An idea I’ve been thinking about for a while and looking for an opportunity to do is a “flash conference” along the lines of the flash mobs that were so popular a few years ago.
Here’s how it would work…
Some event happens that focuses the attention of bloggers, one where there’s a lot of ground to cover and at least two or three different ways to view it, one where the combined expertise of 5 or 10 bloggers would make a big difference.
The event would last at most 3 hours, would be webcast live, and be edited into a 1 hour program within 24 hours.
As many of us are waiting for delivery of Leopard, the new Mac OS, it seems that this may be an opportunity for such a conference.
We’d have to find a facility in San Francisco that could house this. There would need to be room for 20 or 30 people, and it must also have decent networking.
Then the question of who would we turn to for expert opinions.
1. A Mac software developer.
2. A gadget blogger (Engadget, Gizmodo, etc).
3. A creative artist (it is a Mac after all).
A USB-DAC connects through the USB port to a Mac or PC, and to an amplifier and speakers. Apparently you can get much higher quality sound from your computer, for as little as $200 with the Stereo-Link 1200. I didn’t know these products existed until I heard a report on the Tech Talk podcast, and read the article in today’s NYT.
Seems like I’m going to have to buy one. Amazon doesn’t carry them. Not sure where to buy.
Later: Not so fast…
Update from Kevin Newman: “If your audio receiver has optical digital inputs, and your computer has optical digital audio output, connecting them digitally allows the receiver to do the D-to-A conversion. If you have an expensive receiver, it already has nice converters. That would almost certainly sound better than taking the analog minijack output from your computer. I’m not sure how the sound would compare to one of the external DACs listed in the article, but a digital connection is less clutter and less expensive.”
Postscript: Newman was right. I have a good Denon receiver (the one with the integrated HTTP server) that has several optical inputs on the back, and when I replaced the analog cable connecting the Mac Mini to the receiver with a digital cable, the increase in quality was incredible. There are physical sensations to recorded music that I had never experienced before. I have some flac recordings and I ran those through the new setup and was blown away.
Illustration: The important thing about the back panel is that there are four optical (digital) inputs, which are compatible with the digital output of the Mac. So when you play an MP3 from the Mac, and connect to the receiver with the optical cable, the D-to-A conversion is done by the receiver. The Mac is $500 of computer hardware (and damn good at what it does) and the Denon is $2K of audio hardware, and also very good. This setup lets each system do what it does best. The result is stunning sound. Really hard to explain how good it is.
First, let me gloat.
My investment is now worth $54,933.
That’s 10.5 percent growth in less than a month.
I bought the stock because I was going to buy everything Apple sold from now until forever. The last product I had yet to purchase was the company’s stock. That was a mistake. The beauty of owning the stock is that you can use the increase in value to fund the hardware habit. So far so good. :-)
My very dear friend Sylvia Paull bought an iPod a month ago. In a blog post today she calls it a gateway drug. Having read early reviews of the new operating system, she’s ready to buy a 24 inch iMac.
I recognize the signs.
It’s like a virus I tell you.
PS: I just checked on at the Apple store. My family pack of Leopard has shipped, and will arrive tomorrow by 10:30AM. Now that’s cool! No penalty for ordering online vs visiting the store. Way to go.
Now that Microsoft has invested in Facebook, I’m reminded of a poem an anonymous correspondent wrote when I was working with Microsoft in the late 90s.
There once was a lady from Niger who smiled as she rode on a tiger. They returned from the ride with the lady inside and the smile on the face of the tiger.
It didn’t turn out that way then and might not turn out that way now, but it’s still a cute poem. :-)
Which is a more interesting platform — Facebook or Firefox?
This was a topic of conversation at the Web 2.0 Summit last week in SF, not on stage, but in a LobbyConversation between myself and venture capitalist Bijan Sabet.
Bijan Sabet: “I like that Firefox developers don’t have to live in a world where they lie awake at night worried that the platform company is going to make life hard for them.”
What do you think??