Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Posted By Allen at 1:42 PM
First it was linux and now it looks like BSD will be in the sights of the evil SCO. I usually don't wish for things like earthquakes, but maybe in this case it would be a good thing to see this company taken out by some kind of natural disaster. See the story on Slashdot
Monday, November 17, 2003
Posted By Allen at 7:50 AM
If you have fallen victim to the RSS craze (like I have) then you are finding more and more information that you would like to get through the format. I'm already reading my favorite weblogs, stats from sourceforge, and press releases from various companies through RSS, now I can read my favorite comics as well. At dwlt.net they have feeds for several comics, from Dilbert to Doonesbury. They also have a nice little list of RSS readers if you haven't gotten started yet. Of course I can't talk about RSS without a plug for my favorite RSS reader, NetNewsWire
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Posted By Allen at 7:51 AM
This article on Boing Boing, and this article on Gizmodo both point to an article from San Diego Union Tribue that says TiVo is proving to be too much for some people to handle. While many belive that TiVo and other DVRs are a boon to the television watching public, apparently some feel that it is causing undue stress in their lives. In this quote from the Union Tribune, we see the basic complaint:
Many TiVo users say they bought the device thinking it would allow them to take greater control of their TV watching. Instead, they find themselves burdened with another obligation in their already filled day. Kevin Coto, a financial systems consultant in New York City, can relate. "I get to the point now where I skip going to the gym so I can keep up with watching "Dawson's Creek" reruns," which are broadcast for two hours each day, he said. "I look forward to when they end so I won't be stressed."In the BoingBoing article Cory Doctorow says:
When I first got my TiVo, having a lot of programming on the drive felt like someone had done me a large favor; but over time, it felt almost like a nag: here's all this "work" I've got piled up for you to do.It's probably best that he got rid of his TiVo. If watching TV is work, then you shouldn't have one. Doctorow goes on to say:
Of course, this isn't specific to TiVo -- any PVR has this effect, as does an RSS reader, mail reader and so on: the unread/unwatched/undealt-with flags that define my life multiply, and my personal time does not.While it's true that in today's world we have many more things to keep an eye on including voice mail, email, TiVo, etc... The amount of stuff increases every year, but so do our tools to deal with them. For example, my ReplayTV gives me a synopsis of each show that it records, so that I can delete it without watching it. I've found that the Replay generally records several more hours of TV than I will actually want to watch, but it's not a problem because I just skip the shows I've already seen or am not interested in. The same goes for things like email and the www. I use an excellent RSS reader which I use to keep up with about 50 www sites a day. The software downloads each post on each site and I can make a very quick decision about reading the full post. Many times I'm not interested and I skip it. Finally email. I get several hundred messages a day. If I were to try to read them all in depth, I wouldn't have time to do anything else. I use filters and a good mail reader to sort, prioritize, and classify my mail. I throw out the spam, I skim the mailing lists, and I read and respond to the personal messages. What I'm getting at is this: Yes, there are more things to keep track of today than there used to be. Yes there are more pieces of information flying at us all the time. However, the efficient use of computing can help us to fish in the sea of information where all we really want is the big catch.
Sunday, November 9, 2003
Posted By Allen at 5:36 PM
ABCNEWS.com has an interview with Former Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch. It seems that there are some inaccurate stories going around, and in this interview Lynch tries to clear up some of the rumors:
n the interview, Lynch also clears up conflicting stories about her actions during the March 23 ambush in which Lynch was taken prisoner. Initial reports portrayed the Army supply clerk, then 19, as a hero who was wounded by Iraqi gunfire but kept firing until her ammunition ran out, shooting several Iraqis. But Lynch confirms that was not the case. She tells Sawyer she was just a soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time, whose gun jammed during the chaos. "I'm not about to take credit for something I didn't do," she tells Sawyer in the interview, airing Tuesday, Nov. 11.Lynch also commented on the military's portrayal of her rescue:
Asked whether the military's portrayal of the rescue bothers her, Lynch said, "Yeah, it does. It does that they used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff. I mean, yeah, it's wrong … I don't know what they had … or why they filmed it."
Saturday, November 8, 2003
Thursday, November 6, 2003
Posted By Allen at 7:38 PM
These are really cool! ZIP-LINQ REVOLUTIONARY RETRACTABLE CABLES - The Reel Solution to Cable Clutter!
The technology that's essential for the mobile professional, made better. Introducing a brand new line that has been designed to revolutionize, simplify and enhance your ability to plug in at home or on the road. You can count on us for the absolute best in retractable cable technology. Zip-Linq's small design makes it the perfect fit for your laptop bag, pocket or purse. And our Pull-n-Click technology allows the cable to expand from 4" to up to 48" with a simple pull. Another pull and they automatically retract back into the housing.
Posted By Allen at 2:12 PM
According to this story in th e New York Post Online Edition McDonalds is going to be giving away 1,000,000,000 songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store.
In a dramatic move that gives a thumbs up to the music industry's efforts at creating legal alternatives to file sharing, McDonald's plans to give away up to 1 billion songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Sunday, November 2, 2003
Posted By Allen at 10:42 AM
Computerwolrd has a great article about free WiFi hot spots. The author has taken a look at the ROI on providing free internet access through WiFi, and has found some interesting results:
John Wooley, chairman, CEO and president of restaurant chain Schlotzsky's Inc. in Austin, isn't so shy in sharing details of what he calls the "strong ROI" from the company's free Wi-Fi service. Schlotzsky's currently offers free Wi-Fi in 30 of its 600 company-owned or franchised Schlotzsky's Delis. Wooley says he figures that the free Wi-Fi results in an additional 15,000 visits per restaurant per year by customers who spend an average of $7 per visit. That means Wi-Fi service brings in more than $100,000 per year per outlet in return for an investment of about $8,000 per restaurant for wireless infrastructure, Wooley says. The largest continuing cost is backhaul to the Internet over 1.54Mbit/sec. T1 circuits, Wooley says. Since the cost of a T1 circuit varies from $300 to $700, depending on what part of the country you're in, he says Schlotzsky's would average those costs to induce existing franchisees to offer the service. (New franchisees will be required to offer free Wi-Fi, Wooley notes.)Other interview subjects have reported that they consider WiFi to be a required addition to their overall service package:
Panera Bread Co., based in Richmond Heights, Mo., has also embraced free Wi-Fi as a marketing tool and plans to offer the service in 130 of its 600 bakery cafes by year's end, eventually extending the service chainwide. Ron Shaich, the company's chairman and CEO, says he views free Wi-Fi as an amenity that has already started to attract and retain customers at what he calls a "minimal cost." In fact, Shaich considers free Wi-Fi to be such an essential marketing tool that he dismisses any discussion of ROI. "What is the ROI on a bathroom?" asked Shaich, pointing out that the day of pay restrooms in restaurants has long since passed.This is what I've been saying all along. I don't think WiFi access will ever work as a pay service, but as a free service it will attract customers, give you a marketing oppertunity, and encourage your customers to stay and spend more money than they nomally would.
Posted By Allen at 10:07 AM
According to this story posted on Yahoo! News three different Clear Channel Communications radio stations have advocated harming bicyclists on the road.
CLEVELAND - Bicyclists are demanding that the nation's largest radio group be punished because disc jockeys at three stations made on-air comments they say encouraged drivers to throw bottles at bike riders or hit them with open car doors. They say the morning show hosts at Clear Channel Communications stations in Cleveland, Houston and Raleigh, N.C., also suggested motorists blast horns at cyclists, and speed past them and slam on their brakes in front of them.This kind of behavior is totally irresponsible from a radio station, let alone three radio stations owned by the same company. It also makes me wonder how this kind of behavior could happen at three different radio stations in such a close time frame? I would encourage people to send an email to Lisa Dollinger, Clear Channel's Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications to express an opinion on this issue.