Lala.com The Game Changer

11.6.09

Check it out at LaLa.com licensed music, free, online.

I’m not sure that it’s a business model that’s good for musicians, but business and art aren’t often a marriage.

It’s an incredible start up, you can play music straight from your browser, so it doesn’t take up precious space on your hard drive. With over 6 million songs (as of today) and no intrusive advertising, I’m betting on LaLa.

Somewhere an executive at Apple is weeping. My kids don’t have to buy their music any longer.

Peek Review: Storytelling In Real Time

10.30.09

Last week I got an email from Six Apart and this is exactly what is said:

Jessica, we know you’re going to say no, so we’re going to beg and plead with you. Will you please pretty please review the Peek Pronto Mobile Messaging Device for us on October 30th. In return you will get to keep the Peek.*

And my exact response was:

No, that is stupid.**

But then they said:

But Jessica, we love you best.

So I asked them to overnight it, and that is honest to goodness how the entire conversation went and even if you have your sister working at Six Apart I need you to know they love me best. (more…)

Tech Talk Tuesday: HP TouchSmart IQ846 Desktop PC Review

09.15.09

L1080345
A few months ago Microsoft was kind enough to invite me to the Zune Lounge to preview their newest version of Internet Explorer. It was really a great invite and I loved seeing the new browser. Here’s an exact replay of how it went.

INCREDIBLY PATIENT MICROSOFT MAN: … as you see there are new search features where you click…

ME: Holy cow! Did you just touch the screen?

IPMM: Yeah, it’s a touch screen, as I was saying…

ME: Wow, what if you want to right click on a touch screen?

IPMM: Uh, well, you’d do this [demonstrates] and if you right click inside of Internet Explorer

ME: that’s terrific, how big is this screen?

IPMM: I don’t know, our client is Microsoft, this is an HP computer.

ME: Is there a representative from HP here? Because this computer is ah-maaaa-zing!

IPMM: No, you’re in the Microsoft Zune Lounge, we are all about Microsoft here

ME: Right, but my computer really sucks and it makes this whirring sound, so I’m pretty sure your software won’t work on it anyhow. Really, nothing works on it. How much do you think this computer costs?

IPMM: Mrs. Gottlieb, I don’t really know, can I get you a drink?

And then he picked up the phone and I think he dialed his therapist, but I can’t be 100% sure because he said something about wanting to be alone. And that is exactly how it happened. I am a blogger, I would never exaggerate.

Over the course of the next few weeks my computer got noisier and had me panicking more. I asked folks on twitter if they knew anyone at HP, and Daniel Paul (who apparently knows everyone in the world) was kind enough to make introductions. HP sent me my dream computer to review for you (plus one to be reviewed next week) and I’ve been grinning like a six year old ever since.

My HP TouchSmart came in the most humongous box I’ve ever seen, with zero foam, recycled cardboard insert and a minimum of paperwork. Kudos, packaging matters, it’s all got to return to the earth before you do if you want me to love you.

Now comes the tough part, telling you about the computer. It’s the HP TouchSmart IQ846 Desktop PC, but you can just call it *le awesome*. It comes all loaded up with Windows Vista, which is quite a treat for a lady that just tossed Windows 98. It’s fast, it’s quiet and the screen is brilliant. Not like brilliant smart, but brilliant, dazzling with rich colors and the built in speakers deliver rich sound.

The keyboard and mouse are wifeless and slip under the computer for easy storage. If you’ve ever read Dwell just for fun, you’ll appreciate the design of this setup.

This computer does everything, there’s all the standard computing things plus the touch screen (did I mention you can touch the screen?), but the big bonus is that it’s a TV and sound system as well. We popped in a Blu Ray disc and the picture is stunning. Music is crisp and clear.

This snazzy computer is also a television replacement. You can hook it up to your receiver and it works at a TV DVR combo. I hear rumors that it’ll wash the dog for you once it’s out of beta.

I adore this computer… love, adore.. want to marry this computer. If I were a single woman I’d probably buy this for my living room and use it as a computer, television and music player all in one. I’m an iphone devotee and it works well with the iphone. Woo hoo!

Now for the bummers. It’s expensive, for $1,800 you’ve got to actually need this. Who needs this setup? If you’re in an office and you give presentations this is perfect, the touch screen enables you to focus on your presentation and flip through slides with ease, further the quality of the pictures far surpasses anything a projector can offer. Like I said before this is a great solution for anyone who doesn’t want to clutter their home with three (or more) devices to watch films, television, listen to music or compute. The design is worth the dollars if you appreciate a beautiful home. I need the TouchSmart because I’m high maintenance. End. Of. Story.

The screen isn’t viewed well from above. If the computer is at a desk and you’re standing up the blacks will appear to be slate grey. It’s not a huge difference for me or my kids, but my husband noticed it when I was showing him something and he was standing while I sat.

I’d recommend this computer without hesitation. It brings a smile to my face every time I sit down to write. If you’re looking for specs they’re here here.

Why I Magpie: Tech Talk Tuesday

03.31.09

Back in November of 2008 there was a new kid on the block. Magpie. Magpie is a start up out of Germany wherein advertisements are placed in a twitterers stream.

At first there was an “I hate Magpie” uproar. Magpie would take away from the authenticity of Twitter. There are still folks who say they will instantly unfollow anyone who uses Magpie. I guess I’ll lose them.

instant-unfollow

Can we face facts? Your beloved authenticity is a hoax. Most of the Social Media personalities are finely honed marketing instruments. If I go to one more tech party where I hear someone referring to their spouse as a brand, I think my head might spin off my shoulders. Publicists have bloggers and microbloggers singing their client’s praises all for a dinner out and a bottle of shampoo.

Years ago blog pursists were appalled when folks started adding Google Adsense to their blogspot pages. Today we all expect to see advertising widgets on the sidebar.

Glam Media used the Emmy Awards for sponsored tweets. There are twitter parties and hashtags and publicists roaming the Twitterverse. Why not an advertisement? At least it’s transparent.

I had some concerns about Magpie being a scam. I’d had a quick burst of advertisements from them, and then nothing for a while. I realize now that they’re new, and probably had some growing pains. In addition to all of that, I’m not the ideal person to advertise with.

I cuss
I point fingers
I start boycotts
I abhor WalMart and make a hobby of taunting the Eleven idiots Moms

But even with all that, Magpie still finds a few advertisers for a Mom like me. Why? Because the people who follow me appreciate a little cheekiness and can see past a curse word. I made a few dollars, and I didn’t do any extra work, five thousand people looked at an advertisement, that was most likely for a small company that we’d all appreciate anyhow. There are tons of etsy shops on Magpie, who doesn’t like chicks who knit?

why-i-magpie

Tell me, what’s wrong with that?

I’m going to go against all my initial instincts and wholeheartedly recommend Magpie both for advertisers and for publishers.

It’s like the perfect marriage, me and a friendly German Bird.

#magpie

The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth: Tech Talk Tuesday

03.10.09

The net is where the big kids play. If you’re ready to dive in the deep end and have a play at the social media party; grow a set. Yes, ladies, that goes for you too.

Today I’ll just highlight four facets of Social Media and let you draw your own conclusions. I’m hopeful that you’ll leave some comments and spark a lively discussion.

Own It. (more…)