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35 Places To Download Free, Legal MP3s (Download Squad)

Aug 31st 2008 3:27PM Several nice little niche genre sites (including the children's music site you referenced above) are available via http://freemusicgroup.com

Music genres represented include solo piano and acoustic guitar instrumentals, Christmas music, folk/rock singer-songwriter and more. Subscribe to the blog to be notified when new music is posted.

One more excellent resource: http://thefreemusicdirectory.com provides a searchable directory linking to the sites of hundreds of indie artists who offer at least one free MP3 download on their site.

The 5 most annoying programs on your PC (Download Squad)

Jan 1st 2008 4:22PM I hate Acrobat Reader. For awhile, I used Fox-It...but I grew very weary of not being able to do ANYTHING other than simply opening the doc...i.e., copy/paste, etc.

Lately, I switched to XChange PDF Viewer. I'm not saying it's any better than Fox-It...but I like it pretty well so far.


Team DMOZ (DMOZ Blog)

Dec 18th 2007 4:59PM As much as I would like to believe that the things you've said in this post are true, I have given up hope on DMOZ. I do not mean to disparage the work of those who have sunk in a lot of hours simply because they believe in the value of the directory. I have a friend who is an editor (or was the last time I discussed the topic with her) and I know that she does it for the right reasons. I'm sure there are many more like her.

But...the bad things have gone on too long. There's been no objective evidence to those of us not on the inside that anyone gives a damn when it comes to the categories that matter to us. I have watched more and more categories with shifting/disappearing editors. Personally, I know that my sites are high-value. All the letters of thanks I receive from site visitors are much more important in confirming that than any other criterion. But, with one exception, I haven't had a site added to DMOZ for the better part of 2-3 years (whether initiated by me or by an editor). If you were covering the categories properly, this would not be the case. My sites are too prominent in the search results and too well-linked from a variety of relevant sources to have been missed by anyone who was really looking.

I was very briefly an editor some years ago and had to drop out due to a sudden onset of difficult family circumstances that left me with no discretionary time. Because I believe in contrbuting to quality resources, I came back later to reapply...only to be grilled on every single site I manage (as if I was volunteering only to further my own personal agenda). I finally gave up in frustration. Here I am trying to help out in categories where I have at least a fair degree of knowledge and a good eye for quality...as well as some relevant web resources (which should be a qualification, not a reason for suspicion), and I'm being given the third degree. I feel like it would be a lot better to either pair up new editor applicants with an existing editor for peer review for a short time, or something less grueling. And, simply to try someone out, and see what they actually do...not what ones fears they might do. In other words, the path to acceptance as an editor appears to be an obstacle course. Maybe that's warranted because of the type of people that usually apply...but it drove me away. I am way too busy and have too much self-respect for that.

Either way, after watching key categories languish for so long without any moderation whatsoever, I feel as though I've been forced to the decision that DMOZ no longer really matters. I think it's sad...because an authoritative directory is clearly as important as is a relatively authoritative knowledgebase like Wikipedia. Something that stands out as a shining example of value. But I just don't see that it's so any longer. There may be categories where you're relevant, but in the ones where I have a personal interest...you're literally years out of date...which is an eternity in internet time.

I do wish you well, but I'm not expecting things to turn around.

The Engadget Interview: Sean McCarthy, CEO of Steorn (Engadget)

Jul 17th 2007 6:48PM I ain't no freakin' genius. But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I found the guy to be appropriately humble. He said all the right things, and the interview kept me engaged all the way thru (no pun intended).

I have just finished listening to Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything. Love the book...but whether it's 100% spot on or not, I'm pretty damned sure that its accurate in its reputation that the great discoveries of science are never what we expect them to be, and almost always break several pre-existing rules, laws or whatever. We are SO arrogant sometimes...and our minds are so small. That makes me want to laugh.

I would love for this to be true, as it would address many needs in the world in due time (including sucking the financial heart right out of a certain group of the world's most deadly terrorists).

I have no idea if it's true or not. But if he's BS-ing us all, I hope he is completely exposed and possibly harmed in the process. If he's deluded, he needs mental help. And if he's right...well, it will be a happy day watching you all eat your hats.

AbiWord: Word Processing for Everyone (Download Squad)

Mar 9th 2007 10:38PM Abiword seemed like a good idea for me, so I tried it for a couple months. But I consistently had problems importing Word docs with tables. They came out scrambled and unreadable every time. So I switched over to OO for the first time and it's worked flawless for me ever since. There are plenty of things I'd like to see improved about OO, but in terms of a working app, it survived where Abiword failed me.

DRM: the state of disrepair (Engadget)

Feb 16th 2007 2:21PM This is a perfect time for DRM to be dropped. Everyone, including the labels, stands to gain if it's done right.

My suggestion:


$1M a year in Google Adsense (or why 2,739 is my favorite number) (The Jason Calacanis Weblog)

Oct 24th 2005 3:02PM Agreed about the horizontal adlinks units. I like them better than the vertical ones. I generally tuck them between the page title and the beginning of the content...although I have a friend who tests vigorously, and she swears by embedding them in a horizontal site bar...black type with semi-dark background.