Qualcomm Shows Lenovo Smartbook – PC World

Qualcomm Shows Lenovo Smartbook – PC World.

This was my “secret” project from December 2008 to September of this year when I moved off of the project to the Global Digital Marketing role. Previewed today by Qualcomm by their CEO Paul Jacobs. Stay tuned. This is a very interesting product. What is a “Smartbook?” — take a Netbook and connect it via 3G to the Internet and run it on a super long battery life  ARM processor with HD Flash video and optimize the whole thing for a cloud computing experience. The design on this baby is stunning (but I am biased).

Forbes.com has more details. I’ll tell the full insider story at CES in January.

Gas mask cheese

Woke up at 4 am in California to take East Coast calls. Stumbling around pre-coffee in the dark in my mother-in-law’s Potrero Hill kitchen I grabbed a baguette and smeared some Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk cheese on it.

I needed a gas mask. This stuff is seriously toxic (but good). Reminds me of a French Epoisse,  the cheese that is reputedly banned from French public transportation. I am totally ruined for public consumption. Mere breath mints will not erase this issue. Now to figure out how to smuggle a few of these things back to Boston on Sunday without a) ruining my suitcase and its contents and b) setting off the nerve gas detectors at the security checkpoints.

Music distribution, YouTube, and DoubleTwist

A band I have been keeping my eyes on for a few weeks — Them Crooked Vultures — is a week away from releasing their debut album. It’s one of those celebrity rocker projects — John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl from Nirvana/Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age/Kyuss. In keeping with the trend set by Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and others, the band has done an interesting job in building demand for the music through a web site, email newsletter, and the release of a sample song …. through YouTube.

This morning the band notified me via email that the entire album was on YouTube. The website is a great example of leveraging social sharing tools to spread the word — a real time Twitter feed — Facebook integration. So very smart interactive marketing happening behind the scenes.

So I went to YouTube — which is not surprising given that I heard the experts at YouTube/Google once confirm that the most viewed type of content on the service is …. music — and indeed, there were all 13 tracks from the furthcoming release.

Now it gets interesting. I’ve been playing with DoubleTwist all summer — a content “synchronizer/player” developed by DVD Jon. This is a very very very intriguing piece of software that has freed me from the locked tyranny of iTunes so I can manage my digital assets across multiple devices — in other words, I can put iTunes music on my BlackBerry Bold thanks to DoubleTwist. The program has a cool function that also allows one to paste in the url of a YouTube video and import into a local playlist.  Five minutes and I had the entire Them Crooked Vultures album on my iPod a week early (I will buy it, the quality of the MP3s is obviously low and sub-par).

So what? Well, the so-what is that the artists are sharing stuff for free on free platforms and I can collect and manage that free stuff using free tools. If I were a credit-card challenged 25-year old who was compelled to build a music library I think I would need look no further than YouTube and DoubleTwist. I look forward to the insights of noted Music Economist Uncle Fester on this “freemium” tactic.

The $178 Turkey

I’m a food snob with the best of them — but I am not necessarily an organo-phobe who demands to know whether my steak died happy and fed on grass. I am also a customer of D’Artagnan, the specialty butcher supply house that can provide everything from armagnac duck sausage to wild boar. Being an occasional customer I receive their email offers.

I just had to ask, who would pay $178 for a turkey? I mean, turkey unto itself is not up there with Kobe beef and Bluefin tuna as one of life’s essential delicacies. What’an equivalent Butterball cost? $40?

I’d expect this thing to play the accordion and entertain me.

“Enjoy the natural goodness and delicious flavor of a traditional Heritage Turkey at your holiday meal.”

via Thanksgiving Turkeys, Buy Fresh and Natural Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner Online.

Google Wave

david.churbuck@googlewave.com if you are running the beta and want to add me as a contact. I’ve played with it a little bit with Mitch Ratcliffe but the earth didn’t move beneath my feet. I need to invest more time and effort in the tool.

Also need to light up Google Voice — if I can find my invite ….

Whereabouts week of Nov. 9-15

Monday – Tuesday 11.9-11.10:  Cotuit. Developing strategy for emerging market digital marketing following last week’s workshop in Beijing. Organizing new Global Digital Marketing team.

Wednesday-Friday 11.11-11.13: San Francisco, CMO Club, Thought Leadership Summit. Speaking Friday on “Leveraging High Technology to Redefine Marketing”

Saturday-Sunday 11.14-11.15: San Francisco personal time

following week: Raleigh, NC 11.17-11.119

feels good to be back on the road. Three months of being utterly housebound because of  l’affaire de retina simply sucked.

Fifty-two Churches

I am not a religious person, but this morning marked the second Sunday in a row that I’ve continued with a concept that I hadthought about for a number of years (but officially commenced last weekend); visit a different local church, temple, mosque, or coven every week for a year (within reason) and then blog about it.

Some background on my religious proclivities or lack of: I attended church as a child thanks to my mother, who was determined to see some spirituality instilled in me and my siblings, mostly Congregationalist churches in Georgetown and Andover, Massachusetts. My father was an atheist who claimed to be a “Home Baptist” and a parishioner in the “Church of Saint Mattress.” He did not attend my baptism at the age of 13, and indeed blamed the demise of a pet gerbil on that same event coming a day after I was officially inducted into some long-forgotten church in Andover. I attended an all-boys prep school in Massachusetts founded by an Episcopalian Bishop – Phillips Brooks – a famed orator, clergyman, and rector of the Trinity Church in Copley Place in Boston. Chapel was conducted several nights a week after dinner, was compulsory, and a few of the faculty were ordained ministers. I was baptized at Brooks in Lake Cochiewick a second time by the late Reverend George F. Vought (along with a Buddhist classmate from Thailand) and was eventually confirmed as a member of the Episcopalian church in the Brooks Chapel – probably my favorite religious memory to this day.

The Churbuckian religious status today:

  • I don’t go to church and don’t consider myself religious
  • I am a “registered” congregant of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Osterville, but again, do not attend services
  • I was married in the Cotuit Federated Church by a visiting minister who once played on a famous UCLA national championship basketball team in the 1950s and was extremely tall
  • The Cotuit church is the “Churbuck church” – we get married and buried there – but I have only attended services once to see my neighbor Reverend Jeremy do an awesome baseball-themed service last summer
  • I am not a big Jesus guy and don’t go for the miracle stuff, but understand it is powerful stuff – and has dominated Western thought for the last 2009 years.
  • I am monotheistic in the Einsteinian sense that I believe something ties stuff together.
  • I do not take communion when I do attend services because I am agnostic
  • I do not sing hymns because I am tone deaf and annoy people sitting around me who usually think I am mocking the music
  • I subscribe to the foxhole theory of atheism. I prayed very earnestly for my life in 1981 while delivering a decrepit 60-foot ocean going catamaran to Florida in a November gale

So – with all of that said as a form of disclaimer and disclosure: why visit random houses of worship and then write about them? Good question. Let’s see:

  • It is a nice way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday morning that would be otherwise spent doing email and reading the Sunday Times.
  • The music can be quite good
  • The architecture of some churches is impressive
  • I live near some old churches with some significant colonial history behind them
  • It seems like an interesting thing to do, especially religions I know nothing about like Greek Orthodox, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses …..
  • It could be very enlightening
  • I get to be pedantic and indulge my interest in 19th century American intellectual and spiritual history
  • It’s a good excuse to go to different places and find a nice lunch and a walk afterwards
  • It beats blogging about interactive marketing

I intend to limit my range to Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands. My criteria? Try to visit as many diverse denominations and faiths as possible, seek interesting churches, and always attend with the utmost respect and humility. This is not a “critique” of churches or religions, nor will I award stars, rankings, or any judgments. So, let’s start off.

11.1.09: St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Falmouth, Massachusetts, on the village green.

At the invitation of my good friend Paul Noonan, I attended a very unique service in this wonderful stone church on Falmouth’s historic village green. Entitled Solemn Evensong for The Feast of All Saint’s Day, this was an afternoon service on the first early afternoon of the late fall – the day after Halloween and the first night of daylight savings time. I attended in bowtie and blazer and was greeted by Mr. Noonan for being overdressed. I reminded him that alumni of The Brooks School would no sooner appear in chapel without a coat and tie as they would go to the dining hall without pants.

The organ and choir were the main attraction of this musical service, which has its historical antecedents in vespers or evening prayers. There was no sermon nor standard religious drill, but instead most, if not all of the proceedings were sung by the choir.

The prelude was Johannes Brahms “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen” – or “O World, I Now Must Leave Thee” – in keeping with the avowed purpose of the All Saints service which was to remember the congregations’ deceased from the previous year.

I sat alone, near the back, and found the service amazingly relaxing and meditative, particular the Lessons, which were sung – The Magnificat and the Nunc dimittis. Coming from the WASP tradition, this is pretty much a familiar, “home-team” sort of church experience for me.

The program gave an excellent explanation of Evensong:

“Based on the services held daily in the medieval Church, Evensong, as arranged in the Book of Common Prayer of the Anglican Church, has been sung regularly in the Church since the sixteenth century, the Tudor Age (with only a few breaks during the Commonwealth in the Seventeenth Century. Here the music is sung by the Choir. ”

The church is quite intimate and cozy, with a very high cathedral ceiling, wonderful stained glass made in England, and dark woodwork. This is a very late 19th century “English” church. Attendance was somewhat sparse – a shame given the quality of the wonderful choral music, and I believe I was the youngest person in the congregation (there were very young people signing in the choir). Mr. Noonan recommended I return for another musical service, the “Compline.” I will likely do so.

11.8.09 West Parish of Barnstable, West Barnstable, Route 149

For years I have admired this amazing white clapboard church off of Route 6 in West Barnstable. The architecture and the exposed bell in the belfry make this a jewel of Cape Cod’s ecclesiastical architecture.

I arrived a bit before the 10 am service and was warmly greeted, given a name tag, and shown a pew in the back of the meetinghouse. This church was built in 1717 and is the oldest Congregationalist church in the United States. A quick digression on Congregationalism or the United Church of Christ – this is the “ancient” denomination of New England, the direct descendant of the Pilgrim’s faith, and indeed the hymnal is the “Pilgrims’ Hymnal.” Based on what I read in Barbara Tuchman‘s Bible and Sword, the faith of the Pilgrims (not to be confused with the Puritans who settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston) was very Old Testament and almost Jewish in its close dogmatic affinity to Israel. While the Pilgrims fled England in the early 17th century for Leyden, Holland and then Plymouth, the current tenor of Congregationalism is very community focused, social, and liberal in its approach.

I realized my plan of slipping unnoticed into random churches was both rude and unreasonable. When the Reverend Reed Baer asked if there were any visitors I stood and introduced myself by name and hometown. The layout of the church is very interesting – with the Parson ascending steep stairs to a pulpit high above the congregation who sit in “penned” pews with gate door and spindle railings. The layout is square – with the congregation sitting in a u-pattern in front of the pulpit. An upper balcony looked very inviting, and I spied a head or two sitting above me. There was organ music, but the choir sang with a pianist seated near them on the main floor of the church.

There was no stained glass, just nice 24-pane windows (and lots of them). The church was flooded with light on the sunny morning and the wood was all exposed and naturally finished with, heavy split beams supported by several slender columns.

The theme of the service was “healing.” The Parson, a former corporate attorney who was ordained later in his career, was very well spoken and friendly. The house was very nearly packed and had a very warm, community feel in the way the congregation said goodbye to some long-time parishioners who had sold their home to be near their children.

As I departed I met my old captain, David Ellis, from the M/V Point Gammon, the Hy-Line ferry to Nantucket that was my summer job during high school and college. We hadn’t seen each other for 30 years and had a good time reconnecting on the steps of the narthex (which is today’s word of the day).

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