Mark Cuban Dances With The Stars

Mark Cuban, the NBA / Internet mogul that I study religiously, made his way onto Dancing With The Stars (ABC). It's the first time I've ever wanted to catch a reality TV show, and even though I still ended up only watching it on YouTube (why can't I watch it on ABC.com ?), I was not disappointed. He definitely has a lot of fun, and will, as he always does, spice up the show like no other. In his blog post he says "since Jane Seymour is on the show (she is amazing), I promised I would try to get the Motorboat in a future routine as a tribute to her making it famous in The Wedding Crashers." That alone is worth watching the show for.


My New Life Stream - Soup Tumbleblog

I have switched the life stream over from Tumblr, which worked phenomenally for me when I blogged live from the California marketing convention, to the new Soup, which copies the themes of Tumblr for tumble blogging, but offers a different customization and automation feature set. I can't speak to posting, because I haven't made any (it was extremely easy on Tumblr), but importing my postings and feeds from flickr, del.icio.us, youtube, digg, twitter, and blogger is dead simple in Soup. All you do is give your usernames for each product, and the feeds are automatically pulled in. Additionally, as the posts are made into your new tumble blog, they are tagged on the right with little icons of the imported service, so it's clear to the reader where everything came from. For my purposes now this seems like a better way to handle my life stream feeds.

Old life stream on Tumblr
New life stream on Soup


Recap of Free Broadcast TV on the Web

NewTeeVee has an updated summary of where the broadcast television networks are airing their new tv shows for free. If you miss the show on TV, and don't have a DVR, you can now catch most episodes streaming for free on the web. NBC is even offering free downloads, eventually to be available for transfer onto portable video players, for one week after each episode airs.
You can also watch most of these shows via the desktop browser VeohTV, which I am a big fan of.


I've been spammed !!

I'm deleting the original post but I'll copy it here.  This worries me because if the spammers got access to my Google account then they have a lot of information.  I'll monitor it closely.  I've removed all of the hyperlinks; the post was at 5:01 PM 9/19/07.



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Viewdle is Facial Recognition in Videos

New video application Viewdle is actually able to pull off significant facial recognition within video.  It takes one detailed image of a person's face and then picks out when the person appears in video.  This leads to deep tagging and rich video search.  I'm not sure whether this will be available for personal use (could they offer a browser extension where this is utilized in video we've already uploaded on YouTube, Google Video, and Facebook), but it's alive and impressive on the Reuters, allowing you to search through their video archives.

Other recent articles about facial recognition in images: Riya 1,2 (my favorite), Google, AOL


the k b skobac life stream

I'm taking Last.FM out of my life stream.  Unfortunately a few hours of listening to music and I'm pages away from posts of anything but song titles.  Either Tumblr has to find a way to record batches of music that come in together (like Facebook does with del.icio.us bookmarks), or Last.FM has to provide an  RSS feed that shows something of the like.  Does anyone miss seeing the current songs I'm listening to? Any thoughts on the life stream all together?

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If you want to try Y!Mash, Yahoo!'s new social network

I just signed up for Y!Mash, the new Yahoo! Social network.  It has features from just about all of the other social networks, which you would expect from any entrant into the field at this point- News feeds from Facebook, modules from Bebo, etc.  I'm not really looking for another social network right now so the benefit is really how well this ties together yahoo features (and my existing blogs) easly - flickr, del.icio.us, y! music, etc.  If someone is interested in testing it out, let me know and I'll send an invite.  The site is in early stages, and nothing overwhelming, but it can't hurt to play around with.

Google is rumored to be coming out with a social stream that ties together the work you're doing on everything that Google owns - YouTube, Blogger, Google Docs, Picasa, etc.  If only Picasa was as strong as Flickr...

I'm not sure why Google or Yahoo! hasn't bought Twitter, either, and rolled that into a powerful blogging platform.  Right now I'm posting to Flickr, Twitter, Del.icio.us, and Blogger regularly, with other tools scattered in.  These are the best tools to chronicle day to day life, and Twitter still and leveraged.

By the way - I got my invite to Y!Mash from InviteShare, the web 2.0 beta invite sharing tool now owned by TechCrunch.  It took all of 30 seconds between me signing up and receiving the invite I wanted.


kbskobac.blogspot.com on the WayBack Machine (Historical View of My Site)

I consider it somewhat of a landmark event that this blog is now being tracked on the Wayback Machine. For those who don't know, the Wayback Machine archives internet sites so you can return to a point in time and see what the site used to look like. For more significant websites, there is an archived copy multiple times a month (see ESPN back in 1998 for example). Still, I think it's pretty cool that they have archived versions of my blog on March 23 2006, July 18 2006, and November 1 2006, all three times when I was utilizing different website formats. The layout doesn't look exactly right due to images and resources being shut down since then, but you get the general idea. I guess the little I've done with this site in a few years is enough to put myself in the internet history books.


A Summer Full of Concerts

This was definitely a summer that ended full of concerts.  Within a month long period I saw Velvet Revolver (Stone Temple Pilots and Guns & Roses combined), Alice in Chains, Counting Crows, Live, Collective Soul, Muse, The Yeah Yeah Yeah's, and the Arctic Monkeys.  I even saw Richie Sambora play acoustic guitar.  I watched shows on the beach, in a minor league stadium, laying out in Central Park, and in Madison Square Gardens.  All great music, in different environments, in different ways. 

My clips of Counting Crows and Live at a minor league stadium in Lakewood NJ

My clips of The Arctic Monkeys from where I sat outside the amphitheater at Central Park, New York City

Fred Wilson's (A VC blog) clip of The Arctic Monkeys performing "Do Me a Favour" from his view actually inside the amphitheater seeing the same concert

My friend Vito (Radio V 2.0 blog) recording Muse in Madison Square Gardens, NY

My cell phone clips of Richie Sambora, the guitarist for Bon Jovi


DirectTV is Crashing on the day they launch SuperCast NFL ipTV


This year DirectTV released a new feature called SuperCast, which, if you pay the $350 dollars for the full NFL season package, allows you to watch games on Sunday live on your computer.  The package overall is expensive, but the allure of having our own sports bar with an HD TV airing one game and a wide-screen PC airing another was too too great.  Unfortunately DirectTV is folding under pressure on the first big game day of the season, as the above screenshot shows - very dissapointing, a big let down by DirectTV.  I also feel like it sheds poor light on Slingbox, which is sponsoring the SuperCast.  The synergy would be perfect, since Slingbox is all about giving you the TV you want where you want it, but unfortunately the fact that it doesn't work is an embarrassment

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to both parties, even if Slingbox technology has nothing to do with it.

My Brother in the official Maryland University Campus Recreation Guide

My brother Andrew works at the outdoor rec center at Maryland University.  This week he made it into the official Maryland University Campus Recreation Guide - 3 times!  The above picture is on pg 22, followed by a picture he's in on pg 23, and finally a picture he took of a friend climbing on pg 28.  The rec center does camping, climbing, rafting, caving, mountain biking and more - if you're at Maryland you should look him up.

Watch the Daily Show Online for Free


Viacom will be launching TheDailyShow.com with the entire back catalog of John Stewart online.  After fighting with YouTube, MTV is finally bringing a worth only video strategy and offering all of the content of their popular downloaded shows on their websites free with pre-roll.

Last year I watched nearly the entire Heroes season on the NBC website, until last week when I went back to watch the final 5 episodes before the second season starts.  Unfortunately the episodes are no longer offered for free online because they released the DVD's for sale.  What they need to realize is that the people who watch on NBC.com are not watching in place of buying the DVD.  The DVD's catch is extended premium content, and people who want to have full HD quality, extras, deleted scenes, etc, will buy the content regardless of the availability on the website.  For me watching the old episodes isn't important enough to purchase, but I want to catch up and I'd happily watch commercials on the website if I could see the content online for free.  Otherwise I have to turn to other options.

Viacom's offering of The Daily Show online for free is a natural, necessary, and lucrative step in the future of television video content.  The next step is for them to allow VeohTV to pull in the content and represent it as a full video on demand channel, as long as they leave the advertising pre-roll in tact.


Do I care about the iPod Touch ?

Apple released three new iPods yesterday - a widescreen video iPod Nano, a gigantic iPod Classic, and an iPod Touch.  The iPod Touch is essentially an iPhone without a phone/data network, and with the newly added functionality of wireless iTunes when a wireless network is available.

At first glance I was extremely excited about the iPod Touch.  It is an iPhone with a bigger hard drive, a slimmer (under a third of an inch), lighter figure (4.2 ounces is lighter than my camera), full screen video, and wireless browsing via Safari web browser.  Do I run out and buy one as soon as its on the shelves?

But then I started to think.  $399 plus tax and insurance, will probably run close to $600 all said and done.  I don't buy music from iTunes though, so wireless iTunes means nothing to me.  I don't even have new mp3's anymore since I am hooked on Rhapsody,  so 16gb isn't that important to me.  And wireless browsing without guaranteed access due to lack of wi-fi in many areas means I can't keep up on RSS feeds the way I want to throughout the day.  So what am I really getting out of this?

If I buy the iPod Touch it will be the smallest version, probably without a rebate, and I will mostly use it as a mobile computer whenever I'm on a trip. And it will be because I can't resist playing with the browser.  Otherwise I'll buy  the Creative Zen 16 GB which lets me play divx files and use Rhapsody, and a Backberry Pearl 2 when it comes out for Verizon in November.


Mapping My New York City Restaurants

I've added a link to the restaurants I've eaten at in NYC over on the left so you can view suggestions in any location. Google Maps customized is also embeddable now, so here is a version of the map that you can explore

View Larger Map


If you want to follow the Chuck Darrow Courier Post Phillies Blog via RSS thanks to Dapper


Philadelphia Courier Post Online writer Chuck Darrow has a blog you can find here that covers the Philadelphia Phillies baseball season "from a fan's perspective."  While I used to really enjoy reading it, it unfortunately got discarded since the supposed 'blog' had no RSS feed allowing me to see when postings I would like to read and comment on were published.

Now despite the Courier Post's short-sightedness and capitalization of the blog buzz-word without the  prototypical blog element (RSS feed), I have my solution: Dapper.  I've now created an RSS feed that updates as the content on the standard html Chuck Darrow article page updates.  Dapper lets you specify non-RSS content sources and it scours the site for updates, feeding it through in numerous ways once new content is discovered.  Now be alerted of Chuck Darrow's new articles via RSS.

The picture above is in honor of ESPN writer Jayson Stark nominating both Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins for NL MVP.

Rumor (or Confirmed): New iPod will be like the iPhone

ThinkSecret has supposedly confirmed that the new iPod tomorrow will be a completely different than what's been out in market, resembling the iPhone with full touch screen, mac OS, wireless, and more.  There will also be a refresh of the nano, giving it video, and a revamped interface, as shown by the screenshots.  My big 3 wishes are divx, wireless browsing, and Rhapsody compatibility - that would guarantee me buying one immediately.
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How do I figure out what my credit card purchase is classified as?

I am hoping to get something out of Yahoo! Answers.. does anyone know the answer to this question?

How can I see what a purchase on my credit card was classified as? i.e. what counts as a "fast food eatery"
On the Chase Freedom card you get 3% Cash Back on "quick eatery" classified purchases, but this requires a vendor such as Starbucks to list themselves as such with the credit card company. How do you view what the various vendors that you purchased from are classified as?

Content Aware Image Resizing

Here's a video of an impressive new concept of image resizing. Instead of scaling down or cropping, it analyzes a photo for the most important elements in terms of the photograph, and slowly removes pixels from the insignificant areas for as long as the image needs to be shrunk down. Essentially you are left with a different photograph that sums up the most valuable parts of the original. This also allows for amazingly accurate ways of removing objects from the photo, by manually identifying unnecessary pixels, and allowing for the smooth evolution of the image. The video gets significantly more impressive as it goes along. Also here's a small demo available made by a third party (try the horizontal adjusting for more impressive results).