Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sexy ( genius Stephen Colbert ( of the Colbert Report ( claimed that Google owed him half a billion dollars following their acquisition of YouTube ( because he is "all over the YouTube" and comprises "a third" of their content. My gut tells me his figures are a tad high (and my gut outweighs his) but as always he exudes truthiness.

I'm almost sick of saying it but: content drives sales. Did you know TV shows were created in order to sell TV sets? It worked then and it's still working in today's digital era. Apple fights to keep iTunes prices down because it drives iPod sales. Sony pushed out Blu-Ray movies to fuel PS3 demand. YouTube sold for more than a billion dollars worth of stock because they had a vast supply of content. Unfortunately, contrary to Colbert's expectations, YouTube has no intention of sharing that windfall with the owners, providers, or distributors of that content. Might be legal but it sure as hell ain't cool and I'm not digging it as the main path of my video future. That's why I've decided to focus instead on Revver (

After a bit of research, including a few views of Chris Pirillo's head-to-head comparison of YouTube, Google Video and Revver (, I think I'd be foolish not to choose Revver as my primary video distribution service. Not only is the video quality better, but it supports subscription and they share ad revenue with owners and distributors. That beats the hell out of their competitors' means of attracting content and ultimately, content drives sales.

Addendum: after a check of several search engines, I've decided to embrace the phrase, "content drives sales" (, and also sucks.

CateGoogles: general_tech
Mood = excited

Revved up for Revver

Iowa governor Tom Vilsack ( has announced his bid for U.S. President with a platform I can support on every level: energy independence (

On a national level, we need to slash our dependence on foreign oil for reasons of economy and security. Even if you don't believe in man-made global warming, there should be no debate over the negative effects of our addiction to foreign fossil fuels.

On a local level, in my county and its neighbors, there is debate over the placement of new power lines and towers to fuel the region with out-of-state electricity. Cheap electricity is good, but Loudoun is the wealthiest county in the nation. Surely we can afford to strive for independence through decentralized power sources, such as solar panels on rooftops and wind turbines along highways and vast backyards.

Personally, as a mobile computer user, I would love to operate without dependence on outside power, to operate all-day without plugging in until I go home to recharge both my device batteries and my own physiological capacitors.

These goals are not easy to achieve, but are by no means unattainable. Furthermore, they are based in the foundation of American ideals: independence. I commend Vilsack for launching his campaign on this platform. I wish him luck and hope he is able to incite action on this issue.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = excited

Vilsack running on right platform

In setting up my new Toshiba R25 (, I thought I'd be in for a fight when it comes to cleaning out the CRAPWARE ( Turned out it wasn't that bad.

Of all the pre-installed stuff I took out, I'd refer to only two of them as CRAPWARE: WildTangent and, of course, AOL. This might be because I bought it (slightly) used with a fresh install from recovery disks, but my understanding is the RD's also reload the crapware. Regardless, I'm pretty pleased there were only a couple of critical pieces of crap.

Other programs I took out were Franklin Covey Planner and McAfee Security Center, which are certainly useful, but not what I use. Also, I took out the Microsoft Office trial because I have my own licensed copy. I didn't time it, but if it took more than 10 minutes to uninstall everything, I didn't notice. (Core 2 Duo might have sped that up.)

CateGoogles: Tablet_PC
Mood = bemused

Toshiba R25 CRAPWARE Free in 10 minutes

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The obvious answer is money. The next answer is I need funding to push the experiment further, and sponsorship ( itself adds a new level to the experiment. But to be completely honest, I'm tired of reading about other people making money selling nearly worthless ad space.

The Million Dollar Homepage? A million pixels sold for a buck a piece and the site has absolutely no draw. The owner doesn't even maintain his blog. If he can make a million bucks just by hosting tiny useless ads, I should at least attempt to earn a few dollars from my innovative and regularly updated ink blog.

The other instigator is the cute girl ( who pre-sold ad space on her Macbook Pro. Yes, pre-sold. She was selling ad space in order to raise enough money to buy the Macbook upon which the ads are laser-etched. Yeah, laser-etching is cool, but c'mon. If ad space on the top of a Macbook is worth the value of that Macbook (with maxed out specs), ad space on the world's most advanced ink blog has to be worth enough for a spare battery and software.

But seriously folks, I'm not trying to make a million dollars off the blog. I just want to carry the experiment to the next level, and that means making some money because, as million dollar boy and cute Macbook girl have proven, crazy ideas, such as doing all your blogging in ink, stop looking crazy when they start making money.

Mood = serious

SSS: Why seek sponsorship?

Really need to name my mew tablet some time. R25 just doesn't have enough pizzazz to it. Anyway, as it is a lovely day and I went out for a sandwich, I thought I'd enjoy my lunch outside with my new Tablet PC (


The screen is not outdoor-viewable, but it is quite readable at full brightness on this overcast day, though you can't see it in the photo. However, I'm having no trouble writing this at lunch with the tablet in "easel mode". Screen is a tad wobbly but stiff enough for me to use.

Actually, I just tried a couple of video clips and they looked pretty good. Not ultrabright but I think I could watch a DVD out here without squinting.

CateGoogles: Tablet_PC
Mood = pleasant

Lunch outside with my R25

Videos from vacations in Hawai'i are a dime a dozen. But what about mobile tech reviews from the Aloha State? Not quite so many of those. Hoping to fill in that difference with this non-vacation trip.

Planning a series of short videos to document some of my tech usage. Hoping to sneak a surprise or two in there as well. I think the content will be relevant to anyone traveling with mobile computers, business or, as is my case, personal.

Tentative Schedule of videos

  • What's in my gadget bag now? (pre-flight)

  • Hawai'i Brew in Kailua: coffee, veggies & wifi

  • The Great Waikiki Wifi Cloud

  • If I had a Tablet PC growing up

  • View from the cul-de-sac

Don't hold me too tightly to that schedule. I'm pretty sure I can sneak in a couple hours of video during a week-long trip, but you can't exactly plan everything out when dealing with unplanned family business.

CateGoogles: mobile_tech
Mood = excited

Videos on the agenda

Continued from Part 1 ( and Part 2 (

My first paid piece of writing appeared in The Rifter #2 (, a periodical published by pen and paper gaming company Palladium Books ( This was followed by more minor pieces and a full-length supplement for the Rifts series, The Splynn Dimensional Market ( Fortunately, our relationship soured before I became as emotionally involved as Bill Coffin (, although I vouch for everything he has said about PB.

Ah, but before that happened, armed with an author's cover credit, I snagged a copywriting job at, which turned into senior copywriter when the guy before me left a few months later (thanks Fiegel (!).

Short of being an on-body bikini inspector that was the best job in the world. Why? Because I got paid to write stuff like that all the time. Target market was adults who read comic books. Boring copy wasn't going to cut it. Can't say I was great all the time, but I would earn my keep with headlines like "All Girl Action Figures". Yeah, good times, good times...

It wasn't all about the writing either. My co-workers were all terrific. There is no better work environment than one where everyone enjoys what they do and cooperates to get the job done.

But unfortunately such good things never last. The company suffered after the comic book speculation market crashed and it needed a buyer. It found one in Fandom. Sadly, they did not recognize the parallels between the comic book market and the dot-com market and marched eagerly toward the next crash.

Since then, my writing career has been in limbo. I want to write, just not for someone else. Thus, my search for a job of writing has been half-hearted at best, while my production of personal writing, as seen on this blog, has increased.

And that's where I am now, scribing away on the blog, sharing my thoughts with the world, not writing for pay but hoping to be paid for my writing. Hardly economically reliable but certainly more artistically liberating and I love it.

Mood = bemused

SSS: Who is Sumocat? Part 3

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Senator Joe Biden ( is pushing hard for a shot at the White House in '08. Personally, I think he'll get his shot, but lose out to "maverick" McCain backed by the Bush campaign machine. That said, his recent comments on Mexico make me wonder how cognitive he is of the nation he aspires to lead...

["Mexico is a country that is an erstwhile democracy where they have the greatest disparity of wealth," Biden said. "It is one of the wealthiest countries in the hemisphere and because of a corrupt system that exists in Mexico, there is the 1 percent of the population at the top, a very small middle class and the rest is abject poverty."] (

Okay Joe, first, our distribution of wealth isn't much better than that of Mexico, which is pretty sad considering we're not just one of the wealthiest nations in the hemisphere; we're the wealthiest in the world. Second, one could argue that NAFTA, the agreement that allows the wealthy to freely trade with each other, widened the divide in Mexico. You may be right Joe, but I wouldn't be so eager to call that kettle black.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = skeptical

Biden's pushing but I'm not biting

Continued from SSS: Who is Sumocat? (

"I strive to be original, but I am never more than unique." As a thinker, that is how I would describe myself. Without question, I have cultivated my share of unique ideas. However, I am keenly aware they are derived in some way from other sources. The results may be unique but the sources are derivative.

Some would argue that all ideas are derivative because they must spring from some form of inspiration, be it an apple falling on one's head or the twinkle of starlight in the sky, so it is necessary to view originality on a scaled basis. Perhaps so. But I yearn not to be more original but truly original. I desire that moment of purest inspiration when an idea springs forth from absolutely nothing.

Perhaps it is a goal not attainable by mortals. Perhaps it can only be touched by joining the nothingness. Regardless, I push on, chasing a goal I may never reach, by shaping outside thoughts into new ideas.

Mood = pleasant

SSS: Who is Sumocat? Part 2

Monday, November 27, 2006

Given I am now actively seeking sponsorship ( for the blog, I should probably share a few more details about myself, starting with a name.

Sumocat is Mark Sumimoto, a writer, thinker and Tablet PC enthusiast. I first stumbled upon the Tablet PC in Fall 2004 while looking for a mobile business solution. I bought my first Tablet PC sight unseen. It was a refurbished Scribbler SC500 purchased directly from Electrovaya through eBay. Though the business idea fell through, my adoration of the Tablet PC flourished.

Despite my lack of experience with the form factor, I took to the slate tablet like a fish to water. It performed accordingly with my expectations and I had no trouble adapting to its limitations. It is worth noting that I was not an avid laptop user and my disdain for under-sized keyboards made the slate more appealing since I preferred to plug in my own.

As I explored the capabilities of the Tablet PC, I became more involved with the online Tabletscape community, primarily through TabletPCBuzz ( In June 2005, I started this blog and built a reputation as an obnoxious troublemaker, I mean, thinker and provocateur.

CateGoogles: waste_of_time

SSS: Who is Sumocat?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

If only this was a pretty story, but alas it is not. It ends well enough, with me getting what I paid for, but it was a less-than-humorous comedy of errors to get there.

First thing, if you want to save money on a Tablet PC, keep an eye on eBay and be patient. That's what I did. Twice. Got my Scribbler refurbished at less than half the new list price when Electrovaya unloaded a bunch.

This time, I'd been watching the Toshiba R25 for a few months. Took a while for the first few [Core Duos] to appear and by that time the Core 2 Duos were being rolled out. Figured I wouldn't see a Core 2 Duo R25 ( until after the holidays. I was wrong.

As it happens, a guy was unloading his apparently vast collection of gadgets ahead of his military deployment, including a Core 2 Duo R25 ( he had just gotten two weeks earlier. Buy It Now price was $200 below list. The model had barely been out for a month. I had just received an unexpected sum of money, in addition to what I'd been saving. It was too good to be true, and it almost was.

The seller was solid and honest, but I think he was overextended. All the delivery information he sent me the first few days was fouled up in one way or another. It turns out it was just the info that was wrong; the package arrived after a week. But I wanted to be quite certain everything checked out before settling in and calling it my own.

But then I had the surge in tutoring work, followed by family business, in addition to my previously scheduled activities. Thus, I wound up sitting on my new tablet until my sponsorship campaign ( was ready to launch. Sorry for the non-disclosure, but I plan on making up for it with a lot more info than I shared of my poor little Scribbler, which is now semi-retired as a print server and media player.

CateGoogles: Tablet_PC
Mood = pleasant

How I got a Core 2 Duo at a Core Duo price

If you answered, "with your parents," you are correct. But they don't have wifi and they aren't vegetarians, so I will need a place to fuel up and get my Internet and caffeine fixes. I think I found a winner with Morning Brew ( It's not in Kaneohe/Kahalu'u, where I'll be staying, but I'll be in Kailua often. I'll be sure to share my experience there. And if anyone wants their banner shown alongside photos of mobile computing in Hawaii, remember "Sumocat Seeks Sponsorship". (

CateGoogles: Ink Blogging
Mood = pleasant


SSS: Where will I stay in Hawaii?

The Washington Post ( ran a fascinating article in their opinion section on the impact of the AK-47 ( in past and present conflicts, including ours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author describes the rifle as the true "Weapon of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and I'm inclined to agree.

Mood = curious

AK-47: The true weapon of mass destruction

Ah, the irony: the conflict we started in Iraq, under the pretense of wanting to keep the world safe from Saddam Hussein's nuclear aspirations, has now outlasted our involvement in World War II, a conflict we ended by dropping atomic bombs on civilians. Interesting how the only nation to use nuclear weapons on civilians, which we did twice, became the moral authority on who should have nuclear weapons. We could at least be remorseful for our action and claim we don't want others repeating our tragic mistakes, but we instead insist they were right and justifiable acts. Well, here's hoping no one ends our current conflict with "right and justifiable acts."

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = skeptical

Iraq war beats WWII in staying power