Saturday, December 31, 2005

Banished Words List :: 2006

It's here! The 2006 Banished Words List! So pack up your holiday tree and hunker down with this 97% fat free breaking news from Lake Superior State University. They really know how to git-er-done.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A List Apart: Articles: Attack of the Zombie Copy

A List Apart takes on corporate zombie-speak in Attack of the Zombie Copy. As a former colleague of mine used to say, "If you try to maximize my e-commerce potential, I will hurt you."

The Best Free Software

Bob Rankin just posted a short guide to free software. If you haven't discovered the wonders of freeware, check it out. Among his recommendations are three programs I use regularly - OpenOffice (full-featured office suite,, IrfanView (fabulous photo editing/managing program,, and AVG (antivirus;

You should also know that Bob Rankin is one of the authors of the Internet Tourbus (, the best e-mail newsletter for internet users IMHO.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

SuprGlu - Gluing your life together.

Ever wish you could bring all your web content together - your blog posts, bookmarks, and Flickr photos? Well, now you can. Surf over to SuprGlu to create a summary page of your web content. It looks a lot like a blog, with entries in reverse chronological order. The difference is that an entry might be a a link, a picture, or some other kind of content as well as a blog post. To see mine, check out

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bob Lefsetz column on what's wrong with the music industry

A couple of sites recently reprinted an article by veteran music journalist Bob Lefsetz, which explains clearly what's wrong with the music industry these days. IMHO, the article is intelligent, irreverant, and dead on. I can't find a direct link from Lefsetz's site, but here are links to two places it has been posted:

  • scroll down to the heading "WISE WORDS FROM AN INDUSTRY VETEREN."
  • Kurt's Krap, a music blog. Scroll down to the heading, " Greatest. Music column. Ever."

My take on the article and the music industry:

As I see it, the biggest problem with the music industry is huge, merger-created music companies that want to force people to retain the old model. Instead of figuring out how to market their product in the digital world, they want to quash all attempts at change and continue to shove an inferior product, sold in an inferior format, and marketed with phony journalism, down the consumer's throat. They need to completely reinvent their product and their marketing to remain relevant, but so far their attempts have been too little too late.

All of this reminds me of Microsoft when the web first started becoming popular. They were very late to recognize the internet for the revolutionary force it became. But, once Gates figured it out, he turned the company around virtually overnight. Current projects were dropped immediately, and the largest software company in the world ramped up on the information highway in a matter of months. The music companies need to execute a similar turnaround, but I don't think they have the leadership or the corporate culture to make such a change possible.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 What Is Bluetooth

No, Bluetooth is not a dental problem :-) Rather, it's a wireless communication protocol that has gotten a lot of press over the last couple of years. Even though it has been talked about a lot (can you say, "buzzword"?), I haven't found many plain English descriptions of what it is and what it's good for - until now. O'Reilly's MacDevCenter recently posted a great "Bluetooth 101" article, What is Bluetooth. Check it out if you're curious about how to make wireless devices talk to each other.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Compare prices at retail stores in your area with

Tired of combing through six inserts in the newspaper to see who has the best price on DVD players, video game systems, or appliances? to the rescue! This site consolidates in-store specials, so you can go to one place to see which stores in your area have the best deals. Once you go to the site, choose your state, and you'll be presented with a menu of types of products:

  • Computer Hardware

  • Software Etc.

  • Electronics - Audio

  • Electronics - Video

  • Major Appliances

  • Small Appliances

  • Cellular Phones/Service

  • Free Stuff (i.e. free after rebate) is one of the most useful shopping sites I've found. I always start there when I'm considering purchasing a new gadget.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blast through voicemail hell!

Do you hate being lost in a maze of voicemail when you call a customer service number? So do I! So check out the IVR Cheat Sheet(tm) by Paul English, which tells you how to cut through layers of voicemail menus and talk to a human at a long list of companies. This site was just mentioned on CNN Headline News, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of these companies changed their menus soon.