First Crack #126. Hardware Startups with Matt Bauer

PedalBrain‘s Matt Bauer and I talk about the challenges, capital requirements, and multi-year timelines inherent in bringing a retail hardware product to market.

He talks about the recent epiphany he had with PedalBrain and how that enlightenment has helped him through these challenges.

Listen to Hardware Startups with Matt Bauer. [31 min]

First Crack #125. Open Font Licensing with David Crossland

David Crossland (Cantarell font family, Open Font Library) and I dive into font licensing – specifically open font licensing – and the cultural benefits of open licensing.

Links and topics we mention:

. [37 min]

First Crack #124. Open Web Fonts with Ben Weiner

Ben Weiner‘s been doing great work on giving greater visibility for open fonts – and has written a book proposal for web fonts. I called him up to discuss this work and my notion that web fonts are a brant new species of fonts.

Links and topics we mention:

[45 min]

First Crack #123. Building CitizenWausau.com with Dino and Andy

citizenwausau_logo

CitizenWausau is one of the coolest, homegrown citizen journalism projects I’ve seen since I’ve been looking for them. I called up Dino Corvino and Andy Laub, the editor and technologist respectively, to discuss the project, how it’s grown, and it’s relationship with more established media in a smaller city market.

First Crack 122. John Hoffoss on Usability and Network Security

John Hoffoss, a network security engineer at one of Minnesota’s larger institutions, and I dive into computer security, security versus usability, the insecurity of URL shorteners, and some of the reasons Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer are more often targets of security exploits than other platforms.

Stay til the end for a discussion of the security threats of places like Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to John Hoffoss on Computer and Network Security.

First Crack 120. Wonderlick’s Tim Quirk on Truth Through Music

I’ve been a fan of Tim Quirk’s music for 20 years – easy. The playful melancholy in throughout his songwriting continually resonates with me. When he announced the new Wonderlick album was in the works and available for ‘name-your-price’ pre-order – I jumped on the opportunity.

When I started hearing about how successful the campaign was – I asked Tim if he’d talk about the album and the campaign for the podcast.

As he mentions in our conversation, the common theme through the 16 tracks is the exploration of an experience he first wrote about in 2002:

“I wondered what she said the next day when friends asked her how the concert was. I wondered whether the crowd had been applauding her breasts or her daring. I wondered if maybe she was a plant and had actually gotten paid for her performance. That last one was just a specific way of asking a more general question, I guess—mostly I was wondering exactly what she got out of it.” – Tim Quirk

In the 16 Topless at the Arco Arena tracks, Tim, with Jay Blumenfield, ask everyone involved what they got out of the experience.

My top 5 Wonderlick – Topless at the Arco Arena tracks:

  1. The Case Against Tattoos
  2. A Different Kind of Love
  3. We Run the World
  4. This Song is a Commerical
  5. Fear of Chicago

Download: Listen to Wonderlick’s Tim Quirk on Truth Through Music [36 minutes]

Wonderlick on Facebook

First Crack 119. Justin Grammens on Mobile VOIP

I have a hypothesis that mobile VOIP over WiFi will replace mobile carriers for the majority of phone conversations within 5 years. For a reality check, I called up Justin Grammens of Localtone Interactive and Mobile Twin Cities.

From the picture he paints, I think we’ll see this well within 5 years. Maybe 2.

I also share with you my strategy for developing in this new mobile, web-based application world.

[51 min].