Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

A Salute to Harry McCraken


I had the privilege to be a moderator for a panel where Harry was sharing his honest insights about the future of the web. He’s an extremely bright individual and has years (decades?) of experience in the technology industry.

Today, it’s sad to hear that he’s decided to leave his post at PC World, likely due to frustration from a story that he was writing that was cut, looks quite political. I’m sure we’ve all wanted to walk off a job at one point in time, it takes a lot of guts to really make someone do do this.

Here’s to Harry who will certainly land somewhere better, where his authoritative voice will be heard. Harry, if you see this, please email me, my email is on the right nav column of this blog, as I only have your PC World address, I’d love to stay in touch.

Update: May 10th, Harry has returned!

Feeling good about recycling my old PCs


I’m not a tree hugger or earth hippie by any means, but I do want our tech industry to remain a thriving long term helpful addition to this planet for a long time to come. Yesterday, I dropped off 3 of my old tower PCs (some even had windows 97 on them) to Green Citizen in Palo Alto (there’s other locations too). The recycling fee was 10 bucks each, which I’ll write off my taxes.

Also, they won’t be reusing the computer, and the data will be properly disposed of as they crush it at a facility and then the parts are resold to be recycled into other manufactures.

Click on some of the pictures below, to read about how some PCs get sent to other countries causing massive damage to environment as they are ‘melted’ down to get semi-precious metals.

I also cleared out some room in the garage, it’s a win win win.

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Salim makes good. Hundreds of Silicon Valley STIRR Entrepreneurs now non-thirsty


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Last time at the STIRR event, Salim Ismail had a slight incident on stage, As a recap, Salim promised to buy everyone drinks if they clapped (applause as currency for voting) for his product to receive an award. The excited crowd gave their full attention, resulting in Salim’s company Confabb to win, after receiving the award, Salim retracted the offer for drinks, in which the crowd boo’d and hissed, see video of presentation.

I gently prodded via my blog but kudos to STIRR MC Rafe Needleman of CNET’s WebWare full on gave a nice public rubbing, “Field Report Stirr wrap-up, part 1: Sun, slogans, and how to cheat your audience”. Ouch! Salim immediately left comments on our blogs telling us he will make good, as well as confirmation from his company. Yesterday, while walking up to the event, I see Salim, who’s made good on his promise. I ran into Salim as he parked his car “that wasn’t my best public speaking” and was eager to restore his reputation.

Last night, at STIRR, in good spirit, Salim made good with the drink gods.

Salim greeted each guest and presented them with a drink ticket, and enjoyed the jokes and appreciation. You may also know that Salim has recently joined Yahoo, and is heading up their skunkworks team, which will yield some exciting products. I wonder what additional innovation will come out of Yahoo, I’ve got great interest after hanging with YPN, Pipes, and MyBlogLog teams.

Who else was at STIRR? Michael Arrington, Niall Kennedy, Sarah Meyers, Kevin Burton, PodTech, Bubbilicious, Duck9, Dave McClure, Ian Kennedy, Joyent, Oren Michaels of Mashery, Jeff McManus, Oren and of course the companies presenting were Buxfer Criteo Freebase Wrike, and sponsorship by SUN.

Good show Salim, and congrats to all your new ventures.

Fully-Naked-Transparent-Open-Nudist-Disclosure: Salim bought me and a couple hundred others drinks last night, duh

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Barack Obama’s Fundraising Style not impressing Shel Israel


John Edwards (or at least his staff pretending to be him) has recently joined Twitter, he’s one of my 91 ‘friends’. I know he’s flying to San Antonio as I write this blog post. Great transparency, even if it’s his staff.

Barack Obama on the other hand, has failed to impress Shel Israel, which Shel’s shared on his blog, and which I and thousands of others read. Now I’m sharing this with you all. Barack and team should respond to Shel quickly.

Everyone’s watching everyone and talking about it, there are no more secrets, just secrets that have not yet hit the internet. I hope political candiates are paying close attention to everything they do, since the web is how I primarily consume information, what I hear from my trusted peers makes an impact.

Update: Allen Stern reports that he is “…disappointed with Barack Obama’s spam

Interactive Web Marketing grows as Children’s toys extend experience online


Online experiences for Toys not new

Lego (one of my preferred toy) has an online Club, where those who sign up receive additional information. GIJoe has online games, and has cleverly disguised it’s advertisements as online experiences.

Children’s Physical toys to have cross online experience

A while ago I covered how Fisher Price is starting kids listening to Podcasts and taking digital pictures at an early age. Now, toy companies are seeing the benefit of having a dual experience with their toys as the Internet continues to mainstream at home, and especially with the younger generation.

According to the Associated Press this cross medium experience will continue to heat up:

“…’Toy companies are looking at where kids are playing and targeting product against it. Younger and younger kids are becoming more comfortable with the Internet,’ said New York-based toy consultant Chris Byrne…”

The article links to Bandai, which has an interesting interactive experience where kids can enter in secret codes for additional experience.

Could tie to Social Networking for Kids
A while back I covered Club Penguin, (before it got big) and it’s continuing to take off and be the MySpace of children. Club Penguin is in a real position of power, I know several parents who tell me their kids do chores to earn money so they can spend it in Club Penguin to ‘improve their igloo’ and do other events. There’s tremendous cross-marketing opportunities for Club Penguin and other toy manufactures.

The Future: Toys will be connected to the Internet, Children to continue to network amongst themselves
I would expect future toys to have a USB connector, and then WiFi, so a website can make the experience interactive. Imagine, those kids toys will come to life and start teaching children their ABCs or other dynamic content that a website and parents can control. There’s already some very basic toys with USB connections such as this Hello Kitty toy. Why not extend the mimicking of this laptop with supplemental information that can get your kid ahead in school?

Of course, protective parents (that’s repetitive isn’t it?) will raise concerns with privacy, and demand that websites don’t harvest information or expose children to dangers, and of course, I agree. OnGuard provides these ethical guidelines and watchgroups that review online spaces for parents. Microsoft created this guideline as a resource for parents.

Generation Next: Digital Native
For many companies this all makes sense, why should a company limit the experience of their toys to only the physical world, with the internet, and maybe (and carefully) connect with other kids. They’re going to be online from an early age, and will be very comfortable interacting with each other online.