What I've read this week or so (through 030808)
Welcome to another installment of the reading pile, a collection of things on the web (and a few references to the hardcopy items with online versions).
The past week -- as always -- has been a busy one, with changes to DST in Chile, the revelation that Daylight Saving Time costs people money, Steve Ballmer's interview at Mix08, Mary Jo's post on DST and that we 'spring forward' here in most of the States tomorrow.
Add to all that offsites, onsite meetings, reviews, presentations... you get the idea.
Hulu: Great Product, Still Screwed - Silicon Alley Insider -- Henry Blodget writes today (March 8, 2008) that "Hulu-the-company is still in a tough spot. Why? In short: it's still too dependent on a handful of content partners, it bears most of the costs of streaming videos...
To Do: Long, Mysterious Interviews With Tech Bigshots - Silicon Alley Insider -- "The good folks at Bloomberg Radio want us to know that host Tom Keene has interviewed Wired's Chris "Long Tail" Anderson and Craigslist's Jim "Not Craig" Buckmaster, and that you can hear the talks here. Duly noted."
iPhone Smackdown: Apple vs. RIM, Lacy vs. Knobs: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance -- Aaron Task and Henry Blodget discuss the implications for devs and exciting new enterprise features" for the iPhone. Sarah Lacy butts in on the conversation with some hardcore West Coast perspective.
ATI RADEON HD 3450 -- Info on the SAPPHIRE HD3450 which "is Microsoft VISTA™ compatible with awesome power of 40 stream processing units, accelerates next generation DirectX® 10 games while remaining best in its price vs. performance class." Also see this info on the SAPPHIRE 100235L Radeon HD 3470 at Newegg.com, the 256MB 64-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
Study Finds 43 Million American Households Now Have Broadband Internet Access -- An old study I dug up that notes that "forty-three million U.S. households now have broadband Internet access compared to just two million in 1999, according to the results of a new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) research study on broadband access in America."
Even in HD, Apple TV's picture is a little fuzzy (Seattle Times Newspaper) -- By Glenn Fleishman, Special to The Seattle Times -- "But I confess I'm not overwhelmed by Apple TV's latest revision, even though it has a host of entertaining features. Certainly, some lack of enthusiasm comes from the Hollywood-mandated 24 hours..."
How to Prevent Identity Theft — Deter, Detect, Defend (Get Rich Slowly) -- Get Rich Slowly notes that "Identity theft is a real and growing concern. Your best defense is to prepare before it happens. According to one study conducted for the FTC [PDF], in 2005, 3.7% of the U.S. adult population were victims of identity theft." ... saved by 67 other people ...
Price Drop Alerts by Price!pinx web service (Red Ferret) - Thanks to LifeHacker and redferret.net, I have a new service that is a simple way to get email alerts on product price drops. Just browse to a product detail page, highlight the price and click the pinx bookmarklet button... saved by 203 other people
Have podcasts delivered directly to your email (geeksaresexy) - Mark O’Neill on geeksaresexy.net found that it's possible for podcasts to be delivered directly to email. "I found out that it actually is (to a point) using a service called either ZapTXT or RSSFwd."... saved by 18 other people
Get Ahead on LinkedIn - Wired How-To Wiki -- For a primer on LinkedIn etiquette, Wired magazine consulted Jason Alba, author of I'm On Linked In -- Now What? and CEO of Jibberjobber, as well as business etiquette expert Rachel C. Weingarten author of Career and Corporate Cool... saved by 215 other people
MSConfig Cleanup - optimize your Windows startup -- MSConfig Cleanup does one thing that you might only need once, but it does it well. When you run "msconfig," also known as Windows' System Configuration tool, or a number of other optimizing programs, you have the option of disabling startup items... saved by 228 other people ...
Book Excerpt: CrazyBusy Argues Modern Life Inhibits Creativity -- Lifehacker says that in his book, CrazyBusy, ADD expert Dr. Edward Hallowell says "that Crackberry culture leads to ADD-like symptoms in people that don't officially have the disorder—a problem he calls Attention Deficit Trait (ADT)."... saved by 25 other people
Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 Ways to Get Cables Under Control -- "Whether you're looking to stow your headphone wires tangle-free in your gym bag, hide the ugly wire spaghetti you keep kicking further under your desk, or organize your gadget chargers and power plugs, we've got some cord management tricks for you."... saved by 629 other people
Humans Crawling With Microbes?! That's Not All Bad (wired) -- I know... high 'ick' factor, but interesting for kids. "Your body is a wonderland — for bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Trillions of tiny organisms live on our skin and in our mouths and guts." By Greta Lorge 02.25.08
Clive Thompson on How DIYers Just Might Revive American Innovation (Wired) -- Clive Thompson laments that in America, "we've lost our Everyman ability to build, maintain, and repair the devices we rely on every day. And that's making it harder to solve the country's nastiest problems, like oil dependence, climate change... saved by 80 other people
10 Exercises for Better Focus and Concentration (egodevelopment.com) -- Lifehacker said that this article outlines ways in which you can "vastly improve your concentration skills. Exercising your mind takes time and commitment but will ultimately translate to a sharper focus."... saved by 583 other people
Tips for savvy medical Web surfing - CNN.com --Elizabeth Cohen of CNN asks "if you're trying to find medical information for yourself or someone you love, and you're not lucky enough to have access to a professional research librarian, what do you do?"... saved by 281 other people
Rebel with a Stalled Cause (businessweek) --Frustrated by the maddening state of call-center phone trees, the serial entrepreneur began harnessing the power of the Web in 2005 when he posted shortcuts to live people at call centers on his personal Web log. February 21, 2008, by Jena McGregor
Web Buyer's Guide: Information about products, companies and whitepapers. -- IBM, Novell and Intel have partnered to introduce a comprehensive virtualization solution. Registration required.
Canon HV30 Reviews - HDV - Camcorders - Cameras - Technology Reviews - washingtonpost.com -- The Canon HV30 replaces one of the most popular camcorders in recent memory, the Canon HV20. Winner of multiple awards, the HV20 wowed critics with outstanding video quality and a great set of manual controls... and the HV30 offers a few simple upgrades...
Microsoft e-mails reveal Intel pressure over Vista | One More Thing - CNET News.com reports that "As far back as 2005, Microsoft executives knew that confusing hardware requirements for the Windows Vista Capable program might get them in trouble."
Apple shareholders pepper Jobs with questions (CNET News) -- March 4, 2008 -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs fielded several wide-ranging questions from Apple shareholders Tuesday at the company's annual meeting, covering ground from the iPhone to the plans for a post-Jobs Apple. Posted by Tom Krazit
Life Without Google | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com -- Ask.com in the last year or so had been a nice little Petri dish. It launched AskCity, tinkered with its interface, created universal search results and became a credible alternative to Google. The problem: Ask.com couldn’t grow its base of users.
3G iPhone by June '08 says analyst, but we're not so sure (ars technica Infinite Loop) -- By David Chartier, March 05, 2008 -- "Man, it must be tough being Apple's engineers and NAND flash buyers. You do all that work to crank out 16GB iPhones and 32GB iPod touches, but all analysts can do is keep barking for 3G iPhones.
Toshiba's Plan for Life After HD DVD - WSJ.com -- Nishida Says Firm Will Target Consumers With TVs, PCs and Standard Disc Players By YUKARI IWATANI KANE, March 3, 2008; Page B1
Microsoft Changes Its Tune (To The Tune of $1.3 Billion) - IndustryWeek Forums -- Brad Kenney, IT Editor, IndustryWeek, 2/28/2008, 01:12 PM
Expensive laptops provide better quality, design (edmonton journal) -- If you're willing to pay the price, you'll get sharper screens, more durability, reports Steve Makris
Pushing for quality and pushing himself | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press -- Ford VP relies on focus and faith for success BY SARAH A. WEBSTER -- Bennie Fowler, vice president for global quality at Ford Motor Co. since March 2007... [rose] from humble beginnings in Georgia, where he sold eggs door-to-door as a kid, to one of Ford'
Revisiting the Inquisition | Newsweek Religion | Newsweek.com -- Now, after centuries of secrecy on the subject, the Vatican has launched a new phase in its campaign to show that the Inquisition wasn't so bad after all. Church authorities have unveiled a temporary "Rare and Precious" exhibition...
MyNetflix Software for Windows Vista Media Center (Anthony Park) -- MyNetflix is a plugin for Microsoft Windows Media Center which allows you use your Netflix subscription with a remote control. Microsoft Windows Vista with Media Center is required to use this software... saved by 38 other people
BookletCreator - create a booklet from any PDF document -- BookletCreator is a free (but public, not secure) PDF conversion webapp that creates documents that can be printed and folded into an easy-to-read booklet... saved by 1268 other people
David Allen Part 3: Really Getting it Done is Not Just Lists (Web Worker Daily) -- Weblog Web Worker Daily has an interview with Getting Things Done author David Allen... saved by 139 other people
In Defense Of Complaining -- Cory Doctorow -- InformationWeek -- "Companies aren't charities. They're businesses. It doesn't matter why they're offering an unacceptable product -- all that matters is that the product is unacceptable. Companies aren't five-year-olds bringing their fingerpaintings home from kindergarten.
Air Travel with Kids and Pets - How to Keep Your Sanity -- Air travel is challenging under the best of circumstances, and DLM has tips on how can you be best prepared for this adventure with kids. Here are some tips to help you survive and hopefully enjoy your travel day too... saved by 40 other people
Wii Browser Portal « Wii Browser -- Want to create an easy-to-navigate home page for the broswer on your Wii or any other? Wii Browser, a free page creation tool, lets you create a page full of big, easy-to-click links to set as your homepage... saved by 55 other people
WiebeTech USB DriveDock v4 - Hard Drive Docking Station -- USB DriveDock connects via USB2 to your computer, allowing you to access the drive and contents. The USB DriveDock has two options for power input: the included AC adapter or a 4-wire connector from the computer's power supply, if it's more handy.
Windows Server 2008 Launch: Ninjas Black and Blue (Microsoft Watch) -- February 28, 2008 -- Joe Wilcox said that "Repeatedly I asked myself yesterday: Is Microsoft making the same marketing mistakes with its new server software as Windows Vista?"
Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia on "radical transparency" (OPEN Forum Video Event Center) -- Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explains how "radical transparency" works and why your customers will respect you for it. With Seth Godin... saved by 13 other people
The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know (Wired) -- Like many people with autism, Baggs doesn't like to look you in the eye and needs help with tasks like preparing a meal and taking a shower. In conversation she'll occasionally grunt or sigh, but she stopped speaking altogether in her early twenties... saved by 200 other people
In Defense Of Complaining -- Cory Doctorow -- InformationWeek -- Complain about a company, and you'll be accused of being a whiner. But markets thrive on information, so it's every customer's right to complain, and every company's obligation to shut up and listen, says columnist Cory Doctorow. By Cory Doctorow... saved by 10 other people
Video Demonstration: Touch Up Your Pics in Photoshop -- Funny-man Photoshopper Donnie Hoyle introduces how to use two Photoshop tools—the spot healing brush tool and the patch tool—to touch up photos and smooth out features... saved by 42 other people
Blog Recommendation Startup Outbrain Raises $5 Million (techcrunch) -- Funding Monday continues. NY/Israeli startup Outbrain is announcing a $5 million series A financing, led by Gemini Israeli Funds and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Outbrain is creating a ratings and recommendation platform for blogs and news feeds... saved by 14 other people ...
Ask The Readers: Handling More Than 12 Hours on a Plane? (lifehacker) -- lifehacker asks: "If you have any suggestions for making half a day on an airplane bearable, let us know in the comments (and she'll stop talking about herself in the third person and shamelessly using you for her own purposes)."
Feature: Use Your Wii as a Media Center (lifehacker) -- "Luckily, using the Opera browser, you can turn your Wii into a full-fledged media center with the freeware Windows application Orb. Here's how."... saved by 37 other people
8+ Ways To Train Yourself To Be Creative (eventurebiz) -- "But how do you train your mind to become a well-oiled creative thinking machine? Like the first sentence of this post says, you have to first believe you are a creative person. Following that you need to exercise your mind in various ways... saved by 432 other people
How to Manage Overachievers on BNET -- "Here we’ll show you how to curb the destructive tendencies that can disrupt a star performer’s productivity and develop positive management skills to keep them — and you — happy."... saved by 195 other people
Phone: Track Down Whoever Keeps Calling with 800Notes -- 800Notes, a free user-submitted reverse phone directory, lets you see who might be ringing, whether it's a sales firm, debt collection agency, or other cloaked caller. Whether or not you find a match depends on if anybody else has reported the identity... saved by 336 other people
Credit Reports: Know Where To Fix Your Credit Score By Getting Your Reason Codes (consumerist) -- "If you want to improve your credit score, a score from 300-850 that lenders use to determine whether you qualify for a loan and how much interest to charge you if you do, you'll want to know your "reason codes."... saved by 47 other people
Manage Your Online Reputation (lifehacker) -- "Two years ago we covered how to have a say in what Google says about you, and more recently, and how to track down anyone online. But a rash of social media sites have arisen that give you more tools to help you manage your online reputation... saved by 377 other people
On why I am not running [for congress] (Lessig Blog) -- Feb 25, 2008 -- "With lots of mixed feelings, I have decided a run for Congress would not help the Change Congress movement. I explain the thinking in this 5 minute video (a new record for me!).
F.C.C. to Act on Delaying of Broadband Traffic - New York Times -- By STEPHEN LABATON, February 25, 2008 — The head of the Federal Communications Commission and other senior officials said on Monday that they were considering taking steps to discourage cable and telephone companies from discriminating against content...
FORTUNE: Techland Yang breaks silence on Microsoft takeover -- In their first public appearance since Microsoft’s hostile $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo, Yang and Yahoo (YHOO) president Susan Decker each gave a 15-minute speech about Yahoo’s online ad strategy to a crowd of 400 industry players... saved by 8 other people
Maybe Microsoft Should Stalk Different Prey - New York Times -- Feb 24, 2008 -- "If Microsoft thinks this is the right time to try a major acquisition on a scale it has never tried before, it should not pursue Yahoo. Rather, it should acquire another major player in business software
Digital downloads will be Blu-ray's downfall (Tech news blog - CNET News.com) Posted by Erica Ogg -- With the fall of HD DVD, Blu-ray has assumed the throne as the next format of choice, but its reign will be short-lived. Blu-ray won't enjoy the same decade-long dominance DVD did after it succeeded VHS... saved by 11 other people
This Is the Modding World (Real Time - WSJ.com) Software Updates Have Changed Products, As Well As What We Expect From Them February 25, 2008, by Jason Fry.
Limited Edition! Limited Edition! (in Japan) - WSJ.com -- Record labels have regularly been offering first-edition albums. Most include a special DVD or a set of photos of the artist. The "available-now-only" gimmicks not only satisfy a Japanese craze for new products...
Here's how to get a 4-star hotel at a low-star price - USATODAY.com -- "How did you get that price?" she asked, noting that the $75 per-night tab for my ocean-view room was about 60% off the best Hilton .com rate and even lower than the kamaaina (locals-only) discount. My secret: Priceline.com... saved by 8 other people
FCC to Adjust Plan for Digital-TV Ads (Wall Street Journal) -- February 22, 2008 By AMY SCHATZ, Page B3 -- Federal regulators are backing away from a plan that would have required television stations to air as many as a dozen public-service ads a day about the U.S.'s transition to digital television next year.
In the land of women (Fortune) -- Lots of companies fret about keeping women in the workforce. Principal Financial has figured out how to do it. Jessi Hempel, Jan. 22, 2008
Top 50 employers (Fortune's 100 best companies in 2008) -- We surveyed nearly 100,000 employees from 406 different companies and asked them to evaluate their employers. These firms ranked the highest. By Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz
Sidney Harman: Old hand in a strange new world (Fortune) -- In the heat of the private equity boom, the octogenarian audio pioneer Sidney Harman agreed to sell his company to KKR and Goldman Sachs. Then they ditched him. Now he has a stock worth one-third of what it was. A tale from the dark side. By Carol J. Loom
What Iraq will cost the U.S. (Fortune) -- Former White House economist Lawrence Lindsey ignited a furor with his estimate of the dollar cost of the Iraq war. For the first time, he tells how he came up with the number and what he thinks now. By Lawrence B. Lindsey, Jan. 11, 2008... saved by 3 other people
Online Contents - Forbes.com - Online Contents by Forbes.com staff
A Line in the Dust - Forbes.com -- by Daniel Fisher, January 07, 2008 -- Asbestos lawyers have had their way with bankrupt companies so far. W.R. Grace hopes to change all that.
Shoot Yourself in the Foot - Forbes.com -- by Andrew Bender, January 07, 2008 -- A new retailer out of Finland uses cameras and the Web to produce custom shoes for the price of off-the-shelf.
A Genius at Tutoring - Forbes.com -- Public schools don't have the time to teach writing. Author Dave Eggers is making up for that, with a little quirky humor thrown in. Claire Cain Miller 01.07.08
Andy Grove's Last Stand (Forbes) -- By Kerry A. Dolan 01.28.08 -- The former Intel chief, now battling Parkinson's, is on a crusade to speed progress in treating the disease. Can he make a difference?
Arts and Crafts Find New Life Online (BusinessWeek) -- Web sites are building communities—and businesses—on the growing do-it-yourself craze by Heather Green, Jan 3, 2008... saved by 5 other people
The Top 10 Web Sites You've Never Heard Of (MSN Tech & Gadgets) -- FastCompany.com has culled the most useful and entertaining sites from the far reaches of the Web so that when these sites go mainstream, you'll be one step ahead of the crowd... saved by 133 other people
Sony’s $400 Million Hit Man (Digital Daily, AllThingsD) -- The next-generation DVD format war was a costly one–for Sony. In addition to the untold funds the company spent on pro-Blu-ray propaganda, it also reportedly spent quite a bit to buy the allegiances of Hollywood. by John Paczkowski, February 22, 2008
Stringer makes his mark (on Blu-Ray vs HD DVD) (globeandmail.com) -- Feb 20, 2008 - "Sony's CEO led his company to victory in the high-definition sweepstakes by convincing the major studios to come aboard. What remains a mystery is just how big a push Warner needed to pick sides.
Microsoft's newest keyboard, mouse are fancy, but not worth $300 (Seattle Times) -- Mike Himowitz of the Baltimore Sun has a "Reality check — $260 for a keyboard and mouse? That's almost four times as much as I spent for the wireless combo I use with the computer that's hooked up to our HDTV set.
PBS series features local business whiz kids (Seattle Times Living) -- a new nationwide public-TV series spotlights this sort of inventiveness by the MySpace/millennial generations. Called "Biz Kid$" and produced by the same Seattle-based team behind the Emmy-winning "Bill Nye The Science Guy."
A Roman show of strength (Seattle Times The Arts) -- "Roman Art from the Louvre" — a traveling show of some 180 objects from the legendary Paris museum — will open Thursday at Seattle Art Museum and fill the new 14,000-square-foot Special Exhibitions gallery with 50 tons of monumental statues...
Innovation at Risk (BusinessWeek) -- Exaggerating design's ability to drive new growth sets the stage for a backlash, especially during leaner times, by Lara Lee
A CEO Manning the Phones Each Day? (BusinessWeek) -- What sounds like a customer-service gimmick is helping the co-founder of a personal finance Web site build trust, by John Tozzi... saved by 3 other people
Apple Shares Rolling Downhill (BusinessWeek) -- Fearing recession, consumers rein in discretionary spending, and fewer iPods, iPhones, and Macs may be sold. Will Apple find its footing? by Arik Hesseldahl... saved by 4 other people
The Telltale Signs of Recession (BusinessWeek) -- Feb 13, 2008 -- Here are four indicators with good track records at predicting downturns. Watch them to see where the economy is likely to go next, by James Cooper
Jerry Yang's Letter to Stockholders (BusinessWeek) -- Feb 14, 2008 -- "I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know why your Board of Directors, after a careful review by Yahoo!'s management along with our financial and legal advisors, believes that Microsoft's proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo!
The IQ List: Smart Stocks with Potential (BusinessWeek) -- Feb 15, 2008 -- Here are top scorers under Standard & Poor's "Investability Quotient" measure, which ranks stocks according to their potential for return by Beth Piskora From Standard & Poor's Equity Research
Building the Perfect Laptop (BusinessWeek) -- The Future of Tech February 14, 2008 -- The superslim ThinkPad X300 is Lenovo's bid for leadership in the high-stakes world of laptops... saved by 66 other people
Murdoch's New Startup Incubator (BusinessWeek) -- The SlingShot Labs venture is designed to spawn Internet startups for News Corp. and also likely to help MySpace compete with Facebook - Feb 13, 2008 by Aaron Ricadela... saved by 14 other people
BetaNews | Is Microsoft's PlayReady ready to go yet? By Tim Conneally, February 11, 2008, 6:42 PM Announced one year ago at 3GSM in Barcelona, PlayReady is Microsoft's DRM solution for mobile content providers. Now one year later, more partners have announced planned deployments...but it has seen no rollout...
BetaNews | Apple TV update goes live with high-definition rentals -- By Nate Mook and Ed Oswald, February 12, 2008, 3:34 PM Apple silently pushed its promised update to customers with its Apple TV device on Tuesday.
BetaNews | Microsoft: 'We misjudged demand' for Xbox 360 -- By Ed Oswald, BetaNews, February 14, 2008, 11:14 AM Microsoft admitted Wednesday that it sales for its flagship Xbox 360 game console were in fact so strong that it hasn't been able to maintain inventory levels.
BetaNews | Could video-on-demand overtake HD discs by 2011? By Jacqueline Emigh, February 14, 2008, 3:39 PM According to analysts, just three years from now, 129 million people worldwide will be subscribing to Direct-to-Home Video, most likely with high definition. Will HD optical drives plummet into a niche mark
BetaNews | EC commissioner proposes doubling terms of performers' copyright -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews, February 14, 2008, 5:34 PM "Oldies" music remains popular among many generations, which could present a window of opportunity for record companies in Europe to take advantage of royalties terms expiring after 50 years.
BetaNews | Comcast: 42% of digital subscribers use high-def, DV-R -- [Note: This is the first time that I've seen thsi referred to as DV-R. ; ] By Jacqueline Emigh, BetaNews February 14, 2008, 5:53 PM At CES 2008 last month, it was surprising to see Comcast as a brand being tossed around with the likes of Matsushita, Motorola, and Sony.
When Home is Where the Art Is: Hanging and Installation Tips for Collectors -- When hanging works of art it is always best to hire a professional installer or free-lance conservator, who should not only have access to all the latest hardware and equipment, but should be able to offer advice for the safest placement of art in your home...
Anthony Park :: 100% Geek Content by Volume » New Vista Media Center Plugin - MyNetflix (beta) -- Ooooh. This is JUST what I wanted: the ability to manage your Netflix Queue and stream Watch Now videos directly through Windows Media Center with freeware Media Center plug-in MyNetflix... saved by 109 other people
Best music editing program for Windows? | Ask MetaFilter -- A consumer wanted a basic (but good) FREE music editing program that will let them upload audio and edit the files. Here are the comments from the community at MetaFilter... saved by 8 other people
Exclusive Lifehacker Download: DVD Rip Automates One-Click DVD Ripping -- Rip and back up any DVD to your hard drive with DVD Rip, a freeware Windows application that automates the entire DVD-to-hard-drive backup process. All you need to do is insert your DVD, run DVD Rip, and let it take care of the rest... saved by 811 other people
Mortgage Prepayment Made Easy: Own Your Home in Half the Time (Get Rich Slowly) -- Tips on making accelerated payments on your mortgage... saved by 213 other people