TV on Cell phones

Over at John Cook’s Venture blog there is a post about technology in 2007. When asked about technologies that will “hit the wall” in 2007, Robin Murdoch of Accenture said:

…streaming TV to cell phones is “overhyped completely,” adding that most people would choose to watch a live sporting event on a large Plasma TV screen rather than their handheld device.

I agree with Robin’s conclusion, but not his/her justification. The fact of the matter is, with the exception of sporting events and breaking news, streaming live TV to anything, including TVs themselves is on the decline. The vast majority of content is not terribly time-critical. Even the NBC Nightly News is available as a podcast download now. The acceptance of TiVos and DVRs has demonstrated that people don’t mind watching things later, and in fact they prefer to watch things on their own time. When you’re out and about, that’s even more true.

The statement that people would choose a large screen over a small one isn’t even interesting. The reason someone would choose a small screen is because they can take it everywhere – that’s the tradeoff they’re making. The question is how many people want to take their video with them, and I’d imagine people in the cell phone industry are keeping an eye on sales in the iPod video store to answer that.

Ignite Seattle

For those of you in the Seattle area, I’d highly recommend attending Ignite Seattle next time they do it. The format is:

  • Every presenter gets to show 20 slides
  • Slides show for 15 seconds each and flip automatically – presenter doesn’t control them
  • Topics were some startups, some hobbies, some non-profits, social groups, etc.

The fact that the presentations were kept short meant that people had to get through their ideas quickly, which kept the pace up and made it that much more entertaining. Jonah’s talk went well about the Darfur Wall – people seemed to love it. Eric Benson gave a cool talk on how to get what you want involves balancing your level of desire against the difficulty in getting something, and the different ways people circumvent that balance. Jordan Schwartz’ talk about SMS touched on a little bit of one of the ideas we had for and Dan Shapiro (founder of Ontela) gave a great inspirational talk on what it takes to start a company. The vast majority of the talks were quite good and interesting. If they have it again, I will definitely be there.

New home page

I don’t think I’ve changed my home page in 5-10 years. Up until a few days ago, it featured long lists of quotes which I stopped collecting sometime in high school (although Google searchers did seem to stumble on them). It needed to be updated, and I didn’t want to spend time updating a web page that doesn’t serve much purpose.

It dawned on me that I actually do a lot of stuff online that’s publicly accessible – write in this blog, bookmark stuff with, mark stuff as public in my feed reader, etc. So, I updated my home page to be a rolling collection of the stuff I’ve most recently updated online in various areas. That way, the content never gets stale. I don’t really like how it looks, but I like it better than the old page, so it’s good enough for now.

It’s a single PHP page that uses the SimplePie RSS library. I was using MagpieRSS for a while, and I found it much easier to use than SimplePie (ironic?), but it threw too many errors and warnings that I didn’t feel like troubleshooting.