Lobbying: Songbird is Amazing, Go Download!


Songbird is an open-source music playing application developed by Mozilla and built from the source of Firefox. Songbird sets itself apart from most other music applications by acting not only as a music application, but offering full web browser capabilities and a set of tools used to stream, download, and catalog music from the web.

I first heard about Mozilla’s Songbird project back in late 2006 with the release of Songbird 0.2, and even back then I was impressed with the software’s capabilities and possibilities. Although, back then Songbird still hadn’t had a chance to spread it’s wings fully, and I deemed it buggy at best. I’ve since been using the software on and off for the past two years. Every-so-often I’ll download a new release and check out the changes, marvel at added stability, and then quickly move back to using iTunes or Amarok. This time, I’m sticking with Songbird.

Recently I purchased a new laptop and, as with setting up any new computer, I was forced to hunt down all the applications I use and install them. When it came time to install a media playing application, Songbird came to mind. It had been at least 5 months since I’ve used the application, and I was curious to see how it had changed in that time span.

The New & Good

Since my last encounter with the Songbird software, a couple of things have changed. For one, the installation process has a great addition which, I may be mistaken, was not in the release I had most recently given a ride – you are given the option to install popular and very useful addons, such as iPod support and Last.fm scrobbling.

Speaking of iPod support, I must say this was a feature/addon I have overlooked in the past. I would never have trusted any application other than iTunes interfacing with my iPod, but I decided to give Songbird a chance and I’m in love. It works beautifully and didn’t give me any issues syncing my library.

The Songbird team has also completely redesigned the default theme for Songbird. This was a huge plus for me, the old theme was. . . well, lame. The new theme is bald of color, but looks much cleaner and more professional than in previous releases in it’s grey attire. Of course, if you don’t like the new theme yourself, Songbird is themeable, just like it’s cousin, Firefox.

Okay, I’m rambling, the point of this post is that there’s a new media application in town – it’s stable, open source, and packed full of fun features. So DOWNLOAD IT!

Download: Songbird 1.0 RC3

Ouch: Apple iPhone Ad Banned in UK

iPhone 3G

Looks like the people in Apple’s advertising department might be in danger of some extended time off. The iPhone ad that shows off the new iPhone 3G was banned by the advertising standards watchdog because the webpages in the ad loaded way too fast. Well, not that every iPhone ad doesn’t show this, but I guess the particular ad was just too out there for the Watchdog group to deem fair to consumers.

Apple stated the claims the ad made were “relative rather than absolute in nature” – basically they were comparing the first generation iPhone 2G’s speed with that of the 3G. Totally not implying you’d be able to load up the New York Times homepage in under one little second because they wanted you to buy the new iPhone.

Read: Apple made to drop iPhone advert

HP Mini 1000 gets 3G Support, Hack

HP Mini 1000 with SIM

Shortly after they reviewed the HP Mini 1000, LaptopMag decided to pull apart the machine to get a closer look at the blood and guts of the tiny netbook. They discovered two major things – the RAM was easily upgraded via a plastic door covering the pre-installed DIMM and there was a slot in the battery compartment that fitted an AT&T SIM card. Assuming that the netbook lacked the internal hardware to support the 3G network, they just wrote this off as a possible future feature.

However, someone over at Pocketables Forum – after spending some time on the phone with both HP and AT&T – figured out how to put that SIM slot to work. Apparently the HP Mini 1000 does support the 3G network, all you need is a Multi-WWAN driver from HP and your SIM card from AT&T. The user, dplxy, divulges the rest of the setup instructions in his post. So far there doesn’t seem to be a driver for Linux users, although I’m sure anyone willing to dig around might be able to come up with one.

New Laptop: Dell Inspiron 1318

Let’s face it, I haven’t exactly been the social light of the interweb for the past four or five months. This has mostly been due to me working constantly, but another factor was moving in with my girlfriend at her parent’s place. I didn’t have room to haul a 90+ pound, watercooled, monster PC into our room. So for the past few months I’ve been using their family PC, which is an older P4 machine.

Yesterday I was finally able to gather up enough cash to go get myself a decent laptop. Although, I didn’t splurge $1500 like I would have in years past, I got a pretty good deal on a great laptop at a place I usually wouldn’t be caught dead buying from. . . Best Buy.

The laptop I got is the Dell Inspiron 1318. It boasts 3GB of DDR2, an Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 (2.0gHz), 250GB Hard Drive, built-in web cam, bluetooth, and some other great features. Oh, and it’s only 13 inches in size (ala those tiny MacBooks).

Downside: It didn’t come with a battery. I know, the point of having a laptop is to compute on the go, but for the price I got this thing, I could care less about being tied to my power cord until I order a 9-cell battery from Dell.

Upside: The price tag of an Open-box, battery missing, display model. $367 after tax. Plus $60-100 for the battery. Good deal. These things run $700+ brand new.

Microsoft and Intel – You big dumb-dumbs

vista-crappable2Seems that Intel “bullied” Microsoft into labeling some of it’s hardware chipsets as “Vista Capable”, although, they were barely able to run Vista’s most basic features. Now there’s some sort of legal dance going on, and it seems that both parties are about to get into some serious trouble over this issue.

I’m not surprised this happened, hardware vendors will try anything to get you to buy a product even if it means lying to you about the capabilities. Microsoft may seem like an innocent party, but in reality they probably agreed to marking lower-end hardware Vista Capable to get customers to purchase their bloated, hardware intensive operating system.

Read More: Microsoft “caved” into Intel in Vista “Junk PC” scheme

A Couple Tools For Staying Social

This blog post is in response to a question Natilie posed in the Social Media room on FriendFeed.


With all the communities floating around the web today, it can be quite difficult and a bit overwhelming to keep up with all the activity. I know that I can’t always keep up with what’s going on in every community, but there are a few tools that I use to keep me updated and participating. Here’s a short list of some tools:

Continue reading “A Couple Tools For Staying Social”

A Few Reasons “Twitter Pro” is a Bad Idea

Twitter Pro?

Jason Calacanis and Pat Phelan have both written about how they would be willing to pay for a Twitter Pro/Plus that offered a guarantee of increased service reliability. This all comes as a response to the service interruptions that Twitter experiences almost every day.

I’m not sure that I see the point in paying for the increase in reliability, for a couple of reasons.
Continue reading “A Few Reasons “Twitter Pro” is a Bad Idea”