Saturday, April 28, 2007

Are you a regular reader?

I'm going to re-vamp my blog template when I get back later in May so if you are a regular reader and have a blog please drop me a link in the comments and I'll link to you. Seeing that almost everybody is using anon posting, I'm guessing there won't be much of a response but this post is going to be on top for a while so it's worth a shot.

Pura vida amigos/amigas.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Man boobs

This guy is pretty funny,

On the road again

Check out this new BMW CS concept car:

Man, those guys really know how to put together a nice set of wheels. If only they'd put together something in the supercar category to compete with Audi/Lambo's Gallardo.

I'm off to Vegas next week for a conference, back for a couple of days and then off to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for two weeks so expect the posts to be thin until the end of May.

Pura Vida and good luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mo Soul

"May all these walls we've made in our wasted years and days not stand in our way that we may feel the winds of change "

That's a line from the Pizza Song by the Bouncing Souls who played at our old favorite crusty club called les Foufounes Electrique. What a great show it was as the 'Souls shows always have been. They are such a great band and their fan base is so loyal that it's like going to a gospel sermon where everyone is singing along ('cept for the stage diving of course). For the most part Greg the singer didn't even have to sing because the audience was singing so loud. It was great, fast, loud and sweaty with tons of people tossing off the stage and lost shoes galore. I'd never seen so many girls stage dive before. I love those guys, prolly the most positive message you'll ever hear in a rock band.

Here's the weird thing, I used to go to Foufounes when I was a pup in the eighties and it was full of scary, scary people and on many occasions I hightailed it out of there with people throwing bottles and rocks at me - this time round the rough kids looked a little comical. Seriously, how scary can a punk rock chick tattooed from head to toe be while she's thumbing furiously on a blackberry???

Friday, April 20, 2007


So these 14 year old girls put together a science project analyzing the vitamin C content of various OJs and find one with not a trace of the stuff. Lo and behold they found that Glaxo Smith Klien's had none and proceeded to inform the commerce department of New Zealand. Now GSK are out a hundred and fifty grand and these chicks are heros. How cool is that!

My friend Brandon is trying to be the greatest living american. Don't ask me what that means.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No more invites sorry

Sorry friends, Two random dudes (Jed & Guy) got my last 2 invites. I'll post when I get some more. Check in again later or leave me your email addy and I'll try to hook you up when I get some more.

Two free joost invites

As it turns out, you can't just get on Joost without a bit of a hassle. You see, I signed up for the beta and then got invited and thought that everybody could do the same. Now the only way is to get an invite from somebody on the beta. I was just given 3 invites and gave 1 away so I have 2 more. First come first serve, send me an email and I'll hook you up with an invite if I have any left.

I am going to apologize in advance if I don't have any left but I'll send you one when I get more invites if that happens.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Another sad day

Seems like not so long ago I was writing about Dawson (scroll down a bit) and now this bad bad thing went down in Virginia. I'm hoping that the initial news is wrong like it was at Dawson but at this point, the death toll seems to be rising every time I check.

It's heartbreaking and having lived and worked right next door to Dawson, I know secondhand how painful it is to deal with so my thoughts go out to everybody touched by this tragedy. At the same time, it's a reminder to me of what people in Iraq have to deal with on a daily basis, we just don't get the same impact because it's so far away but a life there is worth the same as a life here right?

The law of disproportionate results and catastrophe avoidance

Four idiots in a boat

This is a true story without exaggeration. Two years ago, I was out in the lake in my boat with a few friends wakesurfing and chilling as I usually do in summer. I took my neighbor out for a ride for the first time and we went out into the middle of the lake because there were no boats around and we had the whole lake to ourselves. After getting set up and taking off for the first pull, the boat steered to the right with complete disregard for the steering wheel. My neighbor was stuck in the water and the boat was driving in circles.

Here's where it gets interesting

So we're driving around in circles trying to figure out what's going on and the neighbor is stuck way back in the middle of the lake. At this point the boat is feeling really heavy and I'm getting a little freaked out so I popped open the engine lid and much to my horror there was two feet of water in there! We were fucking sinking and driving in circles.

Why did this happen?

The year before I hit a rock and broke off my rudder and squashed my propeller. That sucked and was mighty expensive but I had no choice but to get it fixed, new rudder, propeller etc. A local guy did the work, did a great job BUT he forgot to put in a safety wire on the locking nut that held the rudder in place. So what happened was that the nut came off, the rudder sunk to the bottom of the lake and left a hole 2 inches wide in the bottom of my boat. We're not talking about a little fishing boat here, the beast is a 425hp top of the line wakeboard boat worth as much as a high end luxury car.

Now what?

After my initial shock, I got out a pump and had Rick pump out water, Al got in the water and tried steering with his body, we were all yelling, sinking and driving in circles and there was nobody around to save us. Meanwhile my poor neighbor was stuck in the middle of the lake watching this all go down.

A bit of luck

The engine was nearly under water but still running, the back of the boat was deep in the water and the front sticking up to the sky when my neighbors brother in law just happened to whiz by on a jet ski. He was the only dude on the lake and just happened to come around 2 minutes before we were going to be sunk. We threw him a line and he dragged me to my beach where the boat sunk to the bottom of 2 feet of water and rested on the sand.

The moral of the story

We were idiots, out there yelling and screaming, pumping water, dangerously trying to push the boat next to a spinning propeller, all in all being complete and utter fools when all we had to do was grab a sock and stick it in the rudder hole. The boat would have pumped out the water by itself and we could have steered with a paddle. A near catastrophe when it could have been a minor incident.

The moral of the story is that in life there are certain things that you can do to get far more results and spend way less energy on if you just take a second to think about it. Oh yeah, the second moral is that they don't call it "safety" wire for nothing.

I call this the law of disproportionate results.

I gotta bounce, talk to y'all later.

Friday, April 13, 2007

More on Joost/Sling and CBS

Things have heated up in the past couple of days with CBS announcing a big deal with AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh.

This is in direct competition with Gootube, so who's going to win? I think that both will win. The folks that own the content aren't going to walk away from googles billions of viewers and the ad revenue that they'll bring and at the same time, they won't sit around and let google eat their lunch so easily. I think that both channels will do well and we'll just consider them different sources for some of the same content. Just like when you get cable and the same show plays on different channels.

The really interesting thing that's come up is that Sling is integrating the CBS player into their own and I missed this one but in January they announced the Slingcatcher which pushes computer content to your TV via wifi. Very exciting space right now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another response from Cuban

After I asked Mark about DIVX/Joost, he posted this entry on his blog regarding the opposite of what I was saying. In a nutshell Mark thinks its a better idea to push content from TVs to the PC rather than the other way around. I guess that Sling and "Tivo to go" fit into that category. I'm not sure if his post was in response to my question but I guess it's a good answer although not exactly what I was expecting.

There were a couple of companies in the boom days that did this kind of stuff (lysis etc.), never went anywhere so let's see who's right. I'll link back to this in a couple of years to see how this went. Any wagers???

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mark Cuban on DIVX

I asked Mark Cuban today about what he thought about DIVX, here's a roughly edited email transcript. I didn't ask him for permission but I figured that there's nothing controversial about his opinion so I've left his words verbatim:

Hey Mark,
I was wondering what your take was on DIVX and their business model. They seem to be the only guys out there making real revenue/profit on both the technology, carriage and content. The CEO Jordan used to be with InterVu and was one of the guys who was part of the team that tried to buy us out back in the day. When he started DIVX he wanted me to merge with him in an unnamed business. I never did and still don't regret it. InterVu were a bunch of clowns but this guy seems to have his ducks in order.
Curious about your take on Joost as well. Seems to me that Joost, slingmedia, divx and torrents are the current big undertow that will show up as a tidal wave on the mainstream radar soon enough when it claws double digit revenue out of their pockets.
Just a thought for an interesting blog post.
Take it easy,

Basically all the companies you mention as having a big undertow, will be small roleplayers.
Internet video doesn't have a way to get in the family room with out a lot of work and expense. Until that changes and bandwidth gets about 25mbs, they are niches

I think you're right about both points but I am not sure what you consider the timing to be, I am convinced that the XBOX, Apple TV & Media center extenders built into new TVs are 2-5 years from critical mass and the usable 25Mbps is probably 4-10yrs out for HD and 2-5 years out for SD.

So I thought about what he said for a while and figured that there were 2 possible outcomes:

1) Licensing, DRM, shit bandwidth and crappy devices will make internet video a novelty until the 15 year old gootubers get their own homes in 10 years

2) Something (Joost/XBOX/Apple) will catch on fire quick and get adopted by 100 million people in their living rooms within 3 years

What do you think?

Mo Joose

Some people have asked me about how to get on the Joost beta, other than signing up and waiting for an invite I don't have any idea if there is a shortcut.

On a different topic, DIVX is up 20% in the after hours. Here are my best calls of the year:

MGO - called at 4.30, now at 6.39 :))
EDA - called at 9, currently at 11.25
NTRI - called at 41.25, currently at 55.69
DIVX - called at 19.70 and 18.30, after hours at 23.50 - 24
SYK - called at 63.35, now at 68.49
HP - called at 23, now at 31

My next two favorite stocks to pop within the year are VRNT and MPEL. MPEL is the riskiest but I'm ready to stay long for several years on that one. I think that VRNT will pop after it gets listed again and reports a decent quarter.

My worst stocks were MSFT, TM and some small cap Canadian stocks. These might do well in the long term but are not great trades right now until some catalyst comes along.

Overall, I'm up 9% this year, heavily weighted on DIVX, HP and VRNT, while the S&P 500 is up .06% during the same period. I'm not sure if I can keep this up but I'm loving it so far. Almost all of the companies (except MPEL) have existing stable business and my buys have been based on unfair market punishment that was out of whack with basic fundamentals (PE, PEG, etc.).

Having said that, I spend at least 20-30 hours a week at this and have the luxury of being able
to spend 5-10 hours a week researching during work hours because I'm the boss and I spend 12hrs a day at work with much of my time spent waiting for other people.

My recommendation to anybody reading this and salivating over all the money that they can make is to make sure that you love it, that you take the time to understand the fundamentals of valuations, that you spend time practicing (I practiced it for 4 years) and lastly make sure that you have the ongoing time to commit to it.

If you don't know what you're doing, you're just another chump taking stock tips who'll lose all your money while the smart guys are whipping in and out without telling you.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Here comes the Joose

I'm digging Joost these days. I cancelled my home phone and internet because I'm moving soon so I can't use my slingbox, Joost is a great way to watch TV at work. I'm looking forward to having it on a big screen/projector at home. Think P2P TV, skyp-ish.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fast forward into ferro fluids

Ferro fluids are cool. That's what you get when you suspend powdered metal in oil. It gets even cooler when a computer pumps electricity through these pools in time with music. Check this out.

Courtesy of Engadget