Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wind Map

Beautiful site and concept. The wind map (

Meet the real-life Batman

This is terrific. 

Lenny B. Robinson is a Maryland resident who periodically dresses up as Batman, gets into his Batmobile (a black Lamborghini adorned with Batman logos), and goes to visit sick children in hospitals.

On Monday, he pulled up in his black Lambo with yellow Batman symbols on the doors, the floor mats, the headrests -- pretty much everywhere -- and he was dressed in his heavy leather and neoprene uniform that he bought from a professional costume maker.

He carried two large bags of Batman books, rubber Batman symbol bracelets and various other toys up to the front desk, where the check-in attendant asked him his name.

"Batman," he said

Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate | Video on

Awesome and creepy at the same time.

Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate | Video on

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ben's Friends — Video Interview of Ben’s Friends co-founder, Scott Orn

Ben's Friends — Video Interview of Ben’s Friends co-founder Scott Orn by at SXSW

I was lucky enough to be interviewed about Ben's Friends by Cody Switzer of at the SXSW 2012 Conference. I'm having a hard time embedding the video in Blogger (this is a recurring problem), so do me a favor and click through to watch the 1 minute video. I'd be grateful if you spread our message by posting it on your blog, Facebook & Twitter. Bonus points if you include a link to Ben's Friends (

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lisanti's Mad Men Power Rankings Are Back!

Mark Lisanti, my favorite Internet writer, is back with his Mad Men Power Rankings. Hilarious, gross and insightful - all classic Mark Lisanti.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reblog: What News Sites People are Reading, by State


Who is reading what

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scott Orn shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Scott Orn just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image

"From My Roof: View of San Francisco"

The Instagram Team

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Scott Orn and Vanessa brought over Chinese tonight to catch up....

Great time at the Barrett's! Lots of great stories and laughs!

Blogging Barretts

Scott Orn and Vanessa brought over Chinese tonight to catch up. Was a pretty tough week so a few cocktails and take out was a great way to end the week. Thanks Orn!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Chill Music - March 23, 2012

Friday Chill Music is back! Things got a little crazy, and escalated quickly, but I'm back now. :)

Here is Perfume Genius, a tip from Matt Ziser. He calls it SFSO music - Safe For Scott Orn, which I wholeheartedly endorse.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station. on Vimeo

Now that I have the new iPad and AppleTV, I'm watching a lot more Vimeo at night. I really enjoyed this one. It's perfect with a glass of wine.

I'm looking to subscribe to some good Vimeo Channels, any suggestions?

The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station. on Vimeo:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Warriors have fallen just about as far as a franchise can fall - Grantland

I'm a Warriors fan. I'm not proud of it. In fact, I kind of despise the team. It's just that they are the only game in town. That's why I thoroughly enjoyed the booing of the most recent owner earlier this week. I'm hoping Larry Ellison can still buy them or he brings another team to the Bay Area, so I can support a better organization. Read this article, which is awesome, and you'll unerstand where I'm coming from.

The Warriors have fallen just about as far as a franchise can fall - Grantland:

"And so it began. Three and a half decades later, the Golden State Warriors have morphed into the most tortured franchise in professional basketball. Unlike the Clippers (a perennial laughingstock until recently), the Suns (a classic came-oh-so-close team), the Cavaliers (not even the second-most tortured franchise in their own city) and Kings (historical nomads), the Warriors lack an identity beyond the whole "they suck every year, they always screw up, but at least they have great fans" tag. Doesn't that really mean that their fans are just loyal saps? What keeps them coming back? At what point do you just throw your hands up and scream, "ENOUGH"?"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why I doubted Facebook could build a billion dollar business, and what I learned from being horribly wrong

It's all about traction. The business model can be discovered. 

"The biggest lesson I took away

The concrete lesson to be learned from this is: In the modern era, business models are a commodity. I never want to hear about people asking, "But what's their business model?" because in a world where you can grow a userbase of 1 billion in a few years, displaying remnant ads and getting a $0.25 CPM will do. Or just throw some freemium model on it, and monetize 1% of them. If you can build the audience, you can build a big business."

Revlog: Michael Dell Should Be Satisfied

Awesome. I had forgotten that in the early 2000's, Michael Dell said Apple should just quit and give their cash back to shareholders. 

Daring Fireball

Apple's finally giving that money back to its shareholders.

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Pearl Jam Radio on the Road

This business trip was made 10x better when my co-worker surprised me with Pearl Jam radio when I got into the car!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The myth of the overnight success

Absolutely true... - chris dixon's blog

"Angry Birds was Rovio's 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest's CEO recently said that they had "catastrophically small numbers" in their first year after launch, and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.

Startups are hard, but they can also go from difficult to great incredibly quickly. You just need to survive long enough and keep going so you can create your 52nd game."


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Miami Property Bottoms...

Fascinating perspective on the housing market fom one of my favorite financial bloggers.

"I was forced from my second and third rental condos. The owners didn't seem to understand that if the prices of assets had just dropped in half, so should my rent payments. Instead, they tried to raise my rent because otherwise, they couldn't afford their mortgages. It wasn't my fault that their 5 year ARM had suddenly re-set, but it was still my problem. I'm now in my fourth unit in 5 years. I'm sick of moving around like I'm in college. I refuse to overpay when I can rent—investing is all about being disciplined. All I want is to see prices drop to something reasonable. I no longer think that this will happen. Miami is now awash in Brazilians, Venezuelans and Peruvians looking to get money out of their countries. These are cash buyers. They don't need financing. While trying to prop up failed speculators here in the US, Bernanke succeeded in creating property bubbles all around the rest of the world. Quite honestly, Miami suddenly looks cheap to them. Property prices in their home countries are twice as expensive as Miami."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Topher Grace Edited The ‘Star Wars’ Prequels Into One 85-Minute Movie and We Saw It | /Film

I'd love to watch this. It sounds like the movie we all hoped Lucas would make. 

"For those of you who don't know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Warsfilms, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.

His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels' (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.

The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace's fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace's Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available. result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace's fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace's Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available."

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Interesting perspective on emerging markets...


"When investing in former colonies, remember the golden rule; colonies take after their parents. What this means is that French colonies have decent food, but cannot be invested in. Spanish and Portuguese colonies have decade-long cycles of boom and chaotic bust. If you can time these cycles, you can make fortunes. However, English colonies are where your money should be—especially when one of these former colonies begins to awaken after decades of quasi-Marxist rule. English common law is the foundation of civilization. Think of common law like the plumbing in a very expensive house. If you dump corrosive socialist sewage into the pipes, things will clog up and become dysfunctional. However, the pipes are made so strongly that with just a little common sense, you can clean it out and things will once again run smoothly. That's about the best way to describe Zambia. The sewage seems to be getting flushed out, allowing the British common law tradition to take over."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

Terrific, long post by Paul Graham. Try to read the whole thing. I tried to make the point below at my SXSW talk last night. Giving yourself permission to not know where you are going is very powerful.

"Empirically, the way to do really big things seems to be to start with deceptively small things. Want to dominate microcomputer software? Start by writing a Basic interpreter for a machine with a few thousand users. Want to make the universal web site? Start by building a site for Harvard undergrads to stalk one another.

Empirically, it's not just for other people that you need to start small. You need to for your own sake. Neither Bill Gates nor Mark Zuckerberg knew at first how big their companies were going to get. All they knew was that they were onto something. Maybe it's a bad idea to have really big ambitions initially, because the bigger your ambition, the longer it's going to take, and the further you project into the future, the more likely you'll get it wrong.

I think the way to use these big ideas is not to try to identify a precise point in the future and then ask yourself how to get from here to there, like the popular image of a visionary. You'll be better off if you operate like Columbus and just head in a general westerly direction. Don't try to construct the future like a building, because your current blueprint is almost certainly mistaken. Start with something you know works, and when you expand, expand westward."

Friday, March 9, 2012

AT&T 4G by Neven Mrgan (2011, Digital)

Neven Mrgan's tumbl

AT&T 4G by Neven Mrgan (2011, Digital)

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

They fixed it! -brooklyntree Well done, Tumblr!

The government owns most of its own debt, which means when there are negative outflows on things like Medicare and social security, it could get messy. 

I Love Charts

They fixed it!


Well done, Tumblr!

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The ruins of a massive Bulgarian monument to Communism

Incredible visuals about an abandoned Communist monument. Click through to see what it looked like when constructed.
The ruins of a massive Bulgarian monument to Communism:
This is the Buzludzha monument in Bulgaria, built in 1981 in honor of Communism. After Bulgaria turned away from Communism in 1989, it fell to ruin.


Monday, March 5, 2012

KONY 2012 on Vimeo

KONY 2012 on Vimeo:


Apple on Job Creation

Awesome post by Apple on how many jobs they have created in the United States! I loved this graphic but click through for a few other stats.

The biggest issue on job creation isn't that there aren't enough open jobs, it's that the broader skill base in the country doesn't fit the kind of jobs that are being created. If someone could learn to program half decently, they would have a job in about two seconds. Granted, programming isn't for everyone, but it's just one example where demand is greatly outpacing supply.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mid-range Jumpers

Lost Art of the Mid-range Jumpshot - good article sent in from Fausel. My CAL Bears are leading the country by a huge margin in mid-range jumpers. I never had a mid-range jumper in high school so I respect the guys who do! :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

danforth: Fuck. Yes.

Love the Banksy.

American Aquarium Drinker

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lionel Messi never dives

Diving in soccer drives me crazy, probably because I almost always played defense growing up. I never thought about extrapolating it to life in general. Kottke makes a beautiful point below through the prism of Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world right now. 

In recent years, efforts have been made on various fronts to apply the lessons of Moneyball to soccer. I don't think diving is one of the statistics measured because if it were, it might happen a lot less. Poor tackles and holding usually occur when the player/team with the ball has the advantage. By diving instead of staying on your feet, you usually give away that advantage (unless you're in the box, have Ronaldo on your team taking free kicks, or can somehow hoodwink the ref into giving the other guy a yellow) and that doesn't make any sense to me. If you look at Messi in that video, his desire to stay upright allows him to keep the pressure on the defense in many of those situations, creating scoring opportunities and even points that would otherwise end up as free kicks. It seems to me that Messi's reluctance to dive is not some lofty character trait of his; it's one of the things that makes him such a great player: he never gives up the advantage when he has it.