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Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

Where Have All The Cell Phones Gone?

You may have recently heard about this:

If the National Transportation Safety Board has its way, cellphone use of all kinds behind the wheel — from texting down to talking hands-free with a headset — will be illegal in all 50 of these United States.

This is being spurred on by an August 2010 crash in which a teenager was sending a text a minute and caused a large pileup that killed two people.

Because of this, the NTSB is recommending the banning of all cell phone use by drivers within a vehicle.

Say what now?


This seems like a drastic overreaction to me. The kid was texting, not talking on his phone. That’s a pretty big difference. The kid was an idiot, no doubt. But completely banning cell phones from cars goes too far.

Now, I’m all for restricting cell phone talking to hands free devices. I have one in my truck that has helped me a ton. But besides letting people talk on the phone, there are at least two good reasons for not banning cell phones from cars.

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The Netflix Debacle

Good grief, Netflix.

I admit I was a little shocked when they raised their prices by 60% with no warning a couple of months ago. Who wasn’t? That’s a big price jump. But when I heard their reasoning and evaluated exactly what I’d still be getting for my money, I realized it was still worth it. Managing all those DVDs while securing all those film companies’ licenses has got to be pretty expensive. I resigned myself to continuing to be a supporter and happily paid my first full $16 this September.

netflix envelope

Then, this happened. I’m sure most of you have heard the “news” already, but for those who haven’t: in order to allow both sides of their business to “grow and operate independently”, Netflix is splitting into streaming-only Netflix and a separate, DVD-only company, Qwikster. The whole announcement was buried deep in a “We’re sorry, please forgive us” email from Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings, amid numerous claims that this actually fixes everything and let’s all be friends again.

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The Swedish Invasion – Spotify Hits The U.S.

The last 12 months of my technological life have been focused on my iPhone. I don’t think I’ve bought any gadget that has affected my daily goings-on as much as that little smartphone. But as great as it is, there’s always been one necessity that the good folks at Apple have neglected to address for so long: how to allow me to carry all my music around with me at once.

I have a lot of music. My current iTunes count is 12,339 songs, or 69.19 GB. Which, obviously, does not all fit on one 8 GB iPhone. And syncing just takes so long with a 99% chance it’s going to mess up more than halfway through. I’ve long wanted a way to choose any song while in the car or access my entire music collection at work.

I tried a couple solutions, one with a service called Subsonic, which required some hacking and for me to always have my laptop on and open at home so my music could stream straight from my hard drive. When that got tiresome, I just started taking my laptop to work. But that doesn’t solve the iPhone/car problem.

Enter Spotify.
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No Ads for Me

A week ago, Katy told me about Google AdSense. Through posting discreet ads on her blog, she was able to score at massive $15 check after only two months! OK, I know that’s not much, but for someone who’s about to get shamed into frugal-ness by Dave Ramsey’s class, a little extra for a cup of coffee or two is nice.
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I Can’t Believe What I’ve Been Missing – Amazon $5 Albums

I don’t know what took me so long, but I just recently discovered’s $5 album deals. They. Are. Amazing.
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Oh, How Things Change

Welcome to this week’s edition of Oh, How Things Change (it is also the first and possibly only edition).

Iran outlaws certain hairstyles

1. Bad haircuts for Iranians

This story documents how the Iranian government has issued a list of what it considers “acceptable Muslim hairstyles” in an effort to rid the country of “decadent Western cuts”. OK: short, conservative cuts. Not OK: ponytails, men’s eyebrow plucking or mullets. So – no more this:
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