History: Religion and Technology repeating themselves

Technology and religion have been fighting against each other for thousands of years. You might say that they have a hate love, mostly hate relationship with each other. Technology has been used to prop up religions and create mystical experiences. And technology has been used to subvert and takedown religions.

Similarly, religious wars have been started and fought using technologies only to destroy learning and science of the conuqured nations.  This has resulted in the ravaging and destruction of technology and science and learning through many civilizations around the world.

Religions have also sponsored the study and improvement of technology and science to create buildings and cities in books and many other inventions throughout history. This love-hate relationship started to crystallize even more several hundred years ago when catholic bibles started rolling off the Gutenberg press.

We live in a perceived modern time that is currently being stirred up by multiple religions around the world.  The friction of religions is often the precursor , but technology is often the lever that is utilize to bring about the death and executions of many.

It's a strange juxtaposition of technology and religion that continues even today in 2007. We don't seem to be able to leave history behind despite our attempts to ignore it and therefore history seems to be repeating itself yet again with religious-based wars waged with harsher and harsher technologies.

Forget Protection Plans - Meet the Disposal Plan

Someday in the not-too-distant future I predict that consumers will have to pay a fee for the disposal of the electronics and consumer goods that they purchase. I suspect electronics with components or accessories such as nickel cadmium batteries and other items that are dangerous to the environment and even more important expensive to dispose of safely will have to pay an environmental impact fee. 

pyramid and sphynx at night Those fees could be very expensive. It wouldn't surprise me a bit for the insurance industry to enter the picture and provide disposal insurance for consumers when they purchase products. We already have Protection Plans to repair or replace the whiz bangs and gizmo's why not another plan to put the product in the ground. 

After all today people can buy Funeral Insurance which is in essence a form of disposal insurance for your body. So why couldn't the insurance company extend that disposal capability to the products that those bodies use.

It's not exactly a new concept, ancient peoples have disposed of their goods with their persons for many hundreds if not thousands of years.  In some cases, they created great big pyramids to hold all of their stuff even.

Nintendo Got Memo - Empty Shelves Do Not Sell!

Apparently Nintendo finally got the memo that people like their product, the Wii gaming system. After months of back orders and backlogs they are finally boosting production.


It is possible that they didn't have it together and didn't have enough by lack of foresight, but do not tell their stockholders that. It is also much more likely that they purposely starved the market with this new product so as to bolster prices by decreasing the supply.

Black-market prices on the device have been double to triple the amount that you can buy the product in stores or online, when it is available and it usually is not available.

So maybe the executives at Nintendo got the memo or maybe they picked up some Free Diet pills and got cranked up on the caffeine and pulled a few all nighters to determine just how many gaming units they really needed to fill up the channel around the world.

Regardless just like the Saudis sitting on their oil supply Nintendo is going to trickle out a few more devices and slowly quench the thirst as they milk the profits and the price premium that their gaming systems are commanding.

Nintendo learned the lesson a long time ago that you have to ride the popularity while it lasts, because popularity with gaming systems never lasts. If you doubt that just ask the man that created the Sony gaming system.

He had to resign this week.

Computers that Heal themselves of Viruses

You have probably seen that new Mac commercial where the Mac in the PC guy show up and when the PC guy comes stumbling and he's literally is big and round as a beach ball the size of a car. He gives the standard joke about PCs come in with a lot of extra programs and software added in that are not needed. They slow things down (he illustrates the point by slowly walking in and slowly walking out when he forgot something.)

My point is that I just read an article about a new computer designed by HCL Infosystems that utilizes EC2 technology.

What is EC2 technology?

It is a technology that enables a laptop to essentially heal itself and heal itself rapidly when the computer crashes due to a user error or a virus or a number of other items. This is not intended to replace the use of virus programs or spyware programs that protect your computer, however it does claim to be able to get your computer back up and running quickly and less than a minute after a crash resulting from one of those types of problems.

And that got me thinking about that Mac and PC commercial again when I saw this story about HCL Info systems. I wonder if they'll come out with the technology next time that enables PCs to slim down when they get filled up with too much garbage. After all, people can get some of the Best Diet Pills around when they look hard enough, but it's all most impossible sometimes to find a utility or a software program or anything else capable of getting all of that garbage out of your PC right out of the box or even months later as new things are accumulated over time.

Aerated Laptop Tables for the Deck

I have regularly been on the lookout for a good table to run my laptop on when I'm sitting outside on the deck. The table needs to be capable of sitting at the right height, it needs to be comfortable, it needs to have space for my laptop and a mouse and a mouse pad and on occasion a wireless keyboard.

I came across some interesting teak outdoor furniture at a site called THOSBaker.com. One particular table called the Montecito folding bistro table (Dragon NaturallySpeaking actually got that were correct!) Looks like it might do the trick. It's about 3 feet around and it folds up which is a bonus. Maybe even more interesting is the wood has slats or slits in the wood to a lower little bit of air to circulate through the table. When you are trying to keep a laptop computer cool on a hot day outdoors, that is a nice little extra. I'm sure they don't make this table for laptop purposes but I am definitely going to keep my eye on it.

Motivating People with their Own Idealism

A word for our sponsonrs . . .
Capella University recently provided a new release regarding a book by Sara Orem PhD titled Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change. The book is targeted towards higher education and organizations looking to teach and motivate people. The book details new understandings of the psychology behind a type of motivation that has a long history, idealism.

The book indicates that if you attempt to motivate people using a combined effort of speaking towards their passions and the promise of positive results you can spark action and results by the synergetic appeal to their idealism. Give people a sense of a greater purpose and help match people to jobs that suit their ideals and you will get a much greater result and impact.

This (or “the following”) blog post was (or “is”) based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Can Internet Radio be Saved by Congress?

A bill introduced by two Congressman proposes to save internet radio from a likely demise. The Copyright Royalty Board decided early this month to more than double the royalties that small internet radio broadcasters pay.

The Inslee-Manzullo Internet Radio Equality Act vacates the CRB's March 2 decision and proposes Net radio stations continue paying a percentage (7.5) of revenues through 2010. Alternatively, the bill would allow Net broadcaster to choose to pay 33 cents per hour of sound recordings transmitted to a single user. According to PCWorld Blogs
The rates had been $.0008 per song and was more than doubled up to $.0019 per song, which was estimated to be as much as 60% of revenue for many internet radio broadcasters. The current bill would continue to peg the rate at about 15% of revenue.

If you are interested in supporting this bill, contact your local Congress person and also consider supporting SaveNetRadio.org.


Icons of Science in Space

Two very different icons of science both went into space this last week. One permanently and one temporarily. One survived and the other was pre-deceased enroute.

Stephen Hawking was able to experience weightlessness in an airplane flying at a high altitude and then diving rapidly. Separately, the actor, James Doohan, who is famous for playing the role of Scotty on Star Trek had his ashes launched into space this week as well.

Is Steve Jobs Going to Crash Space Ship Apple?

Has Steve Jobs been pulling a fast one on everyone for the last few years?

The Department of Justice seems to be targetting the company. Of course the Apple board of directors cleared Steve Jobs of any wrong doing, but they have a financial interest in maintaining Jobs in his current role.

The theory is that as Steve Jobs goes so does the fortune of Apple. That is a rather dangerous go for broke type of attitude for a company that would otherwise seem to be fairly strong.

Let us suppose for a second that the board is going along to get along on this. Would that mean that maybe there is a problem with options and that Steve Jobs is involved? If that were the case, we might disect other recent Apple news in a different light.

Apple has delayed the release of its new operating system. The iTv was delayed earlier this year. Breaking from a long tradition of releasing new products when and only when they are ready, Apple pre-announced the launch of the Apple iPhone.

This happened before they had secured rights to the trademark. Plus, it was later revealed that the device would only work with a single wireless carrier. If Apple and Steve Jobs new all year long that they were going down in the flames of scandal could it not be possible that their recent actions and product announcements could be interpreted in a significantly different light?

If they had nothing to lose due to this securities scandal, maybe cooking things up and breaking from their normal modus operandi might not seem so far fetched.

PayU2Blog

For some time now I have been working with a new sponsored advertising service called PayU2blog. I like the service quite a bit because they give a great deal of flexibility to writers to write about anything they like. In essence you get paid to blog about topics and ideas that you want to blog about. You are required to cover the key words that they request and insert a link with those keywords but the topics can be widened far and they also don't have strong requirements for excessive amount of words.
Now anyone that reads this blog knows that I am rarely at a loss for words and tend to lean towards the verbose as opposed to being a little short winded. That said I tend to find myself writing significantly more for many of the sponsors that are provided and the articles are much better than some of the articles offered up by other services that create very tight requirements that ultimately reduce the creativity and the natural flow of the writing and turn the article in to something more of a advertisement or advertorial.

Rebranding with Technology Concepts

Do you recall when red bull was a malt liquor in this great big bowl would always come crashing through some wall in a bar somewhere in the middle of downtown Philadelphia or something like that?

That was back when it was popular to drink beer, but now it's popular to drink energy drinks something that gives you a great big Energy Boost. Malt liquor definitely doesn't give you an energy boost, even though it may give you a boost in confidence.

The question is why did a company famous for all look or move into the energy drink sector. That's a pretty strange leap but they did it based on the notion that there was technology that have developed some product that could make people do things better or faster or more energetically than they could before.

They were marketing and where those to meet up there's money to be made and in some cases like red bull there are products to be rebranded or brands to be three product-ed.

Frazzled by the noise

If you have had a week like mine, you might be in need of some sound therapy. I telecommute from home and typically this doesn't cause me any problems whatsoever I much more productive for many reasons. However there are times when that all comes to a grinding halt just like they would in the office of something happened there. There are times when my family were kids or pets or neighbors get in the way. Usually this happens all at the same time!

Now I have three dogs, but one of them is the loudest of the dogs. I mention this because she goes outside she goes outside to bark first and anything else second. That gets to be pretty annoying and it grates on my nerves. Usually this gets compounded by other external events and happenings and before you know it I am a nervous wreck.

It's at these points in time that I typically need some sort of sound machines to help calm my nerves and shut out all the external noise is distracting me so I can get back on track and refocus. I can close my eyes and meditate and give my eyes a break from looking at my computer screen, but it's harder to shut out the noise and even more difficult sometimes to give your brain a soothing noise to relax to.

Free Pens in the Mail - To Pen or Not to Pen Your Business

This afternoon I opened up my mail, I was somewhat surprised to find a customized pen in the mail with the name of my company on it. It was a promotional item intended to encourage me to buy more custom pens like it or possibly fancier pens such that I could give those away to potentially client customers and partners and other people is a form of advertising.

Now I attend a lot of trade shows and so I tend walk away with pockets even bags full of pens on occasion. I typically don't get into the business of giving away pens myself I'm usually the target of) butts there is something to be said for this type of advertising.

As the recipient of many good and bad pens I can offer a few tips.
  • don't waste your time with cheap pens -- just skip it if you think you have to go cheap
  • don't buy pens that are too fat or large and look like they belong in the kindergarten class
  • Skip the pens that have flashing lights on them- I don't want my suit to light up and down whenever I'm walking.
  • Skip the pens that have funny toys attached to the end of them
  • Don't skimp on the amount of ink that goes in the pen. You want these pens to last so that your customers or whoever receives them will continue to remember you and your company many weeks months possibly years into the future.
  • if you can get your phone number and company name engraved into the pen as opposed to painted on the pen, you don't want it to rub off!
  • don't give away any pens with naked people on them unless you're in the naked people business

Banks Pricing Foreclosures Incorrectly

There is a conventional wisdom that indicates that if you buy a foreclosed house or property you're probably going to get a better deal from the bank. that is not however always the case. The bank has an advantage with a foreclosed property as they don't dicker or negotiate on anything. This means they can go blindly into a property and assess the value partially based in their book you and they don't have to discounted for the things that a normal property owner would have to discounted property for such as structural flaws or serious problems with the property. The bank can claim ignorance and therefore price the property higher than it normally would list for right from start.

I was searching for beufort nc real estate this last weekend and ran across a great example of this. We looked at in a frame house on the lake that had a little bit of fixer-upper potential. However the bank, Wells Fargo, had listed the property at an amount that didn't seem to include the discounts that should be applied to to the probability that the garage was actually constructed on the property line and therefore needed to be torn down because it wasn't built according to zoning and the distinct likelihood that another edition was added to the house at one time they didn't have a permit to potentially.

Now the bank is in on the hook to prove that there is a permit for the addition nor are they on the hook to prove that the crowd was built within zoning, but they do get the benefit of listing the house at a price comparable to other houses of similar sizes with garages and with that extra square footage that the addition provides the house.

So a prospective buyer like yours truly can go in and look at the house and see the potential and make an offer on it but at the end of the day yours truly would be stuck holding the bag if the garage had to be deconstructed and the addition removed without any recourse to put those portions of the building back up again because there is a room on the property for them. In essence banks selling foreclosed property can plead ignorance like that and walk away with an inflated price when the buyer or suspects a deflated discounted price.

The Price is Wrong with many Real Estate Sites

We are preparing to move to North Carolina this summer, right at the exact wrong time to move anywhere in the United States. The real estate market is doing flip-flops all over the place even though in our area just outside of Atlanta real estate is relatively speaking in pretty good shape and fairly consistent. Unfortunately we seem to be moving to another location that is also fairly consistent and so we can't sell our house here in the Atlanta area and expect to take that windfall and moved to North Carolina where there'll will be a discount. Both areas seem to be still selling at a premium.

We have not recently contemplated scenarios with Cary NC Real Estate , however we are now looking to move to the Charlotte area of North Carolina instead. Maybe we should reconsider and pick up a bargaining Cary?

Real Estate Technology

Regardless assault points out that there are still some fatal flaws with online real estate technology today. Multiple listing services as well as many forms of other online real estate sites can still be skewed and you can't always count on the prices you see to give you a good gauge of what the real value is the market. Seven years ago we moved to South Florida and the Internet prices for real estate online were incorrect. The actual prices were increasing every couple of weeks and typically if we looked at a house online, in reality probably cost of $40-$50000 more. Back then the prices weren't being updated correctly.

We still see a little bit of that today especially when a house is listed by a realtor and it doesn't sell in six months later it's taken away from that real turned it into another one. Sometimes those listings stay on the websites of the original realtor and get in the way.

The bigger problem today is that there is no reliable system for site or bank or mortgage company that truly goes out and does good assessments on the volume of a home. Everybody and their brother's uncle went out and got jobs during the real estate though performing home appraisals and many of the appraisers don't have any experience. Plus they tend not to actually look at the house, they simply run a report on the comparable prices in the neighborhood and completely discount anything that might actually be in the house whether it's favorable or severely unfavorable.

This means that prices of homes go up on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis regardless of whether the median price of the homes in those neighborhoods are close to being right. This is part of the problem with the real estate scenario today and why the market is correcting. Many neighborhoods have gone up as a neighborhood that did not deserve to go up and this has also placed a premium on brand-new houses as opposed to existing homes. Brand-new neighborhoods are much more likely to have the comparables be exactly the same from one home to the next that means the appraiser doesn't have to do as much work.

It doesn't mean that the new home is a better house nor does it mean that it is in a better neighborhood nor does it mean that the neighbors are going to be better, in fact all the neighbors are typically new and everybody is in the same state of moving confusion and so often times they tend to be bad neighbors because no one is grounded in a strong foundation in the neighborhood to welcome other new neighbors.

Great Technology isn't Maintenance Free

We took a short road trip out of town this weekend and experience of those things that no traveler really wants to experience. Our trip was over almost, we were all packed up and ready to leave, the kids were loaded in the car and we went to hit ignition and we heard that strange ticking noise that you hear when your battery is shot. It's right at these moments when you immediately realize that you've forgotten to check the battery and several months and you can't recall how old the battery is in the first place.

That's what happened to us, we were lucky in that we were able to jump the battery and make it home just fine and just needed a charge we left the doors open while we were loading the van, but now we've had a reminder and we need to get on the ball and get the battery replaced because as we look their records it is getting to that point where the battery needs to be replaced.

Simple Tech to Protect Your Eyes

Sponsored Article
I've mentioned it several times in the past, but I'm a firm believer that people should wear very good sunglasses to help protect their eyes. Your eyes are a fragile organ to a certain extent and it doesn't hurt to spend a little extra money to make sure that you're giving your eyes the best protection they can get.

Most people tend to spend more money on their shoes than they do in their eyes throughout a given year. I'm not saying that your beater getting an inappropriate priority over your eyes, however just because your eyes do not need to be covered with some device to help get you around like your feet, it doesn't mean that they don't need help and protection from the elements as well. This goes double for people that ride motorcycles as your eyes are any more dangerous situation and you need good motorcycle sunglasses .

Artistic Renderings Polluting our View of the Stars

I briefly had an opportunity to review some of the news articles this week surrounding the identification of a planet that could potentially sustain life about 20 ly away from planet Earth.

I was discussing this with my brother on the telephone the other day and he had heard from a friend that the planet was about five times the size of Earth and his friend had told him that the planet was supposed to have a gravity that was about the equivalent of that of the moon.

Now I was much better chemistry than I was at physics, however I am pretty darn certain that a larger planets would be expected to have a larger maps (granted that it's not a gas giant) and with a larger mass should have a heavier gravity. The mood in fact has a gravity of about one third that of the Earth because it's about one third the mass of the Earth.

the details though of the report that was given to this friend of my brother's indicated that people would be old to jump around and cavort just like astronauts to the moon. Now I can understand how a report might have been misinterpreted or heard incorrectly if they said the gravity was higher and someone heard at lower but then two on a give and knowledge as explanations of what could be done with that lighter gravity makes it seem to me that my brother's friend was probably in the reports were probably flawed.

Now I purposefully have not gone out to correct my own view of this regarding this planet, I wanted to see is a bit of a test what type of her plies I might receive if I put this post up here as to what everyone else has heard and not so much what they've read. As an example another friend indicated that the same planet was being displayed on various pictures on the Internet and on the news.
As we talked it was unclear if these pictures might have been an artistic rendering or if they were actual pictures of some type. And a description of the pictures I was given indicated that this would've been a fairly large view of this planet not just a speck of light amidst a cluster of stars.

That seems a little far-fetched even for a distant planet considering we can barely see Pluto other than a speck of dust out the night sky itself so how could we see another planet 20 ly away with any type of clarity. Again this is a perception of what type of information is out there and available to people and how they take it and consider it from a reality perspective.

So what have you heard about this new planet? is it populated by talking dogs, are there vampires flying around the planet surface have you seen pictures of this planet or reports that it has moon gravity?

MasterMOZ Web Directory with Social Network Twist

Internet 2.0 is largely about leveraging the power and intelligence of the masses.  MasterMOZ.com is attempting to apply that model to the concept of web directories.  They are creating a directory that enables several levels of groups (social network) to rate directory listings on multiple areas from Accuracy to Reputation to Credibility.

In a classic Example Yahoo! relies on DMOZ for a directory of web pages.  Those web pages can e submitted by anyone and they are reviewed by volunteer editors that give the listings the thumbs up or down.  Once in, they are pretty much in for ever regardless of how the content changes.

MasterMOZ essentially provides an optin where a website can be listed by anyone (typically done by the webmaster of the site).  They can then be rated and reviewed by three levels of groups including:

  1. Casual Visitors
  2. Reviewers
  3. Other Webmasters

All in all its a good concept and likely to be more efficient than the old fashioned Yahoo! model that was trumped long ago by Google.  Now as Google ages in a slightly less than graceful way it could be possible that the intelligence of the masses applied to the directory model could possibly be more relevant and more accurate than GoogleBot.

Regardless the MasterMOZ.com is relatively new, just launched in early April so its not time to call your stock broker about getting in on an IPO just yet.  :)

LinkyLoveArmy.com Get Paid to Have Your Blog Promoted?

There's a new paid to blog site coming up this week.  LinkyLoveArmy.com is taking accepting registrations for their beta test this week.

Linky Love Army

They are being coy with the details, but based on their rhetorical questions it appears that they will

  • Allow you to write almost anything
  • Help you earn money from that
  • Promote your blog for you
  • Bring the Blogosphere together to Collaborate

I've joined up for the beta, and received a thank you from Colonel Love.  I'm waiting to see what happens next!

Note. I did pick up their button, but their code seemed a little buggy at the time .   :)

Toronto SEO Specialists

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This morning I would like to welcome a new sponsor to Maven Mapper's Information - The Dark. I would like to welcome BaySt-Search-Engine-Optimization.com tour list of sponsors. They have recently provided a new press release detailing the importance for companies to utilize SEO (search engine optimization) services.

If you are not familiar with what search engine optimization is, it's basically the practice of improving your website to meet the standards set by the worldwide community. When a website is designed and executed in a way that validates and meets the standards than search engines can read their code correctly. That's one aspect of search engine optimization.
Another aspect includes fine-tuning both the content and writing of the site, and using best practices in promoting and marketing the site across the Internet.

Our new sponsor is a Toronto SEO Company providing these services to customers in the Toronto area area. Utilizing SEO services for your website or business is essential if you want your website to place well in the search engines with Google, Yahoo, MSN and more.

Georgia Field Technician

One of our sponsors is seeking to hire a field technician to work in the Georgia area. This is not typically a topic that we cover here at Maven Mapper's but I wanted to help out our partner in any way we could. Our partner does use mindmanager mind maps extensively and so if you know a field technician this may be a good opportunity for them. Regardless, our little article will help promote the job posting and hopefully help the right candidate find a job!

Here is the job posting for a Georgia Field Technician position :

Field Technician will travel around Georgia collecting groundwater and methane gas samples at landfills, underground storage tank facilities, and other such locations. Field personnel are responsible for ensuring proper samples are collected, documented, and returned to a Norcross laboratory for chemical analyses. Position requires great attention to detail for documentation, ability to work outside in most weather, self-motivation, clean driving record, ability and willingness to travel extensively (Field Technician will be in a hotel most nights), and professionalism (personnel will have contact with clients). Field Technician will work with Field Manager for training period. Mostly solo work will be required after training period. Experience or interest in environmental sciences a plus. Go to advancedenvironmentalmanagement.com for more information on our company.

Microsoft Space Race - Windows on the Moon in 10 years?

There is a rumor floating around in the news that Bill Gates is considering taking a ride into space.  The space rumors being floated as a Microsoft engineer orbits the planet on a holiday cosmonaut space junket for a meager sum of $25 million.

Spending $25 million for Bill Gates is kind of like tipping the pizza guy two bucks for delivering a pizza to the rest of us(okay I admit I'm a little cheap when I tipped the pizza guy).  Now Bill Gates may want to have a little fun before he does his final reboot, but he's also smart guy and he always has business on the brain.

It's possible that this space perspective, might give Bill Gates some insights into where he wants to take Microsoft in the next few years.  Maybe he'll move into space exploration as a hobby, or maybe he'll find a way to put cheap software in the space shuttle and space station's.  Or maybe he'll join forces with Richard Branson from Virgin and create a joint venture to fund the first private space exploration company?

Mac Users Online Poker Advice

I enjoy playing card games, and in particular I enjoy playing Texas hold them online.  Personally I don't like to play with real money, and call me a wimp or whatever but I do like to play the games is only to lose money doing it.  I even on occasion read a few articles on a couple different poker blogs.

One of the topics that I've been meaning to explore low that more is trying to find good sites that work well for Macs.  The thing is many of the online poker sites require a download to run the poker site or the poker programs, and some of these programs don't work terribly well for Macs.

One of the best sites I found however that provides an excellent resource for Mac players is MacPokerOnline.com.  In particular they have an excellent Mac Usability rating page that rates many of the most popular online poker sites according to their usability or ease-of-use working with the Mac.

The useful thing about this rating page in particular is that it breaks the sites down according to the sites that don't require a download all, and just run in a browser.  Then they cover the sites that specifically have a Mac download available.  And finally they cover the sites that can be run with a XP emulator on a Mac.  They then rate each of the poker sites according to how well they work in each of these genres.

Now for those of you that live outside of the United States and can still play poker with real money online (US change the laws recently and as I understand that you're not allowed to play poker online in the US with real money.), but for those of you outside of the US Mac poker online also provides a long list of the sites that provide deposit bonuses if you sign-up for a new account to play there.

Promoting the Blogosphere

For some time now I have been working as a marketing consultant.  I got out of Telecom Consulting about 3 1/2 years ago.  Over the last 12 months the marketing power of the blogosphere has gone through several evolutionary changes.

In many ways, it is now easier to get a message out through the blogosphere than it is to traditional marketing methods.  This doesn't yet apply across the board, but whenever a web searches involved it definitely can apply and often does.

There are several keys twice this is happening, but the primary reason is that bloggers around the world are functioning as de facto computers or or precisely as intelligent systems that help Google figure out what's going on the Internet.

Essentially bloggers are translating the Internet for Google.  Google is leveraging off of this free resource and through it improving search results and increasing ad revenues.  In the last 12 months a couple new twists of been thrown at Google.  Bloggers have started to demand and receive compensation for their work, and Google doesn't pay the bill.  Oddly enough advertisers are paying the bill.

This means that Google is relying on bloggers to translate the Internet and bloggers are turning to advertisers for paychecks and advertisers are paying Google to advertise as well.  In essence advertisers are pulling the strings of both Google and Google's intelligence system, the bloggers.

RFI Shielding Can Cut Down on Interference

Here's a quick tip, RFI shielding, or radio frequency interference shielding that is, can be applied in a number of areas to reduce the amount of interference that you receive from a multitude of electronic products that emits radio frequency or electromagnetic emissions.

Typically engineers and other groups work to contain sensitive equipment, sensitive cables were sensitive systems.  However you can benefit from the concepts as well even in your own home if you purchase the right types of tape were Kodak's take some steps to shield certain areas of your home.

TiVo Spam - Fox Hijacked my Tivo and Tivo'd me Good!

Last night I was Tivo'd.  I was trying to TiVo, the show The Black Donnely's, but instead my Tivo was hijacked by House, effectively ram-rodding an unwanted TiVo recording onto my machine.

Now TiVo allows you to set Priority levels for shows that you want to record.  My wife had House cranked up at a level higher than I had The Black Donnely's and when Fox decided to drop a rerun from 2005 on Monday night, my stupid TiVo was literally to ignorant to figure out that Fox was duping it.

Now, I've noticed a similar trend with my TiVo recording 3 episodes of the Daily Show every week day and recording Smallville on a host of different channels from my cable line up at all hours of the day and night.

Those shows are both scheduled to come on at those times as the cabel company fills in gaps in their lineup and it does change very often.  This however felt like channel jacking and I'm pretty sure it was intentional.

House gets terrible rerun viewing percentages.  People don't like to watch House reruns like they used to like to watch Seinfeld reruns.  That's partly because the Networks were Tivo'd themselves.  TV shows don't have much of a shelf life in a Tivo market.  People can get the show they want with the Tivo, when they are getting Tivo'd, and they don't need to watch a rerun as they already have it recorded.  Plus, there are pleanty of other channels with other viewing options to compete for their attention, so why watch something they already have digitally recorded and / or that they have already seen.

But networks aren't stupid.  They now that people don't jump into their priority settings very often an they know that TiVo's aren't intelligent, so they can hijack a recording if they dump a rerun in a competing time slot every now and then.  I suspect they probably have access to some metric that shows that my Tivo, Tivo'd House and maybe incrementally they can charge more for ads during House.  What their advertisers that are paying the bill don't know is that Fox not only Tivo'd me when they tricked my Tivo into Tivoing House, but they also Tivo'd the advertiser into paying a higher rate for something that I'm only going to delete.

My TiVo is now a spam trap and the TiVo's me Off!

But wait, that's not really what happened . . .

That's just what I thought had happened.  Its completely plausible, but in actuality, Fox didn't hijack my Tivo even though they did spam it up with an old House rerun that I will delete and their poor advertiser did get Tivo'd as a result of the junk download.

What really happened is that NBC, decided that they didn't want any TiVo customers Monday night.  They temporarily pulled The Black Donelly's from the line up and swapped it with a show ineptly named Thank God You Were There, which if I didn't know better would make me think that this was a religious show and I would promptly not watch it.  Its actually some type of comedy improv show, which I would watch if it were called something like The Comedy Improv Show, hell I might even TiVo it.

NBC decided to launch the show with two episodes one of which temporarily bumped off the violent thuggish and gang like Donelly's.  House just happened to be on, but on an hour earlier.  So in my recorded show list, House showed up in the slot that was supposed to be filled with Black Donelly's, and NBC ended up walking away with nothing because Thank God I Was There (but I really wasn't there) was on.

Fox duped my TiVo and duped their Advertisers effectively Tivo'd the pair of us.  While NBC managed to hide in a corner and TiVo themselves right out of my TiVo, possibly bringing about the seventh sign of Armagedon as they might just find a way to go blind Tivo'ing themselves all by themselves without anyone else looking, and over a comedy show with a religious name no less, its got to be the work of the Anti-Christ and the Peacock is the Mark of the Beast.

Disclosure - I like House, nothing wrong with the show, but its basically Just a rehash of MacGiver mixed with Ephedra to spew out a drug addicted Doctor that can save the day with a cane, a gum wrapper and a patient that is always to blame because they have something to hide and would rather lie than save their own life.

iPod Shipments hit 100 million

As European authorities mull the idea of pursuing Apple and the music industry for anti-trust issues relating to iTune sales, Apple crossed a milestone by shipping 100 million iPods.

Apple is preparing to move in to TV and cell phones, but as these moves are both extremely new its not really possible to determine if Apple will be able to repeat the iPod success.   

Link to Apple ships 100 millionth iPod | CNET News.com

RAM Refresher for Your Brain Easier than Rebooting

For good or for bad our brains are more like PCs and they are like Macs.  Just like a PC the rim and our brains tends to get cluttered up, and unless you're running a RAM optimizer something a refresher ram your probably going to have to reboot on a regular basis.

How do you reboot your brain?

You reboot by sleeping at night, there's a direct correlation between the amount of available RAM and the amount of REMs you experience everynight.  The only problem is that the modern world has made all of us so extra productive that are ram fills up to quickly before we get a chance to sleep it off and reboot.

Now possibly more so than ever before, it's more important for people to take power naps.  Taking a power nap in the middle of the day can refresh your ram without having to do a full reboot your system. 

Years ago when I was in the military, I typically worked 12 hour shifts seven days a week.  I would work six hours, get an hour for lunch, and work six more hours, 11 hours off and start all over again.  That's a hard schedule to maintain for a long amount of time.  It's also hard to stay on top of your game when your working hours are that long.

I would typically take a power nap shortly after launch.  It only took me about 20 to 30 minutes to eat, and that left me with 20 to 30 minutes to power nap.  It's the perfect time to nap right after you eat lunch because your body needs the rest and the extra energy to process all the food in your system.  So it's easy to fall asleep, and you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day all over again.

Now for many of us especially working in the corporate world, it's difficult to envision how we can squeeze a power nap into our day.  It's taken many of us years if not decades to figure out how to squeeze a trip into the gym, and now it or how to take a nap?

This evening I came across a very useful guide that sums up many of the things I learned in the military and several more that helps make it applicable to the professional world.  For several great tips and pointers and guidelines for taking a successful power nap check out The Ultimate Guide to Power Napping. 

You will get much more productivity out of this mental RAM optimizer, then you will love anything you can download from CNet!

Can Technology Help Us Keep a Soldiers Memory Alive?

I served in the US Army for 4 years during the first Persian Gulf War.  I never saw the war.  It started and ended while I was in Basic Training.  I do not regret missing it and I did not fear going.  The former is what it is and the latter was probably youthful ignorance and hormones.  Either way I enlisted in the Army in part because I felt it was an obligation I owed my country.  I do not feel that it is something that should be forced and if I had been drafted as opposed to volunteering, I would have considered dodging the draft.  I was born as Vietnam was at its peak.  I grew up with mixed ideas of military service.

This is all a preface to introduce a completely different topic.  Many of my brothers and sisters in the military (I've been out for 12 years, but still feel a connection for whatever reason and with or without a justification) are paying a massive price to fight an ongoing war on terror and a war in Iraq (technically not a war but something else as our President was not man enough to have it truly classified as a war).

Regardless, they are paying a price and just like in many wars past these soldiers, many of which are young only 18 or 20 or 22 or 25 are losing their lives.  Now, when I enlisted when I was seventeen and had to wait until I turned 18 to actually go to Basic Training.  I served for 4 years and was out shortly after turning 22.  I aged more in those 4 years than I did in the 10 years that followed (the last 2 years are a different story filled with Chinese Mafia types operating a business in downtown Atlanta Georgia under the watchful eye of the Department of Justice and the IRS, who have so far done nothing to thwart their 'business') but I digress.

These soldiers are losing their lives and we the people are missing out on an opportunity to share in the wisdom and experience that they have received in the last few years of their lives where they are aging rapidly and gaining experiences unlike anything they have received so far and unlike any that most of us will ever experience directly.

I was reading a story by a fellow blogger named skeet, that talks about Sgt. John Howard Bailey, one of the fallen heroes from the Viet Nam War.  She wears a bracelet in memory of Sgt. Bailey but is not related to this fallen soldier nor did she know him.

Her story about him made me ponder if there is not a way that we can help soldiers to capture their story, capture their wisdom, their dreams and desires.  Many of them will pay a terrible price and there is no way that we can ever cover that bill.  Remembering them only accomplishes so much, however it is the least we can do to help their memory live on.  Possibly more important however, if we can share their lessons learned, gain some small nugget of the wisdom they have fought for, and apply some of those lessons as we perform an after action review in their wake, we might learn just enough to decrease the price just a little bit for the next group of soldiers that heed the call and are sent off to do our bidding and defend our country.

Death of VOIP Could Signal a Flaw in Patent Protection

A judge issued an injunction against Vonage, preventing them from signing on new customers.  Vonage previously lost a patent fight against Verizon and has been asked to pay $58 million in damages plus a stiff royalty fees for using Verizon technologies.

Vonage has previously indicated that they did not expect to see any customer impact from the initial rulling.  However, every subsequent ruling that comes out seems to go Verizon's way and that is starting to spell extreme trouble for Vonage.

It could be possible that this trouble will spread out to other VOIP services and technologies.  Could Verizon rise up again to dominate consumer's ability to communicate via voice? 

Vonage may have used technologies patented by Verizon, however, without companies like Vonage and Skype it is very unlikely that Verizon would have done anything useful with the technology themselves.

Patent laws are established to enable inventors to capitalize on their inventions and justify the research and development process and funds.  But what happens when a company like Verizon does the research and doesn't exploit the technology, opting instead for an older technology that continues to enable them to milk profits from consumers without providing any advances?

Maybe the patent laws should be altered in a way that strips the patent holder of their ownership rights if the patent is not only exploited but taken to a commercial level within a period of 5 years.  This might incent companies to act on their advances even when those advances might hurt older product lines.

Link to Judge bars Vonage from adding new customers - MarketWatch

Will Companies Soon Issue Personal Productivity Drugs?

Recently I haven't had to stare at my computer quite as much as I used to. More and more I've been using voice recognition tools to type out or dictate the words that I'm saying. As I dictate, I no longer have to stare at the screen quite the way I do compared to typing. This significantly reduces the amount of eyestrain that I suffer from.

It strikes me however that we have a drug industry will spend millions of dollars coming up with drugs for hangover cures and day after pills, which both cure social problems. But it's taboo for the same drug companies to do anything to improve performance or productivity. The government and even the movie industry in the 40s 50s and 60s used to provide soldiers and movie stars with pep pills to keep them going.

Fighter pilots and other soldiers today still receive carries forms of amphetamines. However these types of drugs have received a negative connotation and this area of medicine doesn't seem to be bankable anymore.
However wouldn't it be in line with improving productivity if the medical establishment were to focus on that element in the office that is most prone to lack of productivity, the person?

Corporations will spend millions of dollars upgrading computers, however they won't spend a couple dollars a day to help keep their employees focused, or to reduce distractions such as eyestrain or headaches, or many other physical ailments that ultimately hurt the bottom line. Instead we focus on the technology that helps the disruptive forces in the office get by just enough to increase productivity. Sometimes these increases even leave the same unproductive individuals more time to go screw off!

Technology Can't Solve a Corrupt Companies Problems

With the deplorable examples of many Fortune 500 companies that have failed to keep their book straight, it is apparent that the millions of dollars that these companies have spent on Financial Reporting Software has been wasted. In many cases they have overspent and failed to rein in their culture within their business so that the systems would have something reliable to capture and measure.

Technology can't solve a company's problems. It can increase productivity, it can automate processes, it can help measure checks and balances, but it cannot convince a corrupt culture to write its ways and to end the corruption. Similarly, it can not teach a CEO or a board to seek out more education about a topic so that the organization that those individuals and groups lead can avoid walking into a legal quagmire. Ignorance is no defense in the law. It may mitigate between outright fraud and negligence, however failure is failure and guilty is guilty.

Automatic Updates Kick Off At the Worst Times

It never seems to fail, whenever I'm in the middle of something important, an automatic update will start. I was in the middle of creating a video tutorial and a Microsoft update attempted to launch in the middle of my attempt to save the video file. If I had momentarily stepped away from my computer, the update would have ran and it would have rebooted my computer and I would've lost all of my work.

That's just stupid and it drives me nuts when that type of thing happens with automatic updates.

Microsoft is definitely not the only company at fault for this type of behavior. All week long I have received a similar attempt from Apple to launch a QuickTime update that has been driving me nuts because I never use QuickTime. Virus programs are very bad about this as well, although they are a little better in regards that they typically bring in libraries and some updates unobtrusively.
It's fortunate that our bodies don't work in a similar way. Can you imagine a doctor sweeping and and pumping you up with some drugs when you least expect it just because your body was not completely up to par?

What if you were out on a date, and he had a couple too many to drink and all of a sudden a doctor swooped in and make you pop a couple of Cialis pills. Even worse, what if you were driving home after being awake for the last 36 hours, and you were suddenly and automatically injected with a sleeping pill law you are driving because your body really needed sleep?

Those types of scenarios just don't make sense. There is a right time and a wrong time to force a major change on any system whether to body your computer or anything else.

Don't Be the Company with the Bad Web Conference!

Web conferencing tools are getting better and more efficient year after year. With the plethora of options that combine VOIP with chat and VOIP mixed with video conferencing we have a lot to choose from. I have mentioned

Megameeting once in the past and wanted to mention them again. They provide a great web conferencing solution as well. They are extra useful as they are entirely browser based. So if you have a meeting with a client that has never used their service your client will not be required to download useless software.

I attended a web conference last month that required me to download Real Player at the last moment. I had no advanced warning and the download, install and configuration process took 40 minutes, no thanks to their menus and opt in and opt out screens. I ended up missing the meeting and the company hosting the meeting missed an opportunity to pick up a new client that day.

Don’t be that company!

Drawing a Physical Enhancement Line on our Bodies?

Recently it was revealed that both Anna Nicole Smith and Sylvester Stallone were using Human Growth Hormone (HGH). The drug helps to build muscle mass especially in aging individuals and helps to decrease the rate of physical decline.
You might call that an anti-aging effect. The drug does have side effects like making your jaw grow. HGH has been more popularly demonized in professional sports as certain athletes are deemed to compete with an unfair drug advantage.

We should however consider the possibility that there is fair in sports and then there is a drug among many others that could help increase our natural life span or increase our ability to live productive longer lives. Is it actually so bad for a baseball player to take HGH and be able to continue playing 5-10 years past their natural prime? In a world with synthetics of all types and many different forms of supplements and skinceuticals to protect your beauty, not to mention implants and plastic surgery, is a drug that slows the march of time all that bad?

Over the last century we have seen this come up many times but many of these drugs in the past didn’t provide as much of a noticeable change and so were treated as more typical medicines. We have developed antibiotics that combat disease, but they also help to spur on super bugs. We have developed Viagra to increase our ability to continue having sex long after its practical for the propagation of the species.

So what is the big deal if we create a drug that keeps us strong, possibly decreasing the potential for injuries that typically befall older Americans. With a population of rapidly aging baby boomers could the use of these types of drugs, get the baby boomers back into shape so that they can remain in the work force and possibly minimize some of their other health condition costs?

Is PayPerPost Causing Page Load Delays for Blogs?

I am noticing some page loading slowness on several of my sites and on many sites that work in the PayPerPost network.  Bloggers can take a lot, but slow loading pages caused by a third party is not typically one of them.

I'm not a server or javascript coding genius but I suspect there is a problem with PayPerPosts javascript that drives their pop up images.

It looks like this

http://tinyurl.com/242r8t

and it takes you to this file

http://payperpost.com/buglet/javascript/877

When you go to that last location this is the error that you get (or at least the error I got at shortly after 5PM on Tuesday just before writing this up.)

Is PPP java script broken image

Arizona Restaraunt Reviews

Our new sponsor Azcentral.com provided a release detailing their work to provide new restaurant reviews for phoenix restaurants.  They're utilizing a growing staff of citizen journalists to write freelance restaurant reviews from freelance writers as well as from people attending the restaurant to eat and offer up a review or their opinion.

Citizen journalism is a growing trend throughout the Internet and speaks to the value of content.  It used to be said that knowledge is power in citizen journalism is beginning to prove that that power can be aggregated across the Internet and through many different voices and put to good use on creative websites that bring those voices together into a centralized focus.

Clinton raises $4.2 million Online

80% of funds contributed were under $100 so far The Clintons have learned how to work the money game online.

Hillary Clinton recently released that she has raised $26 million in fund raising donations through the first quarter of 2007.  That number is partially comprised of $4.2 million raised on the Internet

John Edwards raised a similar amount totaling $3.29 million from the internet out of $14 million raised in total. 

Brock Obama has not released numbers that would indicate how much money he has received from the Internet, and he is not taking money from special interests are lobbying groups so far. 

But it never hurts to have an employee of a service provider that creates an attack ad that is viewed by 3 million people lampooning your opponent for free!  That was probably worth at least $1 million right there for the first quarter and will probably continue to pay dividends through out the primary.

IE7 Beta 2 Virus Hoax Not Getting Picked up by Virus Checkers

A new virus that disguises itself as Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 is just making its way across the Internet.  The virus comes into your inbox in the form of an e-mail with just a simple link.  There is no executable file in the e-mail.  The e-mail appears to come from Microsoft and clicking the link takes you to a website where you are encouraged to click a button to install a beta version of IE 7 Beta2. 

Bad install actually includes a virus known as Win32.Grum.  Security experts still don't know exactly what the virus does and they warned that many major vendors are not picking up the virus. 

Detection of Win32.Grum by anti-virus programs was "mediocre" by last evening, according to Sunbelt Software, and some big vendors were still not picking it up Friday morning, Hypponen said.

Source: Techworld.com - Users offered virus disguised as IE7

So unless you hear about a beta offering a Microsoft project from Microsoft's website itself, you should ignore it and probably delete it.

Science Delivers Universal Blood-Blood Shortage Relief

 Sciences delivered a new study that can significantly increase the chances of people surviving serious injury especially when they need a blood transfusion.  They have found a way to provide or create a universal blood supply of "universal red blood cells". 

An international team of academic and industry scientists has come up with a feasible way of making universal red blood cells that are stripped of their blood type. The hope is that it can be developed into a viable way of relieving blood bank shortages.

Source: Universal Red Blood Cells Could Relieve Blood Bank Shortages

People often times have to be typed for their blood before they can receive a blood transfusion.  That can take time if a person has sustained a serious injury and mistakes are made from time to time.  This could help blood banks keep up with demand as harder to bank blood types could be covered with a universal variety.

Apple Wins an Emi

They may not be taking home a little statue, but they are going to rake in some more profits and appease European anti-trust regulators at the same time.  Apple announced yesterday that Steve Jobs did what he is paid to do, cut a deal.   Yesterday's deal is with the record company EMI.

Apple will offer DRM-free music from EMI for $1.29 per song

Source: » Steve Job’s calculus: Dealmaking, dollars means DRM is dead | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

Basically, Apple will charge an additional $0.30 for each song sold on EMI's behalf.  That's the equivalent of $4.50 per album with no CD production costs to EMI (Plus the cut they were getting before).  Throw 10 million ipod listeners at that buying one album per year (to be extremely conservative and assume low adoption rates - yeah right) then EMI will take in $45 million for doing little more than sitting down to lunch with Jobs.

What's $45 million to EMI? 

Not Much but if those same listeners go onto buy 1000 songs or about 66 CD's at 15 tracks per CD that totals up to a nice $3 billion goal to chase after.  Maybe you convert 1 million customers a year alone (not counting new sales) and that's $300 million in revenue.  Lunch with Steve didn't even need to taste good at those rates!

What's the catch?

Well you still have to run on the proprietary ipod for starters.  Second, you can buy songs through EMI for $1.29 but I haven't seen anything yet to indicate that you could upgrade your iTunes collection.  Plus this is only available with EMI right now and not the other record companies, who may watch how this works and wait in the wings if it fails miserably.  As this is DRM free the songs could theoretically be copied and deployed throughout the internet, so EMI may be taking 30 cents now and losing more later.  (Steve's counter argument is that they aren't losing anything as the people that want to copy things can readily do that today from a CD).

Who's left out?

Great MP3 players like Creative who won a patent infringement suit against Apple for the iPod.  Lesser known or less popular media players like the Zune.

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