Dan Briklin Releases wikiCalc 0.1

Dan Briklin has released an initial version of some software he’s been working on:

The product is the wikiCalc program — a web authoring tool that creates web pages. It is for creating and maintaining web pages that include data this is more than just unformatted prose, such as schedules, lists, and tables. It combines some of the ease of authoring and multi-person edit ability of a wiki with the familiar formatting and data organizing metaphor of a spreadsheet. While you edit using a browser-based UI in a spreadsheet, with the A-B-C 1-2-3 grid showing, the final output, like printout from the productivity product, is static and only shows cell borders where you explicitly set them. It handles freeform text in a wiki-like manner and works well with large blocks of text.

I haven’t tried it out yet, but it sounds like an interesting concept. Something to keep an eye on, anyway.

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Mark Cuban’s Plan to Eliminate Content Theft

Mark Cuban has some ideas on how to eliminate content theft:

The entire content industry is missing a unique opportunity to eliminate most content piracy and more importantly, to generate a whole lot more revenue by offering revenue sharing. If the NYTimes, to use them an example, were to offer 50 pct of the revenue generated from traffic delivered by affiliated websites, not a single website with half a clue would steal your content. Instead, every blogger, splogger and small content creator would look to find ways to link to your content and drive you traffic. Companies like LinkShare offer revenue sharing programs for product sales, why not offer the same for advertising sales ?

This is an interesting idea. I have no doubt that such a system would eliminate the benefit of content scraping. If I can make more money with a link to somebody’s content than with the content itself, why would I choose to steal the content?

However, I wonder if this solution would only shift the problem. Couldn’t you game such a system by renting a few thousand zombie machines to follow the link on your splog and collect a fat cheque from the content producer?

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Steve Pavlina’s Polyphasic Sleep Experiment

After reading about polyphasic sleep on lifehack, Steve Pavlina decided to try it for himself and blog about the exprience.

For those of you unfamiliar with polyphasic sleep, it is a schedule that requires only 3 hours of sleep each day, taken in half-hour naps every four hours. This is in contrast to the so-called monophasic sleep schedule that has most of us spend eight or nine continuous hours each night in bed.

Naturally, the transition to polyphasic sleep can be quite a shock for people who have spent their entire lives sleeping through the night. And Steve has done us the service of finding out just what it entails in a series of blog posts:

To make the long story short, it sounds like the the change is difficult, but once you get past the hump it is possible to feel as alert and well-rested with only 3 hours of sleep each day as you might with eight to nine hours.

I find the idea of gaining an extra 5-6 hours a day very tempting, although I wonder what the long-term health risks might be.

A while ago, I blogged about a story in New Scientist where scientists had identified the “sleep” gene in fruitflies, allowing them to cut their sleeping time by 30%. The last line of the story reads, “There is a snag, though, since the lifespan of [the genetically manipulated fruitflies that slept 30% less] was about 30% shorter than normal.”

I wonder whether polyphasic sleep has the same trade-off. And if it does, is that enough reason not to try it.

Startup Fever Launches

After way too much fiddling around with the layout of it, I’m happy to announce the launch of Startup Fever, the new blog that I warned about in October.

The plan remains the same: all the linking to startup-related articles that I usually do will now be done at Startup Fever. This space will be used for more general blogging.

If you’d like to continue getting links to articles about startups, you should subscribe to the RSS feed, which you can do by clicking on the appropriate button below:

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75 Signs That You Are An Entrepreneur

Joshua Steimle:

A lot of people think they’ve got entrepreneurial experience. After all, they started or ran a business, and isn’t that what an entrepreneur is? Maybe, depending on your own definition. Well, here’s mine. These are not all necessarily descriptive of what I’m going through right now, and they are not all things I’m proud of or would recommend for other people, and most of them certainly were not intentional, but they are all taken from my personal experiences. Some are humorous, some are not.

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Greg Gianforte’s Talk on Bootstrapping


Greg, the founder/CEO of RightNow and author of the new book, Bootstrapping Your Business, recently gave a talk at a TiE Institute event in Santa Clara. You can download a pdf (2MB) of the talk and view it on the website.

To EVERY bootstrapper (and entrepreneur thinking about starting a company): WATCH THIS – and watch it twice!