Year: 2003

Christmas Eve Eve (or the night before the night before Christmas)

It’s the night before the night before Christmas, also known as the Garside (Toronto branch) Christmas eve. Charlene and I traditionally have our Christmas the night before we leave for the Tri-City-Tour (Toronto-Chatham-London), which will be tomorrow morning. Tonight we’ll get into our PJ’s, cozy up by the space heater, turn on the Christmas Tree lights, and exchange presents.I’m especially looking forward to giving her one gift that I picked up in Las Vegas, it’s wicked cool (and I got one for myself too).

Christmas Eve Eve is also the day this year where we all leave early…so it’s 4:30pm, and as they say “I’m outie”.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

A big “up yours” to the record industry!

I believe the 9th chapter in “How to become a totally obsolete industry” says “Sue your customers into compliance, use fear as a tactic, if they become sufficiently afraid of you, then they will comply with your wishes.” I’m glad places like whatacrappypresent.com, downhillbattle.org and RIAAradar.com are around. Downhillbattle.org has stickers like “Warning; Buying this CD funds lawsuits against children and families!”.It’s funny, I was so proud about how SOCANN was handling itself in terms of file sharing, until this week when they said that they would beging going after people downloading. Good for you! You show those evil pre-teens! Sue them out of their uppity college funds! That’ll teach them.

Maybe SOCANN can become as viable as SCO? Sue people so that instead of needing to sell your product, you can actually make more money from lawsuits!

Now THAT’s a good business model!

Where’s the government? Why aren’t they protecting their constituants’ rights? The recording industry has been found guilty of plotting to raise CD prices, and was ordered to lower prices on October 15th, 2003, a straw poll conducted by myself while in Vegas, shows that CD prices haven’t friggin’ moved (oh, we’re lowering the price on our catalogue…my butt!).

Of course my favourite move the recording industry has done is make it impossible to copy CD’s onto other devices. I can’t copy A Perfect Cirlce’s new CD onto my X-Box, which means I can’t use A Perfect Circle as a soundtrack in games I’m playing…which means I don’t listen to A Perfect Circle while playing X-Box, which means I don’t really listen to A Perfect Circle right now, which means there’s no way I’ll be buying their next CD…why should I when I can’t listen to this one on my MP3 player at the gym, or my X-Box? For that matter, I refuse to buy an CD that’s copy protected.

Way to go record industry.

Viva Las Vegas

Ryan and I returned from Las Vegas yesterday morning around 8:00am. To quote Dickens (not Hemmingway as previously reported, or Captain Kirk in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan…which is more appropriate after all), “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

The conference was a horrible, horrible bust. There were allegedly going to be 2000 people there, but there was no way there were any more than 100, and of those, I would say that 95 of them were there for figure skating…Figure Skating on Quads…ugh.

On the good side, neither Ryan or I spent more than we took with us (about $300.00 combined), and we managed to make back our daily expenses at the craps tables. I actually had to take some money out on Sunday to cover our gas. At the airport however I put $5.00 into a slot machine and walked away with $27.00. Not a lot of money no, but it helped cover my $58.00 cab ride home.

We also got a lot of work done on the tool, which was a good thing, it’s unfortunate that we had to go across the country to actually build it all, but by not having a lot to do all day, we were forced to actually work on the tool or die of boredom.

We ate really well this time, taking advantage of CheapoVegas.com‘s ratings for various buffet’s, and their cheap gambling ratings ($2.00 minimum Craps with 10x odds was the best bet in Vegas by far!).

Overall the trip was a bust business wise, but it could have been much worse, and we’re going to try to get a listing of contacts from the guys at USARollerSports so that we can send out packages to all of them. If we get that, then we will have at least salvaged something from the trip.

Web economy Bullshitter

Sometimes I get cold calls from tech companies desperate to find new business. Occasionally they will speak entirely in NewSpeak (my term for “new economy buzzwords”), it’s hilarious to listen to them, turn on my bullshit translator, and figure out what they’re saying. I usually say something along the lines of “Wow, that’s a lot of buzzwords. What does it do in English?”.

No more. Now I’m going to just throw some web economy bullshit back at them.

Web economy Bullshitter

Now you say that your product will iterate transparent partnerships, but I’m really looking for something that can deploy cross-platform convergence and help me to implement enterprise deliverables. If it can’t do that, I’m not interested.

Wonder if there’s a product out there that can drive B2B interfaces, strategize one-to-one infrastructures and generate cutting-edge experiences all the while helping me to brand sticky channels?

Damn, that’s fun.

Playstation 3

I’ve documented my current PS2 auction, but this is kind of cool.

PS2 on the block

I’ve put my Playstation 2 and all 12 games on the auction block at E-Bay. It’s time to move on, I’ve grown up, I need to get back to doing real work, and getting rid of the distraction which is my PS2 will help me do that.SHEAH! AS IF!!! I’m selling my PS2 so I can buy an XBOX, because…well quite frankly Xbox KICKS so much ASS! Seriously, we’re talking about a major heinie shining!

If the auction goes over $300.00, I may even buy a nice, shiny, second controller, or maybe the supercool DVD remote.

Will the bubble burst for pop-up ads?

Thankfully Microsoft is going to put pop-up blocking technology into Internet Explorer’s impending update which is due sometime next summer. Mozilla and Opera already offer such protection, and apparently 20-25% of web surfers have installed some form of pop-up protection.

Will the bubble burst for pop-up ads?

Stats say that Pop-Ups are 13 times more effective than traditional skyscraper banner advertising. There were some interesting quotes in the C-Net article about this though such as;

Major brand advertisers will be less affected because they have already been moving away from the format, Saridakis said. He said ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies view it as the “anti-Christ” because of consumers’ hatred of them. Response rates, although about three times better than those for banners, are often not worth the risk for big brands or publishers.

However, others seem unrepentant such as Gar Richlin, chief operating officer of Advertising.com.

“That format is going to be lost, and right now we don’t see what’s going to replace it,” Richlin said. “It’s an attention grabber and that’s what advertising is all about.

There’s no question there’s an absolute tension between the format and the population,” he said. “There’s nobody out there who’s going to get in front of this train.”

As someone who’s fought pop-ups on TSN.ca since I returned, I couldn’t be happier!

The Two Towers SE DVD

Wow. I picked up the new Two Towers DVD last week, and have now watched almost all of the features on it. What a spectacular package. Everything you could have ever wanted to know about the making of the movies is contained on the two extra discs, and what you still don’t know is probably on one of the four commentary tracks! When put side by side with the Fellowship SE, it’s around 28 hours of commentary and documentation on the making of the greatest fantasy epic ever. I’m practically salivating for The Return of the King.

The other big news from the weekend was the continued build of HockeyUpdater, our new HeadsDown tool which is a sister site to Writer’s Quill. Our big convention is December 10th, so I’m frantically trying to finish up work for the site, publishing tool, and our various posters and paraphanelia.

There’s a ton of work to be done still, and I’m about half way there. Not bad for a weekend. I still need to get everything printed off, and have stuff ready for distribution. I’ll also need to figure out a way to present everything, but that will come in time.