Music + Technology + Random Nonsense from the Music Industry by Ethan Kaplan, VP Product, Live Nation

Thumb Regions


I made a 1:1 scale cardboard iPad to start thinking about ways we can use it for artists and music in general. Some of the findings from playing with it on this scale are that interactivity on the device is really going to come down to what you do with one or both thumb regions in every orientation.

I traced my thumb boundaries in both orientations here and it will be interesting to see what developers do with these primary interactive regions, especially with gaming. I can imagine main controls on the left or right thumb, with contextual controls for your other hand and directional through accelerometer.

A lot of possibilities for sure.

The guards in the tower…

Google wants to kill anonymity. So does Facebook. Their business models depend on it. They want to kill anonymity more than privacy, but if they continue to kill privacy context, people will continue to be up in arms.

[From A Latter Day Panopticon? *or* Is Google trying to kill privacy? at Brian Conley's News & Notes]



An anecdote:

I have a friend who is more interested in being a spectator on the Internet than a participant. He and I talk at length about Twitter, Facebook, etc and I’ve worked with him on projects involving social media in the past. He has never held an account however.

This friend told me the other day he signed up for Twitter, but wanted to see if he could remain just a spectator, not participant. Hidden and not in the fray.

It took me seven days to find him on Twitter. 0 followers, 0 tweets, 0 following.

It is the panopticon, and the guards are watching.

Thoughts on the iPad

My thoughts on the iPad are similar to my thoughts on the iPhone upon its first release: its about the possibilities of the hardware, not the software itself. It’s about the modality of the device rather than the specifics of what we think others will use it for.

The iPhone on its first ever release, with 1.0 software had barely one screen of applications. It had no Exchange support, no push e-mail, no copy/paste, very little in the way of batch operations. It was a template for what the device could be, applied to hardware that held its promise.

The iPad is the same thing. From what we’ve seen, in terms of the mode of its representation, it fits exactly what we saw from the iPhone: an empty screen of apps coupled to hardware which at once seems obvious and new.*

All the criticism points to the “do I need this.” That isn’t the right question to ask. The right question to as is “what can this do?”

Software wise, iPhone OS 3.2 has the same limitations as 3.1.2, just with more screen. TO focus on that is missing the point completely. We all know, without a doubt that multitasking is coming, as is a higher pixel density on the basic iPhone. We know that a lot of what is valued from Android and other platforms will make its way to the iPhone and iPad. We know this for the same reason we all knew that when iPhone OS 1.0 was released, an app-store was coming, as well as copy/paste.

Why isn’t it here now? Because its not perfect. The same reason the iPad hasn’t come until now. The same reason that the iPhone copy/paste didn’t come for a bit.

Now, the iPad. The fact that people are spending so much virtual ink about “do we need this, do people need this?” misses the point. People didn’t need a better phone. A phone was a phone. And yet, people need and covet their iPhone. The iPhone has transcended what people judged it on: a PDA and a phone. It has become a general purpose device more in line with the usage of netbooks than phones. The iPad likewise will transcend what people are judging it by.

My parents, wife and others all expressed their intrinsic “want” for the device. They want it because (for my mom), it’ll be great for reading and browsing the web without overhead of a laptop when on a plane or at home. For my dad, its a simple way to do what he does most with a computer. For me, it’ll be a great home automation device, Slingplayer, lights controller, Sonos controller, Facebook/Email device for my wife and e-book reader.

It’s telling when the results of a product release is more confusion than jubilation. Confusion leads to innovation as people try to wrestle with a concept. The iPad just opened up twice as many pixels and many times the amount of processor power to the promise and concept of innovation.

I can’t wait to get started working on it.

* The lack of a camera on this device and the iPod Touch are befuddling though.

The World Doesn’t Need Tech Pundits

What surprises me most about the excitement and early analyst sales projections: No one is talking about addressable market.”

[From The world doesn't need an Apple tablet, or any other | Betanews]

What bothers me about this article is that it assumes no one uses tablet computers right now. That is a flat out lie. They do. They are Kidle’s, iPhones, Android phones, Archos’, etc.

THe modality of the experience is what makes a tablet a tablet, not simply the screen size or marketed application.

The Kindle itself is probably the most popular tablet computer out there right now. It is a single purpose, underpowered tablet for sure, but a tablet none the less. To say it’s just trying to be an e-book reader ignores the fact that Amazon has more than just E-Book’s in it, and more than just E-Book aspirations for it.

The Apple iTablet Whatever will be a further push into the market they have already established with their first tablet computer: the iPod Touch.

Oh my lord…

From Read Write Web, which I normally like a lot…

Author: Ravit Lichtenberg is the founder and chief strategist at — a boutique consultancy focusing on helping companies succeed. Ravit works with CEOs, marketing groups, and Social Media managers to craft customer-centric engagement strategies that result in higher customer value, stronger customer community, improved monetization, and higher profitability. Ravit authors a blog at

[From What's Wrong with Facebook? When Strategy Fails to Meet Execution - ReadWriteWeb ]

I took a shot with every buzz word here and I’m in a stupor on the floor. If this is what passes for “content” I want my newspapers back.

What I Like About SXSW Part 1

Last night made apparent what I liked about SXSW the most. I floated between six different parties, starting out with one group of people and ending up with an entirely different. As much as the bubble like universe the tech community inhabits annoys me, I like the fact that the community is so fluid, resting on ideas and interest as much as stratified by the normal social structures.


Last night at the R.E.M. Tribute after party, I met a cardiovascular surgeon and a med student who were sitting near where I was, super excited to have met Michael Stipe and seen R.E.M. and others perform that evening. We talked about what I do for a living.

They said they were envious of me, as I get to do “these things” often (I don’t).

Come on now Dr. Cardiologist. YOU DO OPEN HEART SURGERY.

I am responsible in my tenure in music for keeping Paris Hilton’s site online, among other things.

You win.