Tuesday, October 31, 2006

failing the test of time

oh man, look what's happened to me over the years. i've gone from a badass, ohio state lovin' rebel to a pansy wolverine bizness dude who hangs out with fluffy cats...

btw, if you look closely you can see a mini-mullet :-)

next tech-ade on the horizon...

so i've been invited to speak at these FTC hearings next week that are a pretty big deal. yeah, i wasn't their 1st choice from symantec, i can admit this (i think the 1st request when to john thompson, our ceo). honestly i'm not even sure i was their 3rd but it doesn't matter 'cause they're stuck with me :-) it's a pretty prestigious line-up which includes vint cerf and esther dyson, i think i'm pretty much the low performer amongst the crowd without a high-flying title or dr. next to my name. check out the agenda:

so our chat is on communicating in the next tech-ade, and i'm intended to be the "threats" guy, i.e. what will the bad ppl do as we're getting our next gen communications groove on? i figured i'd try to hammer out some of my thoughts here before putting together my succinct speaking points for the event. here it goes...

i think the next gen comm'ns are about the following "big concepts"-- and i don't think any of them are revolutionary to be honest. i see us simply smushing together a lot of the stuff that's already been out there where we really have only begun to tap the potential. so no big game changers but taking all the stuff (smart phones, mmorpgs, IM, wi-fi, etc.) and integrating it. but, the integration of this stuff, much of which we've only seen a glimpse of its real promise, ends up being pretty darn special. oh yeah, here's the concepts!

blah blah blah. buzz word crapola, i know. but this time it's real dammit. your browser will actually work on your phone. tried using the browser on yer treo? give up early, it sucks. now imagine that it works. and it's fast. and the screen is bigger. and you can type on it w/o developing unsightly calluses on yer thumbs. oh, and IM works too. not the odd, frankenstein IM we have today where you have a web client (which also sucks), but real IM. you'd use it in much the same way as ppl text today, and perhaps it ends up killing SMS since you can send files and block ppl you don't want via yer buddy list. sayoonara psycho chick/guy you met the other nite who ending up being downright creepy, just drop the packets.

and none of this is using gprs data services but bonafide wi-fi at high speeds. soooo... what do you do with this wonder device?
- interact online (buy stuff, swap files, share things, etc.)
- talk to ppl, but see them at the same time
- do real work-> leave heavy laptop home for trip thx to projection keyboard and monitor
- login to physical areas, the device becomes a transit point for yer identity but it is only temp storage (it's actually stored on the network through federated services)

[ok, foto interlude. this is me consulting the japanese radish god for wisdom on communications of the future.]

the question that always gets asked is "doesn't this put all your eggs in 1 basket? what happens if you lose it? drop in the toilet?" etc. the answer is... you lose yer hardware, which stinks (depending on how much you paid for it). but all yer real info is stored on a network somewhere given the availability of real web apps, fast connections and widely available connectivity. we're going to be accessing our identity and data from many different types of devices, all of which are connected to the greater 'net, so why would you store things on a single device? some stuff you will still keep local, but all the important stuff will be sent out to the cloud and accessible via secure web services. so you lose yer device, send out a msg like lo-jack and it shuts down. done (or close enough).

so what about converged device attacks? they don't attack the device itself in most cases since it's more effective to attack the more ubiquitous platform: the web. other internet services and apps will be targeted too, especially IM and MMORPG interactions (more on this later). and the weakness they exploit is not a buffer overflow or other coding error in most cases, but it is user mistakes and naiveté. the reality is our platforms are going to be quite safe, but due to the rate of technology change and the massive influx of new ppl to these services, the proverbial sucker will be virtually born every minute for the bad guys to exploit.

alright, i'm off to bed but there's plenty more to go. lemme know if you have any feedback or thoughts to share on the topic, i'd welcome the help!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

owusu & hannibal full length finally out

i've been tracking these guys a bit all year. all they've had up until now is a few singles, but nearly all of them were killer (blue jay, what it's about). sort of a soul/house sound but pick it up and make the call yourself. ubiquity has had a good final stretch of '06 as the radio citizen album, berlin serengeti, was top notch as well.

Link to album description @ ubiquity

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

adios argentina, hola brazil

off to sao paulo today, which looked like a short trip but took from 11am in the morning to nearly 7pm to make the full trip. this was following some serious white-knuckling on the flight over, courtesy of air lineas, an argentinian airline with no apparent fear of turbulence. i've flown a lot of miles and i nearly thought my short time on this spinning globe was over today. damn...

more thoughts on leaving buenos aires, sao paulo and south america in general:

- airport security in south america rocks! keep your shoes on, take as many liquids as you want, leave yer laptop in yer bag, and the whole process only chews up about 5 minutes. 100% less irritating and prolly only 10% less secure than our follies.

- turns out there was a complete collapse of the argentinian economy about 5 years ago. you couldn't withdraw $$$ from the banks if you wanted to, everything was frozen. this pushed prices for real estate way down and the peso went from being 1:1 with the dollar to 1:4. today it's about 1:3 and they are about recovered. there's still a fair amount of civil unrest and even last night a group of protestors showed up at a fashion event demanding to "eat the food that they're eating". given this and the govt's propensity for an occasional socialist agenda, what looks like a great opp'ty to buy land on the cheap and make easy $$$ could end up in you losing yer shirt as your buenos aires land/home are snatched up by the govt and given to others.

- we had a fantastic local wine last night called "torrontes" (the style, not the vintner). it's a moderately sweet, white Argentinian varietal. good stuff! we also hung out at an old-school tango club which was an interesting mix of young and old dancers out to have a good time. the band was very cool as well, it consisted of a single bassist with 4 guys on accordions and another 4 on violins. great sound!

- they are completely unafraid to parade the female body at tradeshows. who are we kidding ourselves, america? guys at conferences sit in crappy halls listening to what are mostly terrible speeches then eating too much mediocre food. after tolerating all that crap, of course we all want to see a booth babe! helluvalot better than chatting it up with some smarmy, sweaty dork in bad loafers. my jaw nearly hit the floor when i saw the symantec booth babes in argentina. sure enough they had skin tight black pants with bright yellow tube tops with the symantec logo on them. our branding and hr department would shit themselves. the girls may not know a thing about the products or the company, but no one pays attention even when you do, so why bother? and what did we see right after entering customs in sao paulo? cute little brazilian booth babes handing out fliers for a show here for consumer electronics. score one for south america. call it exploitation but dammit, it works.

- we ate dinner at a stunning place tonight, check out the pic below. the whole restaurant is built around a gargantuan 100 year old fig tree. food, service and ambience were amazing. if you ever come here, don't miss out: http://www.rubaiyat.com.br/figueira/index.htm

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

buenos dias de buenos aires

greets from south america! down here on a biz trip to speak at a conference, chat with the media and meet with ppl from the local office. there's not a whole lotta time before we had out for the evening over here but thought i'd jot down a few interesting things from my short trip here:

- it's the birthplace of tango. how did i not know this? bought 3 tango cds, 2 modern elecrofied ones and one classic. so far so good! mai: i'll burn 'em for you as long as you don't tell the riia :-)

- it's cheap! finally, after getting raped in dublin and tokyo, i've found a place where the dollar still means something. and there's nice stuff to buy too.

- in argentina, meat is a perfectly acceptable appetizer before you eat more meat. dear lord almighty, my now pseudo-vegetarian stomach is in shock. rather than be rude, i'm eating the cow. and paying the price. they've never heard of hummus down here.

- the bottom level of the hotel is floor "0". why didn't we think of that?

- it's ok to drink wine for lunch and the wine is fan-flippin'-tastic. this is the home of malbec, and it's superb. had a bottle of "alta vista premium" yesterday for lunch and a bottle of "fond du cave" malbec for dinner. both were good, i slightly preferred the alta vista. funny story: when the argentinean man was asked if he wanted water for dinner, he replied "no, that's ok, i already washed my hands". they love their vino, and for good reason.

- damn near no traffic lights nor ipods here. not sure if there's a connection, but they seem to be alright with both of these.

here's a shot of my hotel. off to sao paulo, brazil tomorrow. hasta pronto!

Friday, October 13, 2006

opinions of questionable value for ray

garmin roadrunner 201
it's a gps pedometer you wear on your wrist. great for tracking how far you've really run and how fast. it's increased the length i run substantially since i can no longer fool myself. for example, what i used to be certain was a 4 mile run was more like 2.5 (!) it's also given me swift kick in the butt when running half marathons as i found out i was hitting mid run lulls and slowing down. result? faster halfies all around. there's a newer, cooler version but this one is good enough for me.

little miss sunshine
dear lord almighty was this funny. just about the only comedy i've seen in a long time that was worth the time and $$$. nearly as good as whiling away boring conference calls with engrish.com.

i like my dress shoes to have a little edge to them. not a lot, but a little. an exceptionally pointy toe, a little different color, a cool pattern in a place you wouldn't normally expect one, etc. it's damn near impossible to find this in a store without paying $300+, which is outrageous for men's shoes to me (but a cheap pair of jimmy choo's, ironically). zappos is the place to be my friend. easy, fair prices and huge selection. found my ben sherman sherbourne's there and i'm a happy camper. i don't plan on going back into a shoe store in search of dress shoes again.

fat freddy's drop
brilliant gem of band that has thus far been criminally overlooked. they fall somewhere b/w reggae and jazz. fave tracks are "hope", "roady" and "little ones". no live shows in the us apparently (uk band) and it's hard to find their stuff (offline at least). i found "based on a true story" at amoeba.

ipod mini
who needs a nano anyways? this little sucker is good enough. i still don't see why i need anything more than a monochrome screen on my mpg3 player and 4GB. and i easily have 60GB+ of music. step off the ipod treadmill.

the illusionist
not an incredible story but really well cast and played. ed norton and paul giamatti were fantastic. i was expecting very little and was pleasantly surprised.

mike doughty
he's the former front-man for soul coughing. some ppl will know them as the band who did the song "super bon bon" and "circles" which both got some airplay on major radio stations. he's been described as "street poet" more than a vocalist and i think that's not too far from the truth; his lyrics are wacky/abstract but insightful and unexpected. he doesn't take himself nearly as seriously as saul williams and ursula rucker who i like but let their opinions get in the way of simply creating something enjoyable and fun (prolly not their goal). he recently joined dave matthew's record label, RTO, and released an album of mostly older material called "haughty melodic". not sure how much more he'll do (he's been in and out of rehab for a heroin addiction), but the album is worth picking up if you like "alternative" rock and enjoyed soul coughing.

just checked, he's opening for the barenaked ladies. perfect for irene :-)

nobody knows
eerie little japanese flick about a mother who progressively abandons her kids. a little slow (i feel asleep in the middle, but i almost always do), but well worth it. beautiful and disturbing at the same time. there's a few scenes that still sort of haunt me and it's been months since we watched this on dvd.

lyrics born
the man is unstoppable. if you see something he's done, buy it. he does a large number of collabs (r.l. burnside, tommy guerrero, z-trip, etc.) and his tracks are nearly always the best on the album. oh yeah, he's a hip hop star from SF on the quannum label which is also host to blackalicious, lateef, and other rock solid underground players. he's moody in concert (i don't think he likes LA much) but he's still fantastic. joyo velarde, his female vocalist and girlfriend, is top notch. he's playing LA next week with cut chemist and has a new live album out on 10/31.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

current playlist

Linea de Luz | Kinky | Reina
Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard | Paul Simon | Negotiations & Love Songs
Rub a Dub Style | Love Trio feat U-Roy | Love Trio in Dub
Soldier Jane | Beck | The Information
Crane Wife 1 & 2 | The Decemberists | The Crane Wife
Tanto Tempo | Peter Kruder Remix, Bebel Gilberto | Tanto Tempo Remixed
Roady | Fat Freddy's Drop | Based on a True Story
Broken Levee Blues | DJ Shadow | The Oustider
Deep in the Cut | J Boogie | Dubtronic Science
Breath Control | DJ Presto | Magic LP
Terence Trent D'Arby | Sign Your Name | -
Useless Wooden Toys | Jon Kennedy | Useless Wooden Toys

Monday, October 09, 2006

finally: my clip on npr

here it is! it's not great for the 60 minutes i spent on the phone with her and i share air-time with jeff moss but it's great exposure dammit and i'll take it :-)

Link to News Clip