Time to toot my own horn, sort of

A while back I posted that Google better put their money where their mouth is when launching Chrome OS. It better not crash. And they better have much better support for a paid product than their free offerings.

Well the OS didn’t launch yet. At least I don’t think it has. But Google’s own Nexus One phone did. And from what I’m reading on the tech blogs, buyers are dissatisfied with the lack of support they are getting from Google.

I called it!

Google, if you want to beat Apple and Microsoft, you have to offer a little more than a help message board (which is rarely replied to by a Google employee) for customer support.

My Cross Jotter Hack, Part II

First I cringe at the word hack. It has jumped the shark. Even the expression “jumped the shark” had jumped the shark. But that’s not today’s topic…

This is Part II of my Cross jotter alteration. Pretty soon, it won’t be Cross at all. See Part I here, where I replaced the shoddy original pad with a better one from Mead.

Over a year later, I’ve finally found another pen that fits the jotter case. Granted I didn’t search too far or too wide, but I did do a fair amount of searching for a small pen (about 4”) that doesn’t have a removable cap and has a retractable tip.

Why no removable cap you ask? Well the purpose of the jotter is to quickly and easily jot down things as they come to mind–whenever and wherever I am.

I touched this a little on my productivity vs. resistance post a while back. The slightest bit of resistance can throw productivity off track. Part of the GTD system is to have a “capture device” ready at all times. I have to say, this advice has been very helpful for me in remembering things and “getting things done.”

What the heck does this have to do with the pen? What the heck am I talking about?

Most ideas or thoughts that I want to take down (and remember) happen when I’m driving or at other inconvenient times. So I need fast access to the pad and pen—when driving I’ll wait until I come to a red light of course. It turns out the pen the jotter came with, while is high quality, has a cap. And the cap is a PITA because it doesn’t fit on the back of the pen. So I either have to hold the cap, throw it on the passenger seat, or hold it in my mouth or something. I usually end up fumbling around with it or dropping it–then having to look for it. Just this tiny little seemingly insignificant inconvenience makes me not want to use the jotter at times. This may be silly, but it’s true.

Also, my G1 phone can fill in sometimes at a note taker, but let’s face it. Writing something down is 10 times faster than flipping open the phone, launching an app, and taking a simple note.

So, what’d I get? A Zebra SL-F1 Extendable Ballpoint Pen at JetPens.com. Perfect! It’s small. It writes well. It opens up quickly and smoothly. It fits the jotter’s pen slot. And it feels sturdy. It solved my little dilemma! The bonus is it’s extendable. While very small when closed, it’s a regular sized pen when extended and ready to write. It has a cool telescopic action.

What is news anyway? And what’s it worth?

There is so much talk and debate going on and flip flopping of newspaper and news sites regarding allowing search engines to crawl their pages for information.

This led me to think, what the heck is news anyway? Well more accurately, what should the news sites charge for and what should they let remain free of charge?

Today there is nearly 24/7 connectivity to information sources. News, information, ideas, etc. travel at light speed. If something happens, you find out about it. On Facebook, Twitter, or even the company water cooler.

If there is a major event, or any “newsworthy” event for that matter, the word will get out. Quickly. For a news site to hide that content so that search engines can’t crawl it and display it does not make sense at all. People will find it at the next available source, at the very same time.

I know for the newspapers, it’s not about the traffic as it seems they have a hard time monetizing it. Shutting it down is cutting off the nose to spite the face. You can’t monetize nothing either.

Charging for the content might not help either. Unless the content you are hiding and are charging a fee is truly unique and highly interesting. Ask Newsday, who got 35 paid subscribers in 3 months. Their content was not unique enough or interesting enough to get more than 35 people to pay for it. It’s gotta be GOOD!

So perhaps the newspaper and news sites should keep the general common stuff open, and only charge for the good stuff–which still might be a tough sell.