Archive for the ‘Tech Industry Rants’ Category

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3 Awesome Sites That I Use Everyday (besides the obvious)

November 14, 2008

Thought I would take time to share three websites that I use on a daily basis.  I intend to make a case why you should too.

The first one I have spoken of before:

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I want to mention it again.  This site lets you update an endless array of social media sites at once.  People have told me before they think it is neat that my myspace and facebook statuses match my twitter tweets.  That’s all thanks to ping.fm.  With google talk integration and mobile capability, I love to ping all the time.  

 

 

Mahalo is one of those great sites that you could be on for hours.  It bills itself as human powered search, and I guess I see that.  But the beauty of mahalo is that it is a great site to keep up with current events.  You know how you will be walking past a TV and you will hear someone say something like “And that’s the latest on the Obama water bed scandal”… and you think to yourself.. “What??!?”

Well mahalo surely has a page devoted to the obama water bed scandal, explaining it with basic facts and relevent links.

In addition to that, they also have a daily show (called mahalo daily) that is a fun watch.  

 

Lastly, my current favorite is a site that we at Slamwire/Pupilcity have partnered with:  


Tokbox has completely revolutionalized the way we communicate at AJU and at Pupilcity.  It is a super simple, free website that allows you to chat, video mail, and conference… all using webcams.  

Webcams are one of those things that have been around forever, and you have always thought, “this is going to be the future of the web.”  But only until recently have high speed internet connections become common enough to support wide spread, practical use.  They have been around a little while, but they seem to really be gaining steam.  If you have a webcam, visit www.tokbox.com/jarrod5 to call me and see how awesome this site is.  You don’t even have to sign up to call.  Just visit my page and hit the call button.  Seriously, I don’t want to AIM, googletalk, or anything else again.  Tokbox blows them all away.

 

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Google Chrome Reaction, 2 Weeks In

September 17, 2008

So I was among the throngs of people who downloaded Google’s browser, Chrome, when it was first release. In terms of usability, google’s products generally second to none, so I had high hopes for chrome.  While I do see it’s potential, I gotta admit that I am back to using firefox for most of my web browsing, and it’s only been two weeks.  Chrome has alot of cool new functions and it is relatively light on system resources.  But, dag nabbit, it locks up… alot.  At least for me it does.  And I use it on two different computers running Vista on one and XP on the other (both have very different system settings).  It seems to be when I use a flash app, for the most part.  Anyone else having these issues?

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Godaddy.com’s Quick Blogcast: Total Ripoff

August 26, 2008

For those that remember the first version of this blog, it was hosted with godaddy.com using their Quick Blogcast Service.  Now I am at wordpress.com, and I have never looked back.  My reason for going with Godaddy was simple.  It costs a few bucks a month, so I assumed it would be much more solid than all of the free versions out there.  Boy was I wrong.  How does Quick Blogcast come up short?  Let me count the ways:

1.  SPAM, SPAM, and more SPAM. I got (at least!) 10 SPAM Trackbacks a day for zoo sex, cialis, or something else revolting.  When I finally had enough, I sent an email to support, and this was their reply:

Dear Jarrod Morgan,

Thank you for contacting online support.  You will need to ban IP addresses for the creator of the trackback to be prevented from creating new trackbacks from that IP.

Blocking and Allowing IP Addresses in Quick Blogcast
Managing Trackbacks in Quick Blogcast

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Excuse me?  Ban IP addresses?  Why, your exactly right!  Surely this is a fool proof way to foil spammers!!

What is this, 1998?  Blocking an IP address will do absolutely nothing, especially since they all come from different addresses, and spammers are not likely to use the same one again anyway.

2. Clunky design. After using wordpress and it’s easy interface, I don’t understand why I suffered through the poorly designed flash that godaddy uses.  It has strange pauses, and it generally takes 3 or 4 steps to log in and post something.  While that doesn’t seem like a lot, it really discourages spontaneous blog posts (like this one).

3. Strange Characters. Very often, an apostrophe or some other character will look fine in the window where I am entering in a new entry.  But upon publish it turns to gibberish in the RSS feeds, making me look like I don’t know what I am doing.

Lastly, let me say this.  Godaddy on the whole is a solid company.  I really admire Bob Parsons, the founder and personality behind the company.  He is innovative in his marketing, and took a very sleazy industry (web hosting and domain names) and became the #1 brand name by treating customers ethically.  He even made godaddy a safe haven for people who were scammed by registerfly.  Heck, I even have a poster of his 16 Rules for Life and Business hanging in my home office (it’s very inspirational, if you haven’t before, go read it).

This is just one product that they completely missed on.

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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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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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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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I have been wondering when this would happen

June 4, 2008

Verizon to buy Alltel.

When Alltel started advertising on tv heavily again, I remember asking myself “how have they not been bought out yet?”

I mean, every other smallish cell company has been eaten up by the big boys, so how were they making it. Looks like “Chad” was able to get into Verizon HQ and close a deal…