Ethically bankrupt personas?

One reason I leave my phone number on my blog is so people and friends can call and tell me why they think something is worth paying attention to.

Sam Gentile just called.

I listen when he calls. He's a talented and influential software developer.

What did he call about? Scott Bellware's essay on "Mort or Elvis: A Question for a Bygone Era."

Sam called this the best post of the year on his blog.

I think Sam expected me to defend our developer personas. I won't. Something bothers me about them too. Not the least of which is that I am not even skilled enough to be a Mort. A sub-Mort, if you will. The names sound too elitist. And they are.

It's time to get rid of them. Good call Sam and Scott.

That doesn't mean, by the way, that personas aren't a valuable way to force you to think about your customers and the roles that they play. But these just don't work anymore and the names are horrible.

Yet another example of how naming matters.

Eye-Fi: Solving the digital photography pain

So, if you're like Chris Pirillo you have a large plazma screen in your family room. An Xbox 360 sits next to it. A Media Center is off in the office somewhere else in the house.

OK, we're not all like Chris (I don't have a large screen yet cause I can't afford it, but I'm saving up — the money I save every month on coffee alone that I'm not drinking will probably cover payments on one) but Yuval Koren, CEO of Eye-Fi showed me something that could make my life better.

What's the pain?

Digital cameras. I bought my wife a Nikon S1. It takes an SD memory card. But her computer doesn't have an SD slot. So now anytime she wants to see her pictures she's gotta hook up an SD card contraption that hooks into one of her USB ports. That's OK. But her computer is slow, is upstairs.

We want to look at photos downstairs on our TV (especially once we get that big screen we're saving up for).

Now, if you're a geek (or have one in the house) this is just a minor anoyance. But you have to have a Media Center PC. Hook the SD card reader up to that. Copy all the photos into its Photos folder. And then use the Xbox 360 downstairs to display those photos using the Media Center extender capabilities.

Whew, that's a mouthful. Now, try telling a non-technical person how to do that. "Forget it" will be the answer.

Eye-Fi, WiFi on an SD card

In fact, in my discussions with Doug Rowan (former CEO of Corbis) he tells me that there are many people who never even hook up their digital camera to a computer. Both Doug and Yuval tell me the fastest growing part of the photo business is those "photo printing kiosks" that you see at Costco, Kinkos, or other stores.

Yuval has a better idea. Why not put a little WiFi radio into the SD card and have it automatically send your photos?

What a scenario!

Imagine if I just could turn on my wife's Nikon and have the photos displayed via my Xbox 360 on my new big screen after I get it?

My 360 has WiFi — I bought the WiFi kit that got it on my 802.11 a/b/g network. Most of the time it's just sitting there doing nothing, but with Eye-Fi it could do a lot more.

Yuval Koren, CEO of Eye-Fi

Yuval demonstrated exactly that for me today. He has built a WiFi radio on a chip (it is also a memory card, the one he showed me had 256MB of RAM, but he said Eye-Fi will build a variety of sizes up to 1GB to start). Cost? Pretty affordable. Around $100. Availability? Hopefully this year, he says (it's in alpha testing right now). Funded? Via Angel Funding, looking for more funding as Eye-Fi moves to production.

Seeing this is just inspiring.

Monad gets renamed to PowerShell

Greg Duncan likes the new name: Windows PowerShell.

Hey, a two-word name! Kudos to the marketing department.

Why rename Monad? Well, replace the "M" with a "G" and you can see one theory of why the name had to be changed. I still like Monad, though.

Wikipedia entry on Monad.

I hear the new name will be announced officially tomorrow this morning and that the Monad blog will have more details then.

Don't know what Monad is? Jeffrey Snover, in this Channel 9 video, explains and demos.

Update: the new PowerShell blog is now up.

IE 7 beta 2 out

Fun party last night with the Internet Explorer team. Jeremiah, blogger at Hitachi Data Systems, wrote and did a podcast from the party (famous bloggers and press folks were there, like Om Malik, Steve Gillmor, Mike Arrington). The IE blog has more details and Memeorandum has even more.

I'm interviewing the Hotmail team (er, Windows Live Mail) today, and meeting with a variety of other people and speaking tonight at Pepperdine University's management event in Santa Clara so won't post much today.