Archive for June, 2008

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Sirius+XM: One step away?

June 16, 2008

As I mentioned a while back, I am totally behind the (long ago) proposed merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio. I have now had subscriptions to both, and I can say that they both have different strong points, but together they would offer the consumer a product that exceeds anything we have ever had on the radio.

An article came out today saying that the FCC is backing the merger. The Justice Department already signed off on it in March (saying it wasn’t a monopoly). We are one vote away from satellite radio bliss.

There is a reason I am so passionate about this, and it is pretty simple. Terrestrial radio sucks. Plain and simple. I should do a blog post on how many songs and bands TK101 in Pensacola ruined for me growing up. Yes, TK. I like Pearl Jam and Tool. But ever hour 15 years?!? Seriously? You ruined it for me. Thanks. Same with Soundgarden, Metallica… you name it. TK101 is like so many other soulless Clear Channel stations around the word. They sterilize the content they broadcast to meet a corporate standard, and in the end, we are left with the same crap on the radio. The only good, terrestrial radio left in Talk stations, and that is simply because sports talk and news talk take into account what people want to hear at a LOCAL level.

I have seen numerous bands get a major local following, but never be able to break onto local radio stations simply because, if you are popular in Birmingham, they haven’t heard of you in corporate headquarters in New York. Again… the fans and bands get hosed when the stations choose to play thier 4000th Garth Brooks (this month) song over the wildly popular Zac Brown Band.

This is why I like satellite radio. While it may seem that centralizing the company behind the station might lead to less choices on the dial, the sheer number of stations and the addition of subscription revenue allow Sirius and XM to offer a very wide variety of music. Don’t like what you hear on this station? Change it to another one.. we own that one too. Terrestrial radio has few goals, and one of the biggest one is for you to NOT change the station. Changing the station means lost revenue from advertisers. And don’t forget.. if a new band comes out and young people like it, then they will have a tough time making it on a station that sells ads to beer companies. Why? Because the stations have to show that their listers average age is over 21 in order to carry that type of ad. So this means TK 101 will continue to play Pink Floyd ever friggin hour to keep that miller cash train a rollin. I am as big a business guy as anyone, but you always have to keep your eye on the product you deliver. I hate you, TK101.

Anyway… with the a la carte options they are promising and ease of roll out, I am so stoked that this merger could lead to me being able to listen to all MLB, NFL, and NCAA games coast to coast, without changing the channel. DISCLAIMER: I am realistic, so I know that these two companies becoming one could be a problem down the road. Business power could equal some of the same problems that the Clear Channel madness has. But for the foreseeable future, I think this will be an awesome development.

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The sexiest blog on the web!

June 12, 2008

Alaina, my beautiful bride-to-be, has finally joined the blogosphere. Check her out at alainafaith.wordpress.com

Oh yeah.. I'm dating up.

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Ok, so, Ping.fm is what I have been waiting for someone to create

June 7, 2008

So I recently noticed a button on all mashable posts that said “ping”. Thinking this was a new fangled way to facilitate a trackback, I clicked it. It brought me to a site called ping.fm. Intrigued, I began to look into it and I realized it was what I have been saying I want for months now: a site that allows you to update your facebook status, myspace status, and twitter, all at once. I am sure that myspace only recently opening of their network is the reason no one has done this before. That being said, I absolutely love this service.

Beforehand, I had setup twitter to update my facebook status, which worked ok, but not as widely and I wanted it to. Ping.fm even has a google gadget and a AIM and Google talk plug in, so I can update right from there. Since I have a blackberry with google talk installed on it, I can update my statuses, wherever I may be. Is that geeky? Yes. Do I care? Nope. It’s too cool to not do.

I have always said that the technology that truly revolutionizes our life is the one that blurs the line between offline and online living. I have sat in my favorite watering holes and twittered what awesome new craft beer I was having. I have updated my facebook status as I went sightseeing around Hollywood, intentionally making my fiance jealous (she was at work, I was supposed to be at a business meeting… see me rubbing it in here, here, and here.). The point being, technology helped augment something in my offline life. Those are the type of things that take us to the next level. I feel like ping.fm fits that description.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SIGN UP:

go to ping.fm and signup using “landofping” as the code to get in the beta…

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My Visit to the Good People Brewery

June 7, 2008

So at the Magic City Brewfest this year, I met some good people. Specifically, I met THE Good People from the aptly titled Good People Brewing Company. They are Alabama’s newest beer brewing outfit, and they are setup right in downtown Birmingham. Their brown ale was at the festival, and Stuart Carter (Free the Hops President) called it the best he had had of that style. In passing, one of the Good People told me I should stop by the brewery sometime. There was an email waiting for him the next morning to take him up on it. Careful what you offer me, folks. I will come-a collectin.

Anyway, GP’s Michael met us downtown and walked us into their 5 Points Brewery setup. For those who don’t know, if you walk just past the 5 Points Grill, there is a sign with their name on it over a giant window looking into the second story of their brewing equipment. Read more after the jump….

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mommy, where do beers come from?

June 6, 2008

Tonight I am going to visit the brand new Good People Brewing Company in 5 points South. After sampling a few of their awesome beers at the Magic City Brewfest, I am psyched to see their operation. The Good People Brown Ale was one of the most popular beers at the festival this year, and they should have them available soon at a few local bars.

Dag nabit, they are just good people.
Dag nabit, they are just good people!

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Songza is cool

June 5, 2008

Just found this from the new Techcrunch Elevator pitches section:

songza.com A freaking search engine for music? Yes, please. And you can even play the whole song.

Also I saw ugobe… makers of digital friends that are cute and creepy, all at the same time!

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My next car

June 5, 2008

GM announced today that it is sending the volt into production and will release it in 2010. The volt is a snazzy looking car that runs on electricity. That’s right, electricity. I have to admit, in reading the above linked article, I was like a kid reading a comic book. I couldn’t get enough.

I have often said I wanted to get the new camaro when in comes out (whenever that is), but I think this may override that as my new dream car.

GM Volt

Here is the breakdown:

The engine is electric, and can drive 40 miles on it’s own with no gas. A gas generator kicks in after that, and can take you aprox 400 more miles. News reports say this equates to giving you 150 miles per gallon of gas. Yeah.

Think of how much of a middle finger this is to the status quo… While everyone else gripes but doesn’t do anything about gas prices, you are sitting here beating the system. Wanna go on a long trip? A 600 mile drive will cost you 4 gallons of gas. Most people live than 40 miles from work, meaning your daily commute can be gasless. And according to gm-volt.com, it will only cost an approximate 85 cents to $1.35 to charge up.

Wow.