Non-spoiler movie review – Firewall

Non-spoiler movie review – Firewall: Saw it Saturday.

Pro: If (like me) you’re a fan of techno-suspense-thrillers starring Harrison Ford, you won’t be disappointed. Ford can play this role time-after-time as naturally as Sinatra crooned New York, New York. If you’re a fan of the genre and willing to park your disbelief at the door, you’ll enjoy it.

Con: What’s the deal with the name Jack? Is it not enough to have a Tom Clancy plot with a bank robbery instead of an international conflict? Why do they need to name Ford’s character Jack — it reinforces that he’s playing a Jack Ryan clone (who, instead of being a CIA agent or President, is an extremely affluent bank security executive.) To make matters more confusing, Jack’s assistant in the movie is Chloe from 24. Chloe! Anyone who watches 24 will know how many times Chloe says “Jack” each week.

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Memed: Is this like a chain letter? As friend Tom Biro “tagged” me with the meme, I’ll bite…

Four Jobs I’ve Had: Pool cleaner | Car counter (no kidding) | appliance delivery guy | Congressional press secretary/speech writer

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over: Being There | Network | Patton | To Kill a Mockingbird

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch: Lost | 24 | Office | Sports Center

Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation: Lake Louise | Turks and Caicos | Jackson Hole | Disney World

Four Favorite Dishes: barbecue from Smokey Pig Barbecue, #2 | a scramble dog from Dinglewood Pharmacy, Columbus, Ga. | hot chicken from Prince’s | bibimbap (homemade)

Four Websites I Visit Daily: (I don’t visit sites, I subscribe to RSS feeds, but…) (shameless plug) | | |

Four Places I’d Rather Be: Nashville (no place like home) | Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos | Grand Teton National Park (in the summer) | Glacier National Park (in the summer)

Four Bloggers I’m Tagging (Nashville blogs) BB Logan | Mark Oldham | Tim Morgan | Laura Creekmore

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Nothing is “new” but the cliche

Nothing is “new” but the cliche: I consider Jeff Jarvis a friend and am a fan of Seth Godin and read Inc. Magazine, but I must respectfully disagree with the notion that “small is the new big.” What’s new about it? Small has always been big. When has innovation, job creation, or economic growth not been fueled by small businesses or passionate individuals? Even media innovations have historically been “small.” Granted, the web changes everything and I am a passionate evangelist for conversational media of all forms, but I see these as a continuation of something that has always been reality for those of us who live in small places, work in small businesses, and create small media.

(Disclosure: When not maintaining this small blog, I am editor and publisher of a magazine that goes to 500,000 small business owners who have no idea they are so trendy.)

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How to set up a free conference call for up to 500 participants

How to set up a free conference call for up to 500 using Skype — and the participants can call in on their phone without having a Skype account: I learned yesterday that a new product has been launched that allows anyone with a Skype account to set up a conference call for up to 500 participants. I was on a panel with Ben Lilienthal, one of the founders and CEO of the 8-person firm, Vapps (for voice over applications) who explained; and said that Skype would be linking to it off its homepage starting next week.

Here’s how it works:

1. You need a Skype account.

2. You register at and get a “room number” for a call.

3. Just like the pay-service conferencing calling, the participants dial up a phone number and hear some prompts that ask for the “room number.”

4. There are lots of other features — you can have a permanent room number, monitor the call online to see who all is participating (if they’ve dialed in using Skype)

Notes: The phone number one dials into is not a local number, so if someone phones in with a cell-phone or land line, their carrier’s long distance charges will apply. If they dial in on a Skype account, it’s free. The service is free for U.S. participants in the call only. The international rates (which are low) are listed on the website.

Disclosure: I had never heard of this service and had never met Ben before yesterday. I thought it was a cool service, but thought it was a little confusing to the audience since most of them had never heard of Skype and kept thinking (like me, at first), you had to be online to use it. I especially liked that Ben’s firm has been doing this kind of thing for years for big companies (creating VoIP bridge products that enable VoIP conference calling) and have adapted that technology for use with Skype. I am not an advisor to the company, however I did give Ben some free advice. On my Treo, I checked out the availability of a URL and when I saw it was not being used, I suggested a less Web 1.0ish name for the service. By the time I got back to Nashville, Ben had emailed me to say he’d grabbed the URL. Cool. Also, Ben and his company make money from providing this free service. How they do it is for someone who understands arcane U.S. telecommunications law to explain.

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