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Robert Scoble
Works at Rackspace
Attended San Jose State University
Lives in Half Moon Bay, California, USA
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Robert Scoble

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This is a reprint of my newsletter sent out last night. I send out a new one every Thursday night. Please subscribe at:

What an honor.

You’ve gotta understand, when you visit SRI it’s like going to church for anyone technology-minded. In just a few buildings, so much has been invented. Let’s start with the Internet itself. The first node on the Internet was installed there (the other first node was at UCLA).

The mouse was invented there, along with hypertext linking and much more by Doug Engelbart (who gave the “Mother of All Demos” way back in 1968. Info about that is here:

But the invention list goes on and on. Surgical robotics. SIRI. HDTV.

So when they invite you over, it’s a big thrill.

What did I learn?

First, a few lessons about why Silicon Valley continues to be an innovation leader, mostly thanks to military spending, but more on that later in the newsletter.

What else did I learn? Let’s start with the revelation that our phones can still get much smarter. Look at this set of demos, which show that your phone will soon be able to recognize you simply by your voice:

Voice Recognition:
Part II:

Using that technology, your phone can figure out who is talking, and even unlock at the sound of your voice. I can think of dozens of places where that will improve our lives. Think about Amazon’s Echo, which is a device that sits in your home, listening to you. Imagine if it could tell that it’s you speaking, and not your wife or your kids.

But let’s see something else they showed me at SRI: contextual video search. Watch it in action here: 

You could search “man eating a hamburger,” and it would take you to videos of people doing exactly that. It can also take you right to the part of the video where that activity is happening.

How does this work? Artificial intelligence and machine vision learning systems. I want this so bad for my Facebook videos. Imagine being able to search for specific people talking and doing different things.

As we walked through the halls, our guides (both the current and former president of ventures there) said, “the next guy is probably our smartest employee.” Who were they talking about? Patrick Lincoln, director of the computer science lab at SRI (his info can be found at:
Here, he gives me a first look at how SRI does computer and network security: 
It's an amazing look inside how this lab protects itself against hackers.
Then it got more fun, they put a robot on me!

What was that for? Well, it was developed for the military. For soldiers. Why? They need to carry 100 pound backpacks and walk long distances. The task of the robot is to assist you when walking. Now the researchers are working on making it commercially available to all of us. I can imagine a version you buy at mountaineering stores that will help you backpack.

They outfitted me with the robot, and had me walk around. It has a little motor on both sides that pulls on a cord headed down to my shin. It puts up to 100 pounds of force to assist me in walking. Very cool. In the two-part video you see the robot, the sensors that were designed to figure out where my legs and feet were and how fast I’m walking, and the computer and motor pack on my back.

Robots you wear:
Part II:

Finally, we visited a part of the campus I hadn’t visited before (2,200 people work at SRI, mostly in Menlo Park, California and Princeton, New Jersey, but here I was visiting its headquarters in Menlo Park). It's David Cooper’s lab, where he does sensor systems. Here they use new kinds of sensors to figure out what kinds of illnesses people have:

Which brings me to the point. Why do Silicon Valley and Israel still stand out in the world of innovation? Largely due to labs like these, which are doing government-focused work. Siri, for instance, was built for the government to enable workers to do new kinds of searches.

That’s why I keep going back. These labs continue doing long-term research that takes four to 10 years, maybe longer, before it bears fruit commercially. In fact, as we walked away from the interview, Norman Winarsky, former president of SRI Ventures, agreed when someone else said, “we’re going to be commercializing some of the stuff Pat’s working on now for the next 15 years.”

It shows just how important even a single extremely smart person is to a lab, a region and to a country.

I walked away thinking how just a small number of people have really changed my life in very deep ways. Many of whom have walked through the doors of this lab.

Here are some other things I’ve done, or that caught my eye, just in the past week.

I got a tour of smart clothing manufacturer Athos: These clothes help athletes have better workouts.


My friend Ken Yeung looks into the top startup helper, Y Combinator:


Startups. Here Andreessen Horowitz schools you about your phony metrics:

Lots of data about the collaborative economy from Jeremiah Owyang:


State of Artificial Intelligence in one post:


This startup told me to fly a kite. PhotoKite lets you fly a drone with a camera in a new way. Useful for journalists and others who want to fly a camera in places where drones won’t be allowed:


Facebook announced it's developing “M” which is a personal assistant built into Messenger. Here I sit down with Bob Rosenschein and talk about it. He started He's a great one to talk to about this:

Steve Rubel podcast: We talk about my role at Rackspace, marketing trends and the innovation I’m seeing around the world.


On September 2nd, I’m speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco:


My wife and I are enjoying Blue Apron, which ships food to you that you make at home. We're eating healthier and learning how to cook more things, too:


I sat in the front row at Obi Worldphone launch last night. Here John Sculley, former CEO of Apple and Pepsi, launched a new set of very nicely designed smartphones for less than $200. Here is the video I shot and why it matters:


The hot development trend: React lets you reuse code for Web, iOS, and Android: My developer friends are talking a lot about React lately.


My first live video on Facebook was on a boat cruise with a few computer science professors: All at the Think Big Festival (a conference about robotics and artificial intelligence). Fun times, and I had a robot chasing my orange shoes!


I visited the drought-resistant shower company, Nebia, which is getting a lot of attention since the shower head it developed uses 70% less water:


Something fun to end the week. I was behind the scenes as country music performer Pete Stringfellow filmed his latest music video:

Cool look into one of the summer’s musical hits:

Sneak peek at music technology soon to come from Retronyms: this was a fun visit to a startup that many musicians are using to create their music.

Thanks, what an incredible week, and thank you to so many at SRI who gave me an amazing tour!

I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work! You can find more at
Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:
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What would be really cool is if YouTube had a 'Buy' button under every video. Google owns both that and Google Play, so it doesn't make sense that when I stumble upon a track I love I have to go hunting for it.

Not really connected to your letter, but you know people so I thought I'd just tell you. 
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Robert Scoble

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Thanks for letting me take a few weeks off of the newsletter. This is what I sent out last night to my email subscribers. Subscribe at (It includes both my best work, as well as the best things of the week I see around the Internet).

Yesterday, I spent some time on the phone with someone from Facebook. They are planning on expanding their live video features to people who aren’t just celebrities, but they're also rolling it out slowly. Here’s the Techcrunch article about that:
At Rackspace we're very interested in using Facebook’s Live Video to bring you into places, provide training and do other things to let our customers and partners know what’s up. You might be interested too.

Today, I was on MSNBC discussing live video:

Marketers who think it’s another way to push through messages are salivating, but Facebook is holding them back. So far, only verified celebrities have access to the feature (I’m expected to get an early look “within hours,” according to Facebook).

What will I do with it? The same thing I’d recommend you do with it: be careful and use it sparingly. Yes, you can get your content pushed out right now, but if you overuse it and don’t provide value, people will remove you from their notifications and/or unfollow or unfriend you. At Rackspace we just say, “be helpful.”

So, even if I broadcast myself eating dinner, there will be some sort of payoff for the folks who watch my live videos. An interview with someone interesting, how-to content or a look at a new technology or product.
Another way to look at the video market is how to make a video go viral. Here I talk with Samir Arora, CEO of Mode Media (seventh largest media company on the Internet). He walks me through the stats behind a video they had that went viral (58 million views in 21 days). He also shares how dominant Facebook and YouTube are:


This week’s big news was Google’s major reorg under the brand “Alphabet.” I was over at Shel Israel’s house (longtime journalist and strategist, who wrote two books with me) and we talked about what it all means:

Basically, it will help Google unlock a lot of value as it allows its member “companies” like YouTube or Nest, to thrive separately from the Google brand and business model.

I also spoke at the PR Summit this week. Here Rich Reader captured me talking about why I’m so passionate about Virtual Reality:

This afternoon, the founders of Upload VR (who are doing the VR pavilion at Techcrunch Disrupt, among many other things) came over and we also talked about VR:

Can you tell I’m a bit excited by VR?

Even security cameras are coming to the cloud. Here, founder and CEO Dean Drakko shows me Eagle Eye Networks:
It isn’t his first time starting a company. Years ago he started Barracuda Networks, which got very big. He is a passionate evangelist for cloud technology and shows off many features that make a video security system better than when it was hosted on-premise.

Do you want to do your own PR, but need help figuring out which journalists to hit? Then Press Friendly will be great for you. Take a look here:


Do you watch Product Hunt? I do. This is where you can find tons of new products before anyone else on your block learns about them. Here they've put together a collection of Drone-oriented software:

Here’s another Product Hunt compilation of things that will automatically do stuff for you:

I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. 
Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:

And a big thank you to Hugh MacLeod, who does the fabulous art each week for my newsletter. You can find his work at
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You have everything to do with the same time as a result of the most important thing is that the company and the other side effects of my favorite part was the first time since? 
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Robert Scoble

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Have you ever visited Google Contacts at ?

It never worked for me since the redesign. Finally I just deleted all the circles on Google+ and it started working again. 13,000+ contacts. 

But now I don't have anyone to follow on Google+. 

So, since there are still some people here who say there's interesting people to follow and that not EVERYONE has followed me over to Facebook, who would you recommend I follow? 

Extra points if you are an executive at a company, or a journalist, or someone who writes a ton about technology. 

Yes, I already know about +Mike Elgan. :-)
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OK, I've followed everyone here. Thank you so much!
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The last word on Google+ from its most passionate fan? Wow. Sad to see this coming but I have seen the writing on the wall for two years now.
My take on the Mashable Google+ story.
Mashable has the top story out on Techmeme right now and it's about Google+ It paints a pretty negative picture of Google+ as a...
107 comments on original post
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Only the Google loyalists and fanatics believe that there is still hope for this site. Outside of this site, you won't hear many people offer much hope or even care about what happens to this project longterm. 
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My 16th newsletter. Life and Tech: The disruption Continues.

Subscribe to this email newsletter here:

And with that I really am on vacation until August 5th.


This morning Rackspace announced a deal with Intel to work on OpenStack. This is significant, because both Intel and Rackspace are pouring new resources into OpenStack, which will mean good things for our customers.

Yesterday I visited Facebook to get a look at how Oculus Rift is going in an off-the-record meeting. But, what I saw yesterday showed me there is an infinite need for new software to be written by many companies around the world. Soon we’ll be playing and working together in virtual worlds and those worlds will need new things built for them. They won’t all run on Facebook’s datacenters (not to mention Valve, Sony, and Samsung, among others, who are working on competitors, as you know if you've been reading my recent newsletters).

Earlier this week I ran the closing session at AppNation’s IoT Influencers Summit, where a panel of VIPs wrapped up an interesting day talking about innovations from farming to jewelry.

Over the weekend I was at a camp hosted by the founder of Coral Group, Yuval Almog and Israel’s famous VC, Yossi Vardi (he funded ICQ).

What did we talk about? The innovation that is still to come and how scary it is. How we will deal with the jobs displaced by companies like Uber, who is changing work and could dramatically change it when self-driving cars arrive.

At the camp I talked with the team from Tapingo. Don’t know who they are? Of course not, unless you're a college student or an investor. At Santa Clara University, 70% of students’ food transactions are already going through its app. It lets you order, say, a latte while still in bed. It’ll tell you “your latte will be ready at 8:09 a.m., come pick it up.” You walk in, don’t wait in line, don’t touch anything or give anyone a credit card or cash. It works great and students love it because it saves them tons of time. But Daniel Almog, CEO/founder, told me he’s moving into new areas. He’s having students deliver to other students and they are paid in a virtual currency (done so they can avoid paying bank transaction fees).

Think about just how much cloud computing and technology is changing the world at this bleeding edge. It’s changing what we think of as a job, or as a reward. Is your company studying companies like Tapingo?

How are you pushing your company to stay up with the disruptions? Let me know, I’d love to feature the best examples in future videos with me and in future newsletters.


Robotics Conference coming up. I’ll be speaking at this very cool robotics and AI conference in Idaho on August 20th. You should be there, this is probably going to be the most bleeding edge of all the events I’ll visit this year and I’ll bring you tons of video, of course.


Drones face new PR challenges. Will drones be even more regulated due to people flying them over fires, which keeps emergency crews from flying their helicopters and saving property and potentially lives? I keep hoping that people will refrain from behaving badly, but it looks like new laws are needed to keep drone operators from interfering with emergency crews.


What do most Americans miss about China’s tech companies? Gary Rieschel, one of the top investors in China, tells me “don’t miss the speed.”


Mashable says Sony’s Project Morpheus VR headset has the best chance at winning the fight for your living room. I say it’s too early to decide on winners. Based on what I saw at Facebook yesterday this fight hasn’t even begun. But damn, is 2016 gonna be huge in consumer electronics.


Why I never brag about Rackspace’s security. Last year the PR team for Ashley Madison, a site that lets people cheat on their spouses, bragged to me that their security was best of breed. Turns out it wasn’t. This week it was disclosed that the site was hacked and the hacker is threatening to turn over customer info to the public on its 37 million users. For me? It’s yet another reason why I’m so public about what’s going on in my life (both good and bad). Turns out privacy is just not going to be easy to come by for human beings anymore. But it reminds me not to brag about security. Why? It invites bad karma. That said, security is everyone’s job, and we’d love to work with you to make your security better.


PayPal splits off of eBay. This is a big deal for eBay, but, watch PayPal run away with the show. It’s growing a lot faster than eBay is, and there’s a lot of future in it. eBay needs to be rethought and it’ll be interesting to see if it can shake the perception that it is an old company that the cool kids don’t use anymore. I'm wishing them luck in competing with Amazon, which has been out innovating eBay for some time now. I know how that feels, and it’s not fun, but Rackspace found a way to remain relevant, so I bet eBay can too.


Thank you. Inc Magazine named me #5 on a list of 30 Power Players in Tech You Need to Know. Very honored by that, but I have some unfair advantages thanks to working at Rackspace. We have 300,000 customers from tractor companies to TED. That lets me see the future in a way very few do, more fun to come.


Are you a member of the App Developer’s Alliance? Rackspace is. Here we meet up with Jon Potter, CEO of such. That helps 60,000 developers with education, advocacy, and more.


The smart home is here. Got a look at iControl’s use of Jasper. What is Jasper? It makes connectivity solutions for Internet of Things companies (it's used in things from vending machines, to GM’s connected cars, to iControl’s home security system, which you’ll learn about here).


Are you a photographer? Photographer and Rackspace customer Trey Ratcliff shows me the new bag he designed with Peak Design. Very useful.


Hackers have their way with a connected car. This stuff needs to be far more secure before consumers will trust a self-driving car. I’m seeing a new kind of fear of new technology. We aren’t good at figuring out real risk. Non-hacked cars kill 1.2 million people around the world every year, while I still haven’t seen a death from a car hacking, but it doesn’t matter. New technology scares us, the media takes advantage of that fear, and so the future will be slower to arrive than it otherwise should be. That said, we’re up to the challenge, I believe. I'm a technology optimist for a reason: it improves our lives more than it brings bad things into them.


Be back August 13th.

Today I’m leaving on vacation with my family on a road trip through Oregon’s coast. So, we’re going to take a few weeks off, I'll be back publishing August 13th. I really appreciate the many nice notes I’ve gotten from the first 15 weeks of my newsletter.

So, what were my favorite few interviews of the past 15 weeks since I started this newsletter?

1. Music promoter Claire Parr:

2. Second Life founder Philip Rosedale giving a talk about the future of VR: Philip Rosedale, Part I:

3. Talking tech and disruption with the guy who runs the Consumer Electronics Show, Gary Shapiro:

4. Talking about leadership with Mary Ann Davidson. She runs security at a huge Silicon Valley company:

5. Talking about the sharing economy disruption with friend Jeremiah Owyang. This is coming up in so many conversations, I know it touched a nerve:

6. Talking with the investor in Starbucks, Dan Levithan: He is one of the best investors in consumer tech companies and his insights are deep.

7. Scaling companies/databases with the guy who helps do just that at ScaleArc:

8. Inside the 7th most visited media company, Mode:

9. Visiting Microsoft Research and talking about Quantum Computing: Wow.

10. Talking about indoor mapping with the founder of Aisle 411:

11. A look at Augmented Reality glasses of future from ODG:

12. A look at Augmented Reality that’s here today from Blippar’s CEO:

13. How surgery is changing due to AR tech with cofounder of Vital Medicals:

14. A look at professional VR cameras for sports stadiums:

15. Augmented Reality in Children’s Coloring Books:

16. A look at how a famous music festival is using beacons:

17. Tim Draper (famous investor, he’s the “D” in DFJ) tells me how blockchain is changing how he does the legal “paperwork”:

18. Inside the world of casual gaming with President of SGN, Josh Yguado (they just announced a big funding round this morning):

19. My talk with drone lawyer, Brendan Schulman, about regulations that are hitting that industry:

20. Mark Allen showing me the flight simulator of the future:

Whew, what a year it’s been so far, much more to come!


I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!

Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:

Thank you to Hugh MacLeod, who does the fabulous art each week for my newsletter. You can find his work at

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Hahaha... sure!
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(Every week I send out a new email newsletter. This is last week's edition. Subscribe to the newsletter here: and you'll get the next one emailed to you every Thursday evening).

Today, Facebook gave me access to its new live video feature.

Here I broadcast a bunch of computer scientists as we cruise around Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, where I'm helping moderate the sessions tomorrow at Nick Smoot’s robotics conference:
This is an incredible event with about 1,000 attendees. Nick has pulled together all sorts of interesting people, including Burt Rutan, who built the first plane that traveled around the world without refueling, among others.

The conference, titled “The Think Big Festival,” starts tonight. Watch my Facebook page for more info, or the event page at:

But that’s not what I was most excited by this week.
Over the weekend I attended the Taylor Swift concert at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Before the concert, I was lucky enough to get a tour of all the technology in the stadium. The tour was led by John Paul, CEO of who is the geek running the tech at the most technologically advanced stadium in the world.

I split the tour into two parts here:

Part I:
Part II:
This is where the Super Bowl will be played in February 2016.
TL;DR: Get the app BEFORE you come to this stadium and you can do a ton of things - from logging into your parking space and walking into the stadium, to getting directions to your seats and ordering food that will be delivered right to your seat.
OK, I've been in a lot of stadiums. The wifi never works. The app doesn't do all that much. But this isn't true at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Located a few blocks from Intel's headquarters, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, you might imagine the stadium would be a heavy technology user.
You'd be right.
The stadium holds 2,000 beacons. I've never seen a deployment elsewhere that had more than 100 (and Shel Israel and I wrote a book, "Age of Context," about how this kind of technology might be used). 
There are 1,200 wifi hotspots. Last night Rackspace CTO, John Engates, was watching Taylor Swift with his daughters. He wrote me, "the wifi is amazing."

Yes, it is. It's the only stadium I've been at where the wifi actually works. It's backed up with a 45 gigabit pipe, too.
Two 4K screens, the best in the world at the moment, are on both sides of the stadium.
But it goes on. John's team of 50 custom built ticket scanners for each entry and there are also these "Kezars" at the entries to each suite area and club area.
They monitor how many people have checked into each parking lot (passes are sold by people checking in cars, or you can buy them ahead of time like I did. My mobile phone showed a bar code and I was checked in that way through a hand-held scanner).
In this video you also meet the guy, Aaron Kennedy, who runs the scoreboards’ control team and room and see all the tech that controls all the video screens in the stadium and the scoreboards.
Hope you enjoy this look behind the scenes.

Here’s some other things from my week:


52 Startups born at Y Combinator:
I interview the cofounder of Ticket Fairy, one of the top new YC companies: (makes a new ticket system for performances).

Product Hunt has a great system where you can see most of the YC companies, ranked by popularity:


I chat with Techcrunch cofounder and Chat Center founder, Keith Teare, who shows me how companies can use chat to increase customer service:  


Tagatoo shows me its new email client, helps with tracking tasks:


Rackspace announces Fanatical Support for Adobe Experience Manager: While I’m pitching Rackspace, here’s how Rip Curl (the surfing equipment manufacturer) is growing its business as a Rackspace customer:

Slick has a new gimbal for steadying GoPros: First one that is waterproof, ships in March, you can preorder now. This will help you do professional-quality video on your GoPro camera.


Ngrok has a new way to setup a server that is getting raves:
Google has a new, easy to setup, wifi router. I don’t have one yet, but seems they made it simpler and more useful.
Hope you have a great week, see you next Thursday night!
I read all my email at and anything done in response to this newsletter goes to the top of my inbox. I’m also at +1-425-205-1921 or on Facebook at Please let me know how I, or Rackspace, the leading managed cloud company, can be of service to you. Thanks too to Hugh Macleod and team for helping me do art each week for this. We love his work!
Please share this newsletter on social networks and email. If you have gotten it from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:

Thank you to Hugh MacLeod, who does the fabulous art each week for my newsletter. You can find his work at
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Mediocrity is not worth knowing...
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Eat your heart out. I got a tour of the technology behind the scenes at the Taylor Swift concert last night at Levi's Stadium. The videos are up on my Facebook at

This is the most technologically advanced stadium in the world, with 1,200 wifi hotspots. 2,000 beacons. 45 gigabits of bandwidth. Two of the best 4K video screens. And more. You see it all with the guy who built it.

This is a sneak peek at the tech that will run the Super Bowl, too. 

Hint: if you ever visit Levi's Stadium make sure you download the app before you get to the stadium. It does a TON of stuff while you are the stadium.
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Big news about Google splitting up into smaller companies under one called "Alphabet" is ALL OVER MY FEED. I am feeling like this is a rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. But wow. Microsoft should have done that in 2000.
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Great sunset in Half Moon Bay.

Who is this demonstrating how to shoot on an iPhone while holding wine?

+Andy Grignon, who was one of the dozen or so people who built the first iPhone at Apple.
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One of my favorite all time spots - always great scenes
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Talking India and Android on stage with Punit, who runs product for Flipkart, India's largest eCommerce company.

The numbers blew me away.
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Robert Scoble

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So honored to be #5 on this Inc. Magazine list put together by John Rampton. As +Rackspace's Futurist I have a lot of advantages others don't (we have 300,000 customers in all sorts of businesses from tractors to sunglasses to TED videos so I get to see lots of stuff before others do).

I try to use my powers to help those building new things. Anyone building the future? Leave a comment!

Anyway today am headed over to Drew Ianni's conference about Internet of Things where I am on stage this afternoon.

Then Maryam Ghaemmaghami Scoble is taking us on a family vacation to Oregon for 10 days. When we get back I am speaking to the cable industry at CableLabs thanks to Phil McKinney, who runs that.

What a year! Oh, and while we were driving around Yellowstone a couple days ago Shelly Palmer, who has a tech newsletter with millions of subscribers that he's written since the early 1990s, was giving me tips about mine, that I'll put in play. First tip? Make it easier to find how to subscribe. Shelly, that's at But he gave me a ton of other tips, as well, that I'll work on when I get back from vacation.

See ya on Facebook at
Follow these influencers to stay on top of which new devices you won't be able to live without.
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would love to know them and even involve myself in it as a career.
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This is my newsletter from last night, but think it's worth reprinting here today. Please subscribe at so you always have it. Sorry, today there won't be a Gillmor Gang because I'm in Jackson Hole (I might get a few videos up this weekend, though, and based on the people who are here, they will be worth watching).



Yesterday I sat down with friend and music promoter Claire Parr. But that’s way underselling her.

Claire helps build brands, music brands, and she’s studied under the best (her grandfather did this for MGM back in the early 1900s, and her father was an accomplished musician so this work runs in her blood).

If you've seen Southwest Airlines' “Live at 35” music on YouTube or other social media outlets, you’ve seen her work. She also does branding and music for all sorts of companies, from Aloft Hotels to CocaCola. And her concert series, , is amazing (I’ve been lucky enough to have attended several times).
We sat down in Napa where she and her team are preparing for another series of concerts. Funny that she doesn’t sell tickets to her main event, Live in the Vineyard. You have to win them, and every year, millions of people apply to win tickets to this exclusive concert series in Napa.

She talks to me in this 50 minute interview about talent and how to use music for brand building. 

What I took away from this fascinating interview is that businesses can use music to build remarkable brands (look at how GoPro used Glitch Mob’s music to build a brand in their Hero 2 videos, or how Beats sold headphones, largely based on getting popular musicians to wear their headphones on shows like American Idol). But, they should also proceed carefully, and they better have a real passion about music if they want to go down that route.

The other thing I got out of it is that she believes streaming has devalued music. She says it has radically changed the business and that the smart people change along with disruption like that.

That resonates with me as a public face at Rackspace. This week we announced that we’re providing Fanatical Support for Microsoft Azure and that’s an example of how we did the same thing.

“Find ways to marry music to new technologies coming down the pike,” she recommends. In Part III of the interview, she talks more about that philosophy while she talks to me about musicians that make millions from advertising on their YouTube channels.

Enjoy, this is a special one, and I know it’s long at about 50 minutes. I split it up into three pieces:

Part I:  Covers cool things that have happened in her career, changes in selling music. “Selling music is brutal.” She defends Taylor Swift.

Part II: Talks about her work for Southwest Airlines. Breaks down streaming services. Why the freedom to create is so important. “I had freedom to fail.”

Part III: Whether she thinks musicians should work for a label. How technology affects music. Why people should know what they are good at AND what they aren’t good at. How she’s measured by brands. And finally, how she thinks VR and 360-degree cameras will change the business. She finishes up with branding tips for companies.

Musician Roem Baur gives his opinion about streaming and the music industry at We had him on our videoconference system at Tech on Deck and he took a few minutes away from recording his latest album.

Neil Young yanks music from streaming (reflects Taylor Swift’s earlier choice, and what Claire says above):

++++++++++++++++ On stage with Flipkart at MobileBeat. The numbers that are hitting India’s #1 ecommerce company are obscene.
Convo, a collaboration tool that Techcrunch uses, just got some new features and the CEO shows them to me at:


Tech on Deck wrapup from SCOTTeVEST’s CEO/founder Scott Jordan. What a great week, he wraps it up well:

While we’re talking about Tech on Deck, here the founder of NorthFace, Hap Klopp, is on with Scott and I. It's a fun discussion about the future of wearable technology:

Rackspace and Google invest in security company:

Rackspace provides support for Microsoft Azure: We’re looking to help you build your company, service or product, even if you use someone else’s cloud. Google joins OpenStack. Wow. Are you a Rackspace customer? Here are some of our customers talking about their technology stories. We’d love to have you on. Rackspace’s CTO, John Engates, joins us on Tech on Deck and talks about our new plans to help customers build their businesses - whether they chose Rackspace’s own datacenters, or Microsoft Azure.


Google announces Eddystone beacons: Beacons are bringing cool new features to iPhones, but now Google jumps in for the other 80+% of people who use Android.

Philip Rosedale, Part I:

Part II:

She was in the room when Oculus Rift was first built:

VR Controller of the future:

This VR headset won’t make you sick:

VR Content Company Steven Spielberg joined:
Nvidia lays out why you need a high end graphics card and PC to power the best Virtual Reality systems like Oculus Rift:

I just started a new Facebook list of the best PR people in Tech, let me know if I’m missing your favorite, but I do expect these people to be public and active on Facebook:

Gillmor Gang, every Friday afternoon we get together to talk about the geeky stuff of the week. Here we discuss music, VR, and wearable technology:

Be careful with Facebook’s new “See First” feature:
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I especially liked the part of your interview where she talked about the effect of technology on music. This is an under-discussed topic that should  be talked about more. While Pono Music has done a lot to stress the human aspect of musical experience (sound quality as the most important factor), there still are not enough tech startups that help us appreciate music for what it is. 
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Rackspace's Futurist. Searching for world-changing technologies.
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  • Rackspace
    Futurist, 2009 - present
    Go find the future and report on it. Build relationships with startups and other tech industry innovators. Rackspace is the leading managed cloud company.
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    Strategist, Evangelism, 2003 - 2006
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Half Moon Bay, California, USA
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Rackspace's Futurist helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.
Rackspace's Futurist searches the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology. 


As Futurist for Rackspace, the leading Managed Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people.


If you are looking to contact me, email is best: but my cell phone number is +1-425-205-1921.


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I'm a geek who grew up in Silicon Valley (my dad was an engineer at Lockheed) and since 1985 I've been building online communities. In 2000 I started my technology blog,, and my life has been on a rocketship ever since. In 2003-2006 I worked at Microsoft as an evangelist and one of the five guys who started Microsoft's famous Channel9 video community.

I'm now working at Rackspace as its Futurist (I go around the world to study and make media about world-changing innovators). You'll also see my videos on but the best place to watch me now is on Facebook, on Twitter or on my blog. Our professional videos, done in studio, are on Rackspace's YouTube site.

The real-time streaming web is changing my life faster than I can imagine, and lets me keep in touch with thousands of technology and business innovators all around the world.

I'm also the father of three sons, Patrick, 21, Milan, 7, and Ryan, 5 (as of 2015). Lots of fun and they are all geeks in training too.

Anyway, visit some of my links to see more about me, especially my Wikipedia profile (I didn't edit any of it, that was done by people in the community) and feel free to drop me a line at anytime you need something or want to talk about being on one of my video shows.

Oh, and, yes, I do answer my own cell phone and I do include that number on the Internet for you to use: +1-425-205-1921 and have for several years. I live in Half Moon Bay near the Ritz and would love to meet up with geeks/entrepreneurs if you are in town and I'm available.
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I shook Steve Jobs' hand.
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Robert Scoble's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The core of Apple's problem is Tim Cook, Scoble says

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The oldest local business in Half Moon Bay. Kevin, the owner, is a real lover of books and this is a must-support place if you are a book lover.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great place to work during the day. Decent food, great views, fun for family and for hanging out. Oh, and the beer is great too!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food: Poor - FairDecor: Poor - FairService: Poor - Fair
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Great Mexican restaurant and family. I love the Chicken Mole and the chips here.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
17 reviews
Great eye doctor. Reasonable prices.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Found this a bit by accident, but the home made Persian bread, alone, made the meal. They roll it and bake it right in front of you. We had a variety of meat dishes, including lamb, chicken, and beef kababs and they were all among the best I've had (my wife is Persian). The service was efficient, but not very personable, which is why I didn't rate them five stars (I save that rating for only the best restaurants that have the full package). It's a small place, but comfortable. A full meal (no alcohol) was £115 for six people, which gives you some idea of the pricing.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago