I should think about MOBILE and BUBBLES
Both found at Fallon Planning
Chuck on Minnov8
This morning I was a guest on the excellent Minnov8 podcast. I have to admit, my coherence is a couple notches below Sarah Palin levels at 9am Saturday morning, especially when being interviewed by the smartest guys in the room: Steve Borsch, Tim Elliott, Phil Wilson, and Garrick Van Buren. Nevertheless, we had a good discussion especially if you're interested in all this live video / citizen journalism-type stuff. Here's the MP3:
Comcast Broadband Be Blazin'
I'm a bandwidth hog. I'm a bandwidth monkey. I'm even a three-legged bandwidth giraffe. That's probably why Tim Elliott asked if I was interested in getting a bump in my Comcast upload speed. I wasn't getting anything special, just a little head start for an upgrade coming to everyone: 6 Mbps download speed (staying the same), upload speed going from 384 kbps to 1 Mbps. In other words, upload speeds about 3 times faster. The more deluxe option is 8 Mbps download, 2 Mbps upload.
Obstacle #1: I was actually an Earthlink customer for our internet service, not Comcast. Oops! The service and billing are all handled by Comcast, so it's easy to forget. I didn't want to miss out on the upload boost, so I switched over to Comcast's 8/2 service for $52.95/month. That's the cost to an existing Comcast cable customer.
Obstacle #2: We had an old cable modem, and crappy cable wiring in the basement. I've always been pretty happy with our cable internet service, but during this transition it became almost unusable. Because of my client video schedule, we had to live with it for a few days. On Saturday, everything changed when the Comcast dude appeared at my door.
Disclaimer: I really got the royal treatment getting our wiring, etc. upgraded and working smoothly because I agreed to be part of Comcast's PR effort.
The installer was a nice enough dude, but apparently Comcast installers still aren't familiar with Macs. That's not good. We got it working quickly enough, but Comcast really should train all their installers on Mac networking. Julio Ojeda-Zapata said his Comcast installer was very Mac-savvy, however.
OK. THEN, THE MAGIC HAPPENED:
We really should've made a video of me freaking out after the Speakeasy speed test. These numbers are 5 or 6 times faster download, and seriously 20 times faster upload speed. Holy f*cking shit!
Now, these speeds aren't there all the time. The big download boost is courtesy of Comcast's PowerBoost which can double (in this case, more than double) your download speed if the excess bandwidth is available in the network. Still - it's a phenomenal boost that's definitely going to make me more productive and just happier doing all the stuff I do with video, photos, and general web surfing. Yeah, we're talking really heavy HD porn usage here.
A FEW SPEED TESTS:
- Uploading a half-hour, 176 MB video of Norm Coleman's announcement speech for The UpTake took over an hour before.
Now: 17 minutes. This is where the boost will really make a difference for me.
- Downloading No Country for Old Men on the iTunes store. I first tried downloading it in the airport over my EVDO card, which would have taken 120+ hours (!). The 1.32 GB file was done in 22 minutes at home.
- Uploading 3 full-resolution photos to Flickr. I usually scale them down to 1200 pixels and have to wait awhile.
Now, by the time I was done saying, "Honey! I'm uploading 3 full-size photos to Flickr and it's going super fast!" it was pretty much done. Wow.
I haven't had a chance to do any live video, but that will be my next test. I'm literally trying to dream up ways I can take advantage of my new bandwidth superpowers. I'm sure the $150/month 50 Mbps service is crazy awesome – Julio has the whole rundown in the Pioneer Press – but this screaming 8/2 service is more than enough for my current needs at a third the price.
In conclusion: After a few snafus, I'm totally thrilled with the upgraded service. Unplug your Comcast cable modem, wait about 15 seconds, and plug it back in. You might be pleasantly surprised to see a nice speed boost. And if you're not on 8/2 - you're already wasting time watching stupid YouTube videos, do you really want to waste time waiting for them to load?
Steve Garfield, Mobile Video Journalist
My friend Steve Garfield is always on the cutting edge of posting video online. I first discovered Steve when I was making Blogumentary and saw him post video of a Howard Dean blogger breakfast. He declared 2004 "Year of the Videoblog" because he's always ahead of the curve like that. Now, he just beat CNN to a scoop about Duncan Hunter in New Hampshire. That's just one of many stories Steve is finding while streaming live video from his Nokia phone using a service called Qik. The UpTake's Noah Kunin caught up with him in New Hampshire, uploaded the footage to me last night, and now here it is for you, dear viewer.
I started a joke
Where do I start with this minidrama? Nobody outside the tech world even cares - if that's you, I encourage you to watch the Bee Gees video at the bottom of this post.
There's a loudmouthed prankster named Loren Feldman of 1938 Media, an often funny guy, who made a fairly racist video. "TechNigga" caused a huge uproar and some vloggers called for the company that pays him for videos - PodTech - to condemn that video or get rid of Feldman.
PodTech is already in muddy hot water with vloggers for many reasons - see here and here. Add to that reports like this one saying "PodTech is literally falling apart" (nice misuse of "literally" there) and you have the best recipe for a cauldron of drama and intrigue this side of the Iron Curtain.
Where do I, your favorite-ish struggling Midwest vlogger, fit into this? I'm the court jester, the cynical prankster. I noticed some of Feldman's post-"TechNigga" videos were not presented in the PodTech video player. He was also completely schizo as to his intentions, lashing out at the videoblogger community, half-apologizing while insinuating it was all a social experiment we'd fallen for. Whatever. The world of PodTech/Feldman was ripe for some tomfoolery. I Twittered a couple of things, wondering if anyone would notice. A few people did, and it ended up posted on the Yahoo videoblogging list:
I've got Furrier on the phone now -- shit's gonna hit the fan
An hour later: Feldman's out
I was laughing maniacally. Why on earth would *I* be on the phone with John Furrier, the president of PodTech? Did I somehow get Feldman fired? I don't know, but I suppose it's remotely possible. I've been known to come to the defense of vloggers and mediate various situations. Anyway, I got IMs immediately from people like NewTeeVee's Jackson West. I told anyone who contacted me that it was just a late night Twitter joke, pay no attention. The next day I Twittered: never believe anything I Twitter after 1am CST. :-D
Just got off the phone with Furrier -- it's a shitbag salad over there... Scoble's out
I really cracked my drunk ass up at that one. First... "it's a shitbag salad over there" - that's just self-evidently funny. Second, that I would be on the phone with John Furrier again and that I, of all people in the world, would somehow be the first to know A-list tech blogger Robert Scoble had been ousted from PodTech. I mean c'mon... it's just ridiculous.
But - I don't expect anyone to follow the subtle nuances of my Twitter narratives. It's entirely possible that someone, in this case my man Andrew Baron, would see my Twitter out of context and post about it. That's exactly what happened, and it spread to other blogs briefly before everyone realized the source of this information was my dubious Twitter, and in fact a joke. Andrew has a legitimate critique of PodTech regardless of my Twitter joke - it simply gave him a spark.
The small fires and sparks should've been contained rather quickly. But no. Nick Douglas had to make a huge post about it on Valleywag, continuing his longstanding deathwish against PodTech, even though the truth of this rumor was plainly evident. Rex set him straight in the comments quickly, and eventually he got around to updating the post. This is shoddy even for a gossip rag like Valleywag. My comment there: A late-night Twitter joke becomes a huge post on Valleywag? That's fucking lame dude.
So that's how I started a joke, which started the whole world crying. My apologies to The Scoble.
What's it all mean?
• Be careful what you Twitter!
• It sure is easy to fuck with people!
• Our interconnected gossip-thirsty selves can spread bad info just as quickly as good info
• How To Be Used By Your Social Network
I simply can't believe it. This is the biggest Apple "Holy Shit!" day in recent memory. AppleTV and iPhone, I need you bad. Also, I need a big new TV. Somebody better pay me a lot of money for some video, quick! I'm ready to sellout now, is anybody listening?
BUT... As revolutionary and exciting as the iPhone is – Mac OS on a phone! – I may holdout for the Nokia N95. It has a 5 megapixel camera, takes quality video, and has GPS.
Congrats, CollegeHumor.com dudes
The fine gents behind CollegeHumor.com have reportedly sold a majority interest to Barry Diller for over $20 million. Whoa. I met Ricky, Jakob, Zach and Josh when they were kind enough to host a private Blogumentary screening in their swank TriBeCa loft at the Jan. 2005 Vloggercon. Jakob hooked that up, being an avid vlogger (he started Vimeo) and all-around sweet-ass dude.
They also commandeer the mothership of all funny t-shirt sites, Busted Tees. Idea: A t-shirt that simply says, "PANTS".
By the way, the public NYC premiere of Blogumentary is happening August 30 - more details imminent.
DANAH BOYD ON O'REILLY
Danah Boyd, social media researcher and internet-famous person, was on the O'Reilly Factor talking about MySpace. She did an excellent job and held her own. Especially considering she, like most reasonable people, surely loathes him. I'm really tempted to remix this video replacing O'Reilly with Vlog Santa. "These nitwits, these nitwit kids, are dey doin' DOPE?"
FLICKR ON COVER OF NEWSWEEK
The New Wisdom of the Web: Why is everyone so happy in Silicon Valley again? A new wave of start-ups are cashing in on the next stage of the Internet. And this time, it's all about ... you.
Exciting times. Laughing Squid says, "In addition to Flickr, the articles mention MySpace, Mary Hodder’s new startup Dabble, Craigslist, YouTube, del.icio.us, digg and many others as well as explaining RSS and Open API’s. A lot of people at doctor’s and dentist’s offices well be reading about all of this stuff next week."
BEST WEB PAGE EVER
That's right, folks. This is it. Hosanna Afghan Hounds and AAA Web Design, "home of the most beautiful pages on the WWW!" May this graceful American angel hound shower you in fireworks, 9/11 obsession, and the Lord's cigarette smoke. (Did you know? God does not hate smoke. HITLER DID.) Be sure to check out their "blog" which is cleverly arranged in random date order. Innovative!