Obsolete skills

Francine Hardaway is here and we’re talking about obsolete skills. Things we used to know that no longer are very useful to us. Here’s some we came up with. How many can you come up with?

1. Dialing a rotary phone.
2. Putting a needle on a vinyl record.
3. Changing tracks on an eight-track tape.
4. Shorthand.
5. Using a slide rule.
6. Using carbon paper to make copies.
7. Developing film/photos.
8. Changing the ball or ribbon on your Selectric Typewriter.
9. Getting off the couch to change channels on your TV set.
10. Adjusting the rabbit ears on your TV set.
11. Changing the gas mixture on your car’s carburetor.

By the way, the domain “obsoleteskills.com” is still available. I almost registered it, but how about if one of you does that and put a wiki there so we can keep track of all of the things we know that are pretty much useless now?

UPDATE: somebody put up a Wiki which is really cool.

Cool face detection software

Really cool face detection software

Gavin Longhurst, Vice President of Business Development for BigWorld Technology, showed me some cool new face detection software, called “Seeing Machines,” yesterday at the Stanford University Metaverse Summit, which I got onto my Qik channel via my cell phone. They are preparing to show this technology off at the Game Developer Conference which is in San Francisco next week. He explains in the video why this is significant. It’s the coolest thing I saw at the summit yesterday.

Revision 3's hot new studio

You’ve heard of Diggnation or the GigaOm show, right? Well, my friend Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision 3, the folks who do a range of Internet video shows, including Diggnation, invited me over for their 4 p.m. Friday video afternoon.

Revision 3's Friday afternoon staff meeting

On the screen? Gary Vaynerchuk’s daily wine video blog. They watch video (here’s my own really short video that gives you a sneak peak into the room) from around the Internet together as a team. Really smart to do. Jim gets lots of interesting ideas from his team this way and they can see their reactions — as a group — to new stuff. Then they showed off some pilots of things they are working on which were pretty cool too, to gauge whether or not they were ready to share with you all.

On the table? A $9 bottle of wine that Gary was talking about on screen. It was damn good and that guy Gary is damn crazy. Fun video blog to watch.

Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision 3, shows me around the studio

Anyway, after the videos were done Jim gave me a tour of the studio. He noted that cameras are much cheaper now (Jim was one of the guys who started ZDTV, which became TechTV, which is where Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, got his popularity), less than $10,000 when they used to cost $100,000. He also noted that the tripods the cameras sat on haven’t changed much in price.

They have several sets, one for each show, and a workshop where they can build new stuff for the sets. A separate control room looks in. He showed me how much lower cost that each of those are now that they are powered by a Mac Pro, which, while still expensive, are an order of magnitude less expensive than the computers that older studios are built with.

Fun to see inside one of the new media businesses that’s doing interesting stuff.

What do you think about Revision 3′s shows?

Love for MacBookAir grows

Mitch Kapor's new MacBookAir gets passed around

Everyone I meet who has a MacBook Air loves them. I agree with Daring Fireball that Apple might have a hit on its hands, but it’ll take a while to happen. More people need to see it face-to-face. Ponzi, Chris Pirillo’s wife, is over here with hers and now I think there are two of them in our future. Sigh. Steve Jobs wins again.

Yesterday I was at the Metaverse Summit where Mitch Kapor was passing his around. Notice the smiles as people pick it up for the first time.