Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Computers and Cars – Both Need to Be More Efficient

Rex pointed me to the NYTimes article on Google’s energy efficiency proposals.

I’ve been reading so much Jonathan Schwartz (“Value of Being Green“)lately that I’m happy to see another big player talk about improving the energy efficiency of computers.

The energy efficiency issue made sense to me when explained it this way:

“But you know how your laptop warms your lap? Or your PC heats up your den? Multiply that a few thousand times over, and you have a problem faced by most datacenters – power draw and heat dissipation. Map that challenge to every business on earth, and you have a global power crisis as the network is built out.” – Jonathan Schwartz, CEO Sun Microsystems

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Sending Static to the Satellite

“It’s only a matter of time until this content is free, FCC-filtered, and ad-supported.” – Mark Ramsey

Ramsey’s talking about Sirius’ new Internet Radio offering. While I’m not a big fan of the satellite model, the strength of satellite is that it’s an alternative to the AM and FM dials.

Admittedly, I’m coming at this from the listeners perspective. Not the spectrum owner, or the advertiser.

Then again, as a listener I prefer having control of when and what I listen to. As such, I’ve got everything in iTunes.

I’m rooting for Sirius. This is a great move on their part – be available anywhere. In fact, I’d love to see them increase their monthly subscription fees. More power to the listener.

Monday, 25 September 2006

Put a Hold on Your Real Estate Agent License

“The National Association of Realtors report on existing home sales showed that the median home price in August was $225,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.”

“It was the first year-over-year decline in median prices since April 1995, when that measure slipped only 0.1 percent. And it was the biggest year-over-year drop since the record 2.1 percent decline recorded in November 1990, when the nation was in recession.”

Amazing Race Season 10 – Episode 2

Outer Mongolia.

It’s a threat in my mind. Somehow worse than Siberia. A place where you “get sent”. A bit of romance there if only for the seemingly still nomadic lifestyle. Until the rain storm, seemed like a nice, quiet vacation spot. Like northern Wisconsin in autumn. Remote.

If only I had a hand-cranked Russian jeep growing up.

I’d stick with the packing up of the nomadic tent over attempting to guide a aboriginal bull. Figuring out the knot and getting a camel to stand up sound easier than keeping helmets and water within grasp.

The TiVo gets eliminated this week for not recording the Roadblock and the elimination.

    Garrick’s Favorites:

  • Peter and Sarah
  • Tyler and James
  • Duke and Lauren

On a side note, I don’t think I’m the only one confusing Studio 60 and 30 Rock. As much as I prefer Aaron Sorkin productions, I keep thinking there’s another pair of hobbits lurking.

WiFi and Complementary Kid’s Meals are the Same Thing.

Back a few months ago, the family Smith and family Van Buren dined at a Claim Jumpers Restaurant. I’m still impressed, that by default, they came out with a complementary kid’s plate (cheese sticks, tortilla, deli turkey slice).

If you have kids, you understand how brilliant this is. It shows the restaurant actually acknowledges parents travel with their kids (in the same way people generally travel in pairs). What Claim Jumpers also understands is how cheap and easy it is to make that experience less stressful for everyone involved (parents, kids, service staff, and fellow diners) – give the kid something healthy, finger-friendly, and immediately. I don’t remember an explicit charge for the kid’s plates. I’m assuming the buck or two they cost was baked into the menu as a whole.

Perfect. Right where I want it. In fact, my ideal dining experience is to not have to make any explicit decisions, not select from a menu, and still have some idea of the final bill up front.

Offering complementary WiFi is exactly the same. It shows a venue understands the context of my visit (it’s rarely just for access – usually lunch/coffee + access) and they want to make my stay comfortable and less stressful.

Neither of these efforts are hard or expensive (unless forced to be) and the win on the customer side is huge. Conversely, the lack thereof is a strike against.

Digg Dumb Deep Down

“That means that, if Digg were actually based on the Wisdom of Crowds principle, you’d never see how many people had dugg an article before you choose to digg it yourself. Additionally, you’d only ever vote on a random selection of articles.” – J Wynia

I think the transparency allowed by internet technologies make true Wisdom of Crowds projects impossible. Google is the closest I think we can get. Now, if Google dropped their search results page and only had the ‘I feel lucky’ button, we’d be there.