Coping With the Downturn: Peer-2-Peer Rental

With the world sliding into a real or imagined recession (sometimes, it’s difficult to tell!) Web Worker Daily has been on the look out for products, services and practices that might help remote workers weather the storm and perhaps feel confident in their own ability to not only save, but even make money in a downturn.
Something that caught my attention recently was Zilok‘s peer-to-peer rental services. Zilok is at its heart a marketplace for users to either lend their items to others, or borrow items from other users.
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Blockbuster vs. AppleTV

I use Blockbuster Online, and I love it. Apple TV and downloadable rentals that I can transfer to my iPod sounds even better than getting DVDs in the mail, but I don’t own one. The Blockbuster subscription plan works well for me and is cheaper than the $229 required for the Apple TV. I have been using Blockbuster online for over 2 years and rented over 200 movies. If that seems like a lot, I am counting TV show DVDs in that count as movies as well, and we have a few minor addictions.

Rentals

I have spent about $300. That is about as much as an original Apple TV (and does not include the rented movies). If I did the same for the next two years (assuming Apple does not create a subscription model), my cost would be at least $800. But this article isn’t about the cost of an Apple TV. Nor is it about the added benefits of DVDs over digital downloads that Bob talked about a couple weeks ago (and take the time to watch the alternate ending of “I Am Legend” if you haven’t, it is amazing).
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V740 EV-DO Rev A. ExpressCard available from Verizon Wireless

OK, so you’ve got the ExpressCard slot but don’t want to reuse an old PCMCIA card. No worries, we don’t judge here. It’s all good, especially if you want fast EV-DO in the Rev. A flavor for that ExpressCard port; you can do that starting today with the V740 ExpressCard for $179.99 from Verizon Wireless. You’ll need a new two-year agreement at that price; chalk up another $50 if you fear commitment. The monthly mobility will add another $59.99 to your bill if you have a qualifying voice plan, $79.99 without. With download speeds up to to 1.4 Mbps and uploads nearly half that, isn’t your ExpressCard slot worth it?

Next Gen Wireless is Here… Almost

For all of us who have grappled with poor voice connections, dropped calls and ultra slow wireless speeds, the promise of a high-speed wireless experience has been just that – a promise. For almost half a decade, I have tracked companies like Flarion, IP Wireless, Arraycomm. I have followed technologies like EVDO, WCDMA and fixed wireless. But somehow it all remained a distant hope. And then suddenly this week all the promise has started to seem like a reality. EVDO – Sprint and Verizon – rollouts are gathering momentum in the US. Intel is working with Arraycomm on new smart antennas. Qwest is rolling out a WiMAX trial, just like BellSouth and AT&T.
And this week IPWireless got a boost in Czech Republic where its technology will be used by T-Mobile to go after the residential broadband market. And today, Finland deciding to go with Flash-OFDM, instead of CDMA. James Enck, sums it up in so few words, as he often does, when he writes, “next gen wireless coming of age.” James, let me tell you knows European telecom.
All these are small bits, loosely joined. Not today, but sometime before I am of the age when a fine cigar and a smooth brandy matter more than a high speed connection, I will get to live the dream of watching a Bollywood movie that makes sense, wirelessly on my Nokia 770 tablet, sitting in a Parisian cafe, watching the well dressed ladies sashay past me. Back to reality – I have cobbled together some bits and piece, including an interview with Flarion’s founder. This one is from the archives, but its worth your time. A wee bit analysis of the Flarion win in Finland and what day would be complete without an exclusive nugget: a likely rollout of Flarion network in my hometown of New Delhi.