Archive for 2008 - Page 1


    Wordpress 2.7

    So I just upgraded to Wordpress 2.7. You can download it here.

    There are a few things to note with this upgrade. You no longer have to manually update Wordpress. There has been some controversy within the development community about why this upgrade isn't called wordpress 3.0. There are major changes with the dashboard, but I like the upgrades and changes. I think it's a much better layout.

    This is the biggest update and most useful thing around. Just being able to automagically do the upgrades will really reduce the hassle for those who are less tech-saavy. This update just made it one of the most viable Content Management Systems around for anybody who wants to have their website hosted and their host has a one-click wordpress install. Version 2.7 is going to start a trend with more sites using wordpress as the backend.

    There is one major thing that I don't like is the fact that the two plugins, Delicious and Google Search widget still refuse to update, yet the other plugins updated without any issue.

    As with the other updates I do, if there's anything that's not working properly, let me know.


    Long Term Thinking Flaws.

    These are purely my own flaws and thoughts.

    I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do and where I want to go, long term. And I got to thinking, long term, I always seem to be thinking long term, not really short term, not really mid-term, but long term. Everything in the future, never the present. I know this is completely different than most others, and I'm not entirely sure why I take this type of view over any other, nor do I know exactly how I managed to develop this viewpoint.

    The goofy thing about the whole thing is that I have also noticed that I tend to know where things are going to end up, given the evidence. Let me show you an example. Now, I usually don't write about work much, but in this case it's pertinent.

    The City of Aurora built a fiber network to replace the one that they've been leasing from Comcast. Seeing as, at the time we had only a single 1.5Mbps T-1 lines between our Main Library and each of our three buildings, the city putting in fiber was going to boost that percentage up 666% to 1Gbps. This type of bandwidth is completely unimaginable without spending a ton of money a month than most non-profits would be able to afford.

    As soon as I found out that we, the library, were in the city's plan for fiber, I already knew where we were going to end up, what were we going to be able to do, and what we were going to be able to change and consolidate.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I do think about short-term items, and can easily focus on short-term tasks and even mid-term projects and the like, but I guess I'm just more of an end-goal type of person.

    The biggest downside to being an end-goal person is the fact that you can easily get discouraged when things start to become a bit to daunting in the short-term, it's difficult to pull back and look at the long-term again. Since you're not used to the issues that come up with short-term problems.

    I don't know, I could be entirely wrong, it's been known to happen.


    Premium Podcast Models

    As of late many podcasts have been including advertisements on their free podcasts. While I have no problem with it, some do, and too bad, it's a way to make money. I have to applaud them for being able to get advertisers. Having advertisers like Visa, Becks, and others invest in podcasts begins to show the legitimate nature of the medium and also allows the medium to still be viable. But that is not the only way to bring revenue to a podcast.

    On the September 24th, 2008 show of This week in Media from, the hosts had stated that people are not willing to pay for podcasts. I have to disagree. I myself pay for Ken Ray's Mac OS Ken Day 6. Mac OS Ken runs five days a week (typically), Monday through Friday, for free, only with some ads. The cost for Day 6 is $10 a month for one additional weekly show, and eventually even more content throughout the week. The Day 6 shows are provided via RSS, which can import into any RSS aggregator. I would be willing to pay for more podcasts that would offer this type of model.

    Most would ask "Why pay for it when they are free." Well, it's quite simple. I follow the thought that "you get what you pay for". When you do not pay for a show you cannot really complain if the host or hosts end up missing a show once or twice a month, you’re not paying for the show. Additionally, paying $10 a month for exclusive content, which hasn't disappointed me yet, is well worth it. Moreover, supporting a podcaster whose work you truly enjoy is something I think everybody should do. Don’t forget, premium podcasts normally do not have ads in them, which can be compelling to some.

    I did contact Ken Ray directly via Twitter to inquire about Day 6 in regards to number of listeners and got a response which included "the conversion rate to paid listeners is between 3% and 5%." Ken did not give me exact numbers, just the conversion rate. This is perfectly good information for what I want to convey. I don't really need exact numbers anyway.

    Let's take a look at this figure, we'll use the low figure of 3%. Let's say you do charge $10 a month for a premium companion podcast to a free one. If your "free" podcast had 1000 listeners and we take 3% of 1000, you're talking 30 listeners. 30 listeners who pay for a podcast will net about $300 a month. That's not too shabby considering that you already have the equipment and there will probably be only a slight investment initially. That totals to approximately $3600 more per year, in addition to whatever advertising revenue is generated from the free podcast. While most will probably make more from advertising than premium, it is a revenue stream.

    Additionally, I also give a donation to every month. It's a total of $12 a month in donations to the network. Again, I do this because I think supporting the podcasters is a good way to help the entire podcasting community. I know shows like TWiT consistently have 100,000 listeners. If even 1% paid for a premium show, that’s 1,000 listeners at $10 a month, or another $10,000 a month. Granted, is not the best example since Leo does have a staff, while most podcasters are only one or two people hosting and producing the show. I myself would be willing to pay for a feed of live streams, since I cannot watch when they are on, which is throughout the day.

    I believe as though this is a sustainable model, perhaps with a bit more buy in from listeners or viewers. While I would like to see more of a 10% free to premium ratio, 5% is not too shabby given the lifespan of the medium. I would also like to see more podcasters do this type of model. Having a subscription model will not work that well. Providing premium content at a cost, while still providing a free version is what consumers are willing to tolerate.

    The premium model has worked quite well in all other types of mediums, including DVD sales, games (whether they are console or PC). Consumers seem to be willing to pay for premium content as long as it’s compelling content.

    Please keep in mind, I do not have a podcast myself, although I’ve thought about doing one, so I'm basically a pure consumer, not a producer/consumer like so many in the industry. I may be a minority, but remember, I’m the minority that is that 3 to 5% that is willing to pay for premium content, as long as it’s worthwhile and compelling.


    Spore DRM Protests

    I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post this picture, it's just classic of the revolt of DRM that is currently going on in regards to Spore.

    [caption id="attachment_989" align="alignnone" caption="Spore DRM Image 1"]Spore DRM Image 1[/caption] This image is from Joystiq

    [caption id="attachment_990" align="alignnone" caption="Spore DRM Creatures"]Spore DRM Creatures[/caption] This image is from


    That Low?

    I didn't think that it would get that chilly so early in September... late September maybe, but geez... [caption id="attachment_986" align="aligncenter" caption="37 Degrees on Tuesday"]37 Degrees on Tuesday[/caption]


    My Problem with Mainstream Media

    I don't watch much television. Period, I just don't. The only time I tend to watch any television is when my girlfriend wants to watch something, or if there really is not anything I want to do on my computer.

    There are only a handful of channels that I will watch. They are HGTV, History Channel, Food Network (If some actual information, not reality show is on), Discovery, and others that I can't think of right now. Some might ask why I don't watch CNN, MSNBC, or any other news channel. You want to know why, here's why. All you hear about is the fucking elections, which natural disaster is happening now, and the most recent tragedy has occurred. I don't hear anything about the conflict in Georgia, news around the United States or anything else.

    I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE FUCKING ELECTION. If there were news about NASA, or anything but the fucking elections I'd be happy to sit and watch Mainstream news stations. But, the three current stories are the upcoming elections (which they've been covering for the past 18 months already), the weather, and the olympics. Now, I understand that the Olympics only come around every 2 years, but still, do we need 24 hour coverage of the Election? No, why not, because as soon as the election occurs that's all they'll be talking about then as well.

    Don't get me wrong, I am going to vote, and I know who I'm voting for, however I do not need to hear the same story regurgitated ever 20 minutes. Has the American society become so dumb that we cannot have 20 stories within a 60 minute period? I think that Mainstream media is beginning to shoot themselves in the foot.

    If I were to not watch television and only watch television on the internet using sites like Hulu, or that would be perfectly fine with me. I do not think that mainstream media is understanding that the majority of viewers do not want to hear the same story over and over and over again. It's just fucking ridiculous.

    One thing that I know mainstream is consciously aware of is the fact that the upcoming generations will not be watching traditional television and will be time-shifting everything. So at least they're not completely oblivious.

    My suggestion to mainstream media is to actual see what the viewers want, not what you think they want. Try polling them, and asking them what content that they would like to see appear on the station. Guess what might actual happen, you might actually get more viewers instead of fewer. Just my rant and thoughts on mainstream media.



    I just cleaned up some options which I hope will now fix Twitter-Tools... We'll see if this works if there is an archive of my tweets from today... I'm not getting my hopes up. If this doesn't work I'll start over entirely...



    I've upgraded the Blog to the latest version, I don't expect any issues, but if there are any please let me know. I'm also wondering if Twitter Tools will ever work, or if I'll have to start the hell over again... I'm thinking I might...


    Mobile Me and Backups

    This is just a quick rant on how Mobile me is definitely not something that most users who want schedule backups, that actually work, to be using. Why, well I have SuperDuper! all set to backup my Documents, Photos, and Amazon purchased music every two hours, since I know it won't change that often.

    While this SHOULD work, it is still syncing it's initial attempt to copy those items. Now, granted, there are 8200 items, and it does total to just over 4GB, but still, the initial sync should have been completed by now. I did this about 24 hours ago, and it's still not done, this is just too fucking ridiculous for me.

    I'll probably post over at macgasm a more extensive rant/review of Mobile me, but that will be forthcoming. I want to see how long this initial backup and several syncs end up working in the long run. So, if you're looking for an affordable backup solution you might want to look at Amazon's S3, if available. It's roughly the same cost and it actually works with JungleDisk for automated backups.


    iPhone 3G Launch Day Waiting Game.

    Here's a tale of, is it meant to be or not, at the Oakbrook, IL Apple Store. I woke my sorry ass up at 5 am to be at the Oakbrook Apple store by 6. I actually arrived at 5:45. I was about #35 in line. I figured waiting two hours isn't bad, even three wouldn't be bad. But waiting 6 1/2 hours isn't what I had planned.

    The Oakbrook apple store had about 350 people in line at about 10:00 am, with more coming. At exactly 8, they did let in the first 15 people. I, along with everybody else was thinking, cool... 45 minutes to an hour, we'll be out of here. No Dice. It turns out that the Apple store had a "power outage" the night before from the storms that rolled through. Now, this would normally be plausible since we did have some nasty storms roll through. The little thing that gave away Apple's B.S. in the matter is that less than 30 minutes later they changed their story.

    It was their Point of Sale server that crashed, and they didn't know how long it would be. Most stores, having a huge pending revenue stream (I figured about $200,000 for the iPhones to be sold that day alone) would go ahead and check their Point of Sale (POS) system when they arrive, just to verify. Even by taking the first person in line and letting them know that they can't leave until after 8, but still, they could go ahead pay for their phone now. No, of course not, that would make sense.

    After nobody had left the store after about 45 minutes (8:45 or so), they came out and told us that it was now an activation problem on AT&T's end. People were starting to get irritated. It was a humid, 80 degrees by 8:00 am. So having the sun, heat, and humidity and having to wait longer than anticipated was not what most had in mind. But nobody really complained.

    The story changed several times throughout the morning, it's a "nationwide problem", "it's an Apple Only problem, not AT&T", "It's an Activation Server Problem."

    At about 10:15 or so, they came back out and said that their POS system was down, but Apple corporate made the Oakbrook store their #1 priority. I already knew it wasn't a "nationwide issue" since I was getting tweets from others at other are stores about getting their phones and heading out the door. Finally, at about 11:00 the first people started trickling out. Their POS System was back up, but activation was taking forever.

    So, they had people activate their phones at home, but did not announce this to the crowd at large. I finally left, with my 16GB Black in Hand (Thanks to an Early Birthday gift from the best girlfriend in the world), at 12:15pm or so. A full 6 1/2 hours after initially arriving.

    Now, to the stores credit, they did provide water, and still had a ton remaining when I left. The crowd, being as understanding, didn't riot, didn't complain (too much). Overall, it was a good crowd, up in the front anyway. None of the other fanboys and fangirls worried about people leaving to get something to eat, drink, or use the restroom. It was a pretty good crowd. We did however have one woman who managed to jump about 250 spots, just because her friend was further up, so she kept chatting with her, and moving with the crowd, but nobody said anything. Not that any of us really cared, we just wanted our damn phones.

    Once inside the Apple Store, everybody was great (the Air Conditioning was really nice). I did send an email to, about the poor planning, and failure to test their systems before hand. Which, if they would have done at 6AM, probably would have sped the whole process up by 2 hours, and it would not have been as bad. The email has yet to receive a response, as of the writing of this. I sent the email at 9:17AM on 7/11/08.

    I didn't attend the launch last year, I went on Saturday and was #4 in line at that point.

    Here is the coverage map of the majority of the area that I go, most of it is covered with 3G.

    ATT 3G Voice / Data coverage for my area

    We'll see how well the battery holds up.