InstaResearch: What the heck IS a MID anyway?

Had an interesting conversation today in a meeting with some of Intel’s web marketing folks – the people who run, to be precise. We were talking about who actually had hands on experience with a “MID”, and that quickly moved on to the question of defining what, exactly, a MID is. And perhaps more importantly, what it is not.

So what did I do? I took advantage of the 1200+ people who follow me on Twitter, and did some “InstaResearch”. In other words, I asked my Twitter network:

What the heck do YOU think a MID is? Not just defining the acronym, but what IS it? What is it NOT?

Within minutes, the answers came pouring in. Here’s what people had to say:

@sunraven01 – It is NOT a device that only provides connectivity inside a provider’s walled garden.

@sharong – as close to omniscience as humans will ever get

@psteinb – Something that fits in my pocket and can give me access to ALL aspects of net platform

@Jerry_Makare – MID, Meat-In-Dumpster: An acronym used to tell dumpster divers that meat products are located within garbage receptacles. Yum.

@clint – Midi file!

@sharong – MID to me is more than just browser-its integrated feeds, its connectedness.M is also more than handheld-could be clothing

Update: a late(r) entry from Tablet PC guru Loren Heiny:

@LorenHeiny – “What’s a MID?” To me: The iPhone & iPod Touch are MIDs, though the iPhone is more a phone and the Touch needs more connectivity

@LorenHeiny – Why r the iPhone & iPod Touch MIDs? Because they provide some of the best browser experiences. Something I think is key to a MID

It’s interesting to note that everyone besides @clint, @sunraven01, and @LorenHeiny are people with whom I work at Intel. πŸ˜‰

I’m going to withhold my own opinion/definition of “MID” for a little while, but I’ll blog it soon. Instead, I want to gather more opinions, and extend my InstaResearch. So I’m going to ask YOU – What the heck is a “MID” anyway? Is a UMPC a MID? Is a MID a UMPC? Is the iPhone a MID? What about the Nokia internet tablets like the N800 and N810? What about Tablet PCs? Smartphones and PDA phones and BlackBerries?

Post a comment and let me know what you think. I’d offer a prize for the person who gets the “correct” answer, but I’m afraid the whole point of the exercise is to illustrate how broad the definition for MID really is. So no prizes, but bonus points for creativity. πŸ˜‰


Photos from Beach Getaway to Lincoln City, Oregon

Rachel and I took a short two night getaway to one of my favorite places on the planet, the Oregon Coast, last weekend. We dropped Emma and Gabe off at Grandma’s (thanks Grandma! πŸ™‚ ), and headed over to Lincoln City. Of course, I took a ton of photos while we were there (more than three hundred). I narrowed them down to 100 “keepers”, and posted 60 or so of the ones I’m most proud of to Flickr in this photoset (you can browse them all there, watch a slideshow, etc.).

You can, of course, click on any of these to view the original on Flickr, including all sizes up to the original/full size versions.

Rachel Beach Fill Flash

Many of these were taken by Rachel, who just has a natural ability with a camera. I read books and try techniques and think and analyze, and get usually mediocre pictures. She just picks up a camera, and out comes magic. I’m totally jealous, and totally proud of her creative abilities (which extend far beyond photography). πŸ™‚

Beach Driftwood

Anyway, on the drive over to the coast from Salem, we actually ran into a heavy snowstorm in the mountains. As in, the trees were white and there was accumulation on the road. Later that night, when we were at dinner (Blackfish Cafe, recommended by friends on Twitter, was excellent), it snowed in Lincoln City itself – there was snow piled up and melting on the car when we came out. Weird weather for the first day of spring. But we lucked out the next couple of days – the skies were clear and blue, and it was warm and nice (for the coast in March πŸ˜‰ ).

We went for a late breakfast (OK, it was 11:30 AM, so it was practically lunch) at Pig N’ Pancake. Mmm, bacon… *drool* After that, a walk on the beach, of course!

Lincoln City Beach People
Rachel Beach Walking
Rachel at the Water

If you’ve never been to the Oregon coast, you don’t know that the water is FREEZING COLD. All year round. So, after my first couple of trips to the beach after I moved here, I learned my lesson, and I never go down to touch the water when we go to the beach. But Rachel, a native Oregonian (and part hippie), has to commune with the salt water every time (that’s my way of saying she took these pictures of the water). πŸ˜‰

Beach Foam Divider
Beach Reflections
Beach Birkenstocks

While Rachel was splashing around, freezing her toes off, I found a nice driftwood log, and did what I always do when I have a few minutes to myself – pulled out my iPhone, read some feeds in Google Reader, and chatted with friends on Twitter. πŸ˜‰

Josh Reading Feeds on the Beach
Josh on the Beach

Obligatory picture of my trademark orange Crocs on the beach (“the Crocs shot”):

Orange Crocs on the Beach

We got some really cool silhouette shots of people when we shot directly into the sun and its reflection on the water and wet sand.

Beach Couples Silhouettes
Tiny Beach Dog Owner in Pursuit

Of course, there were people with dogs everywhere. We felt out of place without a canine companion. Maybe next time we can rent one for the weekend, so we can fit in with the dog people.

Beach Dog Girls
Beach Dog Girls Running

I love how none of the girls’ feet are touching the ground in that shot above. Of course, Rachel took that one. πŸ˜‰

After a while, we retreated to our room, and took a nap. We watched the sunset from our room’s balcony, which was RIGHT on the water. As in, look straight down, there’s the sea wall, and when the tide comes in, the waves lap at the foundations. It was actually kind of creepy. πŸ™‚

Drain Colors

But the sunset was awesome, of course! And I took way too many pictures. Even after culling and throwing a lot of them away. I couldn’t help myself.

Rachel Sunset Balcony
Lincoln City Sunset Colors
Sunset Sand Water Colors
Reflected Beach Sunset

There was a flock of seagulls hanging out on the roof of the hotel next door, so of course, I was trying to take all kinds of artsy pictures with them.

Sunset Seagull
Sunset Seagull Cruise
Sunset Seagull Flock

And finally, I got some really strange/cool pictures thanks to a GIANT floodlight mounted on the roof of the hotel next door. It lit up the whole beach for hundreds of feet in all direction, and lit up the white foam of the waves especially well. Of course, I was out on the balcony at 10:30 PM, trying to take some pictures of the phenomenon.

Beach Night Floodlight
Beach Night Floodlight

Like I said before, you can view all 60 or so of the photos I uploaded in this photoset on Flickr. Leave me a comment on this post, or on any of the photos there. Photography critique, suggestions, ideas, thoughts, or whatever. I crave interaction and feedback, so let me have it! πŸ˜‰


Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-24

  • @heathbuckmaster When you see a friend, do you ask them to repeat everything they’ve said since you last spoke? Just go with the flow! πŸ™‚ #
  • @verso I don’t think there’s really cake… #
  • @turoczy Dude, the Common Craft "In Plain English" videos (blogs, wikis, Twitter, etc.) are the BEST for explaining this stuff to n00bs. #
  • @turoczy LOL me too. Just trying to help others learn from my failures. πŸ™‚ #
  • I leave for China in a week. Making sure all my ducks are in a row (corporate card, vaccination records, etc.). Fun! πŸ˜‰ #
  • @mattg Yeah, I won’t be bringing anything like that. I just hope they don’t freak out about all of my cameras/video gear. πŸ™‚ #
  • @psteinb @jmoriarty an @ reply will be seen, even if they don’t follow you, ONLY if they’ve said "show all @ replies" in Settings on Twitter #
  • @turoczy scheming wheels in motion, feelers extended, I’ll keep you updated. πŸ™‚ #
  • @blogan just came around my cube to harrass me. Knocked over my stuff, threatened to shoot me with his Nerf gun, etc. What a punk. πŸ˜‰ #
  • It must be 3:30. The Intel Proxy servers seem to have switched over to a shared 14.4Kbps circuit switched cellular connection. πŸ™ #
  • Whoa! Finally, what appears to be a good way to see threaded conversations on Twitter: #
  • @leahjones yeah, it’s the not the greatest. It appears to use Twitter’s "in reply to", which has always been kinda wonky. #
  • @karend1 Do you mean how did I find out about On the Twitter Blog, of course! πŸ™‚ #
  • They also recently wrote about (URL shortener and tracker), but I can’t get to the site. #
  • In Portland? Want unlimited EVDO for $35/month? Cricket can hook you up. PC Card only for now, USB coming soon. #
  • @tweetburner No worries – getting linked from the Twitter blog brings the pain! It’s a nice problem to have. πŸ™‚ #
  • Latest "MacBook Touch" Apple tablet rumor: ZOMG I would SO buy one of these! DO WANT! πŸ™‚ #
  • @JefftheGreat You’d have to read the fine print from Cricket to see if they cap, but I don’t think so. And I imagine only in their coverage. #
  • @rodfather Yeah, they’re in a very limited number of cities. Luckily, Portland is one of them. πŸ™‚ #
  • Needed to do something creative after all the meetings today. So I’m editing photos from my beach getaway with @rachelbancroft last weekend. #
  • Lost track of time while processing photos. Daydreaming of the beach. Good thing @rachelbancroft called and reminded me to come home! πŸ™‚ #
  • @marusin Heh. That goes to show where black/licorice jellybeans sit on the food taste hierarchy. πŸ™‚ #
  • @annierodkins Nah, people have been throwing Twitter parties for years (see: SXSW 2007). @scobleizer’s just bringing them mainstream. πŸ™‚ #
  • Finished processing photos from our beach getaway. Really proud of some of these. Whittled 300 down to 100, posting best 60 or so to Flickr. #
  • I lubs my fast Fios. 100 MB of pictures to upload to Flickr? Eh, gimme 5 minutes or so. πŸ™‚ #
  • The Flickr set with the 60 of so REALLY COOL photos of the beach at Lincoln City (incl. sunset and NIGHT SHOTS): #
  • How does Flickr still not have a decent iPhone interface? πŸ™ #
  • @greghughes thanks! Wasn’t nearly long enough. Time without kids is precious. πŸ™‚ #
  • @greghughes Wait, PocketTweets works with Flickr now? πŸ˜‰ #
  • @greghughes LOL no worries. Happens to the best of us. πŸ™‚ #

Unfortunate Acoustics

Unfortunate Acoustics

In the new Intel “Workplace of the Future” in JF1, where my team has been living for a week, we discovered an unfortunate property of the acoustics near the kitchen/free-soda-and-coffee-area. The wall between the kitchen and our cubes doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. And that open space creates some kind of magical acoustic baffle that lets even quiet, whispered conversations carry perfectly into our cubes. We can hear everything everyone over there says, as if they were standing in our cube.

We joked about putting up signs that say “We can hear every word you’re saying.” Personally, I’d prefer taking over the flatpanel TV hanging on the other side of the wall, and typing interactively in a very large font to the people on the other side (“Oh, I hate when that happens too! But what do you think of her hat?”)

I’m not sure who finally went through with actually printing up and posting this sign, but I giggled when I saw it this morning, and knew immediately that I must 1) take a photo, 2) post it to Flickr, and 3) submit it to πŸ™‚


Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-22

  • Back in Portland. Rendezvous with Grandparents to pick up the kids. Vacation was wonderful, too short. But life is good. πŸ™‚ #
  • Breaking out the Gadgets From the Future around Bancroft World HQ, so @tiesque isn’t disappointed. πŸ™‚ #
  • @kveton Baconation? Bacon Devotion? Wrapped in Bacon? Baconpedia? I Can Has Bacon? #

Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-20

  • In staff meeting, then getting my yearly review, then I’m on vacation for a couple of days. Getaway with @rachelbancroft at the beach! πŸ™‚ #
  • Welcome another Intel coworker, @psteinb, to Twitter. Paul sits behind me, and I saw Twitter on his screen. I had to stalk/follow him. πŸ™‚ #
  • And yet another Intel coworker, @Jerry_Makare. They’re coming out of the woodwork! Jerry is our team’s video guru. He has awesome toys! πŸ™‚ #
  • Picked up Emma from preschool. Next stop, Grandma’s, then, the coast. πŸ™‚ #
  • Dropped the kids off at grandma’s, headed for the coast. But I’m stressed about a number of things, and having a hard time relaxing. πŸ™ #
  • Arrived at Lincoln City. Our room is RIGHT on the beach. Amazing view. And caught a nice heavy snowstorm coming over from Salem. :-O #
  • So, where’s a good place to eat in Lincoln City? Recommendations? #
  • @ahockley @harrisja thanks! πŸ™‚ Twitter rocks! I think we’ll do Kylo tonight and Galluchi’s tomorrow. #
  • Review of Kyllo’s on tripadvisor says it sucks. @harrisja, is it true, or just some unlucky dude ranting? #
  • @mtrichardson I hadn’t, but now I did. Thanks! The Blackfish is just down the road. Think we’ll go there tonight, maybe try Kyllo’s tmrw. #

Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-19

  • @geekygirldawn @turoczy @pixelmatrix well, if you’re all going to get schwag/stickers, then I’ll have to get some for TinyScreenfuls, too πŸ™‚ #
  • Of course, I’d need a logo/design before I could really do stickers. Been meaning to do that (e.g. beg for someone to help me) for a while. #
  • @turoczy I’m reserving a spot on my MBP for a Silicon Florist sticker. And a Jive sticker, too. πŸ™‚ #
  • @memathews No no no. We’re not selling out. But all the cool geeks have cool stickers on their laptops. We just want to be loved! πŸ™‚ #
  • I already have stickers for my (soon to be reborn) Bit Stories show, but the ink comes off way too easily. πŸ™ #
  • @verso That would be awesome. I’ve been meaning to do some kind of logo contest or whatever. Thanks! πŸ™‚ #
  • If you’re actually serious about making stickers, I hear StickerGiant’s laptop stickers are awesome, and removable #
  • @mattg Using this ( to test, I can ping it, but had about 35% packet loss #
  • Sanyo just announced the Xacti CG9, a pocket flash camcorder a al the Aiptek Go-HD I’ve been using. Records to H.264 on SDHC, but is it HD? #
  • The CG9 product page is suspiciously bereft of any mention of the term "HD", which makes me think it’s only SD. #
  • So, Sanyo CG9, 9MP stills but video is not HD, $279. Aiptek Go-HD, HD video, 5MP stills, $199. Hmm… πŸ™‚ #
  • @heathbuckmaster Some (sorta silly) ways you might make Twitter more useful for you: #
  • Hearing about everyone getting sick from SXSW. I hope I wasn’t Patient Zero, spreading the Texas Plague around… πŸ™ #
  • @influxx The Aiptek does let you cycle through different white balance modes, has a "night shot" slow shutter (not night vision) mode, etc. #
  • @influxx But it can’t manually focus, or give you manual control over pretty much anything besides WB. #
  • @jezlyn of all the scare movies and images I’ve seen in my life, the only thing I’m still viscerally, irrationally scared by is that. πŸ™‚ #
  • ("That" being the images of an evil, grinning bare metal Terminator endoskeleton with glowing red eyes.) #
  • Brought my own Wii controller, and Super Smash Bros Brawl today. πŸ™‚ Just tried them out. The Wii was horribly misconfigured. I fixed it. #
  • Set it to widescreen 16:9, 480p (it’s using component, at least), and set the sensor bar position correctly. Should be better now. #
  • @jmoriarty I’ll get right on that. I’m already tired of the boring looping canned propaganda on all of the TVs here. Even CNN would b better #
  • In the Portland/Vancouver area? Want an EeePC 4GB (black) for $300? Someone in Vancouver has one on Craigslist: #
  • Get Leander Kahney’s books, Cult of Mac and Cult of iPod, for free on BitTorrent. Legally. #
  • @billpearson Pssst. There’s a Wii in the JF1 lobby. Not locked down or anything. But you’ll have supply your own controllers. πŸ˜‰ #
  • ZOMG Guitar Hero is coming to the Nintendo DS this summer, with a hardware addon. Go watch the video. DO WANT! #
  • @lyzadanger I like the PlayTagger: One line of Javascript to implement. #
  • @lyzadanger Are you clicking the little blue play triangle? It plays inline for me when I do it. Clicking the MP3 = browser default behavior #
  • @lyzadanger Yeah, it’s not really obvious. But it is light and tiny and efficient! πŸ™‚ #
  • Oh wow. I just found out about something that Intel is going to do in a few weeks that’s either going to be awesome, or fail horribly. πŸ™‚ #
  • I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s live. I’m genuinely curious about what you all are going to think of this. #
  • @TiEsQue LOL sure. I have no doubt it’s going to be interesting. But will it be "this is cool", or "this is a train wreck"? πŸ˜‰ #

Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-18

  • @annierodkins You should do a blog post once you’ve got hashtags for IDF set up, telling people how to use them. #
  • So, webcomic builder sites are popping up all over. Toonlet, etc. Anyone have a good roundup/comparison/recommendation? #
  • @influxx Yeah, I love XKCD, too. But I’m looking for sites that let you create your own comic/characters. I already READ too many comics. πŸ˜‰ #
  • @turoczy You read my mind. πŸ˜‰ I was hoping that @marshallk or someone had or was working on such an article. πŸ™‚ #
  • @marshallk Awesome. Thank you! πŸ™‚ #
  • Gah. There’s a toon service I signed up for and used a few weeks ago, and I can’t remember what it was. Driving me crazy. πŸ™ #
  • @metafluence No, it wasn’t Toonlet or Bitstrips. Though I’m checking those out. I think I found it on the Ars forums. Still digging. #
  • @lgedeon LOL if I kept a document to keep track of every site I sign up for, that’s all I would do. Doc would be HUGE! πŸ™‚ #
  • A ha! It was! I found it in the "Famous Moments in Ars History" thread. Now comparing to Bitstrips/Toonlet. #
  • Believe it or not, I’m researching comic creators for an idea/project at work. I love my job. πŸ™‚ #
  • @croncast Yeah, I’ll probably end up doing a blog post with what I find out. #
  • @blath thanks for all the resources. I’ll check it out! πŸ™‚ #
  • @jnolan Heh. A very fun/cool project. I’ll have more to share soon, hopefully. *sly grin* #
  • Listening to music in iTunes. As noisy as our new open offices are, it’s the only way to avoid distraction. #
  • However, I’m listening to the Guitar Hero 3 soundtrack, and it’s making me want to go over and play. πŸ™‚ #
  • @dankeldsen You can find the Guitar Hero soundtracks in the iTunes Music Store. And I’m sure it’s available from other sources, too. #
  • It looks like BitStrips is going to be the winner. I love the character creator – it’s like making Miis on the Wii. Toonlet is too artsy. #
  • @gerryvz Heh – a lot has changed. I remember when I had to ask permission from my manager to listen via headphones. Now, everyone does it πŸ™‚ #
  • I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’m only just now discovering I’ve always known what it does, but now living the awesome firsthand #
  • @rickmahn About Download the app. Let it learn your music tastes (just play some music while it’s running). Let it profile you. #
  • @rickmahn Once it profiles you, it will start giving recommendations. I needed new music that was like what I like. Happy so far. #
  • @ahockley @TiEsQue Trying to bring Burning Man to Portland, eh? πŸ˜‰ #
  • What the heck? Tumblr now limits you to importing only 5 feeds? That SUCKS. Buh bye! So what else should I use for my lifestream? #
  • @digiphile I am using FriendFeed, and if I could use my own domain name, and style it, like I could on Tumblr, it would be perfect. Alas… #
  • @heathbuckmaster Twitter, at its most useful, is about flow and serendipity. It does things that IM and email can’t, IMHO. #
  • @heathbuckmaster But you’ve got to build your network to critical mass before it becomes visible. Peruse your friends’ friends. #
  • @funkatron Yeah, I might frontload my feeds through Pipes or something before they go to Tumblr. Good idea. #
  • @AndruEdwards I’ll check Slacker out. Also looking at Been increasingly unhappy with Tumblr. Big oppty for FriendFeed here! #
  • @AndruEdwards Oh. I’ll check out Slacker for music then. Prolly won’t work too well for lifestreaming. πŸ™‚ #
  • @rodfather I’m digging so far. What DON’T you like about it? What should I be aware of? #
  • @jmoriarty I’m really loving the app, which "scrobbles" music transparently as I listen. Pandora is great, but had to be fed by hand #
  • To be honest, I haven’t gotten to give me any recommendations yet. I’m just blown away by the elegance of their app. πŸ™‚ #
  • I switched my lifestream ( and linkblog ( over to Waiting for DNS to propagate. #
  • The respective feeds for my lifestream and linkblog were also updated, but since I use FeedBurner, it’s completely seamless. Love it. πŸ™‚ #
  • How lame! I went over to the JF1 lobby to play some Guitar Hero for a minute, and you have to "check out" the controllers from a "keeper". #
  • No wonder I’ve never seen anyone use the Wii/Xbox 360 in the lobby. Who wants to traipse over and ask "can I have a controller"? Boo! #
  • Do they really think Intel employees are going to steal/walk off with the controllers? It’s not like it’s a public place. We’re not children #
  • I’m going to bring in my own controllers (and games). Then I can play whenever I want! πŸ˜‰ #
  • How dumb is it to have one person keep the controllers in their cube, and "check them out" to people? What if they’re not there? Busy? *sigh #
  • Do other companies that have game consoles for their employees do this? Jive? How do you manage it? #
  • @mattg EXACTLY! Who is going to go and play for a few minutes when they feel like they’re being tracked/timed/monitored? Some benefit. πŸ™ #
  • @turoczy There’s a nice little sign: "Go on – take a break! Play! Just go check out the controllers from so-and-so at pole J-whatever." #
  • @geekygirldawn @ahockley Yeah, I know it’s a trust thing. And I don’t like what they’re telling me about how much they trust me. πŸ™ #
  • @turoczy Hey, stop messing with my illusion that I’m not just a nameless cog in a giant, soulless machine. Just let me enjoy my free soda. #
  • It can’t be that they’re worried about theft. Because a rare, coveted $250 Wii is sitting unsecured in the open cabinet below the TV… #
  • @scaleovenstove Yeah, if it’s not theft they’re worried about, I can only assume they have darker, more nefarious motives… πŸ˜‰ #
  • There’s a blog post brewing on the "no controllers" rant. Just posted some snaps to Flickr for it, if you want a preview. Now, headed home! #
  • Watching Frontline, about the dirty, evil things that credit card companies can do. Everyone with a credit card needs to watch this. #
  • Frontline always puts their full episodes on their site. This one originally aired in 2004. I’m scared to think how much worse it is now. #
  • Bonus: Elliot Spitzer appears in this episode of Frontline as Attorney General, talikng about the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. #
  • The OCC is a shadowy Washington bureaucracy that "regulates" (read: protects) the national credit card companies. #

Microposts from Twitter on 2008-03-17

  • Ready, perhaps, to tiptoe back into the Twittersphere after a few days off. I got sick at SXSW, and was a corpse for a few days. #
  • Today is my first day in our new offices at Intel. It’s nice, hard to get used to. I get a LOT of drop in traffic, people saying "Hi". πŸ™‚ #
  • Just blogged thoughts and photos on my first day in the new Intel offices: #
  • I’ve spent the day knowing how the animals at the zoo feel – people wandering by in packs, looking, peeking, staring. Work? Forget it… #