Librivox Needs Your Help

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Librivox.org has produced over 7,000 free audio books which have been downloaded over 100 million times. All of this produced by volunteers on a show string. The organization counts some 40,000 registered volunteers who produce audio versions of books that are in the public domain. Some of these productions are really excellent.

It is a valuable resource to everyone who enjoys listening to books and learning how to product audiobooks.

It takes a lot of infrastructure to keep an organization like this up and running. They don’t often ask for help or for donations, but right now they are. They have a target of $50,000. And they need your help to make it happen.

Like you, I enjoy podcasts and I know I have enjoyed free audio all over the internet and this is one of the real treasures. If you want to take a listen to one of their audiobooks, here is a podcast version of Tom Sawyer audiobook produced by LibriVox.

Please donate whatever you can.  Here’s a link to the donation page.


Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

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Kindle Fire HD This is a podcast review of the Amazon Kindle HD 7 inch model which goes for $199 at Amazon.com. This is the base model HD edition with 16 GB memory and Wi-Fi.

The old Kindle’s screen broke, and this was what seemed like the next best thing to buy as a replacement.
This was a replacement for a Kindle that with a broken screen. The Kindle Fire HD promised a lot of extra functionality in addition to being able to use the old Kindle functionality.

Let me start by saying, that overall we are very pleased with the device, especially for the price. And for anybody looking for a device in the 7 inch tablet size then this would be a good choice for most people.

Read more and listen to the podcast…


Summer Movie Recap – A Season for Sequels

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Now that the summer is drawing to a close, I thought I would post about my three favorite movies from the summer movie season. Top of the list was The Dark Knight Rises. While the movie was not as good as The Dark Knight, it was well worth watching. The story held your attention and made you care about what was going on and Tom Hardy was a great Bane. The Dark Knight was a really great movie and this installment was not in that league, but if you haven’t seen it make sure you do. It’s a good idea to catch up on Batman by watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before you see it so that you’re all caught up.

Second on my list was The Bourne Legacy. This was another action packed film in the Bourne series. You really need to watch the first three movies before seeing this one. This movie and the last one overlap in timelines so you will miss a lot if you haven’t seen the last movie before seeing this one. I liked the action a lot, but didn’t really care for the idea that these special agents were special due to taking drugs to amp up their performance. It wasn’t a part of the books or a part of the original movies. I wish they had made up something better as the central plot line. But in any case, the movie delivers on the action front with lots of chase scenes and fights. The last chase scene seemed to remind me of Terminator 2 or 3 where the first gen terminator must battle a more advance Terminator model. They should have brought this out earlier as it would have given the movie more direct conflict earlier on. Bottom line is that if you liked the first three Bourne movies, you’ll like this one too.

The last movie on my list is The Hunger Games. I put this on the list mostly because the story line is pretty good and they did a nice job with showing what they could in the compressed timeline of a movie version of a book. It’s worth seeing, but a much better performance of the book is the audiobook book version of The Hunger Games. I loved the audiobook version and couldn’t wait to listen to the last two books in the series. If you have to choose between seeing the movie and listening to the audiobook, get the audiobook – it’s just better.

The last one I want to mention, is the trailer for Les Miserables. That looks really good, but we will have to wait for Christmas for that release.

That’s my short list. What were your favorite movies of the summer?


Welcome the the New Digital Podcast

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The old site had become, well, old and inflexible and lots of other problematic things, so I decided that after 7 years it was time to do a complete makeover. What you see today is just the beginning. Things work differently than they used to and I’m sorry if that’s a problem for you, but change was needed and given that I am the sole designer, programmer of this little project I did what I thought would be good for me and for other users.

My goal was make the site something of a cross between what iTunes is for a podcast directory and what Google’s Reader is for a client. I don’t know if that will be good or bad yet, but that’s the design concept I’m going for.

The site’s listings are much better now, with fewer faded out podcasts cluttering up the works. The ability to follow your favorite podcasts and listen/view should also be much better now.

I still have a list of stuff to do that spans a few pages, but I am tackling them one at time so more change to come.

So give it a try and see if you like it. At some point I will figure out a way to get more systematic feedback. Until then, here’s a link to my contact info if you need something.


One Word Movie Reviews: The Grey

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Depressing


One Word Movie Reviews: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

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Exhausting:)


One Word Movie Reviews: Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows

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Slow.


Bing, Huffington Post, Fox News All Running Ads for Scams

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A couple of years ago, I wrote about Fake Blogs being used to promote marketing scams. It seems that the fake bloggers have moved on to become Fake News sites.

The fake blog scam used a fake blog to show how the fake blogger had lost weight using 2 magic products they saw on Oprah. They gave rave reviews to the products and had lots of fake comments too. They link you to a site to get supposedly free samples. If you signed up you got put on a monthly subscription for $70 per month or something like that, without really knowing you signed up for anything.

Ads for these kinds of sites were all over the internet, including the big search engines like Google. Google took steps to stop in on their site by banning everyone whoever ran an ad to such a site. They did it without appeal or warning. Just banned people for life. They banned me too because I had tested ads to see if they were hard to get approved. They weren’t hard to get approved. Google had no problems with them until much later when the FTC got involved. Despite Google’s harsh treatment of its customers, at least you won’t find those ads there any more.

Not so for Bing, Huffington Post, Fox News and other big name sites. They still run ads for these scammers.


A Senator Who Gets The Internet

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Senator Ron Wyden is one of the few politicians anywhere who seems to really understands the Internet and the implications of Government intrusions into our privacy. He stands up to the Media industry and it’s attack on the rights of innovators.

If you want to understand some to the big issues like the so called PROTECT IP act and how the government has a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act that would upset people if we only knew what it was.

If you have 35 minutes watch this video interview with Senator Wyden.


Will Amazon & California Declare a Truce in Tax War?

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It is being widely reported that Amazon and the state legislature have declared truce in the ongoing effort to get Amazon to collect sales taxes. In the deal that passed the legislature last Friday, Amazon and other online retailers get to delay collecting sales taxes until September 2012 so that they may try to lobby for a federal solution to the tax issue. In exchange, Amazon is going to drop its proposed initiative to block the law.

Amazon had earlier offered to create 7,000 jobs in California by building multiple distribution centers in California. Amazon still wants to do that and asked for safe harbor if they go ahead, but the legislature didn’t accept that. They say that the opportunity to create jobs will have to wait until January.

It’s too bad that the only real sense of urgency in Sacramento is to collect more taxes and not to create more jobs.