Monday, April 30, 2012

is tech in a bubble...or is this "the new normal"

Chris Dixon asked....(along with many others)

Is it a tech bubble?
Every week a “we are in a tech bubble” article seems to come out in a major newspaper or blog. People who argue we aren’t in a bubble are casually dismissed as promoting their own interests.

Fred Wilson replied
Zynga trades at something like 13x pre-tax cash flow when you back out the $1.5bn of cash they have. that certainly doesn't seem like a bubble valuation either.

i do think there is more money sloshing around the tech/internet/mobile sector now than there has ever been. and that is impacting valuations across the board.

the question is if this is temporary or the "new normal". i guess we will find out

I like the "new normal" reference.

I guess this is what makes the game of life interesting, at most times, everyone is learning the same thing as you playing the same "roll of the dice" as you.

The one fundamental that has changed since the last bubble is people dont question "should i pull out my credit card and purchase' online anymore (though most times its just a button click for more Zynga tchotchke or an itunes purchase), maybe that explains the extra cash sloshing around....

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taxes and following the laws

There has been a lot of "discussion" about the recent Apple Tax kerfuffle and the various articles written about their practices.
Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.

At the end of the day as far as i can see Apple are simply following the rules of the land, if you want to blame someone blame politicians for allowing the rules to be structured that way.

The USA tax code is almost twice the size at 17,000 pages of any other country in the world.

Its full of bribery and corruption wher lobbyists are securing sweetheart deals and riders from politicians who in turn are raising campaign funds etc from donors. At least in Russia and Indonesia etc when you brive someone you are able to see the white of their eyes and get a better return on investment for your bribe....

Apple's pretty weak ass response is below, especially mentioning the charity stuff.

They should simply say hey we are following the laws of the USA and countries we operate in, if you want to change the law then we’ll comply other than that we hire a truckload of people and pay a truckload of taxes and are creating a truckload of return on equity for our investors.

Best response ever regarding taxes was from a legend by the name of Kerry Packer (don’t worry most of you wont know who it is) but in front of a parliamentary enquiry he said

"I am not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn't minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you're not spending it that well enough that we should be donating extra"

Lol if you want to learn more about him a perfect example of Kerry Packer – “If we’ve got all these photos done maybe we can get down to being serious about it rather than it just being a circus” -

We miss you Mr Packer :(


Went to the opening last night....although the location is a bit difficult to get to well worth the trip, fantastic Off Off Broadway theatre work.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

TimeWarner wifi....excuse me?

Just picked up one of the new Motorola SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 modems from Time Warner yesterday, the leaflet included shows how the password is based on the mac address.

Is it just me or isn’t the mac address visible for all to see?

An even more worrying issue that I found out is that although you can reboot to factory settings (stick a pin in the white button on the back for 30 seconds) and browse to the control page (password admin/motorola) as soon as you connect the coax cable the router will “seek home” and reconfigure itself to a Time Warner BOOT server (or whatever the name is for this when it comes to cable modems) and reconfigure itself, eg so if you “turn off” wifi access on the control page…..Time Warner in their basic configuration turns it back on…….

Lol seems funny now but spent 45 minutes turning it off then rebooting to connect and then trying to work out why neighbors could see my wifi signal again

It turns out that only the TimeWarner L3 help desk have the ability to remotely turn wifi on/off for your device (or turn it into a dumb bridge which is what i was really wanting to do) more importantly once they configure it you have no ability to stop them remotely turning it on again or to set passwords/usernames to customize access WOW WTF!!!!!

Next time the RIAA come looking for you for downloading something illegally from your IP address….make sure you forward them on to Time Warner.

I understand why they do this (eg stupid customers cost money to support) but seriously WTF??

Anyone using these docsis 3 modems better be running some kind of personal firewall between you and the modem seeing you can no longer turn off remote management, wifi, bridge mode etc permanently from your end and this is all being controlled within Time Warner.

I bet you a possible reason that they are doing this is to start offering “city wide wifi” soon without telling you that your username and password is actually sucking connection from paying customers but seriously if someone claims you are doing something from your IP address this is now a get out of jail free card.



But dont hurry the journey at all,
Better if it takes for years so you are old by the time you to reach the island,
Wealthy with all you have gained on the way and not expecting Ithika to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey, without her you wouldn't have set out,
She has nothing left to give you now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The House of Representatives just past CISPA

The house of representatives just passed CISPA

When are these people going to realise they work for us AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

Want to know how your vote was place? then search for your representative -  (by zip code in top right) and then see how they voted on this critical law;
-   (mine for brooklyn) voted No New York 11 also voted no

....however Edolphus Towns of NY district 10 voted yes!!??? WTF??? 

If you are in his district i suggest you contact him to let him no that this didn't go un noticed

Hours of Operation
Office Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Constituent Services by appointment – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)

10408 Flatlands Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11236
Phone: (718) 272-1175
Fax: (718) 272-1178

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dolby Atmos

Now that digital and 3D movie projection is off to a strong start, it’s time to upgrade other aspects of our theater-going experience. Dolby today announced its next-generation theater audio system, dubbed Atmos, which sounds like it will blow away (literally) past surround sound systems.

seriously how stupid is this, a lot of home systems haven't made the jump from 5.1 to 7.1
how are they going to go to 64 speakers?

i agree most people could use more than 3 front speakers but how many homes will have a ceiling array.....let alone how you are going to fit side array into the average living room wall.

feature upgrades for additional licensing revenues sake.

.....didnt they learn from the blueray/hd-dvd debacle?

iiNet wins landmark copyright case against Hollywood studios

After three years fending Hollywood's lawyers through lower circuits, the country's highest federal court today found that Perth-based iiNet could not be held responsible for the trade of thousands of pirate movies and music files by its customers.

Good for them and glad iinet is winning costs as well. This case was a farce from the very beginning.
If i still lived in australia i'd switch to iinet just to show them support for the cause and fighting the good fight.

Charlie O'Donnell

Best post I’ve ever seen written by Charlie O’Donnell

@CEONYC The Problem with Startup Advice

Cant agree with this enough. At the end of the day the founder has so many reasons (excuses) to give up that if you don’t go with your own gut instinct to guide you then you are going to get lost.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fred who works at Leo Burnett is an idiot

So i was just sent a link to this video
lol Fred's an idiot. Please understand I have no issues with tattoos and i have no issues with QR codes.

I DOOOOOO have an issue with using URL redirection where the customer doesnt control the first point of resolution.

So Fred is planning on offering his arm up to the first advertiser on ebay for 30 days...get publicity etc etc then after 30 days he's probably going to use the url redirection to send it to his facebook page and pickup girls in bars.
....and thats ok, its his body his choice.
Here is where Fred the idiot fails in a big way.
This QR code resolves to

Which then resolves to ...all good right...nope not really.
The issue here is that Fred is an idiot because he doesnt own the first point of resolution. It would be so easy for him to setup a domain and then setup a sub folder on that domain eg which then redirects to 

Why would Fred go to the effort of spending $10 a year for his own domain simple.....
Currently is owned by 

Name: Benjamin Turley

Address: 172 W 1000 N
PostalCode: 84663
City: Springville
CountryCode: US

and it is part of the Scan Inc company - 
Now i'm sure they are all very nice people...see they are studiously working hard in this photo

but lets face it 90% of startups fail, and whilst i'm sure that Scan Incs investors are all very nice the end of the day companies are setup to make money no honey.

So where does this leave Fred?

Well basically Garrett found out about QR codes 3 years ago at Christmas in 2009 so hopefully he is still thinking about QR codes in 3 years from now in 2015 but if he isnt..... and the servers get turned off then Fred isn't going to have much luck picking up girls with his QR tattoo and he really should have spent the extra $10 for his own domain.

So what does it all mean.

Its simple, if you are a person/company that will be printing/publishing/tattooing a QR code that you want to last longer than a week....please please please DO NOT publish a QR code where you dont own the first point of resolution.

Set up a domain and then redirect the web calls from this domain on to the analytics/publisher/campaign manager.

This way should the analytics/publisher/campaign manager go out of business/jackup their prices/sleep with your girlfriend you can just redirect your server to another vendor.

I guess no one at Leo Burnett ever read my 60 Second QR-codes for Dummies page otherwise they would know this already.......

Dont worry i'm going to bid on Freds Ebay Auction (I'm currently the top bidder) so i can link it to this blog post and they know not to do it again for staff......or better still clients who are paying Leo Burnett good money for their advice.

Dean Collins

Friday, April 20, 2012

India launches nuclear missle

Wondering why no one in the USA government is getting up in Indias face the way they did with last week with North Korea??


The hypocrisy in the USA would be funny if it wasnt so serious.

Zoo Records “Hidden Sound” QR Code Campaign

I love it, this guerilla campaigning is exactly what QR codes should be about.

Zoo Records is one of the few who are still fighting. As part of their effort to keep the music fight alive, they decided to come up with a campaign that would create buzz about the music and artists behind it…. without spending a lot.

More at -

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Neil Degrasse rocks

holy crap, i love the 98% difference -WOW!!!! i'd never considered this before. I always just assumed time and evolution would mean the difference never took into account raw building blocks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Intelligence Squared Debates

I've said it before but i'll say it again, I'm really loving the "Intelligence Squared Debates" that are on PBS.

Just finished watching "Does China do capitalism better than the USA" episode.

MORE television should be like this, inteligent and evocative stirring public debate!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

New York is pretty special sometimes

There are times where living in New York feels very very special.

Today is one of these days.

I just bought tickets to see The Dandy Warhols at The Bell House for $30....this was a band i listened to before i even moved to the USA and to think i just get to jump a few stops on the subway to see them at a "local" is a pretty cool thing.

BTW not a fan yet...? Just added some tracks in the Mood Music Box on the left to get you introduced. Happy Friday everyone.

Use The Force

That heads not much bigger than a wamp rats i used to hunt back on tattooine...i'm sure i can hit it from here :)

Pebble the smarter watch

I was just reading the VB article -

Using Bluetooth, a prototype smartwatch called Pebble will connect to your iPhone or Android to fetch calendar alerts, show social media updates, display caller ID for incoming calls, and run simple applications.

The watch, currently being showcased on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, is not for sale (yet), but it’s already in hot demand. In just 30 hours, more than 8,500 backers have committed $1.17 million in funds to see the Pebble become a very real thing of connected beauty on their wrists.

i totally think using your phones "CPU" as a central resource and then have it interface into other items makes total sense, eg why not have a dumb display in car that uses your phones processor to do the heavy lifting (motorola atrix like), similarly this watch should just be interfacing off the phone for what it needs to display, using a "Pebble" app running on the handset sucking in the emails/facebook/tweets you let it interface into its api.

Now here comes the cooler part.....why is your phone even running CPU intensive processing-every handset SHOULD be paired with a CPU in the cloud somewhere and your phone should actually just be a dumb display that is mirroring what is displayed elsewhere on a (virtualised) server that is running in the cloud where power is no longer a concern.

Sounds cool right... was already planned and launched in 2006 by a company called Savaje, i was working on a subcontracting project designing apps to how this would work on later generations

The fact that the Savaje handset/OS never took off is one of the biggest regrets in my commercial history and i think but for a few key people making different decisions in a few key meetings the whole advancement of mobile OS could have been a lot lot further along and on a very different path.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Page views by browser

You know i never really noticed this before but for the echo chamber people who say IE is going away......

Pageviews by Browsers

Internet Explorer 60,711 (43%)
Firefox 37,558 (27%)
Chrome 19,426 (14%)
Safari 10,963 (7%)
Opera 6,971 (5%)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Comment interaction

You know its weird how quickly we get used to things "being a certain way" i've been noticing when i read comments on an article how often i go to "+1 or vote a comment up etc" only to feel perturbed when there is no option to do so.

Considering this is a Digg/Reddit etc interaction weird how attuned my expectations are to give article without a comment section...un heard of.

The act of “Checking in” at an event/location wasn’t even on the radar 10 years ago even though now its so innate.

So my question is….what do think will be “defacto” interaction in 1-5 years that isn’t the norm today?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Paper Promises

BTW haven’t read it yet as just ordered it after I saw the author of this book being interviewed on Fareed Zakaria this morning on CNN.

Paper Promises: Debt, Money, and the New World Order by Philip Coggan

Incredibly interesting about how the UK ruled the world under the gold standard for 40 years, the USA ruled the world for 40 years after the removal of the gold standard and were able to print money for loans written on their own currency and how with the next evolution where the power is shifting to china over the next 5-10 years that fixed currencies and managed markets will be the next evolution over the coming 40 years.

I also didn’t know that the term “Jubilee” wasn’t British (eg the monarchy queens jubilee) but a Hebrew word for the term of forgiving all debts every 50 years after a bubble.

Cant wait to read this lol if you watch the interview the comments about “sovereign debt and the king changing the law and throwing you in jail when he owes you money” made me think of vc’s immediately managing the power shifts.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Google "Secure Search" and what can be done about it?

Google “secure search” is really starting to frustrate me.

More and more often these days when I review my analytics pages I see it obscuring the keywords people used in order to find my website making the analytics less relevant for end users (though google get to see exactly what the keywords were).

Eg see below is a portion of the screen capture from GetClicky for 2 searches that landed on one of my websites

You can clearly see that someone using google made a search at 9.04pm for the key words “Dean Collins” from a cell phone (and using other information not displayed above but from another section of the analytics I can tell was in the Brooklyn area, via Verizon, using an iPhone)

However you can see someone at 11.09pm made a search via Google using “Secure Search”, I have no idea what keywords they used (even though google has this information). I know nothing about their way or method of finding my profile page (however using other information not displayed above but from another section of the analytics I can tell was in Jersey City, via Comcast, using Chrome on a Mac laptop running OSX).

It seems frustrating that I cant block google secure searches and I am not getting access to the benefit of this information even though google is.

Any thoughts?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Now I wanna sniff some glue

Happy friday everyone - have a rockin weekend
<- More in the Mood Music Box

Thoughts regarding Viktor Bout conviction today?

Thoughts regarding Viktor Bout conviction today?

Has the USA lost its "moral high ground" forever? -

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Smart Volkswagen QR campaign

Volkswagen Proves a QR Campaign Can Work
This has all the makings of great guerrilla marketing – a new product, a mystery, and organic buzz from “the people” and the press wanting to be the first to solve it AND pass it along…


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Printechnologic’s Touchcode

Some people are talking about PrintTechnoLogics and their new Capacitive "TouchCode" technology replacing QR codes.

The background
Ever since the smartphone era began, companies have looked for ways to quickly get information from the offline product world onto the phone. Barcode scanning is a popular approach while QR codes and proprietary tags, such as those from Microsoft, are other less-used solutions. These all require cameras and specifically printed codes; what if we could just use what looks like a standard ink solution and the touchscreen on our phones?

You need to download this proprietary app to your phone/tablet to interact with the capacitive code (unlike nfc where the reader is running in the background installed natively).

However the biggest issue is the fact that it is
1/ proprietary
2/ using indirect codes (you stop paying...they stop the redirection...)

Puts it out of contention for my clients immediately.

Sorry TouchCode but i'll continue to recommend open/free QR codes with URL direct codes to my client for the continuing future.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Invidi Patent Claim

Ridiculous patent claim, this is the problem with US Patent office handing out such obvious patents like this which can then be used to squeeze money out of other companies.

What a joke.  

a viewer of a cable television network enters an RequestForInformation input (1) to a digital set top box using a user remote. Based on this RFI input, the digital set top box transmits a data request (2) to an RFI data center. The RFI data center also receives asset data (3) from an asset database so as to associate the RFI input (1) with a particular asset. An RFI request (4) can then be transmitted to the appropriate asset provider. The asset provider can then provide a report such package of assets or follow-on information (5) back to the RFI data center. The RFI data center may then, in turn, provide the package of assets or follow-on information to a user data terminal, for example, of the cable television network viewer, via access through a web-portal or e-mail