Monthly Archives

October 2009

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Shazam iPhone App to start charging monthly fee

From NYTimes.com: Shazam, Maker of Cellphone App, Draws Investment

Shazam currently offers its application for iPhones and Nokia phones free, but charges for the BlackBerry version. However, by the end of the year, it plans to give all users five free song identifications a month and charge them $4.99 a month if they want unlimited usage and extra features. Shazam will most likely sell other items from within the application, like band tickets and merchandise, and branch into other types of media, like video.

The company is currently profitable now through iTunes referrals.  I like the Shazam app for the iPhone, but there’s no way it’s worth $4.99 a month for just song identification.  Changing your business model after building your base of customers is very risky.

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NYTimes.com: Petulance and the Prize

From NYTimes.com: Petulance and the Prize

The wailing and gnashing of teeth that you hear among Republicans is 68
percent envy and 32 percent sour grapes. Here is an idealistic,
articulate young president who is enormously popular everywhere in the
world except in the states of the Confederacy, and here sit the 28
percent of the American people who still thought Mr. Bush was doing a
heckuva job at the end, gnashing their teeth, hoping and praying for
something horrible to happen such as an infestation of locusts or the
disappearance of the sun, something to make the president look bad,
which is not a good place for a political party to be, hoping for the
country to slide into chaos. When you bet against America, you are
choosing long odds.

I couldn’t agree more with Garrison Keillor’s editorial.

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AVClub.com: Interview- Alton Brown

From AVClub.com: Interview- Alton Brown

The A.V. Club: So you got the idea for Good Eats and then went to culinary school after, correct?

Alton Brown: Yeah, specifically so I could get the background I needed to do the show. Which is kind of crazy. I don’t suggest people do that. It’s too damn risky.

I love the show Good Eats on the Food Network.  I find it entertaining even though I don’t cook a whole lot.  It is inspiring me to try to carve out the time to do it more.

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NYTimes.com: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad

NYTimes.com: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad

American cards lack a special chip, now commonly used in many foreign countries, causing the cards to be rejected by some merchants and kiosks.

The couple’s cards, which rely on magnetic-stripe technology for transactions, lacked an embedded microprocessor chip, which stores and processes data and is now commonly used in Europe. Such chip-based cards — commonly referred to as chip-and-PIN cards because users punch in a personal identification number instead of signing for the purchase — offer an extra layer of protection against the theft of cardholder data and counterfeiting, and they are designed to replace magnetic stripe technology and signature payments.

I noticed this problem when I was in Paris.  We were in a hurry trying to buy tickets for the train to the airport and we couldn’t get our credit cards to work when swiped.  We had to go to a ticket booth to have our credit card manually swiped.

I think the chip-and-PIN system is a better system because the signature is basically worthless.  Who spends the time to sign their name well on a digital screen? 

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ClickToFlash Flash blocker is a must have plugin

ClickToFlash is my new favorite plugin for Safari on the Mac.  It blocks Adobe Flash on websites, replacing Flash content with a button.  The button allows you to activate the Flash animation if you want it.  The main benefit to disabling Flash is speed.  Both browsing speed and general computer responsiveness.  So many webpages use ads in Flash and they’re constantly running, sucking up CPU power.  On my older Mac Pro G5 Dual 2.0 GHZ, the difference between running Flash and is very noticeable.  It’s a great way to make browsing on older computers much snappier.
clicktoflash.jpgUPDATE: ClickToFlash blocks the Google Flash Ad that sometimes shows up on my blog.  Oh well, no more ad profits for me! 

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