Quote of the Day

From the Washington Post:

“Drinking and driving is never a good idea – least of all when the vehicle involved is a multi-billion dollar Space Shuttle or a high performance jet aircraft,” said Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), chairman of the Science and Technology committee.

You can read the story here.

Break the Box

Om has written an interesting blurb on email. Email inherits many of the targeting and noise problems inherent in physical mail, only the problem is much worse because the cost of electronic postage is dramatically cheaper.

Folks have been working on aspects of this for a long time. Goodmail is doing a few interesting things in certification. Boxbe is taking the time-honored approach of trying legitimize your inbox as a marketing channel. Others are making a run at validation, electronic postage et al.Google has tried to solve part of the problem with search (presumably Yahoo will through its Bloomba acquisition).

There is no doubt that authentication, categorization, search and relative prioritization are important in email.

Email may need improvements in technology, but it is broken as a consumer product (perhaps it’s a victim of its own moniker). The physical mailbox doesn’t scale. The mailbox metaphor in email doesn’t either. It’s a monolith.

For most people (at least people I know), I would venture to say that email is a firehose of too many kinds of information from too many kinds of sources and relationships. I just logged into a Yahoo account that I don’t even use that often and I have 12,000 unread messages and 1200 messages marked as spam (assuming it takes me 3 seconds to scan, open, and delete an email, I’d spend 10 hours clearing out my inbox). The solution is NOT to automatically push all of these messages into different folders, nor is it to just let me search for what might be important. The solution is build suitable channels for respective kinds of messages and create software that  best handles the channels.

Meebo, Gizmo, Meetro, 37Signals,and the like  are doing a great job innovating in messaging and collaboration. Xobni is doing some clever stuff. I have yet to see any radical recasting of email.

As I write this I’m down to 11,999 unread messages. Wish me luck.

Happy 4th

In the last few days, the poets have surfaced in an unexpected way in the blogosphere. Fred Wilson quotes Whitman, and Fake Steve (FSJ) riffs on Shelley.

If you live in the US, have a happy holiday.

If you don’t live in the US, imagine everyone you know in the US with a beer bottle in one (or both) hand(s) in reasonable proximity to a smoking grill. It might be a good time to send them an email assuming that if you don’t receive a reply within a few hours, you’ll conclude something that enriches you at their expense.


First impressions, in no particular order:

  1. The device and OS are great.
  2. The network is not great(no surprise there).
  3. It pairs seamlessly with the Prius hands free system.
  4. It lacks MMS.
  5. The SIM is removable with a paper clip.
  6. It doesn’t seem to recognize and properly configure GAFYD accounts (at least it did not work with mine).
  7. Battery life is as claimed- great.
  8. Irony: the GSM radio interferes with my computer’s sound system. If the rebuttal to this is a suggestion that consumers need to understand RF shielding, it’s a miss (to be fair it’s an age-old issue).
  9. It represents a huge breakthrough, not in technology but in product. Industry pundits will rightfully suggest that a lot of the technologies in the iPhone have been around for a while. This is true, but Apple has artfully combined them, in conjunction with their own IP, to create something that will have a much more interesting legacy that a Wikipedia article.  I recommend that everyone (who reads this blog) spend some time playing with an iPhone.