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Delivered overnight to your doorstep: Boxes, boxes and more boxes!

piles and piles of cardboard boxes

I confess, I’ve been sucked into the Amazon Subscribe and Save program. I hate having to battle parking lots and fight the crowds at Target just to buy toilet paper and tissues. It’s so much easier to let the regular staples come to me once a month.

I also do the same with miscellaneous other items – books, the odd tool. (Between Netflix and AppleTV, I’ve cut way back on Blu-rays, and 99% of my music purchases are mp3 downloads.)

And now I find I’m living with a perpetual scourge: Empty boxes. Boxes of all sizes that I have to break down, fold up, stuff into the recycling can or somehow bundle up. And the stuffing material, which (thankfully) is mostly recyclable as well, but is bulky.

Cardboard in, cardboard out. Cardboard shredded up and pulped. Cardboard reformed into new cardboard. Rinse and repeat. Over and over and over.

Let’s have re-usable boxes!

Imagine FedEx and UPS had reusable rigid plastic (or, better, starch-fiber) tubs that they used to deliver stuff to us! You get stuff, you unload the tub, you put it out for pickup, just like empty milk bottles of the days of yore.

iPad where there was none: How Apple's new product competes against non-consumption

Once I got over the ridiculous name — and thank you, HuffPo, for sharing the Mad TV sketch that long predates the iPad announcement — I started to see how the new Apple iPad fits in the current market.

It doesn't. That's right, it doesn't. And I predict it's going to be a pretty big success, too.

Apple iPad faux pas

Are you wanting an iPad?

I find myself wanting an iPad to read the news in the morning. It would be nice for magazines, too, I think. Of course I'm assuming that the usability will be very good. Maybe I'm wrong.

But I think the iPad will be a big success.

What do you think? Is the iPad a must-have device for you?

No, Google is not a monopoly

First, some context

Henry Porter, an opinionator granted a regular podium by the Guardian, has written a bit of a rant claiming that we're victims of Google, a "monopoly."

Google presents a far greater threat to the livelihood of individuals and the future of commercial institutions important to the community. One case emerged last week when a letter from Billy Bragg, Robin Gibb and other songwriters was published in the Times explaining that Google was playing very rough with those who appeared on its subsidiary, YouTube. When the Performing Rights Society demanded more money for music videos streamed from the website, Google reacted by refusing to pay the requested 0.22p per play and took down the videos of the artists concerned.

It does this with impunity because it is dominant worldwide and knows the songwriters have nowhere else to go. Google is the portal to a massive audience: you comply with its terms or feel the weight of its boot on your windpipe.

Whither Twitter? Silicon Valley businesses pressured to do business

Every morning I reach for my iPhone to get the latest news from Bloomberg. (I'd probably go to the NY Times first, but their app is still far too unstable and slow to be of much use.) This morning, one headline jumped out at me:

Twitter Shuns Venture-Capital Money as Startup Values Plunge

Well I had to read that article. And it seems to hint at the piercing of the Silicon Valley Bubble -- not a floating bubble leading to a crash, but rather the isolation bubble, like Bubble Boy. What? Silicon Valley is Bubble Boy?

Evan Williams raised $22 million in funding for Twitter Inc., a Web site used by everyone from Britney Spears to Starbucks Corp. to Barack Obama. Sales? Those could come later -- that was, until the economy tanked.

Barack Obama, John McCain and Net Neutrality

Change is coming. In fact, if you look over the past 15 years it's already here: the Internet. What it is now, with blogs and social networks, software-as-a-service and 'net-enabled applications, bears scant resemblance to what it was like in 1995. Think about how much it has changed just since you got on the net. No question: the Internet is evolving faster and faster. Do we know what it will look like in 15 years? Ten years? A year from now?

No. The Internet is changing too fast too fast.

Why Net Neutrality is important

The phrase "Net Neutrality" itself is unfortunate because, alliteration aside, it doesn't really have punch, but it's very important. Liza Sabater describes it as "digital civil rights." It's a clear concept when you talk about governmental control of the Internet. China, with the collaboration of its state-run ISPs and American search engine companies, has already demonstrated that control and censorship of the Internet is already possible.

New signage on the building

pingVision signage

pingVision building

Now it somehow feels more official.

So the Times sees it as a "women's issue," like shoes and handbags?

Oh my, not again. Via Elisa's Worker Bees Blog:

A couple of months ago, prompted by Mary Hodder, I blogged about the NY Times and its odd placement of a technology story about girl geeks in the Fashion & Style section.

Well, they're at it again. And this time it is even more egregious. Check the article Diversity Isn’t Rocket Science, Is It? In the Fashion & Style section.

The article itself is quite provocative....

Apple's in the wrong, but Safari really is the better browser

As a citizen and computer user, I agree that Apple is wrong to push Safari on Windows users:

Debate is raging today over the news that Steve Jobs has made good on his summertime promise and is now sending Apple's browser Safari along for the ride when Windows users are prompted to update iTunes or Quicktime.

Users can deselect the additional software download, but let's be realistic - there's got to be millions of people unwittingly downloading Safari onto their computers right now. Downloading software has to be opt-in, not opt-out.

It's not Choice, Seth, it's Voice

Seth Godin is worth reading because he so frequently comes up with some interesting insights about this modern world that's evolving and growing before our eyes. But I think here he gets it this wrong:

If I had to pick one word to describe what's new, what's different and what's important about now vs. then, it would be "choice."

The choice of more products.
The choice of more retailers. Many a click away.
The choice of more consumers to ask for an opinion.
The choice by marketers over who to market to (precision increases).
The choice of workers to be virtual or flexible or change careers.

He goes on with some for-instances.

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