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Monday, June 26, 2006

Mobile Monday NYC

I just got home from Mobile Monday NYC. I went in a little dubious. Last month they had Adam Greenfield of Everyware fame. I heard him at SXSWi, and he's an amazing speaker. This month, they had no scheduled speaker at all. It was "open mic night." But the Samsung Experience showroom in the Time Warner center is an impressive backdrop for a user group meeting, and there was the promise of free food and drink. I decided to go anyway.

I was glad I did.

The audience more than made up for the lack of a scheduled speaker. I learned, for example, that although getting people initial access to your application over WAP is easy, it can be a little trickier to actually scale it. But not for technical reasons. "Wonder what an Internet without net neutrality would look like? Mobile is just that." I probably got the wording wrong on the quote, but the theme was consistent: the carriers own the space, and it can get ugly out there.

Is it actually true? I don't know, but I certainly have more confidence in information I get from talking directly to people deeply involved in the industry than in random surfing on the Interweb. I'll definitely be back next month.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bar Camp NYC 2

Why? Because BarCampNYCII with roman numerals looks strange. Add your name to: http://barcamp.org/BarCampNYC2 and wonderful things will happen. Unless Amit already has a venue in mind (and I wouldn't put it past him) I'm thinking that the geeks over at Eyebeam Open Lab would have to be friends of Bar Camp. Anybody know someone over there?

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bar Camp Houston

Bar Camp Houston is going on right now. I'm disappointed I didn't get to go, especially since I got to talk with Erica O'Grady at SXSWi and saw her enthusiasm and energy first hand. I have a suspicion this is going to be a pretty good Bar Camp. Not too many pictures up on flickr yet, but I'm looking forward to participating vicariously as things heat up.

I'm in NYC for the summer (thus my absence from the Houston event) and I'm hoping I can convince Bar Camp NYC organizer emeritus Amit Gupta to step up to the plate again for a Bar Camp NYC II timed to coincide with the Bar Camp Earth extravaganza. I suppose depending on somebody else for a Bar Camp is not keeping with the spirit of the thing, but Amit set the bar intimidatingly high with the first NYC camp, and I'm hoping he'll take the lead on this one. The summer is going fast, though, and there's really not that much time left till August...

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I just got a new cell phone. A Samsung T-509. I knew it wouldn't work as a cell phone nearly as well as my venerable Nokia, but at long last I would have a phone that made me a complete person. And it was true, I did feel better about myself ... until I called voicemail.

I held the phone (pausing briefly to appreciate its beauty) and used the (slightly awkward, but never mind) navigation pad to maneuver over to "Call Voice Mail." I hit the button. "Voice Mail" said the screen, and gave the number, while an animation of swooping ribbons of light played in the background. Connected! I typed my access code on the tiny keyboard. And then, nothing. I waited, starting down at the screen on the phone in my hand. Still nothing. Was it broken? Where was the menu? I tried the navigation pad. Left, then right. No. Where were the prompts, and the graphics, and the swirling ribbons of light dancing behind the list of my messages? There was nothing, nothing but a faint buzzing coming from the phone. I held it to my ear. "Hit 1 to review messages" the little voice began.

There was to be no menu. No animations of voice mail messages romping across a field of swirling color. My beautiful new fully-digitally-enabled phone was running 1980's vintage software accessing (at best) 1990's vintage POTS voice mail. I wept softly.

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