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December 31, 2007

LinkedIn…on New Year’s

Thanks to the magic voodoo powers of Nancy Williams…

The Von Voodoo Family Singers!

Yours truly is now officially on LinkedIn.

Woohoo.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I need to take a shower now. Kinda like you do after sitting through a presentation by a particularly greasy sales rep.

|| posted by chris under business, community || comments (0) || ||

December 31, 2007

Nice Try

Also included in Circle 8? Pimping & seducing. In other words...enjoy the heat V!

How much do I hate going to cell phone stores?

I consider all those working or otherwise associated with them to be headed for punishment in the 8th subcircle of the 8th circle of Hell, reserved exclusively for fraudulent advisers.

I truly believe the reason that Mobility as a concept is in such a sad sad state lies largely at the totally uninformed and incompetent feet of the retail cellular sales employee.

OK, maybe not totally.

But that’s where the perfect storm of OEM and carrier Kool-Aide B.S. gets whipped into a heady brew, garnished with spiffs and a plastic umbrella, and served up to an unsuspecting public.

Visiting most cellular stores is roughly akin to a cross between an interrogation by the police and running the Homeland Security gauntlet at the nearest airport (sans the random chance for a body cavity search). I don’t know anyone who comes away from a cell store feeling happy about the experience. Usually the response is…

Man…am I glad THAT’S over!

So I gotta give TryPhone props for at least trying to offer something different. That is, the ability to try handsets without having to endure the Captain Dumbass and His Idiot Minions show that is your local cell store.

In fact, here are all of the 9 models you can use right now…

Samsung Juke (Verizon style)

Motorola V3xx (AT&T style)

LG Muziq (Sprint style)

Nokia N95 (AT&T style)

Motorola V3m (Verizon style)

Blackberry Pearl (T-mobile style) 

Apple iPhone (AT&T style)

Motorola V3T (T-Mobile style)

Palm Treo (Sprint style)

Unfortunately, the embed code from TryPhone didn’t work worth a flip here at the Funcave. Otherwise, you’d have seen them all right here. Grrrrr.

You can also request a new phone type be added…

I guess it's nice they give you the option to request. But I always think of those types of feedback as largely Quixotic endeavors.

OK OK…it’s been up less than a month. And the site has a Google-esque BETA splashed on its logo. But it could stilll stand some fleshing out. And where’s the Windows Mobile love?

Even so, there’s one MAJOR huge thing that I don’t see this site ever being able to surmount. There’s literally no way for TryPhone to simulate the true ergonomics of a mobile device. Which prolly accounts for 50~75% of the final reason why people pick one device over another.

In other words, a device has to feel right. I don’t see any way for them to get around this one.

But I applaud them for trying to tackle the single thorniest problem with mobile devices. Which is that the typical environment to try out devices sucks beyond all measure.

And I know this…

I’d definitely use TryPhone to verify specs and included features, assuming they have the device listed. And tho the number of phones they have available now isn’t bad…without a more extensive library TryPhone’s usefulness will remain pretty limited.

|| posted by chris under business, clueless, freebie, hardware, mobility, opinion, virtualization || comments (0) || ||

December 30, 2007

The RIAA And Its Big Box Of Stupid

Hell yeah! Yoda always struck me as the freebooter type.

Just when you think someone couldn’t be more out of touch with their customer base…

The RIAA goes and TOTALLY cements their record of complete insanity concerning what their customers have proven, time and again, that they want.

Here’s the newest flash for all you music pirates out there.

And there are more of you than you might think, since the RIAA contends that

Making a digital copy of ANY song from a legally purchased album that you yourself own, even if that digital copy is only for your own use, constitutes music piracy.

That’s right, folks.

I’ll admit right now. I’ve ripped every CD I own to digital copies.

In fact, over the next year I will re-rip all of them, as I’d like higher quality digital copies than what I originally ripped.

And the RIAA can KMA as far as I’m concerned. I consider it more than fair use. I don’t have a CD player in my car. I only carry digital copies with me, and only a subset of the whole at that. And no one else is listening to either the digital copies or original CD at the same time.

This should really go down as the most ignorant business decision in the history of business, all the way to the first time one caveman paid another for a hunk of animal meat with a pair of shiny rocks.

Think of it like George Bush’s cockamamie amnesty program for illegal aliens, in reverse.

And this is huge.fracking.stupid (just like the aformentioned amnesty program).

This runs counter to every idea of non-monopolistic commerce that has ever been. The music industry, as a whole, has had at least 10 years to get their collective heads out of their collective backsides, and they’ve steadfastly refused to do what needed to be done.

Which is work out a reasonable framework for electronic commerce, with actual use rights that make sense for the reality of digital playback.

Not that they haven’t had several options that have been floated past them.

Napster was a dead simple, no-brainer solution that anyone in their right mind should have recognized as a perfect system for the music companies to ride into the next millenium.

Think of it as the eBay for the music industry. Which they promptly litigated into insignificance.

And then there’s iTunes. Which they are also trying to squeeze into oblivion.

Here’s a question…

An artist’s video is uploaded to YouTube. What’s to stop me from recording the audio from that video while it plays?

What will the RIAA suggest next? A ban, or worse yet, a surcharge on short audio cables?

Honestly…

There’s only one response that makes sense for consumers.

An outright boycott of packaged retail music from members of the RIAA.

It’s not they haven’t been price-fixing/gouging for years. To the point of being sued for antitrust violations a few years ago. Which the labels promptly used to send a big F-U to the rest of us by shipping millions of completely worthless CDs to libraries and schools as part of their settlement, basically dumping their trash on non-profits. Real classy, huh? 

But it’s time to get serious. And here’s a handy site that can help you out…

RIAARadar.com

This site can look up any release by artist, album, UPC code or label. It’s not 100%, but it’s pretty close. Even better, it offers a mobile version that you can use to check UPC codes while you’re on the go or in-store. And there’s a GreaseMonkey script which will pop up instant RIAA Radar results while you’re browsing on Amazon.

So that’s it. Quit buying from the RIAA mafia. Maybe they’ll get the hint. I doubt it tho. They’re already facing a 21% decline. And they steadfastly refuse to admit that the problem they have is one of their own making.

|| posted by chris under business, clueless, kma, media, mobility, thumbs down || comments (1) || ||

December 29, 2007

They Got A Brand New Dance

The highest paid coach in college football and his wife tear up the Cupid Shuffle.

Gotta give Coach Saban credit for being the only white guy out there, and managing to hold his own. He and his wife definitely prove they got the moves.

All that song needs?

A little more cowbell.

|| posted by chris under more cowbell || comments (0) || ||

December 28, 2007

Apple Bites

Mmmmm...yummy!

I could go on and on about the big rainbow fruit from Cupertino, but I’m specifically talking about MacOS in this instance.

With all the recent brouhaha about Windows Home Server’s data corruption problem, anybody using a MacOS platform needs to watch out for its own data-destroying bug. Reported as far back as Panther (OSX 10.3) and still kicking in the Leopard release (OSX 10.5) this one will truly knock you on your butt if you’re not careful.

Here’s what’s up…

If at any time during a Move operation the destination location disappears, the source copy of the data being moved will be deleted, no matter whether the copy successfully finishes or not.

It’s a simple issue really.

Since a Move operation is actually a Copy followed by a Delete of the original source once the Copy is verified as successful, MacOS isn’t correctly verifying that the original Copy is successful before it executes the Delete against the original source. Doh!

And this issue affects any destination, local or network.

Of course, destinations never have a problem, right? Heck, having a flaky USB port on your machine can cause a directly connected external drive to disconnect. Or a power flicker, when your drive isn’t on battery power as well. Or a network hiccup.

Yeah…those things never happen.

Reportedly, the 10.5.1 update fixes this data loss issue. Which is a good good thing.

But here’s a better suggestion for avoiding this issue, both now and in the future, on any platform whatsoever…

NEVER.MOVE.ANYTHING

Seriously.

I never ever EVER use Move. I always always ALWAYS use Copy, followed by a manual Delete of my own volition.

Why? I quit using Move operations sometime around 1992, thanks to being burned by some data loss caused by a flaky SCSI connection on…you guessed it…a Mac!

This habit has served me very well in my career as an IT professional.

Using a Move doesn’t allow you to complete one very important step that can mean all the difference in the continued health and well-being of your data.

After every copy of data that really matters, I always do a compare of the source and destination. Only after I see that the byte and file counts match do I complete a Delete of the source.

Sure, those counts might not be totally accurate. Something else could be causing them to match. But it’s a fair bet that something bad wrong in the architecture of your system (bad cable, NIC, driver, OS, drive, etc.) will cause enough error to keep those compare values from matching.

If you absolutely positively must verify the contents of a large data move match on both sides, then you can always run an MD5 hash of the source and destination copies. Just expect that running those hashes can takes an insane amount of time. As in days, kiddos.

This little habit of mine wouldn’t necessarily guard against a malicious data mangling virus…

But that’s what you have A/V for, right?

Anyway, to all my buds using the Mac platform who think it’s all about thinking about thinking different

Welcome to the Funcave!

|| posted by chris under clueless, rx, thumbs down || comments (0) || ||

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