Friday, September 26, 2008

Support System for Entrepreneurs (or Me)

I vaguely remember talking about this before, but just felt the need to spend some more time on the subject. Having a network of support is critical if you're an entrepreneur. I mean, it's probably important as a human being in general, but in order to keep on working towards changing the world, you need people who believe in you. I said early on that this idea was one of the few ideas that I had some support around. Unlike my anti-wrinkle shirt box for business travelers (yea, that's my next infomercial). Not everyone supports it, but that doesn't matter. You can't please everyone anyway. And you need to develop some thick skin to deal with it. Which was tough for me.

It was two months ago when my drive and passion hit an all time low. Sure it's a given that the startup process is lonely and full of ups and downs, but I was below down. I was questioning whether I had enough will to keep going. I felt alone. There were plenty of people helping, but without paying these people, their commitment was/is fleeting. I stuck with it. Because I couldn't give up on something I truly believed in. That's when I jumped back into development - full time. I focused on building the product. Which is what this is all about anyway.

Yesterday I had a follow-up meeting with some people I met with when I first started this venture. And they were asking the same questions. And had the same critiques. The meeting was less than helpful. In fact, it just got me off course and make me think more about the state of the valley. They were saying, "Are people going to use this? Why would someone fill out a survey? I wouldn't do it". I'd like to ask those people if they thought people would leave their credit card numbers online back in '99. Or how about leaving your personal information all over the web? Even two years ago? Or how about accessing banking online? Or a million other things. People would call you crazy. Now they're leaving pictures of their drunken selves on Facebook. So, I'm asking for you to give me some information so I can make your life easier. So I can help you plan a trip, find a restaurant, find a healthcare provider, or find whatever you're looking for. And not just the same trip or the same restaurant that your friend Joe likes. Because you aren't Joe. I want to provide you with personal information filtering. Anyone else realize that the web is constantly growing and won't ever stop? And I've spent a bit more than $10,000 building this. How many other companies can say that?

Wow, I just flew right off topic. Anyway, yesterday the same group of people who critiqued me, also called me afterward to lend their support. They apologized about the meeting which they realized wasn't helpful. They're good friends... so it was important that they were supportive of me.

And my family called, and family can always cheer you up... as long as their supportive too, which isn't always the case. But it is now.

So thanks to both of you. Surround yourself with people who care and it will let you get to where you're going.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vyoo Questionnaire - Please Help!

For those who know me... well, you probably already received an email from me. For those who don't know me... well, here's the email I wrote to most everyone I know. You are all welcome and encouraged to fill out our questionnaire:

Friends, Friends of Friends, Facebook Friends, Colleagues, Classmates, and of course, Family:

It's been about a year since Rajiv and I started this venture (Vyoo - pronounced View). A long time has passed... and, what may surprise some of you, we're still at it! We're weeks out from launching a very private alpha. And then a beta shortly thereafter. We're incredibly excited about our product. We think it's going to revolutionize the way people get the information they want online. I'll spare the details here, so I can get to the point.

We've been developing our algorithm with an amazing psychometrician - Mark Moulton. In order to refine and complete this algorithm, we need your help. I'm asking you, personally, to fill out our final questionnaire - the actual questionnaire that will be used on our website! And the bonus of actually filling this one out is that we can generate an account for you when we go live (with your permission of course)! This questionnaire is a lot more fun than the previous incarnations, I promise. While long - there's a tangible benefit when we launch (planning and researching a trip will be a whole lot easier) - as well as now:

We're giving away a new 8Gb iPod Nano (chromatic - here) in whatever color you want, as well as 15 - $10 Starbucks cards for completing this.

I'd love your comments after you take the questionnaire - length, enjoyment, style of how the questions are asked, answer choices, or whatever is on your mind. Just and FYI - they'll be presented to you much more pleasantly when on our website.

And finally, the questionnaire:

Thanks so much!
Marc and Rajiv

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

GoGrid Cloud Comuting vs. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)


I blasted the poor showing of innovative technology at Tech Crunch, and though I didn't talk much about it, I should have spent more time blasting the selection of the winner, Yammer. It was a joke. Sure the service may be decent. One of my friends, a fellow entrepreneur, loves their product, but come on. The winner of Tech Crunch... was a product that copied another product (Twitter) and applied to to a different market (the enterprise). I'm not talking smack about Yammer as much as I'm talking about the poor criteria for selecting a winner.

Without further ado, I just signed up for an account on GoGrid - a cloud computing platform that is competing head to head with Amazon's EC2 service. They had a demo setup at Tech Crunch and spoke to me at length about their offering.

First of all, what is this cloud computing stuff anyway? It's really the idea of having your servers hosted in the cloud (internet). You don't need to have any infrastructure expertise. Just deploy your apps to your virtual servers and the cloud hosting company handles everything else. Load balancing, DNS stuff, mail stuff, scaling, etc.

They charge based on how much stuff you use. There's a charge for having your server on ($72/month for 1 CPU and $72/month for 1Gb/RAM). Of course, as usage increases, so too does your CPU and RAM need. They also charge .10/Gb of bandwidth out and free inbound. Matched up against Amazon, they beat them in pricing and services: GoGrid vs. Amazon.

You could easily spend $40/month and get virtual hosting. But scaling is not trivial with a non-cloud service. And tech support, data storage, and bandwidth are all incrementally more expensive.

I'll update our experience with GoGrid as we progress...

If you need cloud computing, try GoGrid with this promo code (for a $50 credit): GOGOTRIAL50 or call them. I got a $100 credit with a phone call.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Life of an Entrepreneur. My Dream Job!

You might be thinking that I'm talking about my job as founder of Vyoo. While that's certainly my dream job right now. There are a few other jobs in the past that have sparked my interest. One of those is the oft under-appreciated mixologist. Sure that's a fancy name for a bartender. But a real bartender takes pride in the actual mixing of the beverage - the right ingredients, right mix, right taste, etc. And for the gentlemen out there, who hasn't dreamed of tending bar? Meeting women, forcing people to respect you, I mean, what's there not to like? Even if it hasn't been a "dream" per se, it's definitely been something I've wanted to do ever since I started going to bars.

About 6 months ago I took a bartending class at the San Francisco School of Bartending. I did my research. It was supposed to be a top notch school. Much more respected than any other school around. And the job database they had was full of great jobs. I spent two weeks working behind a mock bar, in a non-descript building in downtown SF, with a rowdy cross section of society: old, young, professionals, and professional non-professionals. I was pouring water mixed with food coloring - I'm not sure how any of my drinks would actually taste. But by the end of the 2nd week, drinks would flash across the monitors and I'd be pouring them at lightning speed.

School ended and the class of newly minted recruits canvassed the town and the job database for leads. Let me say this. The job database was outdated and didn't give me any head start on the competition. So this is what I learned. Bartending school is a useful course for anyone who wants to be a bartender. But it's not going to get you a job. If you're a pretty woman. You'll get a job. Otherwise. Know somebody.

As you can imagine, I didn't find anything. But I made a few friends and learned how to make drinks. Which was cool in its own right. One of my friends had a friend who owned a bar. And he got a job. And so, I had assumed that was it. I started working at Kaplan and Vyoo got closer to completion.

Fast forward about 4 months. My friend from school was bartending at a dive bar in SF. He just started law school and asked if I could take over his shifts. Hell yes! So, with a few phone calls, and the approval of the bar manager (who said she's still looking for women to bartend and that I'll have to make room for them if she finds them), I started my first shift last night. Wow! What a fun job.

I don't remember 99% of the drinks I learned. But... at a sports bar, there's not much to make besides shots, beers, and rum and cokes.

Life is good as an entrepreneur. Not glamorous. Yet. But good.

Come on down to Overtime Sports Bar and Grill on Sunday evenings... I'll mix you up a great Jack and Coke.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Euclidean Distances, Nearest Neighbor, Psychometrics, and a History Lesson

I met with our algorithm guy today (Mark) and had a tremendously educational discussion. We talked calculus, Euclidean distances, neural networks, history, and a lot of other things that would normally make your head spin. Wait, did you just say history? Yup. And lots of it. While it sounds like a pretty strange discussion surrounding Vyoo's approach to the problem we're solving, it will all make sense as I explain.

Mathematics, and all physical sciences for that matter, were originally based upon natural sciences - and thus, natural philosophy. Natural philosophy (experience and discussion) is the objective view of how the earth operated before we understood its physical properties (physics and math). Or really before we could conduct experiments to prove these theoretic models. As you can see... it's really the framework of physical sciences.

What really struck me is that most of the ideas we're using for Vyoo really originated from Gottfried Leibniz, a German polymath who was born in 1646. Yea, you heard me! A guy born in 1646 developed the ideas we're using for Vyoo today. Gottfried has a track record of impressive developments. Matrix, boolean algebra, symbolic logic, infinitesimal calculus (independent of Newton), binary numbers, and the basis for Einstein's theory of relativity. Pretty impressive stuff from a guy you probably haven't heard about before.

As our discussion evolved, we began to talk about an author we're both fascinated with, Neal Stephenson. He's written some of my favorite books, such as Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicon. Now, I'm not recommending these to you, unless you're a fan of a science fiction wrapped in science non-fiction. Vague. Yes. But his books are hard to explain. I tend not to like science fiction, but when there's factual data thrown in, I'm much more forgiving. Snow Crash is a futuristic novel about a time when the internet and real life converge. And Stephenson doesn't take you for a fool (when he speaks about technology - it's real. Not like Tom Clancy throwing the word Gigabits and Etherwebs around just for the hell of it). Cryptonomicon is entrenched in math- but fun math. Codebreaking. It's the story about one of the men who broke the code during WWII (Enigma).

What I found strange and didn't really know before, was that Stephenson's recently released trilogy, called the Baroque Cycle, was all about the thread of history that follows natural philosophers, like Leibniz and Newton. Which strangely tied together these disparate interests I've had over the last 20 years of my life. And it turns out these these natural philosophers are a very understudied and unheralded group of people who have had a tremendous impact on the world. Anyway, sorry to bore must of you... but if you weren't falling asleep, you should definitely read these novels!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's Your Customer, Stupid. Spore Sucks Or At Least EA's DRM Idea Did!

I've had a lot of fire lately - hence the plethora of blog posts. And you know I love to highlight failings more so than successes. Too many people spend their time glowingly writing about things they love. I think, from an entrepreneur's perspective, you can learn a whole lot more understanding where people fail. So, what's the deal with Spore?

A wildly popular and much anticipated video game was released this past week. It's called Spore. And I've been dying for it to come out. It's been years in the making, was developed by Will Wright (of SIMS fame), and was created around the idea of building a civilization from a single cell to world domination (space colonization and beyond). Yea, you can play God. Or at least some Master of the Universe. The concept was amazing. And you were set to be able to compete online with everyone else who's has/is building their own civilization.

Well the game came out, and while it sold very well last week, it has received far more criticism from those who aren't buying it than praise from those who are. Why? In addition to the game lacking any sort of depth or sophisticated game play (supposedly it's pretty elementary - though I admittedly haven't played), they made a larger blunder on something that doesn't even have to do with the game play. They've implemented a DRM system on the game that seems pretty antiquated and out of place. There's a strict 3 install limit. If you install the game on 3 systems...that's it. After that, you need to call EA for permission to use your game. As people have been suggesting, users these days easily have 2 PC's. And if they upgrade machines or need to reinstall the game for some reason (over the life of owning this game!) - they'll hit their 3 use limit. Then it's time to spend, I'm sure, too long on the phone convincing EA to let you use a game that you own. It's a nuisance to say the least. And reports are that customer support handling the additional licenses is a pain in the ass to deal with.

So what now? Well - Spore has the lowest video game ranking on Amazon. Over 2,000 reviewers have reviewed the game 1 star because of the DRM. There's a huge backlash. In fact, a pirated DRM-free version is on the torrents and has been downloaded over 500,000 times. A torrent search should turn this up in no time.

EA could have followed Apple's lead where you can authorize a machine to play the game and then de-authorize it, so that you won't have this customer support nightmare.

EA - time for damage control. And it's time to listen to the little people.

(Supporting article: Washington Post, here)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Learning or Attempting to Learn CSS - and my Dreadful Old Manager at Gap

It's been a while since I did any sort of front-end design. I've never been a fan of it. Mostly because I'm not a great designer. Imagine being born to an artistic mom and having an artistic brother, but not being able to put pen to paper yourself? It's ironic, because I'm left-handed too. We're supposed to be artistic. Anyway, our site relies on a large amount of CSS. Last time I even attempted design - CSS was generally an afterthought for some small design elements. Tables were generally used as the backbone of design and flow control. Times have changed. CSS is now the cornerstone of any website design. And DIV tags have replaced tables adding greater control over the layout of your page.

While not important to really know the details, for you non-technical people, it's good to at least understand the technology if your job is to manage it. This reminds me of a manager of mine who shall remain unnamed. Rumor has it that he/she (I'll use 'he' from now on) was promoted to his position as Senior Manager because he was a terrible developer and would only cause delays to any project he was on. So the idea was to move him up. That way he wouldn't cause any more problems. This course of action was rampant at the Gap. Don't let people go who were dead weight, but move them around and have them slow down other departments, as long as it wasn't yours. Anyway, I lost a lot of faith in the organization when I learned how my manager had moved through the ranks. Not only did it not make sense from another employee perspective. Because it gave you the idea of how people get promoted around here. But it also didn't make sense from the employer perspective. It was a six figure drain every year. Multiple that by however many people this happened to... and you're looking at a million in salary alone for 10 of these people throughout our large organization (which is incredibly likely). Then take into account the negative effects these people had on projects and morale. The costs begin to skyrocket.

My manager, specifically, would give me technical advice and make recommendations about how I should approach my tasks. It frustrated me to no end. How could someone give me direction that didn't know what the hell he was talking about? I went to school for CS, so I wasn't happy that some dead-end manager was telling me how to program. Point of this? Don't be one of these managers. Don't manage people without knowing what they're doing. You don't need to know details, but you should be at least have a high level understanding of their tasks.

Oh... yea, so this is a great CSS book that's been helping me along: The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks. By Rachel Andrew.

UPDATE: I was reading slashdot tonight and saw an article that spoke about this post. Well, not this post. But what this post is about. I thought it fitting. Here's an excerpts from the article (Fire Your Boss)

"Because power in IT organizations tends to be based on head count, preserving jobs takes a priority. And when jobs have to be eliminated, they tend to come off the bottom of the organization when they should more logically come off the top -- or at least from near the top. A tech who directly helps users is more important than a manager who can't manage. This is especially true if that manager is making 2-3 times as much as the tech.

If your boss doesn't understand your job enough to describe it in technical detail, that boss is in the wrong job.

If you are managing an IT shop and can't write the code to render "hello world" in C, html, php, and pull "hello world" from a MySQL database using a perl script, then YOU are in the wrong job.

I should point out that these latter tasks can be copied and pasted straight from properly composed Google queries. They aren't a test of programming knowledge at all, just of the ability to use the Internet. Yet many technical managers will fail and should get the boot as a result. You can't manage what you can't understand."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Doing the Little Things for your Website

As we're getting close to's time to worry about the details of our website. I'm a "closet" perfectionist. Meaning, I think it would surprise people to know that about me. I don't want to launch anything with potential surprises lurking behind the scenes. I'm NOT saying that we're going to launch with a perfect product. Because we won't. That's impossible. I just want to try to plan for as much as I can.

It's these details that are a time consuming but necessary piece of preparedness. It's the static website content. The copy.

Of course we need to have our message squared away and all that good stuff. But even the team pages. It's time to gather photos and write-ups about everyone who has contributed positively to the project. While this may be a bit simpler for a company where people are in an office - this is a challenge for our distributed company. We have people in Indonesia, Boston, Vancouver, and all over the Bay Area who have helped us out. So it's requiring a bit of extra effort to gather this up!

And then there's the about pages, terms and conditions, FAQ, and all that stuff. You sometimes try to ignore this stuff or put it off... but inevitably there comes a time when you just have to do it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Happened to the Valley? TechCrunch 50

You guys know I'm hurting for a paycheck. So when Tech Crunch 50 decided they were charging $3,000 a pop to get in, I knew there was no way in hell I was going. Until... someone from our Haas distro list started asking for volunteers. Yes, another perk from business school. In addition to all of the other things, opportunities abound. So I signed up to volunteer on day 1 and was given a pass for the conference.

The volunteer work was pretty menial. Stuff envelopes... or whatever. But I met some good people. I watched the TC 50 companies present and I hung out in the demo pit for a bit.

What was my overall reaction after day 1 (and 2)? What the hell happened to the Valley? What was once a hotbed for innovation and creativity is now a hodgepodge of copycats, aggregators, and one off's. What do I mean by all of this?


Copycats are basically sites that do what another site does. They add some incremental value, some new graphics, some fancy text, a celebrity... or nothing at all and call it a day.

One of the sites that I put in this category is Blah Girls. Yea. Nice name. And Ashton Kutcher was there presenting it. What does he know about the internet? So blah girls is basically these 3 girls that talk about what's cool and hip for teenagers - using videos and other media. It's basically a content distribution play. Except I found it a bit unsettling. In the first video, one of the girls is introducing another girl, her black friend, and says, "this is my token black friend". A bit inappropriate for a website promoting what's cool with teenage girls. Is it cool to have a token black friend?

While this site may ultimately do well... they obviously have big backing. It seemed a bit like a big media company launching a new tv show or something. A little surprising Arrington let this into TC.


This needs no real explanation. Aggregators basically take a bunch of disparate stuff on the internet and put it together on one site. Kayak is a great example of a useful aggregator for the airline industry. And it's a great one. And many aggregators are, in fact, good. But it's such a crowded space and very few markets have good business opportunities. I'm definitely bearish on this space. Look at SeminarFeed. They "aggregate industry and university events". While this might be useful - where's the business opportunity?

One off's

Ok, so these companies provide an incremental benefit over an existing service. The problem with one off's is that it's not very difficult for the incumbent to add the feature or service. While I hate to call this company out...because I really liked the founder whom I met, this site may ultimately suffer from this fate. KallOut provides search technology from within any application - not just a browser. You can right click on a word in your Word document and a search can take place, while remaining within your document. Nice touch - BUT... how many apps would you use this in? How good does the UI have to be for you to be comfortable using it? What happens when Chrome...or another browser becomes your desktop? Well, there goes your opportunity. Or Google creates the same thing?

So where the hell are the innovations? The groundbreaking technologies? Technologies that will actually make things better (online, offline, whatever)? There were certainly a few of these there... but it just got me thinking about the Valley - and where it's gone...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ebay Sucks - Continued

After my ebay fiasco several weeks ago (here), I got in touch with a friend, who is a VP at ebay, because I was really at wits end with this whole ordeal. He, in turn, had people from both ebay and paypal contact me about the issues I had with ebay fraud and their crappy customer support. I had two vastly different experiences with the paypal and ebay representatives that contacted me. Here's what transpired.


I received a call from the office of the president of PayPal. We went through my entire ordeal, him interrupting me with apologies left and right. It was nice, maybe a little too nice, but hey, at least I was speaking with a real person at this point in time. While he assured me that ebay was doing something about my specific case, he couldn't tell me what they were doing. In addition, even though I had contacted the police and FBI myself - they still couldn't engage law enforcement on their end. It had to come from law enforcement. There were lots of useless reasons behind this. But it was apparent that it wasn't changing anytime soon.

While the call was cordial. I actually felt better after speaking to him. Not because anything was changing or going to change - but because he admitted that their situation certainly was in a less than perfect state.

According to this person, they are constantly revisiting their procedures for dealing with situations regarding fraud. And they're happy to take my advice into account. While it felt good to hear that, I just don't buy it. Nonetheless, he left me his phone number, asked me not to give it out (which I won't), and told me to get in touch again with any issues I had in the future. span style="font-weight:bold;">Ebay

I was expecting a similar discussion when ebay contacted me. Well, wrong again. Ebay, while courteous, kept our discussion to email. It was also a very defensive exchange rather than a how can we be helpful to our customers. In fact, several times in the email, the woman explained how and why ebay couldn't do anything about my situation. She said something along the lines of, well, since it wasn't ebay's servers that were compromised, and it was your account, there's nothing we can do. Some people who aren't computer literate may take that comment and say. Oh, ok. But I don't buy that. Just because ebay doesn't think their servers were compromised, certainly doesn't mean that. A simple password attack could have compromised the servers. Or, like old Unix servers, a password file may have been left encrypted somewhere for someone to hack. Whatever the case, she was dead wrong. For some background on Vladuz - a Romanian hacker who compromised ebay's site without them knowing... here.

She responded that she was wrong and babbled breathlessly for the rest of the email. I had already stopped listening. I just hope ebay doesn't stop listening to its customers.

Writing Negatively.

Well, I got quite a bit of traffic the other day when I wrote about Google Chrome sucking. Apparently there aren't many other people who decided to write negatively about Google's jump into the browser market. I'm fourth on a Google search of "Chrome sucks". Pretty nice! Days and several comments later - I still feel the same way. But it taught me two pretty interesting things.

1) Writing negatively about popular companies/things will get you traffic. People may not agree with you, but hey, people will take notice. And they'll engage in discussion (complimenting or insulting - but either way, it's publicity). I thought about writing a "sucks" after everything I wrote from now on. It would definitely drive traffic.

2) There's a tipping point for companies. It's a precarious place where a company loved by many crosses into the land of the damned. Microsoft did it long ago. People don't remember, but Microsoft was once a lovable company. Windows? Do people remember when that came out? Wow! And then there were our big 3 auto makers. Yea, people used to love them (and some probably still do). There are many other examples out there. Apple mabye? Companies can cross back - but it's a difficult and expensive course - one that's best avoided.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Google Chrome. Part 2.

What's a EULA? Oh, just the licensing agreement you sign when you want to use some software. Chrome has one. And it sure sucks. From what Google says, they just tried to apply their existing EULA (that they use for other products) to Chrome. Not such a good idea. And here's the nugget - Chrome wants users to sell their souls over to Google and to provide them with a:

"perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content."

If Chrome really wants to be the desktop of the future, which I'm sure they do, how could they thoughtlessly attach this EULA to Chrome? Imagine Google using your desktop for whatever they wanted. Imagine having a document open in Chrome and now Google can take it? And use it for whatever they want. Or people, not me of course, looking at offensive material (uh, porn) online and Google exposing that?

While Google pulled that piece from their EULA yesterday, I think this speaks volumes about some tiny holes that are starting to open up in Google's armor. As with the release of their browser - which never would have happened at the Google I worked at, a EULA like this would never have been blindly attached to a product that is expected to have such a huge impact on the market.

Google needs to start paying attention to what has made them so great.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google Chrome. For Real.

I was asked for some advice recently about starting a company. And some of the basics of how to go about doing it (incorporation, finding people, networking, etc). So I referred them back to my early blog postings when I detailed going through that stuff myself. Now that I'm at the point where I don't have any sage business advice about Vyoo (for the time being - release, marketing, and fundraising will ultimately follow), I'll continue to highlight mistakes and even the rare promising moves that I notice in other companies.

I've written glowingly in the past about Google. I love almost everything they do. Maybe to a fault. Well, I finally found a flaw in one of their products. I hope it's not a result of their growth that I wrote about several weeks ago (here). Maybe they're too big for themselves...

Google released Chrome yesterday. Their foray into the browser space. I was pretty excited, because I knew it would be great. Low on resource use, clean, simple, better! I mean, when has Google ever f'ed up a product release? Ok. Maybe they have for some products I haven't used. But a big release like a browser?

I downloaded it right away (here). It's pretty slick (from a UI perspective). And you can read a host of reviews and comments about it elsewhere, so I won't go into too much detail. It's very clean though. And it spawns separate processes for each tab you open so a problem with one browser window shouldn't shut you down like Firefox or IE.

Let's just say that Chrome didn't work as advertised. I installed it on an XP box and a Vista box. And it sucked. On both. It froze. It crashed. It hogged resources. I'd click tabs and it would close windows. It wouldn't respond. It would reload windows as I scrolled down the page. I understand that it's a beta. But damn, they shouldn't be releasing a piece of crap. Which is basically what this is.

Ironically, I'm at Google today. I have to teach a GMAT class down here and I ran into a b school buddy. He works at Mozilla, but he's on the Google campus every few days because they work fairly closely on things. While Google publicly stated that they were moving towards more collaboration with Mozilla on the browser side, my friend told me specifically that they've been moving away in terms of collaboration for the last two years. And that the release is viewed as quite a competitive move. I agree.

The second ironic event was that through reading about other people's issues with Chrome, it has come to my attention that the winner in all of this is IE. Their new beta apparently uses far fewer resources and has far fewer problems than resource hog Firefox and bug riddled Chrome. I'm apprehensive about trying it. But I think I have to.

Let me clarify!

So I'm out over the weekend and I run into a good buddy of mine, Mr. Schneeds we'll call him. He runs his own blog, Rude Not To ( Don't go there unless you're old enough. That's all I'll say. Anyway, he chastises me for my last post on screen scraping. If it wasn't clear enough, let me break it down right here.

Our business is not and will never be based on screen scraping. I hate screen scrapers. Especially when that's their business. We're simply using it initially to prove our technology. And that's it. We've begun initial partnership discussions with several sites and we're using this as a way to demonstrate the power that our technology can provide for them. In fact, when we go live, you may not even see any screen scraping or any use for the screen scraping we have. We will be happily sending lots of traffic to these other sites. It will become clear when you see what we're doing... Stay's coming.

That's it.