Brain Buster

Lightroom 2 Half Price from Amazon

I normally don’t pass shopping stuff, but this is a killer deal. Amazon has Lightroom 2 for only $125 US at 10am PST today for 2 hours only:


Watching Movies on The PSP and Getting RSS Feeds

Last month I got a Sony PSP so that I could watch video during long flights.  I asked a million questions of Greg before I bought it, and as usual, he gave me all the info I needed to know. As I just told him, if I knew how cool this thing really was, I would have bought it a long time ago.

First and foremost (for me) was the ability to watch movies. The main cabin on many flights is so tight that I can no longer open my laptop to work or watch a movie. I’ve been watching some vids on my iPod classic, but the Touch made me look at larger screens. Comparing the Touch to the PSP, I went with the PSP’s larger screen, better gaming platform and lower price.

Getting movies on to the PSP. The first thing you need to do is not buy any of the media manager programs out there because the latest version of Sony’s (3.0) can be downloaded for free. If you understand how to manage files and folders then you won’t need the media manager, you can work right at the file level yourself. When you plug in the PSP via USB cable it will show up as a drive.

Remember that Sony wants you to buy your movies on their proprietary UMD format (or at least they used to), so their tool gives you no way to get a DVD over to your device (it will do unencoded video, such as off your videocamera, because we know how many of you out there are looking forward to portable home movies. Hold for a moment while I resist the urge to poke my own eyes out).

I’ve never done it, but back when I used to sling the rock down on 6 Mile in Detroit, I heard about these crazy kids using tools like DVD Decrypter, DVD Fab or DVDShrink to pull the video files off a DVD so that you could watch on on a PC. It’s not currently clear if that’s legal or not, some say it is a violation of the Digital Millenium Copywrite Act (DMCA), others say Fair Use allows you to make a copy for your own backup purposes. Please remember I-ANAL (I am not a lawyer, so consider all the previous just the street wisdom of a rock slinger (just kidding, actually I’ve never slung the rock)).

If it were up to me, I’d say you should be able to watch a $20 copy of Beethoven III on whatever player you have, but you shouldn’t be stealing other people’s content (aka “sharing” aka “Pirate Bay”). Guess what? It’s not up to me.

Whatever video source you have, you could then run through the iPod setting on Videora, which does a great job at cranking out an mp4 file that will play on your PSP. Besides video files, it’s also cool that for around $20 you can get the upgrade to Tivo to go and pull content from your Tivo to a format that will play on the PSP.

The downside of all of this is that it takes time. It depends on your hardware but it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to get a video from it’s source to your PSP. Suddenly buying video on the PSP store seems like it would save you some time and headache. And it will.

Other cool PSP stuff:

  1. Portable DVR -get a video out cable (only $6 used!) and you can plug it in at your hotel to watch your own shows rather than roll the dice with hotel cable.
  2. Wi-Fi – Built in
  3. Skype – with the WiFi now you have a portable communication device to carry with you
  4. Browser – You can check your gmail with it. Typing on the T9 is a hassle but reading and clicking on the links is not too bad. (Hey Sony! Where’s my add-on keyboard!)
  5. RSS Reader – Yes it’s true, click on the icon and it will add a feed to the reader.
  6. Podcasts – Audio with no problem, I checked out TWiT with no problem, video was a little pickier, it didn’t like the latest version of Tiki Bar, not sure why yet.
  7. Games – last but not least, Burnout Legends is the most kickass driving game of all time, and the PSP version rocks. If you’ve never crashed a high performance sports car into a gasoline truck at 185 mph, you have no idea what you are missing.


  1. With my earphones on it’s not as loud as it could be at peak, but I am using some Shure e500’s, some basic earbuds may work better. You can work around that easily with a Boosteroo, which will also allow 2 other people to plug in if you are on a plane with friends.
  2. Battery life – it’s around 6 hours, so if you are travelling big time, you’ll want a second.

There is a whole subculture of folks who hack and and into homebrew. Homebrew is a term that’s literal definition means to make your own software, in reality the majority of people hide behind homebrew so that they can crack copy protection and save/play games from their memory sticks. This is not really a “con” but as someone who’s work is published digitally, I’m against stealing other people’s stuff just because it’s possible. The version I bought, the 3000, has not been hacked yet, the previous 2 versions were hacked by use of a special battery that forces the device into a mode that gets into a maintenence mode. Considering the fact that I work at a software company, and I only play 3 or 4 games a year, it’s easier for me to buy what I use and avoid getting crushed by karmic retribution (or risk time in the big house).Other things I picked up: a second battery, video out cable, a travel case that holds 2 UMDs and 2 Memory sticks. My PSP is the 3000 which has a brighter screen that the previous 2 models. I would include an Amazon link for memory sticks but I’ve heard that Radio Shack is having a Black Friday special on SanDisk 4GB sticks for only $20. Get them while they are hot!

Marketing IT Dept.

Reviewing Marketing Automation Software

I spent most of my day today reviewing software tools for marketing. Over the past two months I’ve seen many examples of why it’s so difficult to choose the right product in this space. Unfortunately it’s the wild west out here right now. I went to Dreamforce last month and came back with a list of 8 vendors that claim to have a business intelligence application.From looking at my checklist, yes they do all do some kind of BI, but as you dig in you find out how the checklist is completely inadequate when selecting a tool.

Four of them did a lot of pipeline analysis, which would be great if I was a VP of Sales, but I’m not. I’m more interested in spending marketing program dollars wisely.The tool that looks to be the best fit for what I am trying to do is InetSoft’s Style Intelligence for Salesforce. They’ve been doing reporting for over 10 years and are now plugging into Salesforce. Ultimately I’m trying to automate the reports I’m running manually right now. I had a demo and tour today, and will continue to give it a test drive.

Daily Life

Technical Issues Resolved?

I think everything is working now, the feeds are coming through and all the old posts are still accessible. The M Show is also working, but all on it’s own domain.

If you could, please leave a comment if you got here from a feed reader, and if you had any problems. Thanks!

Daily Life

Halfway Fixed… sort of…

Ok, the domain name problem is over, welcome to the true

And welcome to The M Show traffic that is winding up here because I can’t get the redirect to work.

And I’d apologize about screwing up both the feeds, but of course those people won’t see this so I can’t use my newly created “Haslam Gambit”

Hopefully it will be clear tomorrow…


Daily Life

Traffic Issues Ahead

I am going to try and fix some of the problems I have had with this domain (mainly Google hating my guts).

The changes have already been made but as they flow through the interwebs we will see what they break. If you come back later and there’s nothing here, you’ll know why…

Brain Buster

What is The Economic Multiplier?

Yet another in our ongoing series of Economic rambling that seeks to explain some of the academic arguments about the economy, mix in my cloudy memory of theory, and just try to say enough stupid shite to start a discussion.

One of the concepts that economic policy is based on is The Multiplier – the idea that if you pump money into the economy you get a lift from that cash, but there’s also a multiplier effect. $250 Billion goes to bail out the auto industry, but a huge chunk of this ends up being the salary of the UAW guys building the cars. In our simple model the good news is that these guys, like most good Americans, don’t bother to save one red cent (in fact, they carry credit card debt, spending beyond their means). As a result that $250 B gives the economy a second jolt – if it all rolls through you get a multiplier of 2 there, but it doesn’t stop yet hulkamaniacs, our UAW guys bought dinner at the local restaurants and so the restaurant owners and waitstaff have some extra cash to throw around, not the full $250B, just a portion – $20B, add in the bar tab, maybe $240B. Just kidding. Lets make it $25B because I’ve forgotten all real econometrics. We’re up to a $525B, or a 2.1 multiplier.

For some reason I recall that the Fed considers 4 to be about right, of course maybe my memory is terrible (I think it is but I can’t really recall), or that could be some policy wonk pulling a stat out of their keister. The problem is that trying to measure it is extraordinarily difficult and then there’s also the problem of inflation – in an economy where nobody saves, in theory it would touch everyone and you’ve done nothing but devalue the dollar. There’s also the issue of that money leaving the shores of the US and going to other countries who are not on an even trade balance with us.

So we reach a question – will the current crisis change the average American’s propensity to save, thus reducing a multiplier effect? Or will they say “Screw it, Rolexes have never been cheaper, I’m rollin’ R. Kelly style.” I have no idea, but I do know that the multiplier is a theory that the government needs us to believe to assure us that government can affect the course of the economy. I’ve never seen the multiplier used to show the damage done by a reduction in spending, maybe that was about the time the Spring Concerts were rolling at UMass, but you can use the same theory there. Ultimately big shocks create smaller waves that can encourage additional big shocks, until there’s nothing left to be lost in the markets that are dying – either by complete collapse, or being artificially propped up until the shocks subside. Other industries will be impervious to the downturn, and indeed others will thrive.

The marketing message – pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Continue to innovate and deliver value, and pray that we hit the bottom before the infrastructure begins to crack.


Bono Vox

Thirsty Thursday had an extra kick this week with Shel Holtz (For Immediate Release is the leading audio program for PR practitioners and has a large following. When Shel comes to town, there’s a crowd of people that want to meet him). Upstairs at Vox was semi-private so we had a great space to meet and I did get to spend some time over on the leather couch quality testing Martinis until the crowd showed up.

A few photos from Todd Van Hoosear hit the presses this morning, and most importantly Chip Griffin was there and made a surprise announcement that Custom Scoop was sponsoring the event. A perfect fit, Custom Scoop provides online media monitoring services.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, including Jenny, Sarah (don’t worry, Carin doesn’t refer to you as Poo Cane), Steve Garfield, Sooz, THE Ann Handley who grew up near Doug Haslam (and Ron Ploof, what was in the water there?). I have a bunch of business cards from new folks that I met so I’ll be adding some new subscriptions this weekend. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to convince the lovely Carin into a night out, thanks to all of you that asked for her. Thanks for a great time, I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Daily Life

Live from Boston! It’s Thursday Night!

Shel Holtz is in town for a SNCR Event so I’m heading over to grab a drink with him at Vox. I should be there around 6:30 if traffic isn’t out of hand. Things have been crazy lately and I will be celebrating the close of my 2008 travel schedule with a touch of the scotch. Join me if you can.

In other good news, the latest Marketing Over Coffee is now posted.

Daily Life

Random Stuff Before the Weekend

I’ll be writing up the info I gathered from Dreamforce later today. My head is still spinning, that was a lot of stuff to take in over 2 days. I’ve put up some of the photos including CEO Marc Benioff, Malcolm Gladwell, and the Appy Trophy.

I also have some gadget gear updates: If you are thinking about buying an Amazon Kindle e-book reader for the holidays don’t hold back, I ordered one on November 1st to use a discount code that I had and it says it is shipping somewhere aroundMalcolm Gladwell November 24th. If that holds by Thanksgiving it may be too late.

I also took the plunge and got a Sony PSP for gaming and movies on the plane (coach is now so small that I can’t open my laptop without being in the exit row. It completely rocks (if you are into game or UMD Movie trading drop me a line). As a result I am unloading my Onyx Nintendo DS Lite, I’m including over 30 games including Guitar Hero, a USB wireless adapter and a headset mic. Appy Award

It’s in great condition and I’d prefer to give a reader a deal over going ebay. Twitter me at themshow if you are interested.