Low-tech way to ditch those club cards

Just_one_club_cardLast I checked, my keychain had about eight of those annoying-to-carry but good-to-have discount store cards. You know the ones: they each have a barcode for a frequent customer discount? If I add one more to the keychain, my keys won’t fit into the ignition switch, so I was glad to see this low-tech, cool solution via Lifehacker.

Hop over to the Just One Club Card website and enter the barcodes from each of your cards. You’ll have to hope that your stores are available in the JOCC dropdown; if it is, the end result will lighten your keychain load; if not, you can request the store be added. JOCC will put all of the barcodes on a small, single sheet that you can print out and keep in your wallet. If you have a wallet filled with every receipt you get got like George Costanza had, this won’t help: in that case, you’re better off lugging the heavy keychain. Too bad most of these stores won’t take an image of the barcode right from my smartphone…..

“Year of the Online Game” – O Rly?

Google 2007Google is looking to get into games, according to CNN Money, and before this week is out, should be announcing a deal to buy Adscape Media Inc., and through them, work with publishers to feed ads through the Internet into their online games. (Presumably, the elevator pitch would be, “AdSense meets Xbox Live.”) This news, along with other ads-in-games news, comes just as a related question is gaining some currency through the blogosphere. “2005 was the year of the social network,” Jason Lee Miller of WebProNews recently argued, “In 2006, online video was the chief cause of acquisition hysteria. Will 2007 be the year of the online gaming site?”
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What Steve didn’t mention

There has been a lot of complaining about the lack of new features in The WWDC keynote yesterday. I guess Apple geeks get very excited at the prospect of a new OS. I know I was queueing with everybody else for the Tiger launch.

But there are a few things which went unmentioned yesterday, a few reasons to get more excited and a few reasons we didn’t see anything really big.

First off, the ‘lack’ of, well, cool new stuff. This is the WWDC after all, so the only things that were previewed are those things the developers need to have great apps ready for the Spring. Sure, there was some flash and some fireworks, but what gets a lonely programmer (and ravenous press) fired up like little taste of “Superfluous Visual Extras”?

New iChat eye-candy shows off some of stuff. It shows how Core Animation can be put to use, and also how this stuff can be put to use in an enterprise environment. Remote Keynotes? Awesome. Not for me, but if you hook a Mac up to a projector you can pretty much beam in a presentation from anywhere. And it’s 2-way. That’s big stuff for office types. Apple are chasing the business market now.

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Nokia’s CTO Says, Keep It Simple

Business 2.0 : As phones become increasingly complex, the industry must make them easier to use, says Pertti Korhonen, chief technology officer for Nokia (NOK). I sat down with Korhonen this week to sound him out on the industry and its future. He also talked about iPod and how it has established a benchmark for mobile music devices. “Apple has set the benchmark, and we have to not only meet but exceed that. Nokia is working on it, but you have to also take into account the mobile platforms. In the end, for mobile music to take off, the cost of service and the user interface are going to be key. It is an opportunity for us to use the UI to create a unique mobile experience.” Here are some excerpts from that interview.

No MS Reader for the Smartphone

David Rothman at TeleRead has an article asking why Microsoft won’t port the ebook Reader application to the Smartphone.  I am not a fan of the DRM that Microsoft employs with protected ebooks but as David points out the Reader application itself is pretty nice.  It does make you wonder why MS hasn’t ported this program to the Smartphone platform, even though it has been ported to the Pocket PC.  Good article to read if you are a fan of Reader.

Its the broadband stupid

The total US Internet access services market is tipping $35 billion, reports In-Stat/MDR and will grow by high single digits, indicating that we are entering a mature phase of the business. Of the total revenues, consumer access services generated nearly two-thirds of the revenue. Broadband generated 50% of revenues in 2003, and will account for over 71% by the end of 2008. Another proof, dial-up is dying a slow lingering death. AOL get your ass moving dudes!

Sharp TM-150 disappoints

Sharp Electronics has been quietly making a move into the US cellular handset market, and has made favorable impression on at least Sprint customers. I was looking forward to messing around with the new Sharp TM-150. Where there is anticipation, there is disappointment. The phone, despite its curvy looks is a bit of a blah. Its like going out on a date with a bombshell, and realizing well all she got is “pasta fazzoli” between her ears.

The phone though as light as the tiny Samsung e105, feels like its made from cheap plastic. It is thick, and feels awkward in your pocket. (Hey not all of us want to have e-tool belt!) The interface, while slick is not as intuitive as it seems. The radio is well dastardly and so is the sound quality. I used Samsung e105 and Motorola V600 as comps, and was completely disappointed. The screen which is awesome is the only redeeming quality of this handset, which is a good complement for the one megapixel camera that is surprisingly good. The problem is that if you have to send those photos on the ackingly slow T-Mobile GPRS, well wait and wait. The SD Card slot is great for storing photos on a memory card, but I wonder why they did not have a MP3 playback features built into the phone. That’s a no brainer! To sum it up, I have to give a thumbs down to Sharp TM 150.