I need help

Ever have a terrific idea that you think could really go places but you have no clue where or how to start making it happen? That’s where I’m at right now.

Some of you know of my idea for a new website. Obviously, I’ve played it close to the vest, not blabbing it all over town. I think, if done correctly, this site could be big. Really big. You know, build-up-a-user-base-for-a-few-years-then-sell-to-Google-for-a-few-mil sort of big. I read these news reports of facebook.com selling for a billion dollars… or youtube.com thinking they’re worth $2 billion. Granted, I don’t think my idea would be that big, but hell… you never know. I read how some sites generate outrageous revenue from Google AdSense. Will mine be that big… probably not, but again, who knows?

I’m facing a number of challenges. First, I have no clue how to get the ball rolling. What should I do to start? A Lawyer? Investors? Plug away in anonymity? I just don’t have any experience with such a thing. How do I protect myself and the idea? I don’t even know what I don’t know. I’m doubly screwed. Second, I’m a developer, but I don’t have anywhere near the amount of skill such an undertaking would require. I would obviously need a developer or two to work with… but how to find them? How to pay them? What do I need to know? Mistakes to avoid? Aaaiiiiggh!

I’m so stymied that I’m paralyzed into inaction. I really think I need to get moving on this. Who knows, maybe this is my key out of the corporate grind and into grinding for myself for a change. Why not me, right?

If anyone out there has created a business site… or even their own business… or perhaps acted as an investor in a fledgling idea has any words of advice, I would GLADLY take them. I’m begging for them. Hell, point me to some books. Some websites. Information of any sort and in any form!

Maybe I can be the next internet millionaire. (keep your fingers crossed)

Cell Hell Averted

Silver RazrGot the new phone on Monday! Have pretty much been playing with it ever since. God, I am such a nerd. Of course, I haven’t read the manual yet. If I can’t figure it out, then maybe I will, but more than likely I won’t.

Even worse, is I can connect this bad boy to the PC and have all kinds of fun. New pictures and wallpapers… emails and IM’s… ringtones… you name it. My new ring is the ‘slowing down’ ring of the main character in the movie Crank. None of you probably have any clue what I’m talking about, but trust me, its very cool. Is it sad that stuff like this makes me excited? Is there any better smell than that of new electronics? God I’m sick.

In other news, Boise State just got a verbal commitment from a high school quarterback who threw 66 touchdowns as a junior. WOW. In 4 games as a senior this year, he already has 20 touchdowns. I don’t know about you, this is almost as exciting as the new cell phone. Eat that Cody Hawkins, with your measly 42 touchdowns as a senior…

Cell Hell

I finally did it. After a year and a half of frustration, I finally bought a new cell phone. I’m still trapped in my contract and unable to upgrade my equipment until March of next year, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve been browsing EBay and finally found the deal I could get with.

Now, I’ve got some real problems with my existing phone and you’re gonna hear about them.

Here is the deal, 18 months ago I bought a new phone in order to replace my REAL old Nokia. I did my research. I read reviews. My main goal was to find a well reviewed phone that was very small. See, I carry my phone in my pocket. I’m not one of these tools who feels the need to show how important they are by displaying their phone on their belt. I hate those people. (No offense dad…) I tried the belt clips way back with my very first phone. After destroying two of them by simply sitting in my car, that turned me off. I keep it in my pocket. I keep it on vibrate. I really don’t need everyone to know how cool I am that I have a cell phone, because you know what? You’re not cool because you have a cell phone, you idiot. EVERYONE has a cell phone in case you haven’t noticed. You’re not cool that you are so important that everyone has to get a hold of you at all times. So, shut up and pay the damn cashier so I can get the hell out of here… Is there anything worse than someone in front of you in line on the phone an paying no friggin attention at all?! Sorry… I digress.

Here is my review of everything that makes me crazy about this phone, my Samsung SGH-E317. Wait, let me say what I do like about this phone… Um… It can make phone calls. That’s it, that’s the list.

The first thing that makes me absolutely apoplectic is the camera feature. This thing takes pretty craptacular pictures. But, I don’t care about that because I don’t want it to take pictures at all. The engineers, in their infinite wisdom, put a quick access camera button on the side of the phone, so you can take pictures without opening the phone up. Well, gee, that’s terrific. Lord knows how often you need quick grainy shot of something right now! However, they also did not include any way to disable said button. Thus, I have taken probably a thousand pictures of the inside of my pockets over the past 18 months. The straw that broke the back was last week, I picked up my phone from the pocket of my pants and saw that during the night, the button again was depressed, and I had 109 pictures of the inside of my pocket. Even better, the only way to delete these pictures is you have to view the picture, select ‘options’, select ‘delete’, select ‘ok’ and then about 5 seconds later, its deleted. So, I was staring at like 400 button pushes and 10 minutes of pure wait time to delete all of these pictures.

My second gripe is a minor quibble in comparison, but it still makes me crazy. Like I said, I keep my phone on silent/vibrate most of the time. However, occasionally I’m expecting a call and have the audio on. Thus, when I’m heading into a meeting, or a movie or something, I always make sure to change it to ‘silent’ mode again. Well, explain this to me. When you are switching something to silent mode, you are probably already somewhere quiet, right? Well, what does this phone do when you switch into silent mode? It beeps! How much friggin sense does that make!? The very thing you’re trying to avoid! When you bring it out of silent mode, when you’re back where there is some noise most likely… No beep. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

Another minor annoyance is they have chosen to have the option to have an “animated” wall paper for the main screen. Cute. However, this phone doesn’t have enough power to do anything but about 1 frame a second of animation. Thus, the animation, such as it is, looks more like stop motion. Really conveys the feeling that, “this phone is a piece of crap that looks like its about to crash any second”. Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence.

Next, I’ve got a problem with the outside of this phone. This is a flip phone with an external screen and what they call a ‘service light’. This service light blinks once every 5 seconds for absolutely no reason I can discern other than to tell you the phone is ‘on’. More on that light in a minute. The external screen, is black, unless you have the phone open, or you are receiving a call/message/email/etc. But, its only lit for 7 seconds before it goes black again. Now, having the screen off, ok, I can see that. Save battery. I get it. But, there is no way to activate the screen short of opening up the phone. The external buttons do nothing (except activate that goddamn camera). But what really honks me off, is when you may have a missed call, or have a voice mail, text message or something waiting, once the external screen goes off, you’d never know! Nothing. Oh, if you open the phone, it will tell you what you missed, but if you just glance at it? Nothing. Which brings me back to this ‘service light’. This light flashes when the phone is ringing. Terrific! Not much help when the phone is in your pocket, but whatever. I guess my question is, why in the hell doesn’t this light flash to let you know that you missed something? Instead of the standard 5 second “hi, we’re still powered on” light, couldn’t we get a 2 second “woo… Someone tried to contact you… You should open me up and check!” light? I’m no software engineer, but I gotta think about 50 lines of code would make that happen. Instead, they just want to torture me. I have had a missed call and a message on my phone for well over a day because I never opened the damn thing to see that there was anything waiting. “Hey wait a sec? I missed a call last Tuesday!? Son of a….”

I’m sure there are other things for me to bitch about, but I’m done. My new phone, the super stylish Motorola RAZR should be here in a few days, and my long suffering shall come to an end. Or, more likely, I shall simply find something else to vent my hatred about.

Stay tuned!

Net Neutrality

I figured I should add my blogging voice to the growing cacophony in the so-called blogosphere about the subject. I’m sure that most of you have heard about the debate, but I doubt that any of you could really explain what it is all about. Granted, its not your fault. The mainstream media really has no clue as to what this all means, thus, they can’t hardly describe it in any sort of way that makes sense. Really, what this boils down to is that big companies want to have faster access to the internet than regular old joe schmoe. Of course, this completely ignores one of the best features of the internet is its egalitarianism. Every bit of data is treated equally. From the most important piece of email to the least important video clip of someone getting kicked in the balls. It doesn’t matter. A bit, is a bit, is a bit. But, the major corporations want to tell you that THEIR traffic is more important than your traffic. They want to create a tiered internet, with only the exalted few (read: those willing to pay huge fees) will get priority access over all other traffic.

I have a couple clips for you to see, compliments of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It is amazing that although his job is to mock the absolute insanity of our elected officials (of which, there is MORE than enough to go around), he does so in such a way that really makes you see just how asinine some of these people are. First up is a clip about Sen. Ted Stevens, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman, ranting about the ‘internets’. You might have seen this already, but its worth another look.


Here is another piece from the Daily Show. More about the net neutrality debate in congress.


The little inside joke about the PC is that Mac commercial that is on TV… this guy plays the ‘PC’ computer that freezes up.

Anyway, this is a very important issue. This bill wants to fundamentally change the way the internet works. Apparently, what they don’t realize is that the very reason the internet grew so quickly and so successfully is its openness. Another good analogy of this debate can be found here: Paying by the Stroll. This puts the neutrality debate in terms that everyone can understand… a sidewalk.

Anyway, on any one of about a million blogs out there you can find every argument under the sun as to why this is a bad deal. I’m going to defer to people who are far smarter than I am, yet who I agree with. This is a bad idea. Call your congressman and hope they have more technical understanding than your grandpa does.