The Google+ musings of

Robert Scoble

Rackspace's startup liaison officer helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.
April 24, 2014 2 comments 0 shares 34 plus ones
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You will notice some changes to our videos starting this weekend thanks to our new slave, er, partner, +JJ Casas.

He runs cameras and sometimes our Newtek Tricaster video switcher.

Our Rackspace San Francisco studio is now working like a well-oiled machine.

Anyone have some awesome new tech startups? We wanna get them into our studio.

Booking out June now. Plus if you are on our show you get to sign our wall making you a permanent part of our studio.

April 24, 2014 7 comments 10 shares 151 plus ones
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Since I just talked with David Hall, inventor of +Velodyne LiDAR (the spinning thing on top of a Google self-driving car) I'm sure we'll talk a bit about what I learned.

Also, Facebook and Apple both announced good results today. But who knows what's on +Steve Gillmor's mind?

Anyway, join us now at or watch the recording on Saturday on TechCrunch.

April 23, 2014 38 comments 21 shares 314 plus ones
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Thank you so much to for lending us a 200 mm F2.0 (which I used in most of these photos) and a 400 mm F2.8 too. 

Extra special thanks to JBL/Harman (they make many of the world's speakers) for bringing me to Coachella and putting us up in a nice hotel room. Plus getting us a photo pass (cameras aren't allowed at Coachella, so if we didn't get a photo pass, we would never be able to make these photos). 

Hope you enjoy. If you like these, check out +Thomas Hawk's photos. He has easily 10x more photos and better quality, too. I did learn some good stuff from him, but it's amazing when you shoot right next to a master photographer and then end up in his hotel room to watch how fast he processes photos (he brought a big Apple monitor down to Palm Desert to enable faster editing).

Great times and thanks to +Sam Levin for arranging everything. 

Don't miss my earlier photos from Coachella, here:

#JBLlife   #Coachella   #Coachella2014  

April 21, 2014 13 comments 15 shares 205 plus ones
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Last night I wormed my way into the front of the Sahara tent at #Coachella   (this is the one that the media has noticed is getting the biggest crowds and taking a lot of attention away from other very-deserving acts) -- my son went to Foster the People, which I watched on YouTube last weekend, for instance, and they are awesome too but once into the front of the Sahara Tent you literally can't leave. It's that packed. My wife would HATE that experience. Her loss.

Almost everyone around me was about 20 years old. What the f**k is a 50-year-old fat dude doing here? I looked around and I couldn't see many other old dudes.

Skrillex. Fatboy Slim. Empire of the Sun. And more.

But what you don't see is the suffering.

The heat. The heavy equipment. The lack of sleep. The exhaustion of pushing your body to the limit. The mosh pits. 

At one point last night there was so much pressure to get into the Sahara tent (which is a HUGE place that can hold probably 10,000 people) that we were moving in waves. Back and forth and almost falling. At one point I was thinking if it gets worse someone might die in a stampede or by getting crushed. But it all works out, somehow. It is the first time I felt connected to a mass of people as one organism. All suffering in heat. Once in a while someone would spray us with water but it wasn't enough.

But wow, what a fun time! You 50-year-olds have no clue what you are missing when you are with 10,000 people who just are full on partying. Dancing. Loving. Having their minds just shredded with the best light and video system I've ever experienced. 

The dancing, visuals, and effects are unreal. During Fatboy Slim's set they made it snow in the hall and had a sheet of rain that he came out and sang "Dancing in the Rain" to. 

What does this have to do with technology? Everything. +Brian Zisk  was with me (he runs the music in tech conference in San Francisco). We'll talk more about the tech, but this is a new culture forming and I wanted to study it. This is as big a movement in entertainment as the 60s rock bands were. 

There is NOTHING like it. 

Some thanks: First, to JBL for bringing us here. #JBLlife indeed. Second to for the 200 mm F2.0 that I was using. Unbelieveable lens and I was the only one to have a real camera inside the audience that I could see. Lots of GoPros and phones. 

Third, thanks to +Thomas Hawk  who helped me edit these. You should check out his photos. He's already uploaded hundreds of photos from Coachella. The man is an animal and he teaches me something about photography everytime we get together, he is so damn talented and productive at this. 

Anyway, enjoy my first photos from Coachella. More to come. 

April 11, 2014 6 comments 3 shares 57 plus ones
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The Coachella music festival is live now at we'll be there next weekend (Thanks to JBL). GREAT MUSIC!

April 10, 2014 60 comments 126 shares 295 plus ones
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Changing passwords is a pain in the behind. But everyone should be doing this because of the Heartbleed security problems that have come to surface the last few days:

Some things:

1. If you don't have a different password for each site you are doing it wrong! (Particularly for banks, email, and major social networks).
2. If your password isn't at least 12 characters long, you are doing it wrong!
3. If your passwords have ANY dictionary names in them, you are doing it wrong (things that appear in the dictionary).
4. If you aren't using two-factor authentication on EVERY site that offers such (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter all do) then you are doing it wrong.
5. If you aren't using a password manager like Lastpass then you are probably doing it wrong (I let it generate all my passwords now to make sure I get truly strong 20-character passwords).

Good luck out there!

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

This story, by Mashable, appeared on Techmeme.

April 07, 2014 27 comments 10 shares 179 plus ones
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I've sat in the front row when Steve Jobs is presenting. Same with Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and lots of other tech stars. Why do I sit in the front row?

1. Because I have A.D.D. and if I'm in the back row I tend to get bored more easily. 
2. Photos are better when you are up close. 
3. Sometimes you get to meet the folks easier. I shook Steve Jobs' hand after he launched the iMac and was able to sneak past his PR staff and say thank you.

But when it comes to concerts there's another responsibility: to have fun. If you aren't going to have fun, sit somewhere else because generally performers can only see the people in the first row or two (I know I can't when I'm on stage because of the bright lights in your eyes) and performers ALWAYS respond better if the people in the front rows are having fun. 

Also, the folks up front generally can start the audience doing hand waves, or other participatory things, so they have a responsibility to getting everyone else to have a fun time too.

This weekend I attended the Live in the Vineyard concert series in Napa. This is VERY hard to get into (they only sell two seats, both of which went for $10,000 to raise money for Musicians On Call, a charity that helps musicians that have deep health needs -- the other seats were given to sponsors and to radio station winners, I got in thanks to Southwest Airlines). 

At one point there were people outside in back talking too loudly during a performance by Passenger and I went out and yelled at them. After the performance everyone around me said "thank you." That's how seriously I take the responsibility of sitting in the front row. 

That performance turned into something quite special where you could hear a pin drop. I hear some of the performances will be on VH1 this weekend (and satellite radio too).

But since +Maryam Scoble and I got the tickets for free, we have a deeper responsibility: to pay forward the love that Southwest Airlines gave to us. 

How are we going to do that?

1. We're giving $500 to Make a Wish foundation. This helps kids who are facing terminal disease. Most of which will never get invited to something like Live in the Vineyard.
2. Live in the Vineyard has several guitars to give away to people in the audience for things like "most photos of the event on Instagram" and "most likes, or +1s." If we win any of those guitars we'll also give them to Make a Wish foundation, too, to auction off and raise more funds (or give them to kids who wanted that as a wish).

Some notes about this event.

1. It's the best concert I've ever been to. By far. Way better than Coachella (which I'll be going to in a couple of weeks, thanks to JBL/Harmon -- they make speakers and are taking a few influencers down there). Way better than SXSW Music, which was freaking awesome this year too. Why? Intimacy. There's only about 300 people who get to have this experience (more than a million applied). 
2. I hadn't really been a fan of most of these stars, and many were playing for US audiences for the first time this weekend (or broke out new music never performed for people before). 
3. The most mind-blowing performer was Mary Lambert. Wow, she breaks ALL the molds of what a music star is supposed to be like and had this emotional performance that had both my wife and I crying. 
4. Sarah Mclachlan had a feathery, beautiful voice, that just carried us to heaven.
5. Hunter Hayes was the most popular with the teenage set. He had the girls in the audience screaming like we were at a Beatles concert. Wow.
6. Many of the acts were what I'd call "for the niches." Of the best was L.P. who just sang her ass off and she had the whole audience trying to whistle like her. 
7. The artists hang out with everyone after their concerts. Passenger, for instance, ate my wife's french fries (she's on a no carb diet). That dude (his real name is Mike) has 173 million hits on Spotify. He gave one of the best performances I've ever seen, using no electronics and had everyone eating out of his hand.

I built a Spotify Playlist of everyone who played for us: Please do listen. Please do help us donate those guitars by +1'ing and liking these photos and post. Thank you!

Enjoy my photos (there's 40 of them here) and I'll see you in the front row at Coachella, where I'll be attending with +Thomas Hawk +Redgie Snodgrass +Sam Levin +Loic Le Meur, and +Brian Zisk.

Another thanks to +Southwest Airlines  and to +Rackspace , which helps me go to things like this too.

Apply to attend this (it's held twice a year) here:

#music   #concert  

April 07, 2014 51 comments 31 shares 194 plus ones
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With +Eddie Codel (he did the quadcopter video of Burning Man last year) we played around with his 3DRobotics Iris quadcopter. You see him flying his here. I'm shooting with my DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, just announced.

All the details on that are here along with a bunch of other videos:

Sorry, no audio here. This is straight off of the camera and I uploaded without doing any processing. It's more than 10 minutes long, and shows my neighborhood. 

Some things that I've learned are different between the 3DRobotics and the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus:

1. you can take a P2V+ out of the box and fly with fpv and telemetry on your phone, take pictures and video during the same flights, change exposure, and then copy a picture to your phone over WiFi for real time posting.

2. It also flies for 25 min if you run down the battery (I usually fly 18-20 min to avoid depleting battery). It also shoots in raw, which Gopro stills cannot touch. 

3. Props spin on in literally 5 seconds each and auto-tighten during flight.

4. 3 axis gimbal makes you never want to go back to 2 axis gimbal.

The advantage of the 3D Robotics platform? 

1. More programmable. You can get tablet apps that will let you pre-set flight plans and do other things.

2. You get to choose your Gimbal and camera for underneath (with DJI you have to take the whole package).

3. You can hack it easier, which for advanced geeks is important.

As we compare the two more in depth we'll do another report. If you notice other drones that we should consider, especially in the below $1,500 price point (which is where both of these reside) let me know!

April 07, 2014 39 comments 32 shares 174 plus ones
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Check out DJI's +Eric Cheng (he's director of aerial photography at DJI, which just released this new quadcopter) showing me the new Phantom 2 Vision Plus. 

DJI's announcement is at

My first video is up at

A second, unedited, no-audio video is up here: This one shows a full flight and also shows +Eddie Codel's quadcopter, which is a 3DRobotics Iris model with a GoPro and a 2-axis gimbal.

April 07, 2014 41 comments 43 shares 246 plus ones
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So smooth! Remember, I've only flown this five times (20 minutes each).

Wow. Wow. Wow.