Back to top

Technology

Broadly defined "technology" e.g. software, water pumps

On Cutting the Comcast Cable TV Cord: How many rooms should be wired

We moved to a new house about a year ago. In the process we left our TV in the old house for "staging" which meant it was there for 6 months (it's hard to sell a house now, apparently). In the mean time we watched a ton of Hulu and Netflix instant shows on our 15" computer. This has been relatively glorious.

Cutting the Cable TV cord

With the TV in the old house and our computers in the new we moved our high-speed-internet service (delivered by Comcast over cable) to the new house but shut off the TV service. Luckily Hulu and Netflix ably filled in the gap. We're watching weird and great shows, documentaries, and even adver-tainment like the Ford Focus Rally (although having to endure commercials in the middle of adver-tainment grated on our nerves enough that we stopped).

Hulu has a rolling schedule where they drop content. We can't see old episodes of the Chicago Code (our favorite new show). In a year or two, though, they should be on Netflix. It seems like every day Netflix gets more and more instant content. Amazon's got some instant offering, but we haven't run out of content on Netflix+Hulu enough to worry about what Amazon might have for us. I would love for the BBC's Junkyard Wars to be opened up on Hulu or Netflix. Right now it's making zero money from the American market - why not let it out? So it seems like our TV watching needs will be fulfilled by on-demand media delivered by Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and companies like them.

So long, physical media

We have several bookshelves and boxes full physical media: books, journals, magazines, CDs, DVDs. Our TV is currently used primarily to watch DVDs. But the transition is clear: even though high def TV with surround sound is fun, the immediacy of on-demand video media wins. If nothing else it means we can eliminate about one quarter of the furniture in our house since it is designed strictly for holding and showcasing our physical media!

Category: 
People Involved: 

Libraries: what are they good for? (physical stuff)

The Denver Library is checking out these "power meter" kits. You can buy one for about $30 on amazon.com or get it from the library for free.

I feel items like this show off one purpose of libraries in a digital age: sharing physical items that a single house needs for a short time. I need a power meter to do tests on one day, not many days. I need a book only as long as I read it. etc.

Category: 
People Involved: 

Lillys Table: Delicious Meal Planning/Recipe Site

Every Christmas we wonder "what do we get for people." For a lot of our friends and family the answer is really hard: We may know their interests but not well enough to have meaningful suggestions. Ultimately, though, we feel like we want to give people more time and maybe a little motivation. Time is the one thing that we all need more of.

Fortunately there is a way to do that this year that is compatible with last minute shopping: Gift Certificates to Lilly's Table.

Lilly's Table: Cook seasonally. Eat consciously. Live well.

For about 2 months now we've been using Lilly's Table to help us plan our meals. Every Sunday we wake up, open our computer, and look at what new items Lilly has sent us. The week's recipes are always seasonal and delicious. The interface shows us general nutrition information and some data on how long it will take to make the item.

The weekly menu has an introductory description from Lilly that gets you excited to make the dishes. You read about ingredients that are in season, which meals should come first or second to take advantage of leftover ingredients, and general foody advice.

We go through looking at the recipes and the beautiful accompanying photos and pick out the items we want. At the top of each recipe are buttons to "add to shopping list" and "add/remove from my recipe book"

On the bottom right of the recipe is a spot to indicate things we've made and provide our own notes.

The recipes are mostly private to paying site members and it costs $12 per month.

Why pay when recipes are free on the internet?

Category: 
People Involved: 
Location: 

Example Sprint Burn Down Chart: Excel, Google Spreadsheet, OpenOffice.org

I've written about the Burn Down Art site before. One unexpected result of the site is that people are visiting it based on a variety of different search terms and a few aren't getting the data they really need.

Category: 
People Involved: 
timeline: 

Slime Sandwich - Denver Technology Revival

The Photobucket site is a bit of a local Denver phenomenon. Started by Alex Welch who graduated from CSU at about the perfect time to launch a tech startup in Colorado. Photobucket is not nearly as well known among the tech crowd as Flickr and yet Photobucket beats Flickr in a variety of metrics (page visits, for example). Most folks in Denver have some connection to Photobucket through a friend-of-a-friend and people love swapping stories about how great and down-to-earth the guys are regardless of the amazing success of their company.

Category: 
People Involved: 
Location: 

Rocky Mountain Independent: Stillborn? Unprofitable in spite of reduced layers/management?

In January I was sad, but not surprised, to see the Rocky Mountain News shut down. They made a cool video did some nice retrospective posts, and shut down the operations. Since then the Denver Post (which was kind of a part owner of the Rocky) has picked up some of the more popular journalists and probably some of the other staff.

So, some of the staffers, photographers and journalists got together and decided they were going to do things right. They weren't going to be driven by corporate greed like the evil capitalists, they were just going to do the news and make enough money to keep the business rolling. They created a site I Want My Rocky as a rallying point for the former employees of the news and as a place to gather interest in a proposed online-only pay-for-content news source.

Old Media: Guess what, you're old and you're doing it wrong

I was most recently drawn to the site by a post from Cindy House - one of the main people in the post-RMNews project - about New models, new challenges. She talks about how they haven't been successful in getting a readership, so they can't afford good content, so they can't build the readership. So, they're going to start providing consulting services, specifically: "Web design, search engine optimization and editing/writing services to other businesses."

So, how good are their consulting services?
Often the homepage for a service provider is weak. This is the so-called "Cobbler’s Son Has No Shoes" effect. However, there are some painful mistakes on the IWantMyRocky site which are actively hurting their efforts. Let's look at the home page:

I want my rocky SEO weakness

Category: 
People Involved: 
Location: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Technology