Archives for October 2007

10 Reasons why I’m buying a 2nd Generation Zune over any Apple iPod

By StrangeWork.com: After a lot of research and a lot of debating I’ve decided to purchase a 2nd Generation Zune instead of any Apple iPod currently on the market. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons why I made this decision.

2nd Generation Zune Family of Products

10. Display – The Zune display is 3.2 inches, which is slightly smaller than the iPod Touch 3.5 inch display, but much larger than the iPod Classics 2.5 inch display.

9. Video Out – The new Zune will have a video out resolution of 720×576 maximum. This is for TV output and easily beats the original Zune’s 320×240 output.

8. Wi-Fi – The Zune features 802.11b/g wireless networking allowing the ability to download music and sync quickly and easily from any Wi-Fi network.

7. Wireless Sharing – will let users share full-length songs, albums, playlists, pictures and even audio podcasts from one Zune to another. Shared songs can be played up to three times with no time restrictions, Microsoft said, and shared songs can also be pass along to other Zune users.

6. FM Tuner – The new Zunes will feature an internal FM Tuner allowing you to listen to local radio stations directly through the Zune. This is a feature that has been lacking on iPods since the beginning. Of course Apple will be happy to sell you an FM Tuner for a small fee of $49.99.

5. Landscape Mode – A feature missing from the classic iPod, Landscape Mode allows you to view videos and images in a nice widescreen format.

4. Zune Social – A new Zune social network will allow members to share their playlists and samples of the songs on their Zunes. Any Zune user will be able to can create a free, customizable Zune Card that automatically updates to reflect the music they are listening to on their Zune or with Zune software on their computer.

3. Zune Marketplace – One major reason the iPod has been so successful is because of iTunes. Until now there hasn’t been a great competitor software package available. The Zune Marketplace is changing that notion. The Zune Marketplace update will offer podcasts and the Music Store will offer one million DRM-free songs.

2. Wireless Sync – The Zune, both 1st and 2nd generation devices, will have the ability to wirelessly sync your music library from your PC using a Wi-Fi network. Imagine a world with no cords!

1. It’s not Apple – Apple has let their success in the past few years go to their head. The iPhone is a great example of Apple’s proprietary vision of what all their devices should be.

Zune Logo

I know this post will generate some controversy so let me go ahead and defend some of the comments I expect to receive:

To anyone that mentions the iPod Touch – Apple’s iPod Touch costs $50 more and has an 8GB hard drive, compared to the 80GB hard drive in the new 2nd generation Zunes. Do you want to store 20,000 songs or 2,000 songs? Next!

To anyone that mentions Microsoft – Yes Microsoft is big, we all know this. Most people are scared of big companies, we know this as well. Why don’t I care? Microsoft has done an amazing job at integrating all of their devices together. My Vista Media Center PC can talk to my Xbox 360 who can then talk to my Zune who can then talk to my Vista PC. My media is instantly shared throughout all of my devices. Make my life easier and I will love you forever!

To anyone that mentions slow Zune sales – According to Wikipedia, Apple sold 376,000 iPods in their first year of production. Microsoft sold 1 million Zunes in their first year of production. Now I understand comparing iPod sales from 2002 to Zune sales from 2007 isn’t apples to apples (pun intended), but it’s a good gauge as to where Microsoft stands. Nobody, including Microsoft, expected to sell 50 million units in one year.

Conclusion – Overall the 2nd Generation Zunes are a pretty amazing mp3 player. Microsoft listened to what people wanted in an mp3 player and incorporated those features in the new Zune.

That is why I will be at the store on November 13th to purchase my brand new Zune!

BlogRush.com: Not Ready for the Blogosphere

By StrangeWork.com: I’ve decided to remove the BlogRush.com widget from my sidebar. If you read my earlier post on BlogRush then you’re familiar with what BlogRush is.

BlogRush.com LogoI gave BlogRush 2.5 weeks to show me some results. What did I get you ask? 3 hits. 3 HITS!

Now I understand I don’t post as much as some of the bigger blogs out there, but 3 hits seems a little low for a “Rush” of blog traffic.

I also was not a big fan of their dashboard. For almost a week the dashboard page had “under construction” banners everywhere. I think overall BlogRush isn’t quite ready to be a mainstream widget. Will they get there someday? Maybe, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Looking for a good alternative? Jeff did a great write-up on CLIQin.com, which now has real estate on my sidebar.

Startup Weekend Indiana: West Lafayette Style

By StrangeWork.com: StartupWeekend.com is coming to Indiana this weekend! If you are unfamiliar with StartupWeekend.com, be sure to read my previous posts. This fast paced weekend begins at 5pm on October 12th and concludes 54 hours later at 11pm October 14th.

StartupWeekend.com LogoIf you are interested in joining us for the weekend be sure to get registered. According to Indiana Business: Ice Miller and Pearl Street Venture Funds are partnering to bring the event to West Lafayette and will both be contributing staff to help work with the new company from its inception.

We are going to have a great time and I’m really looking forward to meeting other innovators in the area! Be sure to check back this weekend as I livestream the event!

Fright Gauge: Are You Scared?

By StrangeWork.com: My web buddy Jeff sent me a great link the other day, Fright Gauge! Halloween Fright Gauge

Fright Gauge is designed to measure your visual acuity. Studies have shown that sight plays a major role in our ability to sense the weird, strange, and supernatural.

People with higher-than-average perception skills studies show, are more likely to notice paranormal phenomena.

Are you scared? BOO! Test your visual acuity.

WouldYou72.com: What Would You Do?

By StrangeWork.com: A new site boasts the question “What would you do for 72 hours straight?”. WouldYou72.com is a 72 hour internet game show. If the contestant can withstand a grueling, no sleep, 72 hour session of some predetermined activity they will win the prize of their choice.
WouldYou72.com Logo
The show is underway with one contestant playing Halo 3 for 72 hours straight. If he can succeed he will win a copy of Halo 3 and an Xbox 360.

WouldYou72.com is a tough challenge. No sleep for 72 hours is hard enough, let alone having to do an activity during that time. It will be interesting to watch this game show evolve as more contests start. Would You 72?

Win a Bloody Wii in the Rockstar Manhunt 2 Sweepstakes

By StrangeWork.com: Rockstar has just announced a new Manhunt 2 Sweepstakes giving you a chance to win a 50″ Plasma TV and a Manhunt 2 Branded Bloody Wii! The contest is free to enter, but you do have to provide name, email, and mailing address. I have to be honest, if they sold this Wii in stores I would go buy one today! But sadly they do not so I will just have to enter this contest and hope for the best.

The entry deadline for the contest is November 20, 2007 so get entered today!

Win A Bloody Wii from Rockstar Games

Justin.tv Opens to the Public

By StrangeWork.com: Justin.tv, the lifecasting hub, has opened it’s doors to the public. Now anyone with a webcam and a high speed connection can stream their life on Justin.tv.
Visit Justin.tv
Justin.tv has gained a great deal of press over the last several months as they showcased a few internet celebrities streaming their life online. Among these celebs are the sites founder Justin, everyone’s favorite Apple cheerleader iJustine, and the always funny Naked Cowboy.

If you are unfamiliar with Justin.tv give it a try. Just think real life Truman show, except the lead is in on it. I must admit I’ve wasted quite a bit of time watching different lifecasters go about their daily lives. I’m anxious to see how Justin.tv grows in the coming months. Cast on brothers, cast on!

Find Local Halloween Events at GooGhoul.com

By StrangeWork.com: Staying with the Halloween theme, I’d like to introduce GooGhoul.com (pronounced Google, clever right?). GooGhoul.com is an easy way to search for local Halloween events in your area.
Visit GooGhoul.com
Just enter your zipcode and away you go! GooGhoul.com also offers an advanced search allowing you to filter your results by different event types including Haunted House, Haunted Maze, Hayride, Festival, and more!

GooGhoul.com allows readers to submit reviews of the events listed and allows anyone to submit new events. Overall GooGhoul.com is a simple yet easy way of finding that perfect Halloween event you were looking for!

Top Halloween Related Web 2.0 Sites

By StrangeWork.com: As many of you know Halloween is my favorite holiday. The weather is perfectly chilled out, the fall leaves are coming down, and Jack-O-Lanterns are beginning to show up on doorsteps. I decided to set out on a mission to find the top Halloween related Web 2.0 sites.

I’ve followed Halloween.com for many years hoping that someone with any kind of web sense would buy that domain and make something of it. This hasn’t happened yet as you can see, so I began my search for other sites.

Top Social Network – Sinister Space (sinisterspace.com)
Visit SinisterSpace.comSinisterSpace.com is an online social networking community geared towards those interested in horror and goth. Similar to MySpace and Friendster, the site is targeted to Halloween enthusiasts and does not allow members under 18 years of age. SinisterSpace.com is still very new, having launched just 2 months ago, but they seem to have a strong user base already.

Top Message Board – Halloween Forum (halloweenforum.com)
Visit HalloweenForum.comHalloweenForum.com is the largest Halloween related Message Board with 6,000 members and over 230,000 posts. General Halloween and Props appear to be the more active sections of the forum. Where else could you create a post requesting 4 sets of small hands?

Top Mashup – Halloween Mashup (halloweenmashup.com)
Visit HalloweenMashup.com
HalloweenMashup.com launched last year just before Halloween and that appears to be the last time it was updated. There isn’t much to this site, but it is a mashup none the less. HalloweenMashup.com uses Google Maps to plot local Halloween parties, displays Yahoo Halloween related news headlines, and displays Flickr photos tagged as Halloween Costumes. I would love to see this site expand as there is so much more that could be plugged into the mashup.

Top Halloween Blog – Ghost Droppings (ghostdroppings.com)
Visit GhostDroppings.comGhostDroppings.com posts are as unique as their name. Recent topics have ranged from Brain-Eating Amoebas to installing a window in your coffin. Be sure to view their Devil’s Almanac containing an archive of interesting horror related dates and events. Updated frequently with bizarre and interesting stories.

Hopefully the above sites will fill your need for Halloween Communities during this Spooky Halloween Season. If you know of any great sites that I’ve missed please share in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!