Electric Cars and Better Place

Better Place is a company founded by Shai Agassi  The goal of the company, from the videos, interviews and articles that I have written, in a nutshell, is to make electric cars feasible.  Everyone in the word agrees that oil is at/past its peak in terms of being able to pump out the maximum from the ground.  And we all agree  that we need to power our cars differently.


Better Place sounds amazing if we can get the infrastructure up.  If we can get this infrastructure, which I am thinking may cost alot, I think Better Place is feasible.  Slashdot has a reference to how the battery replacement works, and how quick it is.


My skepticism comes from the amount of money I think it may take to get the infrastructure up and running.  We are having issues now in trying to change things around, I can’t imagine it will be too easy to get this done.


In all reality, I want this to work, and I truly hope it does.  I just hope that we can get over the big financial hurdle to get it all done.

Windows Starter Edition and Netbooks

My friends over at JKonTheRun brought to light another article regarding the limitation of the Windows Starter Edition (for Windows 7, limitation on the number of programs running at a time).  I can not say I completely agree, but I understand their point.  But, that depends on two things.


  1. Either I run too many programs and can do with less
  2. I am not truly a “mobile” person, or what they themselves design as mobile.  Which, is very possible.

I purchased my netbook (Acer Aspire One) back in december, because, frankly, I wanted a light computer to take to class.  My netbook weighs in at a super light weight at 2lbs.  Yea, it sports a small monitor (8.9″) and the Intel Atom processor isn’t the most powerful thing, but for the most part it has achieved what I need; a light-weight computer for me to take to class and take notes.


But, I think my issue comes with the programs that I use.  As I sit here now, I have Word, IE7, Outlook, Live Sync (great for students with multiple PCs), AVG Antivirus, with many times Windows Live messenger is also running.


Now, what constitutes a running program?  If Live Sync and AVG don’t count, then I probably can live with starter, if it makes my experience quicker.  If it doesn’t then I may have issues.  Although, one can say that I can, like Kevin, live entirely in my browser.  I can get my email at outlook.com, as well as using meebo.com for my IM client, and can use web based word processing software (like Google provides).  But, do I want to?


It is definetly something that I can consider, but, we’ll see how it goes.  I hope to get my hands on some Vista soon, once school is out.


[jkontherun]

Time Warner Fails at making people pay more, ditches high speed internet.

Upon reading engadget, I read about how Time Warner Cable may be dropping the DOCSIS 3.0 trials they planed to launch because they weren’t able to implement the broadband pricing tears.  The Tier Pricing got alot of bad PR because, frankly, it crippled people and if you did not want to be broadband crippled they forced you to pay more.


As their plans stand now, you pay about $60 a month for an unlimited stream.  And I am not too much against a cap at one point, although its punishing the 99% good.  I truly wonder what type of broadband consumption my house uses.  At my house, assuming I am home, we tend to have 2 360s that may be playing on Xbox Live, downloading content or even streaming media via Netflix on the 360, as well as downloading from MSDN.  If my house doesn’t push the cap (lets say 250gb like comcast), then I will be fine.  Otherwise, if my activities like that cause me to go over the cap, that is where my issue is.


Still not sure why Time Warners PR hit has to cause us to suffer.  I just want broadband like Japan, or even those northern European countries.


[Engadget]

Automakers, worldwide, agree on common electic vehicle recharging plug

Reports are in that the common electrical plug for electric vehicles to recharge, I assume coming into cars in the next 2-3 yrs, has been agreed upon by almost all, if not all, car manufacturers.


 


Engadget [http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/19/automakers-agree-on-common-plug-to-recharge-electric-vehicles/]


 


This is quite a huge.  Why?  Because a unified system is the only way for electric cars to be feasible.  In the US alone we have 3 major automakers, that as of this time still exist (Chrysler, GM, Ford).  If even those three each had their own system, then it would not be feasible or profitable for companies to operate electric charging stations.  Then, to consider the vast amount of international companies like Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyanduai and so on, it would be impossible.


While this may be seen as a “small step” towards electric vehicles/cars, its implementation is quite important.

Twitter and Sports

Twitter has almost become my one stop shop for news with CNNBrk (cnnbrk, how it did not get to 1mil subscribers before kutcher is another story), Techmeme (which is a sort of aggregation of tech posts).  It is also my main communication platform.  Outside of texting and email, Twitter has almost replaced my use of Windows Live Messenger and AIM.  Twitter is now taking over for my inside knowledge about sports, specifically motorsports.


About 3 weeks ago, the American Le Mans Series held their annual 12 hrs of Sebring.  The ALMS is a mix of prototype cars as well as consumer cars that are adapted to race (like Corvettes, Porsches, Ferrari, Vipers, Ford GTs, etc).  This is one of the main tune-ups to the 24 hrs of Le Mans in June.  But not having speed channel, and being a fan of racing, the Audi team (http://twitter.com/audiR15tdi) decided to create a twitter account to keep those who couldn’t be there or be in front of a TV to keep up with the action.  They discussed everything a race fan may like, lap times, pit strategies as well as information from the other team.


 


I think I see twitter being more of a hybrid news aggregation/messaging platform as it develops.

Hulu is more viable than Youtube.com

Everyone knows about Youtube.com, but not that many know about Hulu.com, atleast until recently.  They had an ad during the super bowl, which was bound to help, and have recently in the last couple of months have actively pushed their presence via ads on TV.  Like many people when they compete with something Google, atleast my first thought would be, “Google/Youtube/etc. has too much marketshare to be affected by this new product.


 


There are a couple of reasons that I think may help Hulu outlast Youtube.com


  • Hulu.com has liscensed content.  Hulu.com is a joint venture between News Corp (Fox TV) and NBC, the last time I checked.  While CSI may be the best overall show on TV (not including Reality-type shows like American Idol), Fox and NBC have a pretty good lineup of shows.  24, Heroes, House to name a few.
  • Hulu actually owns the content.  They own the rights to the content, therefore they can do whatever they want.  They want to put ads, they can.  There are no restrictions.
  • Hulu has a certain level of quality. If I was to compare the average quality of youtube, as well as the average quality of Hulu, Hulu clearly wins.  Personally, I would rather watch higher quality…not sure if anyone else would watch lower quality.

  • Hulu can monitize it, and youtube loses money.  Can Hulu be losing money right now?  Yes, it is a possibility, maybe even more than the rumored $470 million that Youtube is expected to Lose good this year.  But, while it may take them money at this point to get it up and running, they can monitize it.  They can place ads.  They can have user specific ads, they can put ads overlaying their videos, and they have content that everyone wants to see.  Does Youtube have things people want to see?  Of course, or they wouldn’t be in the position they are, but to have an Avril Levigne video as the most watched is odd to me.

Mark Cuban looks at some other ways that Hulu is beating Youtube.


 


Resource:  Do you think Bandwidth Grows on Trees? [Slate]

Mark Cuban thinks video will be big….in 1999.

I should say that I read Mark Cuban’s blog in my feed reader, and many of times, I completely agree with.  Yea, he has been the NBA Owner (Dallas Mavericks), that has been the outspoken one, the one who is almost shaking it up, but many of times, especially in terms of his thoughts on technology, he is right.


From my perspective, his fame came, first, from Broadcast.com, and now it is with HDNet and the Mavs.  He was ahead of the curve with internet streaming at broadcast.com, and now with HD video/television with HDNet.  HD hasn’t really come into its prime and be “mainstream” until the last 2-3 years, when prices for HD Televsions have dropped.  Cuban started HDNet in 2001 (according to wikipedia).  To see that he thought internet based video would be big, just shows how much more he knows and how much more people should actually listen to him.


Its bad, that he has gotten a bad rap because of his interactions during NBA games.


I suggest more people should read a bit of the interview (found here), read his blog (Blog Maverick), and if you pay attention to twitter, follow him there (mcuban). 


 


-Gerlach


 

Twitter and Bobby Flay

It may not make sense linking twitter and Bobby Flay, the popular chef that has multiple programs on the Food Network.  But, understanding the way that twitter needs to be to achieve success are.


The YES Network had a one on one interview between Michael Kay and Bobby Flay for the Centerstage program.  And inside the interview, in a response to Kay asking about celebrities coming to his restraurant, mentioned that he did not care much for the celebrities coming in during big openings of his new restaurant(s).  Why?  Because he mentioned that he did not want his restaurant to be known as a “hot spot”, and like everything in Hollywood, a hot spot is only hot for so long.  He was more interested in it becoming successful the same way many other restaurants have in the past, with a good base of customers, many that are local, that can go to the place often.


That is where I think Twitter’s success needs to be.  The way Twitter has exploded recently (which may be the reason twitter.com has been flaky) is via the celebrity club.  Twitter has become so popular and mainstream that even ESPN talks to athletes about twittering, and if they don’t will they and/or why they dont.  Twitter has to keep that “ground movement” of users, instead of just trying to become popular with celebrities, in order for it to succeed.  If it doesn’t, like many other web 2.0 startups, it has a good chance of failing.


 

What is with the lack of updates?

For my class, IST500, we have to write a posting atleast once a week, and I have been laking.  It is not because I am lazy.  I have published multiple posts here at this blog for a couple of years, with the high end being near 2-3 a day.  I haven’t been writing, because I haven’t felt there is anything to add.


 


To me, having a blog is a great way to get information out, but it should be something that is either good for the community or stirs some sort of conversation.  And, frankly, I feel like I have failed that here.  I have published opinion pieces telling large companies how they can do better (Microsoft and F1), I have given a sort of exclusive with some games (playing gears early and creating a rough [very rough] layout schema for a map that no one else saw, three months before the game came out).  Ive written how community members can get some hardware to transfer content from one HDD to another.


 


I can make lists for a while.  But, in reality, there has not been much that I can add.  You can get more exclusive info quicker via Larry Hyrb and his blog (majornelson.com), as well as Joystiq and Xbox.Joystiq.com.


 


Maybe its time to change content.  Because…ill be posting more.


 


Twitter: twitter.com/matt_gerlach


Xbox Live:  Mastaglach820

Formula1.com interviews Codemaster’s Rod Cousens

Formula1.com ran an interview with Codemaster’s Rod Cousens about Codemasters winning the Formula1 license.  Its a short interview, but from it you get the picture that they are really going to try to bring Formula1 to the mass consumer.  If they are able to do this, Formula1 can be one of those top games.  If they are able to mix arcade (for the “general” gamer) with the simulation (hardcore), it could be a game that will sell millions of copies.

 

Its unfortunate that in the US, we have almost a lack of interest in racing series that really utilizes technology.  Yes, I understand there is technology in NASCAR, and Indy Car and such but not nearly the amount that there is in Formula1.  Formula1 has really spawned new technology that you see in some of the top sports cars in the world.

Anyways, head over to the interview.

[The future of F1 videogames - exclusive with Codemasters’ Rod Cousens - Formula1.com]