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October 30, 2006

arrived safe and sound

Whoever says Kansas is boring, hasn't ever got off the freeway. It was a long drive but not boring at all.

October 30, 2006 in Car Computer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

made it to kansas

I just crossed the Kansas / Colorado border and the wind started really blowing. I stopped at the Kansas welcome center for a free cup of coffee and a look at their display of Kansas Artists and businesses. My favorite was the Dirt King which you can read about at www.mcm-ks.com. I wonder if I could get an adult size Dirt King?

Back behind the wheel!

October 30, 2006 in Car Computer | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

on the road

I just made my first stop in Limon, Colorado on my way to a Kauffman event in Kansas City. Despite having to reload the FJ computer yesterday, everything is going well. I listened to Internet Radio all the way from Boulder to Limon with no skips or drops. I can't say the same for my voice calls. The webcam is on if you want to follow my progress. You can find the link to it on the left at www.terrygold.com.

October 30, 2006 in Car Computer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 27, 2006

Meet Goldum, my Nabaztag WiFi Rabbit.  I was looking for a simple, USB controlled lamp for a project that I am working on and I happened to find this instead.  He's about 10 inches tall when his ears are standing up.  He connects to my WiFi network and then  receives messages over the Internet.  There is a growing community of people who have Nabaztag and send each other messages, and there are services that you can subscribe to for free.  Services such as weather reports, poetry readings and news reports. He (or she as the case may be) can even deliver your RSS feeds.  He speaks English and French right now in a variety of voices.  I just heard that the next version will include speech recognition and VoIP support.

I know it sounds strange, but he's a lot of fun.  I also think that we're going to see a lot more interesting devices such as the Chumby that will sit in our homes connected to wireless networks.  Nabaztag is made by Violet, a French company, and you can get one in the U.S. at ThinkGeek.com. I'm still looking for a simple, cheap USB controlled lamp if you have any ideas.  I want a lamp that I can turn off and on via software.  Thanks for any pointers.

Video: Goldum the Nabaztag WiFi Rabbit

October 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Soapbox and YouTube

By now it is old news that Google is buying YouTube.  By coincidence, I guess, I received an email tonight from Microsoft inviting me to try out Soapbox.  Soapbox is Microsoft's answer to YouTube.  You can go to the site and request an invitation - I put mine in a couple of weeks ago.  It's strange that Microsoft doesn't own the www.soapbox.com URL - it's owned by The Motley Fool, one of the earliest and best financial sites on the web.  Maybe Soapbox is just a code word, but for now you can get to it by going to http://soapbox.msn.com.  At the moment http://soapbox.live.com doesn't work, which seems odd too.

There aren't many videos on the site yet, but more are being added by the minute.  I haven't spent much time on YouTube, but one of the things I like about Soapbox is the ability to browse videos while a video is playing.

I'm not sure if I can embed a video in this post, or if everyone will be able to see the video, but I'm going to give it a try.

Video: Xbox 360 Wireless Ad

Did it work?  I've got to get one of those wireless steering wheels for the FJ!

When I was growing up we had three television stations and no home video recording or playback.  I won't be surprised if my next TV has an RSS reader embedded in it to make it easier to subscribe to all the content that is going to be available.  By the end of the decade I expect to be able to watch almost any movie or TV show whenever I want.  Most will be free and the rest will be cheap.  The promise of cable was that we'd see more narrowly focused channels - that brought us the fishing channel.  Internet TV is going to be broad and narrow at the same time.  I'm personally looking forward to the "Bluegill fishing on Kentucky Lake" channel.

October 9, 2006 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Online on the Road Again

To be called a "Fellow Nerd" by Tom Evslin is pretty cool, but then he goes on to explain better than I did why it matters that I was able to listen to Internet Radio on my drive to the airport last week.  Be sure and read his posts Internet 2.0 is Open Spectrum and We Do Need a Gigabit Over the Air.  I also just rediscovered his post Backstory on Open Spectrum Epiphany.

Besides being a successful entrepreneur, Tom is the author of Hackoff.com and he kicked off My Way, The Entrepreneur Network which immediately began to lose focus after he asked me to join.  To quote Tom, "You can't herd cats or entrepreneurs but you can aggregate blogs.  Participants in this network are experienced company founders who post about the joys, pains, and hard-earned lessons of startups - and whatever else is on their mind."  I guess the "whatever else is on their mind" part covers my posts about speech recognition, the FJ Car Computer project and an upcoming post on WiFi Rabbits and why they are even more important than Internet Radio.


October 9, 2006 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

Demo checklist

Brad Feld wrote about one of his portfolio company's having a bad demo day.  Today he followed up with Panda Mating - More on the Demo.  I've had a draft of a post on doing demos for a couple of weeks, ever since one of my own demos tanked because I didn't follow my own demo rules.  Brad swears he's not writing about my demo.

The posts are well worth reading, as are the comments, but I'm going to add to them with a Checklist for Doing Great Demos.  I've posted it over at the Kauffman Foundation's eVenturing blog.  (I still held my breath when I hit "submit" and I still can't believe that they let me post directly to their site.)

October 6, 2006 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 04, 2006

FJ Car Computer update and more

Whether you care about car computers or not, there may be something interesting for you in this post.  A couple of days ago I installed the latest StreetDeck software on my Infill T3 car computer.  Yesterday (I'm back now) I had to drive to the airport for a quick customer visit, so it was my first chance to experience the new features.  It’s still in beta, but – Wow!

I have an always-on high-speed Internet connection using a Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router in the FJ Cruiser, with a Verizon EVDO card plugged into it.  Not only does the car computer get high-speed Internet access, but so can anyone else who’s nearby or wants to plug into one of the four Ethernet ports.   When I got to my destination today, I parked, pulled out my laptop and within seconds it was connected wirelessly too.  I was able to answer and sync my email, check something on the web, IM a question to someone back at the office and within five minutes I was ready to walk to my gate.  I could have done all of that on the car computer, but I did it on my laptop so that it would be up to date for the trip.

Speaking of my laptop, I wrote a little Vista Gadget this weekend to tell me at a glance if I have any new voice mails or missed calls.

As you can see, no one wanted to talk to me today.

Here’s what it looks like if I have voice mails or missed calls in my inbox.

If you are running Vista and you can get your voice mail in your Outlook client (or you want to), email me and I’ll send you a copy of the gadget to play with.

One of the new features that was added to the StreetDeck car computer software was Internet Radio, using the Yahoo LAUNCHcast player.  Except for a few places where I lost my wireless signal, I listened to streaming radio all the way to the airport.  Yahoo has over 200 channels available, but in case that isn’t enough, you can create your own channel.  As you listen, it learns what you like and then it inserts new artists into the stream that you might like.  You can easily rate the new songs and artists so that you’ll get more, less, or none of the new stuff in the future.  It makes me wonder what the future of paid satellite radio is going to be.

The wizards at StreetDeck also added an option to turn on Virtual Earth on the navigation screen, which means satellite images are overlaid on the GPS mapping software.

This is just the beginning of something interesting I think.  Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to go to Starbucks.com and install an overlay for all of the Starbucks along my route.  Maybe I touch the Starbucks icon on the screen and it routes me there and then sends a coupon to my phone for fifty cents off.  (Click the photo of the map to go to mp3car.com)

Same thing for my bank – I’ll drive out of my way to use one of my bank’s ATMs and save a buck or two on the transaction fee.  It should be easy to add that overlay to my car computer’s GPS screen.

My FJ Cruiser started out as a concept car that Toyota created to show what a modern-day Land Cruiser might look like.  It was such a big hit at the car shows that they rushed it to production with very few changes.  I guess that’s what I’m doing – playing with communications and mobility concepts in my spare time, thinking about what might really be practical in the near future.  I’m having a great time too!

I've created a "Friends of the FJ Car Computer Project" to acknowledge the help I've received.  A lot of people have contributed so far, but this group has made a big diffence.  Thanks!

Update to the Update:  Driving home from the airport tonight - 45 minutes through a rural part of Colorado North of Denver - the Internet Radio skipped three times when I first started out from the airport, but only for a couple of seconds and then it never misssed a beat.  Amazing.

October 4, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I'm sitting in an airport, and I just placed another order with ThinkGeek.com  (Thanks Fi!)  Thinkgeek asks for a comment after every order, and then they display a random comment from someone else.  I got this one:

1000000 bottles of beer on the wall, 1000000 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around, 111111 bottles of beer on the wall.


Just remember, there are 10 kinds of people who get binary jokes: those who do and those who don't.

October 4, 2006 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006

First post for the Kauffman Foundation and a quick update

I just made my first post to the Kauffman Foundation's eVenturing blog.  If you are interested in entrepreneurship, I hope you'll subscribe to their feed.  Ken Berlack does a daily post of interesting articles, blogs and news about entrepreneurship, and he just did a series of posts about his time last week at DEMOfall '06.

I've made some more progress on the FJ Car Computer project.  Streaming Internet radio (lookout XM!) and Virtual Earth satellite overlays on the navigation screen.  More details later.

Last week I went three days straight without touching my keyboard, except to login first thing in the morning.  The rest of the time I used the new speech recognition capabilities built into Microsoft Vista, the next version of Windows.  I answered all of my emails, wrote a couple of documents, installed software and (get this) even edited my computer's registry - all with my voice.  I can still probably type faster, but it would be a close race.

Finally, this weekend I wrote some code for the first time in a long time.  It was a lot of fun and it might even be useful.  More on that in another post.

October 2, 2006 in Car Computer, Entrepreneurship, Speech Recognition | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack