Everyone around me seems to be dropping like flies from some kind of series of viruses. Flu, cold, aches and pains, sore throat, coughs, fever, chills, nausea, headaches vomiting, general malaise. There’s some fear about this being a kind of mini pandemic but I only heard about this in the States.
In social virus news, today I bought two words at a new website called The Big Word Project, a new online experiment by two young, smart dudes. It’s cool. Kind of. They’re selling the universe of known English words, one dollar per letter, via PayPal. What did I buy? Man and Sites. Psychologically, it’s also quite interesting. It’s almost like having a blank slate of top-level domain names and it reminds me of how it must have felt when, in 1993, as was rumored, a woman registered every vegetable dot-com domain at the supermarket one day on Network Solutions. With only 1,600 or so words reserved so far, the Wild West of registrations can be mildly relived.
P.S. As of this writing, the word domain is, amazingly, available. And 37signals already registered “backpack.” Others, large and small, have, too.
There are still some analysts who wonder why the American auto industry is in such dire shape. Approximately half of the answers can be found within the visuals around Ford’s release of its Alton super-SUV truck.
One of the commenters on the related blog post asked, I think jokingly, “Does this come as a hybrid?”
This seems to be getting picked up a by a lot of people, but I love the way this photo essay drools over the opening of an old, old computer – a 1988 Apple //c.
Check out how nicely packaged the entirety is and how well the images reflect the care Apple put into the creation of this object.
I remember this machine. My dad brought it home from work in 1988 for me to see and experience. Addendum: I think he actually brought home for me the Apple //e – a mild update to that amazing machine that included a monitor with six colors and modicum of games.
I really, really wanted to attend the Seed Conference in Chicago a few weeks ago but a few things such as insanely priced airplane fares from Winnipeg to Chicago and my daughter’s birthday kept me from going. This, despite the fact that I would have loved to have seen a few good friends in Chicago and I could use the business-starting shot-in-the-arm and kick-in-the-arse that the conferenced promised.
In the end (n.p.i.), I’m glad I didn’t go. It would have set my pocketbook, work, and family life back by a month, though it would have been good, clean fun. I read a few reviews of the conference, and Bud Caddell‘s was the best. Here’s an excerpt that I found useful:
Small decisions are the way to go. Jason Fried of 37 Signals talked a lot about how his team focuses on breaking any task into tiny decisions to make their work more manageable and also to remain agile. That beats my method, turn your back until the decision is the size of Godzilla and work to create some kind of mecha-godzilla or Mothra solution to combat it — which usually leaves Tokyo destroyed.
And here’s an even better one:
Be blunt up-front. Carlos talked a good deal about always telling the absolute truth to your client, especially in the initial stages of the relationship. “Tell the truth when you’re still friends. An enemy is just a friend that you told the truth to too late.” If you know me personally, you know blunt honesty isn’t something I lack — this presentation just supported my stance.
It took a little while to figure this out. But thanks to iSlayer, I’ve learned that, with the new aluminum keyboards for Macs, using Command+F3 will clear away your application windows to show the desktop. It’s awesome and relatively intuitive, what with the icon of F3 showing Expose as it may be. I like this feature of OS X and I’m glad it wasn’t eliminated from the new keyboard structure; essentially, it allows me to see everything on my increasingly uncluttered desktop with a bush of two, magic buttons.
Continuing my line of thought that other people have more time on their hands to write about productivity, here’s one of the best list of ways to beat procrastination I’ve seen. If these things don’t work, I guess you can pretty much decide there’s no hope for you in the procrastination department. Seriously, these are great and pithy “ways.” I better get back to work.
A pretty big story hit the tech world yesterday that Network Solutions, which provides some of the worst network solutions in the industry, is squatting on domain names after you search for them. In this way, you have the purchase the domain name from them instead of going to another, cheaper, or better registrar.
I tested it out to see it first hand. First, I went to Network Solutions, and I looked up the domain name “cropdusternewsworld.com” – the site gave me a “Congratulations!” and then I opened up a new tab in my browser. I then went to Register.com (a large competitor to Network Solutions) and typed in the domain “cropdusternewsworld.com” and, guess what? It’s taken! Amazing, no?
Just to be sure, I looked up “tributenewsitems.com” on Register.com first. Available! Cool! Then, I typed in “tributenewsitems.com” at Network Solutions. More “Congratulations!” I went to Dotster, a smaller competitor and looked up “tributenewsitems.com” and, guess what? It’s taken. And I can “make an offer” on the domain.
Okay, I don’t have a lot of respect for Microsoft but I thought this was pretty, mildly funny. Amazingly, he got Obama, Hillary, Bono, Ballmer, Williams, Jay, and Clooney to advertise for him. I think it would have been cool had they shown Bill Gates talking on an iPhone in his office.
Thanks to K.F. for the lead, who noted, and I quote, “Sort of funny in an awkward microsoft sort of way.” (Am I the last blogger on earth to have seen this?)
Video: Bill Gates Last Day CES Clip
As you probably know, I’m no big fan of Microsoft. They create crappy software, bloated operating systems, and half-hearted websites and all of them, pretty much, are based on the belief that people will continue to buy them. Things must have gotten pretty bad at Microsoft HQ, because the company apparently now has offered a free version of their new operating system. What’s the catch? Well, they get to spy on you and whatever you do and then you get to fill out a survey every so often to make sure that you’re happy with being spied on and that your computing habits match up with your impressions. It’s so insipid that I can only think Microsoft is starting to run a little scared. Who gives away one of their main product lines in order to watch you in the dressing room? Nike? J. Crew? Amazon.com? Sure, you get free cereal in the mail sometimes (or, at least, I used to) but I always assumed they didn’t put spy cameras in the sugar nuggets to make sure your body was processing the stuff correctly.
I had a kind of mini revelation tonight while looking at Facebook, watching American Idol, and petting my two cats, having finished an excellent home-cooked meal of lentils with tofu bacon and an arugala salad with blue cheese and beets at our friends’ house.
Oh, the revelation was that looking at people on Facebook (e.g. finding friends, learning about what friends are doing, and updating my own page) is essentially equivalent to shopping at Amazon. I take a look at the reviews, decide on who I want to virtually befriend, and then check in on the status of the order occasionally. With Facebook, the order is a human life. And, looking at hundreds of faces scroll by, I couldn’t help but think of our individual expiry dates, when we’re pulled from the shelves, taken back to somewhere, far away from the eyes of others. In ten or twenty or thirty or forty of fifty years, someone will pull down my page and there will be a thousand others to replace me on that sliver of server space.