Monthly Archive for May, 2004

Austin Economy Finally Picking Up?

I don’t normally post about Austin (the city I live in) but I had to point to this article in the Sunday Statesman (registration required):

Quarterly economic scorecard: Region is uniquely poised to take advantage of recovery, experts say.

A few choice quotes:

…Austin looks like a hot spot to the editors of Business 2.0 magazine, which recently said it would be the fourth fastest-growing job market in the next four years, one of 20 cities that will be “fertile ground for job-seekers and employers alike.”

While local economists say that Central Texas will add 14,000 or 15,000 jobs this year, the Economy.com consulting firm, based in West Chester, Pa., projects that the number will be 20,000, followed by another 41,000 jobs in 2005 — a healthy 5.9 percent growth rate.

…Business 2.0 forecasts that the region’s job base will grow by 12 percent by 2008.

Economy.com is predicting the Austin metro area — Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell counties — will see a 3.2 percent annual job growth rate in the fourth quarter. That’s significantly higher than forecasts of 1.7 percent for Boston and 0.8 percent for San Jose.

I just hope that’s all true and that the economy is finally starting to rebound in Austin…

Movable Type 3.0 is Worth Paying For

Six Apart just released MovableType 3.0 (about time) and I have to say that I think it’s worth paying for for 90% of the audience that it’s aimed at (hackers and developers and people that want to ‘own’ their blogging service).

I have to applaud Six Apart for charging for MT 3.0, but the pricing structure is pretty complicated. I would have preferred a $100 price tag for a personal edition with no limits and $500 for a commercial edition with limits, but that’s just my preference. It’s tough to set prices properly when rolling out new products. You never want to price things too cheaply on launch, because it’s really tough to increase prices (only publishers that sell advertising space seem to be able to do this well) and you don’t want to price too high, because then you’re afraid you’ll lose sales to the competition.

The reason I’d have preferred only two pricing options is because I’ve already donated back with MT version 2.1 or so, and I’ve loyally upgraded since then, and two options make the decision sooo much easier for the consumer. In addition, the MT pricing page should really offer TypePad as an option for people, because Six Apart really offers three real options to customers and they might miss out by not promoting that service on the MT pricing pages…

Just my thoughts. MovableType is well worth paying for, but now I have to figure out what level I want to pay for, what’s included in each level and what’s not, and what my wallet can afford.

Until I figure all of that out, I’m sticking with 2.661. I know it. It works, and I’m actually pretty happy with it.

update: It looks like Six Apart is rethinking the licensing terms and possibly the pricing for MovableType 3.0.

The Video

I’m sick to my stomach. Yes, I just watched the Nick Berg video. I now feel sick to my stomach and terribly dirty. My small apologies to the Berg family.

I can’t describe the feeling.

I have several friends in the military that are in Iraq right now. I wanted us to get out of that country this weekend, because I fear for their safety.

Now, I want Bush to just nuke the whole damn country. Ocean-front property anyone?

If you want to see the video, read Charles Johnson’s written description before you watch it.

It’s so easy to forget about who we’re really dealing with over there.

One of my best friends from the Army just returned from Iraq and when I asked him about what it’s like, he said:

“The people over there aren’t all bad – the insurgents are animals. They only understand power. They only understand pure unadulterated power and they only respect people that show and use their power.”

Gmail – testing for spam

I’ve had a Gmail account for about a week now (thanks to Jeremy for the invite). I haven’t received a bit of spam yet, but I also haven’t published the address until today.

That being said, I also signed up for a new hotmail account last week on the same day that I set up my Gmail account, and already have too much spam in my hotmail account to use it (note: I haven’t published that email address anywhere either).

So. To date, with no public publishing of a hotmail.com address or a gmail.com address, I’ve gotten over 200 spams in my hotmail account and none in my gmail account.

So, I like gmail over hotmail, but I also own my own domains and thus don’t want to neccessarily use my @gmail.com address publicly.

I do however have a need to be able to get to my email through a webmail format, and I don’t neccessarily want to set up my own, so… I’d like to test the Gmail junk email filters…

Thus, I’m throwing this address out there to see how well the spam gets filtered:

[email protected]

Spam me. Send me forwards, email me, whatever.

If the spam stays at a minimum, I’ll likely start forwarding all of my email to that address… 1 Gig is a lot of storage space.

Coolest Header I’ve Seen on a ‘News Site’

This is the coolest web page header design on a ‘news’ website I’ve seen in a long time.

On this page, and doubtless on the rest of the International Herald Tribune web pages, they have this really cool header that is the whole header at the top of the page, but becomes just the useful part (the navigational part — minus the ads) as you scroll down the page.

Just wanted to point out that I think it’s a very cool design.

Buying a Digital Video Camera

I’m researching digital video cameras. I’m in the market for one for the wife and I, and I’m finding that figuring out which one to buy is tough. The big publisher’s guides to camcorders are useless to me, either not providing enough information, or not providing enough facts on which they base their recommendations.

There is almost no documentation at the big box retailers that carry digital video cameras, and the sales people are only moderately helpful.

Thankfully, Jeff Keller’s DVSpot.com is available. It has a fantastic glossary of DV Terms, which, for someone just starting to look for a video camera (my first ever) is invaluable. (Jeff owned iMac2Day.com before MacNN bought it. I ran the site back in 1998/99).

I own a Canon Powershot S100 digital camera, and I love it. It was the first generation Digital Elph, and has been a constant companion for 4+ years. It works well and is still a great camera (though we’ve gotten sand and other stuff into some of the gears over the years). I’d like to buy a camcorder with the same sort of quality.

Without knowing anything about the manufacturers, I’m partial to Canon and Sony (just because of their brand equity in my head), though Hitachi, Panasonic, JVC and Sharp make DV camcorders too.

I think I want a camera that supports Analog to Digital conversion, though that’s not mandatory, and more of a nicety… I’ve got a few old VCR tapes I’d like to convert to digital format.

After spending a few hours reading the reviews over at DVSpot, these cameras are on my list of contenders:

Canon is offering quite a few promotions on their cameras through June 30th from their CanonDV website.

All in all, I’m leaning more and more heavily towards buying a Canon. Now which one?

I’ll keep shopping around, and will gladly take any suggestions that my readers might have. June 30th is my current date of purchase.

Oh, and why am I shopping for a DV camcorder, you might ask? The wife is 11 weeks pregnant (due in November) so I want to get one now, so I know how to use it when we need it.

update: adding a few links:
PCWorld Digital Camcorder Buyer’s Guide
ZDNet’s Digital Camcorder Buyer’s Guide

Official launch of inluminent/linkblog

Following the footsteps of Jeremy Zawodny, Jason Kottke, Mark Pilgrim and others, I’ve established my very own linkblog.

On it, I’ll post links that I think are interesting enough to read, but either don’t have the time or energy, or need, to write anything in depth about them.

An RSS feed is here, and the templates are here for those wishing to do the same thing on their own MT weblog.

I’m using the MT Excerpt field to hold comments about the link that I want to add to it, and using the MT Body field to hold the URL of the link… I might change it up a bit in the future, to add more context, but for now, I think that’s plenty.

The linkblog also shows up in searches now, so you can search from the linkblog homepage, or this weblog homepage… either will get you the same results.