Personal Blog

MacBook AIR - Hot new product alert!

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Tue, Jan 15, 2008 @ 17:01 PM

MacBook AIR, an ultralight Apple laptop was announced today!

See a description and photos courtesy of Infosync.


  • fast (1.6 or 1.8GHz)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 80GB drive (larger than the 40GB I  saw predicted a few weeks ago) or 64GB solid state.
  • built in camera, microphone, and speaker. 
  • Wifi and Bluetooth, of course.


  • only an audio jack, so no ability to use high-quality plug-in headphones with Dolby mic for Skype calling (my favorite on the road)
  • only one USB port
  • 5 hour battery
  • no ethernet (doesn't matter to me, but others are already writing about it)


  • 3 pounds - my Dell is 2 pounds, but the transformers have always weighed a ton on Dell power cords and been super light on Apple, so this might be even carrying weight
Price: $1,799 or $3,098.  Delivery starts in a few weeks.

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Topics: technology innovation, MacBook AIR

Joost & the next generation of Adver-tainment

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Wed, Jun 06, 2007 @ 09:06 AM
The front page of yesterday's NY Times Business section used a lot of ink to tout the announcement of Joost's selection of Mike Volpi to be its new CEO.  But what really got me excited was a paragraph back on page C8 near the end of the article, which said that Joost would play with floating "ad bugs" in the corner of the screen after a commercial is over.  The bug is a little widget that will remind you of the brand and let you link to the advertiser's website. 

Carried to its logical conclusion, this promises a world where nothing and everything is an advertisement.  Imagine you're watching a tv show or movie (or whatever the next generation version of these are) on your pc (or phone or some other futuristic device).  You like the handbag Cameron Diaz is wearing in the scene, so you pause the show, click on the bag and find out who makes it, how much it costs, and are given the instant opportunity to purchase.   She meets Brad Pitt at his car and you can click on the car, his shirt, his sunglasses and get similar information Or, you could click on his pearly whites and find out which brand of toothpaste he uses; click on his haircut, find out who the hair stylist to the stars was who cut his and who in your area offers to reproduce it.  The Joost concept mentioned is to deliver targeted advertising, so maybe it will learn about you and know whether to tell you where to buy the $7,000 original, the $700 or the $17.95 knock-off.  And, maybe, you don't need to pause the action.  You could get a split screen or just a comment bubble like those already on some music videos. more commercial interruptions, but endless opportunities to satisfy vendors with product placement and to satisfy consumers with instant information.


For those who don't have the burning desire to be the first with every form of new technology, Joost is a cool television- through-your-pc technology that lets you watch want you want when you want it.  Depending upon your age, think jukebox or TIVO, with the content already there.  At the moment, the programming is heavily skewed to the young male demographic -- it includes channels for Sports Illustrated Swimsuits, Indy500, Fights, Heavy Animation, etc.  In fairness, though, it does have National Geographic and Reuters and even Deepak Chopra on the Lime Channel.  

Joost is brought to you by the same folks who invited Skype.  (If you're way out of touch, Skype is the software that lets you talk to your friends in China or wherever through your pc, using your internet connection, and costing absolutely nothing).  Joost is in beta testing now and accounts are only available to those who were invited by a friend.  If you know me and you ask me, I'll send you an invitation.
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Topics: technology innovation, technology b2c

Steve Jobs - Are you kidding me???

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Tue, Apr 25, 2006 @ 09:04 AM
Ok, I'm now the proud owner of an iPod.   Imagine my surprise after bringing home $785 in cool Apple stuff that the only thing between me and iTunes nirvana is middle age.  I've already downloaded content in iTunes in my laptop.  I've got the Altec/Lansing mobile speakers set up and in their sleek carrying case.  I'm uploading the iPod software when, it asks me for the serial number from the back of my iPod.  Whooa!  Dead stop....

Can someone please tell Steve Jobs that the rest of us baby boomers can't actually see 5 point type in white ink on a reflective silver surface?
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Topics: technology innovation, technology b2c customer service


Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Thu, Feb 09, 2006 @ 23:02 PM
At DIG, we are experimenting with FOAF - the "Friend Of A Friend" project that makes it possible for computers to link, merge, search, sort web information about people.

The geeky side of me revels in the idea of FOAF, imagining the web of connections rapidly building across the ether. I'm imagining the speed at which I could do certain kinds of research and the ease of finding people whose last names I can't remember. Soon we can all play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in earnest. And, we'll find out if we're actually connected by 6, 3.6, or some other number of degrees of separation.

I've already posted my own FOAF 1.0, which will provide a thread from people I've met at CSAIL to a couple of other technical people I know. I think of it as if they're the first guests to arrive at a party at my house.
. . .

Then the questions start to seep in. Can the people I know marginally (or don't care for) invite themselves to my party? What do I do when someone like that puts me in their FOAF? Can I make them take it off the web? Can I somehow override (overwrite?) their FOAF?

The lawyer part of me raises the ante on a coworker's privacy questions. I'm envisioning people being "FOAFed" -- the internet form of "outed" -- having relationships revealed that they hadn't intended to make public. What about companies mining my FOAF to market to everyone in my group? And, what about the access FOAF provides the government to association information that might otherwise require a subpoena or warrant to discover?

I haven't had a chance to think about this enough to decide if these issues are analagous to those raised by writing about someone else in my blog or having someone write about me in theirs.  I would appreciate getting other people's opinions on this question. 

In the meantime, I too will limit my FOAF to people who've given me permission and who I think understand the potential ramifications.
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Topics: technology innovation, public policy

MIT - December - Fall Semester Ends

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Mon, Jan 23, 2006 @ 15:01 PM
December brought the end of fall term and the first Boston snowstorm.

My team for New Enterprises Class produced a business plan for a dynamic location matching platform.  Imagine that your mobile phone knows when my mobile phone is nearby.  This technology can be used, for example, by dating services to make introductions, but is also useful for businesses wanting to send discount coupons to people who are nearby.

I read CK Prahalad's Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid for Global Markets class.  For an American, this was an eye opening discussion of the 4 to 5 billion people in the world with the limited purchasing power of the equivalent of $1,500US per year.  The author presents a compelling case for recognizing these potential businesspersons and consumers as having the same integrity, drive, and desires as everyone else and provides a series of real-world examples of reaching and exanding those emerging markets.  And, for the inventors/thinkers/entrepreneurs, the book sparks idea after idea.  For example, while many are focused on how to deliver clean water to these markets, the book got me thinking about how to produce the individual use containers that would keep it clean (e.g., is it possible to produce an anti-bacterial bottle or a single-use, fast-degrading bottle).

Just before the semester ended, I took a weekend trip home to Tucson to support one of my favorite charities.  Angel Charity for Children had its annual ball on December 10th.  This all-volunteer charity raises the better part of a million dollars every year for a different children's organization. 

Then, the class took its first trip.  We spent several days in New York city.  The meetings are confidential and off-the-record, so I can't list the people we met.  I can say that we met some of the most well-known leaders of industry, arts, and public policy.  And, I was delighted with how seriously most of our speakers took the off-the-record nature of the meetings and the utmost candor of their comments and answers to our questions. 

While in New York, we did get to enjoy some social activities.  My favorite was a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit explaining the artistic influences on Van Gogh.  I was completely surprised by the discussion of the influence of Utagawa Hiroshige.  I've always admired Hiroshige's work and, after seeing this exhibit, the parallels are obvious.  This was confirmed by a letter he wrote to his brother in the fall of 1888 (part of the exhibit):

"I envy the Japanese for the enormous clarity that pervades their work.  It is never dull and never seems to have been made in haste.  Their work is as simple as breathing and they draw a figure with a few well-chosen lines with the same ease..."

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Topics: technology innovation, MIT - Sloan Fellows, VanGogh, b2c customer service

MIT - October

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Thu, Nov 24, 2005 @ 20:11 PM

Whoosh! The sound of the torrent of time rushing past. I’m nearly half-way through the program! Strategic Management class has ended and Global Markets class has begun. The good news is that MIT is like dog years; you get as much done here in one year as you do anywhere else in seven!


In early October we had Convocation, an event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Sloan Fellows Program and the 25th Anniversary of the Management of Technology Program. ( - make sure to see the events calendar) These programs have now merged to form my program, the Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership ( It was a few fabulous days of speakers, classes, and social events. Also exciting for us was the announcement of a scholarship fund for the program, initially to be focused on third-world applicants. Approximately 500 alumni came together and I met wonderful people. I met one of the original proponents of the four day workweek, got thesis advice, and befriended possible future business partners. Carly Fiorina gave an inspiring talk; we’ll need to wait and see if she’s going to run for office.


I haven’t talked much about the program specifically, but encourage you to look at the profiles of the class. ( From this page, you can click on any picture and read a short statement about each of these impressive people. These little profiles only scratch the surface, though. For example, I interviewed a classmate for an assignment and discovered that he was in business at 14 and had twenty employees by 19! He’s apparently the person behind a very well known, early internet based multi-user communications system. I also discovered that my study group mate – the doctor/lawyer/publisher – also was Director of Moody’s China for four years!


I’ve finally gotten off-campus a little. One of the convocation events was a reception at the Museum of Fine Arts ( It was such an impressive place that I went back shortly thereafter with a new friend from Perth, Australia (spouse of a classmate). I always enjoy Asian collections and there’s a traveling Ansel Adams exhibit, so that made for a great day. Also, attended the opening of a new Star Wars exhibit at the Museum of Science (; this is a great exhibit that will eventually travel to other cities. There are lots of hands-on activities – you don’t need to bring a child to enjoy it!


The speakers just keep coming! In the same week, I heard a terrific talk geared towards the Computer Science majors by Steven Sinofsky, SVP responsible for Microsoft Outlook (with a sneak peek at the next version) and another one geared to the business folks by Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft! Stephen Wolfram (, creator of Mathematica, winner of a MacArthur Genius grant talked over my head for two hours but it was fascinating. Even, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, recipient of a 2005 Nobel Prize and current Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency ( has been here.






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Topics: technology innovation, MIT - Sloan Fellows