Inventing the Future

Being Seen

I’d been wondering whether anyone on our company’s Board of Directors knew who I was. I know a couple but it turns out most didn’t. But just before the last board meeting I ran into a director that I’m sure I had never been introduced to. He said, “Hi Howard” as we passed.

The only thing I can think of is that he must have recognized me from my avatar. I don’t remember now what I had worn when I had briefly participated in previous meeting. It could have been a photo- or video-faced “Lego man” or it could have been a custom avatar.
<%image(20090530-howard-lego.jpg|227|261|Video-faced Simple Avatar)%><%image(20090530-howard-jake.jpg|227|261|Custom Business)%><%image(20090530-howard-john.jpg|227|261|Custom Casual)%>

I haven’t been very interested in avatar appearance, but I guess there is value in having people build some personal familiarity without physically meeting. I don’t want cold-calls via virtual worlds, but I suppose that a scheduled virtual meeting or happenstance encounter in a virtual reception builds a stronger tie than email or telephone. I wonder how that will play out for sales and relationship-building in the future.

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

One *trillion* dollars for Dr. Evil Hank-Tim Paulson-Geithner

It’s Goldman Sachs’ country. Give them your money, swear your allegiance, and just be happy if they don’t taze you, bro.

You’ll know that the other shoe has dropped and we’re in Pynchon/Illuminatus territory for good when they name Dick Cheney to their board of directors.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Inventing the Future

In your face

This summer we added an exit survey to Qwaq Forums, which was presented a percentage of the time when you quit the application. I and other engineers hated the idea of popping up a survey when the user doesn’t want it. We preferred a feedback box that the users could launch themselves under the Help menu. Anyway, the board of directors were quite clear, so I implemented the survey pop-up as asked, and then in the next release I added the user-launched Help->Feedback box. I thought the exit survey would always be left blank, and that the feedback box would take over.

I was wrong…

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Posted in General, Inventing the Future | Tagged | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

So What The Heck Is M2Z? And Why Do I Support It?

So recently, with all the spectrum stuff going on, I hear a lot of people asking about something called “M2Z,” usually like this: “So, what the heck is M2Z? And why should I care?”

Two very good questions. Briefly, M2Z is yet-another-plan to solve our national broadband woes through exclusive licensing. Specifically, it is about giving this one company a free, exclusive, national license for the 20 MHz of spectrum left over from the federal spectrum cleared for last summer’s AWS auction. While M2Z filed its application in May ’06, it took the FCC awhile to figure out what to do with it, since it doesn’t have any rules or pending proceedings that cover what M2Z wants. Finally, back in February ’07, the FCC issued a generic public notice of the application as required under the Communications Act and asked for piublic comment on what the heck to do about it.

Given my rather low opinion of Cyren Call’s efforts to get a free, national license, one might expect me to take a similar dim view of M2Z. Nor has M2Z helped its case much with some rather ham-handed “outreach” to the public interest community, by spamming the attendee list of the National Conference on Media Reform and creating a “Coalition for Free Broadband” website that looks all the world like an off-the-shelf Astroturf project.

Finally, Sascha Meinrath, who I look to for wisdom and advice on all matters spectrum, has written this blog entry on why he opposes the M2Z proposal.

Despite all this, I still think that M2Z deserves support. My employer Media Access Project filed a letter in support of M2Z. At the least, it deserves a good hard look before writing it off as yet another theft of spectrum via privatization.

Why? See below . . . .

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Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
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