Drummer Wanted: Must Have Own Kit & Drivers License. Practice Space, Rad Motorcycle & Vintage T's Preferred.

Hats Off: To Boing Boing for this note allegedly found at a San Francisco cafe. I’m betting on it

Did You Notice: Bill paying and resume building don’t get exclamations. Yoga!, on the other hand….

Roger Ebert & The Rush Of Human Knowledge

I have been following the film critic Roger Ebert on Twitter and Facebook for about a year or so.

Like many people, I was passingly aware Ebert had been struggling with a number of health maladies that had physically marred him.  On the couple of occasions that I did see his image, I have to admit I was shaken.

Still, for the most part,  I experienced Ebert pretty much in the same way I experienced any other trusted critic — through his published reviews, digital footprint on Facebook and Twitter and through links of reviews on Metacritic and the like.

That all changed  this morning when I saw this incredible footage from the TED conference.  Until now, I had no idea of the extent of Roger Eberts illness: thyroid cancer, multiple surgies, and no speech capabality at all of his own.

Watching this video is tough stuff, but it it is also very inspirational. It’s a great testamant to the power all humans have.

All that said; the reason I am posting it this morning is what Ebert says about technology:

For me, the Internet began as a useful tool and now has become something I rely on for my actual daily existence. I cannot speak, I can only type so fast. Computer voices are sometimes not very sophisticated, but with my computer, I can communicate more widely than ever before. I feel as if my blog, my email, Twitter and Facebook have given me a substitute for everyday conversation. They aren’t an improvement, but they’re the best I can do. They give me a way to speak. Not everybody has the patience of my wife, Chaz. But online, everybody speaks at the same speed.

“It is human nature to look away from illness. We don’t enjoy a reminder of our own fragile mortality. That’s why writing on the Internet has become a life-saver for me. My ability to think and write have not been affected. And on the Web, my real voice finds expression. I have also met many other disabled people who communicate this way. One of my Twitter friends can type only with his toes. One of the funniest blogs on the Web is written by a friend of mine named Smartass Cripple.” (Laughter) “Google him and he will make you laugh. All of these people are saying, in one way or another, that what you see is not all you get.

So I have not come here to complain. I have much to make me happy and relieved. I seem, for the time being, to be cancer-free. I am writing as well as ever. I am productive. If I were in this condition at any point before a few cosmological instants ago, I would be as isolated as a hermit. I would be trapped inside my head. Because of the rush of human knowledge, because of the digital revolution, I have a voice, and I do not need to scream.”

I urge you to Read the full transcript of Roger Ebert’s TED talk here.

Watch the Ebert TED video (tech is a theme throughout, but if you are pressed start at the 13:00 minute mark):

Hammerbacher & Randi — So He Sez (Skeptical Edition)


“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads…that sucks.” — Jeff Hammerbacher, ex-Facebook Head of Data, now co-founder Cloudera, a data-analysis software startup.

“People who are smart get into Mensa. People who are really smart look around and leave.” — James Randi, magician, author, skeptic. During Alice Cooper’s 1973–1974 tour, performed as the dentist and executioner on stage.

Meanwhile, Back In The Real World…Microsoft Triples Apple?

We are a household tethered to Apple’s ecosystems. Currently we have an iMac, Macbook Air, and three Macbook Pros in circulation, counting the hardware the kids use too. Come to think of it there are also currently four iPods and three iPhones in use. Oh, and a nifty “magic” trackpad. So much for my belief that holding off on an iPad here, or an iTouch there, shows any kind of moderation.

Is this Apple hardware festival overkill? You betcha.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Microsoft rolls onward:


The Final Take: You know that fly-over zone? Those states just outside your Virgin America window?? Essentially, everywhere in the U.S except California, New York and, maybe, Seattle???

Well, despite Apple’s hardware and OS gains over the last 3 years, according to SAI’s chart of the day, Microsoft still has a gragantuan footprint out there in the real world. Especially for business services. Our Seattle friends may not be as dominant as they once were, but make no mistake Windows-7 is having a very good run lately.

Read the full SAI piece here.

PS–Wonder if my Blackberry feels lonely.

Lady Gaga, Apple News, Devil Horn Salutes, Google Buying The Music Biz…The Week That Was 4/24/2011

Monday morning.

What kind of week will this be?

While these are challenging times for just everybody in the Music/Tech axis, chances are you have your good weeks and your bad weeks. Life has its ups and downs. There are lots of ins, lots of outs, and a lot of what-have-yous. To a large degree your value as an entrepreneur, executive or friend probably lies in large part in how well you negotiate these vagaries.

For our friends at Golden Voice and AEG, life should be good this week.  Ten days ago they unleashed Coachella 2011, starring Arcade Fire, Kanye West, & The Strokes — and reviews of both the performances and the concert experience were generally good. Even Jeff ‘MF’ Goldblum knocked ’em out at Indio. This past weekend, Golden Voice/AEG followed Coachella up with The Big Four, featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax and more devil-horn-hand-salutes than the last few Ozzfest tours ever managed. Again, Goldenvoice scored good reviews. Yes indeed, it should be a good week over at Goldenvoice.

For Sony, on the other hand, times are tough. This morning marks day number six  that the Playstation and Qriocity Unlimited Music Service are offline. If you have ever witnessed the 5 Steps of  Millennial Mourning experience when deprived connectivity (shock, disbelief, anger, depression, removal of bookmark) you know how tough this must be.


How do you say ov vey in Japanese?

For the rest of us, last week was likely business as usual. Monday was hardly manic, so I was allotted some time to check in with the latest Nielsen Wire findings on online video. What a battlefield!

Tuesday I stumbled upon some Swiss footage of a Justin Bieber prankster, and then took a minute to write a piece on the new “Google Should Buy The Music Business” meme. Ridiculous you say? On second thought,  maybe I said that.

Wednesday was a day of pithy soundbites…as David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Jack White and Snoop Dogg all had their moment in the spotlight. How could you possibly top all these great one and two liners…why you would have to bring back VH1’s Twitteresque Pop-Up Video show. OK then, done.

Thursday featured a longer piece, as we interviewed the deserving respected terrestrial radio consultant Fred Jacobs. Fred was articulate and forthcoming as always, and pulled no punches in discussing old media’s challenges as their world transforms.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were filled with your responses on our Rock Considers Itself countdown, a tutorial on PowerPoint, and a Ron Burgundy styled report on Apple’s massive new data center outside of Charlotte.

As I warned, a lot of vagaries.  A lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what have yous. Yup, new s**t has come to light.  But you can handle it, can’t you, dear Digital Music Insider.