Daily Archives: January 19, 2007

CES: Paradise for geeks, but how about investors?

One of the most interesting interviews I had at CES was with Jim Jones, who is managing director at Scale Venture Partners who was at the Consumer Electronics Show to see if he could find any new companies to invest in. Mostly he’s there to look at trends to see what economic drivers will be there that’ll cause openings for new companies. Jim’s focus is on semiconductors and consumer electronics, so he’s pretty informed on gadgets and trends.

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Come photowalking in Sacramento on Sunday

Thomas Hawk and I are going photowalking on Sunday in Sacramento, and you’re invited.

Before we get into that, I just read Thomas’ rant about Oprah Winfrey, exploiting a sexually-abused kidnap victim. I agree with Thomas. Totally disgusting. Shame on Oprah.

Anyway, back to photowalking. We’ll meet at the front door of the California Railroad Museum (largest in the world, if you haven’t been, it’s a real treat) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Bring a tripod. Shooting inside is very difficult if you don’t have a tripod. Flash is OK, but unless you can do off-camera flash, with multiple heads, it will lead to unsatisfactory results. We’ll have a few surprises, plus I have a stack of Seagate 8GB Compact Flash cards to give away, so we’ll have a photo contest on the spot where everyone will decide who made the best images of the day.

If you need a ride, let me know. You could ride in my “car of the year” car.

2007 Scoblecars

So, since we have three 2007 cars in our family, thought I’d write my thoughts down.

Maryam’s BMW 325i cost about $40,000. My dad’s new hybrid Toyota Camry cost about $35,000. My new Saturn Aura cost about $25,000.

Which one is best?

That’s hard to pick, because it depends on price level (it’s unfair to compare a $40,000 car with a $25,000 one).

Best headlamps? BMW and Toyota (they turn when you turn and are the new gas-based ones that are bluer in color than regular lamps and brighter, too).
Best rear seats? Saturn. Much more room than the other two and having a separate back-seat radio is killer for Patrick.
Best technology? Toyota. It’s a hybrid.
Best key? Tie between Toyota and BMW. UPDATE: my brother reminded me that the Toyota lets you start the car from outside the car, without even inserting the key, so the Toyota wins the coolest key award. The BMW key is also the FOB, Saturn’s has two separate pieces, the FOB and the key.
Best handling? BMW.
Best ride? Very hard to tell the difference. Want to have a “is HDTV sharper” debate? Heheh.
Best gas mileage? Toyota, cause of hybrid.
Best brand name? Toyota for everyday buyers, BMW for higher end.
Coolest touch? LED lights under the handles on our BMW.
Best stereo? The Saturn came with XM Satellite radio built in. The others didn’t. Sound quality wise, very hard to tell, all three cars have awesome stereos.
Car I’d choose if money were no object? BMW.
Car I’d choose if money WERE an object? Saturn.
Car I’ll probably get laughed at most when driving into Silicon Valley country club? Saturn.
Quietest inside? Toyota, due to hybrid engine, closely followed by Saturn. BMW is noiser.
Best geek car? Toyota, due to nav system and hybrid.
Best tires? BMW (no flats). At least until they wear out, then you’ll question the $400 per tire cost.
Best dashboard design? Saturn, although if you like something that makes you think of Star Trek, the Toyota is pretty cool.
Most chick appeal? BMW. Maryam says she ain’t giving hers up.
Most iPod/Zune friendly? Not sure. I haven’t found the aux input on Toyota or Saturn yet. Patrick says the back seat satellite radio rocks, though. I have a feeling he’s listening to the R-rated comedy channel.
Safest? I don’t know, but I believe both the BMW and Saturn have six airbags and anti-lock brakes.
Resale value? I bet the Toyota will be easiest to resell, Saturn hardest.
Coolest looking? BMW, hands down. Both the Camry and Aura are boring family mobiles.

Anyway, enough about cars for a while.

Oh, regarding driving, Maryam officially became a Scoble today as we got our new drivers licenses and she opted to put Scoble on hers. That’ll save everyone from asking her how she says Ghaemmaghami. :-)

Just bought car of the year

I just purchased a Saturn Aura. My dad bought a new Toyota Camry, but the Aura is nicer performing, quieter, and Patrick says it’s nicer (I think the backseat headphones convinced him). More later, gotta sign the paperwork.

One reason I came into Saturn? Someone from Saturn invited me into a dealership after reading my blog. That’s an interesting sales technique. Imagine a company that has a “invite a blogger” division that contacts bloggers. Oh, this isn’t a one-off, either. Saturn sponsored BlogHer last year. That sponsorship just turned into a sale. I do support businesses that support us.

Another factor? Matt Kelly, who works for PodTech, was at the Detroit Auto Show last week and said the Saturn was the best by a mile (here’s Matt’s reports on Saturn). It sure is better than the Honda Civic, which Maryam and I test drove lately too.

And I couldn’t be like Chris Pirillo and buy an Acura. Heheh.

Color? It’s black.

Technology? Not much, when compared to other cars, no nav system or anything like that. Why? I’m a cheap baaaahhhhssstttaaarrrddd.

UPDATE: Steve Powell, director of Colma Saturn, says my car actually has navigation built in through OnStar. Very cool.

YouTube pulling down posts

JD Lasica had a post removed from YouTube the other day. It’s not the first time. Rabbit Bites had a parody of Oprah pulled after one of Oprah’s lawyers complained to YouTube (they didn’t even email the show to get their side of story — parody is acceptable under US copyright law).

If you don’t see more posts from me today, it’s not due to YouTube. Maryam and I have a ton of chores to do to get ready for going to the LIFT conference in Switzerland.

Some CES cleanup: if you won in the Seagate contest we ran leading up to CES, can you contact Maryam with your street address and we’ll send out your prize? maryam@podtech.net.

Anyway, have a great Friday!