Friday, August 31, 2007

Apple to NBC: good luck morons

It's official: Apple has decided to not renew their contract with NBC to sell their TV shows through the iTunes music store.

Their reasoning? (Via their official press release.)

Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99.

Sounds like NBC got cocky (which, I realize, is an ironic statement when Apple is on the other side of the equation). Are they going to use a different distribution model?

Someone thinks so. A comment from Digg: "So they're going back to torrents..."

In equally disturbing news, I won't be able to get my fourth season of The Office as soon as each episode airs. Well, there's $30 less bucks in lost revenue for NBC.

GooPhone response

People, people, people! Google isn't a software company. It isn't a hardware company. It isn't even a search company.

Google is an advertising company.

Google provides all those services to us for free so more people will use them so people will pay more money to try to advertise to those people. That is their motivation to keep providing quality services for free. It's as simple as that.

The GooPhone is about creating a new, highly targeted (and therefore highly profitable) method of advertising.

If you're on your GooPhone looking for a Mexican restaurant in Denver, what restaurant owner wouldn't pay a premium to stick an ad in front of someone who 1. is actively looking for a place to eat 2. near their establishment (thank you GPS) 3. around dinner time?

Google isn't getting into the cell phone business. They probably aren't looking to make much off the handset or service fees for the same reason. And it's the same reason they didn't charge for a gig of e-mail storage when they shocked everyone with Gmail.

The market is obviously heading in a mobile direction. Google knows this. The GooPhone opens an entirely new revenue stream because the more people they get using GooPhones the more advertising they will sell.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Office Season 4 intro: here's what happened over the summer

Hour-long episodes for the first four weeks! Boo-ya baby!

After seeing the clip, does anyone have predictions about what the first few episodes will be about?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What blog?

Dag, yo. I've been seriously neglectful about the ol' The Other Drummer as of late. Been putting all my time into figuring out LivSimpl, the latest and greatest thing on the Interwebs. Seriously. It's gonna be huge. Check it out.

Meanwhile, my First Born On The Web has been collecting dust. I feel terrible. To make up for my negligence I'm gonna take it out for ice cream. You can even get two scoops my long-lost friend. Two scoops.

Friday, August 24, 2007

iPhone unlocked!

See story here.

Apparently it's fully unlocked and available to use on any carrier with just a particular software install. Text and data can work on any network as well. Of course, since visual voicemail is a carrier network feature, you're still going to have to dial into your voicemail just like you always have.

This, coupled with the $100-off refurbed iPhones on Apple's site mean you can get a $400 iPhone with no contract and use it on any GSM carrier (read: T-Mobile).


Monday, August 20, 2007

VIDEO: Sniper shoots gun out of suicidal man's hand

So. Freakin'. Awesome.

(Stop the video before the end of the clip to avoid seeing potentially trashy video links)

Sniper ONE Shot - video powered by Metacafe

Friday, August 17, 2007

Man pays his $12,656.07 tax bill in change and $1 bills

See here. To protest the rise in Indiana's property taxes, this guy waltzes into the county treasurer's office just before close to pay his taxes with loose change and singles.

Apparently he took quite a bit of pleasure watching the three clerks work late counting his money (not that it's their fault taxes went up) because it caused them to be late and miss their evening deposit, costing $1,135.90 in interest that would have otherwise accrued overnight.

Way to stick it to the man, man.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My idea for a musical

When inspiration hits, it hits hard.

I want to write a musical about Nigerian e-mail scammers.

OPTION 1: A young scammer who never had a chance sets off to the big city with the dream of making it in the daunting world of spamming. John Williams will write a stirring soundtrack and the whole thing will be choreographed by the guy who did CATS.

OPTION 2: An equal rights spin - a young girl knows she can scam the stupid Westerners just as well as the men, so she dresses up like a guy to work hard and prove her point. This would have a gritty, urban feel. We could even tie in an AIDS subplot somewhere in there.

OPTION 3: A rural Nigerian village with only one computer. The villagers have to ride a bicycle to generate electricity and it's about how they band together to make it work. (Think Remember the Titans meets The Gods Must Be Crazy - but on stage.) Possible plot twist: they only have dial-up.

OPTION 4: A young man is told by his Evil Uncle that his father died at the hands of the white man...but it was a lie. Driven by fire in his belly and vengeance in his heart, he works night and day (for free) in his uncle's spam shop. Of course, the kid finds out about the lie and gets ticked off because he's never been able to save enough for a dowry to marry the beautiful, rich businessman's daughter. (They have a lovely duet in act two. You'll cry. Seriously.) Revenge will be his.

During a dramatic fight scene in the third act the uncle dies from some related-but-unintentional act, like tripping over a ledge where he hangs on, dangling precariously above a pit of lions. The nephew reaches down but the uncle can't hold on because their hands are sweaty (because it's Nigeria and it's hot there) and Evil Uncle falls into the pit of lions. (I picture using live lions on stage. I think it would really add to the emotional impact of the scene.)

The happy ending - the nephew inherits the family business, earning the respect of the businessman who permits the marriage to take place. The closing scene shows them walking along with a stroller, so it's left open for a sequel.

I think I have four really solid ideas here. I'm picturing Don Cheadle as the lead. I don't know if he can sing or not, but I'm sure we can fake it if he can't.

The reason I mention all this, is I'd like you to tell me what you think such a musical should be named. My wife lamented that Spamalot has already been taken, as it would have been a perfect name.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

I'm also looking for funding. Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in getting in on the ground floor of something big. Really big.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Posted from an iPhone

OK. Long story short, I got my hands on an iPhone for a couple of days. (There's a story that involves a lot of screaming, some broken windows, a now homeless parakeet, and a very angry midget, but I will have to save it for another time.)

So far the thing really is amazing. The EDGE Internet really sucks but the rest of it works like a charm. It seems they've even got it so the keyboard will come up horizontally while browsing which is really nice.

Verdict? If you are rolling in money pick one up. Otherwise wait until the 3G version comes out because browsing with EDGE will make you want to do something violent.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Announcing a new blog

It seems life continues to become increasingly complicated. Our attention is being vied for from more and more sources and it can become overwhelming.

About a month ago I started a new blog called LivSimpl. The goal is to provide daily tips on how to simplify life, eliminate distractions and enjoy the simple things that we might overlook in the rush of the daily grind.

I've already built up about 25 tips, so please take a second or two to check it out and subscribe via RSS. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe to a daily e-mail tip.

Eventually I'd like to get to the point where I have enough readership to have contests, giveaways, etc. So if you know anyone who might be interested, please let them know about!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mashup idea

So, I'm sitting here thinking that if I were smarter I'd figure out how to do a Google Earth mashup with cell phone carrier coverage areas. T-Mobile already does street-level coverage maps. Why not lay that over a detailed map of the area?

Anyone know how to go about starting such a project?

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Not nearly as cool as the cat carrier I have up on my office window.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The iPhone is, like, SO yesterday

The iPhone has left a gaping hole in the tech world. I mean, what are we supposed to talk about now?

The gPhone, of course.

Rumors, reports and other commentary about the mystery device have been swirling lately, including articles from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

Apparently Google has pumped "hundreds of millions of dollars" into developing its own mobile phone with (possibly) LG which will head to T-Mobile in the first quarter of 2008.

The possibility of a Google Phone, complete with all their apps (Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Picasa, Blogger, Maps, etc.) and presumably unlimited data and wifi like the iPhone is, if I may sound like a total geek for a moment, mouthwatering. Especially since it's assumed the service will be partially, if not completely, subsidized by advertising. Read: cheap or free cell phone service.

The real kicker though is that reports say Verizon turned them down.

I don't know who's been making the decisions over there lately, but where the heck have they been smoking? First you turn down the iPhone. Then you tell Google, which is almost certainly going to be as dominant in mobile advertising as it is in web advertising, to take a hike?? I don't get it.

Anyone out there know what Verizon is thinking? Leave word in the comments.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

96% covered in hair, Chinese man wants to carry the Olympic torch

Yu Zhenhuan is one of the world's hairiest men and, according to him, that makes him a celebrity worthy of carrying the Olympic torch.

Yu calls himself "King Kong", so obviously he has a sense of humor about the whole, "I take being a mammal to the next level", but I fear the ramifications of running with a torch when 96% of one's body is covered in flammable material hasn't occurred to him yet.

Besides, do we really want every weird-o from the Guiness Book of World Records showing up to carry the Olympic torch?

Guess what pal? I have a Raptor Toe (which is much cooler, and much more socially acceptable, and much more loved by the ladies than being Yeti's little brother) but have you ever seen me promoting my physical gift for personal glory or gain? No. No you have not.