Thoughts on technology, investing, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Google Video is released as TV search service

Google released its TV search service on Monday. Google is currently beta testing the service and right now there is limited programming to search. Searching is available for some local ABC and NBS affiliates, PBS, C-SPAN, and Fox News. Interestingly, Google actually searches the closed captioning text of the TV programs in their databases. While Google searches TV, Yahoo takes a different approach and has a much wider variety of clips to search on any particular topic.

New rock climbing blog site

One of my non-professional passions is climbing in all its forms. I’ve been an avid rock and ice climber for many years now and instead of cluttering this blog with talk of climbing, I’ve started a separate site just for climbing topics. Named All Climbing, and as the name suggests, this is a blog dedicated to climbing. From my preliminary research, there appears to be few, if any, blogs dedicated to climbing. So this new blog may be lonely for a while, but I doubt it will remain that way for long.

Beginner's Guide to Business Blogging

has just published Debbie Weilâ??s new . If you havenâ??t yet checked out ChangeThis, go there and explore right away. There are manifestos from the likes of , , , , , , Al Gore, and just to name a few.

Debbieâ??s guide is a good overview of blogging and the potential for blogs in business. For experienced bloggers, much of this you already know. For those new to blogging (especially business blogging) or for those trying to justify their use in corporate settings, this is a canâ??t miss reference.

Iâ??d advise visiting ChangeThis or Debbie’s site and downloading the guide as it’s free until January 25, 2005. After that itâ??s $29 from her website.

Spell checking via Firefox extension

The more I post to my blog, the more I miss a spell checker. To this point, I’ve found myself writing posts in Microsoft Word for the spell checking capability and then cutting and pasting to my blog. This isn’t exactly efficient. I’ve found I get in the habit of just typing along to keep the flow of my thoughts moving and leaving the typos for software to take care of. It’s not that I can’t spell, but why take the time in the middle of your thoughts to pause and correct typing error? Software should make your life easier, right? When searching for an ideal platform to run my blogs, this was my biggest gripe – no readily available spell checking.

So, it finally struck me to search looking around for alternatives. After some serious searching, I found a plug-in for Firefox called SpellBound. Apparently, IE has had something similar for a while (not that I knew about it either) in a plug-in called ieSpell. With my almost 100% reliance on Firefox over IE now, I was pleased to see an extension already there fulfilling a need.

The SpellBound extension for Firefox will check any form on a web page by simply right clicking and selecting the “Check Spelling” menu item. You do have to check each form individually, but this is a minor complaint for the functionality provided. SpellBound spell checks very well, but please remember this is not the same as spell checking in Word. There are minor bugs and words that are missed. The ability to add words to a dictionary does exist though and this assists tremendously in improving the spell checking accuracy.

Marketing satellite radio

This morning on I heard that is considering entering the satellite radio business. Who knows what level of accuracy this report has, but I made me think about the current media coverage of the satellite radio industry. Most of the hype surrounds the recent signings of big-name talents and content providers to the two main players: and . Iâ??m talking about Howard Stern (Sirius), Major League Baseball (XM Radio), the National Football League (Sirius), Opie & Anthony (XM Radio), NCAA March Madness (Sirius), Dr. Laura Schlessinger (XM Radio), G. Gordon Liddy (XM Radio), NASCAR (XM Radio), and the list goes on. As a subscriber to XM radio, the feature that actually sold me on the service was the music programming itself(shocking, isn’t it?). Granted, all the other features and programming allowed me to justify the monthly subscription fee, but what struck me was the tremendous music selection on XM. Now, this is not to say that Sirius doesnâ??t have great music, but the key is the human factor of actually creating the play lists and having excellent DJ’s run the show. When I initially listened to XM, there were a handful of stations that made me say, “hmm, if I were to personally put together a radio station and play the songs that I wanted to hear, this would be it.” Now isnâ??t that the point of radio? Maybe itâ??s the original and most pure point of radio from a listener’s point of view? Why do we listen to any particular station? A radio station is selected that best suits one’s listening interests and preferences. So it was with XM Radio for me. Everything else was fine – the technology cool and the programming extensive – but the selling feature was great music 24/7 that freed me from trying to find it myself. Iâ??ve found I spend less time messing with my MP3 player and more time just enjoying music.

With that point made, it strikes me that none of the coverage on these satellite radio services actually speaks to the music. This point specifically strikes me as significant when there is talk of DirecTV getting into the market. I’ve had DirecTV for years (specifically for the NFL Sunday Ticket to watch my beloved ) and the service has always provided 30+ digital music channels. In the most generous terms, these channels were bad. I hope there wasnâ??t any active human intervention in the programming. So, if DirecTV plans on entering this business, I surely hope they have plans to upgrade their current music offerings. For this nascent industry’s sake, I hope a little more emphasis is placed on the music.

Innovative online storgage business model

I just stumbled on a new service from a company called Streamload. It essentially provides online storage for files, but with a unique twist on the business model. Instead of charging for the amount of total storage, Streamload users pay for the amount they download. Primarily aimed at heavy music users, this service could also be a cheap alternative to backup limited amounts of crtitical files. Zero cost to store data on their servers and in the case you actually need them to be backed up, you pay for the download. Not a bad idea.