The problem with internet advertising (in 2012)

In the early days of the World Wide Web, advertising was non-existent. But it didn’t take long before friendly “link-exchanges” became massive money making advertising schemes. Pay to show your banner ad, to drive traffic, pay-per-click, it all became about getting money in to people’s hands. These days Google is among the biggest and best in the business. I even use Google Ads on my website, and some day hope I’ll get a little something out of it.

But unlike the early days of the internet, where not just your spam emails were about viagara, but every pop up ad on the internet was completely random and might’ve had something to do with your personal disfunction, your love of collecting fine china, or your need for better virus protection. Or, of course, how lucky you were to be the ten thousandth visitor to the website, of course! Everybody thought the birth of the targetted ad was a wonderful thing – finally, something I care about, people would think. People were much happier to see advertisements for movie tickets, or a certain book, or that model of car they’ve had their eye on; it was better than more purple pills and lucky lotteries!

Before long that honeymoon was over, though, and people were suspicious of the advertisers. They know too much. If you really want to be paranoid, you can believe that. I don’t use things like AdBlock Plus because I really think that the few pennies a day that goes to lowly bloggers like myself is a nice gesture (made 3 cents yesterday!). But do I think it’s wrong that Google knows I shopped for a Clear mobile hotspot? No.

What, then, is the problem? It’s how bad that advertising is. It doesn’t work for impulsive people, and it’s really bad for families with multiple people sharing a computer. I was impulsive, and purchased that Clear hotspot. Several weeks ago. But I am still getting ads for it, on every website I visit! Am I reading something on Slashdot? Clear. Gaming news over at Joystiq? Clear. Wedding gifts for friends? Clear.

The perfect example presented it to me when I was previewing this article before publishing it:

How much is clear paying to advertise their product to someone who already bought it? And why can’t I tell the system that I own this item? And where were those ads when I was thinking about purchasing it? They didn’t exist. I bought it on a whim. It doesn’t work for impulsive people! The act is done, it’s in the past, quit reminding me that I should do it, because I already did it.

I don’t have a true solution to the problem, but the ability to click ‘beneath’ an ad and opt-out of certain types of ads, or ads for certain brands, or even provide feedback and say “yes, your advertisement made me purchase this item” would be nice. But once I have the product, and have been using it for two months, you should know when to stop wasting your advertiser’s dollar, because they’re not getting their money’s worth from you, the ad-agency.

My Recommendations for Best Remote Desktop Apps for iPad

If you’re an IT Professional, or just a big geek like me, sometimes you have a need to use Remote Desktop Protocol, or RDP. It can allow you to connect remotely to your Windows desktop computer. Although the overall goal is the same, managing multiple desktops can be difficult, and the features of various RDP apps on the iPad can make a break the usability of a Remote Desktop app. Some features you just need. Although there are lots of alternative solutions, like LogMeIn and TeamViewer, which don’t actually use RDP, if you’re a purist who wants to use the protocol, then here are a few of the best I have found, specifically on iPad – although their Android counterparts are nothing to scoff at either!

PocketCloud (you can use it with a desktop companion app, bypassing regular RDP, if you really want to – but it also supports regular RDP, which is how I use it). If you are willing to spend the money, the Pro version is even nicer and can manage more connections.
Free: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketcloud-remote-desktop/id398798399?mt=8
Pro: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocketcloud-remote-desktop/id326512817?mt=8

My number 2 app is just called RDP, from Mocha. The free version lets you add more computers, but DOESN’T allow you to right click, drag, or have access to certain keys, unless you upgrade to the Pro version.
Free: http://itunes.apple.com/za/app/remote-desktop-lite-rdp/id288362576?mt=8
Pro: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/remote-desktop-rdp/id288362053?mt=8

Download links for the Office 2013 Preview

If you were wondering what all Office 2013 was going to pack in, don’t forget about all of the fantastic touch integration for the version of Office that will be built in to future Windows RT tablets & Microsoft’s own Surface for Windows RT, which will include a version of Microsoft Office.

Well, if you are interested in downloading the preview version of Office 2013, or what Microsoft has taken to calling “the New Office” (kind of like “new iPad”), you can visit the Microsoft Office Preview site and click the green “Sign Up” button to enroll and download the preview.

2011 – Jonny Corndawg – Down on the Bikini Line

Jonny Fritz, AKA Jonny Corndawg, is a country singer who knows that Nashville sound as well as anybody, but he also knows how to play songs that appeal to more and more people. He doesn’t take the “hard right” stance that a lot of country singers do, and doesn’t sing about how great America is and how great it is to swill beer all day. In fact, in his song Exercise, from a previous album, the chorus includes “understand that immigrants have the hardest lives.”

The opening track to 2011’s Down on the Bikini Line album is Shaved Like A Razor. It was the first song I had ever heard from Jonny Corndawg, and I was immediately hooked by a classic barn-dance type song with great guitar solos, fantastic fiddle playing, and a kind-hearted twang in Jonny’s voice. Played on a local radio station here in Rochester, NY, they announced that later that night the band would be playing in town. Off I went to see Jonny and company at a local venue. I was not disappointed. The band is down to earth, and Jonny really seems to enjoy what he does. They literally travel the country on their tour, crashing wherever they can after each show, playing to small crowds and recognizing their fans who have seen them more than once.

Jonny isn’t afaid to shine the spotlight on the occasional absurdity of country music, as in the track When a Ford Man Turns to Chevy, as the line immediately following the title line continues with “an angel gets it’s wings, and the babies they won’t never cry no more.” Undercover Dad is a touching song that Jonny sings about wanting to get to know his child better, and the lessons he has learned about parenting by being out on the road seeing younger crowds at shows every night, learning what he can expect to have to face someday.

If Amazon isn’t for you, you can get Down on the Bikini Line and other albums direct from the band’s Bandcamp site, so go get your fix!