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Goodbye, TwitPic

May 24, 2011

Joshua Brustein:

World Entertainment News Network, a news and photo agency, announced this month that it had become the “exclusive photo agency partner” of Twitpic, a service with over 20 million registered users that allows people to upload images and link to them on Twitter. The deal allows the agency to sell images posted on Twitpic for publication, and to pursue legal action against those who use such images commercially without its permission, according to the agency.

Just ridiculous stuff going on at Twitpic, I urge you not to use them or any other service that doesn’t allow you to keep the rights to your photos.

via The Brooks Review – The New Trolls

Well, it was a good run with TwitPic, but I am done with them. I just deleted any and all photos that have my wife and kids in them (about 60 of them). I may go ahead and delete the rest of them, but then I think of what Shawn Blanc said on twitter:

If Twitpic can manage to sell my blurry snapshot of a half-eaten sandwich then I salute them.

So, maybe I will leave them up there.

Devil’s advocate on Twitter’s OAuth change – Marco.org

May 19, 2011
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2. Twitter is not ours.

Twitter can do whatever they want.

It’s the simple, brutal truth. Twitter must do what’s best for Twitter. They owe us nothing.

It’s not a public good. It’s not a right. It’s a private, entirely centralized service with no meaningful competition and a massive network-effect barrier to competitive entry. Twitter has all of the power in its relationship with users and developers.

via Devil’s advocate on Twitter’s OAuth change – Marco.org.

Marco nailed it.

This is a great article describing the upcoming changes to twitter. Three months ago, this would not have mattered to me, but since then I have been using twitter DMs as an IM replacement for some friends. binary options

Just remember, not just about twitter, but any web service that you are paying NOTHING for…it is their playground, they get to make the rules and we have to abide or move on!

Recycling

May 18, 2011
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You trust us when it’s time to buy the latest electronics. You can also trust us to help you safely dispose of your old ones.

via Best Buy – Recycling.

This is a great tip for those that have Best Buys in their area. Another great place to recycle is a Community E-Cycle Day. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there is one in your area.

The Purpose Varies — by Chris Bowler

May 18, 2011
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At some point, you’re going to find out that someone you admired or respected doesn’t find your stream of tweets attractive enough to keep listening in. This has happened to me, and I’ve done it to others. I do my very best to not be offended, and when I unfollow someone, it’s my hope that they do the same.

via The Purpose Varies — by Chris Bowler.

I totally agree with Chris on this one. I follow someone because I like and am interested in what they have to say. If I want to interact with them, I will @ them and it is up to them if they respond to me.

The State of Streaming Music

May 18, 2011
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I love music…a lot. I could not imagine my life without music in it. I would rather listen to music and read a book than watch TV. There are a number of online streaming music services that are starting to pop up around us and I wanted to talk about the two big ones (that are available in the USA).

Pandora

Pandora has been around since 2000. I have been using them for at least 5 years now, with the last two years as a PandoraOne subscriber. I really have enjoyed using their service and it has exposed me to a number of new bands that are part of my collection today.

Pandora works as users create different stations of favorite bands. They have engineers that listen to hundreds of thousands of songs and “collect literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more!” They use the details of each track to better customize the listening experience for the users by pairing them up with the ‘seeds’ of the station. The ‘seeds’ are the artists or songs that you tell Pandora that you like and they try to play music in that station that has been cataloged as similar. You can also dislike songs to try to keep them out of your station. You can add as many artists and songs as you like so that you can customize your listening experience to those seeds.

There are some problems with this system that bother me. The first is that you cannot create a station based solely on the artist seeds. One of my favorite bands is Phish. There are somedays that I just want to listen to Phish for a couple of hours straight. They have enough material that my request could be easily granted. Pandora will not allow me to create a station of just Phish music.

The other thing that I do not like is that if you ‘Thumb Up’ just one song from any given group, their entire catalog of music is now open to your music stream. I, in general, do not like the Grateful Dead. I do, however, like about three songs that they do. Once I ‘Thumbed Up’ those three songs, I got a slew of Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia Band songs into my stream. I did not like that at all. So I had to go remove those three songs from my list to get rid of the all of the other music.

Pandora allows users to listen and create stations for free. They also have a subscription for $36USD/year that removes ads, allows you access to the Adobe AIR player app, and you can select the audio quality of your stream.

rdio

rdio is the new kid on the block. It is like a whole music store available to you. You have to have a subscription to use rdio. They have two levels of subscriptions available. The Web Only subscription is $4.99USD/month. The Unlimited subscription is $9.99USD/month and you get the web access, mobile device access as well the ability to sync music to your mobile device for offline access.

You add albums or songs into your Collections, which is you little area of the site to keep the music that you want to listen to. From there, you can listen to the album as the artist wanted you to do, or you can create a mix of any combination that you have in your collection. You can mix up your entire collection, or all of the songs/albums that you have in your collection for just one artist. I looked yesterday that I could have 727 minutes of Phish only music. That is a win in my book!

Another very cool feature is that new releases are automatically availble on release day. I added the new Bela Fleck and the Flecktones album to my collection the other day. I looked this morning after dropping my daughter off at preschool and I saw that the album was available and I listened to it on the way to work this morning. It reminds me of getting new releases on my Kindle. It is automatically delivered to my Kindle on release day.

My friend Drew summed it up pretty well:

“rdio is putting a cd in and pandora is turning the radio dial”

Ask anyone…I have never been a radio guy!

Netflix Now The Largest Single Source of Internet Traffic In North America

May 17, 2011
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Netflix video streaming is now the single largest source of peak downstream Interent traffic i the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine. The streaming video service now accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic, up from 21 percent last fall.

via Netflix Now The Largest Single Source of Internet Traffic In North America.

I am a user of the Netflix streaming service. I LOVE it! I especially love being able to watch older or BBC television shows so easily.

This is not that surprising that the streaming service is accounting for so much downstream traffic. I would have thought that Xbox Live or Playstation Network streams would be larger, but maybe they fall into a different catagory.

Welcome to the 1-Man IT Department

April 15, 2011
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Greetings and Salivations!

Welcome to the 1-Man IT Department. I have been a technology/gadget guy for most of my almost 40 years of life. I have parlayed that into a career in Information Technology in 1998. I love computers. I have used every major operating system at length, including Mac OS X, Windows XP and 7, and even many varieties of Linux. Mainly I work on a 15″ Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard at home and a Dell Latitude with Windows 7 at the office.

Currently, I am the Information Technology Manager at a small municipality in central Alabama (USA), and in fact, a 1-Man IT Department. I don’t plan on talking much about work in this space, but rather talk about technology and how it affects the every day Joe. I have used computers since I was 9 years old, and I have learned so much just by using them. I want to help others understand what is out there, and to not be afraid of technology!

I hope that I can accomplish that goal.

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