LineX FM Transmitter

A guy on Ebay saw that I bought this FM transmitter and asked me what I thought of it. I’ve been happy with it. Here’s what I wrote:

I got mine for my iPod as well. I tried two different transmitters that I got at Best Buy and neither one worked very well but they were only $20 whereas this one was $36 including shipping. I thought with 3 batteries and a claimed range of 150′ that maybe the Linex would have more oomph. It is adequate, but not powerful.

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SI Link FM Transmitter

This is a review I posted on Amazon for a FM transmitter that would let me play the iPod over any FM radio. I gave it one star.

I use a cassette adapter with my MP3 player in the car, but was hoping to have something I could use in the house that would let me keep the MP3 player close by for skipping songs, pausing, picking albums, and changing the volume. Wiring the MP3 directly into the stereo I had to get up any time I wanted to do those things.

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Blogs

One of my AvantGo subscriptions is the NY Times technology page. I usually sync up on Sunday nights so I get some stuff from their Sunday journal (like Parade). This week they had an article about web logs (or online journals) and how high school kids use them. You can read the original but I’ll post the rest later.

Highlights:

“Ninety percent of those with blogs are between 13 and 29 years old; a full 51 percent are between 13 and 19”.

After the writer posts a comment to one kid’s journal a kid writes a new entry titled “i like how older people have grammar online”

The people who write them like expressing themselves publicly, but live in fear that someone they know will find out too much. At least one person asked that their name not be used so their parents wouldn’t find out about their blog, even though it’s available to everyone in the world (solution: geeky dad creates Movable Type site so that his kids can have their own web logs).

There are many different sites out there. The article starts with one called Blurty, then LiveJournal, and finally Xanga. The writer asks some high school girls (randomly I guess) if they have LiveJournals. “No” one said “we have Xangas.”

That’s about it. One thing I thought of while I was reading the article was that what is really needed is editors. There are tons of blogs out there and some deserve attention, but you have to have some way of going through all of it. Not randomly, probably not even by popularity since you’ll just get the most incendiary or lurid content that way. There doesn’t seem to be any lack of source material, it just needs to be culled.

Article text follows . . .

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Georgia Power Power Credit

I signed up for the Georgia Power Power Credit program. The idea is that if everyone has their air conditioners running at the same time during the summer they will have to provide an enormous amount of electricity all at once. And that peak demand may only happen a few times a year. By making sure that not everyone has their air running at the same time, the peak will be much lower meaning they don’t have to have as much equipment or power plants to supply that peak.

This is one of those things that just makes a lot of sense to me. They probably already have something similar in effect with some of their biggest customers (office buildings probably cycle through different floors so not all floors are getting AC at the same time) but feel a need to expand it to residential service as well.

It keeps your AC from running as much in the summer from 12 PM to 7 PM but only on peak days and during peak hours (and not on weekends or holidays). I don’t even usually get home until 6:30 so I feel like this is an easy way for me to participate. The brochure says it shouldn’t raise the temperature more than “a few degrees” but there’s a big difference between 78 degrees and 81. It also says they expect to activate the switch only 10 times per year. Of course those will be the 10 hottest days of the year.

I get $20 for signing up and $2 for each time they activate the switch. It sounds like a great thing now in the dead of winter, but I’ll post again next summer and say how it worked out.

While this program seems good, their “green energy” program apparently is a ripoff. Under that program you volunteer to pay more money for electricity and Georgia Power promises to get that power from “renewable resources” but they are charging a lot of extra money and apparently just using sources they already use, namely a small powerplant that is running off of methane from a trash dump.

For more information on the power credit program go to www.georgiapower.com/powercredit.

iTunes Purchase Part 2

I decided to buy some more songs yesterday so I went back to iTunes (see first entry).

I recently bought four Led Zeppelin CD’s through Columbia House because they had a Buy 1 Get 3 Free offer. At the music store one CD was $17 and the box set was something like $90 for all their music. But by buying this one album plus shipping and taxes I wound up getting 4 albums for $32 (which gave me enough bonus points for another free album). Otherwise I’d have never bought Led Zep 3, but you really do need 1 and 2 and Houses of the Holy is probably my favorite (already had IV).

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Holiday Programming

One of the iPod’s more dubious but highly geeky features is the ability to store addresses, appointments, and notes just like a PDA. The iPod’s lack of any decent way of entering text means you can’t enter anything so you still need your Palm (or Outlook if you are Palmless) to actually enter all the info. So that means you need a way of dumping the info from the Palm (in my case) to the iPod.

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