nullstream weblog - Lame

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs


June 9, 2008 01:30 AM PST

A couple of years ago I replaced a large proportion of the light bulbs in my house with CF bulbs. Almost immediately I noticed the savings on my power bill. I justified the higher cost and almost ridiculous disposal issues by the long term savings I was going to get. After all these things are supposed to last a crazy long time (up to 10 years - it says so right on the package). I eventually replaced nearly all the bulbs in my house.

Well as of now I'm officially changing my mind on that decision. The reason? These things are dying right and left. It seems that for 3 - 4 times the money I'm getting bulbs that are lasting 1/3 the time. In fact the vanity mirror and flood types are only lasting 10 - 14 months on average for me. That is far less than the incandescents they replaced. So much for long life. Now I've got a pile of crazy mercury filled dead bulbs that I'm probably going to have to pay to dispose of. So much for saving the environment.

I think this is another case where the consumer is being sold snake oil.

Comments (9)

Amazon Kindle


November 19, 2007 11:06 AM PST


The Kindle is a new e-book reader from Amazon. I decline to link to it here because it's so lame. Yes... this is an editorial, not a review.

For $400 you get a small e-paper reader with a built in cell phone connection to download books, newspapers and blogs (and possibly email). The first thing about the device that is so ridiculous is how badly the device is designed. It's like they just haphazardly threw buttons and scroll wheels all over it. In this day of the iPhone - you just can't have poor design like this.

The second issue is the price of the device and content. At $400 the device is retailing for far more than the BOM cost. The OLPC XO is only $200 and includes both a color screen and an e-paper display. And the $400 Asus eePC is a full Windows running notebook. The electronic content at $10/book for new releases is cheaper than full priced hardcover books, but the DRM limitations offset that to some extent. The price is OK, but definitely not game-changing. Then there's the $1 per blog subscription cost. Of course blogs are free, but I suppose the idea here is to offset the cellular download cost. Somehow bloggers also get a cut of this price, so it's more than just data costs obviously.

My final peeve is that there is a mini-usb port AND a charging jack. Why can't current devices standardize on freaking USB for charging? Two of the wires in USB are for power, so why include a separate power brick and jack?

Overall - I just can't get past the poor hardware design and hardware cost to even begin thinking about any benefits to this thing. Let's wait for the Apple iRead with multitouch.
Comments (5)

Mobile Data Plans


November 2, 2007 10:09 PM PST

You think mobile data plans in the US are crazy expensive? Check out this rant about Rogers in Canada. Wow.

Comments (0)

Comcast Tactics


October 19, 2007 07:40 PM PST

We'll tests are starting to show that Comcast is indeed messing with BitTorrent traffic. Since there are at least some legitimate uses of BitTorrent it will be interesting to see how this progresses. I doubt your day to day MP3 pirate will bring a lawsuit against them, but perhaps some company who's business is hurt by this will.

I have also heard rumors of Comcast terminating VPN connections regularly. When contacted they claim that using your connection for business use (work) is against the service agreement.

Comments (1)

Lina Press Release


September 19, 2007 10:27 AM PST

Lina posts a new press release.

I've looked at these guys before. They claim "LINA enables Linux binaries to run with native look and feel on Windows, Mac, and Linux, without recompiling." The next paragraph indicates that they are "Linux command line and server applications". Wow, command apps with the native look and feel... Count me unimpressed.

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Do you want Photoshop Basic, Professional or Ultimate


March 26, 2007 11:35 AM PST

Looks like Adobe is taking a page from Microsoft's product book and now has at least six inscrutable product versions. Not only is the product bundling tremendously confusing, but the pricing seems really over the top. It will now be even more absurd when they claim that each time a kid pirates a copy of their CS Master Suite, they're losing $2499 (the math doesn't work when the money was never there to begin with).

Comments (1)

Do you want Halo Basic, Professional, Or Ultimate?


March 16, 2007 05:26 PM PST

Now Microsoft is extending their wildly popular multi - SKU strategy to the Halo franchise. That's just great. Where do they come up with this stuff? My guess: They hired some marketing big-wig from McDonalds. "Would you like to super size that?"

Comments (5)