useful

Buzz Out Loud 970: Printer porn

Cooley needs a cigarette after a personal moment related to the wonder of band printers and the glory of dot-matrix. Who knew? We also have a good long talk about how soon physical papers will disappear and teach Rafe all about the Konami Code.

Listen now: Download today's podcast Episode 970

Murdoch: Web sites to charge for content http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/05/07/murdoch.web.content/

Analyst: AT&T likely to cut $69 iPhone service plan by $10 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10235782-94.html

AT&T, VZW are no longer immune to the recession – … Read more

The first law of software: Attract users

Enterprise IT struggles to overcome the risk of vendor lock-in, the risk of IT project delivery failure, and a range of other risks.

However, as Julien Le Nestour expertly elucidates, the biggest risk for enterprise IT is a dearth of user adoption.

With this risk in mind, Le Nestour suggests that enterprise IT revise its strategies for evaluating and purchasing software with the user in mind:

(T)he IT function needs to change its mindset and view of itself. Instead of deploying tools where user adoption is taken for granted, IT leaders must realize they're competing with other applications … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 960: Segues with Segways

We get taken to task today for our segues, which, we admit, can be quite forced sometimes. So, we show some examples of the good and the bad. We also have a Cooley rant about the new Segway minicar from a few weeks ago. And I suggest we go clubbing with baby seals, and Cooley and Natali threaten to kill me.

Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 960

Now closing: GeoCities, a relic of Web’s early days http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10226255-2.html http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2345857,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03069TX1K0001121

Obama getting a … Read more

Find the right used car for you: 24 sites

Automakers have been in the news quite a bit lately. The future of some is very much in doubt. And since the economy is hitting most of us quite hard, I thought it appropriate to take a look at sites that help us find high-quality used cars.

Many of the sites in this alphabetical roundup will provide the research and information you require before you buy a car. Others will allow you to find cars in your area or buy them right on the site. Either way, they're all worth a look.

AOL Autos AOL provides some of the best informational resources on the Web, if you're looking for a car. Whether it's reviews from some of its experts, information on sales, or news, the site has it all. It's a full-featured resource that you'll want to check out.

Automotive.com Automotive.com is a huge site offering car availability in your area, research pages, and loan information. But where it really shines is in its reviews, which provide everything from value and pricing to quality and miles-per-gallon information. It's a very useful site.

AutoTrader.com AutoTrader makes it easy to find used cars for sale and even lets you sell your own car right on the site. But if you're looking to research some models, the site's "Research and Compare" page enables you to find the right car for you based on its make, model, type, and price range. All of the reviews are informative.

Carfax Don't even consider buying that used car until you consult Carfax with its Vehicle Identification Number. Once you get to Carfax, you can input the VIN into the search field, and the site will return the vehicle's history report. The report details past owners, when it was manufactured, where it has been registered, and most importantly, whether it has been through a major accident. It's a paid service (one report will run you $29.99), but it's a necessary step in buying a used car.

CarGurus A community of car lovers combined with vehicle information, CarGurus is a nice site, if you want to find out about a car from those who already have owned it. The site has active discussion forums, which are helpful when you need to ask questions. And its research pages and automobile history reports are worth checking out. But the real value of CarGurus is in those forums.

CarMax Much like AutoTrader and Cars.com (below), CarMax provides you with research information on cars in which you're interested. It also allows you to find cars for sale in your area so you can find what you're looking for sooner. And if you're looking to get rid of your old vehicle, the site will buy your car from you for its estimated value. It then sells the car on CarMax to turn a profit.

Cars.com Cars.com is one of the best ways to learn about vehicles in which you might be interested. Its research menu boasts outstanding reviews on practically every car dating back nearly a decade. The site's shopping-advice page comes in handy when you want to determine the real value of a vehicle. It's a must-see before you start your search for a used car.

CarShopSmart CarShopSmart, affiliated with AutoTrader, is a nicely designed site that might be useful. If you want to research vehicles, it boasts some basic information. But the focus of the site is on finding a car in your area or locating dealers close to your home. Unfortunately, though, the size of its vehicle database is a little too small for my liking.

CarZen If you'd like some car-buying advice, CarZen may be the place to find it. From negotiating tactics to in-depth vehicle information, the site will provide you with all the resources you need to place a strong offer. It even helps you find the right car with the help of its fantastic tool, CarConsult. Try it out. You might be surprised by what you find.

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports provides outstanding car reviews, and its simple scoring system helps you quickly determine if a car is for you. The reviews aren't as in-depth as they are on other sites, but what Consumer Reports lacks in quantity, it makes up for in trustworthiness.

Craigslist Craigslist might be a classifieds site, but it's a great place to find cars that are available in your area. Whether you're buying a vehicle or are putting your own up for sale, you can do your research elsewhere and then hit the popular listings site. A variety of vehicles in any price range are always listed.… Read more

LP revival: Fact or fantasy?

I'm not sure why, but there's a never-ending stream of articles cheering on vinyl's comeback. I guess if it's a slow news day, editors can't resist plugging in yet another story about booming LP sales, and they always claim something along the lines of "Kids are digging the grooves, they've seen the light, and now crave analog sound!"

Puh-leeze!

Don't get me wrong; I wish it were true. Maybe in some alternative universe, vinyl is flying off the shelves, and kids are ditching their iPods and buying turntables.

Back here on the Earth we know and love, 2008 sales of LPs were up 89 percent, from 990,000 in '07 to 1.88 million in '08. That's hardly a boom, now that CD sales are in the hundreds of millions. The best-selling LP of 2008 was Radiohead's "In Rainbows," which sold a piddling 28,800 platters. Second-place honors went to another British band, The Beatles, which sold 16,500 "Abbey Road" LPs. If those numbers are accurate, and Radiohead's Thom Yorke and company were trying to live off LP sales, they'd have to get day jobs.

So sure, there's more and more new and reissue vinyl, and that's great, but only a teensy-weensy number of people buy new vinyl. Most of my vinyl-loving buddies regularly score free records on the street, or pay a buck or two for used vinyl to play on their megabucks high-end turntables. Again, no problem there, but it's not the same as a true vinyl resurgence. That's just media hype.

I love vinyl because it looks cool and sounds great. I own around 4,000 LPs. And I'm hoping that the vinyl revival keeps growing. But the market for physical media--CDs and LPs--has nowhere to go but down. More than anything else, people want cheap or free music, playable anywhere they want. … Read more

Demo panel previews new power monitoring initiatives

PALM DESERT, Calif.--At Demo 09, new conference honcho Matt Marshall led a panel where three companies showcased their new technologies to save power, and with it, they hope, the planet.

Google's Thomas Sly started by comparing buying power to what it would be like if you bought groceries without an itemized receipt--just one bill when you left the store. Google's goal is to collect and help distribute the data on power use, which, Sly says, will encourage people to consume less.

Google is currently in a test with about 100 devices that track power use, and that … Read more

Swap your old hi-fi for cash

Adam Wexler, who was always into hi-fi equipment, started hanging around high-end audio shops when he was just a kid. By the time he was in college, he was selling a local shop's traded-in components and speakers.

He wasn't just into it for the money; he wound up with a really cool hi-fi on the cheap.

After college, he worked for a couple of stores before landing a sales-and-design position gig with one of New York's top high-end dealers. Now with Stereo Buyers Wexler is ready to take it to the next level. He buys high-quality audio for cash in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though he will occasionally accept equipment shipped to him.

Please understand: Wexler isn't interested in your Sony receiver, Marantz CD changer, or the Pioneer cassette deck you bought at a yard sale for 10 bucks 20 years ago. No, he's looking good stuff, high-end audio of any vintage, in good working condition. Tube gear, sure, and high-end solid-state amplifiers, turntables, tuners, speakers, etc. E-mail him a list of your gear, and he'll get back to you. … Read more

British Airways to allow in-flight texting

British Airways announced this week that it would initiate limited cell phone use on an upcoming route between London and New York City. Voice calls will not be permitted, but passengers will be allowed to send and receive text messages and e-mails.

The airline will limit the service to twice-daily flights between London City Airport and New York's JFK that are due to start in September. The all-business class route is flown by a narrow-body Airbus A318 aircraft that must make a stop in Ireland on the westbound leg. The configuration will allow for just 32 seats.

British Airways … Read more

Facebook godfather groups spark mafia victims' ire

Facebook has sprouted pages that pay tribute to notorious mafia bosses, and relatives of mafia victims are none too happy about that fact, according to the U.K. publication Times Online.

The groups idolizing Cosa Nostra godfathers have generated thousands of supporters in Italy, according to the report. But opponents say the fan pages reflect a lack of public and state support for the victims of mafia crimes and glamorize the perpetrators.

Pages on the social-networking site laud mafia players including Salvatore (Toto) Riina, jailed in 1993 and currently serving 12 life sentences for murder, and Bernardo Provenzano, his successor, … Read more

Sniff lets you find your friends in real-time

Useful Networks, a mobile location firm that has been operating in the U.K. and Scandinavia, announced Monday that it has brought its mobile and Facebook-integrated friend finder, Sniff, to the U.S. through the Sprint Network.

Sniff allows users to find friends automatically and in real-time and provides them with exact coordinates to let them know exactly where they are throughout the day. In order to alert its users to their friend's location, Sniff automatically sends a text message to their mobile phone or a note through the company's Facebook application.

Once users ask to follow friends, … Read more