Archives for November 2006

iPod Perception vs. Zune Reality

It seems that Microsoft still can’t catch a break from a majority of the media and the blogosphere. It’s much more socially acceptable to love Apple and hate the machine that is Microsoft. Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times warned everyone on the 23rd that they should avoid the loony Zune. He goes on to wonder why the Zune software is the only software to sync with the Zune. Am I mistaken or doesn’t the iPod have a similar problem?

You want to go further into Andy’s diatribe? How about his wonderful finish where he claims that Toshiba and Sandisk are the more successful competitors to the iPod. I can’t speak for Sandisk, but didn’t Toshiba make the Zune?

David Galbraith jumps on the bandwagon with Andy except he seems to state no other reason for it except that the Zune isn’t the socially “cool” toy on the playground. Add to that Warner Crocker’s opinion that the feature “squirting” is poorly named. I have to add that I agree there, but when he goes on to claim the Zune is beta hardware, he goes a little far. It’s a first generation Zune with first generation issues. The iPod had similar issues in it’s first generation. Unfortunately for the Zune, it’s being compared to a 5th generation iPod.

What’s odder still is that Gizmodo, an arguably respected gadget blog, tested the Zune and thought it was “pretty promising.” TDavid, a person whom I trust when it comes to honest reviews, twice has defended the Zune. Once at release and again today. When two very respectable reviews like Gizmodo’s and TDavid’s basically say that the Zune is fine and that the problems that people like Andy had aren’t universal, I have to stop and wonder if the Zune is suffering from anything more than the reputation of it’s manufacturer. Or rather if it is suffering from the reputation of it’s competitor. The thing is that Apple marketed the iPod about as perfectly as possible. And Apple and the iPod are seen as the “cool” toys. The social elite gadgets. And when a item enjoys a perception like that, sometimes reality gets a little skewed.

Bottom line, I think the current generation of iPods is superior to the Zune. But is it so much superior that the Zune will fade into oblivion as Andy suggests? No. If Microsoft does anything well, it is competing. They’ve gone up against Jobs and the Apple mystique before. And won. Apple is a leader in a couple fields now, and should look out when Microsoft starts gunning for them.

Added: Vote for this story on Digg!

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Adsense Notifier

If you’re on the verge of Obsessive compulsive with your adsense stats and really want a way to see your stats at a glance you’ll want to take a look at Adsense Notifier.

It works great.  You install it, enter your settings and your stats sit down in the bottom bar of your browser(firefox at least).  At a glance, you can see all your stats or customize it to only show the ones you care about.  I modified it to only show my impressions,clicks,ctr%, and income.  Those are the stats I look at the most and if I want to see the rest, I can log in to adsense.

Another neat-o feature of Adsense notifier is the ability to right-click the stats in your browser and open up a new tab.  Because the extension already has your login information, it opens up adsense and automatically logs you in.

My thanks to Darren at for the pointer.

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Futility Closet

In my random travels on the internet, I occasionally happen to find a site or two that are just too good to ignore. Futility Closet is one such site.

No matter how much you love your job, you can’t work for 10 hours straight.

That’s why there’s Futility Closet: a thousand bite-size anecdotes, epigrams, illusions, and curiosities; puzzles, prodigies, sublimities and horrors.

Read a few and get back to work. We’ll keep finding more.

There are archives going back to January of 2005 so there’s plenty to catch up on if you like the content. Also check out the Random Post link on the right hand column.

Well worth the read.

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Charles Rangel is an idiot

We elected these people?  Why on earth did we put the Democrats in charge?

New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars. He believes a draft would bolster U.S. troop levels that are currently insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

Seriously.  Are there any people who support this?  Does he honestly think he’ll get any votes for a draft?  He’s deranged.

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