business

URBAN & RURAL AT&T

Two articles about AT&T that tell you everything you need to know about cell phone carriers and  their concern for those of us outside the big cities.

Coverage just keeps getting better in heavily populated urban areas! AT&T completed a major upgrade of the network in New York City and is working on a similar upgrade in San Francisco, according to this article. […] continued

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NETFLIX FFFT ZZZT

Another glimpse behind the scenes, this time by a reporter who was allowed to visit a Netflix distribution center.

If you subscribe to the DVD-rental service, the Netflix warehouse, which you know must exist somewhere; which a P.O. Box on every Netflix envelope suggests does exist; which processes your Netflix queue with alarming efficiency; which you bet will be as magical as you imagined if you ever stumble on it, overrun with dancing Oompa Loompas in matching jumpsuits of Netflix red, is one of those mythical New Economy temples.

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Amazon Love

It seems appropriate to say something nice about online shopping, after last week’s rant about Buy.com.

I buy everything from Amazon.com. That’s why I have the Amazon search box at the top of the bruceb favorites page – because I use it constantly.

At some level you probably know that Amazon sells more than books, but you might want to try looking there for almost anything that crosses your mind. […] continued

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Buy.Com And “Customer Loyalty”

This is a cautionary tale to make you careful online shoppers. It strikes close to home for me because it involves Buy.com, a favorite of mine at one time, but the scam is also used on Orbitz, Fandango and other sites.

When Buy.com opened its online doors in the late 90s, I thought it was a great resource for computer peripherals and software. […] continued

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COMCAST SPEED INCREASE

Comcast Internet subscribers in the North Bay are getting a free speed increase, and some new choices for even faster Internet connections. Here’s today’s press release. The increase covers much of Northern California, including all of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Residential customers are supposed to have their speeds doubled for free, effective immediately. […] continued

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iPHONES AND CARRIERS

iphone_att I ran across an interesting article about the effect Apple is having on the wireless business. The conventional wisdom has been that AT&T and Verizon are abusing their market power when they enter into exclusive arrangements with handset manufacturers. A letter from four senators got the FCC looking into the exclusive handset deals, and the Department of Justice has started an “initial review” that potentially could lead to antitrust action.  Realistically, it’s only AT&T’s exclusive right to sell the iPhone that causes concern, although there are similarly restrictive deals for the Palm Pre (Sprint) and devices built on Google Android (currently T-Mobile). […] continued

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WEB HOSTING

At some point on Tuesday, the web host for bruceb.com will change from XO Communications to GoDaddy. In theory it’s going to go smoothly and you won’t notice. If bruceb.com disappears for a while, rest assured that I’m going nuts trying to fix it.

I can’t unravel the mysteries of domain registration and web hosting in a few paragraphs. […] continued

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R.I.P. COMPUSERVE

compuservelogo

Does your technology memory extend back to the 80s? If so, you may shed a nostalgic tear at the news that the last remnants of CompuServe have been shut down by its current owner, America Online. I spent many hours listening to the dialup modem make its bong-bong sounds connecting to a local CompuServe number so I could scroll through text screens of online forums and download little DOS utilities and games. […] continued

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WINDOWS 7 – UPGRADES

Pretty tempting, eh? For the next ten days or so, you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium upgrades for fifty bucks, or Windows 7 Professional for a hundred bucks. It’s a really truly cheap sale, a limited offer from Microsoft scheduled to end July 11, and only continuing “while supplies last.” No one knows how many units are being sold by Amazon and a host of other retailers but a report came in from Japan tonight that the discounted upgrades were sold out in that country in less than two days. […] continued

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BEHIND THE SCENES: DATA CENTERS

I love occasional glimpses behind the scenes. In The Wizard of Oz, I would have been Toto, pulling back the curtain to figure out what was running the big head. The New York Times gives us a fascinating look at the data centers powering the online services that drive our world – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and more. […] continued

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MICROSOFT DISCONTINUES MS MONEY

Have you noticed the collapse in the market for boxed software? We used to go to Best Buy or Staples or Costco and buy the latest programs in boxes. The only time we do that now is for Quicken and Quickbooks. Just about everything else is either preinstalled on our computers or downloaded. […] continued

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ON-DEMAND PUBLISHING

obama Today Amazon began selling a book of photographs and essays about Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency and his first 100 days in office. It’s not the first book like that but this one has an interesting twist, and the publishing industry is hoping you find it compelling – or if not this one, then another one that uses the same technology. […] continued

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GOOGLE LOCAL BUSINESS SEARCH

Small businesses should pay close attention to this article about a recent change in the way Google reports search results. Apparently Google recently began analyzing the IP address where a search originates and giving higher placement to local businesses, even if the search doesn’t include a particular location.

For your business, the process begins by putting information into the “Google Local Business Center.” Someone from your business has to log in with a free Google Account and put in a few details about the business. […] continued

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KAISER RECORDS IN A FLASH

Kaiser is taking an interesting step to make your medical records available to you in a flash. Let me give you some background, then tell you about yet another of the ways that the world is changing around us.

Technology is going to play a major role in the health care debate that is about to take place in the US. […] continued

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SUBSIDIZED NETBOOKS

Netbooks will be widespread by the end of the year, shaking up the PC market and changing our world in ways that will be more dramatic than you expect. You might not have foreseen one of the ways they’ll be distributed – sold and subsidized by the cell phone carriers.

verizonmodem Many notebook computer users are familiar with the concept of a separate “mobile broadband” device built into the notebook, or plugged into a USB port, that gives the computer an Internet connection anywhere within a cell phone carrier’s network. […] continued

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