Dale Dietrich
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A New Trend in Venture Funding – Segmenting by Startup Stage

Categories: businessventure capital
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This Week in Venture Capital–Episode 7–Dana Settle

  

I was listening to the above Episode 7 of the ‘This Week in Venture Capital’ podcast today, where Mark Suster interviews Dana Settle, a partner with Greycroft Partners.  See podcast summary here.

At the 8:35 minute mark, Mark and Dana discuss a new venture capital market segmenting trend where different funds are available to startups /ventures at different stages of their growth cycle. In this way VC’s can better focus on the different issues that affect startups at various stages.

I found this intriguing. I summarize the segments they discussed below:

Note: [CB] references below link to more info from CrunchBase on the applicable fund and its recent financings.

Super Angel / Seed Funds

Early Stage Funds

  • Smaller than traditional VC
  • Funds with $50 to $125 million in capital
  • Write cheques from $750K to $1 million
  • They like to see a product launch with first cracks at revenue generation to prove the idea can be monetized
  • Representative Firms: First Round Capital [CB], Greycroft Partners [CB], True Ventures [CB]

CONTINUE READING →

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Leo Laporte Blows up at Mike Arrington on Gilmore Gang!

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I am a loyal Leo Laporte fan. I have enjoyed his TV shows and have been listening to/watching his podcasts and net streams for years. He is one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. Honest as the day is long. He is so kind tempered he reminds me of Mr. Rogers. I have never seen him loose his temper, let alone swear on his shows, podcasts or feeds.

 

I admire Arrington as well, but I too have grown a bit weary of his bullying. In light of their history, to my mind, Arrington’s calling Leo’s integrity into question crossed the line – especially when he followed up with a childish ‘… what are you going to do about it” comment.

Normally this kind of thing would have been laughed off by Leo. But I’ve heard Arrington go after Leo’s/Gilmore’s guests unnecessarily hard in recent shows and its time someone called him out on it. It would be one thing if Mike didn’t know Leo well. He does. Leo assiduously discloses all conflicts of interest at every opportunity. Michael knows this.

Good for you Leo! 

[June 9 Update 1: A few hours later Leo recorded a 2nd Gilmore Gang where apologies and explanations were proffered. Click here to access it. It doesn’t start until about 13 minutes in. As you’ll hear, there is a real issue as to whether the Gilmore Gang will continue to be produced by the twit.tv network. I’m of mixed opinion. I fear that Gilmore’s personality and the kind of show he produces is not a match for the rest of the Twit network content.]

[June 9 Update 2: It seems the Internet mob has been tearing into Mike and he has shut down his Techcrunch account on Friendfeed. As I read through the comments against Mike and Leo, too  many in the crowd have been unnecessarily abusive, mostly towards Michael. While I was upset with Mike’s cavalier attack on Leo’s integrity, Michael doesn’t deserve all this grief either. He made a mistake, he apologized. Leo accepted the apology. That should be enough. I’m now feeling sorry for Michael.]

See also:

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How to Listen to Video Podcasts with the iPhone Display Turned Off

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diggnation podcast - alex albrecht and kevin rose
While listening to audio-only podcasts, iPhone users can press the ‘Sleep/Wake’ button to turn off the display, yet still continue listening to the podcast. iPhone users can also click the iPhone’s ‘Start’ button when listening to audio podcasts, use other iPhone apps, and continue listening to the podcast uninterrupted.

Not so with video podcasts. Clicking the ‘Sleep/Wake’ button, or clicking the iPhone’s start button shuts video podcasts off. The inability to just listen to video podcasts has been one of my primary complaints with the iPhone’s iPod functionality. See my other major complaints here and here.

Why Would Anyone Want to Just Listen to a Video Podcast?

All video podcasts are not created equal. Some video podcasts such as CO-OP, demand that the user ‘watch’ them to get the most out of them. Other podcasts , such as the ‘Cranky Geeks’, Geek Brief TV and Diggnation can usually be enjoyed without ever looking at the screen.

There are several reasons why one might wish to consume a video podcast with the visual element shut off:

  • While Using other IPhone Apps: Since I can, and often do, use other iPhone/iTouch apps while listening to audio podcasts, I sometimes just want/need to just listen to video podcasts while using other apps. Why not?
  • Increased battery life: Video playback consumes an enormous amount of battery charge. If you don’t need to watch the video to enjoy it, why waste the battery?
  • Putting iPhone in Pocket: I often put my iPhone in my pocket while listening to podcasts. When the iPhone screen cannot be shut off, this becomes a bit clumsy. The act of putting it in my pocket (or taking it out) often results in unwanted screen clicks that can shut the podcast off, fast forward it, pause it etc.
  • While Driving: Who needs the video on while driving?

Bottom Line: Hardly a day has gone by since I purchased my iPhone last August, when I didn’t wish I could turn off the screen and still listen to my video podcasts.

Turns out that there has been a way to do this all along. It took me 8 months before I stumbled upon this trick.

CONTINUE READING →

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Best Video Game Podcasts – Updated

Categories: industryinteractive mediavideo games
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video game podcasts - co-op review of riddick, dark athena
This is an updated version of the earlier ‘Best Video Game Podcast’ post I made on April 18, 2008. I have listened to, and abandoned, many video game-related podcasts. Those listed below have survived the culling and, with one exception, are recommended without hesitation. At the bottom I list the deadpool – formerly good podcasts that are now deceased or reincarnated. :)

1. Listen Up – formerly The 1Up Yours Podcast:

listen up podcast iconListen Up is the successor to the 1Up Yours Podcast. Oddly, the name was changed after 1UP.com was purchased by UGO Networks in January 2009, but the format and content is largely the same. It ‘airs’ Friday evenings. The show is still hosted by Garnett Lee, but most of the former cast (who make occasional guest appearances) have moved on to other things: Luke Smith – now with the Bungie podcast; Bryan Intihar -now with Insomniac Games; Dan ‘Shoe’ Hsu – now on permanent vacation; John Davison now at what they play; and Shane Bettenhausen, now Director of Business Development at Ignition Entertainment. Despite the constant cast changes, Garnet continues to provide an interesting set of revolving guests that consistently provide an entertaining and informative podcast week-in and week-out. My original 1Up Yours criticism still remains – the show is often too long and the interesting content (ie: the news) is usually held back to the the end. Not quite as good as it was when the old cast was there, but still the best video game podcast out there.

2. CO-OP – formerly The 1Up Show (video) Podcast:

co-op podcast iconThe CO-OP podcast (pictured above), continues on where the cancelled The 1Up Show left off. It shares the same cast and terrific production crew. It’s still my favorite video podcast. It provides a comprehensive set of visual video game previews and reviews. It also features interviews with industry luminaries and provides trade show coverage. If you want to watch a video game before purchase, this  is the best place to do it. This video podcast comes in small and large sizes (3x the size) suitable for viewing on the iPhone/iTouch and AppleTV respectively.

CONTINUE READING →

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Variable Speed Scrubbing (Fast Forwarding – Rewinding) Coming to iPhone 3.0

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variable speed scrubbing on iPhone 3.0

Next to my ongoing desire for a podcast delete function, the next-most glaring problem I have had with the iPhone and iPod Touch’s iPod playback functionality is its janky fast-forwarding and rewinding (also known as ‘scrubbing’).

The two most common scrubbing issues I have with my iPhone are when I want: (i) to skip back , say 10 seconds, to re-listen to something i missed – like I can with TiVo’s instant replay button; and (ii) to jump forward past podcast commercials – I can only listen to so many Audible ads on the Twit Network.

scrubbing with scroll wheel on an iPod nano Scrubbing with the scroll wheel on iPods is a breeze. (See this ‘How to Scrub on Your iPod’ video, depicted in the picture on the right, for example.) You can easily jump back and forth to the exact desired spot within the song, podcast or video you are consuming by moving your thumb clockwise or counterclockwise on the scroll wheel as shown in the picture.

There is no scroll wheel on the iPhone or the iPod Touch. Instead, there is tiny round selector (see image above) on a small 1.25” horizontal scroll bar that you slide left and right to move around your media. This provides decent accuracy for short items such as a 3 minute song. For longer-form content, such as multi-hour podcasts and movies, the 1.25” scroll bar is too small to accurately select any given point of play. I personally consume long-form content the most. Such clumsy scrubbing has often left me 5 to 10 minutes away from the place I want to be.

The solution, variable speed scrubbing.

CONTINUE READING →

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How To Move the iTunes Library to a Home Server while Keeping its Underlying Media Structure Intact

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iTunes - dale's iTunes after move

Is the size of your iTunes music library starting to overwhelm your C: drive? Do you want to make your iTunes music library available to more than one PC over a network?

This post is about how to move all the files in your iTunes Music Library (including music, podcasts, videos, TV shows and audio books) from your PC’s drive to a network drive (or another drive on the same PC) while retaining both: (i) the integrity of the underlying file names and organization structures; and (ii) playlists, play counts, ratings etc.

This post is for the gear-head types like myself. Those that have spent time ‘under the hood’ organizing their music the way they want – naming the underlying files with names of their choice, organizing the files into directories of their choice, etc.

If you are like most people and let iTunes do its own thing (ie: let iTunes handle file naming and organization), this post is not for you. There are much easier ways to move your files if you let iTunes do this it’s way. See, for example, here, here and here.

Background

First PMP – The Creative Nomad: My first portable music player was a 32 Meg (yes, Meg, not Gig) Creative Nomad. I organized my music at that time with Windows Media player (‘WMP’).

Dale’s Early Music Organization: Over the years, I spent an enormous amount of time and energy ripping songs from my CDs, keeping my underlying music library file names, file organization/directory structures and meta data pristine. All the files were contained under my C:\Files\MP3 hierarchy, making it very easy to back up my media from time to time by simply backing up that directory.

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Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library Reserve Podcast

Categories: beveragesinteractive mediawine
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gary vaynerchuk reviews a wine on the wine library tv reserve podcast

4.5rating(4.5/5)

From Revision3′s stable of podcasts comes Gary Vaynerchuk’s (Wikipedia) entertaining and informative Wine Library Reserve podcast (available in HD).  Gary begins most every podcast with: "This my friends is the Thundershow, a.k.a the Internet’s most passionate wine program". He isn’t exaggerating.

Note: He also has hosts the longer form companion "wine library tv" podcast that’s only available in SD.

gary vaynerchuk uses colorful tasting metaphors on the wine library tv reserve podcast In each 5 minute episode he first ‘sniffy sniffs", then tastes, spits out and ultimately reviews three to four different wines with exuberance reminiscent of Roberto Benigni’s acceptance of his Best Actor Oscar. His descriptions are funny, provocative, entertaining and informative. Graphics are generated on the fly depicting each of the the smells and tastes he encounters along the way from the initial sniffs, to the entry, the midpalet, the finish and the length. His  descriptions range from the conventional (black current with a gary vaynerchuk - comparing wine to asphalt dusttouch of spice) to the hilarious (this tastes like pooh mixed with tar). During the review pictured on the left he likened the wine’s taste to concrete dust. :) He somehow manages to get up to a dozen or so smells or tastes out of every bottle.

CONTINUE READING →

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How to Set Podcasts to Auto Delete From Your iPod – Updated March 18 2009

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ipod I’m writing this in the event there are avid iPod/iTunes podcast users that, like me, didn’t know they can set iTunes to auto-delete podcasts after they have finished with them.

I listen to/watch anywhere from 2 to 10 podcasts every day. For years it has been a pet peeve of mine that I had to use iTunes to manually delete podcasts that I have listened to/watched in order to delete them from the iPod. I couldn’t understand why Apple didn’t provide an option on the iPod to delete podcasts I was finished with.

Turns out that unbeknownst to me, auto-podcast-delete functionality has been there for quite some time – just not how I expected. iTunes has had a function to do exactly what I wanted it to do – auto delete podcasts when finished – since version 4.9.

 Homer - doh!

Note: These instructions are for Windows users. The process may be different on Apple PCs.

[March 17, 2009 Update: The iTunes software has changed since I originally wrote this post. Previously, podcast settings were set ‘across the board’ in the Podcasts tab from the the Edit/Preferences menu. Since the fall of 2008, iTunes allows/requires you to set such preferences for each individual podcast. Hence, I have two “Here’s How” sections below to reflect the changes.]

[March 22, 2009 Update: Josh Baltzell pointed out in the comments section below that there is a delete option on the iPod Touch and the iPhone. When viewing the episodes list on the device, you can swipe from right to left to bring up a red delete button. While it works (ie: deletes the podcast from the list), unfortunately it does not permanently delete the podcast or result in it being deleted in iTunes after the next sync. Indeed, unless you ‘finish’ the podcast (or fast forward to the end after listen) as instructed below, it will return to the list after the next sync.]

Here’s How- in iTunes 8 (post-Fall 2008)

With iTunes 8, there are no longer universal podcast settings. Rather you set your auto-delete and other preferences for each individual podcast as follows.

  • Allow Auto Delete for Each Podcast: First, right click on the podcast that you want to auto-delete and click on the “Allow Auto Delete” item (shown in picture below) from the menu. If the ‘Allow Auto Delete’ option is not available (you will instead see a ‘Do Not Auto Delete’ option) that means auto delete is already permitted for that podcast.

itunes - podcast - allow auto delete

  • Change Podcast Settings: With the podcast in question still highlighted, click the “Settings” button at the bottom of the podcast list.

iTunes 8 - podcast settings button

  • Keep All Unplayed Episodes: On the resulting Podcast Settings screen, make sure ‘Use Default Settings’ is unchecked. Then  select “All unplayed episodes” from the ‘Episodes to keep:” pull-down menu:

iTunes 8 - podcast settings - episodes to keep - all unplayed episodes

That’s pretty much it. Do this again and again for each podcast.

Now, when you have "finished" listening to/watching podcasts, the next time you sync, if you forced the finish (as discussed below) the play count for that podcast will increment to 1 (indicating it has been played) and the podcast will auto deleted from your iPod and iTunes. Note: Don’t forget to read the ‘Two Minor Gotchas” section below.

Here’s How – Pre Fall 2008 iTunes Versions

For those of you still using older iTunes software, on the "podcasts" tab in the the iTunes Edit/Preferences screen select the Keep: "All unplayed Episodes" (circled in red below).

iTunes - keep all unplayed episodes option

That’s pretty much it.

Now, when you have "finished" listening to/watching podcasts, the next time you sync, if you forced the finish (as discussed below), the play count for that podcast will increment to 1 and the podcast will be deleted from your iPod and iTunes.

Two Minor Gotchas

1. Need to Force a "Finish":

You’ll notice I put "finished" in quotes above. The reason is because, your being "finished" with it may not be exactly what iTunes needs for this to work. Read on.

In order to make sure that partially listened-to podcasts aren’t deleted before their time, the iPod will only delete the podcast from your iPod when it has been fully listened to/watched. So, if you are 3/4 the way through a podcast (or stop even a few seconds from the end) iTunes considers that podcast not fully listened-to. So it is left in your iPod list for you to continue listening/watching where you left off.

The problem: I usually stop listening to podcasts a couple minutes before the end. I don’t, for example, usually listen to closing outro music or to the podcaster’s goodbyes. So, when I stop and move on to the next podcast iTunes doesn’t consider this to be a fully listened-to podcast, does not increment the play count to ’1′ and therefore doesn’t automatically delete it.

Solution: When you are done with a podcast, before moving on to the next podcast, use the iPod’s/iPhone’s fast forward/scrubbing function, to zoom to the end of the finished podcast, thereby forcing the play count to increment to 1. This will result in an auto deletion during your next iPod sync.

2. Auto Delete in iTunes Occurs Only After Next Refresh

While the podcast will be deleted from the iPod on the next sync, it will not be removed from the iTunes podcast list until after the next iTunes podcast refresh.

Solution: If you really care, press the "refresh" button in iTunes after syncing. This will force the refresh which will then delete the fully listened-to podcasts. Otherwise, the solution is patience. Assuming your iTunes is set to refresh the podcast list at least once a day, it shouldn’t take more than a day for fully listened–to podcasts to disappear from the iTunes podcast list.

Bottom Line: If you follow the advice above, you’ll never have to manually delete a podcast again.

A Note About Podcasts on AppleTV

I inadvertently discovered the iPod/iTunes auto-delete functionality when I was looking into whether there is an auto-delete function for video podcasts watched on the AppleTV. Having to manually delete them with my current TiVo video podcast solution was starting to annoy me.

The same rules apply to podcasts watched on Apple TV. If you want synced podcast to delete from your AppleTV, fast forward to the end when finished.

Apple Please Give Us a Delete Button

For years now I have wanted a podcast delete button on my iPod/iPhone/AppleTV.  While there is a delete button option on the iPod Touch and iPhone, as of March 23, 2009 there is no permanent way to delete a podcast from these devices (and ultimately from iTunes) and no such function is planned for the iPhone 3.0 software release due out in summer 2009 that I am aware of. Now that we have ‘copy and paste’ its high-time we get a permanent podcast delete function. Don’t you agree?

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Video Podcasts From TiVo Desktop 2.6.1 Just Work – Still Room For Improvement

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commandN.tv Podcast on TiVo TiVo Desktop version 2.6.1 (download here) was launched on April 9, 2008 (See TiVoPony’s announcement and Megazone’s post including TiVo’s press release). For TiVo Desktop users that have upgraded to TiVo Plus (U.S. $24.99), the most important new feature of version 2.6.1 is its integrated support for video podcasts.

[November 8, 2008 Update: I have stopped using TiVo Desktop approach for video podcast access, viewing and maintenance ever since I purchased AppleTV in August 2008. The entire video podcast experience on AppleTV is far superior to, and much less kludgy than, the TiVo solution.]

Video podcasts of your choosing can now be served up from your PC to your TiVo Series 2, 3 or TiVoHD. Once setup (see below) the TiVo Desktop software monitors your video podcast directories and automatically copies newly arrived video podcasts to your TiVo (sorted in podcast-specific folders).

This is a marked improvement over the prior ‘walled garden’-only offering – TiVoCast. With TiVoCast, (which still exists), TiVo chooses which video podcasts you can subscribe too (see my prior critique here). With the new 2.6.1 functionality, you decide which video podcasts you want on your TiVo.

Also, for the first time, version 2.6.1 provides TiVo Series 3 and TiVoHD users with higher quality PC to TiVo transfers. HD video content residing on your PC (video podcasts, TV shows, movies etc.) transfer to high definition TiVo units at 720p compared to 480p previously (480p is still used for HD transfers to Series 2 units).

While not being promoted by TiVo, the TiVo Desktop software can monitor any folder on your computer – not just podcast folders. So, when new content appears in that folder, say, for example, a BitTorrent folder, the software will automatically copy that content to your TiVo as well.

I installed and tested version 2.6.1 on my Vista 64 PC, and I’m delighted to report that it just plain works! A bit of a happy surprise given the hair pulling I’ve gone through with prior TiVo Desktop installs.

Below I describe the installation process, demonstrate how to use TiVo Desktop to serve video podcasts to your TiVo and discuss areas where improvements are still needed.

CONTINUE READING →

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The Best Video Game Podcasts

Categories: industryinteractive mediavideo games
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Below is, in my opinion, a list of the best video game podcasts ordered by preference. I have listened to, and abandoned, many video game-related podcasts. Those listed below have survived the culling and, with one exception, are recommended without hesitation.

1. The 1Up Yours Podcast:

1Up Yours Podcast LogoThis is my favourite video game podcast. It ‘airs’ Friday evenings. Despite 1Up Yours seemingly continuous personality turnover (Luke Smith – now with the Bungie podcast; Bryan Intihar -now with Insomniac Games; Dan ‘Shoe’ Hsu – now on permanent vacation), Host Garnett Lee, with Shane Bettenhausen, John Davison and a revolving set of guests consistently provide an entertaining and informative podcast week-in and week-out. My only criticism of the show is that it is often too long and the interesting content is usually held back to the the end. Otherwise, its the best video game podcast.

[January 22, 2009 Update: I’m saddened to report that with the demise of EGM and the purchase of 1Up by UGO, the January 22, 2009 episode of 1UP Yours was the last (read: The Last 1Up Yours). Another victim of the economic downturn. :( Shane Bettenhausen, a cornerstone of the show is joining game publisher Ignition Entertainment as Director of Business Development. Another show hosted by Garnet Lee is scheduled to replace it on the same feed starting January 30. ]

2. Game Theory Podcast :

game theory podcast logo The Game Theory podcast (formerly the Next-Gen.biz podcast) is also a terrific weekly video game podcast. While 1Up Yours is strong in  games coverage, the Game Theory podcast’s strength lies with its strong industry coverage. Gary Whitta & Colin Campbell are veteran video game industry reporters who put on an engaging and enlightening podcast. And, there’s something about their British accents that seems to elevate it. I highly recommend this podcast.

CONTINUE READING →

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