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October 2005

It costs Eur 1.50 to make a baby

ECCKY launched this week and it's an IM game around a virtual baby that two users mind for six days. It costs €1.50 ($1.80) to make a baby, and then you get a daily "allowance" to take care of it by providing virtual food and clothes. And of course you can spend additional money on branded toys, clothes, and food--plus you have to give your virtual baby a lot of attention.

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Skype on site

SKYPE CONNECTS people through inexpensive call charges and that has excited a lot of people who generally defer technology to the geeks. If eBay is right--and eBay analysts needed a 78-page PowerPoint presentation to explain to investors why they think they got the acquisition of Skype right--people want to talk to one another about sales. So someone in Tipperary looking for a FreeView satellite installation could simply Skype one, at which point the plumber would pay eBay for the lead. This usage model is not lost on my builder, who wants Skype installed in his site office immediately after it becomes a WiFi hotspot.

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Why I spend more time reading paper

I RECKON THAT during the course of an average week, I spend more time reading the printed word on a page than the pixelated word on a screen. That's a lot of reading because it encompasses all the text feeds on 125 blogs every day and many of the articles in a minimum of six magazines, 11 newspapers and one book every week.

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Imperiled Presidency

FEW AMERICAN PRESIDENTS have been as battered in their second term as George Bush. Five separate polls in October put his job approval rating below 40%. Patrick Fitzgerald, a special prosecutor, has indicted a leading member of his administration. Hurricane Katrina exposed his inability to respond to a national emergency. The "war on terror" has lost its resonance as a rallying cry. For that, we can thank the American Fourth Estate.

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Life with Typepad

I HAVE USED Typepad since its beta version and like many others, I've survived its painful expansion. And while I am well-able to stitch together a set of scripts on my own server, I'm sticking with Typepad's centralised service because it offers the most robust protection against spam maggots. I like Typepad centralised blocklists. I like being able to remove an offensive post by using only my mobile phone. I like sending pictures from my cameraphone to my photo albums in three simple clicks. I'm also satisfied with responses to my somewhat complex queries to customer service. I like the fact that Six Apart lets its Typepad servers give me around 12 GB of transfer service every month. I feel like a leech and it's because of bandwidth hogs like me that other Typepad sites are feeling the strain.

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