Some Recommendations For Headphones


I am pretty happy with my Sennheiser HD202 headphones that I use at work, my Sony MDR-XD-200 that I use at home, and my travel  audio-technica Quiet-Point ATA-ANC7.  

I picked each one specific to issues I was trying to resolve where I use headphones.  The HD202 cover my ears very comfortably, but aren't so noise reducing that if someone knocked on my office door I would still hear them.  The MDR-XD-200 were 50% off, have excel sound quality, and are something you can wear for hours without much fatigue which is great for movies and audio editing.  The Quiet Points were cheaper than the Bose that I had before the were stolen, and fold up pretty well in thier protected case for travel.

Even though I'm content, I find it very interesting to get other folks opinions, suggestions, recommendations, etc. on headphones.

A recent This Week In Google (TWIG) [#234] recommended the following after discussing the recent ad during the Super Bowl for Beats:

Leo also mentioned that Headroom was a good site with more info.  And the Home Theater Geeks podcast have several very detailed podcasts in their library about headphones.  If you want to get very technical on headphones (and even some ear buds) these podcasts are highly recommended.

So ... do you have a favorite headphone? And why?


List Of Sites For Food & Dinning Out Reviews

The following is a list of food & dinning out review sites from an article in the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007:

The other interesting thing from this article was that restaurants are now giving away meals to bloggers in the hopes of a good review. 

So far according to the article it appears to be paying off with good rankings but bloggers that aren't transparent are playing with fire.

Privacy Thoughts - Google Vs. ISPs

There is a lot of good blogger analysis about Google's ability to drill down deep into the search world and possibly get  into trouble by not keeping personal privacy data private. 

Given Google's business model of matching people to ads, it is in their best interest to not blow this, and keep private data private.

However, there seems to be a small group of alarmists raising issue with Google's recent purchase of RSS service provider Feedburner.

I do have to disclose that I am a big fan and happy customer of Feedburner. Congrats to the team over there. 

Based on my above assertion that Google must, if they want to be successful, protect privacy, that this new found very rich data in Feedburner will get the same high-level of protection. 

Plus, I don't see any signs of Google behaving badly, and that can not be said about ISPs.

Wired recently published a piece that outlines one of my big privacy concern areas - the data ISPs can and will be collecting, and what they plan to do with it as it effects public disclosure (overt, covert, and stolen), and possible manipulation as it enters 'their' network and gets to your devices.

Google 3D Map Advertising Thoughts

Dann Sheridan had an interesting observation recently about a potential Google Earth advertising opportunity.

It triggered my memory on a question I had a while back that was similar. My thought was based on noticing that Google 3D Warehouse City Collection has a good number of virtual buildings built by Google.

Is Google poised to put in virtual ads within a building based on map searches that lead to virtual tours?

I Am Thankful For Less Email

Something in a recent David Allen and 43Folders podcast convinced me to execute on a "someday maybe item - unsusbscribe to 90% of all the email lists" I'm getting to my primary personal email address (I'll work on work email later - already on my someday maybe list). 

The truth of the matter is that I don't actually read most of these but spend about 1 second deciding to delete them or read them with 99% of the time being the delete decision.  Every delete though generates two unanswered questions: 'What did I just miss?' and 'What if it was important?'  Which is more thinking and worrying than I really need.

Here is the current list (in no particular order):

United Cruise, Wired, GoDaddy, Audible, InformIT, WalMart, Gryonix, MP3Motivators, Nancy's Recipe Newsletter, SPOW, iRobot, HIT, Crutchfield, Moutain Dew, HP, Dell, FilePlanet, Nuance, Oriental Trading Company, Symantec, Stratfor, Toyota, Punch Software, Maximum Impact News, KMWorld, Kodak, Nitewise, Nordstrom, Iomega, ARTISTdirect, CRI, LHM, Vons, Sony, Billy Graham, Forbes, OfficeMax, Truly Nolan, Classmates, Rick Warren, Atari, Verizon, PC Magazine, DiVX, Direct2Drive, and Yahoo Sports.

Only a couple asked why I was unsubscribing (I expected more questions), and a few were a complete pain and I'm still fighting with them via accounts/usernames/passwords that I don't have nor have managed to keep.

If my analysis is correct and each one was a second to delete, then I could see a maximum of ~60 seconds of more productivity on any given day if they all send me email on the same day.  My current guess that over a week, I'll have a net increase of 5-6 minutes productivity time, plus less distractions from more meaningful productivity and less worry in addition to no unanswered nagging questions.

Ad - My Personal Review of ReviewMe

I just signed up for a new blogging advertising and revenue service called ReviewMe.  This blog post is actually paid by ReviewMe to actually conduct a review of the ReviewMe service.

I was turned on to the service by my fellow Friend In Tech member Victor at the Typical Mac User Podcast.

The service in a nutshell is a way to link advertisers with a product or service to the blog and podcast world.  Since people's attentions are no longer completely focused on in the print, TV, and radio world, this seems like at the surface to be a good idea.

The big issue for me is will ads like this limit my readership?  My own filter will probably determine frequency and relevance, so I will be gauging what is reasonable and what is not.  If you have an opinion please let me know via email or by comment.

From what I have experienced so far, the ReviewMe service is easy to sign up with.  One thing they don't do that would be nice is something I talked about at the Podango Unconference at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo 2006.

The feature request is that when you are filling out a form related to your podcast or a blog that the service pull that information embedded in your RSS feed.  This way your name, contact email, license, description, etc. could auto-populate the form.  A service like this also needs a "Update my information via RSS refresh" button, but I think that should be pretty straight forward.

All in all I am pretty satisifed with the service, but we will know more 6 months out.

Quick Market Survey on MP3 Players

The San Diego Union-Tribune Sunday paper had a good number of non-Apple MP3 players for sale (cash prices listed).  Here is a sample of what I saw:

  • Big Lots! - RCA Lyra 256-MB MP3 Player for $29.99
  • Target - Memorex 512-MB MP3 Player for $58
  • Office Depot - Philips 1GB MP3 Player for $69.99 (with a $30 mail-in rebate offer); Archos 4GB Mp3 Player for $159.99 (with a $20 mail-in rebate offer)
  • Best Buy - Samsung 1GB U2JZ MP3 Player  for $79.99; Sandisk 2GB E250 MP3 Player for $129.99
  • CompuUSA - Sandisk 2GB E250 MP3 Player for $129.99
  • Circuit City - Sony 2GB Flash Digital Music Player for $129.99; Creative Labs 8-GB Zen MicroPhoto MP3 Player for $179.99; and Creative Labs 30GB Zen Vision:M for $299.99

It should be noted that the RCA Lyra also has a SD/MMC slot for expansion storage.  And the San Disk E250 has a Mini-SD slot for additional storage.

Also the only direct Apple iPods advertising that I saw was for the 30-GB Black or White iPod via BestBuy's online store (no price listed).

Some Podcast Business & Education News

Some semi-significant news items worth mentioning for those in the "podcast business" even if you are not in it for money:

Also on the education front:

  • Harvard Business school has a new podcast. []
  • A microbiology lecturer in the UK at Bradford University has announced plans to go "all podcast" vice traditional lectures. [bbc]

Someone Has Been Busy? 100+ New HP Products

It is either very busy ... or hording ... or a strange marketing concept to find a low point in tech news and then blast stuff out, but ExtremeTech is reporting that HP recently announced 100+ new products for the home and office marketplace. 

Let's see if that was a podcast where you talked no more than one minute on each item it would be more than an hour and a half long. Or you could do one podcast a day focused on one new HP item, and have content for the next three months.  Of course when you got near the end of the run, the stuff you had to talk about would be end of life.

Engadget Podcast Gets Mainstream Advertiser

I noticed that a recent edition of Engadget Podcast was sponsored by a "car oil" company.   Bad for me for not remembering the name, but defintiely a more mainstream advertiser than the tech specific one I'd expect.

I guess the ads are probably being sold through the AOL Network so it might not be a targetted thing at all.

UPDATE (4/1/06): Ryan Block made a comment on the site to this post that their sponsor is Castrol.  And that they have had other major sponsors like Best Buy and Nikon.  I should have mentioned (sorry my mistake) the other two sponsors because it is true, and it also might have made it seem like this was Engadget's first big deal.  It is not.  They have definitely been a leader in drawing in podcast sponsorship.