Bookmarks for March 3rd from 05:48 to 12:10

These are my links for March 3rd from 05:48 to 12:10:

Bookmarks for February 16th through February 17th

These are my links for February 16th through February 17th:

  • Top 100 Network Security Tools – Many many security testing and hacking tools.
  • FRONTLINE: inside the meltdown: watch the full program – "On Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, the astonished leadership of the U.S. Congress was told in a private session by the chairman of the Federal Reserve that the American economy was in grave danger of a complete meltdown within a matter of days. "There was literally a pause in that room where the oxygen left," says Sen. Christopher Dodd"
  • The Dark Matter of a Startup – "Every successful startup that I have seen has someone within their ranks that just kinda “does stuff.” No one really knows specifically what they do, but its vital to the success of the startup."
  • Why I Hate Frameworks – "A hammer?" he asks. "Nobody really buys hammers anymore. They're kind of old fashioned…we started selling schematic diagrams for hammer factories, enabling our clients to build their own hammer factories, custom engineered to manufacture only the kinds of hammers that they would actually need."
  • Mining The Thought Stream – Lots of comments around what is Twitter good for and how will it make money, revolving around real/near-time search, analytics, marketing, etc.
  • Understanding Web Operations Culture – the Graph & Data Obsession … – Comparison of traffic at Flickr, Google, Twitter, during the Obama inauguration. "One of the most interesting parts of running a large website is watching the effects of unrelated events affecting user traffic in aggregate."

Bookmarks for February 15th through February 16th

These are my links for February 15th through February 16th:

BarCamp returns to Palo Alto

BarCamp returns to Palo Alto next weekend, this time as BarCampBlock.

Almost two years ago, a group of 6 San Francisco geeks in 7 days, using blogs, wikis and IRC slapped together a weekend conference with wifi, food and amazing presentations in Palo Alto, California. This was a different kind of conference, though. There were no superstar keynote speakers. There were no pre-programmed agendas. There was a brilliant agenda filled with content by and for the attendees. Everyone, including the sponsors, the organizers, the speakers and the audience were involved in making the event happen equally and were often one and the same. Over the weekend, more than 200 people showed up and people watched remotely from all over the world. This event was BarCamp.

Who should be there? Anyone working on a new startup that wants to get some great feedback. Anyone looking for talent. Anyone talented looking for work. Anyone looking to invest in brilliant new ideas. Anyone looking to find partners for their brilliant new ideas. Anyone who wants to practice a presentation s/he is working on. Anyone who has a passion for blogging, wikis, design, coding and the web in general. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is encouraged to present. It’s totally free and an excellent source of what is hot, new and upcoming.

Highly recommended if you’re in the area and have any interest whatsoever. The price is right, too. (Free, donations welcome.)

See also: Notes from BarCamp (the original one in 2005)

Web Two Point Oh

Andrew Wooldridge has built a web application which will instantly generate a web2.0 buzzword-compliant startup name and concept.

Web Two Point Oh!
Create your own Web 2.0 Company

Below you will find a pre-created VC friendly Web 2.0 company just for you!

Hit reload to create another potential million dollar idea

Some of the candidates I got were:

  • Rieeent – rss-based dating via ajax
  • Riink – rss-based blogs via Ruby on Rails
  • zVonowy – community apps via microformats
  • Tripkoent – greasemonkey extension for photos via bittorrent
  • Tripya – social news on the desktop
  • Yahonomodoo – web-based search engine via api mashups
  • Tripelihub – social apps via microformats

Just to be safe, he adds an editorial footnote:

Note: this is just a little programmatic satire. Any semblance to an actual company is purely accidental and not intentional! It’s supposed to be funny :)

Before too long, someone may start to automatically generate examples of these on Ning or something along those lines…

See also: The Cambrian Age 2.0, The Home Pages of this New Era

Ojos – photo hosting with face and text recognition

Ojos is the working name for a startup that’s building a photo site with automatic tagging through face and text recognition. Here’s a sample photo of a Treo, annotated with the words their technology can recognize.

From Rob Hof on his blog at Business Week:

Munjal Shah, onetime cofounder of the auction services firm Andale, finally let slip on his new blog what he’s been working on since leaving last year. As he writes: “I am co-founding a company because I found I had 31,246 photos all named DSC0009.jpg.” In other words, his startup, tentatively named Ojos (Spanish for “eyes”), is creating a new way to search and organize photos.

Over at Munjal Shah‘s new blog, he elaborates further:

I think Flickr’s tag based system is just super (in fact I love it), but I wanted all of my photos on there, I wanted them all tagged, and I didn’t want to spend hundreds of hours doing it. So being the lazy engineers that we are, we thought maybe we can at least auto-tag some of the faces and names. Folks can fix mistakes we make but it will still be less than than tagging in the first place and in the end you will have a tagged library of photos.

Looks like they’re going to be applying face and/or scene similarity and text recognition to help organize the rapidly growing collections of digital photos being generated through the mass consumer adoption of digital cameras and online photo services such as Flickr.

I don’t think there’s room in the market for another freestanding web site, even one based on better face and text tagging. At the same time, the autotagging capability can’t be tested, demonstrated, or evolved without a live data set and community of users.

This feels like it should become or at least expose a web service at some point down the road. It could then be used with any photo hosting service or web site to reach a wider set of users than just one site. It might also help distribute the computational load of calculating the regions of interest, feature vectors, and resizing, by pushing the task out to the clients in many cases as part of the upload process. Computing resources continue to become cheaper and faster, but there are a few bandwidth bottlenecks along the way, so why not let the desktop chew on it a while and send up the precomputed metadata, along with the (possibly smaller) image.

Auto tagging, combined with a community of users that helps “clean up” the relevancy of the applied tags, might also work well for labeling photos of celebrities and well known places.

I’ve wished for something like this a few times in the past, so I’m hopeful that this team will come up with a useful service and look forward to trying it out when they make something available.

Update 08-28-2005 23:28 – Posted some additional comments at Munjal’s site. Briefly – I think it’s becoming interesting to do image content-based retrieval in conjunction with tagging and other user behavior. I should write up some notes on group search and tagging.

Pros and Cons of Stealth Mode Startups

Point and counterpoint around Mark Fletcher’s (CEO of Bloglines) post last week, “Stealth Startups Suck“.

Here’s a sample of Mark’s post:

Why go fast? Many reasons:

  • First mover advantage is important.
  • There is no such thing as a unique idea. I guarantee that someone else has already thought of your wonderful web service, and is probably way ahead of you. Get over yourself.
  • It forces you to focus on the key functionality of the site.
  • Being perfect at launch is an impossible (and unnecessary and even probably detrimental) goal, so don’t bother trying to achieve it. Ship early, ship often.
  • The sooner you get something out there, the sooner you’ll start getting feedback from users.

  • Some people think that they need to stay in stealth mode as long as possible to protect their exciting new idea. I hate to break the news to you, but unless you’re Einstein or Gallileo, your idea probably isn’t new. I have this theory. The success of a web service is inversely proportional to the secrecy that surrounded its development. There are exceptions of course. But I also think this can be applied to other things. Segway, anyone?

    Paul Kedrosky (Ventures West and UCSD) has written a good counterpoint, “Stealth Mode Startups Don’t Suck“.

    But you have to keep the role of stealth in context. It is a rational response to a marketplace with too much risk capital, low barriers to entry, and many entrepreneurial teams looking for ideas. Saying that many people will come to variants of the same idea at the same time is not the same thing as saying you should ring a bell and invite everyone and their favorite VCs to come and feast on your nascent startup.

    More from Mark Fletcher here, also see Russell Beatty’s Yeah, They Are Nice People

    Anyway, it’s not like 24 Hour Laundry needed any more buzz. But the discussion about the value of collaborative development, marketing and validating with early users, vs. handing over precooked plans to a competing team illustrates some tradeoffs that are especially pronounced for new web businesses.

    Stealth mode can be a lame excuse for not shipping to real customers, but it can also keep your worked-out user web interaction model from being used as the engineering model for a team of offshore coders that otherwise wouldn’t be able to put together the design spec. On the marketing and alliances side, it’s less useful to be in true stealth mode, since you’ve pretty much got to tell your prospective partners and customers what you’re about if you want to sell with them.

    update 2005-06-20 14:34 comments from Jeff Clavier, plus the Slashdot crowd weighs in.

    update 2005-10-04 17:12 PDT 24 Hour Laundry is Ning