Podcasts, Video

Video: DeepFish Mobile Web Browser

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Here’s a 17 minute video I shot today showing off Deepfish, a new mobile web browser from Microsoft’s “Live Labs”. The video shows how Deepfish doesn’t try to squash normal-sized web pages onto your mobile device’s screen, but instead lets you scroll and pan smoothly, and zoom in to the parts of the page you want to read.

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I also compare Deepfish to the default Pocket IE browser that comes with all Windows Mobile devices, so you can see what really makes it different.

This is a beta/tech preview of Deepfish, so there are some rough edges, but it’s a very cool technology – similar to the mobile Safari browser that Steve Jobs showed off on the iPhone.

You can find out more about Deepfish, and sign up to be a tester at labs.live.com/Deepfish/. There’s also another video overview on Microsoft’s Channel 10.

This video was shot with my Canon XH A1 HDV camcorder at 1080i, then edited in Apple iMovie 6 HD and exported as a 320×240 Quicktime video file. It weighs in at 312 MB, and was cropped from 16:9 widescreen to standard 4:3 aspect ratio (and I chopped off the sides of some of the titles/credits in the process – oops!). Here’s a direct download link to the movie file.

Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions! I don’t have any affiliation with Microsoft, but I’ll be happy to help if I can.

Crossposted on the Intel Software Network blog.


Guest blog post for the Intel Core Processor PC Design People’s Choice Challenge

Intel’s running a $1 million PC Design contest around the Core Processor, and as a part of that, there’s a “People’s Choice Challenge” going on. You can vote on the semifinalists, and each week, a voter will be randomly selected to win $100 cash. Pretty cool, huh?

The site and contest are being done by Intel PR and PodTech.net, and the Intel folks involved asked me if I’d be willing to be a “guest blogger” on the site. Humble and self deprecating as I am, I had to decline at first, but they convinced me to do it by offering heaps of money and free gadgets. (not really! πŸ˜‰ )

Anyway, my first post, “the Wife Acceptance Factor” is up now. I don’t know how many more posts I’ll be doing, or even how many more they want, but it’s a cool contest, and hey, a chance to win $100 just for voting on a cool PC design. So check it out, and let me know what you think!


Twitter has sucked the life out of this blog

I haven’t been posting here as much as I would have liked to. I blame Twitter wholly and completely. I’ve been updating there, having conversations, etc. like crazy. So make sure you add me as a friend on Twitter (I’m jabancroft there), or subscribe to my linkblog (which contains, among other things, my updates from Twitter). I’ve also been posting a ton of interesting/cool items to my linkblog that I come across while reading my copious feeds, so if you’re not already, please consider subscribing. That is, if you tend to find the same things interesting that I do. You know who you are. πŸ™‚

I promise to make it worth your while!


Kathy Sierra Getting Death Threats, Internet Reaches New Low

Go read Kathy Sierra’s latest post at Creating Passionate Users, then come back. It’s important.

That post made me feel sick to my stomach. It makes me both sad and angry when people use the shield of anonymity on the internet to do crap like make death threats and other cretinous behavior. It makes me wish that we could, collectively, inflict “good” effects on the world as easily as people like that can inflict “bad” ones, through words, as if by magic.

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This has been all over the Twittersphere, and I’ve included lots of posts on the topic in my linkblog, to raise awareness of the problem. I first heard about it from Stephanie Booth on Twitter, followed shortly by TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington. I started twittering about it, and now, at least, it seems to have become the story of the day. Robert Scoble is going to abstain from blogging for a week in “protest”. He’s one of the most transparent bloggers on the net, making details like his cell phone number, (rough) place of residence, etc. available for the world to see on his blog. Being as high profile as he is, he also gets his share of trolls and comments attacking him and his family.

My cell phone number is posted on my blog, I talk openly about my family our activities, and I can say that I’ve never had anything bad come of being so reachable. Only good things – opportunites, sometimes big ones – have resulted. Sure, I’ve got comment trolls, but I usually just ignore/delete anyone that doesn’t behave in accordance with “the living room rule” here.

My heart goes out to Kathy. This isn’t new behavior – there have been vicious cowards pretty much as long as the human race has existed. Hopefully, these are just idiot kids hiding behind internet anonymity, and not anyone planning actual physical harm (though harm HAS been done to Kathy even through mere threats).

I really, really wish there was something we could do to help/protect Kathy. I guess we bloggers should do what we do best – talk about the issue and raise awareness.


I was featured on Technorati Buzz TV today

And they sent me a nice little email to let me know, and a code snippet to include here:

They were talking about the surprises that can appear on your cell phone bill if you Twitter too much, and talked about my last post, showing my most recent Cingular bill (though I have an unlimited SMS plan, so I didn’t have to pay for all of those individually).And my head keeps getting bigger and bigger… πŸ˜‰


The Twitter Effect

The Twitter Effect, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.

This is how many text messages Cingular said I sent and received last month. That, and they list out every data access session (which is in use pretty much constantly for email and Exchange Activesync). The bill was 31 pages long, and came in such a fat envelope we thought they had sent us a small book.

Good thing I have an unlimited text messaging plan, or that would have been painful, at $0.15 per tweet. Ouch! Actually, I did get burned by a big phone bill in January, back when I was on Verizon. 280+ messages at $0.10 each. An extra $28 bucks in the phone bill.

Twitter can be an expensive habit, people! Make sure you’re on a text message bundle plan, or turn of text messages from Twitter (but what’s the fun in that?!). πŸ˜‰


Do Not Put Child In Bag!

Do Not Put Child In Bag!, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.

Taken on one of the little Fire Truck shopping carts that you can rent for $5 at the mall, while I was waiting for the Apple Geniuses to fix the fan in my Mac Book Pro.

Important Safety Note! πŸ™‚


I Dream of Community

I wish wish WISH I could make every person in Intel Software Network read and understand this post about User Community and ROI over at Creating Passionate Users.


It’s not that I don’t think they get it. Most if not all of them do. But Kathy Sierra NAILS so many things that I try to articulate, emphasize, and generally drive into people’s heads on a regular basis to so many people in my job as social media evangelist. Maybe Intel should just hire Kathy, and get rid of the middleman (me). πŸ˜‰

Note to Intel: please don’t get rid of me. My mortgage company and wife would be VERY upset. πŸ˜‰


I love writing. And reading. Words in general, really.

You already know I love to read. I read 874 posts from my RSS feeds yesterday. But in all this reading, I kind of had a realization today, that I’ve known for a long time. I like to write, too. Not just writing itself, but a certain kind of writing. Sometimes, it flows freely when I write here, but sometimes it gets buried and tangled up in other styles from what I read – market speak, etc.

I admire the verbal agility of people like Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, MC Frontalot, and Weird Al. I aspire to kind of have my own style, not mimicking them, or anyone, but really me.

Just wanted to say. πŸ™‚


Holy cow, I’m almost in the Twitter Top 100

Twitter mashup sites are popping up like weeds these days. They spread through the collective twitterconsciousness in a matter of minutes, like Twittervision (it would be fascinating to track the popularity of new Twitter memes over time – the rate feels a LOT faster than even blogs, Digg, etc.).

I just now got around to checking out the latest Twitter mashup, Twitterholic, which ranks the top 100 Twitter users by number of followers. Of course, Leo, Scoble, and Ev are in the top three, but even the #100 ranked Twits only have about 120 followers.

And I thought to myself, “Heck, I have 80 followers. With a few more, I could break into the Top 100 Twitterholics, and my head would get even bigger!”

So if you’re not already following me (and really, I can’t imagine why not), head on over to my Twitter page, and add me. It only takes a second. And I add my followers back as friends, so let’s see if we can break in to the top 100! πŸ™‚ Or not. It’s still a cool site. And it even has an RSS feed!