Monday, March 20, 2006

Standby Power

Pulling the plug on standby power

So, many of devices use more power when on standby than we thought. I am all for letting the consumer know about what they are buying. I also like the idea of minimizing the amount of power that a device uses in standby mode.

I think though that California laws go a little too far. The scientist, Alan Meier, thought that standby mode of a watt (1 watt) was a great target to shoot for. California takes this idea and then goes beyond, with 0.75 watts by next year and 0.5 by 2008.

Hello? The scientist who has been pushing for awareness about this issue did not ask for something this extreme. So why would California law makers go this far?

I would like to see a listing of the power consumption when in standby and when in 'normal use' listed. Then consumers could decide which product to buy. This way if there is some feature that a company wants to offer that takes the standby power consumption above 1 watt, then the consumer can make the decision for themselves if that feature is worth it.


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Friday, March 17, 2006

Music License

RIAA: Who are the Pirates?

This article takes a little bit to get to the meat, but once it does, it suggests something I have said in the past, "Why does the music industry just not make what you purchase a license and let you select the format you want to recieve the content associated with that content."

What do I mean? If you bought a 'license' for a group of songs from your favorite artist. Then you decided that you wanted them on CD and as MP3s? The music label, as they would be providing the MP3s, could put a digital fingerprint in the file that lets them know who's license it is. Finding the sources for piraters would be SO much easier, and most people would not need to pirate, as they would be able to get music in the format they want and know they could replace it if need be.

Infact, the music label could start a whole side business of processing license transfers. Want to sell your music you dont like anymore? The music industry charges a small fee and transfers your license to whoever you designate. They not only made money on the original sale, but now they are making money on the resale (which they hate now, cause people are selling music and they dont get a cut).

As stated in the article mentioned, they would also make money if you lost your CD and need to replace it. Or, say you are starting to fill up your MP3 player (ie, iPod) and want to make more room on it by having your music in the latest compression format (ie, going from MP3 to AAC)? Do you want to spend the time converting all of your tracks? The music label could provide you with the converted format for a small fee (again, making money on music they already sold). AND they again get to place a digital marker in the file so they can track what the original license was for tracking pirates.

The funny thing is, they could end up having some people spend more money on these services that come after the sale than they would ever make selling them CDs. I also feel, because the choice is with the consumer, the consumer would feel that it is more fair, because they get to decide.

Just a thought.


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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

iPod Training

Now, why didn't I think of that?

iPods making in-roads into business world

Macsimum News - iPods making in-roads into business world

I really wish I had thought of this. It makes so much sense. A cheap, portable, product that will let you play video and audio. And with 'Enhanced' AAC 'podcasts', you can even have chapter marks, screen shots, and links to more information with a voice over tutorial giving you step by step instructions.

Makes so much sense. Here I was thinking that DVDs made the most sense for video training distribution. I will have to talk to my clients about this. What an awakening.

Wonder if this will become the default training format? Even if the main training location will be on a PC, the format is fixed, it is flexible (plays on PCs, MACs, iPods, and TiVo's), and there is a massive number mobile training devices out there.

If you are a company wanting to make sure your employees are enthusiastic about training, give them an iPod.


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Friday, February 24, 2006

Seeing the Irony

Planet's Population to Hit 6.5 Billion Saturday


S.D. House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

Now, am I the only one that sees the irony here?

The human population on this planet is increasing at an ever increasing rate. They say it may taper off, but even so, they are estimating that it will take only till 2012 to make it an even 7 billion. 6 years to add 500 million humans. That is twice what the US was just a few years ago (if memory serves me correct).

Longer life spans, decreased mortality rate, improved medicines and surgical procedures, kind of has made it less likely to die.

Science fiction authors have written about settings where their are food riots. Seems far fetched here in the land of the Golden Arches, but it will happen first in other countries then happen here.

Add to that how I keep seeing farmland turned into housing developments, and it is only a matter of time before the population line on the fancy graph crosses the available food line. That is when the food riots will start.

I know I like to push for moving into orbit, but that is not overnight for the entire human race, and it will take a while before mass production of food stuff can happen in space. So, it can not be said that moving into space will help equalize the population vs available food ratio.

I always liked the saying 'Plan for the worst, hope for the best'.

So in the artical about SD passing legislation about abortions, it makes it a criminal act for a doctor. Wonder if it is a criminal act for the mother? Her sister? Her best friend with a coat hanger?

They are starting a special account for donations to defend this legislation, supposedly already a million has been donated. Wonder how many adopted or foster care children that would help? struggling single parents? Educating young women and men about abortion?

Let's see, 500 abortions a year in SD. $1 million so far. Wonder how much $2,000 would help some woman who is pregnant and considering an abortion?
($1mil divided by 500 got me the $2,000 number above)

I believe a few things when it comes to abortion (this means my opinion):
1- Men have no say in it. Seems harsh, but even as a father of two, I was not the one pregnant. I was not the one that could die from complications of said pregnancy. And any pregnancy can have complications.
2 - It seems like if they wanted to curb the 500 abortions a year, they could setup 500 adoptions. Or maybe provide free daycare for the single parent so they do feel like they have no choice? (cant afford daycare, etc, so had to get an abortion)
3 - The less government has control of our lives, the better for everyone. Less government means less taxes, which for people doing ok, not a big deal, but when you are scrapping just to keep a car running, food in the house, and decent clothes on your children, it is alot of money that goes away and does not come back.

Well, getting late.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cyberwalls - Keeping out the trash?

Just wish I could see what is going on at NewsVine.

I have heard others talk about it, but really I think invite exclusive systems (like Google's GMail) just keeps out some who wanted to use the service.

I still do not have a GMail account, but now I dont want one. I have plenty of other email accounts to keep track of.

I DO want to see what is going on at NewsVine, as I have to go to a bunch of different sites to see the news I want.

I am also interested in their 'Citizen Journalist' concept.

But, guess I am not good enough to use it. Hopefully they will bring down the Cyberwalls and let everyone see.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Podcast DNA?

On episode 6 of Inside the Net, they interview Tim Westergren of Pandora Media. He did a 'little' thing called the Music Genome Project. Great idea.

Leo says someone should do that for Podcasting and I have to agree.

A set of tags or attributes that would let people sort and search on podcasts would be helpful for the whole 'community' of podcasting.

Of course, I am not sure what those tags would be or who would be best to determine them, but it is a great idea.


Even Cray has fallen for Linux

The power of Linux, in my opinion, is to convince people it is the best thing, even if it is free. Cray (company that makes supercomputers) has set some record with their new computer ('Red Storm') that runs Linux. See story here.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is great and many people have put a vast amount of hours making Linux what it is.

But even an OS that is free and developed for free, many focus on new features over fixing bugs.

I thought that mentality was limited to corporations that add features to try to convince consumers to purchase the latest version for new features. And the companies, for the most part, have trained the consumer to accept buggy software as the standard. Consumers have been brainwashed that new, but maybe marginal, features are worth it.

I want an OS so stable, so reliable, that I do not need to install it on a computer, but that it is stored on chips on the motherboard and new versions are new chips. Maybe it is stored on something as simple as a USB Thumb/Key drive that can not be written over. Or, it could be like BIOS chips, and is plugged into a socket on the motherboard.

Whatever specific hardware that it is stored on, that it cant be written over. This would really eliminate alot of problems with malware, as no changes could be made to the OS.

Now obviously there would need to be mechanism in place to store variables, parameters, and user defined settings. Sure there would be some settings that combined together may result in a hard to use system (ie, all colors set to black), but then you could just boot with the defaults and then correct your settings, and you are back.

Just an idea.