Posts from May 2004

Bonded Sender

The Spam weblog at WeblogsInc has a piece on the negative reaction to Microsoft’s Bonded Sender program in which marketers “pay” to get through spam filters.

The gist of the negative reaction is that the program lines the pockets of Microsoft but doesn’t do anything to rid inboxes of spam that is currently getting through.

I think that reaction is a bit shortsighted. Spam filters are going to get better and better. They will continue to tighten the noose on spammers. My mail box is certainly a lot better off than it was a year ago. I am fairly certain that’s true of everyone who is using a good spam filter today.

The problem Bonded Sender is trying to solve is the false positive problem, which is growing. Read Seth Godin’s recent post on the false positive problem.

This guy from the Seattle Times says, “Maybe my idea of screening is to have a mailbox with no marketing messages at all.”

That’s not my idea of a good outcome. I get messages from ticketmaster, eBay, my bank, my phone company, and many more “marketers” that I completely and totally rely on. They are a critical part of my routine. And I am sure that I am not alone in this behavior.

So I applaud Microsoft for trying to tackle the false positive problem. Bonded Sender may not be the best solution, but its a step in the right direction.

#VC & Technology

Cable's Killer App

I was reading Rafat Ali today and his post on AOL’s MyMC cable channel got me thinking about a killer app for cable operators.

I use Music Choice on my DirecTV service all the time. I have the reciever connected directly into my multi-room audio system so I can play MusicChoice in any room that has audio. The various channels are pretty good. I personally like Channel 820 on my service which is the Progressive/Adult Alternative channel (Music Choice channel 10). I can also see song/artist/title information scroll across my TV screen which is a nice feature.

I thought I was one of the few people who actually used this service. But yesterday i was at my friends Steve and Vanessa’s apartment and they were playing Music Choice on their Time Warner digital cable service. They were listening to the Country music channel.

Then today, my wife Joanne, The Gotham Gal, told me how much she likes the Rhapsody service i installed on her computer over the weekend. She is really digging the new Morrissey disc.

So it wasn’t too surprising that it hit me reading Rafat’s post. The killer app for cable operators is a Rhapsody like service delivered over cable like Music Choice is. Why doesn’t that exist?

#VC & Technology

Broken Engagement

For those of you who were reading my blog last fall, you know that I am a big fan of General Wes Clark. He was my favorite of the Democrat presidential candidates. I am fine with the choice of John Kerry, but I thought then and still think that Wes Clark’s strong views on how we need to fight the war on terrorism are right on the money.

So with that, I send you to Wes’ most recent piece on this subject which was printed in the Washington Monthly this month. He makes the case that the war on terror and the related desire to bring freedom and democracy to the middle east is not something we can do with guns and bullets. He argues for a strategy like the one we used to fight Communism.

#Politics

Being There

My first thought was of the brilliant Peter Sellers movie when I read this Michael Moore quote about scenes in Fahrenheit 9/11 right before Bush declared war – “In your wildest dreams you couldn’t have imagined Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 second before declaring war, with grave decisions and consequences at stake. But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave.”

#Politics

Charting Bush

When I first started in the venture business i worked in a firm where one of the senior partners was a guy who always charted stocks. I learned a lot about stocks from him. He would draw trend lines, show me breakouts, gaps up, gaps down, etc. I never fully got the gist of the stuff he was doing, but i came away from this whole learning experience thinking that the stock chart was something you should always consider in an overall evaluation of a stock. I do not think charts are stupid as some people think. I believe they are predictive in some important ways.

bush_chartSo with the preamble, please look at this chart of George W Bush’s approval ratings. I can’t draw the trend lines and don’t know what this says. But I want to know if there are any chartists out there who can. If so, please comment on this post and tell me what this means for Bush.

I got this chart from Brad Feld who got it from his partner Greg.

#Politics