Critical Section

Sunday,  08/07/05  10:13 AM

Zopa!Scott Loftesness discovers Zopa, person-to-person lending.  I find this fascinating; could be an interesting business.  It is U.K. -only at this point, but I wonder if something like this could be done in the U.S.?  (If nothing else, they have a cool logo :)

Ah, the issue of Photoshop vs. untouched, yes.  A photo is already not the truth; merely a representation of it.  I have this discussion with Aperio customers all the time.  They scan a microscope slide, creating a digital image.  Is the image "the truth"?  Some people want to have the raw bits, with no corrections, no enhancements, no compression.  I sympathize with this desire, and in fact we do everything we can to ensure the image is as accurate as possible.  But the corrections, enhancements, compression, etc. add value, they are not distorting the truth.  And what is more - even looking through a microscope is creating an image.

shuttle astronaut self-portraitThis is one heck of a cool photo.  "Astronaut Steve Robinson turns the camera on himself during his historic repair job "underneath" Discovery on August 3.  The Shuttle's heat shield, where Robinson removed a pair of protruding gap fillers, is reflected in his visor."  You must click through to see it at full resolution.  [ via Xeni Jardin ]

Ottmar Liebert has released a new track in his Listening Lounge, and it's awesome.  "A new album in the ListeningLounge in which I will collect odd songs that did not fit on the albums they were recorded for.  First up a song I recorded for La Semana..."  Ottmar's "misfits" would be the best song on many another artist's album :)

Final Ottmar note: he has a mini tour planned for September in California.  Excellent!

Traffic for TreoThere's this new app out for the Treo: Traffic.  It sounded awesome, realtime traffic information for Los Angeles!  What could be better than that?  So of course I downloaded and installed it, and it works okay, but...  First, it is slow.  Too slow.  And second, it is not handheld friendly.  You actually have to use your stylus, what fool thought of that?  And finally the information is just interesting, not really useful.  The granularity of the reports is too large to allow you to take evasive action.  [ via Sean Bonner ]

I guess I'll have to wait until there is realtime traffic information in my GPS unit - now that would be cool...

Robert X. Cringley notes there's more to the Apple - Intel deal than met the eye.  And even so it was eye-opening.  His bottom line: It's all about video, which is what I speculated, too.  (Maybe I was right, after all?)  First we get the video iPod, then the Apple video store...

I thought this was pretty funny: Napster loses $19M on revenues of $21M.  Can you spell "dot-com"?  Yes, I thought you could.  "Napster chairman and CEO Chris Gorog stressed the positive news: 'Napster continues to make strong progress as we recorded our fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth.'"  This is the new Napster, a legal DRM-crippled service, not to be confused with the old Napster, an illegal file sharing service.  I bet there are any number of business which could record double-digit growth losing $1 on each $1.  [ via Cory Doctorow ]

I remember back in 1999 I joked about, a new site which gave away dollars for fifty cents.  A customer acquisition cost of just fifty cents!  How can you beat that!  (Did you ever think we'd say "back in 1999"?  Seems like a long time ago!  Anyway.)

Some Longtailmanship, from Chris Anderson: Pre-filters vs. Post-filters, and Filters 101.  The idea being, when you have a long tail, it isn't valuable unless you can find what you want, and for that, you need filters.  Filters are an instance of Tools, which is one of the business opportunities presented by the Long Tail.  In fact, some of the most value is created there, see Yahoo! and Google, for example, which really are just tools for filtering the Long Tail of the internet.  Finally, Chris considers Do you really need a Head to have a Tail?  He says "yes" but I'm not sure; wouldn't the Internet be just as interesting without large anchor sites like Amazon and eBay?  I think it would...  Anyway I love this stuff, check it out!

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