Friday, May 17, 2002

Ever been caught somewhere with a dead iPod battery and no way to power it save for the firewire port on your computer? Of course, if you plug it in to a computer it reboots into target disk mode and happily mounts on the computer. If you also want to listen to music, you have to do so through the computer-- very annoying and can be a pain to set up.

Or do you....

If you look really closely at a FireWire port, two of the pins are slightly longer than the other four. These two pins happen to be the power pins. As such, if you plug the cable into the port just far enough to make initial contact, you can power the iPod from your computer while still listening to music through the iPod!

My assumption is that the firewire port is designed this way so that the port controller is powered and grounded prior to the data lines making a connection??
2:43:32 PM    

Google is the best search engine around, no doubt about it. But what if you need a map? Google parses and recognizes addresses and offers maps through Yahoo! maps or MapQuest.

However, their maps simply do not compare to the maps and directions produced by MapBlast!. Cleaner maps, better UI...
2:04:09 PM    

Barry Dennis writes that he loves spam . Of course he does: Barry Dennis is president of Netweb, an Internet and offline marketing and public relations agency.

The article attempts to equate spam with the dead tree marketing crap that shows up in our mailboxes. What a crock of hooey. Of all the paper junk mail I receive, almost all are for legitimate businesses and most can be eliminated through some action on the part of the recipient.

This is flat out not the case with electronic spam. Most of the crap I receive are attempts at blatant thievery, MLM scams, seriously nasty porn, in languages I can't fathom, or are for products for which I'm not remotely within the target market (no, I do not need the services for a Chimney Sweep from North Carolina).

An experiment. I haven't read email from my account in about 12 hours. Let's see what gems arrived overnight:

29 messages. Of which:

4 are in random asian languages (that I can't read)
Mortgage offers: 5
Diet/Health/Drugs/Genital Enhancement: 5
Insurance/Lawyers: 4
Mass Email / MLM: 4
Porn: 3
4-1-9 Scam: 1 (low number-- I usually get 4 to 5)
Credit Crap: 1
Pump-N-Dump (i.e. "financial news"): 1

Legitimate: 1 lonely legitimate email.

Of the 28 bits of spam, probably 20 had a subject line that was designed to try and deceive the reader. 10 to 15 advertised products or services that were either blatantly illegal scams, multi-level marketing crap, or offer goods/services aimed at the intelligence impaired (a fool and his money...).

If most of these arrived in as paper junk mail, it would be trivial to file a complaint to cause the company to be put under investigation and likely shut down. Not so with spam.

In the spam world, opt-in generally means 'we fed a CD full of a bazillion email addresses into our "list subscriber" and, thus, claim that you either opted in or someone opted you in. In any case, the links to unsubscribe are a complete crap shoot-- some do work, most don't, and a handful merely mark your email address as someone that reads spam.

So, Mr. Dennis, do you really love this stuff? Do you really enjoy wading through steaming piles of scams, porn ads, questionable credit offers, and-- often-- illegal offerings?

Or is it that your business has a vested interest in ensuring that unsolicited email can continue to flow uncontrolled, consumer be damned?
11:54:45 AM