Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Mac Ad: Performance

<warning> Not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. Definitely not safe for work. Careful you don't laugh too hard. </warning> Get your black on.


YouTube has Porn Clone

Now you've got a great new site to explore with your HeatSeek porn browser. The irony is that PornoTube has a better interface and better support for tagging than YouTube. Trust the porn industry to always stay on top.


Talking urinals invade privacy

Proving once again that absolutely no place in the US is sacred enough to avoid advertising. Maybe those Graffiti Advertising folks will hook us up with a sound track for their exciting over-the-urinal display advertising.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Amie Street: Awesome New Music Model

Okay, so they only have something like 273 songs available right now, but the model is spot on (although, I'm not sure if their economics work, but that's nothing a little critical mass and ad revenue can't fix). If you're an aspiring singer, musician, band, this might be your path to stardom. Or at least notoriety. Get in while the odds are good!


All Rihanna, All the Time!

Gotuit delivers videos on demand for free (and not just music videos, in case you have some other interest).

Deets: Gotuit Furthers Television’s Demise


Sunday, July 23, 2006

The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs

WARNING: this will make you laugh out loud. Repeatedly. You've been warned.


Antisocial Networking

"So I want to see the antisocial network. People can declare friends and enemies (eh, maybe we’ll just skip the friends completely)...."

The network for social cynics.


Zune: what we know, think we know, and don't yet know

In case you've had trouble keeping up with the daily onslaught of rumors, speculation and wishful thinking, here's the definitive recap (for today, anyway).


Gavyn Davies does the maths

"How a statistical formula won the war" Or, how not to issue your serial numbers -- nothing like offering sales data to your competitors.


Star Trek Sings Knights of the Round Table



11 Suggestions For Not Being a Dot-Bomb 2.0

Mandatory reading for budding entrepreneurs (Juice).


iPod Accessories Gone Wild

The first one is really in a league of its own. I guess some people just won't go anywhere without their pod.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cooking an egg on a MacBook

My lap and I have absolutely no trouble believing this.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Multiply closes first funding round

"Want to show your profile to millions of people you don't know? Use MySpace. Share your photos, video, music, blogs and more with the people you already know and love: Join Multiply."

YASNS -- yet another social networking site -- but this one might have what it takes to survive: social networking for grown-ups.


List of problems solved by MacGyver

This is clearly the most useful page on all the Interweb.


Watch internet users’ behaviour with ClickTale

This strikes me as bit creepy, but I'll probably find it very useful at the day (and night) job.


Dogster Has Competition

Perhaps Nervous Nelly just needs to make some friends online!


Porn Browser Heatseek Launches (yeah, porn browser)

Some of these features look useful for viewing non-porn sites as well, and considering the online porn providers' long track record of innovations that become mainstream, I suspect it's only a matter of time before these features appear in other browsers. And considering the trend of developing specialized apps for Internet-based activities, I predict that if this particular browser encounters success, it will eventually become something of the iTunes for porn.


Odeo Releases Twttr

That's pronounced "twitter", perv. Terrible name and fewer features than Dodgeball, but it does work anywhere in the US on any mobile carrier. Have at it!



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

George Lucas' masterpiece in ASCII art

This counts as tech news nowadays? v.retro

Jump to the explanatory video or skip ahead to the main action.


Segway polo at the Maker Faire

So this is what happens when you let geeks have too much money and too much free time. They try to invent a sport. Geeks on sticks.


Monday, July 10, 2006

New Mac TV Ads

"Do you mean, like, stupid stupid or cool stupid?"


'Talking Right': Why the Left Is Losing, Linguistically

"In his new book, Talking Right, linguist Geoff Nunberg examines the parlance of the American political right. Conservatives, Nunberg notes, have been remarkably effective at creating a language through which to convey their agenda. The subtitle of his book illustrates what he's getting at: 'How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show.'"

Intriguing thesis. Skillful persuasion or public manipulation? Add high-jacking the language to the conservative Machiavellian success story. I'm surprised any Democrats where even able to recognize the problem at all, even if they can't see the depth of it.

"Together, America can do better."

Thanks for the link jBlog.

(Really, there's a tech connection in there, but you'll have to jump to find it.)


Argo aims guns at more than iPod

Normally, I don't post stories that you've probably seen elsewhere, but this one has more info than others I've read and hasn't (yet) made the major news sites. Plus he claims to have more reliable sources than the other stories I've read.

The lovely graphic is courtesy of Engadget's coverage: Microsoft's "Argo" / Xbox wireless portable media player.


Study: Majority of IT Pros Work Avoidable Overtime

So, I'm guessing if you have Altiris deployed and someone who knows how to use it, this doesn't apply so much, eh, Jess?


Outhouse Suddenly Transforms Into Elevator and Waterskis - Suprise!

"This is how you pull the old outhouse-not-an-outhouse prank. With serious hyrdraulics and motor boats. On TV. In Japan."

I seriously need to start learning Japanese.


An Entertainment Control Center at Every Table

CeeElCee, can we get this at the Grille?


FleaFlicker is a Better Fantasy Sports Site

Any fantasy football fans looking for an upgrade? Hopefully they can scale with the load better than Yahoo or ESPN did last year.


Bartering blogger's quest ends as envisioned: with keys to a house

Juice isn't going to like this one bit. Not at all.


Saturday, July 8, 2006

Is it okay to censor comments in a business blog?

Recently, I stumbled upon a great discussion about the propriety and wisdom of censoring comments on a business blog. As an online marketer and a friend of a friend of the blogger (that'd be CeeElCee and Dr. Funkenswine, respectively), I felt compelled to offer a few observations and suggestions. My thoughts ran kind of long, so I shortened my post at the original blog to something more appropriate to "comments" and opted to run the longer version here.

If I understand correctly, three concerns were raised: whether or not it is okay to censor comments on a business blog; if so, whether or not you should do it for this blog; and, if so, where to draw the line on what to accept. I think the discussion that ensued got a little off-track by trying to address the questions simultaneously rather than sequentially.

I spend a lot of time on the Internet as well as reading about it. Blogs are not by definition a free-for-all, anything-goes medium. Some people choose to host open comments and many others do not. As the publisher of the blog, it's your choice, not the readers, about what is acceptable. Blogs that support businesses do have different rules than personal blogs which also have different rules than journalist blogs. I believe the answer to the first question is, yes, it is okay to censor comments on a blog – as long as the degree and type of censorship are consistent with the purpose of the blog.

Further, you are absolutely right to be concerned about what content you allow to remain in the comments. What you choose to leave on a business blog reflects not just on the person who posted it, but also on that business and its principles – specifically because you choose to leave it posted. If you see your business as an anything-goes kind of place, then by all means avoid censoring the comments. If you see it more as a family-friendly, mutual-respect-for-others operation, then you should make sure it's blog reflects that. As others noted, this is not your personal blog, this is your business’s blog.

Also, don't forget about liability. As a business, you are a target for lawsuits. I'd hate to see a great business tank because someone sued for libel or defamation and drained the lifeblood (and cash) out of the business. As the owner of the blog, you are responsible for what you allow to get posted, even if you didn't write it.

So not only is it okay to censor the comments, it’s wise to do so, and to a certain extent, impossible to avoid. The real difficulty is in deciding where to draw the line.

I infer from the discussion that the primary concern is balancing the harm of potential offense (from posted comments or their deletion) against the benefit of open, genuine discussion so as not to undermine the primary marketing purpose of the blog.

I think you will find that you drastically reduce the chance of offending someone whose comments are moderated if you make it clear upfront where you have decided to draw the line on acceptable commentary. If your readers know that you are open to honest opinions, even criticisms, but not personal attacks or profanity, and that you will delete such comments, then they don't have too much room to complain if they post objectionable material. The key is to spell out your policy and stick to it (including in your own writings). Commenters tend to get upset when something gets deleted that they thought was acceptable according to the observed rules of the place, not simply because they got moderated.

Yet you are also correct to be wary of drawing the line too strictly. The research clearly shows that overly moderated comments on business sites are seen negatively (as in worse than corporate propaganda). Too much moderation actually causes harm, as people don't trust sites where all the comments are positive.

From my experience, the right balance is derived from the purpose of the blog and the values of the business. I read this blog as a discussion of the issues and challenges you’ve faced in launching (and now running) this business. A large part of the value of the blog has been the discussion of these issues in the comments. The marketing value of this particular blog is NOT showing how great the product is; it’s in showing how real people run the business. This is not Corporate BBQ, it’s Mothership BBQ. I believe your premise is that people who are intrigued by your story and appreciate your business values will be more inclined to try your BBQ. And more inclined to keep trying it.

So anything that’s contrary to that purpose and those values doesn’t belong and should be excluded from the blog. If you make your purpose for the blog clear as well as what you consider objectionable, readers will give you some leeway on the openness of the content as well as its moderation.


Friday, July 7, 2006

Mr. Firefox looks to the future

"People think that we started Firefox just to take down Microsoft, just to win some kind of competition. Why would we want to win? There's no money involved for us. There's no (initial public offering) for this company; it's a non-profit. Why would we want to do this unless there's a real need?"

Read on for the answer....


IBM offers new search options for corporations

Wow, where did IBM learn to name products? Maybe they used that new app from Redmond, MS Product Namer...

"IBM WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind--Starter Edition"


The Intergalactic Mashup King

"Werner Herzog’s new film, The Wild Blue Yonder, is the world’s first undersea outer-space sci-fi documentary.... The result isn’t quite documentary, isn’t quite fiction – call it a cine-mashup.... Of course, that it emerged from Herzog’s mind means that The Wild Blue Yonder may be the strangest sci-fi film since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001."

Film 2.0?


Lightning zeros in on teenager's tunes

Since it involved an iPod, I imagine we'll be hearing a lot about this over the coming days or weeks.


Two Seconds to Sleep

Just hold down Command-Option-Eject. Two seconds later: Zzzzzzz....


Analysts: Windows on Macs will not open corporate doors

"I asked [Phil Schiller], ‘will Apple include a virtualization solution in [the next version of Mac OS X] Leopard.’ He said ‘absolutely not, the R&D would be prohibitive and we’re not going to do it. Our solution is dual boot.’"

"I think the ability to run Windows on a Mac over time will get easier and easier and more seamless, and what I think is quite necessary, is that Apple is not going to preclude third-party solutions; they’re going to be promoting third party solutions above and beyond Boot Camp."

Bring on CodeWeavers CrossOver Office for Mac.



"Makes your MacBook or MacBook Pro into a seismograph."

Awesome. Mandatory gear for my next trips near the New Madris or San Andreas.


A Disgruntled Consumer

"If I ever meet anyone from your company, I will kill you. I will f------ kill you and your families."

-- A disgruntled consumer, one of many, submits feedback to accused spyware distributor Direct Revenue


Mobile Prep Will Make Down Time Productive, Possibly Profitable for Students

"The concept is simple - but brilliant. An application that allows the creation, storage and display of flash-card like content on mobile phones. Build in a scoring mechanism, the ability to sort and/or mix up the cards, give students the chance to create their own decks and even sell them for a profit and make it possible for students to share this information via social networking sites like MySpace and you have a recipe to be very poplular in no time flat."

I'd say this has a much better shot at trivia than, say, chemistry, but a platform for user-generated shareware games sounds like something that ought to succeed.


Saturday, July 1, 2006

CouchSurfing Deletes Itself, Shuts Down

Don't let this happen to you.


Cellphone talkers as bad as drunk drivers?

"The study noticed little difference between hands-free and handheld phone talkers, and found they were 9 percent slower to hit the breaks, and varied their speed more than normal drivers. Drunk drivers would drive slower, yet more aggressively, and all three groups were under the impression that they weren't impaired."

So, basically, if you're going to drive, stay off the phone and don't drink.