Category Archives: Tech

Amazon AutoRip Gives You a Free Digital Copy of Your CD

Amazon Autorip
Amazon Autorip

Personally, I never understood why people went out of their way to purchase a digital copy of an album on iTunes for $9.99 when they could usually get the same CD for less money on amazon and just rip their own MP3s. These days though the CD has almost become an anathema; people don’t want the physical object any more, let alone spend the extra five minutes it might take to rip it into MP3 format. That’s why I give the big thumbs up to Amazon for implementing the new AutoRip feature which automatically uploads a free digital copy of your physical media purchases (including past purchases dating back to 1998) to the amazon cloud player. While this move is platform agnostic on its face (all Cloud Player apps are supported), I imagine the primary goal behind it is to promote the Kindle Fire/Amazon Cloud Player ecosystem, (but that really doesn’t bother me at all).

Win a Lomo Fisheye No. 2 Camera

Lomo Fisheye No. 2
Lomo Fisheye No. 2 Camera

Hey folks, we’re big fans of music and photography around here and that’s why we’re always thrilled whenever we get the opportunity to give away something from the good people at Lomography. Up for grabs this week, is the super sexy looking Lomo Fisheye No. 2 in black and silver. I know I’ve said this before, but I think this is my best camera giveaway ever.

What is the Lomo Fisheye No. 2 you might ask? Well, it’s a 35mm fisheye camera with a built-in flash, multiple exposure switch, long exposure function and a premium quality Japanese fisheye lens. Checkout the product description from the lomo site below:

Product Description
The world’s greatest compact Fisheye camera is now more amazing than you ever thought possible! Not only does it have the same 170-degree wide-angle view and stunning fisheye barrel distortion, but the Fisheye No. 2 adds a bulb setting for long exposures and a switch for multiple exposures on the same frame. It also has the ability to fire both a hotshoe flash and a built-in flash. In addition, it features a true fisheye viewfinder, and a “full metal jacket” body treatment. With this new arsenal, the possibilities for your Fisheye Lomography are endless! Uses normal 35mm film that can be developed anywhere.

Built-in flash requires one AA battery, not included. []

For your chance to win this bad boy, fill out the contest entry form after the jump. Contest ends April 6, 2012 at midnight EDT, 1 entry per household, US residents only please. Also, if you register on using this URL, you’ll get $10 off your first purchase.

Lomo Fisheye No. 2 sample shot, video trailer and contest entry form after the jump.

Continue reading Win a Lomo Fisheye No. 2 Camera

HTC’s Beats Buying MOG, New MOG Windows and iPad Apps, Sony Music Unlimited Coming to iOS Devices Soon

MOG for Windows
MOG for Windows

About a month ago, there were some rumors that music streaming service MOG was for sale. Those rumors were quickly refuted by MOG founder and CEO David Hyman. Well, fast forward to last week and the big news was that HTC’s Beats unit (more commonly known as Beats by Dre) had basically bought MOG for a cool 12 million []. What’s does this mean to you? Not much really I suppose, but I’m personally just a little bit curious about what will happen with MOG MMN which serves ads on this very site (look up). In an attempt to steal some headlines from the news of their possible sale, MOG just launched a Windows app on Friday (Mar 23) which I downloaded and found to be utterly lacking. It’s basically just the HTML5 site housed inside of a windows shell. I really didn’t find that the app provided any significant marginal utility over the HTML 5 site, which worked just fine for me up until now. Last and probably most importantly (in my opinion), MOG just launched an iPad app on Sunday (Mar 25) which actually looks pretty damn good. I’ve had some troubles with the MOG mobile apps in the past (I actually had to uninstall the Android app once to get it to stop playing), but after a few minutes of fiddling this iPad App, it seems like a might be a realy winner. They might have less subscribers than the Swedish streaming giant, but kudos to MOG for beating Spotify to the punch on this one.

MOG for iPad
MOG for iPad

Finally, the mobile streaming arena is about to get a little more crowded when Sony Music Unlimited launches for iOS devices “in a few weeks” [CNet]. The Music Unlimited app is currently available on Android devices and the PS Vita (which is actually news to me).

Big Spotify Announcement Coming Wednesday, ST Holdings Opts Out of Streaming Music, Or Does It? Google Music Offers Cheap Cyber Monday Tunes

Spotify Press Conference

As you may have heard, Spotify is planning a major press conference in New York on Wednesday (November 30) to announce the company’s “new direction.” Though it hasn’t been officially confirmed by the company, AllThingsD speculates that they are likely to announce the following:

The ability to let third-party developers tap into Spotify’s music library and make it available to their own users — as long as those users are already paying Spotify for a premium account. [AllThingsD]

So while Spotify is already tightly integrated with Facebook and also available on some other connected devices, this announcement could pave the way for Spotify to achieve a “Google Maps-like” ubiquity in the marketplace.

In other streaming music news, ST Holdings recently removed all but four of its 238 labels from music streaming services Spotify, Rdio, Simfy and Napster. Here’s a quote from the now altered STH post citing their reasons for dumping the services:

As a distributor we have to do what is best for our labels. The majority of which do not want their music on such services because of the poor revenues and the detrimental affect on sales. Add to that, the feeling that their music looses it’s specialness by it’s exploitation as a low value/free commodity. Quoting one of our labels “Let’s keep the music special, fuck Spotify. []

Having attracted an avalanche of press after their announcement, it appears as if STH may have had a change of heart; if you look at the now infamous post on their site today, here’s what you see:

Streaming services update
Pleased to say we’re working with some streaming companies on solutions that work as well for artists as they do consumers. []

Google Music

Last but not least, the now out of beta Google Music, had some serious Cyber Monday deals today, selling full albums from the likes of Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Drake, Florence + The Machine, Mayer Hawthorne, She & Him, M83, Mariah Carey, Pink Floyd and others all for $1.99. It remains to be seen whether any of this pricing will remain in effect on Tuesday, but it’s after midnight ET and I’m still seeing those rock bottom prices. As an aside, I was pretty excited for the launch of Google Music, but so far I’ve been a little disappointed by the implementation. I’m having serious syncing issues on my iPad, iPod, and my Android phone, in fact, the only thing that seems to recognize my full music catalog is a web browser.

UPDATE: Most of the Cyber Monday deals are gone now, but you can still bag Coldplay’s X&Y for $1.99, if you think it’s worth that much.

Black Friday Week Deals 2011

Amazon Black Friday Deals

Some interesting items in Amazon’s Black Friday week music sale, no real whammies in movies and TV, IMHO. Black Friday Week Music Deals (Nov 21-28) Black Friday Week Movie and TV Deals (Nov 21-28) Countdown To Black Friday Deals Best Books of 2011 (Not Black Friday) Best Albums of 2011… So Far (Not Black Friday)’s Black Friday Ad (Scan)

Here are a bunch of other Black Friday sites that I like:
Black Friday at
Black Friday at
Black Friday at Gotta Deal
DealTaker Black Friday
2011 Black Friday Ads
Gizmodo’s Black Friday Feed

…and of course,

iPad/iPhone Apps
I had hoped to list a few apps this year, but I was a little disappointed with what I found in the app store. The iSlick App is nice for iPad, but it’s really just a paired down version of the site. Fatwallet also has a Black Friday app for the iPhone but I was a little disappointed with it. Last but not least, though not specifically Black Friday related, the Daily Shopper App is one of my favorite iPad deal apps out there right now.

The Inbox Of A Blogger, Over Time… Inbox (2008-2011) inbox 2008-2011
Click to enlarge the chart

So, as you might imagine, being a blogger, I get a lot of emails, so many in fact, that I can’t possibly respond to them all personally. I know this probably makes some people think I am aloof, unfriendly or even mean*, but the truth of the matter is with a full time day job, it’s hard to even maintain the level of communication that I currently keep up. Having said all that, I thought I would set out to discover the actual volume of email that I receive every day, month and year. Though my totals are not 100% accurate, (some unaccounted for email slips into my personal account and some goes directly to spam), with the help of Gmail labels and filters I was more or else able to get a pretty good estimate of the entire volume of email I have received since I started blogging. I’m no Nate Silver of course, but here are some of the more the interesting results from my statistical analysis of the data.

The Tale of The Blogger’s Inbox
Most Emails In One Month: 2663 (Mar 2011)
All Time High Daily Email Average: 85.9 emails/day (Mar 2011)
All Time High Monthly Email Average: 2,206 (Jan-Apr 2011)
First Month w/ Over 1K Emails: Oct 2008 (1,099)
First Month w/ Over 2K Emails: Mar 2010 (2,012)
2011 Total YTD (Jan-Apr): 8,824
2011 Projected Total: 26,472
2010 Total: 22,579
Total All Time (Nov 2004 – Apr 2011): 56,375

If you’d like to try this for yourself sometime, here’s how I got my data. First off, I used a Gmail filter to assign the “bumpershine” label to every email I received that was addressed to an address. Then, using Gmail’s search box, I ran a query that looked something like this: “label:bumpershine after:2011/03/1 before:2011/04/1”. Unfortunately, due to a flaw in Gmail’s search functionality, that query itself does not return an accurate total for the month until you navigate back to the page with the “oldest” emails for that month. After you’ve run the monthly query once, change the start and end dates, rinse and repeat. It’s a tedious process no doubt, but the data geek in me is now satisfied, at least for the time being. (Oh yeah, the other thing about all this data is that Gmail counts a threaded conversation as a single email, so that actually skews these numbers a bit lower than they should be.)

* The truth is I wish I could respond to everyone personally, because I don’t like being perceived negatively by folks I don’t even know, and I have a lot of empathy for the often hapless job of being a publicist.

More fun charts and statistics after the jump.

Continue reading The Inbox Of A Blogger, Over Time…

New iPad (Probably) Coming Today, Has Free Streaming for Prime Members, Kindle 3G Coming to AT&T Stores

Amazon Instant Video

On Tuesday of last week, announced that it would be providing instant streaming services at no additional to all Amazon Prime members. At first blush, this seemed like a pretty awesome benefit, but if you examine the catalog closely, Amazon’s streaming offerings are much the same as what Netflix offers to its members. Still, I’m not complaining, I’m a big fan of Amazon VOD (or Amazon Instant Video as it now called) and my Roku.

AT&TOn a related note, starting on Sunday, March 6, the Kindle 3G will be available at all company owned AT&T Wireless stores for $189 (the same price as TechCrunch also reports that is considering Prime members a free Kindle with the purchase of a membership. As a long time Prime member, all I can is, that would be pretty sweet!

Last but not least, today (Wednesday, March 2), it’s widely rumored that Apple will pull back the veil of the latest iteration of its popular iPad device. The event begins at 10AM PST and will be live blogged by Gizmodo, Engadget and TUAW, just to name a few.

Disinfecting the “welcometotheglobalisnet” Virus

Hey folks, sorry if you saw a fake anti-virus scanner earlier today, I seem to have been infected with a virus/malware script. If your WordPress site was hit with the “welcometotheglobalisnet” malware script as well, here’s what you can do to disinfect. In your mySQL client, execute the following SQL statement:

UPDATE wp_posts
SET post_content=(
REPLACE (post_content,
'<script src=\"[FULL PATH TO MALWARE SCRIPT]"></script>',

CES 2011 Is On!

CES 2011

The pre-CES posts have already been flowing for days, but today marks the official kick off of CES 2011 (Jan 6-9) in Las Vegas. Like they do every year, Engadget is back with its obsessive coverage from the massive technology trade show, including an endless barrage of posts coupled with nightly podcasts. You can follow along with all the insanity at the optimized or at Other tech sites covering CES include, Gizmodo, PC Mag, cnet, Crunch Gear, and Boy Genius Report (just to name a few).