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Vista out in 6 flavors, iPod shuffle in 5

To counteract the media frenzy Microsoft is unleashing to coincide with today's release of Windows Vista, Apple has quietly introduced 4 new flavors of iPod shuffle - blue, green, pink, and orange. Also new with this release is the inclusion of the new headphones that are standard with the 2G nanos and 5.5G iPods (the original shuffle came with the old-style headphones).

This marks the first time Apple has released an iPod in orange, and it's the color that has gotten the most talk in the online Mac community today, although it could be because AppleInsider was the first to have shots of the new shuffle and it happened to be an orange one.

The left side of my Apple in-ear headphones died again (that's the 3rd time) and I need to get them replaced. Hopefully Apple will replace them for free, but if not, a new shuffle is only a $30 upsell from the $40 in-ear headphones (or $40 from the regular headphones). That's not too bad, however unnecessary a shuffle might be at the moment…

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The More You Know: Amazon and "obidos"

Almost every Amazon page has it (correction: had it), but not many actually know what "obidos" really means. Luckily for the curious, the now defunct Google Answers has the answer.

According to someone who supposedly worked at Amazon:

Obidos is the area where the Amazon is "concentrated" - it narrows to
a point about a mile wide and a couple hundred feet deep. It's the
chokepoint of the Amazon. A wry sense of humor turned that to the
naming scheme.

Amazon wrote their own web serving environment because the selection
of scripting/webcontrol languages when they got started was so lousy.
They had to call it something, so obidos it was. :)

So there you have it…

TMYK

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Full Text Feeds or Die

Ethan wants to start a movement:

Everyone should unsusbscribe to feeds which don’t honor the spirit of RSS.
Everyone should thereby unsubscirbe from feeds which do not provide full-text.

I tend to agree with him. When I started this blog, I had partial feeds and Google ads because I cared about numbers. Then I gave up partial feeds because I only cared about numbers with dollar signs. Then I gave up Google ads because I cared only about me.

Anyway, I decided to go through my feeds and pick out how many of them are actually partial feeds. Here's my list:

  • Ars Technica (more than one feed) (no good excuse, but probably my favorite site on the 'Net; been following it for 6+ years)
  • Daily Pennsylvanian (school newspaper; a partial feed sure beats picking up a paper copy)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del (only care about knowing when the new comic is up, which doesn't show up in the feed, FWIW)
  • Penny Arcade (same as above)
  • Brighthand (should probably unsubscribe)
  • Daring Fireball (I believe there's a paid version of full-text feeds, which I should get around to purchasing)
  • DP Review (I don't care about their news items, since all I watch out for are the camera reviews, which tend to be ~10 pages long anyway)
  • Phill Ryu (hasn't updated since November)
  • LOST — The Tail Section (I don't know of any other decent Lost blogs)
  • Cheap Ass Gamer (not a partial feed; has no text at all)
  • Trey Copeland (should probably unsubscribe)
  • ThinkSecret (best Apple rumor site)
  • Startup Review (another unsub candidate)

In order to not encourage the partial feeding, I'm not gonna link to these guys. If they sound interesting enough to you from the name, then Google them. My partial feeds total to 16 (counting 4 for Ars Technica) out of my 140 feeds, a little more than 10%. I'll probably unsubscribe to 4 or 5 of them, bringing my percentage to below 10%, only one of which (Daring Fireball) I would consider a true blog. It's a start.

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The More You Know: Microsoft and "1033"

I've seen the number in various install directories for Microsoft products. This shot of a Windows Vista retail box shows the very special number in the URL in the 2nd paragraph and my interest was suddenly rekindled.

According to this MSDN blog, the number is the local identifier for "English (United States)" based on a formula described in the post.

So there you have it…

TMYK

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My First (Second?) Amazon Order

I'm jumping on this meme after seeing it on TUAW blogger (and fellow Philly blogger) Scott McNulty's personal blog. According to Amazon.com, my first order was on Feb 28, 2001. I ordered Slaughterhouse 5 by Vonnegut and A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. This was in 10th grade.

I also remember ordering an Intro to Linux book sometime prior to 2001 (in 99 or 00), but that was using a different email address, so it doesn't show up. I remember they sent me an Intro to UNIX book which I had to send back.

What was your first Amazon.com order?

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Twittering

I am on Twitter, but I don't know why. At least for me, Facebook status updates are much more convenient and more readily accessible to anyone that would care to know what I'm doing, if not equally useless.

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Now This Is Price Gouging…

Speaking of price gouging, Metroblogging Miami came across a gas station in Miami Beach that is charging $3.55 and up for a gallon of gas. This gas station is located on 41st St and Royal Palm Ave, and I would drive past it every day to and from school (my sister still does).

I'm taking back what I was originally going to write about this (which was that it is a terrible thing). After considering my last post a bit more, I suppose that if people are willing to pay this much for gas, then the gas station is entitled to charge that amount (during a state of emergency, this is not the case). Without another gas station within a 20 blocks radius and the first/last one encountered when going from/to the airport to Miami Beach, this might just be a result of monopolistic competition (and taking advantage of poor, innocent tourists).

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The Fine Line Between Price Gouging and Business As Usual

Our favorite product pricing company, iSuppli, just released a report stating that the iPhone is carrying a 50% margin.

My prediction: There will be some yelling and screaming about how Apple is taking advantage of consumers. Come June, the same people will gobble up every last iPhone available, thereby justifying Apple's pricing.

Remember, kids, it's a fair price for someone if they're okay with paying that much. No one needs an iPhone, so Apple can choose whatever price they want for it.

[via Engadget Mobile]

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PS3: The New 3DO?

People are still making games for mid-90s console failures the 3DO and Jaguar. That's not the interesting part. The interesting part is a comment on that post that offers a quote from the 3DO's Wikipedia page:

The success and quality of subsequent next generation systems which began coming onto the market in the mid-90's, the limited library of titles, the lack of third-party support, and a refusal to reduce pricing till almost the end of the products life were among the many issues that led to the platform's demise. For a significant period of the products life cycle, 3DO's official stance on pricing was that the 3DO was not a video game console, it was a high-end audio-visual system and was priced accordingly, so no price adjustment was needed (emphasis mine).

Sound familiar?

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Convergence's/The iPhone's #1 Enemy: Gravity

This CrunchGear post on a fake iPhone that popped up on eBay reminded me of something that happened to me yesterday: I dropped my Treo. It broke into three pieces (battery, phone and battery cover), and the phone suffered no damage, but it could have been much worse.

Had it been an iPhone that I dropped, I would have not been out a phone, but also (as Steve has pointed out) an iPod and an "internet communicator." Knowing Apple's stance on accidental damage, I would also have been out $600. Also considering the many other ways the phone could find its way apart from you, and the idea of diversifying risk becomes more and more appealing.

Now that the effects of the RDF (reality distortion field) have subsided, I've become less and less interested in the iPhone. I think Apple made a big mistake by not even taking pre-orders immediately after the announcement.

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