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August 2006

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Cool Laptops

August 30, 2006

As a follow-up to Rich Tehrani's celebrity-enhanced blog about hot laptops, I thought I'd post a celebrity-enhanced blog about cool laptops.

Did you know that actor Dean Haglund of "X-Files" fame (he played Richard Langly, one of the trio of "Lone Gunmen") invented a gadget called the ChillPak, an item designed to rest under a laptop to keep both the computer and the user cool? (Chilling the processor allows it to work faster than cooling from its less-efficient fan.)

And though it's not mentioned on the Web site, some medical studies have indicated that the heat from a laptop does no favors to a man's...err...reproduction equipment.

Haglund has a company called "Geek Chic" to market the invention.

Cool, huh?


Tomorrow's Webinar

August 29, 2006

Tomorrow, I will be moderating a Webinar called, "Answering Senior Management’s What-If Questions Before They Ask." The Webinar, which starts at 1:00 pm EST, will feature as a speaker Bay Bridge Decision Technologies' president Ric Kosiba. The Webinar aims to teach you how to be your own consultant when it comes to making decisions about your call center (therefore saving money and becoming a true hero to your organization).

To attend this Webinar, you can register here: http://www.tmcnet.com/webinar/baybridge

"See" you tomorrow!


A Patent For E-Learning?

August 28, 2006

A recently announced patent for what could be construed as the basic concept behind e-learning has been awarded to a company in Washington, DC. The technical community fears that if Blackboard, Inc. enforces its patent broadly, it could affect the entire e-learning software marketplace, causing innovation to suffer.

Read the full article here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/08/27/e.learning.dispute.ap/index.html


Goodbye, Pluto

August 24, 2006

One wonders if the demotion of Pluto as a true planet, putting us back to eight planets in the solar system for the first time since 1930, will screw up the mnemonics generations of schoolchildren have learned over the years to help them recall the order of the planets. Some of the most popular (according to Wikipedia):

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas could become, "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles."


iTunes Holdouts

August 21, 2006

If you're fans of the artists involved and you have an iPod, you already know who they are: the Beatles, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin and many others.

They are holdouts who refuse to allow their music onto Apple's wildly popular iTunes Web site for fan downloads at .99 cents per song. While I agree with many who say they cannot hold out forever if they don't want to be left behind by the reality that is digital music delivery today, I can sympathize with their reasons.

Pop music has always been taken one sip at a time (that's all most people over 18 can frankly tolerate, I think).

$2 Million Grammar Error

August 7, 2006

For those people who scoff at correct grammar, puncuation and language usage in business, here's an interesting piece from today's Toronto Globe & Mail. IT seems Rogers Communications Inc. will be forced to pay $2.13 million Canadian dollars more than planned for a deal with Aliant Inc. because of a misplaced comma in the contract between the two companies.

The error occurred in this sentence: "The agreement shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.”

It's the second comma that's the problem. The comma separates "and thereafter for successive five year terms" from the last part of the sentence, "unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing." If you take out this dependent clause, the agreement reads, "The agreement shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date it is made unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing." Aliant terminated it with one year's prior notice in writing.

Star Trek XI

August 4, 2006

I don't know whether I'm excited or horrified. I guess I'm a little late in the game to be finding out about this now, given the number of posts on the IMDB.com board under this project.

Here's a link to the Wikipedia information (or lack of it) about this project, which APPEARS to be destined to be a prequel of the earlier days of the original Star Trek cast. It also appears that Matt Damon has been cast as James T. Kirk. I'd love to hear readers' opinions on the matter in the comments section.

Here's a link to the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_XI


Onyx Says "I Do"

August 2, 2006

Only days after finally fending off unwanted advances from would-be acquierer CDC, Onyx Software has offered its and to its preferred suitor, M2M Holdings Inc., the holding company that is jointly owned by Battery Ventures VI, L.P. and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners and whose primary asset is Made2Manage Systems Inc. (and you thought your company name was a mouthful).

For more info, see David Sims' article of this morning: http://news.tmcnet.com/news/-onyx-m2m-crm-/2006/08/02/1764983.htm

It's interesting to note that Thoma Cressey Equity Partners' name appears to be popping up all over the enterprise business communication solutions marketplace as of late and appears to have secured a great deal of pocket change in the form of VC money.

Heat Insanity

August 1, 2006

Friday marks the 114th anniversary of the mysterious and unsolved axe murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, the father and step-mother of the infamous Fall River, Massachusetts spinster, Lizzie Borden, who has always been suspected of doing the deed, but was acquitted at the time (and in mock trails since) for a complete lack of evidence. (Conspiracy theories abound on this topic.)

Sources say New England was experiencing a deadly heatwave during the days surrounding the 4th of August, 1892.

With the temperature topping 100 here in Connecticut today, and the heat index up near 110, all I can say is that were I forced to wear a corset, a corset cover, a camisole, a shirt, a bodice, leg-o-mutton sleeves, a long skirt, stockings and lace-up boots on a day like today and in a house with no fans or air-conditioning, I'd probably contemplate a murder or two, as well.

Internet Paid Content

August 1, 2006

I wrote an article yesterday that contains some personal musings on the nature of paid versus free content on the Internet, and the trial-and-error process used to determine what surfers will pay for and what they won't.


I'd love to hear readers opinions on the subject, and some examples of what they are willing to pay for (in both monetary terms and giving up personal information) and what they won't.


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