Tag Archives: Technology


Yesterday Apple Computer released a snazzy new product. It looks like this:

Apple Hi-Fi

Very clean and pretty, but what is it?

  • A boom box, like the one I listened to nonstop from 1982 through 1985 (until I finally invested in a multi-component stereo system with one of those new-fangled CD players — sweet!)
  • Some kind of iToaster: In the picture it looks like you insert your iPod in the top to download new music or videos or brainwaves or whatever they’re selling on the iTunes store now, and when the download is finished your iPod pops out the top and you’re ready to dance! (or watch or think, etc.)

It seems to include that little pack of gum in front of it. I’m guessing that’s something to chew and enjoy while you’re waiting for your iPod to pop back out.

If you’d like to examine it more closely and yet virtually, here’s a rotating video to play with.

You like long walks on the beach too?

Another one of my entrepreneurial ideas has been taken: PersonalsTrainer offers to fix your personal ad so you sound more like you than you can manage yourself.

However, the lead example offered on the home page is less than reassuring. The “before” is definitely all kinds of wrong (“I have a nice personality. I have 2 cats & I like to go to restaurants.”). But the “after” also leaves much to be desired (“I’m a mix between Mother Teresa & Britney Spears….”). Even assuming they mean the pre-2004, non-redneck Britney, would any right-thinking male want a combination of very-holy-but-wizened, chastity-vowed aid-giver and bleached, over-makeupped and under-dressed lip-syncher?

Actually, if you averaged out their wardrobes and hemlines, you might have a nice knee-length pencil skirt in an attractive shade of plum.

The big improvement is in the example photograph. Which, come to think of it, is the only part of the ad most men will look at. So maybe PersonalsTrainer.com is on to something after all.

(Link via Gawker.)

And now a word from our sponsor

As you will have noticed, I have added advertisements to My Brilliant Mistakes. It’s an experiment: I’m curious whether any revenue will result. But I find I’m now more interested to see what ads Google selects to display. As they describe the service:

Google uses search-based technologies to match advertisements to the content and context of web pages – so the ads you see are related to the information you are viewing. The ads come from Google’s base of more than 100,000 AdWords advertisers. These advertisers range from global brand name companies to small local businesses.

By the time you read this the ads will probably change, but at the moment most of them are promoting tools for and altenatives to dissection. Of all the content and context of this site — dozens of posts on marketing, advertising, writing and publishing, alcohol, iPods — Google has chosen today to focus on a single post about cutting up a virtual frog.

One ad is for gifts cards for Red Lobster restaurant. I can’t even guess what triggered that.

I’m hoping to get ads for fur sinks next.

Blogging is the new black

Rick E. Bruner reviews the latest research on bloggers and blog readers and wonders why more advertisers have not jumped on the opportunities presented by weblogs:

Super-popular blogger Glen Reynolds, of Instapundit.com, leaves his traffic logs open, where we can see that he averages around 100,000 visitors a day and more than 2 million uniques a month. Considering that he’s only one guy, that’s astounding. By comparison, HoustonChronicle.com reports 1.5 million unique monthly readers. Granted, Instapundit is one of the most widely read bloggers out there, but it puts the phenomenon in perspective.

Meanwhile, Matt Drudge — who hates to be called a blogger, but he is, so he should just get over it — hinted to Radar Magazine last year that he earns more than a million dollars a year selling banner ads on his hugely popular DrudgeReport.

(Link via Adrants, which has been on a roll lately.)

Whispering in the back of the room

Techie types have taken to messaging and blogging during presentations. Some presenters object to the practice, others support it.

I don’t see how anyone can block conference and meeting attendees from using messaging, and I don’t see many good reasons to try. But I do like the idea of a presenter offering a channel for discussion during his presentation: What a great advantage it would be to later review what people were whispering about.

The soothing chirp of a room full of pagers

Tomorrow night will not be a good night to have a computer or network problem in the Pittsburgh area, as it’s the first Thursday of an even-numbered month, which means it’s Geek Night. The Church Brew Works will be overrun by application developers, network administrators, tech support staffers, and the recruiters who love them.

I love Geek Night and haven’t been able to attend in months, not since it was held at the now-defunct Valhalla. I love the Church Brew Works too, and I note among their seasonal beer offerings the yummy-sounding Burly Friar Barleywine. Mmmm. So I’ve been planning all week to go.

Sadly for me, Todd the Tile Guy needs to stop by my house tomorrow around 6:30 to take final measurements before ordering stuff for my bathroom renovation … so I’ll have to hustle to get down to Pgh while there’s still a crowd. So, if you find yourself there, do hang out for a while and stake out a barstool for me.

We’re number one!

Exciting in a self-absorbed way: The Closkey.com site currently comes up first when one searches Google for “closkey.” Number 1 of about 6,940 results! (The fact that the domain name is the search word probably has a lot to do with it, but still.) It beats out all the McCloskey geneological sites, which is no small feat.

Among the other interesting search results:

A press release from 2002 announcing that “Sean Closkey, director of the St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, one of Camden’s most successful non-profit housing developers, was officially named executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.” (Sean is my cousin.)

The score for a match between Glendermott and Ballyspallen, from the Glendermott Cricket Club site. (Glendermott won by 122 runs. I don’t know whether this makes it an exciting match or not.)

Audio books for your iPod

The Guardian Unlimited offers an overview of digital audio book sources.

You’ve loaded your CDs in to your iPod, you’ve assembled playlists and discovered the joys of shuffle mode. But the first flush of gadget love is fading. What can you do to re-kindle the affair? Why not experiment with digital audio books? There are several obvious advantages. With books on tape/CD, you’re often juggling several cassettes or discs. In contrast, an unabridged doorstopper by Tolstoy fits easily on an MP3 player/iPod, with space for more. And thanks to electronic book marking, you can keep your place on several digital audio books at once.

(Link thanks to Maud Newton.)