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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Commencement 1

It's been a little under a month since my last blog post. I've been busy this past month, mainly taking care of the transition between college and the real world. Instead of blogging I spent most of my time being anxious/preparing for graduation and securing a new place to live. I graduated on May 13th/14th and since then I've been finding a new place to live. I picked up the keys to my new place last Thursday and today I bought some furniture from a former California gubernatorial candidate.

In the past month, I've split my time online mostly between Craig's List and Desktop Tower Defense. Much like I used to wonder how college kids lived without Facebook, I wonder how the world survived without Craig's List. I think I will eventually do a couple of blog posts about my apartment hunting experience and the college-real world transition in general.

The small time I had between graduation-related activities, I worked on a redesign of this site. A stupid oversight on my part (I hadn't installed the widgets plugin) kept me from launching it earlier. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, but I realized that there's I know very little about the science of design (if that makes any sense). I've always been interested in user experience/user interaction, so if anyone can point me to good resources on the subject, it would be greatly appreciated.

Now that I've got this "I'm back" post out of the way, I'll go back to posting some real content (the 22 tabs I've got open in Firefox will certainly help).

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Free NY Times Select for .edu's

Scott points out that the New York Times premium content, NYT Select, is free for current students and faculty. It only requires a .edu address, so alumni with lifetime addresses would likely fly under the radar. YMMV

And because it wouldn't be a 2007 blog post with a Twitter mention…

I've signed up but still haven't gone through the registration yet. Twittervision is too time-consuming for me to have enough time to even skim the New York Times.

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PayPerPost in Traditional Media - Ruckus and the DP Caught In Bed

Whatever little ethical integrity or journalistic standards the Daily Pennsylvanian still had left, it probably lost after a "guest editorial" ran this past week. The so-called editorial was basically an advertisement for the Ruckus Network, an online music subscription service that aims to compete with Napster, Rhapsody, et al by forming agreements with universities for campus-wide coverage instead of having to deal with pesky end users.

The editorial is "written" by Ruckus President and CEO Michael Bebel and tries to extol the benefits of using Ruckus over illegal services by running the RIAA line about how illegal downloading steals from the record industry ("According to industry observers, more than 25 million songs are illegally downloaded daily. This translates into roughly $4.5 billion worth of pirated music annually, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.") and how it can lead to getting sued ("Last year, the RIAA sent letters to 700 colleges nationwide, informing those students who ignore warnings and continue to engage in illegal downloading of music they will be sued.").

How do I know Ruckus paid to run this "editorial"? I don't. But why else run something like this? Surely the paper isn't starved for content; I haven't seen anything like this in the 3.5 years I've been reading the paper and there definitely hasn't been a shortage of news either (like what the University is doing about the string of assaults on campus?) Either it was a straight ad buy or there were promises of ad purchases or free iPods or something else fishy. I do think that running this type of ad under the guise of an editorial shows how morally bankrupt the editors of Daily Pennsylvanian are. This ad is a cut and paste/mail merge job. An almost identical piece was run in the Daily Princetonian on December 15th. And that was what I found from just searching for the last sentence of the article.

I've detailed why I don't like Ruckus when the Penn service was announced. Between this and the Brock Ruckus/Facebook incident that I just read about on the Wikipedia article, I like them even less. Only now I like the DP much less also.

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I <3 IvyGate

I've been following IvyGate, a blog about the Ivy League, for a few months now and I absolutely love them. Not only is it relevant (though not for long :(), but the guys who write it are hilarious. Here's some choice quotes/links:

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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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2007

I'm back and settled in for my last semester of school. Needing only two credits to graduate, I am only taking two classes, which means I have class only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I realize many people would kill to have this much free time, so I'm forcing myself to take advantage of it.

My first project for this semester will be sorting through, processing and uploading the 1500+ photos I took on our 10 day trip to Spain over the holidays. It was an action-packed trip, and we were exhausted most of the time, but we saw a ton of stuff, had a wonderful time and met some great people! Definitely something I won't forget for a long, long time.

Being free five days a week means I'll have little excuse to not blog. FWIW, here are my blog stats for 2006 and 2005 (thanks to Alex King for the SQL queries).

					2006		2005
					====		====
	Number of posts: 	 	 162 		 100
	Posts per day:			 .44		 .27
	Days between posts:		2.25		3.65

	Average post length: 		1428 		1362
	Total length of all posts:   231,413  	     136,295

I almost doubled my frequency on 2006 and I think I can definitely double it in 2007.

More goals/projects as they come up. Talk to you soon!

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Something tells me I should get back to studying for Venture Capital

As I continue discovering new ways to put off studying for my Venture Capital final that's tomorrow at 3, Wharton grad, Half.com founder, and venture capitalist, Josh Kopelman, has posted a link to the Blueprint Ventures' 2006 holiday card. It is available on YouTube as well. So while it won't help me learn how to value Participating Convertible Preferred Stock, the break-even valuation for a Series F investment, or what a real option really is, it does show me what I can look forward to if I do learn those things ;)

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1st and 10



1st and 10

Originally uploaded by Martin Gordon.

As part of the Line (for Basketball season tickets), we went to Princeton last Saturday to watch the Quakers suffer their third OT loss in a row.

The rest of the photos from the game are here and some other photos from Friday night at the Line are here.

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Reality Outside The Echo Chamber

We briefly discussed the Google/YouTube deal in two of my classes (MGMT 230: Entrepreneurship and FNCE 250: Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation) this past week. In both classes, either I overheard or someone asked the professor, "What's YouTube?"

Now, I don't necessarily expect the average person walking down the street to know what YouTube is, but the people in my classes aren't particular average. For one, we're at the best undergrad business school in the country. Second of all, these are classes focused on entrepreneurship and VC, so I hope that the people in these classes have an interest in the subject. Yet there are some people in this very specific group who had no idea what YouTube is.

I'm still not sure if I've lost faith in my fellow classmates or gained faith in the power of the echo chamber.

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ENGL 105: Copyright and Culture

The class I am currently sitting in has a list of recommended blogs on the syllabus. We just watched a video podcast. Cool!

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