I'm so excited to head to lunch today with physical neighbor and MS colleague Scoble to get his download from attending Reboot (which scheduling conflicts prevented me from attending). What a dork I am!
Spending some time today at the super neat Windows Embedded Student Challenge Finals. Just now I'm sitting in the final presentation from the Brazilian UNESP team who built a Windows CE based street blogging system. They've put a web server and the input mechanism on a tiny Ebox and are talking about how Coca-Cola could use something like this to create interactive billboards on the streets - exactly the kind of thing I pitched to Coke when I was there working on emerging tech.
These kids are amazing. I was nowhere near this mature/professional/smart at their age. As Ivan Joseph - the Microsoft organizer of this competition - put it, it's a great time to be at University, it's changed so much since we were in college.
Posted By: Chris Lukasik
A launch I had nothing to do with (but SO cool). Quote from the release "Beginning Aug. 28, Mountain Dew, Pepsi's intense citrus soft drink, and Xbox® will select a winner of an Xbox 360 console every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for nine weeks straight in the "Every 10 Minutes" promotion."
It's a traditional under the cap game where players will enter codes they get from bottle caps at every10minutes.com.
Every 10 minutes, what is that, like 9,000? Whoa. J Allard is SUCH a rock star.
Funny - I called the XBox marketing team when I was still at Coke because I wanted to do something with them around gaming in the _worst way_ something like a gamers olympics where we'd take over Javits for 3 days of 'round the clock, game play with champions crowned. Qualifying rounds would be local - held in school gyms and the NYC event would be the play-offs. Anyway, the XBox team told me to go away - that they're partnered with Pepsi. I can see why. This is a killer program and with XBox Live they don't need to do an in-person event.
Ahhh, part 1 (all the stuff in the "in this section menu on the right) and 2 of the first of many big huge work projects went live today!!! Banner ads all to drive folks to this awesome new content went live today all over Embedded Developer sites. Another part soon to come and some other cool stuff that's not public yet up next.
Bank of America's online banking interface for Washington (yes, it's a different system for different states because of one of their mergers or some such) STINKS like crazy, and they've totally been a pain for Jay - but since we're too lazy (no, actually we've just moved too many times forcing too many switches of too many things) to switch, I have a question for them.
Why isn't BoA selling me subscription financial services? I'd really like them to build and sell me a subscription budgeting package. Scott and I have been through some wacky income/expense situations in the last few years and, well, neither one of us are the greatest at keeping track of exactly what we spend where until we - say - run out of money completely. Since we're hovering way too close to that very situation right now, I've been thinking a lot lately about how best to manage our way out of this and hopefully develop some habits (never too late, right?) that we might have a chance of carrying forward. Budgeting software is the first thing that comes to mind but, frankly, we've tried that before and it's just too much effort. Even though banks have deals with Money and other programs, it's still another license, another password and another interface/entity I'll/we'll have to access in order to keep track of things.
Having some advanced functionality in our online banking site just might work though. We're on that almost daily anyway, transferring money, paying bills, checking the status of things, etc. It displays lists of our transactions including, in many cases, the merchant name. If the banking site prompted me to assign some keywords to expenses/reconcile them against a set of standard or custom categories on a somewhat regular basis, I could easily see where things are going and maybe even set some limits that would automatically notify me when I'm nearing my monthly spend for a particular category! If I adjusted that category up for a specific reason (say higher grocery purchases around the holidays) it could prompt me to decrease spend in another area, and again, notify me if I approach that limit.
Heck, with some effort on my part and some advanced categorization, online banking could even handle my birthday/gift reminders. Most gifts or even cards are commerce based (sadly, perhaps) and again, who tracks my commerce more closely than my bank? If I categorized a particular purchase as a birthday gift for my mom, I could select an annual (or whatever time period) reminder and soon my bank could remind me to SPEND money!
Yes, this has some flaws/details to work out, a good example being composite purchases. If I go to Target and buy some toilet paper, camping gear, and a birthday gift for a friend how do I categorize that?
This is something that Scott and I have discussed at length in the past (I think) as part of his "why isn't there a master server somewhere that just keeps track of all my internet bookmarks, newsfeeds, television recordings, calendar, contacts, etc." idea. I see no reason why merchants couldn't provide banks with detailed receipts. Well, ok, I do see reasons. Standardization, HUGE data costs, and likely way too much detail for me to actually go through and categorize each item in my purchase. So the concept breaks down here, if not many other places.
I'm not sure how to solve that part, but I am sure that I would like for BoA to think about it, figure it out, and then make more money from me than they already do by selling it to me as a monthly subscription. They should have plenty of money to fund the research/startup, what with all my overdrafts and Jay's ATM fees.