Friday, January 25, 2008

Steve Jobs looses $354 Million since Mac World

Acording to a reports in Forbes (, Steve jobs has lost a total of $354 million between his holdings in Apple and Disney. While his salary at Apple is just a single dollar, it is well known that his benefits over the years have been very high market range, including a 90 million dollar jet, shares in the company and other CEO type goodies.

While I dont think anyone is going to cry yet, it is kind of funny to see someone such as Steve Jobs lose more money in a single day than the average company makes in a year in total sales.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Real Space Flight Anyone?

Virgin Galactic has unveiled the latest space ship that will carry passengers to sub-orbital flight. Could it lead further? Richard Branson sure seems to think so in this video

Yahoo Publisher Network...Holier than thou???

Last month, Google had it's latest round of rehashing the Adsense network. So we started to look at other options. One option that recently opened up was Yahoo's service. So we applied. The response we got back was not one that we expected.

Dear William,

Thank you for applying for the Yahoo! Publisher Network beta program. We have reviewed your request and we regret to inform you that you were not accepted into the program. As the program is currently in beta, we are accepting a very limited number of new publishers. We will keep your contact information on file and let you know when we launch to the general public, or if we are able to invite you to join the beta before then. To maximize your chances for approval in the future, please make sure:
You have a valid U.S. Social Security or Tax ID number, and web site content that is predominately in English and targeted at a U.S. user base.
Your site provides a good user experience. Please see our complete list of guidelines for a positive user experience here.
Your site does not contain problematic content. Please see our guidelines for displaying our ad results here.
Thanks again for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you into our program when it is open to the public.


The Yahoo! Publisher Network Team

Now I dont know about you, but if this were my staff putting out letters to customers, I would highly recommend that they dont call the potential customers stupid. But that apparently is foreign to what Yahoo is doing. They not only seem to imply that either we are foreigners (we are all Americans in the company), that we produce web sites that are problematic, or that our web sites do not give the users anything.

Well, being the hot head that I can be when insulted, I immediately fired off a letter back to their corporate staff. I am hoping that I am not alone in this but it seems to me that shooting down the exact people that Yahoo is trying to get as customers is definitely not the best tactic. It appears that they are headed the same route as their failed Auctions site with this one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Macworld Expo Keynote

One notable item this year from the Macworld Expo keynote was the Internet. The Internet, you might ask? Yes, the Internet. Or in other words how the Internet and a dozen major web sites around the globe were brought to their knee.

Large operations such as Engadget, Macworld, Twitter and a host of others were all useless. I was only able to get a reliable fix from CNET, and I dont even like them but they were they only thing I could get onto.

But now that is is over, you can watch one of the following versions of the keynote. The long one or the short one

For users desiring the long one:

The Macworld 2008 Keynote Speech

For those who dont want to take all day to find out what went on, you can check out this one.

The Macworld 2008 Keynote Speech in 90 seconds!

While the goodies they produced are quite nice, there really was sort of a dead ending to the whole keynote. I was waiting, as were many other people, for the "One more thing" speech that they were going to bring out the real meat of the keynote. But then, that never happened so we were stuck here holding nothing but the Air.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Are we there yet?

It sounds like something your kids might say to you when you are driving the 2000 miles to grandmas house. But this is no trip to Grandmas. After 50 years of the Space Race, we have no men on the moon permanently, no moon base, no mars exploration and certainly no 18 month trip to Jupiter as depicted in the books and movies 2001 and 2010.

It almost makes you want to ask NASA the proverbial question, "Are we there yet?" But of course, now they are pushing plans back due to internal issue and conflicts of interest in plans. To the outside viewer, it looks like a three ring circus. To the media, it is more fodder for the anti-NASA people who want the government agency shut down. And to the space advocate, it is just an absolute disaster.

Originally, we were supposed to have a huge space station in orbit. We have lifted little more than a 3 bedroom apartment. Problems with parts and software keep the shuttles grounded. Losing a shuttle or two also does not help matters. It keeps everyone going in circles. What happened to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo era "Can Do" type attitude that everyone in the programs had.

In spite of the failures, we still got things up there and managed to go all the way to the moon and back. Today, I doubt we could get a box car halfway down a hill with the way the program is run. Its just that bad. Space is no longer the sought after materials for the school children. In the 1960's and 1970's, if you asked a kid what they wanted to be when they grew up, a good percentage would say Astronaut. Now we cant even get kids interested in the sciences so the percentage of qualified applicants has waned to a point of near disaster.

If nothing is done with NASA to kick them in the seat of the pant, we could lose out on the technological advantage that has driven America for the last 100 years. The Japanese and the Chinese are now the ones pursuing the moon and doing very well with it I might add. We need to get the "Go fever" back and take the chances. Take the risks and get the people there and back.

Whoever becomes the next vice president will have a hard job of putting some pride back in the program at NASA and if he or she cant get the President on board, it will be an absolute that NASA will no longer exist as we know it within 10 years.

The Human Side of Sports Hoopla

Over the past several years, many who have watched the game for professional football have come to either hate or love Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys. They have written about him in the media, announced things about him in the news programs and even had long discussions on programs that banter about the sports items of the day. The one thing no one had said about the man was that he was human. Until Now.

Today, after the Dallas Cowboys lost their game to the New York Giants, a blubbering and sniffling Terrell Owens defended not only his quarterback, Tony Romo, but also mentioned the word team in almost the same sentence. While this would not be news with anyone else just about, it is note worthy because Terrell has been criticized for not being a team player.

His whole battle with the Philadelphia Eagles players and management as well as his antics when he was in San Francisco made him the dorr mat for every sports talk show host in America. Everyone loved to hate him and blamed all of the problems the teams were having on him.

Today he had 4 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, yet was unable to show everyone that he was the man and the reason they were winning. And as he said in the post game interviews, "we lost as a team." I almost dare anyone to say something bad about him tomorrow as they will be barking up a tree which will have very few branches of followers after the display by T.O. today.

I think T.O. showed what it is about the sport that all who play and watch it love. There is the good times when you win as a team and everyone looks like they could be on the level of God himself, and then there are the times where you lose and look for answers. Today, I think the answers weren't what mattered. It was the fact that a man who has been accused of being one of the most selfish men on the planet showed not only humility, compassion, and a sense of team but also that he showed us that he isnt superman and might actually be classified as human.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Our Fascination with the Celebrities

Over the past five years, I have had to endure absolutely pointless news broadcasts concerning the lives of celebrities. CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and especially FOX all are guilty of broadcasting these pointless stories of the fall from grace of people like OJ Simpson and Britney Spears.

Things like Dar fur and Iraq, Lebanon, Burma, and Afghanistan have all taken a back seat to this stories that serve no purpose other than to further help destroy a life that needs no help in being destroyed in the first place. Just look particularly at the downfall of Britney.

Of course, the news companies believe tht their main audiences are bored house wives who have nothing better to do than watch this garbage. While the stories do gain some eyeballs, it does nothing for the average highly intellectual person who want to sit down and relax after a day of work and get a bit of news. Or maybe I am wxing nostalgic to the lost era of the 1950's to 1970's.

But we continue on. While I don't think celebrities deserve special treatment, you have to wonder where we draw the line. When does a situation become a Lady Di situation in which people are hurt, maimed or even killed. The over zealousness of the paparazzi is well known. And while this was only driven in the past by tabloid papers which most people didn't read, we are now forced to watch it as part of our evening news casts.

What would Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley or Edwin Murrow have done? I dont think that for a minute that they would have even considered announcing anything like this. They would have laughed and said "find me a real story". CNN even fired announcer Aaron Brown, a well respected news caster for not being dramatic enough last year. Now his replacement, Anderson Cooper, does nothing but spend way too much time on these garbage stories. Their new statement is that they do "Distinctive Reporting" but the only thing distinctive is the self serving crap that these stations are putting out as "News".

And so I say to these big news companies. Get the garbage stories off the news and give us the real stories. Start focusing on the things that really matter and the stories that are worthy of our time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The new face of advertising on the Internet

Over the years, there have been fads come and go in Internet advertising. Each generation of the web seems to have its own methodology associated with it. The latest methodologies have been floatin ads, ads that open on mouse over, complete page ads and then load the site, or even peel back ads. But none of these methodologies allowed the web site owner to make sure that all customers saw the ad. I have personally used both Amazon and Google Adsense for ads on my sites.

That has now changed with audio ads or Pay per Play as it is known The audio ads play for 5 seconds and then are gone. But the nice thing is that the web site owner gets paid for each ad rather thn having to count on click throughs for the ad. It plays on site loading as you heard when you loaded this page. I am assuming that the blank air is because their service will not start officially until 1 February 2008.

Will this be the next fad in advertising or will this just be another passing fancy. One can only wonder but from what I have seen so far, I like the idea. Of course there are the purists out there who will argue that the web site should not force the ads onto their users. The nice thing about this is that the ad will not take over the page, only plays for 5 seconds and then is gone forever. No bulky ads that keep popping open or that obscure the page.

We will just have to see if the ads pay enough to actually be worth the time and the effort or whether it will be another lame attempt to monetize the web. (Hopefully it will be the former).

URLS Listed in this article

Pay Per Play (
Google Ad Sense (

RIAA and their henchmen

Over the past few years we have heard time and time again how the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has gone after 9 year olds and grand mothers and house wives and any other person they could. Each time I have seen them go after someone, it was always someone who was too weak to fight. They have made millions off the tactic of scaring ordinary folks who hardly know computers much less know music sharing into believing that they were a governmental agency that could send them to jail.

The only time they seem to blinkis when someone with money and good lawyers fights them (as in the case of the University of Oregon). Now they have taken to sending out scare letters or pre-lawsuit letters to 23 universities around the country. The only thing this is likely to do is to fly back in their faces.

EMI, is also reviewing their funding (see but is unlikely to pull it according to this article on mashable. While I can understand the need for artists to get paid for their work, the majority of artists never get a dime hardly from the big companies. RCA never paid my father for his album but made decent money back in the 1960's from it. That has not changed in spite of it being 50 years later. The companies make billions.

What needs to happen is for the RIAA to go away and the artists to see their wares in the way that Motorhead did.. Take to the Internet and let people download it and pay what they think it is worth. Real fans will always pay (One reason I have every Pink Floyd Album ever made).

If the RIAA doesnt go away and the courts continue to give them carte blanche on the lawsuits, there will be a complete collapse of the industry and the court systems. (and possibly the internet music scene).

The NFL Coaches Dance

I never got an invite to the ball, then then again, I am still playing the game. The NFL coaches though seem to perform this annual ritual called the NFL Coaches Shuffle with the grace of a herd of bulls in a china shop. Every rumor is followed by another and rarely contains any substance.

Coaches with impeccable records are fired, and those with horrible records are extended and then there are those that don't have to have the door shown to them. They just know as in the case of Joe Gibbs.

With teams out of the playoffs clamoring for their next coach, the speculation and the rumors and the meetings and interviews fly like grains of rice thrown at a wedding. The amount of pomp and fan fare is about the same. Names come and go. Retired guys, Other teams guys, college guys and even the occasional no-name from the middle of nowhere.

You would think with the amount of money that is thrown around, this would not be the pulling teeth that it seems to be each year. Who will Atlanta hire? Who will Washington hire? Who will Miami Hire? Who cares!! Call us when it is over because this daily speculation, new conferences rejections and everything else associated gets really boring.

Personally all I want to see if who is going to win this weekends games. The guys playing in them deserve more of the spot light. They worked hard to get there and now this coaching shuffle is over shadowing the players and their accomplishments.

So for this weekend, I have Seattle over Green Bay, Giants over Dallas, Chargers over Indianapolis and Patriots over the Jaguars. Not because it really matters. Just because CoachBart (twitter) took the other 4 and we have a little rivalry after my Seahawks beat his Redskins last week.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What's up Apple's Sleeves?

The speculation about what Macword Expo will bring from the mouth of Steve Jobs and the great machine that is Apple, Inc. While in past years, we have had sites like Think Secret to darn near announce the product for Apple, we no longer have that after the lawsuit with Apple. So it is now left up to the rest of us techno junkies to figure out what they will announce.

One item of speculation over the past 6 months has been the possibility of Apple introducing a sub-notebook. While the 13" MacBook is a nice machine, it is still heavy and bulky when compared to the little notebooks offered on the PC side by Toshiba and Sony.

I figure they have something of the sort up their sleeve as they dumped all their junk over board the week before (8 core machine, etc). But if this year is anything like last years MWE and WWDC, then there may be a revolt in the palace. MWE brought the empty basket and wait until spring thing and then WWDC brought the "You dont need an iPhone SDK" speech. I am sure they have to be planning something that will allow them to recover some of the glory of past years or is this Steve's way of saying that Apple will announce their products on their timeline and not on the MWE timeline?

Also, supposedly in the works is the lastest version of the iTouch and the iPhone. While one can only speculate, you would have to imagine that at some point Apple will have to introduce the G3 / GSM capable iPhones in the US. Especially before they try and introduce their product to the Japanese market which GSM will not work in.

But then the day approaches. We will all have to wait and see what Apple really introduces but for my money I am betting the farm on at least the Sub-Notebook. I will wait on the iPhone until the Japan release no matter what as I want the kanji input method on my iPhone so I can send Japanese notes as well as english ones.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Goodbye Bill Gates....Or so he says....

Over the years, we have all come to either love or hate Bill Gates. Much of the hate was based on the fact that he had managed to become the richest man in the universe in the life span of many of those around him. And now that he has come to the end of his time with Microsoft, the company the he and Paul Allen started in 1976, many are beginning to ask "What Next"?

Well, for starters, we will all have to put up with Steve Ballmer from now on. Not only is he more hated or loved by those around him, he doesn't seem to care about whether people love or hate him. The only person he really cares about is Steve Jobs, the man he most likely loathes more than the devil himself.

Then again, the love-hate relationship between Cupertino and Redmond has always been at the forefront of the technology world. Just look at the way in which Office Mac 2008 has been released. No fanfare, no applause, not even hardly a press release. Most of the mass media didn't even pick up on the release and unless you dug into Apple's web site, you wouldn't have even noticed it.

We did however, dig around and did find the new office product. And in true Apple-Microsoft tradition, there will be the lovers of the product and the haters because it is a Microsoft product running on the Apple. Oh but wait, Microsoft always has had a product that ran on Apple's ever since SoftCard CP/M and The Language Card for the Apple II series computers. Yet people still hate Microsoft and still for some unknown reason hate their products. But is it really Just Bill Gates that they hate? I am not sure but since Bill Gates says he is leaving, there might be hope for a truce. But then again with Steve Ballmer in the wings, probably not.

Do we say goodbye for good, or will he likely appear in almost every talk show on technology or become some goodwill ambassador in the way that Bono has done? Or will the two of them appear together almost everywhere you go? You can almost bet on it as they both are involved in philanthropy to the extreme and don't seem to be slowing down.

And if you don't believe that he is gone, just check out the following video and let me know if you still think he will have his hands in Microsoft after this one.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Is the tech bubble coming to an end?

Over the past few years, we have seen once again the rise of the enormous beast that is the Technology Stock Bubble. But as in 2001, we are beginning to see signs that all is not well in wonderland.

Over the past week, Google has lost two high profile executives. Not because they went somewhere else, but because they got out, got their money and ran. Now they dont have to work another day in their lives really.

Before that several other companies lost people to one thing or another. It seems that Google, Amazon, and Yahoo are no longer must have jobs. The job listings seem to get longer and the wait to get hired longer, so many people on the outside are looking elsewhere. But if the people on the inside are also looking elsewhere, it means that something must be coming that none of us can really fore see.

A downturn in the market one might ask? Well, the bubble has run 7 years from the last downturn when all of the stocks hit rock bottom. And with technology companies being worth as much or more than traditional manufacturing companies, it is time to look at the possibility that within the next year or so, we could be looking at 2000/2001 all over again.

While I am no expert in financial matters, I do know that when the rats start to leave the ship it must be sinking.

The Power of the pen (and the blog)

Over the years that I have written, I have never underestimated the power that the pen (and the computer) had over our lives and the lives of those around us. Once in a while, we need a reminder of that power and today I got one that I was rather surprised at.

Many have protested the war, many more have fought war and many more of us have sat on the sidelines not outwardly expressing our opinions. Having been a Marine Corps contractor, I have known many who have served our country, known at least one who gave his life for the country. They all served with the pride and the candor that made them marines. Not once, did I hear one of them complain that the war was a dis-service to them or hear them disrespect any part of the country.

It probably never occurs to the ordinary man what I am talking about when I say they served with candor. After reading Andy Olmsted's posthumous blog post, it became even clearer. For those who would like, you can find it at:

The one common theme in hist blog post which brings it all home is his thought that he fought for his own reasons. Not someone elses. For those who don't understand that, well it would take me far too long to try and explain it, not that I would ever pretend I could but it just brings me back to my original point.

Remember what you write. And in remembering, be sure not to write that which might be construed as flame or hate. But always write in the true spirit of journalism of telling and exposing the truth to the world. (And if you cant tell the truth, lie humourously and make people happy.)