Here's a collection of links from the "Stuff I'm reading" section. To see these as they post, come back to the Beyond Binary blog and check out the right-hand column. I recommend doing it ten times a day, but, the digest below is here for those that have other things to do:Are Microsoft-served ads slowing down Web sites?--Blogger Long Zheng noticed that his recent visits to Digg had been slowed by ad requests to MSN. He did some more, well digging, and found that some other sites with MSN-served ads are also sluggish. (istartedsomething) … Read more
Can't afford a personal secretary? It doesn't take much to outsource your life, at least for a few errands. Ask Sunday (also here) promises to answer your pressing questions by phone or e-mail in about an hour through its agents.
The New York City-based service asks for a monthly fee upfront of between $29 for 30 incidents or $49 for 50 requests. With that out of the way, you can share your passwords for services including Zipcar and Amazon, just in case your questions might involve renting a car or buying a book. You'll also fill out … Read more
Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, has made plans to acquire HowStuffWorks, which calls itself "the leading source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works."
The news was originally reported in The Wall Street Journal, which named a price of $250 million.
Atlanta-based HowStuffWorks, which was founded in 1998 by North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain (yes, that's his real name), pulls in about 3.8 million unique U.S. visitors per month, according to ComScore. Instead of issuing a press release to announce the … Read more
I'm sitting on the exquisitely uncomfortable benches in the San Francisco Metreon, listening to companies at the New Tech Meetup give their pitches. Two of them we've covered recently: AdPerk and Truemors. The news about Truemors: a Facebook port is forthcoming. The other three companies are also worth some bits:
Blabberize is a freaky little product that makes Monty Python-like animated graphics of faces from photos you upload. Then you upload a recording of your (or someone else's) voice. It syncs the audio or recorded speech to the moving mouth. Good for a laugh. Likewise the pitch. … Read more
Thinking about getting green? Really green? Well, today The New York Times profiles some folks who are removing themselves from the American market whenever they can. Dumpster diving. Using wasted food and free stuff thrown off by the rapid spin of our consumer culture. They call themselves "freegans."
"After years of trying to boycott products from egregious corporations responsible for human rights violations, environmental destruction and animal abuse, many of us found that no matter what we bought we ended up supporting something deplorable. We came to realize that the problem isn't just a few bad … Read more
Thrillist, a NYC-based e-mail list that features everything from bar picks to gadgets, has tipped us off to some pretty cool webware recently. (The site currently operates "everywhere," NYC, and LA versions with San Francisco coming soon.) They do, however, tend to be targeted toward Thrillist's key demographic of party-ready slackers. Like this one, for example: Do My Stuff. It's a way for you to find people to, well, do your stuff: lawn mowing, house painting, moving, posing for photographs (ahem), you name it.
So, what applications would you like to see on the iPhone or Apple TV?
Apple will develop new software applications and features for the products over time, and make those available for free, it said Tuesday during its earnings call. It's all related to some complicated accounting mumbo-jumbo that annoyed MacBook users back in January and February when they had to pay $1.99 to unlock a faster Wi-Fi chip they didn't even know they had.
By telling people the new stuff is coming up front--and by waiting to recognize a portion of the revenue from each sale--Apple … Read more
It's Wednesday afternoon. The work week's over halfway done (assuming you're in the States). So here's a really cool video for you to enjoy: the 1902 silent film Voyage Dans La Lune set to a mesmerizing techno soundtrack. It'll boggle your mind! Then you can head over to YouTube for part two.
What's the gadget angle, you say? Well, um, they're building a spaceship. That counts.
(Via Table of Malcontents.)
If you must, Popgadget says that Swiss company Bumbi has these dolls with slots for a photo of any face you like. There is also a recording device that allows the wool doll to carry a message recorded in your voice.
Engadget is reporting that pink and orange Zunes were handed out to some of the folks who helped out with the (tepid) launch. But the tech blog is speculating that these may see wider release in the not-so-distant future.
I'm not going to write anymore on this subject, except to say that I think Mike Yamamoto wants one to go with his pink Razr (there you go, Mike, for making fun of my appreciation of penguins this morning). "Pink Zune" jokes kind of write themselves.