Blu-Ray or HD-DVD are you confused?

BladI was at a local big box yesterday and as I was walking around I overheard a very heated Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD discussion going on between two employees, directly in front of some very confused looking customers.  Finally one of the customers said this is all to confusing let’s go!

The customers left and these two store employees who turned out to be representatives from Sony and Toshiba continued this almost heated discussion. I did not have much more time so I had to get moving. I am sure many of us have been sitting on the sidelines watching history repeat itself. This is the Beta – VHS Battle all over again. What’s funny is everyone with a geek brain knew Beta had better video quality but VHS obviously won the day.

Folks this is all going to boil down to marketing and who has the cheapest equipment and can get more products on store shelves. But are you as a consumer still confused and are you going to sit the battle out and see who wins?

Did we not break the Bell’s and AT&T up?

Ohh how fast people forget about the problems that where the root cause of the Bell Break ups in the early 80’s. Now we have AT&T that is working like mad dogs to make the BellSouth merger happen. Someone needs to go and give the FCC commissioners a history lesson. Sure it’s a different world than it was 20 years ago but it makes me shiver to think about how it used to be.

Not surprising how easy people forget about the reasons the bells were broken up before. Heck when I spent several years selling long distance (MCI) back in the early 80’s most people thought the words “Long Distance” and “AT&T” were the same I bet many of you have forgotten about the dial 1 selections you had to make then.

But it is funny how the AntiTrust suit of 1982 that broke away AT&T and the broke up the Bells has resulted in a Stronger AT&T that is now verged on buying one of them. Simply and utterly amazing! [News.com]

Protect DVD-Video = EVIL

Evil

If you happen to use Windows Media Player, own a Windows Media Center edition PC, and or you run any software players based on DirectShow. Be prepared to be dumbfounded.

A company by the name of ProtectDisc has created a form of copy protection that prevent these disc from playing on Windows! 

Yes you heard me correctly a standard DVD with the Protect-DVD-Video anti copying technology will not run on a standard Windows or Windows Media Center PC. This company has taken things way to far. I am as dumbfounded as the reviewer at [ZDNet]

I cannot wait to find out what companies start using this technology!

Google Apps for Your Domain!

GoogleappsAs many of you know that listen to my show you have been hearing me complain about the amount of Spam I have been getting. I have been looking all over the net for a solution and those that I found where either too expensive or they were made for people with small volumes of mail.

As I was talking to Angelo he and I decided to try a Google Service that has been around for a while in beta testing. We both have used Gmail quite a bit and I know it is as good or better than the Spam checker we have been running on our own servers. Up to this point we have been using Qmail with Spamd and several others utilities to filter the mail and scan for viruses.

I decided to take the plunge and applied for a couple of domains tonight and within about 20 minutes I had the mail moved over to Google and was down-loading it into outlook like I always do. I logged into the very familiar Gmail interface and instead of a Gmail.com domain I was not on my very own geeknewscentral.com domain.

So I have been watching the filtering here for a couple of hours, and can tell you so far I am very happy, the true test will come in the morning when I down-load my mail as normal, and then cross check on the Google site to see how much Spam it has caught that I have not had to deal with it. If it works out we are going to see if we can move over a few more domains.

What amazed me was how easy it was to setup, Google has done a really good job here, I am sure that some people would be very worried about having Google host their e-mail and I am not a 100% sure how I feel about it yet. One thing for sure,  I feel pretty good that none of it will go missing. [Google.com]

Google getting called out on som of their Adsense Ads!

Googead

Seems everyday that their is a new article on on Google Adsense Policy, a new article out today calls into question some of the advertisers that are clearly abusing the system. Personally I have been battling companies targeting this site as well.

With the thousands of companies advertising on Google I cannot even imagine the administrative nightmare it is to keep up with all the scammers out there. But the linked article tells a telling tale of some of the issues that Google is facing. [www.benedelman.org]

Google pays 1.65 Billion for YouTube!

Google

My good friends 1.65 Billion is an amazing amount of money? Talk about the venture firms and creators of the site cashing in this is defnitley the deal of the year. We all know Video has been hot but wow. It will be interesting to see how they get their money back on this one. [CNN]

HostForWeb.com has customers ISP modem turned off!

HostforwebI received a IM from a member of our team at RawVoice. He was pretty upset. It seems a month or so ago he was having trouble with his hosting company HostForWeb.com so he asked me about virtual dedicated hosting servers over at GoDaddy. He was at a breaking point with HostForWeb.comfor what he thought was excessive unreliability so he decided he would buy a Virtual Dedicated over at GoDaddy and started moving his domains to that new server.

In the process of setting up the new VDS over at GoDaddy he port scanned the VDS to see what ports were open. Apparently during that process he may have accidentally scanned the server he was on at HostForWeb.com as well, although that was not realized until this afternoon.

Well it has been 30 plus days since he was doing the transfers of those domains to his new box at Godaddy. So you caught my point on it being over 30 days right? Well today 30+ days after all of this Time Warner shuts down his modem because the folks at HostForWeb.com reported that his IP was scanning ports.

Turns out Level 3 service at Time Warner was able to determine that the machine HostForWeb.com reported as being scanned was the same machine that my buddy hosted on. Luckily one domain was still active on HostForWeb.com host and the Level 3 Tech at Time Warner was able to figure out that this was not a deliberate hacking attempt. Not that port scanning is a hacking attempt in itself.

So it turns out that HostForWeb.com not only had some server issues which caused the customer to leave the service, they also had his ISP shut his modem off. Talk about showing a leaving customer some love. So my advice is to stay away from this hosting company with a 10 foot pole, and real hackers have nothing to worry about as it will take more than 30 days for their activities to be detected.

The hosting company should have known what was up, customers login and their IP’s are logged everytime there should have been some due dillegence done by the hosting company instead of taking 10 minutes to do some cross checking they now get some love back at them.

Spam is out of Control!

We have been using all of the regular stuff you use on ones own dedicated server but I will be honest the Junk mail is killing me. I have started to hunt for a solution out there that will help with the situations. What I would like to use is a service like JunkMailFilter.com but there site design is such I cannot even figure out how to sign up with them. Pretty sad when the site is not intuitive enough to figure out how to setup an account.

I also don’t care for how their pricing is tiered I will need more than a thousand inbounds a month but I need a lot less than there next level of service. If you have a good solution that you are using I really would like to here from you as I am about to get a solution that will help me deal with all the junk coming in.

Click Fraud

Well the subject of Click Fraud is on the increase and very interesting article in Business Week leads me to believe that a lot of people are making a lot of cash illegally through click fraud. I have been running some adwords campaigns with Google and they resulted in positive results on the targeted sites we ran them on. But my small budget is nothing compared to what some of these companies are spending. Very interesting read. [Business Week]

Sprint gets beat up by Blogger!

Ever since I got my Sprint EV-DO card back in January I have been a pretty happy camper. Then sometime after the first of the year Sprint sent me a cell phone to test as part of their Ambassador program it was their top of the line Samsung model with all of the bells and whistles. I loved some features of the phone. The one I liked the most was the camcorder, along with some of the media stuff. I started watching Fox News in the car while waiting for my wife to run errands time to time. But there were a few things I did not care about and blogged both pro and con here, and also sent in some pretty heavy feedback on the cost of some of the additional services.

My 16 year old daughter acquired the phone once for about a week. She loves it but she also liked the idea that she could check all those channels out for free. The price of some of the services did cause her concern as well.

This week Sprint sent out a new series of phones to some bloggers, and one of them just beat them up pretty bad. The experience I have had with my Samsung has been overall pretty good. But I am a media junky and find myself pulling it out in places that I would not have my laptop out just to get a news fix.

Overall though Sprint has won me back as a customer. My current plan with T-Mobile will expire at the end of the year and I will be moving all of my mobile services to Sprint. T-Mobile has some old data network that probably will never support high speed connectivity it’s to bad really as T-Mobile does have a great family plan. But hey I am a customer they will probably be glad to see leave as I burn all of my 2000 minutes a month now as it is. [JoelOnSoftware.com]