Monthly Archive for February, 2004

More on Austin Apple Store

Earlier this week (2/23) ifoAppleStore.com posted this:

I have updated information on the Barton Creek (Tex.) store… it will be located in the “R” section of the Austin mall, in space #8 on the upper level, in a space formerly occupied by Fast Forward.

Still no word on when it’ll open.

Good Reading from February

A few links from the month:

Same Sex Marriage – Kelso

John Kelso’s latest article on Same Sex Marriage pretty much hits the nail on the head for me. Too funny.

I hate referrer spam

These people/sites really piss me off because they’ve been spamming my referrers:

xsonnerie.com
riaa.com

And… I won’t be voting for John Kerry

blog.johnkerry.com

Those three sites have been spamming my referrers for the past month or so

They just got added to my referrer spam list in my referrer scripts… oh, I also don’t montior blogspot.com sites anymore thanks to the recent rash of weird blogspot.com referrer spammings that made the circle lately…

The Internet is Bigger than Cable

Quoting Jeff Jarvis in full (because the information is that important to me:

The Internet is now bigger than cable, according to eMarketer (via MediaPost and LostRemote).

…eMarketer now estimates U.S. household Internet penetration is about 67.9 percent. That compares with a 65.8 percent U.S. household penetration level for cable, according to an eMarketer analysis of Nielsen Media Research and U.S. Census data.
More significantly, Ramsey noted that while cable TV penetration has essentially been flat at about 66 percent of U.S. households, online penetration continues to expand….
ìWow,î said Jes Santoro, vice president-director of integrated media at Earthquake Media, a media shop that buys traditional and online media, upon learning of the online penetration milestone from MediaDailyNews. ìI think it is very significant. But itís symbolic as well.î
ìItís symbolic because it speaks to peopleís media consumption habits,î he explained. ìThink about cable, you kind of have to have it to have it to get TV reception. Itís almost like a utility. But with the Internet, people go out and get it because they want to use the Internet.î
eMarketerís Ramsey agreed, noting that it was similar household penetration milestones that first got cable TV on the map with Madison Avenue during various junctures in cableís history.

Oh, but that’s not the half of it. They’re only counting homes and every single Internet business I know (even Nick Denton’s work-unsafe Fleshbot) sees its prime time at midday, during work, where almost anyone sitting at a desk now has high-speed Internet access.

So the penetration is higher than the numbers above indicate. And the usage is higher.

Internet will get greater mindshare and greater share of the audience’s attention because cable and TV and radio can’t reach them at work, but the Internet can.

Let’s repeat that again: The Internet is bigger than cable TV. And so the Internet should be getting a much bigger share of advertising dollars.

Alas, though… ‘the internet’ is too fragmented to aggregate for media buyers the way cable is aggregated in most markets… Even with cable there are only 300 channels or so for advertisers to split their dollars amongst…

Also see: John Battelle’s SearchBlog and MarketingWonk.

Apple Security Updates?

I’m always confused about whether or not to install Apple’s Security Updates as soon as they’re available. Today’s latest release…

Security Update 2004-02-23 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:

DiskArbitration
IPSec
Point-to-Point-Protocol
tcpdump

Ok, first, I don’t know what any of those things are good for, and why I need them, or why I need them updated… and, on top of that, I haven’t ever gotten a virus or had any security problems with my Macintosh.

Do I really need to install this update?

(If I were notified by Microsoft that there was a security update available through XP’s Windows Update software, I’d install it before I did anything else on that computer, but on a Mac, I always wonder if I even really need to worry about it)

Note to Job Seekers – email address tip

If you’re applying to a job, please keep the email account you’re using to collect responses to your application clean, so you can receive emails from the hiring manager. The fact that I got this message twice from the same candidate’s two different yahoo accounts listed in their resume just took that candidate off my list:

Your message was rejected by mx2.mail.yahoo.com for the following reason:
   delivery error: dd Sorry, your message to [email protected] cannot be delivered. This account is over quota. – mta118.mail.sc5.yahoo.com

Keep your email account cleaned out when applying for a job.

Planning a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico

The wife and I, along with several friends, are planning a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico soon.

We’re planning this trip for two reasons: 1) We need a vacation and 2) We’re seriously thinking of moving to Mexico in the coming years. I’ll not go into too much detail about reason #2, but will say only this: The ‘rat-race’ is getting tiring, and in Mexico they may be poor, but they’re generally happy.

We’re looking at Guanajuato as a place to get away to at the least because it’s a great old college town in the central part of Mexico. I’ve heard it referred to as one of those ‘un-discovered gems’.

Some of this pages I’ve found on the net are useful, but others are horrible at actually telling me anything about the town/region. And finding a page about the hotels in the city is just about impossible with Google… I ended up using Frommer’s to find most of the hotel information I could find, but even Frommer’s is horrible at giving more than cursory information. Heck, maybe I’ll start an internet tourism site just for Guanajuato some-day…

Anyways, here’s a few pieces I’d recommend people read if they’re looking to visit Guanajuato. Feel free to add your links in the comments:

Hotel Posada Santa Fe
Guanajuato Real Estate – useful in case reason #2 becomes a reality.
Official Government site
Photos from McNolo
Weather Underground Guanajuato Forcast
A good page on geocities about Guanajuato.
Google Guanajuato State Directory page
Map of Guanajuato from Frommers

A few more links:

VisitMexico.com (great informational site run by the Mexican Tourism Board)

The Cultured Traveler: Guanajuato: One of Mexico’s Colonial Gems
FoodandWine.com: Mexico’s Heartland | Guanajuato

Mexico Connect
TourbyMexico.com

Nutri-Grain

This spot for Nutri-Grain is great. It’s the little things that put a smile on your face at the end of a long day… [via This is not your practice blog]

ps. check out the other spots they’ve got on that site by clicking previous and next.

Friday the 13th: Bad Luck

Today was definitely Friday the 13th.

I don’t post about the office on this weblog very often, but today was just one of those days. I’m a sales manager at work, and today, my “star performer” told me she had been offered a job at another company.

That means she’s leaving.

Ugh… can’t tell you how hard that hit me.

You see, I’ve been trying to build a new business around online advertising sales for my company for the past year and a half, and I’ve spent a lot of time teaching, training, and learning. I’ve really put a lot into getting my “star performer” to the level that she’s at right now. When I started at the office, this person was pretty green. I had to mold her into the sales person I needed her to be, and she took it well. Very well, and she’s become successful.

This year, my company gave her an award for improving so much. That made me feel very good about what I was doing and where we were heading.

Then, today, she tells me she’s leaving.

As her friend, I can’t help but be happy for her, and excited about her opportunities… but as her boss, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed and stressed about the pressure this will put on top of all of the rest of the pressure I’ve put myself under trying to build this new part of our business.

We’ll get buy without this “star performer” but this sets up back a step or two for the immediate future.

I’ll post a note on Monday about the opening I need to fill, but, if you know someone in Austin that wants to sell online advertising at a local media company, please send me their resume.

Holovaty on Stealing

Read Adrian Holovaty’s “Topix.net service policy: Hypocrisy in action
well written… I agree… Topix just drains traffic from otherwise deserving websites, but then again, it might add traffic to those little websites it steals from… depends on how you look at it.

What’s a marketer to do?

Tom Hespos has posted some pretty enlightening reading on the subject of “what’s next in marketing” in his post title Expectations of Relevance.

“…what do advertisers do when the broadcast model fails to deliver? I’d argue that they first need to learn more about their target audiences. What interests, conditions and behaviors are strongly correlated with a need for the advertiser’s product? This will be valuable information in the years ahead. Buying media against Adults 18+ won’t cut the mustard for much longer.”

True, and I agree, the real changes in media planning and buying by marketers will only happen “retirement party, by retirement party.”

Thanks Tom… great post.

Words to live by: Accomplishment

Today’s “words to live by”:

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S Truman

I can’t say how many times in my life I’ve found that to be true.

One Week with SpamSieve

After spending one week using SpamSieve with Mailsmith, I’m very happy with the results:

Overall Stats since installation:

Filtered Mail
809 Good Messages
731 Spam Messages (47%)

SpamSieve Accuracy
31 False Positives
23 False Negatives (43%)
96.5% Correct

Corpus
871 Good Messages
822 Spam Messages (49%)
83878 Total Words

Showing Statistics Since
2/1/04 6:39 PM

I’m not happy that almost half of the email I’ve received is spam, but rather am happy that it’s been able to learn what I think Spam is so quickly:

Statistics in the 2nd half of the first week of installation:

Filtered Mail
485 Good Messages
453 Spam Messages (48%)

SpamSieve Accuracy
1 False Positives
6 False Negatives (86%)
99.3% Correct

Corpus
871 Good Messages
822 Spam Messages (49%)
83878 Total Words

Showing Statistics Since
2/4/04 12:00 PM

Great software… Great experience.

Quote: Ignorance

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”
Galileo Galilei

Managing Smart

Are you a manager? Do you want to be a manager? Do you work for a manager?

Answered yes to any of those questions?

If so, read How to manage smart people by Scott Berkun.

Quick article that’s full of great little tips like:

The following phrase is one of my favorite tools as a manager: ìWhat do you need from me in order to kick ass on this project?î Asking this question of a report invariably scares the shit out of them. Itís a cut to the chase, where you, as manager, lay out on the table the magic wish list of possibilities, and asks them to put their cards on the table. If a good discussion ensues, you then have the opportunity to actually deliver some of the things they might need. All the pet complaints theyíve been harboring have a chance to surface, and perhaps, simply fade away in the face of your brutal honesty and openness as a manager.

It’s Jackson if You’re Nasty

I watched the game, but wasn’t impressed by the commercials and tuned out the half-time show about half-way through… then I read about this:

Stupid CBS… Bad idea… Bad execution…

Mailsmith Happy

I finally did it. I broke down and bought Mailsmith.

I used Mailsmith 1.0 and 1.5 when OS X was first released, because Apple’s Mail.app was utterly horrible, and I received a free NFR copy because I was working for a small Macintosh news site at the time… and Bare Bones saw fit to give us a copy for review… so I reviewed it and fell in love (the review was never published).

But then, Apple’s Mail got better with Jaguar, and even better with Panther, but this past week something in Mail broke. I don’t know why or what and can’t really explain the problems I’m having with Mail other than to say that after reading and deleting 4-5 emails, Mail.app crashes for no apparent reason. Happens every time I fire it up. And the Junk-mail filters just quit working, so now, I’m getting 100+ junk mails in my in-box… perhaps MyDoom is to blame for Mail.app crapping out on me…

So, I figured I’d switch back over to Mailsmith until I could figure out the problem with Mail.app. Within 5 minutes of using Mailsmith 1.5, I was in love again (and yes, I love BBEdit, and I think that’s what drives my fascination with Mailsmith). So, I zipped over to Bare Bones.com to buy the latest version of Mailsmith, and guess what? It comes free with SpamSieve from Michael Tsai, too. Woohoo!

And now, I’m Mailsmith happy again, and not getting any more spam, and loving it. I guess the coolest part is that Mailsmith 2.x picked up all of my old 1.5 settings and preferences, and imported all of my email from Mail.app with no problems… And now I don’t have to read HTML email anymore either. What a bonus.

Thanks Bare Bones.

And no, folks, I don’t think $99 is too much to pay for a mail client, espectially when you work ‘in your email client’ as much as I do.

Further Reading: You Have New Mail [from daringfireball.net] and True Confessions of a Mailsmith Switcher [from Tidbits]

Collections

This week, I noticed one thing that shows a difference between my daddy and me. (I noticed these things while getting my belongings ready for a move from one house to another).

My dad collected things, and I collect things, but we collect different things…

I have a room full of computer stuff. I collect USB cables, Ethernet cards, RAM chips, Ethernet cables, Firewire cables, and power cords. I have drawers full of these things. I collect power adapters, little bitty screws for mounting hard-drives, old computers and monitors. I have a little collection of old PDAs: a Palm IIIx, a Palm Pilot, and a Newton Message Pad 120. I have a few hard drives sitting in a box, a few empty boxes to assorted hardware that I don’t even have any more and lots of special cables to convert things like Serial ports to ADB ports. I collect computer stuff.

My dad collected stuff that you could build material things out of. He had an old room full of things like soldering tools, hammers, wrenches, and wood-working tools. He had drawers full of odd screws and nails, and a few little jars full of nuts and bolts. He had a shelf stacked with odd-sizes of scraps of wood and half-full cans of paint (every color you could imagine). The room had a few milk gallons full of oil-fuel mix for each tool he used. He had a bunch of old power-tools and a few hand-tools that would get the job done. He collected manual stuff.

Then again, now that I think about it, we aren’t all that different. Each of us collected stuff that enabled us to do things… In that I guess we are quite alike.