How Does A Cat Get 1/2 Million Twitter Followers?

I just read an article over at TechCrunch about a lone web site about cats [?] getting some 1/2 million twitter followers. But this is not the story. The story is what the site doesn’t say. In other words it seems from the description of what is being posted, most of it is just……well……..unexplainable gibberish.


“and so I slept and then I walked around and then I slept again and then I saw a cobweb and OH FINE YES IT IS A SLOW NEWS DAY” in addition to “HOORAY THE ATTIC IS OPEN awesome view from attic window PLUS I PROVIDE CREEPY CAT SHADOW IN TOP WINDOW wooooooooooo look out socks above”,

So what exactly makes being a follower of this twitter site so attractive? If someone knows the answer to this mystery please share it with us.

Comments are welcome.


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452,000 Of Us Are Professional Bloggers

Though the numbers cited by the Wall Street Journal suggest that some 20 million people blog, the labor department reports that 452,000 have made blogging their primary source of income. So is making money the only reason for people blogging?

I don’t know know about other bloggers but money is not my primary reason for blogging. I started blogging because I felt I had something important to share with others. I first started out blogging about computer stuff and new technologies. Later I added some posts about cars and some about the economic complexities of our economy. But my primary focus remains in the tech field and testing of software’s. 

Blogging offers me several advantages that I think are great compared to a comparable job outside of the home. First there are no dress requirements nor driving to the office. The hours are my own and I can work around my other priorities in life mainly family. I can stop typing at any time, play with the dog or share a family meal and return to work the next day.

Another benefit is the fine people I have met here on The Blade. people who have shared their opinions, their experiences and their thoughts with all of us. I not only provide information but I also receive information in return. Many times in the past I have asked questions and readers have responded with their recommendations. So not only do I get to voice my opinion but I receive valuable information in return. 

I also found this table from an article over at 

But it is not all a bowl of cherries. I usually spend about 45 to 50 hours a week on the computer. I even try to post when I am on vacation. Also the income numbers seem kind of high as well. I know some bloggers have complained to me of making a few hundred a month in their endeavors.

But that’s another story. 

Comments welcome.



Google – We Want To Help Twitter Make Money

Most CEO’s might be reluactant to speak about other companies. But not the folks that head Google. While Twitter is a social networking hit, the company still needs to make money money in order to survive. Whe better to help them? Google of course. While Yahoo is suffering recession pains, Google has only beem slightly pricked by the recession needle, so far. So when Google’s Eric Schmidt was asked about Twitter he stated the following:


“Twitter proves innovation is alive and well in Silicon Valley,” Schmidt said. “The question is how to make money. You can imagine that as these companies become successful, as Twitter is already successful, they could become a channel for product information and marketing, whether it’s a text ad or video ad off it. That’s a logical strategy to pursue and we’d be happy to pursue it with them.


It sounds like Twitter and Google would be a good match up. Google has the resources and know how to make big bucks, while Twitter has the networking audience to direct those ads at.

Comments welcome.


AIG = Arrogance, Incompetence & Greed

Arrogance, Incompetence & Greed. That is exactly what AIG is. You know it, I know it and so does the world.

But now we are going to have to listen to all of the blowhards in Washington jumping on the trash AIG band wagon. These are the same people who are also arrogant, incompetent and greedy. Besides getting the bonus money back from AIG, shouldn’t we also give serious thought about kicking these people out of office?

Politicians love to throw the spot light on any issue that gets the light off of them. But I seriously doubt any of us don’t know where the real problem is. The time for finger pointing is over. 

What is your opinion?

Merrill Lynch Made 696 Employees Millionaires With Taxpayer Money

After Bank of America purchased Merill Lynch using taxpayer funds, the company proceeded to pay out millions to employees for bonuses. The main complaint from those who are looking into this is how a company could even consider any type of bonuses after posting a $15 billion loss? The people who ran Merill Lynch are coming under fire for paying out over $1 million in bonuses to some 686 employees.

The Consumerist states that:

Bearing in mind that Merrill moved up its bonus payments in advance of its announced $15 billion quarterly loss and $27 billion annual loss, we have determined that Merrill Lynch made the following bonus payments:

  • The top four bonus recipients received a combined $121 million;
  • The next four bonus recipients received a combined $62 million;
  • The next six bonus recipients received a combined $66 million;
  • Fourteen individuals received bonuses of $1 0 million or more and combined they received more than $250 million;
  • 20 individuals received bonuses of $8 million or more;
  • 53 individuals received bonuses of $5 million or more;
  • 149 individuals received bonuses of $3 million or more;
  • Overall, the top 149 bonus recipients received a combined $858 million;
  • 696 individuals received bonuses of $1 million or more.
    Again, these payments and their curious timing raise serious questions as to whether the Merrill Lynch and Bank of America Boards of Directors were derelict in their duties and violated their fiduciary obligations.

It should be interesting to see what further information is discovered as the investigation proceeds.I personally believe that the people involved in this and others who received taxpayer money should be asked to return it. I believe it would be a simple matter to ask for the return of the money and if it is not returned have the IRS examine the returns of these people for the past three years and for the next 10 or 20 years. This should get their attention.

As for the executives who handed out these undeserved bonuses maybe some time in jail will get their attention as well.


Blogs – Are They Another High Tech Fantasy?

I just got finished reading an article by Daniel Lyons over at Newsweek in which he dewscribes his reasons for hanging up his blogging career. The main reason Mr, Lyons states as his reasoning behind his decision is purely monetary. During his career, he wrote a blog in which he covered the life and times of Steve Jobs. He also states that he was never able to make a decent living from blogging, so is going back to work.

In his article he states that:

For two years I was obsessed with trying to turn a blog into a business. I posted 10 or 20 items a day to my site, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, rarely taking a break. I blogged from cabs, using my BlackBerry. I blogged in the middle of the night, having awakened with an idea. I rationalized this insane behavior by telling myself that at the end of this rainbow I would find a huge pot of gold. But reality kept interfering with this fantasy. My first epiphany occurred in August 2007, when The New York Times ran a story revealing my identity, which until then I’d kept secret. On that day more than 500,000 people hit my site—by far the biggest day I’d ever had—and through Google’s AdSense program I earned about a hundred bucks. Over the course of that entire month, in which my site was visited by 1.5 million people, I earned a whopping total of $1,039.81. Soon after this I struck an advertising deal that paid better wages. But I never made enough to quit my day job. Eventually I shut down—not for financial reasons, but because Steve Jobs appeared to be in poor health. I walked away feeling burned out and weighing 20 pounds more than when I started. I also came away with a sneaking suspicion that while blogs can do many wonderful things, generating huge amounts of money isn’t one of them.

If you read the entire article you will find that there are some major blog sites making million of $ every year. So the fact that Mr. Lyon’s wasn’t successful shouldn’t stop a new blogger from dreaming. Dreaming of the riches he or she may make from the comfort of their home while banging away at a computer keybaord while dressed in their pajamas’s.

But what do you think? Is blogging a money maker for you or just a part time endeavor? Do you plan on getting rich by blogging or are you just satisfied to make some pocket change?

Comments welcome.



It’s not any fun to sign up for something and pay money for it when you know that you could have probably landed a better deal with another option. I have to say, I’m a fairly lazy consumer. I tend to purchase first and ask questions later, which isn’t exactly the smartest way to shop. Things like cell phone service and credit card plans are easy to get into, but with so many alternatives, it’s hard to really know if you’re making the best decision because the companies like to maintain a sense of mystery around their products. BillShrink will help you to make smart decisions that fit you the best.

Right now the service is all about cell phone and credit card plans, and while this is great, I’d love to see BillShrink branch out into other areas eventually. To get started, you specify your current usage so that BillShrink can find alternatives that will save you money both now and in the future. You’ll probably discover that you can save hundreds of dollars by making some simple changes, and you’ll even be notified if better offers become available.


Just when it seems like the economy couldn’t get any worse, it does. With the way things are right now, it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money or hardly any at all because we’re all in the same boat and we’re all being affected in some way or another by what’s going on. While the cost of living is increasing, our paychecks are probably staying the same, and in some cases they’re disappearing completely. Therefore, it’s very important that we stay in control of our finances, and Rudder will help us to do that.

Instead of having to keep up with multiple accounts to see how your financial health is doing, Rudder organizes all of your information for you and delivers a daily update through e-mail. You’ll be able to see how your balances are doing, monitor your transactions, find out when your bills are due, and even be assisted with figuring out how much money is left for you to spend after the bills are paid. Mint appears to be the leader in this area, but it’s always nice to have other options.


Google Sends Out Email About Advertising

I received this email from Google on Thursday afternoon:

Dear Publisher,

We understand that the recent economic turmoil has created a lot of uncertainty in the lives of AdSense publishers. During these difficult times, we’re continuing to invest in innovations that improve publisher monetization and advertiser value in the content network.

We’re focusing on further developing our product offerings and boosting ad performance for publishers. We recently announced advancements in AdSense for search and experiments to make ads more effective. We’re bringing DoubleClick technologies to AdSense publishers, and we’ll continue to launch new products and features. We’re also continuing to improve our offerings for AdWords advertisers, making it easier for them to target the Google content network. Features for advertisers, such as the new display ad builder, are designed to improve ad performance on AdSense publisher sites.

We’ll keep driving technological progress, but our best asset will always be our publisher partners. The strength of AdSense lies in the value of the content you bring to users and the quality of the sites you bring to advertisers. Our success is tied to yours. We look forward to partnering with you for the long term, and remain dedicated to helping you succeed.


Kim Scott
Director AdSense Online Sales & Operations

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

I never gave it much thought about the possibility that advertising could plummet, but this email from Google has started me thinking. How much will advertisers pull back?

What do you think? Are we all headed for a huge economic down turn that will affect advertising? Or will ads just continue as usual?

Comments welcome.


Have you ever wondered how much money some of your stuff is worth? You may think that a particular item has a certain value, but just because you believe it to be true, that doesn’t make it so. While things are worth different amounts to different people, a general value can be determined for almost anything. One of the ways that this is done is by looking at previous sales of comparable items, and it also helps to get input from a variety of people. Ztail will help you figure out what your stuff is worth.

If you want to satisfy your curiosity, just specify the item that you want to appraise and accurately select the details that describe it. You’ll be able to filter through similar sales results, and community members can also chip in and decide what they think it’s worth. As a responsible Ztail community member, it would also be beneficial if you helped to specify the worth of other items on the site. Once you’ve determined what you think the item must be worth, you can then start the process of selling it if you’re so inclined.


Educate Yourself About Our Financial Times

Over and over it’s obvious that the vast majority of people I speak with have no real idea what the current financial situation is all about, how it happened, and how it works.

It’s not often I’ll ask people to take the time to listen to an audio show, no matter what. But in this case, I think it’s important enough. With all the media discussion about the gloom and doom of the current economic mess, there’s been little or no meaningful education about what caused it and where we are now. Panic reporting doesn’t prepare anyone. History and analysis does.

So: Listen to two audio episodes of a show called This American Life, which are linked below, and you’ll be a much more aware citizen. You’ll find yourself much better prepared to think about where we are and where we’re going. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding where we’re going, and why.

I hope this is helpful to at least one person. I know I found the reporting and explanations cogent, thoughtful, understandable, non-partisan, and non-political, and — as a result — quite valuable.

Let me know what you think.


Internet Ads – Is The Sky Falling?

Internet web sites, including most blogs, are dependent on advertising to pay the cost of their site and to make a profit on their writings. But with money becoming tight and with economic uncertainties in the news, it seems that there is some doubt as how advertising on the Internet will fair. Some are taking the position that advertising  could take a hit as companies cut back on their Internets ads. But is it all doom and gloom? Is the sky falling?

According to one article which states:

But Sly Bailey has a more sinister view of the year. "Remember 1999?," she rather gloomily asked last week’s Association of Online Publishers’ conference. "Well 2009 will be like Groundhog Day. For the lucky we should expect consolidation – and for the less fortunate, failure." The Trinity Mirror boss said she was "firmly of the belief that there will be casualties in the coming months".

She’s not the only senior media figure predicting blood on the digital publishing carpet. Maurice Levy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis, warned of a second bust as long ago as last November. "Far too many people are building plans based on advertising and they may well be disappointed because there is not enough money for everyone," he said. "It’s exactly the same situation as we saw at the end of the 1990s, when everyone thought that because he had a website he’d get the valuation. Now everyone building a Web 2.0 operation believes he will receive the advertising."

I believe that the American people, as well as people around the world, may cut back on their spending for luxury items. But I also think that many more people may turn to the Internet to do their shopping. With high gas prices, people may want to stay home and order items from the Internet, instead of heading to a brick and mortar store front.

If this comes to pass, than Internet advertising may increase instead of decline, as more folks shop online.

What do you think?  Will you be doing more shopping online this holiday season?

Comments welcome.

Source .

AMD To Split Itself In Two

AMD is expected to announce today that it is going to split the company into two distinct operations. One operation will be in charge of designing microprocessors and the second company will handle the business of manufacturing the chips. AMD is hoping to inject funds into both operations that will hopefully make it a true rival to Intel. AMD has been struggling during the past few years as Intel appeared to once again take the lead in developing new and faster chips.

In a recent article it states that:

Under the deal, two Abu Dhabi investment companies will invest $6 billion into both companies so that AMD can build a planned factory near Albany, N.Y., and upgrade a Germany factory. AMD will own 44.4 percent of the new entity, to be named the Foundry Company. The Advanced Technology Company, formed by the Abu Dhabi government, will own the rest.

AMD put up a valiant fight against Intel, starting in 2003, when it launched the Opteron processor. The design was both energy and memory efficient, helping to cut electricity costs just as they were spiraling out of control for data center managers. It took years for Intel to recover.

But the world’s biggest chip maker had many times more engineers than AMD and far more money to pour into factories. In 2006, Intel came up with a better chip design, based on its Core architecture. It retook just about all of the market share that AMD had gained.

Intel’s resurgence made this outcome inevitable. AMD lost money and was on the ropes; in June, it had $5.3 billion in debt and $1.6 billion in cash. The investment in the chip-making process for upcoming 45-nanometer factories is so big that chip makers would have to generate $13 billion over five years to justify the investment.

Now it has come to this. Intel will be competing against foreign governments. They are so far willing to put up the multibillion-dollar ante that it takes to compete head on with Intel. The Foundry Company will make chips for AMD and other customers too. It will in effect be a contract chip manufacturer and it will license chip manufacturing processes from IBM.

No matter where the money is coming from, we need AMD to keep Intel honest. If it were not for AMD, one could only imagine how much we would be paying for computers, since I doubt Intel pricing would be as low as it is for their CPU’s.

What do you think? Is it good to keep AMD around as an Intel rival?

Comments welcome.