Scattered Brilliance

From my brain to paper (or pixels as the case may be)

Archive for gadgets

Comcast + Tivo = Happy Tim

Comcast + Tivo

I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I think it was announced over two years ago. But Comcast plus Tivo is finally here and it has been ordered (install coming on Wednesday).

It doesn’t look like this will add too much additional functionality onto the DVR service I currently have.  It will add the Tivo look and feel and ease of navigation, some additional personalization (thumbs up, thumbs down, etc), and hopefully an overall less glichy smoother guide.

I’ll dig in with a full comparison/review this weekend after having it “in house for a little while.

Increase the range of your Wii sensor bar.

I got this email from a friend, Drew regarding Wii hacks.

“Just disassemble the sensor bar, cut the two wires between the LEDs, solder in a couple 24 gauge wires (~4’’), and you have a sensor bar with significantly increased range. I found it to be worth the time, but it just depends on your home setup.”

 

Wiimote

I may give this a try this weekend. If I get a chance, I’ll grab pictures as I go and post a step by step.

Monday Morning Reader

Each Monday morning, I’ll share with you what’s rolling through the weekend remnants of my Google Reader subscriptions.  From TV, to sports, to tech…I’ve got alot of random feeds that point me in different directions to start the week.

David Churbuck references an article from Forbes.com that talks about marketing during a recession.

5. Shift media spending to accountable media. Not because they necessarily perform better, but because investment in them can be justified in terms of return on investment. A heavy bias toward accountable spending is the best way to protect marketing budgets from profit-starved CFOs.

David points to a likely rise in email and search marketing as they are the pinnacle of accountability.  But I still wonder, is that the short sighted?  I understand the attraction to the items that are likely to push out positive ROI metrics, but does that mean they are truly accountable?  What is the opportunity cost against plucking off the bottom of the funnel?  Would those customers have reached you anyway?  I constantly struggle with the balance of proving your marketing spend by marketing in the places that you know will return a positive metric vs. marketing in the place that will have the most impact on your short/mid/long term bottom line.

Search is fairly bullet proof at this point.  But having to pony up money to buy branded search terms where a large percentage of ROI comes from just to push people down the funnel in a direction they would have likely taken anyway still irks me.  But I understand it.

Email marketing however, I don’t neccessarily find effective.  It’s direct response, and managing campaigns against your installed base of customers is a must.  But prospecting using 3rd party or rental lists is a tactic I just don’t get.

As it turns out, I’ve asked myself these questions for almost 8 years now.  The sad thing is I don’t know that I have any better answers today than I did then, and that people are still asking the same questions as I did then.  The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Brock for Broglio lists the 101 best fantasy baseball team names.  I may have to revert back to “The Wright Stuff” or branch out to “Pap.licio.us” this season.  I still love the name the “Funky Cold Mussinas”.  Just brilliant.

CelticsBlog reacts to the Celtics recent 5-5 stretch with a blueprint for slowing down the C’s.  Hot shooting seems to be the #1 culprit to at least 3 of the recent 5 Celtics’ losses.  That shot yesterday by Turkolou was incredible.

John Battelle shows us a fun Google trick.  Ever try and find information about Chuck Norris?

fake chuck

Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.”

Absolutely brilliant.

One more thing that boggled my mind this morning before I start doing peer reviews; check out this article from News.com on the Wii hacking of Johnny Chung Lee.   I doubt I can do this justice and need to think more on the topic before expounding on my own.  But watch this to get a feel for the awesomeness.

Macbook Air thoughts

I think Don Reisinger and Molly Wood have it right with this one. While very cool looking and sexy as all hell, the Macbook Air just doesn’t feel all that practical. As it is, I don’t really get the ultraportable market for more mainstream users. I know that the computer manufacturers aren’t targeting products in the ultraportable space to mainstream users, but the truth is ultraportables are the sexiest of notebooks; thin, stylish, attractive.

Sexy products are what the mainstream aspires to own. In this case, I think the introduction of the Macbook Air just confuses the mainstream in regards to Apple’s product line.

Let’s step back a second. Apple had just started to gain momentum in the PC market on the heels of brilliant advertising, a superior OS release, and a true lagging iPod halo effect.

Instead of focusing on their core Macbook products starting at a very mainstream acceptable and friendly $1,099 and building out products and services that make the jump to Apple with a Macbook more appealing, Apple chose to set an industrial design standard with a product that doesn’t fit the core needs of the masses.

Macbooks

Is it fair to say that if you strip away a slight bit of height and weight that the Macbook is as good if not better usable notebook? And for $700 less!

Is it also fair to say that at only $200 more and a slight bit of height/weight, the Macbook Pro is a far superior option?

I think yes on both accounts.

Look, I am really enjoying being a switcher and I have serious, serious iPhone envy. My email sig file on my Treo is “**all thumbs, sent from my (boring yet effective non-iPhone) mobile device**” for God’s sake. But at the end of the day, I think this product is more about pomp and circumstance than use and I don’t see any reason for products like that.

(Just as I finished this post I came across this review of the pros and cons of the Macbook Air that I had to post as it’s excellently thought through.)