Thursday, September 20, 2007

Getting back into the knack of things

I've actually had to move again, hopefully this move is a little more permanent, but please check out

Well, I admit it, I slacked. Got a lot of work under my belt and got too busy to keep up with this thing. I'm going to try it again. We're moving though. We've adopted the WordPress software and we're going here

It's still in the planning stages. (We still are using the stock theme, ick). Check it out, and feedback is always welcome.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

iPhone! iPhone! iPhone! (Ok shuddap already)

The hypocrisy of this post is off the charts. Everyones a little tired of hearing about this thing. It's like the Paris Hilton of the electronics world. You don't really care or want to know, but secretly you do. Or maybe you don't and you really do just want the thing to get locked up and never hear about it again (Paris permanently in jail gets our vote). Now that I've said that lets move on.

There is no way I'm buying one. For various reasons, here is the main two though: AT&T and $600 bucks. AT&T's service is, uh, not really service. We like the concept, and some of the features of the iPod, but we aren't sufficiently impressed.

Some people have started camping out for them. Which is pretty ridiculous. Especially this guy. Who is asking for donations and food. It's just infuriating that some idiot who is going to drop $600 on a phone is asking for donations. Charities get donations. Please, instead of giving him money donate to someone who deserves and needs it. Like, I don't know, maybe the American Cancer Society or Habitat for Humanity, or for Pete's sake, even Rock the Vote. Apple should deny him a phone, just for being a greedy, obnoxious clod.

Ranting aside, the demand appears to be huge. I even caught my dad looking at them. My dad is still sporting the free phone he got with his contract 3 or 4 years ago. I reminded him that it was on AT&T and he replied, almost sulkingly, "I know."

Apple has garnered a lot of attention with the iPhone. If you read many tech blogs every other story is iPhone or Apple related. The question is will the iPhone sell and grab market share like they hope? It probably will initially, long term is another game. It's going to come down to AT&T, the surge in subscribers might let them actually build a real network. Considering you're locked into a 2 year agreement with the phone you're going to be giving AT&T thousands of your greenbacks if you stick in for the long haul. Maybe you could use the list published by The Consumerist to get out of your contract with AT&T, that they intend for you to use to get into your contract with AT&T. It's ironic that The Consumerist would post a story telling consumers to act as irresponsible consumers.

I'm not going to John Dvorak you, and tell you that the iPhone is going to fail and take Apple with it. There are too many factors to judge. Our guess is that it's going to take version 2.0 before it becomes the next iPod.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Internet Radio Day of Silence

The RIAA is out of control in this country. They have lobbied congress to irrationally increase the royalty fees that internet radio sites like Pandora and LAUNCHcast pay. For what is essentially they same thing as terrestrial and satellite radio, The royalties have been set so high that it will be impossible for even large sites to continue broadcasting. It's absolutely absurd and a more obvious show of just how greedy the RIAA is.

To protest this extreme rate hike most internet radio broadcasters are calling for today to be a day of silence. We support them and all their efforts.

So please take a look at these sites and send a letter or phone call to your congress person and ask them to make this stop!

Save Net Radio

Dell Releases XPS M1330

Dell released their XPS M1330 today. You can hop on their web site and configure yours. Starting at $1,299 with some relatively weak options we ballooned one up to almost $2,000 by adding an faster processor, more memory, a better video card. and an oh so sweet LED backlit screen.

Standard Features include:

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (2MB cache/1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB)
Windows Vista Home Premium
Non-LED display w/ webcam 1280x800px
1gb SDRAM DDR2 667mhz
Intel GMA X1300

Stuff we want:

Intel Core 2 Duo T7100
2GB Ram
LED Display w/ Webcam
128MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 8400M GS

We would love to check one of these out long term, hint hint. We're looking at you Dell. Ok, fat chance, we know. Click the read link to spec yours out.

[Read] Dell XPS M1300

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kayuda: Online Diagramming/Outlining.

I stumbled across Kayuda today while browsing a few sites. It's a interesting piece of web software. It enables users create a diagram of events or procedures online. You start out with a "node" and branch off connecting other nodes to each other as appropriate. The interface is pretty easy to use. Within a few minutes I was able to start working with it and draw a diagram to my content. Simply create a two nodes, click the green side bar from one, and drag it to the other and an arrow pops up connecting the two. You can create a workspace and collaborate with others remotely as well.

This will make it a little easier to *cough* call in sick, but offer to work from home on those "mental health" days. Our readers never do that though (you just take the day off and go back to bed, right?). We also like the fact that you can zoom in and out of the diagram, so when it gets too big you can zoom out and then go back to focus in on an area that needs more attention. They have a test area so that you can take it for a whirl without signing up.

Plaxo 3.0

Plaxo released version 3.0, a public beta. Plaxo is like an aggregator for your calender and contact lists. Instead of keeping a Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AIM, Yahoo! and a variety of other contact list/calendar/task manger services, Plaxo combines them all in to one service. A svelte looking AJAX interface, fairly similar to Google Calendar allows you to sync all your events to one place and take them with you. It's a fairly novel idea if your on the go and try to keep work and personal time separate but at the same time, in one place.

Undervalued Occupation: Photography

Photography, one of our latest ventures has become something of a unvalued art. It used to be that people appreciated the experience and shots a photographer would make and understand the value of a photo.

Lately from what we gather is that photographers have been relegated to the past tense. It seems that there are a variety of reasons for this. For one, going digital has meant that even the untrained person can take a photo, look at it instantly, and take another if it was so needed. In addition to that, reasonable quality cameras can be had for low dollars. Companies can then send an employee who is untrained to an event to snap a few pictures without the need of a full time photographer. It then becomes economically prudent to not have a full time photog.

Another reason is the desire of the current generation to just have content period. When news agencies start using photos that some random person took instead of a professional it really becomes evident the lack of appreciation people have for the art. I'm sure most of us have heard the phrase "A picture tells a 1000 words", and indeed a good picture can. It's not something that usually comes from a camera phone. More well known blogs employ this method, producing and endless stream of crummy composed or out of focus shots that do little than to maybe raise the ire of their readers, if that.

There are a lot of defining photos out there. For most of us, there are simply iconic photos, like the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the photo of Muhammad Ali standing over Liston, and photos of 9/11. Photos that seemingly stop time. Ansel Adams once said that "A good photograph is knowing where to stand", one might reasonably add, "at the right time" too.

Most people take for granted the settings that photographers know what to adjust to get the picture right, because the camera they have does it automatically. What most point-and-shoot users don't know is how to change the settings, to change the picture, the bring focus to a certain aspect of something that can completely change the way you view the photo. Setting up a good composed photo is the difference between the guy with the camera phone, and the photographer with years of experience and training.

It would be a shame to think that in the future our news and memories would become images uploaded to internet and printed without thought to photo. It's a shame to think that photos are just part of the story, when in some cases they can tell the entire story, instantly. Both capturing and giving emotions with out saying a word.