Entries Tagged as 'Tech'

Better than Owning. Better than Free.


No, this is not about the beloved NYC rock-opera musical. It’s about the differences (and benefits) of access vs. ownership; and a look at just what will have value when so much is available for free.

Kevin Kelly over at KK.ORG has just posted a very interesting essay on this topic, called Better Than Owning: Access is better than ownership. Take a few minutes and read it. Here’s an excerpt:

Very likely, in the near future, I won’t “own” any music, or books, or movies. Instead I will have immediate access to all music, all books, all movies using an always-on service, via a subscription fee or tax. I won’t buy – as in make a decision to own — any individual music or books because I can simply request to see or hear them on demand from the stream of ALL. I may pay for them in bulk but I won’t own them. The request to enjoy a work is thus separated from the more complicated choice of whether I want to “own” it. I can consume a movie, music or book without having to decide or follow up on ownership.

For many people this type of instant universal access is better than owning. No responsibility of care, backing up, sorting, cataloging, cleaning, or storage. As they gain in public accessibility, books, music and movies are headed to become social goods even though they might not be paid by taxes. It’s not hard to imagine most other intangible goods becoming social goods as well. Games, education, and health info are also headed in that direction.

In fact, take a few more minutes and read this piece posted by Kevin Kelly in January, 2008: Better Than Free. Here’s an excerpt:

The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundational level, it copies every action, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it…

…Every bit of data ever produced on any computer is copied somewhere. The digital economy is thus run on a river of copies. Unlike the mass-produced reproductions of the machine age, these copies are not just cheap, they are free.

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can’t be copied becomes scarce and valuable.

When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.

Well, what can’t be copied?

And finally, if you’ve got 43 minutes to invest in getting a glimpse of the future of the Internet, watch this Kevin Kelly presentation at Web and Where 2.0+ in February 2008.
(The presentation is about ~23 min. and the Q&A, the other 20 min.)

Kevin Kelly’s “Web 3.0”


How To Make Google Searches 10x More Efficient


I do a lot of searching on the Internet. And many times what I’m looking for is NOT in the top ten search results on Google (or any other search engine for that matter).

Even if I do find an item on page one of the search results, I usually like to review several results, and I find that paging through the search results ten at a time is annoying. I don’t just want to see the tip-of-the-iceberg, I want to see the whole thing at once!

So here’s how to make your Google searches 10x more efficient:

Just go to the preferences link next to the search box on the Google homepage. Then set the Number of Results per page to 100, instead of the Google default of 10 per page. That’s it! Yahoo works the same way.

Now each search yields 100 results per page, and you just have to scroll down to see them all. No more clicking forwards and backwards through all those pages.

And if you use Firefox, and employ my recent tip, Firefox Browser Tip: Single-key Search, then you can just type your search term and Firefox will instantly jump-to and highlight your term if it’s anywhere on that page of 100 results.

Now that’s 10x more efficient or more!

Caps Lock Warning

Caps Warn

If you’re like me, and you type by hunting and pecking (looking at the keyboard, and not the screen), then you may occasionally find that you have ACCIDENTALLY HIT THE CAPS LOCK KEY, AND TYPED A WHOLE SENTENCE OR PARAGRAPH IN UPPER CASE. (DOH!)

My left hand’s position obscures the Caps Lock key, and its little indicator light, and I don’t see the (tiny) visual warning that the Caps Lock function has been activated.

But I worry about it no more, because it’s CAPS Warn – 3.1 to the rescue!

CAPS Warn is designed for anyone who presses the Caps Lock or Num Lock keys frequently by mistake.

CAPS Warn is a Preference Pane that provides: A) on-screen indications of when the Caps Lock, Shift, Function (fn), Control, Option, or Command keys are pressed (or stuck on by Sticky Keys) or B) warnings that: 1) you have turned on the CAPS Lock and/or 2) you have typed a specified number (default 5) of keys with the SHIFT key (or Sticky Keys SHIFT) or CAPS Lock and/or you have turned on the Num Lock. CAPS Warn warns you regardless of what application you are typing into.

I have mine set to emit a super-creepy low voice through my speakers that warns me; “Caps Lock On!”

This saves me several precious seconds of time each day formerly spent undoing all caps text; time which I now devote to my new distraction of choice: X-Plane 9.

CAPS Warn – 3.1 Warns you if caps lock, num lock, or modifier keys are on. (Mac only)

Google Maps Plugin for WordPress

My Neighborhood!

I happen to love maps. So of course, I love my new Google Maps Plugin for WordPress.

You like maps too?

Awesome US, World & State Wall Maps:
Raven Maps & Images

And you like on-line weather maps too?

Giant National Radar Composite (it’s huge!):
National Mosaic Enhanced Radar Image

Do you know of any other great map resources? Do tell; leave a comment!

Pantone Color of the Year for 2008: BLUE IRIS

Blue has always been my favorite color. (Take look around this site!) So the news today that Pantone has selected BLUE IRIS as its color of the year for 2008 really caught my eye; and I like this color a lot.

According to their press release, Blue Iris is “a beautifully balanced blue-purple,” that combines the “stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple.” Additionally, “Blue Iris satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement.”

Ahhh, that’s nice!

Blue Irises