For everything you want to know about the Nobel Prize, go to NobelPrize.org. Be sure to scroll down on the home page to see the results for 2007.  BTW, did you know that Alfred Nobel invented dynamite?

When artists yearn for creative freedom, even the riches that come in the form of dollars only go so far. The pressure to be creative grows and grows until it blows, and for the recording industry, it is starting to blow.

Witness the following events:

  • Radiohead, currently not under contract with a record label, announced that the price for the all digital version of its latest album was going to be whatever you wanted to pay. September 30, ’07.
  • Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Rezner wrote on October 8, ’07, “I’ve waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label.” 
  • Madonna is not renewing her contract with Warner Brothers, instead opting to go with a concert promotion company, Live Nation (NYSE: LVY). This according to the Wall Street Journal on October 10, ’07.

These and other artists are leading the movement to be free from oppressive record companies. Free from oxymorons like inspiration schedules and formula forced creations. Like many other industries where the Internet has played a role in removing barriers, the recording industry will never be the same. It will be better. Both for artists who want to be free and for consumers who will pay for their freedom.

Seth Godin has an interesting perspecitve on this.

Type a ‘w’ or the word ‘word’, and Microsoft Word is launched. Type ‘ppt’ and Microsoft PowerPoint is launched. Type ‘g’ and Google is launched in your browser. It may not seem like it, but typing a few letters is even easier than mousing over to desktop icons.

SlickRun is a utility that floats on your Windows desktop and lets you assign a program path to a short word or just one letter. For example; typing ‘w’ in SlickRun on my machine launches ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE’ which is the path to Microsoft Word. You can define as many shortcuts as you like, and there are options for window size, parameters, and startup paths.

xo-computer-small.jpgYou may have heard about this project, the $100 laptop for children? It turns out the goal of creating a durable, functional, and usable laptop really ends up costing a bit more, but at $200 the XO is still revolutionary.

This is one of those projects that takes two big, hairy, audacious goals and drives them together to create a revolution. Each goal, in and of themselves would be amazing accomplishments, but when both happen together, the resulting revolution will change the world.

The goals are simple: 1) A $100 laptop. 2) A laptop for every child. Of course, the two work hand in hand, but separately, they have ramifications that will be felt for decades and together will change lives, the computer industry and the world.

As you review the features, think about how they will impact a child somewhere in the world, maybe in a classroom, maybe in a handmade house, maybe in your own living room.

  • 3.2 lbs.
  • Waterproof, dust-proof, drop proof with a handle
  • Viewable in total darkness and direct sunlight
  • 2 watts power consumption results in very long battery life and many different charging options including a hand crank
  • 1GB flash memory
  • WiFi networking
  • Mesh networking – XO’s can detect other XO’s and piggyback off each-other to gain network access and share documents and files.
  • Word processor, calculator, PDF reader, programs for music, chat, painting, and some games
  • Built in camera and speakers
  • USB connectivity

Please learn more about this project at www.Laptop.org. You can also learn more at NYTimes.com.

zune-black-small.jpgFully packaged and refurbished Microsoft Zune 30GB on Woot.com for $99 + $5 shipping via a super secret link.






zoom-h2-hand1.jpgFrom the first 8 guitar notes of “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” to the haunting calls of the howler monkey on your trip to Belize to the light and airey strums of the ukulele band on Kauai, music and sounds have a uniqe ability to take us away to that special place. Capturing these sounds and the music has been possible for a long time, but not until the introduction of the Zoom H2 hand held surround-sound recorder has it been so easy and so inexpensive with such a professional level of quality.

Here are the details:

  • 4 track surround-sound recording via 4 microphones
  • MP3: 64-320 kbps, Wav: To 24 bit/96 KHz
  • SD card storage (4 GB stores 377 minutes at 16 bit 44.1 kHz – CD quality)
  • Mini-jack phone/line level output, external mic input, line level input, and USB
  • About the size of a hand held razor
  • $199

Indepth reviews and specs at Zoom, O’Reilly and Cnet.

The latest version of Firefly flyPhone, yep, the one designed for children, has great features but still suffers from poor call quality. So says PC Magazine.

centro.jpgCentro is the beautiful new smartphone just announced by Palm. It can handle almost all the programs that run on the Palm Operating System. This could be a huge winner, especially at $99.

Here are the details:

  1. Screen – 320×320 pixel Transflective color touchscreen, supports 16-bit color (up to 65K colors) 
  2. Radio – Dual-band CDMA2000 EvDO backward compatible with 1XRTT and IS95 
  3. Platform – Palm OS 5.4.9 
  4. Bluetooth® Wireless Technology Version 1.2 
  5. Memory – 64MB available user storage 
  6. Camera – 1.3 megapixels with 2x digital zoom and video capture 
  7. Battery – Removable 1150mAh, lithium-ion, 3.5 hours talk time, up to 300 hours standby time 
  8. Expansion – microSD card (up to 4GB supported)
  9. Conector – Multi-connector
  10. Dimensions – 4.22″ (L) x 2.11″ (W) x 0.73″ (D); 4.2 oz  See a size comparison
Sling Media, the company that introduced place shifting to the world, has been purchased by early investor EchoStar Communications for 380 million dollars. Hopefully this gives Sling the money to grow and continued freedom to innovate. Read more on the Sling Media site.

Some of the best deals on the net last just 24 hours, so you have to be quick. These “deals-of-the-day” are designed to get you to come back day after day looking for a great price, and they work. Woot.com for example is very popular. But who has the time to go from one site to the another?

With over 60 “deals-of-the-day” aggregated onto one page, DODTracker.com displays the name of the product, who’s selling it, the price and a picture; all the essential information you need to decide if you are interested. Decide quickly though, the clock is ticking.

P.S. Don’t stop at the ad break when scrolling down the page.