TypePad saves the day, like MacGyver
I don't have the most comment traffic on my site, but I had a ton of problems with comment spam when I had comments wide open. I resorted to making folks authenticate to comment. The problem with having to sign in with a username is it's a complete pain. Personally, if I have to login to leave a comment I just skip it. Too much hassle. In this light TypePad has done a really cool thing here with the CAPTCHAs.
via Fred Wilson
Why don't we forget this entire post eh? Sorry TypePad, your excellent and fast customer support folks pointed out exactly why I was having a problem. Looks like I forgot to close a tag in my template last time I moved things around in the sidebar. DOH!
The error message reported by the system is:
Parse error in template 'sidebar': <MTElse> with no
So you should check your sidebar template to make sure that
every <MTElse> tag has a corresponding </MTElse> tag.
ARGH! It seems every 3 or 4 times I try to save/publish a page on one of my blogs TypePad has a problem. I do not want to send an error message, I want the service which I pay handsomeley for to just work, period. I've been thinking a bit about a Wordpress and I just might see about putting my own server up when my year is up with TypePad. I just LOVE that I can't post this message because their system is broken. Hahaha... That's just ironic enough to make me chuckle.
I've been trying to break my use of Google stuff for a while now, why? Because I really like Yahoo. I've gotten out of the habit of using Google search and Google news, but I still always use Google Maps. On Saturday I used Yahoo Maps and to my surprise, they did NOT have satellite images yet. I was bummed. Though I like the Yahoo interface a bit better than the Google one, 'ol Yahoo was letting me down. Reluctantly I went on to Google maps and wondered, "When oh when will Yahoo join the party and get their satellite imaging online?"
That day seems to be today (or yesterday or something). Russell Beattie posted about his joy in checking out his high school FROM SPACE. Well sweet, how does it compare to the offering from Google? I peeped my neighborhood in Campbell to see who the victor was:
From Yahoo Maps:
From Google Maps:
Ummm, well from a satellite imaging perspective I think the big G wins this one. Y!'s satellite images of my neighborhood kind of suck.
For now it seems I'll still be using Google Maps, Google Talk (only for work IM), and Google SMS.
Another new cell phone Nokia 6236i for Verizon
A while ago I posted about my discontent with the LG VX9800 (the V) from Verizon. A couple months after that near the end of December (I think) I picked up on a new release from Verizon. The Nokia 6236i. Verizon didn't really push this phone at all and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because the phone isn't too flashy on paper... No blue tooth, no data capability etc. It's only got 10mb of storage and it doesn't have a media card slot. Well then, why oh why would Sweaty want this phone?
All the Nokias I've had in the past have had great battery life, good reception and were really sturdy. Well, this phone doesn't disappoint. I've used this phone for a few months now and I absolutely love it. The Nokia 6236i is by far the best phone I've every owned.
First and foremost, call quality is great! Earpiece volume is clear and loud. The speakerphone is loud and clear as well, it's loud enough to use while I'm driving. Headset volume is really good too though it is wired. Reception is every bit as good as the Motorola V710 I had and the battery life is awesome! I used to get 24 hours on the Motorola and with similar use I get 3-4 day battery life with the Nokia. The screen is small but really clear and bright. The buttons are small but for some reason I don't have any problems pushing buttons with my big monkey fingers. Picture quality with the phone is much better than both the v710 I had and the LGVX6000. Movies are also pretty decent, I take a lot of those these days with the Nokia.
The very best feature of this phone (which Verizon tries to hide) is that the IR profiles on this phone aren't disabled. I'm able to sync my outlook calendar, tasks, notes and contacts for FREE. That's right, Nokia has a free IR sync software you can dowload from their website. You can also browse the pictures and videos you take with the camera and download them to your computer with the software. It's not bluetooth, but it's still wireless connectivity and you're not paying Verizon for every byte of data you sync.
All in all this is a sweet phone. The functionality is great and the form factor is excellent. This is the phone I was waiting for.
hackoff.com the conclusion
Well my friends, I'm reporting this way late, but Hackoff.com is over. The initial
posting/reading of the book by Tom Evslin was completed (some time ago actually). All I can say is BUMMER! For months now I was used to getting a new episode to read every day of the work week and you know what, I really looked forward to reading that. Not only did Tom Evslin write a fun and interesting book, but he delivered it in a fun way as well.
If you like to read novels and if you like blogs I'd suggest subscribing to the hackoff feed. I tell you what, my feed reader is sitting in quiet anticipation of Tom's next blook.
Myspace on the cuts
My goodness, I hope he's right.
Remember when everyone had a GeoCities homepage? The junk that came from that was just terrible. Midi music on homepages, gigantic background images for entire pages, blinking flashing and scrolling text. Ugh. Myspace is the next evolution of that. Not to mention that man, myspace just seems like a meat market for teens.
Check the comments section of Fred's post, there's a pretty decent conversation going on there.
So who owns your blog anyway?
Readers Digest Version: Russ decides to remove comments from his blog. Some commenters freak out and decide he is Belzebub. Russ stands his ground and clarifies that his blog is written by him for him and he can do with it what he pleases. Don't we all blog for some form of self expression? Sure we do. Who doesn't want a personal soap box to the world regardless of how small it might be (sweatyblog). Perhaps if these outraged souls really want to connect with "similar individuals" they can hang out on myspace. heh.
Typepad Bandwidth Overages
A few days ago I received an email from Typepad support about my bandwidth usage. Apparently I'm about 6,000% of what I'm supposed to be. *YIKES* Instead of slapping me with a huge overage charge -- that I'm sure I agreed to in signing up with the service -- the service rep gave me some optionsfor increased bandwidth, some free and some not. My goodness I love Typepad. Too bad Verizon doesn't give this type of grace. :) View the correspondance below.
BTW - I'll be pulling down the mp3s that I've got posted right now.
Ginevra from Six Apart, and I wanted to take a second to talk with you about bandwidth overages you’ve been having using TypePad.
First off – we’re glad you’re having so much success using our service. Don’t panic - we’re here to work with you to keep your site on TypePad. You’ve been a big supporter of ours, and we want to help.
Currently, your usage costs us more a month in server fees on our end that you’re spending to use our service. This month, you are 6824.15%over your bandwidth allotment. I don’t know if anyone has ever talked to you about using Coral (http://www.coralcdn.org/ ) for hosting your media files. If you’re not already doing so, that’s an avenue I would suggest. If you can start directing some of the media files elsewhere, this will lessen your bandwidth impact on TypePad significantly. You can take advantage of Coral just by appending .nyud.net:8090 to the file URL. This distribution method is used by larger sites for heavy traffic and will save you a generous amount of bandwidth. So if you are linking to an image named image.gif in your upload folder, the new URL would look like this: http://example.typepad.com.nyud.net:8090/photos/uncategorized/image.gif
You can also use the text box on the Coral home page to convert your file URLs. In the next few months, we’ll be implementing features to let you know that you’ve gone over your bandwidth, and we will start gating those posts at particular levels. Fortunately, we also offer some higher tiers of service.
Premium, which is simply more bandwidth and storage. For $ I can upgrade your account to "Premium" status which will give you 2GB storage and 20GB monthly. Also, we have two Business Class tiers of service, for $ and $ per month per blog. I’ve included some information on the features available with these levels of accounts. Business Class one: 4 GB storage / 40 GB bandwidth per month: $ per blog per month Business Class two: 8 GB storage / 70 GB bandwidth per month: $ per blog per month
We enjoy having you on TypePad, and really want to work with you to maintain both a great level of service, and find a way to help you have the correct usage on our service. If none of these options sound like they will work, we can work out a custom deal for you that would be lower than typical hosting companies for a comparable level of service. Please get in touch with me either via email or the phone number below."
Ambition? We got yer ambition right here!
Russell Beattie posted a day or two ago about the lack of "show me ingenuity" with current web 2.0 companies and applications. The crux of the Russell's post/gripe is that none of these new companies are adding substantial value... in his opinion.
I can see where he's coming from and I really do agree with him to a point. Michael Parekh on the other hand doesn't agree. In fact, he took Russ's neatly categorized rant and provided at least one exciting example for each category. Michael is one of my "must read" blogs for a reason. This guy has his antenna up on EVERYTHING. He pointed to a bunch of cool companies. Some I know of like del.icio.us, Flickr, Answers.com, and bloglines. Some I didn't like Trulia (totally sweet mashup for real estate), Foldershare, and JotSpot.
At any rate, this is a great discussion. I had fun thinking on both sides of the argument. My opinion is that there really is a lot of cool stuff popping up right now. The problem that a lot of us geeks have is that we're right in the middle of it. When you look at a company like delicious or flickr and think, hmmm... I could have built that, it kind of loses its "oooh ahhhh" effect. Truth be told, if you explain the technology behind RSS/blogging to your average end user they're blown away... or completely lost. Remember how long it took eBay to catch on to the moms and pops of the world? Right. Give it time and cut some slack.
Verizon tricked me... again
Once upon a time, I was quite excited about the LG VX9800. I researched, drooled and even dreamed about the supposed "neat-o" device from Verizon. I'm a fool.
I purchased and owned this phone for 3 days. In my short time of owning this piece I came to realize a few things. My opinions of the LG VX9800 are as follows:
- The form factor sucks. After using three clamshell style phones over the last few years I was unable to adjust to the portly candy bar style phone.
- The bluetooth on the LG VX9800 sucks. It's a bit more scratchy than my current Motorola V710.
- The reception of the LG VX9800 sucks compared to the V710 while using it in the same places. (office, home, commute)
- The external screen sucks. It's too small and dim.
- The external buttons suck. They're too small and hard to push. (I do have big sausage fingers)
- The data plans at Verizon suck (expensive) which makes the data capabilities of the phone useless.
- The price sucks. I paid $250 and used my two year upgrade.