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It’s Wednesday, May 21 at 12 pm EST. It’s on behalf of Genesys, a conferencing company.

It’s a beautiful night in DC

I’m giving a speech tomorrow morning, and I’m sitting outside at Saigon Cafe, enjoying shrimp bun on the patio [no, this hasn’t turned into one of those boring travelogue blogs]. Just for fun, I opened my laptop, and there, on the patio, in a strange town (strange to me, anyway) is a wireless hotspot. For $1, I’m online.

Internet, all the time, everywhere. It’s here, folks.

Now, what do we do with it?

Overlooked in the hoopla

I’m busy checking out Apple’s new iTunes software (it lets you buy tracks for 99 cents–a great UI, but the pricing is a little onerous. I wonder what would happen if it was $20 a month for unlimited music?). Anyway, the hidden jewel is how good internet radio is getting.

iTunes lists more than a hundred stations (including Athiest radio and more than a dozen ambient stations) and they’re all free, all interesting and all the time.

One Week Left to Nominate

I have ten spots left in my new eBook, 99 Cows, which will be done on May 8.

If you, your service, your organization, your company or someone you know is truly remarkable (a real Purple Cow) then go ahead and use this NOMINATION FORM to let me know. Fame, fortune and fun, or best two out of three.


Spam spam spam (part 1)

Executives at AOL, MSN and Yahoo! were obviously reading my blog several months ago about the easiest way to put an end to spam. They announced today a plan to work together to create a whitelist of permission marketers (and, one assumes, that leads to a blacklist of everyone else).

Missing from this equation is the key part, imho—friction. I think we need to charge something (just a penny is enough) to make it expensive to send huge amounts of email where the expected return is quite low.

Spam spam spam (part 2)

My favorite hometown senator, Chuck Schumer, today announced a bill legislating a “do not spam” list. While it has some hallmarks of typical top-heavy federal legislation (he wants $75 million, you and I could do it for less than a million), it’s a good step in the right direction. However, without a mechanical way to enforce people from sending anonymous mail, it’s not going to matter at all. That’s why I believe that charging a tiny fee to send mail is the best way to ensure that people are who they say they are.

Spam spam spam (part 3)

Got quite the phone call today. If you run a business, you probably know that there’s money in compiling Dun and Bradstreet-type directories. These are exhaustive listings of companies, contact info and accounting data, for sale to all manner of marketers. In order to make the listings work, the companies have to keep them up to date.

The state of the art is to phonespam CEOs of small businesses and ask them a bunch of personal questions. The end result is a (not surprisingly) small response rate.

Today, they resorted to trickery.

The caller informed me that they were a package delivery company and they had a shipment for us, delivered tomorrow. They wanted to confirm the address and such. They asked, “Are you at 145 Palisade Street?” I went along, because of course I wanted my package.

It was only at question 4, “Have your annual sales increased since last year?” that I realized I was being scammed. I started asking questions, hoping to give you a better profile, but she hung up.

I’ll say it again: Tricking people is not a long-term business strategy.

Spam spam spam (part 4)

I got a spam fax today. That means I’m about to get 100 more (because once it’s in a database somewhere, the cost of duplicating it is zero). Who cares that it’s against the law. The physics of the business model mean it’s going to spread.

Is there a cure for selfishness?

Now we’re talking complicated!

Epicurious is a compendium of recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. A nice feature is their “most popular recipes.” Here’s a way to see what the world is cooking.

And yes, that’s right, in spot #11 is, “Salted Water for Boiling.” Now, they don’t have a recipe for actually boiling the water, but they do tell you how much salt to use.

It was beat by Turkey Meatloaf, but just by a hair.

No galactic lesson to be learned here, just bad programming or stupid surfers. Or both.

Less than $13!

Hardball negotiations have led to an amazing price on the new Purple Cow book. If you buy more than 10 at a time, Barnes & Noble will sell them to you for about $12.97. No idea for how long, but click here and happy reading. It ships on May 12. Moo.