Monday, December 13, 2010

Wikileaks and Privacy

I'm a little conflicted about wikileaks. On one hand, this Assange fellow wasn't the guy who actually stole the documents, on the other his organization is the one releasing it and should be held accountable.

Why I ask myself? Isn't leaked information free to roam the interweb? Shouldn't governments be more transparent? The answer to both is yes but there are some caveats.

Caveat 1 - Privacy and Personal Security

There are a bunch of sources mentioned in the leaks or at least that can be traced back to individuals who are now at various levels of risk from embarrassment right up to execution. This doesn't pass the smell test and is just plain wrong, malicious and evil. How about if he was leaking all of our tax filings, would that be treated differently? How about when somebody starts leaking stolen facebook account chat transcripts? What's the difference?

Caveat 2 - Information Bunkers

By leaking this information, all new records will be pushed deeper into the secrecy envelope and making transparency much worse than it ever was. This is already in play. All the screaming hacktivists and journalists haven't quite got this point.

Caveat 3 - Our Security

Some people believe that everything the government does should be public all the time. If that was the case, then our country and government would be under constant economic, cultural and physical attack by those governments, corporations, individuals and organizations that don't play those rules.

It's a very sticky issue but I think that wikileaks is responsible for threatening security and privacy of individuals and countries and should pay the price. This isn't simple journalistic integrity at stake. Whatever happens next will redefine journalism and already has redefined inter and intra gov't secrecy for the worse.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bad Religion

Just saw these guys live a day ago, forgot how much I love them:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Samsung Captive w/Froyo quick review

Just upgraded a couple of days ago to an unlocked ATT Captivate on the Rogers network. Had a blackberry plan and it took a call to Rogers to reset my connection before it worked (no charge). So here's the ups and downs in a quick review;

- Killer OLED display, looks better than iPhone 4 side/side to me and iPhone owner
- More screen and less bezel than a lot of other phones (4")
- GREAT browsing experience with Flash 10.1, all video sites work fine
- Great homescreens user configurable
- Sweet live backgrounds
- KILLER FEATURE -> wifi hotspot woo hoo!
- Gmail is pretty much instant
- Super light and thin next to BBold and iP4
- Pretty smooth app store
- No iTunes required
- Easily load stuff through USB or micro SD
- Skype over 3G and Wifi (in Canada woo hoo!)
- very clear phone, good reception, good speaker phone
- Swype keyboard, getting used to it

- Stock email app checks email every 5 minutes WTF??? Got to use Gmail for speed
- Need to be a techie to re-flash and screw around with settings to get 2.2
- Somehow got stuck in landscape mode after 2 days
- No LEDs to tell you missed calls, msgs or emails (WTF?? you have to unlock)
- No flash for camera
- No camera button
- No front camera for video conf (don't really care myself)
- No keyboard

All in all, I love it and couldn't go back to my blackberry until I get some email crisis that this thing gorfs on. I think that the svelte form factor and light weight will make me eventually ditch my keyboard dreams (still craving the Dell Lightning).

Recommended? Yes, in 5 months when you get 2.2 or Gingerbread off the shelf.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Leadership lessons from the Dancing Guy

This is brilliant, also summarizes 'crossing the chasm'. So much to learn from this three minute video.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stalone Says

Sly Stalone wrote this for 'Rocky', pretty powerful stuff:

Rocky says -- "You ain’t gonna believe this...but you use to fit right here. (Rocky holds up his right hand) I’d hold you up and say to your mother, this kid is gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid is gonna be better than anybody I ever knew...and you grew up good and wonderful it was great just watching you everyday it was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world and you did... But somewhere along the line you stopped being let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good...and when things got hard you started looking for somethin' to a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, it's a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, nobody is gonna hit as hard as life! But it ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep movin' forward, how much you can take...and keep movin' forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointin' fingers sayin' you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! ... ... I'm always gonna love you no matter matter what're my son, you're my're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life. ... Don't forget to visit your mother."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Apple the Non-Benevolent

You know what, I really love Apple for ratcheting up the standards in the IT and consumer electronics industry but I really hate their arrogance and their followers arrogance. They are not benevolent in any way and I'd go so far as to say they're outright evil;

- Destroying partners (Adobe premiere, lightroom, flash)
- Lying in adverts
- Bullying the press
- Bullying employees
- Bullying ex-employees
- Squashing third party hardware developers
- Barb wire guarding their closed eco-system
- Taxing every possible interaction with their system
- Leaving virtually no money for resellers
- Bullying subcontractors to suicide
- Building crap that fails just like everybody else but covering it up
- CEO lies outright regularly ("nobody wants video" - "nobody reads anymore")

Apple = Greed/Control/Monopoly

The thing that pisses me off the most is that this navel-gazing hippy Buddhist CEO has done virtually nothing for the world outside of Apple while Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner and all the other 'evil capitalists' give their billions away to the poor of this world.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minding the Gap

Just got back from London, swapping timezones almost effortlessly these days. I guess it helps that I usually get up at 5AM anyways so it wasn't much of a jolt.

If you're ever in London you'd be out of your mind not to check out the Tate museum. It's bigger and better than Moma or the Guggenheim and unbelievably four out of five floors are FREE!

Impossible things

Impossible things really are mostly improbable things that need a little more time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Acceleration versus Velocity

Somebody asked me about this so let me follow up on my last post. In life you have to work to get good at stuff and solve problems. This work means that you have to get some inertia and do work and thus you have velocity like a car starting to head down the highway after a burst of acceleration.

Here's the thing, once you have velocity you're tempted to stay there in cruise control where you have to apply very little energy to maintain your velocity. You won't grow or get better. Eventually your car will run out of gas and/or wear out.

To get to a world class level you have to keep the inertia up, keep building momentum and acceleration. I know in some things that I do that I have peaked, I've accepted that. I can't push myself in everything but I understand the process.

Have you peaked in what you really want? Did you stop taking risks? If you've peaked then you don't want it bad enough to eat dirt, fall down and keep getting back up until you've gone from good to great, from great to unbelievable. In that case you're only going to get worse from where you are and the sad thing is that you won't even see it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Over the years I've done a lot of thinking about both the strategic and tactical aspects of moving my life and business forward and in the process have read dozens of books and probably thousands of articles on the subject. I have a new twist on this topic based on momentum.

Here’s the deal, let’s say you’re stuck in a situation that you’re not especially thrilled with. It might be job, money, life related or whatever. Most likely the problem isn’t moving too far forward or backwards or enough that you’re not taking very much action on it or all the action that you’re taking isn’t going too far. So you end up in a place where your money is earning you .5% interest, your job is giving you a 5% bonus every year, your body is getting a little crappier and you’re moving forward reaaaaallly slowly. Maybe you aren’t moving forward at all, in fact maybe you’re moving backwards and you’re unhealthier, less employed, less compensated, worth less and less happy than last year. It happens to all of us, don’t take it personally. What I figured in these kinds of situations is that I need momentum. Momentum is different from velocity. With velocity, for example you know that you’re going to get a 3% raise every year and your investments are going to be worth 7% more on average every year. Momentum is what happens when your net disposable income is 2% more next year, 10% the year after then 40%, 100%, 300% and so on exponentially to some ceiling. Momentum in this case is the acceleration of progress or roughly your velocity squared.

How do I get there? Well I don’t know how you are going to get there but I can tell you how I’m getting there. First off if you can’t stomach constant change, risk, perseverance and hard work then go ahead and get some Doritos from your cupboard and head back to to your couch to watch Lost reruns.

There are at least three phases to getting leverage and thus momentum that work for me. Here’s what I know;

Phase I – Stuck in the Swamp

In this phase, you do things over and over the same way with the same results. You’re probably kind of disorganized or marginally organized, demoralized or lightly motivated and mostly stuck in the mud. An example would be your bills and mortgage payments. They come in at random times and you pay them at random times hopefully pretty close to the date where your paycheck or tax refund comes in. You might just be emotionally paralyzed by the accumulation of all the details that you have to deal with.

Phase II – Systems of Velocity and Acceleration

The systems part is straight forward, in this phase you figure out systems to do these things that irritated you and held you back by putting in more effort than necessary one time to figure out properly how to handle things repetitively. You figured out how to arrange your bills, taxes, irritating neighbors, bosses, investments, hobbies, passions. You’ve done it so much that it’s been burnt into your lizard brain stump, the same one that knows how to breathe without thinking. At this point the little stuff that used to be big stuff is getting fired off from what has become brain muscle memory. Bigger stuff is becoming little stuff all the time because you’re making systems and once you’ve done it once its super easy each other time. Acceleration and momentum have begun.

Phase III – Systems of Systems

This part is where it gets really interesting. So you’re firing off systems like they’re popcorn and hopefully you’re delegating the systems to other people and things are moving forward pretty fast. You’re the pioneer, you figure stuff out using perseverance, brains and balls. You systemize it once it’s figured out then replicate, train less motivated people to use your system and reap the rewards and repeat. Cool, now you can create a system for creating systems. You can find people who already built systems or hire people who do nothing but figure out systems. At this point, you’re a system factory and everything you do revolves around sustainable, repeatable systems. This applies to almost anything, diet, health, money, work, hobbies, passions etc. You’ll now understand why the most amazing successful people are SYSTEMATIC but they won’t tell you so because their system is the same one that convinced you that there's a pill to cure your fat ass. It's in their best interest for you to not understand the system. The successful people who aren’t systematic generally specialize in a specific domain where they mastered a single system and when that domain collapses so does their success (Vanilla Ice anyone?).

Phase IV, V, VI – Systems ^ 3 +

I couldn’t exactly tell you much about this phase but this is where VC’s, uber banks, mafias and overlay governments live. I’ll lay it out for you when I get there if they haven't killed me first.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What deux yeux have teux deux teuxday?

Awesome!! teuxdeux (toodoo) is a great to do list app that mirrors how I currently arrange to do lists in excel

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why do I have the ugliest blog since 1997?

Well frankly my blog is ugly and slightly absurd by design. My first blog was in 1997 on what at the time was a superbly designed site complete with all kinds of slick streaming audio/video, community features, blah blahs and all that.

Today I don't care too much about the regular web but do care about passing on some thoughts that might be of value. I'd like more to think of myself as an elder statesman of blogging, technology and startups and thus my blog is much uglier than anything I had in '97 and will probably get uglier still as I bath in the retro beauty of ugly HTML.

Heck, maybe I'll even embed some flashing java applets for shits and giggles.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Second post of the year

Shit, last year my first post of the year was something about a bug in Microsoft Excel. Turned out to be my most linked and most popular post to this day. Still, it was a real drag to have that as my first post. This year I went and did it again, my first post was a slide deck about corporate culture. I fucked up, what can I say. Anyways, happy new year.

...and watch this, it will cheer you up - I promise.

Netflix Culture

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: