Sunday, December 30, 2007

'Yes' is the only word I want to hear

This great picture caught my eye going through LHR airport recently.

It speaks well to the way I approach challenges, tasks, people, agendas. This is what I expect from myself and from people around me.
Nothing less.

Don't tell me you can't because you can. Think again. I'll use my time to figure out what would motivate you to say yes.

Yes! is the only word I want to hear; Courtesy Heathrow Airport

Google Maps on BB Curve

Between figuring out GPS for our trips and why can't my very capable smart beautiful BB Curve combine E-OTD location and its unlimited data to download real time traffic and maps, I was very happy to find that Google Maps has a mobile version. It even uses tower triangulation to (very! ) approx. locate me. This would be real cool when driving long trips and selecting local Panera vs. McDonalds!

The downside, when I downloaded the application OTA from, every time I'd start it, it would freeze my BB. Lots of search and disbelief lead me to delete all application data and that made everything work finally. A slight heart attack in the middle as it will reset the BB settings and you'll have to wait for the operator setup to (automatically) come down OTA and install itself.
Google Maps now works like a charm and I can't wait to test-drive it. It won't be text-to-speech navigation GPS device replacement, but maybe it's a start, and maybe Google will take a location snapshot once every so often when the application is running. that in addition to better accuracy will give it real navigation features.
Bottom line: very cool and impressive, but Google- you got to get that installation bug out of the way, you're no startup.

Next is how to sync Google Calendar with BB. Comments welcome :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The future of (Air) travel

I've been reading in Popular Mechanics and recently came across this video about the next generation of public transportation: high speed trains. The technology is amazing, almost out of a Sci-Fi movie, and much, much needed. 581KM/H. The train is called MagLev and I very much recommend watching the video to learn more.

It's been my pleasure to be on several flights recently from Boston to London. And while on these you start thinking of how flight time/speed had advanced in the last decades, given such tremendous advances in green technologies, efficient engines, long haul flights etc. Flight speed has not been one of those advances (see here:)
"In fact, air travel is getting slower. The average speed of the most popular aircraft has fallen sharply in the three decades since Concorde was unveiled - and the world's only surviving supersonic plane is destined for the scrap heap in about 15 years, with no successor in sight. "

Flight time, delays and the involved pain already come to cynical outcomes of it: "Study: Flight delays good for romance"

Practicalities of public transportation will require that Maglev be readily available despite huge infrastructure cost to make a dent into the air travel industry. But if, just if that happened, walking into a Maglev to NY or further out would be a breeze, nothing like driving to the airport.

Let's Get Rid of Non-Compete Agreements

Something healthy is happening in New England. Important people have been looking at key differences in the entrepreneurial scene between here and the west coast. The non-compete is absolutely one of those: the freedom for people to move about the scene with new ideas and ways to build better products, innovate and move forward.

I was in this situation myself, and although in both situations I wasn't signed on any employment letter (that would include a non-compete), I was extremely hesitant and in fact did not pursue the ideas I had. Not to say if this was removed I surely were to follow through, but in those two situations it played a big part.

Well now Bijan of Spark capital, Scott Kirsner and others are pushing it, and I am happy to support them in this.

Check out the new Alliance for Non-Compete Page, including the letter to Governor Patrick and the response.

Everyone should join and support this.

The Alliance for Non-Compete


The beautiful work of art
From The, a beautiful creative blog, beautiful intriguing work of art. Definitely on my Google reader :-) Kudos to the creators, enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It is what it is

(Stuck in LHR waiting for delayed flight home hence wasting time).
When I recently used the term in a new forum, I caused a blast of laughs. As it turns, the term had become an urban legend a collegue had strong opinions whenever the term had been used. And rightfully so, the term's origin is breakage of process or communication channels. There are unfulfilled requirements for which the priorities are misaligned. When someone senior uses the impression, it may sound ironic, cynical, or even worse: indifferent.

As frustrating as it may sound, the truth is quite opposite. "It is what it is", to me, expresses my frustration of achieving the goals I had set to myself in the time I hoped I would. But as a fresh starter, it also means that I have every intention to find the workaround, crack in the wall, back or front to reasses the issue again soon. It is not a defeat, it is regrouping. It is the low gear in optimism.

...To a dear person whose moving on. Be well my friend and best of wishes.
Sent Wirelessly

Heathrow airport showing a finger to trolly believers

Friday afternoon is fun in LHR, always was. But now there's added cream on top which is having to drop your trolly as you can board with one piece only. Right, no more one piece and hand bag trick. As it is still allowed anywhere else it won't affect the suitcase business travel sales so just a nice little pain point. Funny to see the monitor saying "heathrow worlds busiest airport"...who cares?
All's good fun
Sent Wirelessly

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Taking the train to Cambridge (UK)

I've forgotten how I enjoy public transportation, especially trains. Combined with how I dislike driving. Sit back, think, reflect, be concerned, smile, laugh, BREATHE.
I wish I could do it more often.
Sent Wirelessly

Monday, December 10, 2007


US networks open in light of Google's scene entry?I read the latest "AT&T flings cellphone network wide open" PR with a good laugh. This is clearly following "Verizon opens network to more cellphones" earlier PR. Somehow, people are responding to this with some skepticism, as do I.

The good laugh, BTW, comes from an old memory of me walking into an AT&T store 6 years ago (yup, they were called AT&T then) and realizing that already then they were selling Motorola unlocked handsets.
Another reason to a good smile is that, as far as my technical hat goes, no GSM operator has ever attempted to correlate users' IMSI with their sold IMEI at the (in other words, make sure the subscriber is using the handset sold to them) and it would mean more work. The blocking happens at the handset level, which means the vendor has to put it in. why would they if they can push back and sell more?. Anyway, This correlates well with:
"You can use any handset on our network you want," says Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's wireless business. "We don't prohibit it, or even police it."

As far as Verizon goes, they will still be CDMA (alongside Sprint vs. T-Mobile and AT&T), hence iPhone (for example) will simply not work on their network, will it? in fact, only CDMA phones, traditionally manufactured to Verizon's requirements will pretty much work. Verizon is building a $20 million testing lab but has not provided details about how this process will work. Guess how the testing criteria will look like? Guess how much certification will cost and who will bear those costs?
"In the short term, it's a giant publicity stunt," says wireless analyst Bill Hughes at researcher In-Stat. I agree.

Just to make things more interesting, throw in Amazon's new Kindle device. an EV-DO device that acts like a cool reader. EV-DO means you're married to Sprint or Verizon pretty much (in this case, Sprint), you can't download more content if you're outside the US BTW. Why is Kindle relevant to this discussion? because Sprint branding is nowhere to be seen. there's no sign up and no monthly fee with Sprint. An improvement on their MVNO strategy or a shift in branding awareness?

I read Bijan's interesting post "When did we agree to being locked in?", who also commented on the AT&T announcement by saying:

"Networks need to be open.

Devices need to work everywhere.

Content needs to be distributed anywhere.

Which walled garden is coming down next?"

I agree, utopia or maybe UK reality (on that in a separate post). But that brings me to my main point here. This is all reactionary to Google's Android announcements (dare I say hype? again?). Everyone's crawling under the table in light of the announcements and not being in the "open". So the last Mobile Monday Boston, taken place during the Mobile Internet conference, featured Google's Android as they are obviously local. Here's how it went:

Sounds awfully similar to Savaje ("Savaje falls on hard times"), doesn't it? :-) or :-( ?. A visio diagram filled with boxes you'd expect from any device vendor, mix of open and restricted APIs, J2ME toolkit (ironically, partially based on existing tools), am I missing something?! Oh yeah, backing of Google's deep pockets.

Here's what I think Google can be a game changer at: Their success at building a phone or OS is to be seen, but what Google are great at, is impressions, CPMs, advertising, search, optimization and content. What a single Nokia flag store in NYC didn't do to the operators realization that content, mobile purchasing and advertising is the key to move forward, Google can do.

We'll see where this ball rolls next. interesting times indeed. Operators are certainly reacting, whether through real changes or PR.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Cleaning up my Google Reader today after the Pats game (oh yeah...13-0!) I came across this article on the "Tide Changing Between UMA-based and SIP-based FMC Services". I very much agree with what Phil Solis, is indicating: UMA indeed is a cool technology for which the hesitance of operators (to define their faith between a dumb bitpipe and a robust but expensive smart and capable network with services and content) prolongs the window of opportunity. However, all indicators are that between operators and device vendors, this is no more than a temporary, (poorly merchandised) offering: limited handsets, limited services, extremely complex pricing to the subscriber? They are just not serious about it.

Don't get me wrong, many kudos to Mark Powell and his entrepreneurs colleagues at Kineto for creating an ecosystem from scratch, correct technology and all. But in reality, there are too many moving pieces to make it, especially in NA.

No, nobody had fooled themselves that UMA creates an opportunity for operators to help themselves into the subscribers wallet while covering up for a coverage deficiency. However as a service, SIP and the services SIP will drive (Lead by integrated presence capable address book IMO), is truly the longer term vision. The sooner operators and vendors will dump the idle screen and replace it by that presence enabled Skype-like screen with calls to action and an embedded ad, the better.
And SIP is the way to do it.

Reality check: Miss Landmine Angola: Beauty Pageant for Landmine Victims

Reality check: Miss Landmine AngolaSometimes you consider anything and everything in your life in comparison to other peoples lives, in this case a story of reality and heroism:

"Forget silicone, big hair and cheesy smiles; the Miss Landmine Angola competition leaves behind the fakeness for a pageant aimed at finding pride and beauty despite imperfections."

Great pic

I love my wife

Sent Wirelessly

Kudos to Mark of MarksGuide

It's been a long while since I last blogged and I might even get some time to explain the changes that happened since, but as usual, when you get busy it's the reality around you that pushes you to get things done.

So I came across this interview coverage with Mark on XConomy. The title is already inviting: "Boost Your Karma: Check Out MarksGuide".

It's a good piece on the Boston professional networking scene and how it affects startups, entrepreneurship and innovation. Any ecosystem has interesting supporting channels and MarksGuide is part of it: "Doerschlag is the man to know if you want to get the word out about a local networking event in business, technology, finance, media, or the sciences. On any given weekday, his website lists six to a dozen events of interest to Boston-area professionals."

I've already recommended MarksGuide before but let me reiterate how resourceful is MarksGuide in being aware of relevant interesting professional events in the area and if you missed one, there would likely be good coverage somewhere.

Interesting quote on Mark: "Cross Craigslist founder Craig Newmark with Web-networker-par-excellence Joi Ito, add blond hair and blue eyes, and plunk the result down in Boston—and you’d have Mark Doerschlag." Made me smile :-). Mark's a good guy and I'm glad to say a good friend too.

Check out MarksGuide, you'll be sure to bookmark it.