Live video from VentureBeat recession impact on startup event

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We’re broadcasting live video on from the second session of VentureBeat’s roundtable on the economic impacts on startups of the recession right now. We’ll try to have the recording up, but during the first session we had a problem that deleted the stream that we’re trying to figure out right now.

On stage in second session:

Max Levchin, the Slide founder and PayPal co-founder who helped lead that company through the first IPO after the last bubble popped;

Jason Calacanis, the Sequoia-backed founder of Mahalo and writer of a controversial letter predicting doomsday for the vast majority of Web 2.0 start-ups. Shortly afterward, Sequoia stirred the valley by holding a mandatory meeting for the CEOs of its portfolio companies.

AllThingDigital’s Kara Swisher.

Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic.

Nirov Tolia, ePinions founder.

Qik supports Blackberry for live video

Funny, I couldn’t Qik this video. Why? It was embargoed until tonight. So, I used a Flip camera instead of my Nokia phone.

But Qik is moving fast to support the most handsets out there.

For the people who don’t know what Qik does it lets you broadcast live video from your cell phone.

Anyway, a whole team of Russians made this because it’s hard to get video access on a Blackberry. In the video you meet the team behind Qik.

Want to read up on the moves instead of watch a video? Here are some others who’ve written about this news:


And, of course, you can talk more about Qik on FriendFeed.

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The glass half full business conference

Are you depressed about the market? Well, just think of all that we have that costs nothing!

Here, Mitch Joel put together a whole conference for you. Costs nothing. Just grab a glass of wine and watch.

It reminded me of how much I love TED Talks. Watch the video of famous conductor Benjamin Zander, it’ll get your mood lifted.

After that, why don’t you visit the Library of Congress to see how they are saving our old photos and putting them onto Flickr for you to peruse. Don’t think social media matters to something as stodgy as the Library of Congress? Think again!

Our stocks might be worthless, but at least we have good free stuff to watch on the Internet.

That’s the “cup is half full” approach to life.

Making better Facebook video 606 pixels at a time

Yesterday I did a couple of interviews at Facebook’s headquarters that’ll be up over the next couple of weeks. But in between I stopped at Chris Putnam’s desk. I’ve known him since he was 16, living in Atlanta (he showed me a web service he built so that people on the Internet could listen to him practice his piano). Anyway, he’s the guy who built Facebook’s video system. Interesting that he has three monitors on his desk. One of which shows how many videos are sitting in a queue waiting to be encoded.

That got me to ask him what’s some things that would help his encoder out and also give you the best possible quality on Facebook for video.

He said that making your videos 606 pixels across would keep his encoder from having to scale down your video size. I did a Google search on 606 pixels and haven’t found anyone else that’s shared that data.

Which shows one of the reasons I blog: to get things into Google so I can pull them out later.

Ahh, the interesting things you learn by asking questions of the geeks who build the technologies we all use. Thanks Chris and Facebook for a most interesting day yesterday.

Streaming video comes to iPhone…

I just got a note that Qik just shipped into beta on the iPhone. I’ll be testing this out and will let you know what I think. One thing, the quality isn’t expected to be as good as what I get on my Nokia phones for two reasons:

1. The compression is being done in software on the iPhone, where on Nokia phones there’s hardware support for that.
2. The camera isn’t close to as good, particularly in low light.

But, that said, lots of people only have iPhones, and don’t have Nokia phones, so this will let a lot of people do streaming video from their cell phones that couldn’t do it before.

One thing: if you do this, it’ll probably really drain your batteries (my Nokias only last about 40 minutes when I do streaming video) so beware of that if you try to stream something long.

UPDATE: One big thing is you need to jailbreak your iPhone before you can load this app. That’s very unfortunate because most people will not jailbreak their phones.

Getting things done over at FastCompanyTV

If you haven’t checked into FastCompanyTV lately, we’ve been posting up a storm of innovative people.

David Allen, best-selling author of Getting Things Done, tells us how to get more done.
Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords, shows me how to use Mind Mapping software and tons of other tools to become more productive.
Philip J. Kuekes, computer architect on the quantum science research team at HP Labs shows me how they are finding new ways to make processors and memory a lot smaller and power efficient. Does he make you feel like you are a few brain cells down on him? I always get inspired and wish I studied more math and science in school when I meet guys like Philip.
Senator Tom Coburn tells me why he likes bloggers, among other things. This was part of our whirl-wind tour of Washington DC.
Microsoft Senior Vice President, Chris Capossela, tells me how they are going to keep all office workers from going to Zoho or Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Seriously, he laid out what Microsoft Office team is trying to do to bring collaborative features into the most-used of Office suites.
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein talks to me about a variety of issues, including child protection, which is what he’s most passionate about.
Congressman Tim Ryan talks to me about Twittering from the House of Representatives. Among other things. Heck, did you catch that a Democrat is now proposing that we build nuclear power plants and get people to buy electronic cars? We wouldn’t have had THAT conversation a decade ago.

Whew, and there’s more smart people to listen to over on FastCompanyTV too.

The most hated man in America? (the cable guy)

Before I started the interview with Kyle McSlarrow, CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, I joked with him that he’s the most hated man in America, because everyone hates their cable company. He took that in stride and we dug in and talked about the state of broadband, how USA compares to Korea and other countries, and all sorts of issues like what cable is becoming and what his view of the technology industry is.

This is one of the Washington DC interviews we did.

We hear a lot of villification of this group in the media, so it’s nice to sit down and hear his point of view on a wide range of things. I love how he blamed me for using too much bandwidth at one point at about 17 minutes into the video.

Compare his responses on broadband and network neutrality to those from when I interviewed Representative Ed Markey or my interview with Representative Zoe Lofgren. You can see a rift, even if it’s a nuanced one.

Discussion of this video has already started on FriendFeed. How about you, what do you think of the interviews we got in Washington DC so far? (a few more are coming soon)

Personally I came away with a lot better impression of the cable industry after this interview. What about you?