July 21, 2005

Highlights from the Innovation Summit

I’m here on Day 3 of the AlwaysOn Innovation Summit at Stanford. Like last year, I’m concentrating on photos (see below and later above), and adding some video (on Ourmedia in a week or two) as well.

Some nice coverage at TechCrunch. Much more at Technorati and at Feedster.

Here are some of the best quotes and factoids I’ve plucked out from the past three days:

David Sifry of Technorati: There were 3 million blogs a year ago, 12 million today. On Technorati, there were zero social media tags in January and 20 million today. (We’ll post a one-minute video about this on Ourmedia soon.)

Pioneer venture capitalist Bill Draper to the innovators in the crowd creating new companies, products and services: “You’re the heroes.”

Author George Gilder: “Wifi and Wimax are desperate attempts by the old guard” — Intel, etc. — to prevent the takeover by people who just want to use their cellphones.

More Gilder: “Nanotech is really the extension of Moore’s Law, that things will get better as they grow smaller, as we move into the pit of

More Gilder: “The real author of Moore’s Law and Kurzweil’sl Law of Accelerating Returns is Henry Adams.”

More Gilder: “Television is dying fast and it’ll be followed by Hollywood. These industries fed on scarcity because there were only a few channels available. TV could dominate. TV was the technology of tyrants. It’s living on and emitting fumes in our living rooms. The 30-second ad spot is gonna die. This AlwaysOn represents the triumph of the user as the user becomes a producer.”

More Gilder: “The Long Tail is the fulfillment of life after television. Amazon gets 60% of its revenue from below the top 100,000 best sellers.”

Final Gilder: Television is a medium based on the lowest common deniminator. “The culture of television kills itself by stultifying its viewers.
Blog culture is part of book culture and can redeem the civilization.”

Mark Cuban had the best line of the conference. He said of telling young people not to pirate music or movies: “It’s like trying to tell a 12 year old boy that he’s going to go blind.”

Kim Polese: “We’re not going back to the old way, to silos, to lock-in.
IT is now in the driver’s seat.”

Marlen Mickos: Very few people buy a car with the hood sealed shut. At the same time, few people open up the hood to look at the engine. Yet they like the idea that they, or their friends, can peek under the hood when they want to.

Doc Searls: Microsoft’s “Passport was a bad idea that didn’t work.”

More Doc: “Flickr is a walled garden. It’s a beautiful walled garden, but it’s still a walled garden.”

More Doc: “Hollywood is trying to close the Web down. … The assumption is the Net is open and free, but we’re essentially at war with Hollywood, which wants to close it down.”

Toni Schneider, VP of the Yahoo Developer Network: Flickr is closed in that it’s not open to anyone to post photos on his own server and join the Flickr community. But if they opened it up to everyone, the model would likely break.

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July 20, 2005

Sandy Berger, Jerry Brown open AO Innovation Summit

Here are a handful of photos I took tonight at the AlwaysOn Innovation Summit at Stanford University. First, former national security advisory Sandy Berger:

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Next, Oakland Mayor, former governor and candidate for California attorney general Jerry Brown:

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I spoke with Brown at the reception afterward and reminded him of the previous time we’d met nearly 17 years ago — one of the most solemn and memorable days of my life, at the funeral of Chuck Linderman (a friend of mine, a former campaign aide to Brown) on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. He recalled the day, and we chatted briefly about blogging and his campaign for attorney general, but what he was mostly interested in was finding out more information about Skype, given the number of conference calls his campaign aides engage in. I jotted the Skype url on the back of my Ourmedia business card and gave it to him.

I’ve always admired Brown’s independent, no-nonsense style, and I’m still proud that my first-ever vote in a presidential primary was for Gov. Moonbeam. Read the essay, and Jerry Brown’s comment near the end:

“When you’re in the moment, that’s what life is all about. Chuck lived in the moment.”

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July 19, 2005

Why Hollywood is terrified of innovation

Jason Silverman in today’s Wired News: Darknet Casts Hollywood as Heavy. Excerpt:

Hollywood is terrified of your computer. Movie industry bigwigs know your PC can help you create your own movies, or, worse, copy and tweak theirs. So, like a jealous lover, the entertainment industry worries: Is your computer offering you the fulfillment we can’t? Are you going to buy fewer of our movie tickets, DVDs and CDs?

Author J.D. Lasica says Hollywood is waging battles on several fronts to make sure that doesn’t happen. In his comprehensive, sometimes chilling new book, Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation, Lasica details the entertainment industry’s strategies for maintaining control of content in the rip-mix-burn age. …

Wired News also published an excerpt from chapter 2 of the book, “Now Playing: Hollywood vs. the Digital Freedom Fighters.”

And, I missed this last week: the Miami Herald was the first newspaper or magazine to run a review of Darknet: The gatekeepers strive to stifle innovation. A new wave of business opportunities is threatened by entrenched resistance to digital innovation.

July 18, 2005

Warren Lieberfarb: Hollywood’s visionary outcast

Lieberfarb

I’m having fun publishing text works as HTML on Ourmedia. Last week it was “Your locked-down digital future” (Ourmedia page | direct link to file on the Internet Archive).

Today, it’s “Hollywood’s visionary outcast” (Ourmedia page | direct link to file on Internet Archive). It’s from my interview with Warren Lieberfarb (above), the father of the DVD. Excerpt:

Lieberfarb is that rarest of birds: a longtime major player in Hollywood who has joined the tradition-smashing, innovation-addicted tech world. As a key consultant to the Microsoft team working on home entertainment technologies, he is putting together program ideas for an Internet that will become an increasing source of secure, full-motion, full-screen video procured from a wide range of new, independent voices.

“All this is going to bypass the broadcast and cable networks,” he says. “The whole notion that you sit at a television at a designated time and you tune in to watch what they say you watch-it’s over. It’s going to take a while, but it’s over.”

I’m publishing more and more of these articles on my own rather than deal with the hassles of the freelance machine at almost all major magazines.

Both are excerpts from my book Darknet.

July 18, 2005

Next-generation social networking

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Big news: Here is what a next-generation social network looks like.

The Mercury News’ Silicon Beat today carries a story about the new site that Marc Canter (my partner at Ourmedia.org) has built for Tony Perkins. It’s called GoingOn. Version 1.0 will be unveiled soon at his AlwaysOn site.

Marc has been talking for years about his vision for a “digital lifestyle aggregator,” a trip-over-your-tongue term that I wish he’d revise. Usually, he got blank looks as he explained the concept. So hats off to Perkins for letting Marc go to town and show people what social networking can be. Here’s his post outlining the basics of this “meta-network.”

Now, all GoingOn needs are the people. I’ll be one of the first to sign up.