Archive for September, 2010

Restore Some Retro iTunes Features

The latest iTunes update has brought another wave of undesirable features including deeper integration of Ping. Thankfully, it’s possible to set hidden preferences and execute a few hacks to restore harmony.

These instructions only apply to the Mac and require some basic understanding of Terminal and hidden files. If it’s all Dutch, you’re best off giving this a miss.

Kill the Ping sidebar:
defaults write disablePingSidebar 1

Remove the new Ping buttons:
defaults write hide-ping-dropdown 1

Restore the coloured menu icons:

  • Kill iTunes.
  • In your applications folder, right click on iTunes and select “Show Package Contents”.
  • Download this updated iTunes.rsrc file.
  • Drop the file into “/Applications/”.

Replace the horrible iTunes icon:

  • Download this cool Looney Tunes inspired icon, or find your own.
  • Rename the icon “iTunes.icns”.
  • Drop into “/Applications/”.

There are plenty of blog posts covering these tips, but they rarely scope everything. Good luck.

 Tags: Random   Published: 28th September '10

Facebook for Celebs

If you want to use Facebook and you happen to be Paris Hilton, well I guess it might be kinda tricky. You want to be able to stay in contact with real-world friends, avoid a deluge of messages and requests from weirdos, and all whilst finding a way to drum up some PR with a presence fans can connect with. All of which is quite possible, but it’s pretty hard to navigate around all the various tools and requires settings.

I reckon there’s probably an untapped need for a specialised agency focused on offering consultancy or acting services for celebrities (and their agent/management) who want to crack the wave of new social tools. If I can muster the time and energy, it’d make an interesting project to create a flashy webpage and put together some decent white papers; creating the illusion of a fully fledged agency, and then waiting to see if anyone takes the bait.

In the meantime, if any celebrities (of the A/B list variety) would like some free in-depth consultation, please get in touch.

 Tags: Business, Internet   Published: 21st September '10

Transparent AdSense Ad

In what could be breaking news (I couldn’t find any other mentions on the web), a transparent AdSense ad has been spotted in the wild (click to expand):

The ad unit doesn’t stream video, but instead links to a YouTube video. Rather interesting!

Update: These YouTube ads have apparently been around a while – I assume their low CPM keeps their general visibility low. Pretty sure transparent backgrounds are somewhat new, however.

 Tags: AdSense, Random   Published: 16th September '10

Budget Passport Photos

I recently found myself with the need for some passport sized photos. Unfortunately, I  had already boxed up a stash of photos which I had previously made. Sheer desperation led me to pay a whopping €8 for a print containing just 4 photos. A bit of a rip-off compared to a nice trick to make your own for 20p.

It’s a doodle to produce your own DIY photos, using a trusty digital camera and the excellent tool. Take a few snaps and spruce up the best one (some folk are rather particular about the quality) and then upload it to the tool. It’ll instantly spit out a standard 4×6 print containing 6 passport sized photos.

Whilst totally free, the service does place an advertisement in one of the 6 slots, but a bit of MS Paint wizardry can easily replace that with another photo. The local supermarket or chemist usually has a printing machine and it’ll cost a mere 20p or so to make a quality print – a bargain!

 Tags: Random   Published: 14th September '10

Autumn Cleanup

To help focus my energies on revenue generating activities (the corporate world did have it’s mark), I’m doing a bit of a cleanup and offloading redundant and low-value projects.

All my spare domain names have been listed for sale and I’ve stuck a few up for auction on Flippa (the de facto marketplace for buying and selling online properties). Hopefully I can get rid of the lot, or I’ll just leave them fizzle away into non-existence.

I sold the site in an auction a couple of months ago. The idea was was to build a niche content site from scratch and see if it could be a scalable model for building a portfolio of small earners. Well, it didn’t really pan out too well in the end, but I snagged $250 from the auction which just about covered the development costs and time I had invested (circa 4-hours). (the awe-inspiring ebook that generates a small amount of fan mail) is currently up for auction, and I’ll be letting others go soon. The aim is to get rid of pretty much everything and leave myself with just the core cash-cows ( and and provide me with the capital/head-space to invest elsewhere.

 Tags: Business   Published: 7th September '10

Looking for Freedom

After a 4-year stint in Dublin, I’m back in Blighty and free from the shackles of the corporate world. It’s refreshing, yet a tad overwhelming. I’ve been rather quite likely to have been employed by two of the most prestigious Internet companies and to have worked alongside some pretty impressive folk. It was a pretty tough decision to make; the time taken to make it is a testament to that, and I’ll miss it more than I’d like to admit.

The plan of attack? For now, the aim is to continue building on my current websites and also look to build/acquire some more, whilst enjoying the benefits of not being restrained to be physically located in any particular place (location independence). Progress report to come.

The inspiration:

 Tags: Business, Random   Published: 6th September '10