One of the great little little companies that I have done some work with is ZoomAlbum. Now they have blog! Great company, great product.
I have resisted mixing politics and technology on this blog. But there are times when they just seem to mix them selves. The other day I was at a luncheon, and heard Jeff Besos speak. I have met Jeff a number of times, and he’s a very smart guy. He gave a great talk about Amazon and when the Q&A came up, wrote down a question that I wanted him to answer. The question didn’t get presented, but it was something like: “Has the Federal Government ever asked you (Amazon) for customer data?”
My good friend Mitch Ratcliffe has written a very powerful and thoughtful post on a parallel topic, i.e. Surveillance society: Growing daily?
Read it, and think about it. And think about the implications. If the Federal Government could see what you do on the web, see who you call, and possibly see what you buy, it wouldn’t be very hard to create a profile using data mining tools, and once that profile is created, our world as we know it is over.
But as one of my conservative friends noted to me, after I articulated my concerns, ….. “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about!”
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Brad and Deva of ClearContext. Somehow or other my install of ClearContext on my ThinkPad had gotten corrupted, and in dealing with the Tsunami of E-Mail that I get, I was desperately looking to get ClearContext running again.
Brad quickly figured out what was wrong, ran a little fix-it utility, and then showed me how to easily defer E-Mail using ClearContext. I used what he showed me for about an hour, and then realized that scripting it would be even better. So, this morning I pinged Brad and he sent me some great little scripts I have set them out below.
From the Inbox, this will Defer the current message for 2 days:
Finding companies like ours with great people working hard to solve real problems is such a pleasure. Whenever I demo ActiveWords, I always show off the cool stuff and the cool companies we work with.
Anyone using Outlook for E-Mail should be using ClearContext, great product, and great guys behind it!
About a month ago I got a call from a guy at RIM asking me if we could move text substitutions from ActiveWords to a Blackberry and vice-versa. I admitted that I had no clue, but liked the idea.
Coincidentally my friend Phil Baker had written a review of “Blackberry Hacks” by David Mabe. I did a little digging, found Dave, and pitched him on the idea of trying ActiveWords.
He has just written his first blog post about ActiveWords. In it he includes a killer script for dialling your phone with ActiveWords.
This is just one more example of building smart tools and handing them to smarter people and the result is great technology. When I pitch people about ActiveWords, I tell that within the confines of what we do, the limiting factor is your imagination.
Last year I was on the road around 300 days. As I think I have written, I went to 29 conferences and spoke at 11 of them. I don’t even want to think about the mileage that I put on my body, but it was exhausting.
One of the things that I learned about being incredibly mobile was the need to carefully make sure that I stayed organised and had the stuff I needed exactly where I needed it to be.
Along the way, I lost one charger for my ThinkPad and had another one fail. And being a mobile geek, the end result is that you are only as good as your batteries.
At Demo in February through the luck of the draw, I ended up sitting next to Stephanie Houser of Launchcorp at dinner. We had a great time talking and she told me about her work with Mobility Electronics. It is always fun to talk to people who care passionately about their products. Their eyes light up, and you can just feel the energy. I told Steph that I would love to try the iGo out.
I have been using it for about 60 days. Works flawlessly! The iGo Everywhere is based on the notion that you can add interchangeable tips to the power supply and hence charge different devices. She sent me a tip for my Treo, my ThinkPad and my iPod. All work exactly as planned.
Now when I am on the road, it is me, my stuff, and the iGo, and all the other chargers sit happily on my desk waiting my return.
The real funny part of this all is that I have been watching prices drop on ThinkPads, and mulling a new one, know that all I will need is a new tip, and whammo will have a charger that works just like its supposed to. The same for any other device that I might get.
It’s too bad that hardware vendors just don’t bundle the iGo with their products so that everyone’s experience would be as good as mine.
I keep wondering why if products like the iGo make such sense, when don’t other companies just follow this model. But that would be too easy!
My good friend Shannon Clark is putting on version two of Mesh Forum. V.1 was last year in Chicago. I had the privilege of speaking and the resulting podcast on ITConversations was great.
It is an excellent event. Because of a conflict I can’t be there, but would love to be. If you are reading this, and in the Bay Area, or for that matter elsewhere on the planet, it is an event well worth attending.
The speakers are excellent and I can unconditionally recommend both Shannon and what I believe will be a great event.