Thursday, June 30, 2005

iTunes official podcast specifications

Everything you need to know to get your podcasts working how you want them to with iTunes from Apple — find it here.

New H3 ad

Haven’t seen this on TV, but it’s pretty cool — check it out here.

Certain Dri

Do you sweat a lot?  You may want to try Certain Dri antiperspirant.  For those of you that may have been prescribed DrySol or another prescription antiperspirant that is in an alcohol base and feels like you are burning your armpits, Certain Dri might be a more pleasant alternative.  If you ever feel like regular anitperspirants just don’t work for you, Certain Dri might be good for you as well.

You apply Certain Dri before you go to sleep at night.  Why?  Because it then has all night to work.  I have been using Certain Dri for about a month and have found it to be extremely effective.  Here are some of my tips:

  • Make sure your armpits are very dry before applying.
  • Never apply after having taken a shower.
  • Give your armpits 10–15 minutes to dry before going to sleep.
  • You may find that you don’t need to use it every day and you should definitely stop using it if you get any sort of rash or irritation.
  • I have found that using a mild antiperspirant/deodorant in the mornings does help, especially if you know that you are going to be in a situation during the day that would normally cause extremely heavy sweating.

Certain Dri can be purchased at most drugstores; I buy it at Walgreen’s and one bottle seems to last 30–45 days.  Lots of good no-sweat tips on the Certain Dri link above.

New inbound links

 SpecialK's Trading Diary

 Adventure Lounge


 A is for Advertising


Thanks for linking to me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bill Swanson's full list of rules

Following up to my previous post on the Little Grey CEO Book, via this article on CCG Magazine, here is the full list of 25 rules:

  1. Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.
  2. It is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it.
  3. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
  4. Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what's there, but few can see what isn't there.
  5. Viewgraph rule: When something appears on a viewgraph (an overhead transparency), assume the world knows about it, and deal with it accordingly.
  6. Work for a boss with whom you are comfortable telling it like it is. Remember that you can't pick your relatives, but you can pick your boss.
  7. Constantly review developments to make sure that the actual benefits are what they are supposed to be. Avoid Newton's Law.
  8. However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
  9. Persistence or tenacity is the disposition to persevere in spite of difficulties, discouragement, or indifference. Don't be known as a good starter but a poor finisher.
  10. In completing a project, don't wait for others; go after them, and make sure it gets done.
  11. Confirm your instructions and the commitments of others in writing. Don't assume it will get done!
  12. Don't be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
  13. Practice shows that those who speak the most knowingly and confidently often end up with the assignment to get it done.
  14. Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
  15. Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
  16. Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss. * Keep him or her informed. Avoid surprises! * Whatever the boss wants takes top priority.
  17. Promises, schedules, and estimates are important instruments in a well-ordered business.  *You must make promises. Don't lean on the often-used phrase, "I can't estimate it because it depends upon many uncertain factors."
  18. Never direct a complaint to the top. A serious offense is to "cc" a person's boss.
  19. When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
  20. Cultivate the habit of "boiling matters down" to the simplest terms. An elevator speech is the best way.
  21. Don't get excited in engineering emergencies. Keep your feet on the ground.
  22. Cultivate the habit of making quick, clean-cut decisions.
  23. When making decisions, the pros are much easier to deal with than the cons. Your boss wants to see the cons also.
  24. Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
  25. Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump.

I’m still looking for a full copy of the original Powerpoint or the book.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RAZR Blackberry thing

This post on Engadget provides full specs and a rendering of the Motorola RAZRberry, which is essentially a candybar, Blackberry-looking, thin as the current RAZR Motorola phone.  The article says that the device will run Windows Mobile 5.0, so it’s unclear if there will actually be a Blackberry client, or if the phone will simply support Microsoft’s ActiveSync.

iTunes 4.9 with podcast support available

You’ll probably see this as an active update if you currently use iTunes, but if you don’t or if you want to directly download it, you can do so here.  I just updated and the podcast directories are showing up.


I just received an invite to the beta of Odeo, which is an integrated podcasting service.  From my launch window, I can subscribe to, download, and even create podcasts.  There is a free application that Odeo provides called The Syncr, which is available in both Mac and Windows versions.  The Syncr will automatically download new podcasts that I am subscribed to and automatically loads them into iTunes so that I can put them directly onto my iPod.

Since I just received the invite yesterday, I have not had extensive time to play around with all of the Odeo features, but it’s a very cool site.

King King movie trailer

The King Kong movie trailer can be viewed right here.  I promise that I haven’t been living in a cave, but I really don’t recall hearing about another remake of King Kong coming out this December.  I can’t say that the trailer looks that exciting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Little gray CEO book

Could you distill all of your knowledge into a Powerpoint presentation that eventually turned into a book?  Even if you could, do you think Warren Buffett would read it and pass it along?

Incredible as it may seem, Bill Swanson, CEO of Raytheon has answered (albeit unintentionally) “yes” to both of the questions above.  This article in Business 2.0 extracts some of the important lessons from the little gray book that cannot be purchased anywhere:

  1. You can’t polish a sneaker
  2. Learn to say “I don’t know.”  If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
  3. You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
  4. Look for what is missing.  Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
  5. Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond.
  6. Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
  7. Have fun at what you do.  It will be reflected in your work.  No one likes a grump except another grump.
  8. When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization.  Your perspective will change quickly.
  9. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
  10. When something appears on a slide presentation, assume that the world know about it and deal with it accordingly.
  11. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or others — is not a nice person.  (This rule never fails.)
  12. When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn out, “short them to ground.”

You will note that I have not included explanations or commentary for any of the points — go subscribe to Business 2.0 to get access to the full article; you can do an online only or print and online subscription, and I think it is a very worthwhile subscription.

I’ve done some looking trying to find the Powerpoint presentation that became the little gray book and have yet to have success; if anyone has it and wants to send it to me, I would sure appreciate it and I would be that the guys over at ChangeThis would love to host it.  If you happen to have a printed version that you are willing to part with or make me a copy of, please e-mail me and I will provide you with my mailing address.

Has anyone tried to use their LinkedIn network to get a copy of this?

Linkblog with

Simple instructions on how to create a linkblog with via this post on CorporateBlogginBlog.  From the post:

  1. Register for a account.
  2. Create a specific tag for the links you want in your "linkblog".
  3. Grab the RSS feed at the bottom of your page for that tag.
  4. Create a JavaScript of that feed. Feed2JS is a good service.
  5. Paste the JavaScript to your web site/web templates.

Seems pretty simple and you can’t beat the price.

Why aren't printers free after rebate?

It’s really the give away the razor and sell the blade model isn’t it?  According to this post on Engadget, Dell is introducing a 15ppm, 600 dpi laser printer for only $99, which has typically been the cost of entry into the inkjet market.  The toner that it ships with yields 1,000 pages and there is a 2,000 page toner available — I couldn’t find any pricing for the toner, but the expected ship date for the printer is 6/28/05.  I certainly plan on getting one for my house as I burn through black inkjet cartridges like it’s going out of style, and with the USB cable, I can share it among my entire network with my Airport Extreme.

Ok, so where’s the $199 color laser printer?

UPDATE — this article on states that the price of the 2,000 page toner will be around $65.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Very exciting news

This post on Elvis Ate My Blog reveals that there will indeed be a straight-to-DVD Family Guy movie entitled  "Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story."  The movie will hit store shelves on Sept. 27th and will be 83 minutes in length.  No pricing has been announced. 

GM employee pricing

An interesting post with lots of reader commentary on Autoblog about the new GM “employee pricing” promotion.  A lot of the commentary focuses on the fact that you can get a Saab 9–2X, which is essentially the same as a Subaru WRX, for $19K vs. about $23K for the Subaru.  Additionally, there is good commentary about what will happen to auction prices on used vehicles.

I recently received a notice from a local dealership that they would pay me full market value (is that low blue book or high blue book?) on my current vehicle if I came in a bought an employee-priced vehicle before July 5 (when this current employee pricing promotion ends).  If there is a negative impact on auction prices for GM models because of the pricing scheme, then how can the dealership possibly afford to pay me a good blue book value on my used vehicle?

I looked on the GMC site at offers on Yukons in the Western region just to see what else was being offered, and found that they are offering a $3K cash back or 0% for 36 months, 1.9% for 48 months, or 2.9% for 60 months — I wonder if this is in addition to the employee pricing or if the employee pricing trumps these offers. 

To try out a few more things, I then launched the payment estimator and looked at a GMC Yukon Denali.  The estimator plugged the price of the Yukon in at absolute full retail value of around $51K with a 4.9% APR on a purchase.  Based on this, it makes me wonder if you choose employee pricing and want to finance, you have to go through GMAC at a 4.9% rate.  If that’s the case, you might be better off negotiating with a dealer on the price and going with a 0%-2.9% APR depending on how long you want to finance the vehicle.  Nowhere on the GMC site could I find specific T&Cs that stated that employee pricing had to be financed through GMAC, but it would make sense that GM is recouping the near zero profit on the vehicles through the 4.9% APR rather than the 0% APR for 60 months that has been used in prior promotions.

If I were to be looking at purchasing a GM vehicle with employee pricing, I would certainly do some more research into the benefits of 0%-2.9% financing with dealer negotiation vs. employee pricing at a potential 4.9% APR.


Integrate the year 2000 census data with Google Maps and you get GCensus.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Activate your central nervous system to become more productive

From this post on Open Loops:

Our autonomic nervous system controls the systems of the body that we don’t think about, including our heart beat/rate, respiration, and digestion.  The autonomic nervous system is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  When the parasympathetic nervous system is active, it, among other things, increases blood flow to the digestive organs and slows the heart rate.  This is known as the “rest and digest” reflexes.  When the sympathetic is active, it dilates the pupils, increases the blood sugar, increases the heart rate, and increases the respiration.  In short, it triggers the “fight or flight” response, enabling us to take action.

The next time you notice yourself struggling in one of those unproductive days, try activating your sympathetic nervous system by using some of these:

  • Sit up straight.
  • Go for a brisk walk.
  • Breath deeply and forcefully.
  • Change to a more physical activity.

Many more suggestions on how tog et your sympathetic nervous system working for you if you read the full post.

One thing that military people will do to get ready for jumping out of a plane is to consciously flex and contract every muscle in their body starting at their toes.  Not only does this help mitigate the flight response and change it to a fight response, but it also gets blood moving to all of the muscle groups.  If you combine this process with 4–second breaths in expanding your diaphragm and 8– second breaths out to completely clear your diaphragm, you can get the sympathetic nervous system working while sitting at your desk.

Are you a liar?

Surprisingly enough, this is not about Seth Godin’s new book, but rather about how to detect if someone is lying.  From this Digg comes this article on Blifaloo that tells you how to detect if someone is lying to you.

Strawberry Mentos

I used to be addicted to Strawberry Mentos.  Then Mentos scaled down their American presence, so I could only find Mint and sometimes Mixed Fruit (sort of like eating Starbursts: you don’t really dig every flavor) — the only way I was able to find Strawberry was outside of the US.  Today I walked into Albertsons and Strawberry Mentos are back!  Even better, they now come in a box that has more than there used to be in the foil tube.

My day is made.

New links


 SpecialK's Trading Diary

 What Sets Us Apart

 jim's blog

 Adventure Lounge

 Advancing Insights

Thanks for linking to me! 

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Music industry comments

Via this post on 43Folders comes this article by Glenn McDonald regarding his reasons for not continuing to support the music industry:

In a single year, not too long ago, I bought 1000 CDs, and most of them were yours. I continue to pay still. I bought two CDs this week, and will almost certainly buy more than 100 over the course of this calendar year. I have paid for legal downloads, as well. I have stubbornly forgiven you your trespasses against everyone you nominally serve, and kept supporting the idea of music as a Big Business. I have never condoned your numeric monopolies and tasteless denominator-lowering, but I support the dream of musicians being able to simply make music for their living, rather than operating themselves as a business, and somewhere far back in history that was what Industry allowed.

But I have also now started stealing your music. I haven’t stolen much, but I’m sure you will agree that the moral issue is not merely one of quantity. I have been one of the last independent apologists for a moral kernel, elusive now to perhaps the point of imagination, in your corrupt and desperate retreat, but now even I have given up. I still buy, but now I also steal. You have forfeited your right to my loyalty.


Hot on the heels of Video4Skype, vSkype has been released.  What’s the big deal?  Well, according to this post on the Skype Journal (complete with screenshots), vSkype allows video conferencing with multiple users with end-to-end encryption.

Pretty amazing.

OS X on Tablet PC

According to this post on The Tablet PCs Weblog, this guy installed a dev version of OS X onto a Toshiba M200.  Lots of information on the trials and tribulations of getting the software to work.  Interestingly, he links to Apple’s Inkwell (I had never heard of this) that allows you to use non-keyboard devices for input into OS X.

Interesting reading.

iPod photo connector for more than just cameras

From this post on TUAW comes a link to this post on the Makezine Blog — lots of device tried with different levels of success.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Technorati public beta


What is Sony doing?

Go watch this video on GPrime called Sony Revolution.  Looks to me like a table or wall-mounted, self-powered, Internet-connected workspace with individual “widget tiles” that serve different functions when they come in contact with the workspace.  Additionally, the whole system seem to be touch sensitive and reactive to different type of styli (pretty sure that’s the plural of stylus).  If this thing come to be and is affordable, it truly will be a revolution.

UPS execs don't agree with blogs

From this post on Micro Persuasion, Robert Manning, Director of Interactive Communications at the UPS has this to say:

"What I love about blogs is the authenticity of voice, how they further democratize web publishing, and how they provide more relevant information through contextual links. What concerns me about blogs is the signal to noise ratio -- do we really need all these niche, special-interest blogs, or will it become increasingly difficult to find relevance amidst the seas of personal web journals (or diatribes) without much to offer the broader constituency?"

Time for FedEx to jump into the hole.


Thursday, June 09, 2005's secret sale

Not much of a secret any more.  According to this post on Luxist, will be running a secret sale 10PM-4AM every night/morning June 7–10 (ok, so it’s almost over).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just received my Apple class action paperwork

I wrote about this just the other day, but Apple sent me my settlement paperwork for my iPod batteries.  There are 2 elections I can make:

  1. Have Apple replace the battery at its discretion.
  2. Get a $50 gift card that’s good at iTunes Music Store or a brick & mortar Apple Store.

I’m going to opt for the $50 as I have 3 affected iPods — that’s either a new Shuffle or 150 songs.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

iPod dock pin-out

Enough said — find it here.

Apple battery class-action settlement

If you are like me and have an old iPod with crappy battery life, you will receive an extended warranty and $50 service credit according to this article on Yahoo News.  The $50 credit will apparently be able to be redeemed at the iTunes Music Store or at Apple Retail stores.  Consumers that are affected will be notified by e-mail, direct mail, and advertisements in USA Today and Parade magazine next month.  I guess I’ll be receiving a few e-mails.

Google Map wallpaper

This digg links through to Gmerge, a program that allows you to take a Google Map and break it into 8.5x11 tiles so that you can have a poster-size image.

It’s a little slow to render, but pretty cool.

PST Stuff

I finally located a fairly affordable piece of software that can convert Outlook PST files to ASCII or MBX formats; the program is called MailNavigator and costs $29.  Why is this useful?  Well, if you can get your PST data into MBX format then you can use this free program called GMail Loader to get the data into your Gmail account, permanently freeing yourself from having to stick with Outlook as a mail client because your data is stored in their proprietary format (Ok, it also allows you to use your PST data with other free clients like Thunderbird, but the Gmail thing just seems way cooler.  If you’re like me, though, and have 10gb of PST data, I guess the Gmail thing simply does not have enough storage for all my stuff yet).

I have no idea why this is useful to me . . .

. . . but here’s how to view the Event Log on your Blackberry:

    1. Hold down the ALT key.
    2. With the ALT key depressed, type LGLG. The Event Log appears.
    3. In the Event Log, highlight the Event name and press the Enter key. A list of Events appears.
    4. To view details for an Event, once again highlight the event and press the Enter key. An Event Properties box opens (as shown on the right).

This information comes from this post on BB Hub and originally comes from this Tips and Tricks section of the International Blackberry Users Group (there’s an international Blackberry users group?) — all kinds of Blackberry tricks for your amusement.

Friday, June 03, 2005

ChangeThis is back

Seth Godin’s original ChangeThis project has been taken over by the team at 800–CEO-READ.

Start writing those manifestos again.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Interesting thoughts on unions

From this article on

I've been thinking a lot about rank-and-file union members lately, and I have to say it's a shame how the guys at the top have let them down. Union leaders must be the only people on the planet who haven't figured out that if you want to get anywhere today, you have to think and act like a businessperson. You have to market yourself. You have to make the case why someone should purchase your services. If what you want are jobs for union members, you need to treat employers like potential customers, not like adversaries you're going to force into submission. In a competitive economy, nobody buys because they're forced to. They buy because they want to. The notion of threatening a customer shouldn't even enter your mind.

Many more thoughts in the article.

Product innovation

When you’re at a beach party, what’s the one thing that you always wish you had?  A bottle opener, of course.  According to this post on AdJab, this Reef sandal has a bottle opener integrated into the sole.  At $40 it’s a small price to pay to be the life of your next beach party.