Archive for May, 2006
I ran across the following video via populicio.us. I’m not the biggest Nirvana fan, but I have to admit that this version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is catchy.
A recent New York Times article on the founder of the Geek Squad computer repair service includes some interesting information about the economics of leisure time:
The results from two online calculators that determine what your time is worth may surprise you. Try http://hughchou.org/calc/realwage.php or http://moneycentral.msn.com/…. First, your hourly rate may be lower than you think. For instance, someone making $70,000 a year, but who puts in 50 hours a week and commutes an hour each way, may discover the hourly rate is not $33, but about half that.
So does that mean you hire a handyman only when he costs less than $16 an hour? It’s more complicated than that. With only about 12 hours of true leisure time a day, each precious hour is bought with more than 5 hours of work. According to the calculator, each hour of spare time would then be worth about $85.
The idea ties in with a very enlightening presentation Daniel Gilbert gave at SXSW on How to Do Precisely the Right Thing at All Possible Times. He explains why many decisions are not as cut-and-dried as they appear. A podcast of Gilbert’s presentation is available, along with many others on the SXSW site.
I haven’t yet read Gilbert’s book, Stumbling on Happiness, but it has been getting some good reviews. It’s definitely on my list to read soon.
I ran across this video via populicio.us recently.
You can watch more clips and purchase DVDs at the Animusic site.
Google regularly brings in experts from various fields to give presentations to the company’s employees. In the spirit of sharing, the company makes these Tech Talk presentations available to the public via Google Video.
There are currently over 70 presentations, most lasting around an hour. Topics range from MySQL Tuning to Collecting Meteorites in Antarctica. Presenters include authors, such as Kevin Kelly and Barry Schwartz.
Of the ones I’ve watched so far, I recommend Seth Godin’s “All Marketers are Liars” talk. As with many presentations exported to the web, the video and audio aren’t always the best, but the content and the caliber of the speakers are hard to beat. And new videos are posted on a regular basis.
The ResearchBuzz blog had an article recently about the blog search features of Yahoo’s news site.
Start at Yahoo’s News Site. look at the search box in the upper middle part of the page. Note that you have the option to search news and blogs, just news, news photos, or video/audio. Do a search with the default setting, say for Fred.
Note on the results page that the news results are directly below your query box. The blog results, however, are to the right of the page. To just get blog results, click on the “More Blog results…” link at the bottom of those results. . .
The process to access Yahoo’s blog search results is a bit convoluted, so I put together a Yahoo! Blog Search bookmarklet.
My latest article for Lifehacker was posted yesterday. It’s full of tips for saving money when printing.
Some programs and printers allow users to shrink documents so that multiple pages can be printed onto a single sheet of paper. So called “n-up” printing can be convenient for reference documents, especially if you don’t want them taking up a lot of space. You may not want to read an entire book at 16 pages per sheet, but it can be convenient to have your address book crammed onto just a few sheets of paper to carry in a notebook or wallet.
Check out the comments too, for even more printing tips.
Yahoo! News has an article about Napster’s move to once again offer free music—only this time it’s legal.
In launching a new ad-supported service, Napster “becomes the first legal digital music service to offer music fans free, on-demand listening to over two million major and independent-label tracks,” according to a company statement Monday.
The catch is that users will be able to listen to songs only five times before being prompted to pay 99 cents for a download or about 10 dollars a month for a subscription. The free songs are in a “streaming” format that cannot be copied or downloaded to another device.
In a similar vein, just yesterday I signed up for a free trial of eMusic. The files are standard MP3s that can be played on just about any computer or portable music player, they’re DRM free, and beyond the trial tracks they’re $.25 or less. I’ve known about the service for a long time, but reading some good word-of-mouth via Ask MetaFilter was what made me give it a try.