Voodoo Chile on the Gayageum

At cloudvillager, we’re pretty big Hendrix fans. To this day, we’d never heard of the traditional Thai instrument called the Gayageum, but here is someone rocking Voodoo Chile on one.

Requiem for an Aglet

Great hoodie. The Best Hoodie.

Terrible aglets.

Everything about the hoodie shows great care and attention to detail. The stitches are flawless and strong, the cuffs – though absurdly long – impart a feeling of permanence that I didn’t believe possible of a stretch material.

But these damn aglets. My left aglet was split wide open from the word go, the lace threatening to spring from its casing with a firm tug. The right aglet, though far more secure, inspired no more confidence than a payless shoelace.

Perhaps owing to a congenital impatience for misbehaved inanimate objects, I attacked the left aglet with my leatherman in an attempt to instill some discipline, but it now shows “bite marks”. Less than stern stuff, these god damned aglets.

Fix them and you’re flirting with perfection.

Why Killing Google Reader Was a Mistake

Google, as an advertising company, relies on its audience.

Audiences are notoriously difficult to cultivate. Talk to any of the scores of media executives with tastes impeccable and checks unemployment; they’ll likely spin you a tale of a once-killer audience that evanesced as quickly as it grew, never quite sure of how it became, and doubly unsure of how it dissolved.

In the tech industry, though, there’s a fairly reliable demographic around which you can build your brand: The Alpha Technologist. In traditional marketing jargon, they are the tastemakers, the thought leaders. The alpha technologist adopts, recommends, and sets defaults.

From the beginning, Google relied on the alpha. The alpha discovered them, promoted them, told anyone who would listen to “drop your infoseeks and alta vistas. Google is as pure and effective a search as you’ll find”. And users listened, because these were people that knew. They are the connoisseurs and the curators, the researchers and the advisors. The “computer guy”. Even the “computer guys” worth eight figures with art collections.

They are the default. They are who you ask when you’re considering a new home theater pc or smartphone. And they built Google’s audience right up to the moment Google broke through the crust and exposed an historically rich vein of advertising dollars, advertising dollars that continue to provide every single cent of usable revenue for Google.

And by killing Reader, Google lost scores of them. Information junkies and technologists were the primary audience for Reader, and they are the tastemakers.

Google Keep launched this week to widespread ambivalence amongst its key demographic – the alpha technologists – largely owing to Google’s unceremonious shuttering of Reader. The trust is gone and the love, well, the love is looking for a home.

Now mind you, Google isn’t going begging. Their search audience is too large, too entrenched to be affected by the disgust of a few dozen thousand users. Hell, most Google users are unaware that a product named Reader even existed, much less feel any kind of emotion in response to its death.

But they still need those die-hards, those tastemakers to launch their new products, and I don’t think they’ll be back.

And when there’s a better search? Or whatever’s beyond search? The alphas will be there, and they’ll be setting new defaults.

Prince Rupert’s Drop

We here at Cloudvillager are pretty big fans of Smarter Every Day, but this video in particular is worth watching, if only for seeing a failure front at 100k frames per second.

Apple dominating the cloud storage market?

Well this is rather shocking. According to these analytics, Apple has a decent lead in market share for cloud-based storage products.

We use iCloud here and there, but primarily use Dropbox for our cloud storage needs, and we can’t recommend it highly enough.

It has been pretty amazing to see those guys grow their business since we signed up four years ago.

We’re not shocked at all that Ultraviolet, the horrendously unusable video-storage service touted by major media companies, has such little adoption. A nice reminder that too much control can be a bad thing.

On American Giant

We here at cloudvillager love to support domestic producers where we can. Here is a casual clothing producer making all of their garments in the United States. Their name is American Giant and they make clothes that last.

If you’re not familiar, I highly recommend checking them out. They’re made entirely in the United States (an extreme rarity, even for “premium” brands), and once you have one of their garments in your hands, you can feel that it’s a 20-year article of clothing.

We’ve also got a few of their t-shirts over here at the office, and we’ll just say this: if we’re ever dangled by our collars over a balcony by Suge Knight in an effort to recover royalties from us, we’ll want to be in our American Giant hoodies versus your typical wan, Dick’s Sports special.