Making music with iPad | #gamechanger

There is a lot of marketing talk out there about how the iPad is going to take over. The thing that the naysayers are missing is that the iPad is a remote control, that is also a computer, but still a remote control. WIth that in mind take a look at this video.

Get ready to make some wicked tunes on your iPad! We created a custom Touch OSC templates designed for the iPad. 16 Sample drum pad, and two 26 key keyboard layouts. Each note and pad has been pre-programmed to work with your DAW. You’ll get three custom templates along with the accompanying OSCulator template. Works right out of the box once you connect it to OSCulator. Includes rotary dials and multifaders for using them as MIDI cc’s to control your live effects. Page One 16 Sample Drum Pad. 4 Rotary controllers. 3 Multi-Faders and 1 Pitch Bend. Page Two 26 Key Midi Layout. 6 Rotary controllers. 3 Multi-Faders, 1 Pitch Bend and 1 XY Pad. Page Three 34 Key Midi Layout. 6 Multi-Faders

via Making music with iPad | Pixil.info.

Cateye’s Social Network – World Commute – Measure your Carbon Offset – Verdict: Bridge to Nowhere

by aloshbennett
by aloshbennett

So Cateye has a new product called Cateye Commute. Its a cyclometer that helps you measure your ‘Greenness’ and stuff and it sounds pretty cool. You can read the Wired review of the Cateye Commuter here. I am more interested in the social network that they built to go along with this device – WorldCommute.com.

The basic concept is not new, there are a number of excercise and carbon offset tracking websites out there. However this one seems to combine them both and acts like a Nike+ for bikes. Unfortunately it is not going anywhere.

There are a few basic reasons for this:

  • Publicity
  • Networking

Publicity – External and Internal

No one is talking about this site. How do I know this? Yahoo is currently showing 7,000 backlinks. That is sad. Whats worse is that the top result on Yahoo’s list is cateye.com. In voodoo SEO terms this means the strongest link Cateye is getting for their Social Network is from Cateye. Nice outreach. For a topic this hot there is no reason they shouldn’t have government and educational sites linking to them as a way to take resposibility for your energy use. Send Obama a computer and get him to blog about it on the Whitehouse blog or something…

How commited is Cateye to this project? From looking at the Cateye website and its lack of a mention or link to worldcommute.com I would say not very.  Currently a search for “site:cateye.com world commute” gives a total of 7 results, on a site with over 1400 pages. The product page for the Cateye Commuter has no link to worldcommute.com. (As a side note there is no link to a Youtube video of how to install the Cateye Commute Cyclometer, or how to use it.)

Networking – As in Social

Cateye knows about Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, but for some reason it doesn’t want to connect its own Social Network to them. This is perplexing to say the least. Considering the Privacy issues that they bring up during signup, I really don’t want to give you my birthdate, it makes sense to take advantage of the info that people have already given to their existing networks. Also its a pain in the ass to send an individual invite to each of my friends to get them to join me at WorldCommute.com. With all the latest stuff going on at Facebook and connecting sites together this is a major mistake.

Is there a way to sync the info from the Cateye Commute to my computer for upload to worldcommute.com? I assume no as there is no mention of this on the product page. This is a big miss as well considering the rise in various tracking methods on iPhones and Blackberries like Nike+ and AllSport GPS.

Conclusion

Cateye is taking a good direction here in terms of broadening their audience and message but in the end no one is going to use worldcommute.com as it is currently setup. There are 105 groups on the site but each one that I scanned over had less than 5 members. Cateye can make this a success if it can link their Cateye Commute Cyclometer to the site and connect worldcommute.com to the rest of the internet better. If you are running the show at Cateye I would love to talk further on this and help make it a success in exchange for some cash.

Free your Finances – Wesabe one Week in

So I have been using Wesabe for a week now and am really enjoying it. After getting over the initial paranoia of putting my bank info into a 3rd party service its been a veery eye opening experience. The final jump that got me over this part was reading their ‘Data Bill of Rights’, I am firmly based in the philosophy of The Cluetrain Manifesto and The Cathedral and the Bazaar and it seems this group has that focus down very well. Here is a video interview with the founders.

After uploading my bank content I then had to identify my purchases by 1) giving them a name that made sense and 2) tagging them with, well, tags. For #1 I am referring to how your bank gives you these awesomely unuseful names for your purchases, like: MC-Shell-Mazatlan-Hegel-1234Columbine-#$haha which means you used your Debit Card at the Shell down the street for gas. The cool thing is that once you name one purchase from that location all of them are updated! For #2 I am referring to the tag craze that web2.0 has brought upon us all. If you use del.icio.us or flickr then you know what these are and if you don’t its not a big deal. Basically you are putting some general names to your purchases so that Wesabe can group them together for you. So for a gas purchase I am gonna use – gas, car, transport. These tags are also applied to all purchases made at that location. If you want to apply specific tags to individual purchases you can do that for example – game, fellas – for the time you went to a baseball game with your buds and had to get gas.

This part takes some work but the way Wesabe is setup with all its super slick web2.0 scripting makes it really fast and kinda fun. I had some 200 entries updated in just 2-20 minute sessions. Once you have done all of this though you are in business as you will have to update occasionally as you make purchases at different places and maybe for the one time tags, but now you can start analyzing your spending and earnings in a nice and quick fashion. The more you use the tags effectively the better your analysis becomes. So be sure to put food on both restaurant and grocery purchases so that you can see how they lump together and separetly. You can then review all of the regular analysis – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. This is fairly normal budgeting stuff, but I like the format and the video game feel of the site, though the responsiveness can be a bit sluggish at times.

Getting back to the progressive stance of the site there is a recent post from one of their investors talking about the recent addition of a Tips section. This allows you to compare where you are making purchases and where other Wesabe users are making there’s to figure out if you are getting the goods or the shaft. “Great” you say “but there are tons of places to do this.” True and here is what the VC says:

The difference between user contributed reviews and actual user spending data is in some ways obvious and in other ways subtle, but profound. On the obvious side, the first thing Joshua Schachter, the founder of del.icio.us said to me, when I mentioned the idea was “how cool – you can’t spam it”. There are lots of reasons why someone might slant a review, but how many folks would buy more shoes just to promote a shoe store. The subtle distinction is more interesting. Someone could give a fancy, expensive restaurant a five star review after visiting only once. That review will be helpful to some, but others might find it a lot more useful to know that the anonymous reviewer of the five star restaurant ate there only once, but visits the unpretentious Italian place down the street five or six times a month.

and continues…

With the announcement of the new Wesabe Tips tab, the company has enabled consumers to anonymously share spending and satisfaction data, shifting forever the balance of power between merchants and consumers in favor of consumers. By waiting until they could offer the convenience of automatic uploading without compromising their users ownership of their data, they have reinforced their reputation as a trusted partner.

Wesabe also lets you take your data with you at anytime as stated in the Data Bill of Rights listed above. This means they are really interested in the Open Source Model of making things happen. As another blogger points out:

The key for Wesabe, is that they have turned that data over to consumers, and redress the balance of information power that has existed. Banks know everything about consumers, and not vice versa; Banks are paternalistic towards consumers, and that is in large part a result on unequal information and knowledge.

This is very cool stuff. Add to that the long standing Goals and Groups function and you have a very interactive and engaging tool to help people with their finances. Sure there are more powerful tools out there and of course any accountant worth her salt will tell you that Excel is all you need, but I am not a power user nor am I an accountant. I am not a checkbook balancer except in my head so Wesabe is a welcome tool for me and those like me, who are many. Oh and for those Mac users, like me, they got a Widget!

More Reading:
Good article at lifehacker
-comments from co-founder Marc Hedlund, Wesabe
VC talking about wesabe new features
-had link to site below
VC of wesabe talking about tips feature
-Brad Burnham
Wired article from 2006
“Imagine Quicken in a web interface with the tagging powers of Flickr and you’ll pretty much have Wesabe pegged.”
Wesabe faq

Super techy stuff you can do with Wesabe:
Something grabbing the API
Wesabe API with the Mac App Quicksilver

A Blogshop in Chandler of all places!

Just got out of a really fun workshop Stop, Blog and Roll! with Biray. It was a really good intro to the subject and Biray is not only very knowledgeable about the topic but also a great presenter. She definitely has passion for blogging and getting others to do it.

This was fun because its a topic that I know a lot about and its always nice to meet others with that passion. While I still havent completely figured out what Desertstandard is about I have a refreshed energy to keep going.