In the past couple months

In the past couple months I’ve had to grab some hotel rooms while traveling, and often wished that there was a service I could call to find out which hotel in the area had the best internet access before settling on one.

This past weekend, I had the luxury of a borrowed dial-up connection before selecting a place and knew there must be a hotel listing somewhere of all the chains that featured ethernet or wireless access. Geek Hotels is just such a list, though it doesn’t offer searches from a location, it does have fairly complete listings for each city. Being near Anaheim, we ended up staying at the Sheraton, since it offered wireless connectivity.

Of course, as this technology is still young and unreliable, there were problems. The hotel desk wasn’t even aware it offered such service, so they couldn’t help when I noticed that even though I had a full signal, Mobilestar‘s access point wasn’t redirecting me to their sign-up page or letting me log onto their network. I spent the weekend connection-free, though it would have been nice if it worked once for a quick five minute email check.

So close, yet so far.

Once apple’s new upgrade, Jaguar,

Once apple’s new upgrade, Jaguar, comes out, I’d love to get a bluetooth-enabled cellphone and finally have a way to backup and maintain my contacts without having to use a tiny keypad for data entry. Looking for phones that might work with it, however, I see “available everywhere but the US” on most models (like these).

Apple wouldn’t enable a new feature that couldn’t be used on day one, there must be some bluetooth phones currently available that I can’t find (I’ve googled, searched the cingular and sprintPCS phone pages to no avail). If anyone knows of currently available (in the US) bluetooth phones, mind dropping me a line? Thanks.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. It appears that there are only a handful of choices, a couple ericsson models, a motorola, and an upcoming nokia. Coverage looks to be a problem for the AT&T/ericsson combo as they don’t cover all markets (not mine at least). Looks like another cool bit of technology that’s not quite ready for prime time.

Bruce Perens is planning

Bruce Perens is planning on violating the DMCA tomorrow in a speech at the O’Reilly Open Source convention, by describing in detail how to thwart useless region encoding in DVD hardware.

I can’t wait to see what happens, it’s win-win either way. If he gets arrested by g-men, he’ll have a great case against a pointless law that protects pointless technology. If he doesn’t get stopped, information on how to thwart pointless technology will get out into the public realm.

UPDATE: hp pressured Perens into scrapping the demo, for their fear of lawsuit. Looks like it was lose-lose, afterall.

Over at Blogroots, we got

Over at Blogroots, we got the green light to start putting chapters online for our upcoming weblog book. The first chapter to go up is actually a later chapter, about using weblogs in a business setting. It’s one of my favorite chapters in the entire book. It covers a facet of blogging usually left behind, and explores how weblog software specially adapted to business settings could function. If you’re in the weblog tool building business, this should read like a how-to for how you’d go about creating a new product.

In regards to this latest

In regards to this latest assault on P2P networks, this quote is apt:

“There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statue or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.”

-Robert Heinlein, Life Line, 1939 [via MeFi]

CARP is quickly killing

CARP is quickly killing online radio, but there is an upside.

You are free to play any non-RIAA artists on an internet radio station without having to pay any royalties (provided you have some sort of agreement with them, that the music artists are ok with it). I had toyed with the idea of creating an online clearinghouse for unsigned bands that want the promotion of online airplay on niche streams. People running net radio streams could go there and pick out artists and music for their shows, and artists could add themselves to the database with additional info on where you could see them play or how you could buy their own CDs. Think of it as a sort of for the people, by the people.

If successful, it could help speed the death of the RIAA. If enough people could stream non-RIAA music, and enough listeners could buy self-published music, there wouldn’t be a need for the RIAA control freaks to touch music. We could route around the damage they cause fairly easily and promote a new way of conducting online music business on our collective terms instead of theirs.

I even found a good, available domain for it:

File under whoa. I was

File under whoa.

I was just visiting my friend Joe’s blog, see he’s on the radio, and clicked on the stream. The stream comes up:

“…and she had cancer, then eventually died. A few communities showed an outpouring of support, but eventually questions were asked. At one point this huge community called MetaFilter began tracking details down…”

Turn on the radio, hear “MetaFilter.” Freaky.