mark in : Event, General , add a comment

Bristol Enterprise Network (BEN) will start the new term’s events on 13 Sep, 18:00 with “Growing Pains” …at the School of Chemistry, Cantock’s Close [map]

Bristol Media party September 1, 2006

Posted by mark in : Event, General , add a comment

Bristol Media is having a relaunch party (after the summer break) for members on 7 September, 18:00 …at the recently opened Goldbrick House, 69 Park Street [map]

2006 Stupid Security Competition August 29, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Privacy , add a comment

Privacy International announces the 2006 Stupid Security Competition …[Found via Dave Farber's IP list]

“Privacy International’s director, Simon Davies, said his group had taken the initiative because of ‘innumerable’ security initiatives around the world that had absolutely no genuine security benefit”

“The competition closes on October 31st 2006…(and) will be judged by an international panel of well-known security experts, public policy specialists, privacy advocates and journalists”

“TechCrunch UK” launches August 24, 2006

Posted by mark in : General , add a comment

A UK version of the popular ‘tech’ blog, TechCrunch (“95,713 readers”), launched today, and references Tom Coates at the start of the very first article

TechCrunch describes itself as “obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies”, and the UK site will be “all about UK based and/or focused startups”

[Email Sam Sethi at sam dot sethi at vecosys dot com, or Skype him at samksethi, with any tips or bugs]

Review – “Out of Control” August 23, 2006

Posted by mark in : General, Review , add a comment

Interesting for me, this : A very positive review of Kevin Kelly’s 1994 book by Chris Anderson (author of “The Long Tail“, which I’ve just finished)

Out of Control” has sat part-read on my shelf since shortly after it came out, despite being referenced more recently in books I’ve enjoyed a lot (including “Smart Mobs” and “Emergence“)

I probably ordered the book because I was interested in General Magic and intelligent agents, but didn’t find it directly helpful. Time to try again, anyway