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there's been a lot of buzz around google checkout, especially since some merchants are essentially giving you money to use it.  at the surface, google checkout looks to be like a federated identity/payment service.

sound familiar?  it should.  microsoft tried this with passport (and some would argue mswallet).  so what is different?  well, in true comparison, not much.  i'm not talking about a technical implementation because we have to remove that from the argument...most users don't care about the technical implementation.

what it comes down to for a service like this is trust.  in this case, google has established themselves as a trusted vendor for merchant transactions.  how?  i have no idea.  they have yet to sell anything.  but because they have succeeded on many fronts, it is no surprise that people would have no problem trying out and inevitably using their federated identity/checkout service...especially if they are getting money to do it.

i have no real point here of course.  i'm not going to point out that microsoft tried this before and although it wasn't successful it was the same idea.  i'm not going to talk about how federated identity has been around for a while.  i'm not going to talk about how a concept of a 'single account' might have been a good idea...i might have even nicknamed mine snowstorm or something like that.  nope, no comment here.

bottom line: free money + trusted name == anyone willing to try it.  i'd love to see numbers on their uptake of the checkout.  i looked hard but couldn't find a "beta" notation next to their google checkout logo -- so congrats guys on finally getting a second product out there.

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got a windows mobile phone?  don't want to wait until the official daylight savings time patch is available?  check out edgeblog's patch.  due to an energy act, daylight savings is changing in 2007.  this affects all technology vendors, including microsoft.  while a patch is available for windows, there is not yet one available for windows mobile, but the above patch essentially changes the registry to make it fixed.

UPDATE: added missing link

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i'm all for advertising your brand, etc.  but when it impacts my ability to use an application/website, it makes me mad.

take msnbc mobile for example...50 vertical pixels wasted:


a huge banner ad for windows mobile.  here's my questions:

  1. shouldn't the site know i'm already using windows mobile?
  2. shouldn't it know my device capabilities and realize that they just wasted my screen space
  3. what would msnbc publishers think that i can't even see the top headline...

this site has turned from a news site to a banner ad...hey anyone on msnbc listening?

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i have a 6-month old that has been sick the past few days.  ordinarily he's a great kid and just hangs out, never cries, keeps on a schedule, sleeps through the night, etc.  but we found his weakness: being sick.

our little guy has had a cough that my wife describes as sounding like he's 'barking like a seal' and he is not a happy child.  the past two nights he has slept probably a total of 45 minutes.  bless my wife for staying up with him while i sleep.

this morning i had an early morning trip so i relieved her about 4am to try to get him to sleep -- finally got him down at 4:30am and he was asleep still when i left at 5:45...hopefully she'll get some sleep.

man, sick sucks.

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this weekend lisa and i went skiing with some friends at in the arizona white mountains.  this was the second ski trip i've taken and needless to say, i'm a big time beginner...spending most of my time on the bunny hill or the easiest green run!  i brought my zune with me for the trip, thinking i'd play it while skiing and have some rockin' tunes to listen to as i go down the slopes.

well, i found a few problems in that concept (not zune specific).  i wired it up my shirt so that it wasn't in my way and that was ideal.  the problems, however, were not so easy -- when with a group, everyone tends to talk to each other, even on the lifts, etc.  having music in general made me 'that guy' who was always saying "what?"  i just wasn't a part of the conversation when i had it on.  i resorted to a one-ear experience so i could hear my surroundings...then the music sucked a bit.  the biggest problem was gloves.  i couldn't take them out of my ears, i wasn't able to easily change songs or put it on pause or change the volume.  gloves suck.

anyhow, while i had my zune, my wife had her iPod shuffle, which was a gift from some friends of ours.  man, that is a killer device for these scenarios (the ones where you just want music to be playing).  it was light, she could clip it anywhere, etc.  here's how she had it:


the buttons were okay enough that she could press them through her jacked most of the time...but it still wasn't easy.

so for this test: zune: 0, ipod shuffle: 1.  but that's what i expected to be honest...there's no way the current zune form factor is conducive to recreational activity.