This update has been a long time in coming. I’ve been outlandishly swamped lately, and simply haven’t had the energy to devote to a number of pressing matters. I will try to address as many of them as possible here for you, as I’ve also been swamped with emails, too.

BlipMedia
Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email about the status of Blip. Basically, what has happenned is we’ve outgrown our servers, and we no longer have any available diskspace. We’ve purchased new servers to move to (as of several months ago), but I’ve been so busy with new projects that I haven’t had the time to devote to maintaining the service. At one point we were talking a merger through with a couple of our next biggest competitors, but unfortunately, those talks fell apart. I don’t have any ill will towards them – quite the contrary. I had a good time meeting my competitors, and we saw eye-to-eye on almost everything, but we were both so busy maintaining our own businesses that we just didn’t have time to join forces. Sad but true.

As a result, Blip has sort of … degenerated. I had hoped to be able to announce an alternative service in a reasonable fashion and a way to migrate your podcasts over, but again, no time.

Here’s the bottom line: Blip’s future is uncertain at the moment. If I can find a few good cheap (or even better, free) programmers willing to take up my slack, I can revive Blip. We have the servers and the capital to return it to it’s former glory, just not the time. If you are or know a programmer willing to help out with this, let me know. You must know ASP, batch programming, and have a good working knowlege of WAV and MP3 file formats as well as RSS. I can offer cash compensation and even points in the company (believe it or not, there is a pending profit model for Blip).

As for your files and RSS feeds, all MP3s will remain on the server and available to public download. All RSS files will stay static, and available, but not updatable.

You can contact me at mark@5tribe.com with any comments, questions, and concerns you have re: Blip. If you have a problem uploading, direct that to mark@blipmedia.org.

T. Evan Fisher for Texas House of Representatives, District 108

Politics! Yes! I’ve finally taken the final plunge into politics. A few months ago, I made it official, and took the headlong plunge into politics by accepting a position with T. Evan Fisher’s Libertarian campaign for a Texas legislature spot. Without a doubt, it’s going to be an interesting campaign. It’s already becoming interesting, as there’s some drama forming already in the form of one of our Democratic opponents being outed as a former male prostitute.

T. Evan Fisher is one of our own – from the old Tyler Denny’s Crew. Most of you from there probably know him better as “Thos.”

Thos is running for the 108th District of Texas’ State Legislature under the Libertarian Party ticket. We had discussed informally before working together, but this weekend we made the arrangement official – I am the designated campaign treasurer for the T. Evan Fisher for Texas Legislature campaign. This means, in effect, I’ll be functioning as a campaign manager as well. We’re going to really try to organise a strong grassroots campaign as well as some innovative fundraising techniques.

I know I’ve got a lot of Libertarian readers out there, and I could use all the promotion from my friends and associates as possible. We’ll be putting up the official website very soon, and I’ll be putting out position and platform papers here and there for your review.

As for political views, the Libertarian Party, if you’re not aware, is a very inclusive party that despite conservative or liberal bents, almost everyone finds attractive when they examine their tenets closely. I’d encourage you to do so at http://lp.org – and stay tuned for more on our buddy’s quest for office.

Project Catarl
Those of you involved with the Alpha Catarl project may look forward to your handhelds very soon. We should be wrapping up development within the next few weeks and start rolling out prototypes. The Free Alpha signup is closed, but we will be opening up a paid Alpha Program soon, as well. Stay tuned for updates here.

Mystery Radio Project
There is a radio project that I and several very big movers and shakers in the streaming, satellite, and podcast world are putting together. We intend this to be the child project of what was started with BlipMedia, and somewhat closer to what we originally intended with the Blip project. I can’t say more right now, but I can tell you that development is almost finished, and I’ll be pointing you to the new hubbub very soon. We’re talking to our new PR guy, our front end design guy is sending us our final layouts soon, we’ve hired a program director, and the talent should be getting their official invites to the new company within the next couple weeks. I, of course, am handling the backend work, and am, as usual, behind schedule. I expect to see this project off the ground in less than a month. I will probably be dissappointed, but that’s what I expect as well. 🙂

Peer-to-peer Banking Project

I’ve been enticed into a Peer-To-Peer banking project by some good friends of mine. I’m footing the bill on this one because of the promise of some VC coming our way. I can’t go too far into the details at the moment (as per usual), but we could be looking at a peer-to-peer banking launch for American users within the next few months here.

Don’t know what peer-to-peer banking is? Neither did I when I first heard the term. Go google it, you’ll find some food for thought.

My Personal Life Update
Much like the rest of my life – very hectic. I have to say, I enjoy having money again. Ever since I’ve been back in town, I’ve been enjoying periodic windfalls of cash in addition to my steady stream of income from the contract job. It has allowed me a number of luxuries I’ve been denying myself over the last few years: a new car, a nice big apartment, new furniture, a new computer, and a little bit of investment and savings cushion.

A lot of money, however, gets sunk into a new apartment – more than I remember, at least. Down in SouFla, furnished apartment and living situations are common, and I’ve been used to packing everything up in a couple boxes, loading them up into whatever POS model car I happen to be driving at the time, and moving on a moments notice. Now that I’m actually accruing stuff now, I’m actually dreading the eventual move in six months to a year after I grow tired of whatever it is I’m doing and need to move on!

At least these are good problems to have. Some not so good problems to have include the tiff I’ve been engaged in this week with the electric company. I’m not going to out them just yet as they haven’t completely worn out my patience (but they’re quickly moving towards that end), but I’ve been without power for the coldest week in my memory. The reason is that I transferred my power over from the apartment complex’s name on
Tuesday to my own, and Tuesday afternoon, the power went out and hasn’
t come back on yet. Every day they promise to have it on by the end of the day, and every day I’m disappointed.

Very annoying. Ah well, on to the news!

For All My Austinian Friends
Better than your boyfriend posts about secret tunnells under UTA. It’s quite an engaging and interesting read. Click the link and check out the full thing. My Austin crew should try this out and tell me what they find.

…there were the tunnels. We’d heard about them before – supposedly there was a secret network of tunnels underneath UT that connected almost all of the buildings. It was a farfetched concept, but it became credible to us when we read an article that said it was the way they got to the tower without being shot to take out Whitman. Soon after moving into UT, we started looking for the tunnels.

Any expectations we had were instantly shattered. No longer were we on campus – we’d be transported into another world. The narrow concrete path was flanked with a host of steam pipes, bundles of wires, and even toxic waste pipes. Intermitently, the steam pipes would makes scary noises which sent our hearts jumping. It was surreal.

Be careful how you read that.
Mz6 writes “According to recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, I’ve only a 50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail message. The study also shows that people think they’ve correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive 90 percent of the time. “That’s how flame wars get started,” says psychologist Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, who conducted the research with Justin Kruger of New York University. “People in our study were convinced they’ve accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance,” says Epley. The researchers took 30 pairs of undergraduate students and gave each one a list of 20 statements about topics like campus food or the weather. Assuming either a serious or sarcastic tone, one member of each pair e-mailed the statements to his or her partner. The partners then guessed the intended tone and indicated how confident they were in their answers. Those who sent the messages predicted that nearly 80 percent of the time their partners would correctly interpret the tone. In fact the recipients got it right just over 50 percent of the time.”

Earthshell Corporation Board Chairman Resigns
EarthShell Corporation announced today that one of its directors, Simon K. Hodson (whom faithful Rizznites will remember was firmly entrenched in the FlyDLUX debacle), has resigned as a director of EarthShell, effective immediately. Mr. Hodson has also been serving as chairman of the Board. According to a company press release, Simon has resigned in order to focus his efforts on his recent appointment as Chief Executive Officer of E.Khashoggi Industries, LLC. This has confirmed longstanding rumors amongst the FlyDLUX crowd that Simon is somewhat of a “right-hand man” to Essam Khashoggi.

EKI, LLC is (not so coincidentally) EarthShell’s largest stockholder. EarthShell holds an exclusive license on a worldwide basis from EKI to commercialize patented material technology for the manufacture of foodservice disposable packaging (but as of yet, the corporation has yet to actually do anything with this patent). A new chairman of the Board will be elected at the next regularly scheduled meeting of EarthShell’s Board of Directors and the corporate governance committee of the Board will initiate a search for a new director to fill the vacancy on the Board.

Get Your Bags of Money Here
Matt Marshall over at the San Jose Mercury News does a nice job pointing out how VCs are back to funding startups with 20-somethings running the show — something that was quite common during the bubble years, but which fell out of favor quickly. However, there’s one big difference this time around that isn’t mentioned in the article. During the original bubble years, for many of these companies the fact that the founders were inexperienced 20-somethings was often used as a major selling point for the company. There were tons of articles profiling young founders, where it seemed like what the companies actually did was secondary. This time around, it seems like more companies have at least figured out that it helps to focus more of the attention on the company and its products.

Yay, East Texas
It would appear that patent trolls (even if the article refers to them as “patent pirates”) have found a friend in the form of a federal judge in the East Texas town of Marshall. Not only does he not waste time and push cases through quickly (a good thing), he sides with the patent holder nearly every time (and much higher than in cases throughout the rest of the country). Apparently, patent trolls around the world are learning that if you want to get your money quickly, file your claim in Marshall, Texas. In fact, many defendants are more likely to settle, rather than have to head into the courtroom of Judge T. John Ward. So, who has the patent on speedy trials?

Free Sports TV. Sort of.
NBC is significantly expanding its Olympics video offerings for the internet and cell phones, a sure sign of its increased comfort with technologies that erect geographic boundaries online. The network’s official Olympics site, NBCOlympics.com, will show for free, on a delayed basis, the complete runs and routines for the top finishers and for all U.S. participants in almost every event, with highlights provided for team sports like hockey, said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.

None of the video will be live however; in most cases it won’t be available online or on phones until the end of NBC’s broadcast day, generally 11:30 p.m. ET. By contrast, the BBC’s website is simulcasting five television feeds, though only to U.K. residents.