Yahoo Instant Messenger to go down today.

This is a first. Yahoo IM is going to go down at midnight tonight for scheduled maintenance.I guess I can’t complain since Yahoo IM is free, but the couple of times Yahoo went down WITHOUT notice over the past couple of years we had some big problems at my last company (VentureReporter.net). It is amazing how quickly you can become dependant on something like IM.

YahooSystemAdmin: In continuing to provide a quality service, Yahoo! Messenger will be unavailable temporarily while under going a scheduled maintenance at 8:00 PM PST today. You will automatically be disconnected at that time. Please finish any conversations in progress before that time. After the maintenance has been completed, you will be able to successfully login. For more information visit http://messenger.yahoo.com/maintenance

Sprewell takes apart Knicks and Dolan

Went to see Sprewell came back to the Garden on Tuesday night and was not disappointed. Sprewell put on a show in his TimberWolves uniform, but you could tell his heart was still in New York.

Spree made a point of letting James Dolan, the worst executive in sports, know exactly what a mistake he made by trading him for the soft Keith Van Horn. Spree let his game do some of the talking, with 31 points, but he didn’t stop there he yelled in profanities in Dolan’s face. The fans heckled Dolan from behind.

While I don’t agree with Spree letting loose on the profanities (there are a lot of kids in the arena), he has a lot of heart and firethings the Knicks desperately need and wish they had.

LimeWire=Amazing

So, I’ve been a big Kazaa fan for years (almost as good as the old Scour if you remember that). Then I get my Mac running OS X and install Limewire on it and I’m all like “wow, this is fast, stable and look at all the files in the network.”

Then I realize, oh snap! This is available for PC too. So, I install it on my PC and I’m like this is written in Java and it’s like stable “shut up!”

So, like, if you want a really cool P2P network sharing app that isn’t, like, all spywareand stuff go get LimeWire. You will not be disappointed.

Who says a blog can't be worth a million now?!

Well Nick Denton, it looks like a blog can be worth a millionor in Daily Candy’s case $3.5-$4m!

Yes, I know Daily Candy is an email newsletter but let’s be honest here: there is no difference between Daily Candy and Gawker.

So, Nick, I think you owe me sushi or something (I’ll wait till you sell Gawker.com and hit you up for Nobu or better yet, Ginzo). Nice job Dany Levy (below)!

Media mogul Bob Pittman is satisfying his sweet tooth for daily

Pittman, the architect who helped build AOL and MTV into household names, has gobbled up DailyCandy, the trendy Web site featuring tips on everything from restaurants and nightclubs to sample sales and beauty finds.

The plan behind Pittman’s investment, say sources familiar with the situation, is to help transform DailyCandy from a Web site into a multimedia player that could extend its brand into magazines and books, stand-alone television shows and perhaps even shopping or restaurant guides.

The Pilot Group, an investment firm founded by former AOL chief Pittman, quietly bought privately held DailyCandy a few weeks ago for roughly $3.5 million to $4 million, sources familiar with the situation told The Post.

Lord of the Rings quick review: Amazing! Four Stars, Oscar for Best Picture for sure.

Just got back from the 9:50AM showing of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I decided to use a vacation day just to see it!

In a word: amazing. Perhaps the best film about friendship ever made. Three and half hours and it felt like 15 minutes. Everything about the film is perfect, or close to perfect: the characters, the acting, the special effects, the action, the pacing. If it doesn’t win Best Picture it will be the greatest crime since Dances With Wolves beat out Goodfellas.

However, you do need to see the first two films at least once, perhaps twice, in order to really be able to follow the nuances of the characters and their interpersonal relationships.

Elvis Mitchell has a great review in the Times, but I would NOT read it until after you see the movie as it gives away too much.

Anyway, you won’t be disappointed by this film. Just go see it.

Anyone going to Sundance? Anyone want to blog with me?

As many of you know I got the film bug when I rewrote and acted in Wayne Wang’s film Center of the World. Roger Ebert loved the film (he told me he liked my performance at last year’s Sundance!), most other reviewers didn’t care for it too much. It was certainly experimental (shot on digital video,lots of improvisation, $4m budget, etc) and fun to do.

So, I’m going to Sundance again this year. I’m going to blog it for a site here at weblogsinc.com. If anyone here wants to join me just post me a message form here: http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/contact/?Subject=1

I can’t pay you, I can’t get you into films and I can’t get you a press pass. However, if you’re going anyway and want to share some thoughts on the event, films and experience let me know.

best Jason

Yet another reason to fly JetBlue: Free Wifi in JFK!

I’m blogging this from the Jetblue terminal at JFK here in New York. This is the second airport that JetBlue now has wifi in, the other is my destination Long Beach. As many of you know I’m huge fan of JetBlue (I interviewed their CEO a couple of years ago and put him on the cover of the Silicon Alley Reporter).

However, I’m still really upset about them giving my personal information and about a couple of million other people’s information to the Army to test potential new security measures. Now, if JetBlue asked me I actually would have opted in, but to do it without telling me that is just wrong (and illegal). I’m actually shocked JetBlue hasn’t done a “make good” for customers who had their privacy compromised.That is so, well, not-JetBlue.

The great thing about JetBlue is that they have totally raised the bar of customer service *while* lowering costs. Value is the new black. So much so that other airlines and photocopying their business plan (TED and SONG). The result? The stagnant airline industry is actually starting to surprise us. I love when free markets heat up, especially ones with such established players.

OK, they’re calling my flight

Jeesadfsf sad fds

Sorry for spending so much time on this subject today, but its on my mind. Jeff Jarvis thinks i should invite a few more candidates over for coffee before making up my mind on Clark. Maybe i should. It would be Dean, Kerry, and Gephardt if i had to choose. Dean because he’s in front and knows something about the Internet and its power to fuel democracy like nothing else. Kerry because i like him, i think he’s a good man, he served his country well in Vietnam, and i mostly agree with his politics. And Gephart because i think he is the truest to his core beliefs with the possible exception of Wes Clark. But i don’t think any of these three has a chance in hell of beating Bush next year.

Sad day for NBA: Alonzo retires

Heat v KnicksThis was a really sad week for the NBA and New York Knicks fans. Alonzo Mourning retired due to a freak kidney disease that has turned off the bright flame that could have been one of the best centers in NBA history.

I still remember the brawl at MSG (pictured above) when former teammates Larry Johnson and Mourning went out it. You might remember Jeff Van Gundy ridding on Zo’s leg trying to break it up.

It really is the end of an era. An era when the NBA, driven by the Knicks, was hard core. When players played defense, and when winning was more then your stat line.

Sad.

Lever house=Wow!

2003_10_leverrestaurant.jpgAs a total aside. I went to Lever House the other night with my friend Barry Wine. Amazing place. Barry I spent some time in the kitchen watching an amazing operation feed a room filled with folks like Edgar Brofman who was eating at 11PM. He must have been putting the final touches on his music deal. This place is the new power hangout. The room was PACKED at 11PM.


Time to raise capital is now (Making the New York City VC rounds)

Sitting in a Charbucks somewhere in midtown blogging this, turns out someone left their wifi open for me so I don’t have to pay T-Mobile or Verizon for the bandwidth. Thanks to all the unnamed free bandwidth providers out there. I salute you.

Spent the last couple of days visiting with some local VC firms here in New York getting some perspective on where they see the industry.

Nooooooooo, I’m not raising capital for a new project (not even Weblogs, Inc.). I’m just getting the pulse on where the industry is and where it is going. Really, you gotta believe me.

Just finished breakfast at the Yale club with Ed Goodman of Milestone Ventures, a smart guy.

Ed runs a $13 million fund that puts $250K to $500K into small tech and services firms. Of course in New York there aren’t that many deals to be done. Turns out that many of the Silicon Alley entrepreneurs I used to cover in Silicon Alley Reporter have all run for the hills (or more specifically run to the turntables to spin records and take drugsI kid you not). Go figure: now is the best time to raise capital in the past four years.

On my way now to meet up with my old friends Tom Phillips, formerly of Deja News and Spy Magazine, and Deven Parekh of Insight Venture Partners (http://www.insightpartners.com/).

Met with Howard Morgan of idealab! (who is also an angel investor), as well as Steve Brotman of Silicon Alley Venture Partners and Stonehenge (two different funds). They are both doing smaller investments, $250K to $500K. The valuations are not huge, $1 to $3m, but that gives the entrepreneur enough room to raise further capital and still own a 1/3 to 1/4 of their firm after two or three rounds when an exit might happen.

Dropped by to see Stuart Ellman of RRE Ventures, one of the largest firms in New York City (they did their third fund of $225m recently). Of course, with that kind of money they need to invest big (think $5-10m a pop), and that really doesn’t work in New York anymore. Of course, if Howard, Ed and Steve do their job they will have deals to feed up to folks like RRE Ventures over the next year or two.

The interesting thing is that in order to raise capital you need to have some the business built outcomplete with revenue. As one person told me “come to me with a client who loves you and is spending five to six figures with you and I’ll invest.”

This is, of course, the way it should have always been. I never really understood the idea of investing in an idea, with the possible exception of a handful of entrepreneurs who have hit it big in the past. Having a couple of hurdles to hit before getting a wire transfer is a nice check and balance for a venture business that has been, frankly, lazy and loose in recent history.

Funny read: Alan Meckler's Blog

Alan MecklerIf you want a very entertaining read from the desktop of a publicly traded CEO, stop by Alan Meckler’s blog.

It is amazing. You get to hear him bash COMDEX on an almost daily basis while trying to rationalize what went wrong with his own show in Vegas (the airport in Vegas, IT people being too busy, etc.).

I’m friendly with Meckler, we go to lunch once a quarter or so, and I respect what he has done. The blog is just brutal honesty and who knows some day maybe every public CEO will have onebut I doubt it.

Michael Jackson pulls a Martha Stewart: It's a "Bad" thing?

Seems Michael Jackson is taking a note from the Martha Stewart book of public relations by starting his own official webpage. It seems if you are going to have a site like this you need to sign it personally.

Is there a handwriting analyst in the audience out there that can tell us about Michael and Martha based on these JPEGS?! Seems to me that Michael is very cramped up and sloppy, isolated perhaps. Martha’s is very “here I am, look how much more perfect I sign my name then everyone else.”

I wonder if their PR consultants consulted them on their signatures?

Collaborative Book Idea Gets a Nasty Review

 I kind of liked Tony’s idea of writing a book on Google collaboratively. However, the NYT took a negative slant on this with the headline “Collaborative Book Idea Gets a Nasty Review” and a photo of Tony looking really slyperhaps evil.

Amazing how the Grey Lady can spin things. This story is so one-sided I gotta think this is old media beating up new media ideas or simply the continuation of Nick Denton’s crew piling on Tony because he is a commercial blogger (of wait, Nick’s doing porn, the most commecial thing ever!).

Regardless, I salute Tony for pushing the envelope and I don’t hate him because he is super connected, driven and successfuland neither should non-commercial bloggers. He’s contributed a lot to the tech media space and one of the reasons bloggers and indie media is doing so well is because of the projects he’s worked on.

Something about the proposition struck Brian Dear, a software entrepreneur and writer, as being a lot like Tom Sawyer’s inviting the other boys to paint the fence. Mr. Dear found the posting especially galling, he said, because he has been grinding away for years on a history of the user community that grew up around Plato, an early computer network. “It just kind of rubbed me the wrong way,” he said of the Perkins proposal, “and I thought, You know, I should denounce this.’ “

So on his own Web log, brianstorms.com, Mr. Dear ridiculed Mr. Perkins’s e-mail message line by line.

Mr. Perkins had written: “Writing a book is a very painful experience. And frankly, the only way I can pull this off under a tight deadline (I want it out before Google goes public), is to write it with AlwaysOn members.”

Mr. Dear replied: “Writing a book is so painful, I find it easier if someone else does all the hard work. So I’m asking you, members of the AlwaysOn network, to give me all of your ideas.”

Mr. Perkins wrote: “As we say in the world of journalism, This is a story that needs to be told.’ ”

Mr. Dear responded: “As we say in Silicon Valley, There’s never enough money. Make more.’ “

The blast has been widely circulated online. Mr. Perkins, for his part, said, “I thought it was pretty clever, and have referred it to many people, including my wife, for laughs.”

But his online readers have generally been supportive, he said. “I can’t imagine not blogging all my books into existence.”

This just in: The Paris Hilton and Britney Spears Porn Tape!

Call me a cynic, but at this point it has become clear that releasing “home movies” are part of an overall marketing strategy by the media. As such, look for the following in the near future:

  • Creation and leaking of “home movies” as part of a recording or TV contract: “Before the delivery of a fifth CD, and immediately before the release a best of‘ compilation, the artist agrees to create and release an private adult video. Such creation will remain the property of the artist, but will be available for reasonable publicity purposes by the corporation.”)

  • Three of the following in a home movie: Paris Hilton, Madonna, Britney Spears, Snoop Dog and William Shatner.

  • Celebrity Porn Uncensored #12 on E!

  • Former child-celebrity “home videos” from: Screech, Gary Coleman, Shannon Doherty and Elizabeth Berkeley (or just about any other cast member of Saved by the Bell, 90210 or [insert late 80s sitcom here]).