Tell Congress: Don't censor the Web

Let's join Google, Wikipedia and others in telling Congress not to censor the web! Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There's no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.

Facebook giveaway for "Corporate Ties"

The Goodreads giveaway for Corporate Ties has been a huge success. I had 400 people sign up to receive a free copy of my new book. Of course, not everyone is on Goodreads, so I thought I'd also do a Facebook giveaway.

'The Developers' Kindle edition now available in 11,000 libraries

It's getting easier to check out e-books from U.S. libraries, now that Amazon recently announced that Kindle users could download e-books from 11,000 libraries. It's important to note that you don't have to have an actual Kindle to be a Kindle user; you can also use the free Kindle app available on many mobile devices, or the Kindle Cloud Reader from your browser.

American Red Cross, please stop calling me!

We're having a blood drive at work today. I unfortunately will not be participating today, or ever again, because the American Red Cross refuses to stop calling me.

This is a strange predicament for me because I've been a fairly loyal donor for about 15 years. But due to the Red Cross' refusal to remove me from its calling list, I'm really not that interested in donating again.

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Random News

Podcast named word of the year

Apparently, they (meaning the New Oxford American Dictionary) name a word of the year every year. This year, the winner is "podcast," which of course is what a pea plant wears after breaking its stem. Rootkit and lifehack finished behind podcast in the voting, although I'm still not sure who voted. Read more about it on BBC News.

"The Developers" giveaway on Goodreads

I'm currently giving away 15 copies of my first book, "The Developers," on Goodreads. The giveaway ends in December, but sign up now so you'll be registered to win. I'm planning on doing a giveaway with "Corporate Ties" as well, so that you can stock up on Christmas gifts!

Compromise might be in store for Internet radio

The deadline has past, but Internet radio is still on. Maybe it will stay that way for a little while longer.

Negotiations are still rolling since SoundExchange, which is the overseer of recording industry royalty fees, agreed to continue searching for new rates. The biggest issue, it seems, is coming to a suitable compromise between large and small webcasters. It appears that some of the major players, like Time Warner and Yahoo! will have to pay the royalties, just like everyone else.

Pay up, then Meetup

The ever-popular Meetup.com website will begin charging its groups a monthly fee beginning May 1, 2005, and while the price is still fairly cheap, it's more than free.

The site announced changes recently, obviously in an effort to earn some dough from users. Then again, it's probably going to be a tough sell considering the users never anticipated paying anything from the start.

If you can't beat the heat, join it

Boy it's hot outside. That's why I'm inside now. People keep talking about beating the heat. You've got to be kidding. You couldn't even beat the heat with a large frying pan. To avoid one silly cliché, I've decided to live by another — if you can't beat it, join it. Here's a short list of things to do to join the heat:

Start a fire — You can burn a lot faster, and burn a lot more for that matter. The folks at Woodstock 99 decided to light a few bonfires, loot shops and get really, really angry. Unfortunately, Willie Nelson escaped with few burns.

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