Smartphones suck when used as phones….

Today I bought the Motorola Droid phone and after a few hours of playing around with it, realized that SmartPhones suck at being used as a phone :-(. They have fancy features and Internet access and what have you, but with my old (not-so-smart) phone, I could dial a number that I was used to dialing without looking at the phone (using a couple of key presses or using speed dial using my memory of the physical layout of the keys). With the Droid, it appears like you cannot do a simple thing such as speed dial (remember there are no keys available to dial the phone — you need to “look” at the screen and bring it life by doing stuff like flicking your finger on the screen requiring the use of two hands — one to hold the phone, one to gesture correctly — and then get the number you want out of some form of menu — ugh).

Thinking about this, it seems like BlackBerry is really the best smart phone — they haven’t compromised on the traditional phone functionality and have smartly addressed the iPhone market with the Storm which they aren’t really paying too much attention to. The rest of the touchscreen smartphones including the Driod are simply chasing the iPhone market segment without innovating on what a cell-phone is — iPhone defined a new segment for itself and it’s finish and polish outclass just about everyone else. The others should not simply copy it — they should come out with something vastly superior to it. Until they do, I am stuck with the Driod.

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“It’s much easier to just borrow other peoples’ audiences when you need them.”

Some advice that can be useful for software sales too:

It’s much easier to just borrow other peoples’ audiences when you need them.

Try emailing prominent bloggers discount codes for your software — you then can borrow their audience if they are willing to publish your discount codes just like the linked articles says (for getting “beta” users).

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Company matching contributions to 401(k) plan

  • Does the company matching contribution to my 401(k) count against my 401(k) limit (16,500 in 2009)?
    • No. Your company’s contribution doesn’t count towards your personal 401(k) limit.
  • What is the tax-treatment for my company matching contributions to the 401(k) plan?
    • Your company matching contribution is tax-deferred.
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Using the right programming font

After playing around a bit with various fonts and color schemes due to increasing eye-strain, today, I finally settled on using “Lucida Console” with “ClearType” font smoothing for C/C++ programming (under Windows with Emacs and Vim) and realized something — when the code looks beautiful (as it does with this font combination), I feel like writing beautiful code :-).

I now use Lucida Console Regular, font size 11 with ClearType font smoothing under Windows.

(UPDATE: Mensch is now my new favorite. On my Emacs on Windows XP, Mensch looks mostly like Lucida Console, but has minor enhancements (like 0 with a dot in it to distinguish it from O) that I like)

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Changing Emacs Font Settings

Use this simple method to choose fonts, font styles and font colors under Emacs for Windows: Click the first mouse button with the Shift key pressed. Doing so brings up the Windows font chooser dialog. The dialog only brings up fixed-width fonts — perfect for programming. Choose and set the font settings you want. The change only affects the current session.

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How to look for your domain on delicious

Here is how to look for all occurrences of a domain name on the social bookmarking site delicious — search for “domain:grok2.com” (replace the domain name with the domain you are looking for) using the search entry field. An interesting feature of this is that you can see some trend statistics and the various tags used when bookmarking pages on the domain.

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Can you create multiple Google Adsense accounts?

I wondered if one can hold multiple Google Adsense accounts. A quick search revealed that Google’s answer is “maybe”. What they don’t allow is for the same payee (to whom they make out the checks) to have multiple accounts. So perhaps you can work around this by creating accounts in other people’s names (your better half perhaps?), but there are tax implications. I have also read that sometimes there are problems with different payee’s being at the same address or logging in from the same machine (or IP address) though this could just be fear-mongering. Simply send an email to Google Adsense support and ask them. One thing they do seem to allow after approval if you are a business entity is to hold Google Adsense accounts in the names of each of these business entities owned by you.

See Google Adsense Help question: “Can I sign up for more than one account?

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Does Bing run on Windows?

I wondered if Bing was run on Windows servers (that would have been an excellent demo of Windows Server). But checking on NetCraft seems to indicate that bing.com is hosted on Akamai‘s servers and Akamai probably uses Linux based hardware and software. I guess it makes sense that a company with lots of money would spend that money to not have to bother with the scalability aspect themselves :-). But hosting on a Windows back-end would have been a great demo.

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