LogoWorks Redesign and Discount Code

I think LogoWorks is a really neat idea, and one of the more interesting aspects of the service is the peer review that graphic designers submit their work to as part of the engagement process. Essentially, as I understand it, your “rate card” is a function not only of how LogoWorks clients rate your work but also how your peers rate it. What is innovative about this is that it subjects creative work to another set of filters beyond simply what is selected by the client, which in no small way really is the ultimate filter. I think the natural effect of this is to trigger a social signal among graphic designers who are participating in the network and are motivated not only by having their work selected as part of the client engagement but also rated positively by their peers, and of course LogoWorks captures this dimension and builds it into the fee structure. Clever.

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Utah-based Logoworks, which just relaunched a major new user interface, has an innovative and inexpensive way of creating corporate and other logos for customers.

There is no such thing as Web 2.0

I think I could argue this either way with Matt, but in the end I do believe there is a web 2.0 if anything because to suggest that web 1.0 was a legitimate “revolution” would be to discount the reality that web 1.0 was built on much of what evolved out of client/server. In other words, if you suggest that web 2.0 cannot exist as anything other than the realization of web 1.0, then it’s equally true that web 1.0 was the realization of massive client/server.

The point that Matt makes about the difficulties of defining web 2.0 are true, I struggle with this all the time. Having said that, there are some very key technology innovations in web 2.0 that just didn’t exist in earlier web technology, like REST. Ironically, AJAX and other client side scripting owe much of their success to Microsoft for their work on DHTML so I wouldn’t necessarily pin AJAX on the Web 2.0 moniker, however the ability to stitch application services together user client side scripting is something unique to Web 2.0. There is much more to the term than the two things I referenced above, but the notion that Web 2.0 exists only as a marketing term is not accurate in my book. There’s much more work to be done and success is certainly not guaranteed, but the demise of traditional software is also multifaceted.

SandHill.com | Finance | The Picky VC:

There is no Web 2.0 except in the minds of marketing folks who can think of no other way to differentiate their new product from the one that failed in the same space in 2001. That goes for all you VCs too. Let’s stop justifying investments on some mythical macro trend in favor of Web 2.0. We need to justify investments based on market opportunity and defensible technologies. Maybe the honest VC tagline should be “Web 2.0 – because my partners won’t let me invest in traditional software anymore.”

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Senior Product Manager, AppStore – Salesforce.com

No, I’m not looking for a new job… browsing a company’s job listings is a quick and easy way to learn about some of the things they are working on. Take this “Product Manager – AppStore” listing as an example, it sounds like a nice compliment to AppExchange:

Senior Product Manager, AppStore – Salesforce.com:

AppStore is a project that seeks to automate most if not all of the processes associated with buying from salesforce.com. In Addition, it will create a program whereby Salesforce sells selected partner apps through the AppExchange then bills and collects for the service. A large part of this project will result in customer and partner facing services that will require initial specification and on-going product management.

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Open source shapes up as rival to Oracle

47% growth off that base is not really impressive, but I can testify that we are seeing increased demand for open source databases like MySQL. At any rate it would appear that Oracle is fighting a rising tide and that is evident by the slow down in growth for their database business, even though it’s worth pointing out that it is still a very lucrative business for them.

Open source shapes up as rival to Oracle | Tech News on ZDNet:

A Gartner analyst disagreed, pointing out that even though open-source software sellers like MySQL and Ingres did only made up less than 1 percent of the database systems software market in 2005, they showed a strong 47 percent growth.

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Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last

Whew! I was getting nervous about those carbon nanotubes running loose and all. Seriously, despite the repeated warnings that we have reached the end of traditional semiconductor manufacturing (quantum physics gets in the way), it appears that we may indeed be reaching some limitations with regard to the requirements that non-traditional computing devices have and traditional semiconductor limitations in meeting them. This nanotech stuff is very cool.

It’s too bad that Jurvetson has abandoned his blog, I’d enjoy reading his big brain insights on this stuff.

New Scientist Tech – Breaking News – Carbon nanotubes pinned down at last:

The method uses a specially constructed molecule that attaches one end to a carbon nanotube and the other end to a strip of metal oxide that has been placed on piece of silicon. The nanotubes are just a few nanometres in diameter, and knowing exactly where a tube is means researchers can use it to make a transistor.

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De-Crapifiers

I remember when people first started talking about splicing in advertising to RSS feeds, the second thought I had was “well this is just a bunch of XML so it should be hard to automate the process of stripping out the ads if you really wanted to”. Feedburner has done a great job of allowing publishers to customize their RSS feeds with a lot of extra stuff, and quite honestly it never occurred to me that people on mobile devices might find this annoying given relatively slow download speeds. Others may just want the basic content and are irritated with everything else.

Enter the Feedburner De-Moronizer, a script that strips out all the extras and delivers just the content. Brilliant but it’s kind of ironic that someone had to write a script to regress feeds back to where they started.

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Mac Scripting

Apple’s Automator is a very cool scripting engine that is only limited by the creativity of the person using it. As I have gotten to know the Mac platform better over the last couple of months I am amazed at how deep it is (and yes, a little mystified at some things it does). Tapping into Automator is one to-do that I held myself to and resources like Automator World have really helped.

The other scripting engine that I’m using a lot is CamiScript for the Camino browser. The “Search with GoogleMaps” script is a real timesaver.

UPDATE: I fixed the link to Automator World.

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Lots of toddlers, fewer school-age kids in S.F.

Does this really surprise anyone who lives in the Bay Area? As long as the Board of Dupes continues to favor renters over home buyers (e.g. erecting obstacles for tenant in commons arrangements) and the SF school system remains the embarrassment that it is, of course families will leave. It’s really not that difficult to figure out, but the fact that SF’s political leadership struggles with the fundamental reasons behind this exodus of families from SF is just one more indicator of how disconnected they are from the very population they are supposed to serve.

My prediction: nothing meaningful is going to happen, the school system will receive band-aids instead of surgery, qualified school system administrators will come and go as a result of the political tug of war between the Mayor’s office and the Board of Dupes (which is just a puppet of the powerful teacher’s union), the declining enrollment will have the natural result of less state and federal money and the result of that will be closed schools which will further alienate families, and the healthy regional economy will lull residents and political leaders alike into a false sense of redemption and a belief that everyone else in the Bay Area is just jealous of them and nothing is really wrong with SF.

For families it’s all about the schools and at some point California as a whole is going to have to realize that just throwing money at the public schools is not enough. If not, well we’ll just end up with the finest private school system in the country and a housing market that reflects the economics of good public schools. If you live in a school district that outperforms the region the housing prices are artificially inflated because of the tax advantages of paying a bigger mortgage versus private school tuition.

Lots of toddlers, fewer school-age kids in S.F.:

A recent survey by the Public Research Institute at San Francisco State University found that nearly half of parents with preschool-age children planned to leave the city in the next three years.

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Network neutrality a step closer

It’s one of those great ironies in our world that a well functioning deregulated marketplace actually requires more regulation than a regulated one. The debate around network neutrality is not immune to this and it’s a complex issue that requires a lot of study to understand, but unfortunately it’s just easier to read the highlight and say “well of course a network that cannot be discriminatory against devices or uses is a good thing,” but it’s really not that easy. The points about who in government has the authority to regulate telecommunication networks is equally important and that appears to be one of the main pivots points in bills working their way through Congress now.

The 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act has largely been a bust because the FCC has been unwilling to enforce the intent of the legislation, the Clinton and Bush administrations have been unwilling to empower the FCC to do it, and Congress has been silent. Given all that, I’m not sure I can have much confidence that things will be different this time around, but having said all that I’m even less confident in the newly monopolized telecom companies operating in any way but what best serves their bottom line so having something like network neutrality is something I support.

Network neutrality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

On May 25, 2006, the Sensenbrenner-Conyers Net Neutrality Bill was approved by the House Judiciary committee on a 20-13 vote along party lines. The bill was widely regarded as part of a turf battle between the Judiciary Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee for the power to regulate the Internet. Congressman Adam Schiff, one of the Democrats who voted for it, said: I think the bill is a blunt instrument, and yet I think it does send a message that it’s important to attain jurisdiction for the Justice Department and for antitrust issues.

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TaxProf Blog: Can You Hear Me Now? IRS to Refund $15 Billion of Telephone Taxes to Consumers

One of the reasons why I dropped my landline service and went with cable broadband and Vonage is that the taxes (fed, state, and local) applied to telephone service are egregious and significantly increase the cost of the services. If there were ever a case against “special purpose” or “limited duration” taxes, this would be it… it takes a hell of a lot of effort for the government to give up a tax receipt.

TaxProf Blog: Can You Hear Me Now? IRS to Refund $15 Billion of Telephone Taxes to Consumers
The Treasury Department and IRS announced this morning that after losing in five circuit courts of appeals, the Government is throwing in the towel and will no longer seek to enforce the 3% excise tax on long-distance telephone calls enacted during the Spanish-American War of 1898 as a “luxury” tax on wealthy Americans who owned telephones.

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