TechCrunch: “I’ve heard from three independent sources that YouTube may have very quietly raised another $25 million in venture capital […] Forbes reports that YouTube’s bandwidth fees are approaching $1 million per month.”

Up at 3:30am and I’m in Dublin, Ireland, a wonderful country. Country, yes. Damn jetlag, I’ll be dead tomorrow. I wonder if my new clients-to-be read my weblog. :) They’ll let me know. They seem nice people.

Which brings me to: I got another email today of some startup wanting to work with me. It makes sense: you want experienced IA’s on your product. Anyway, more and more, I’m convinced about my policy of wanting to work with nice people first, on interesting projects second. Nice people are more important. It just makes life more enjoyable.

Enough ranting and raving. Dublin, here I am. The hotel is very nice. The bathroom has BIG handles on everything. Don Norman would be pleased. The pubs are good as well.

Visa Blog : Students Need Your Help!

Visa Blog : Students Need Your Help!: “Tens of thousands of high school students have participated in school walk-outs to draw attention to comprehensive immigration reform. Their successes are well documented in national and local media. Sadly, many students are facing disciplinary and criminal action as a result of walking out of school. These students are in need of legal counsel and all participants need to know their rights. You can help!”

The difference between rethoric (“We want our kids to have values”) and practice (“When they stand up for themselves we punish them and trivialize their intent.”) is really amazing. In a way, we’re living in Big Brothers’ 1984. Especially in the US, these days, or perhaps it’s just more apparent there.

Joho the Blog: Karl Rove would sing in Spanish

Joho the Blog: Karl Rove would sing in Spanish: “The immigration bill has turned into a fiasco, leaving the Republicans as the party that would build a wall between two countries — a wall! — and forcing the President to have to clarify his party’s position by saying that, no, putting 12 million people on deportation trains probably isn’t such a practical idea.

Then our President is forced to take a stand on a symbolic, wedge issue: Does the national anthem have the same value if sung in Spanish? Karl Rove would not have let the President get backed into that corner. And once in the corner, he would not have let Bush snarl his way out of it. How can the president of country of immigrants find our national song less beautiful sung in the language of those citizens who have chosen to come here? Why does it make him frightened — I do believe fear is behind this reaction — instead of bring a lump to his throat?”

Myspace, mullets and innovation.

Lucas wonders where the chinks in Myspace’s armour are.

Two words. Innovation and mullets. Myspace is locked into a certain model of interaction because of their history and size, and their innovation attempts don’t seem particularly successful (video).

Their interaction model is centered around identity creation: here I am! This is me! Be my friend! This works great with teenagers. Myspace will never be a LinkedIn, for example (LinkedIn seems to be doing great, by the way). MySpace also will never be a SecondLife, and not just because it’s a website rather than a gameclient. There are other interaction models around things that are not identity.

And mullets, of course, went way out of fashion.

RSS is not a feature

I was wondering if Yahoo’s new Mediacenter clone supports RSS 2.0 with enclosures. And I realized: that’s not a feature. That’s central. A developer or product manager may think: “oh, we can build that in later”. But without RSS support, you have another closed media delivery system. Who cares about that? I am still waiting for the day that Tivo, Windows Media Center and so on truly support RSS. Really throw their weight behind it. | Media | BBC unveils radical revamp of website | Media | BBC unveils radical revamp of website: “The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of”

Mmm. Om Malik doesn’t like it. I’m worried too. The BBC team has clearly shown they’re very good at doing bottom up webby projects, but announcing something like this, like a big plan, is just setting it up to fail.

Yahoo! Go – TV – What Is It?

Hey, Yahoo is going for the TV space as well. Yahoo! Go – TV – What Is It?

I say why not? Microsoft is doing it, Apple is doing their darndest best, and all the old school tv players are doing it.

Whatever happens in the coming years, somehow internet tv will find its way to your television set. And if it’s somewhat open (and they’d be stupid not to be), that means videoblogs will too. I can’t wait.

I wonder what Odeo are up to? They roll out little features now and then. But they’re surprisingly quiet for a startup. I guess they’re getting that pay service (whatever it is) ready to go…

All this chittah-chattah

All this chittah-chattah: “When you sign up online for Skywards, which is the frequent-flier program of Emirates, the international airline of the United Arab Emirates, you enter your name, address, passport number, and other information, and you select an honorific for yourself from a drop-down list. A few of the choices, in addition to the standard Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, and Dr, are: Admiral, Air Comm, Air Marshal, Al-Haj (denoting a Muslim who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca), Archbishop, Archdeacon, Baron, Baroness, Colonel, Commander, Corporal, Count, Countess, Dame, Deacon, Deaconess, Deshamanya (a title conferred on eminent Sri Lankans), Dowager (for a British widow whose social status derives from that of her late husband, properly used in combination with a second honorific, such as Duchess), Duchess, Duke, Earl, Father, Frau, General, Governor, HRH, Hon, Hon Lady, Hon Professor, JP (justice of the peace?), Judge, Khun (the Thai all-purpose honorific, used for both men and women), L Cpl, Lt, Lt Cmdr, Lt Col, Lt Gen, Midshipman, Mlle, Monsieur, Monsignor, Mother, Pastor, Petty Officer, Professor, Senor, Senora, Senorita, Sgt, Sgt Mjr, Shaikha (for a female shaikh, or sheikh), Sheikh, Shriman (an Indian honorific, for one blessed by Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, wisdom, luck, and other.”

Ratings are overrated

In information architecture, ratings are overrated. Not only do ratings often create competition around the wrong attributes, also, ratings often end up being meaningless in particular implementations. What does a 4.5 star rating mean? Usually, the answer is: nothing.

Ratings are overrated. Except when they’re not.

Is there a way to use an iPod video to record audio interviews and such? Both Belkin’s microphone adaptor and the griffin italk don’t seem to work with the video ipod, as far as I can tell.

Rolling Stone : The Rise of the Video Blog

Rolling Stone : The Rise of the Video Blog: “Rocketboom may be the vanguard in the march of the vlogs, but it’s hardly alone. Video-blog monitor currently lists more than 6,900 vlogs. And while the vast majority are essentially home videos glorifying children, hobbies and pets, vlogs are beginning to infiltrate the mainstream media, part of the increasingly seismic shift in the way we get our news and entertainment.”

Big Media still struggles to understand what I like to call authentic media. It’s not just about homevideos or funny dogs. – Weaving Usability and Cultures: Practicing Usability in Hong Kong – Weaving Usability and Cultures: Practicing Usability in Hong Kong: “Here at the uiGarden, we have been having discussions on whether there are cultural differences between practicing usability in the West and the Far East. In an exploration of the theme, we interviewed Apogee’s own Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong. They give their own uptakes of the discussion and offer us their insights from their own experiences of working in Hong Kong.”

It shows in the systems we build…

I was just at an anthropology conference where they were talking about the importance of the race/gender/… of the interviewer vs. the interviewee. A black lady said: “When I was interviewing in Africa, people told me they opened up to me because of my color and grey hairs”. The discussion was interesting, it made me think of the importance of a diverse team. In web development, usually everyone is white male, and I think it shows in the systems we build.

apophenia: medical marijuana

apophenia: medical marijuana: “Today, the FDA issued a statement saying that there is no scientific proof that medical marijuana helps patients better than other prescription drugs. This infuriates me. In 1994, i broke my neck. I was given valium (and a lot of other things) and became extremely addicted to it. I was in a constant fog. To make matters worse, it made my body unable to register pain so when i tossed and turned at night, i made everything worse. I kept losing vision and hearing, even while drugged out of my mind. Weening off of valium was hell and i was super resentful towards the medical establishment for getting me addicted to it. Without valium, the pain was brutal, but i refused to go back on that evil drug.”

The Google OS is taking shape

Through it’s API, Google is starting to define its OS for outside developers. The main characteristic of the OS seems to be its web simplicity. Everything has of course a URL. Google defines “kinds”, which are major content types, like “event” or “message”. A message can be an email, a blog entry, a comment or anything like that.

So Google’s services (calendar, mail, …) use a common language and common content types (“kinds”). This promises to be powerful stuff, and as we’ve seen with the opening of Amazon’s S3: we’re just getting started.

Common Elements:”Kinds”: “The collection of elements that together describe a contact is called the Contact “kind.” Some of the elements in the Contact kind are ordinary Atom or RSS elements; others are defined by Google in a namespace called the “Google data namespace.” By convention, the Google data namespace is usually referred to in XML code using the gd: alias; for example, the element that contains a telephone or fax number is . The schema URL for the Google data namespace is

Google defines other kinds as well: Event (a collection of standardized elements that together represent a calendar event) and Message (a collection of elements representing an email message, discussion group posting, blog entry, or other message).”

Visio Tip: getting stuff in Powerpoint

If you have a Visio doc with lots of pages, and need to get them in PPT, what I do is to Save As Webpage. Then click the Publish button and you can increase the resolution of the pictures (I choose .png and the highest resolution), and save it. Then I just pick out all the images from the folder Visio generates, and paste those into PPT.

The reason I have to go through these steps is that if you do Save As .gif or .png or something, Visio only saves the current page, not all pages. So it’s faster to use the Save As Webpage trick.