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I'm interested in and write about a wide variety of topics - economics, psychology, marketing, music, etc. I prefer writing long articles to short posts and don't update very often.

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10 years of articles.

August 12, 2013
Blogging, Social Media & SEO all boil down to one thing - creating great content that engages your target audience. Some call this Inbound Marketing. I call it, the Universe in a Nutshell. August 10, 2013
There are 5 marketing activities every business must engage in and optimize - which are you neglecting? January 4, 2005
Now that marketers know that people are talking to each other (yeah, it took a real genius to figure that one out), they want to be sure it's only about their double plus good products. December 31, 2004
How small changes to the Internet have changed the way we talk. December 15, 2004
If we all hate consumerism, how come we can't stop shopping? December 17, 2004
According to an LA Time article, reality TV is pretty heavily scripted, but is all reality TV the same? November 9, 2004
The Corporations are selling us out. They are their own nation-states that dictate how their citizens (employees) can act, and wage war on everyone in search of a better profit margin. September 21, 2004
Drop a pebble in just the right spot and you can start marketing Avalanche. Or "What Webloggers and MTV have in common." February 9, 2004
Or why PeopleRankā„¢ is the next big thing.
Articles on pricing.
December 17, 2004
Joel Spolsky wrote an excellent article on pricing, what works and what doesn't work (apparently nothing works). So here's my rebuttal. September 15, 2004
Someone asked about the perceived difference between $19.99 and $20, and here's my answer.
July 1, 2002
What does where you live say about you?
December 16, 2004
MPAA to world: Stop sharing files. World to MPAA: Not everything is about you. October 30, 2004
The Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia is recommending an immediate freeze of all outsourcing of public information to US-connected firms because of the Patriot Act... October 26, 2004
November's Wired magazine will feature a CD with songs released under the Creative Commons license, which means you get some limited rights over the music. August 26, 2004
The FBI seized computers, software and equipment as part of an investigation into illegal sharing of copyrighted movies... August 20, 2004
"Affirming a lower court decision, a federal appellate court ruled Thursday that the distributors of software used by millions of people to exchange music files over the Internet cannot be held liable for aiding copyright infringement."
February 4, 2004
In the 1950's we had Leave it to Beaver. Today we have American Idol. Oh how times have changed. What message is Television sending us, and why are we so eager to consume it? or You thought reality TV was the end of civilization as we know it just because it was programming for the lowest common denominator. May 11, 2003
Blogging is becoming more and more a part of our culture as people of my generation are spending more and more of their lives online, practically living online. In many ways, this is what the Internet is about - empowering the average person to broadcast their message in the same way Mass Media does.
Unleashing the geek within.
February 1, 2005
A high level overview of a method that I think can be used to create trust relationships between people using email to reduce the amount of spam that gets to us. Feedback & loopholes welcome. January 17, 2005
Waste is a decentralized, encrypted chat & file sharing protocol that lets you talk to your friends without anyone listening in. It is not, however, a tool for anonymous communications... or is it?
March 15, 2005
The two main kinds of data loss are A) your computer breaks and you need a simple backup of your data, or B) your data is corrupt, and has corrupted your backup as well. I searched long and hard to find a program that could handle both of these situations, and finally, I found one. February 15, 2005
My computer wouldn't turn on. I didn't know what had caused it. It would be a few days before I could track down the problem. Was I able to continue working? October 3, 2004
We're all lazy, but we all want to be sure that our important documents are safe from damage. Here are a few solutions to that problem.
September 14, 2002
I use a lot of little programs to make my day-to-day life easier. Here are a few of them. June 19, 2006
Google has a web proxy that may be able to get you around your corporate firewall, and may allow you to surf anonymously. February 25, 2005
Partner with Google and get your link on every site in the world! December 15, 2004
And loves me. November 9, 2004
I was talking to some people a while back about how long it would take to crack SSL and whether or not the governmeng could realistically crack any consumer grade secure communication it wanted to in real time. September 30, 2004
Don't you hate coming up with passwords for every site that asks for a registration code? Well here's something you can do about it. July 23, 2004
Amazon takes a bold step towards fixing their flawed & exploitable review system. November 25, 2002
Increasingly aware of the corporate monitoring of it's citizens, I've been introducing my friends to ROT13 encryption. June 21, 2002
You can use this tool to add Google search to your toolbar. April 9, 2002
An article the potential of AI, hurdles that need to be crossed, and why we should and do fear computers.
Graphic design, human-computer interaction, usability & more.
September 14, 2004
How does color work? Can you mix two colors & get an accurate representation of another color? July 23, 2004
Amazon takes a bold step towards fixing their flawed & exploitable review system.
A flaw in the Barnes & Noble security system.
August 1, 2002
Apparently the mantle of finding flaws in has been passed on. July 28, 2002
Just a quick link to an article in that features yours truly.,1272,53942,00.html
July 11, 2002
The problem is more serious than I initially thought. July 9, 2002
Answering some questions people have been asking me about the security flaw I stumbled on. July 9, 2002
How I accidentally discovered some cracks in's security, or How to hack in 1 easy step. July 8, 2002
By changing a minor item in my profile, I've managed to erase all of my history with Barnes & Noble. How Interesting.
April 27, 2002's usability is on the decline. It seems like their quality control has gone down the tubes. I realize that they're under a lot of pressure to turn a profit and are reworking their business model, but it's sad to see usability on suffer. April 27, 2002
A number of posts on the Joel on Software Forum about why I don't like the Inductive User Interface, edited for my site.
March 19, 2005
Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? "Well, today we will experiment with a new form called the 'tandem story'. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached." January 26, 2005
We've all had one. That annoying boss who just doesn't have a clue. A useless middle manager that can't lead, can't manage yet somehow manages to keep his job. Well, know you'll know why he exists. January 9, 2005
They say seeing is believing, but what happens when the most obvious answer deceives you? June 28, 2005
I got a forum full of pessimistic, negative curmudgeons to tell me the words that made them happiest. Then I stuck the words in a script so they'd form something resembling sentences. January 9, 2005
They say seeing is believing, but what happens when the most obvious answer deceives you? August 25, 2004
An extensive list of free & small games. September 24, 2002
I recently took a long road trip - 3,000 miles - and did all the driving. Here are a few tips that occured to me in the Carolinas. June 1, 2005
Alternate Reality is alive and well.
January 19, 2005
Social Networking meets Instant Messaging. January 19, 2005
Another braindump of creative ideas about random household things. January 4, 2005
Latest in an ongoing series of creative ideas. September 30, 2004
Some more of my ideas that I've run across recently. September 13, 2004
Some things I dreamed up that were later turned in to products. February 15, 2004
Stephanie: "You need to write an intro for your post, and put it on your webpage. Then I can send it off to people."
April 13, 2002
My response to an article on "Composition" on It starts out ridiculously simplified but gets advanced pretty fast. I don't know if a non musician can really learn everything I wrote from this article, but it should serve as a useful reference point, and the early on stuff provides an interesting basis for thinking about music when you start to play or compose it. (updated April 27, 2002, May 09, 2002, May 27, 2002) April 9, 2002
From December 1993 through December 2000 I was in an alternative indie rock band thingy.
February 12, 2002
Analysis of I'm Like a Bird by Nellie Furtado. New material added March 22, 2002.
February 12, 2005
I saw the "hit" TV show Numb3rs for the first time today, and the plot was very familiar to me. I'd read about this exact problem (minus the murders, suicides and intrigue) several times in the past.
December 15, 2004
A parable about an automotive company and their place in the global marketplace.
A visual exploration of concepts such as the budget, trade deficit, and oil.
June 1, 2010
To say that Obama has his work cut out for him would be putting it mildly. The debt is expected to surpass the gross domestic product in 2011 - someting that hasn't happened since World War II. How did we get here & what do we think will happen next? Find out inside. March 1, 2008
Some simple graphs of the US debt from 1791 to 2008. Including graphs adjusted for inflation, and comparing the debt to the GDP. January 31, 2005
Oil. Who has it. Who makes it. And who needs it. December 15, 2004
The dollar is weakening. We're entering into a massive trade deficit with China. The sky is falling. What does it all mean? Here are some nice graphs to help you make sense of it all. November 4, 2004
"Clinton balanced the budget." "The national debt is at an all time high" (and so is the deficit). What does this all mean? I found some historical information and plugged the numbers into Excel and generated these charts. January 31, 2005
Oil. Who has it. Who makes it. And who needs it.
November 11, 2004
Some people will find this humorous, others... not so humorous. November 6, 2004
This is the map of the vote I wanted. A county-by-county look at how they voted. Putting to end forever the misconception of "red states vs. blue states." All counties are a shade of purple, though a surprising number of counties really are blue or red. November 4, 2004
So, you want to leave the country? A (hopefully humorous) guide to expatriating. November 4, 2004
Bored of the Red and Blue maps of the country? Well how about a county-by-county breakdown, or a red to blue gradient for each state?
October 30, 2004
The Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia is recommending an immediate freeze of all outsourcing of public information to US-connected firms because of the Patriot Act... October 8, 2012
There's been a lot of talk lately about the performance of various presidents (starting with Reagan) on a number of metrics. Not satisfied to take someone else's word for it, I decided to look up the numbers for myself.
September 23, 2004
"I would come to believe that expansive houses and standard nuclear families served to isolate the human soul and that tight tribal communities were infinitely more suited to our natures." Jerri Nielsen, Ice Bound July 26, 2002
A handful of suggestions on how to live with less spam, with less fear of identity theft, and a little more anonymously. March 4, 2006
"We should start our own business," she said, not knowing what it really entailed. Thoughts of expenses and distant profits danced in my head. June 30, 2005
You know the game. "What would you do if you could do anything? If money was no object and you had all the time in the world." Well, it sucks, and I'll tell you why. December 1, 2002
In late October I set before myself the task of not spending any extra money in November in order to see what my actual living expenses were. Here are the results. By saving more and spending less, I can retire earlier. But how much earlier? April 1, 2006
"Should I work hard, be frugal & miserable now so I can enjoy life later, or should I enjoy life now, but work more & harder later?" Everyone faces these questions at some point in their life. What would you say if I told you there was an answer? January 29, 2012
Step by step instructions for job searchers.
March 15, 2005
Delegating, waiting. What do you do when you give a task to someone else. Do you track it? What list does it go on? Or if you're waiting for something and you need to track it, how far do you go before your @waiting list grows to several hundred items? March 6, 2005
When implementing GTD, more than anything else, people seem to be confused with what @contexts their Next Actions should be in. February 11, 2005
Damnit, the NY Times keeps stealing articles from me and not attributing them to me. January 28, 2005
How far have you come in implementing GTD? According to this checklist from David Allen, I'm somewhere between Brown Belt and Black Belt. January 22, 2005
Explaining the idea of Next Actions to my girlfriend, I thought of something that could help make Next Actions even more helpful. January 18, 2005
I procrastinate. You procrastinate. We all procrastinate. Let's get back to work. October 31, 2004
Everyone's favorite personal productivity guru David Allen has some tips how to keep up the pace -- without wearing yourself out. June 10, 2004
A new contract where I work 6 hours a day has me thinking about productivity. April 6, 2003
Decision theory was always something that interested me, and it's something I used when figuring out what to buy for my home studio. Here are a few models to help confuse your further. December 20, 2011
Simple productivity hacks for managing a life with varied interests. December 26, 2011
"I have so many interests, how do I possibly pursue them all?"
September 21, 2004
30 years after the last Detroit Motown album, this massive 43 track tribute to the unsung musicians sets the record straight. September 21, 2004
The best selling game of all time spawns a second generation. But does it live up to it's parents expectations? September 12, 2004
YAY! ALL NEW episode of the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show!
Reviews & summaries of The Apprentice episodes.
September 16, 2004
On the second episode of The Apprentice with an extended rant on decision theory. (Updated for Saturday) September 9, 2004
The episode that proves that The Apprentice is child's play. ;-) November 5, 2004
But it's one big room. Who wouldn't want one big room? (Oh, and my missing commentary from last week.) October 22, 2004
Isn't this the point last season where things started to get interesting? The teams switch up and we're stuck with the worst and best of each team. October 15, 2004
The men finally lose in a task that obviously skews heavily towards women. Go figure. So where did they go wrong? October 8, 2004
The Pamela lost by $10, despite all her efforts to turn the team around. Or maybe she was just a cruel dictator trying to place blame wherever she could. At the end of the day, was it her business or her politics that got her fired? (with notes on the extended boardroom Saturday edition) September 30, 2004
Nothing to see here, please move on... Seriously though, this series is beginning to drag. September 23, 2004
Just how much buzz can $50,000 buy? January 8, 2004
I love shows like this, The Restaurant, The Apprentice, Queer Eye. These are stories of people who are tackling life head on. Here are my thoughts on the first episode of The Apprentice.
July 27, 2002
Why I chose the M Audio Studiophile SP-5B monitors for my home studio.
May 13, 2002
My review for The Covers Record by Cat Power. March 14, 2002
A review of my new headphones. In a word, un-freaking-believeable. January 15, 2003
For most of my life I've loved Radio Dramas, and I've recently rediscovered this love. July 18, 2005
Every once in a while, a book comes along that changes the way I see the world. Some are major revelations, others are small shifts. All help me see how far the rabbit hole goes. September 21, 2004
This is a really beautiful movie, too bad it's billed as a pure action film. February 7, 2004
In 1983 a video game was released that would change gaming forever. In 1999, a movie was released that changed movies forever. Was it a coincidence, or are they somehow related? May 21, 2003
A second revision of my Matrix Reloaded review. July 15, 2002
by Diamanda Galas and John Paul Jones. One of my favorite albums, reprinted & updated from my May 2001 review. This is an album that deserves recognition.
October 16, 2004
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 50,000 words in 30 days. Are you ready?
October 29, 2004
Watching the trailers for the new Lord of the Rings RPG, there was a sequence on sound, and I was impressed by how little equipment they seemed to use. October 13, 2004
Part 2 of my article on how recordings have changed over the past 80 years. This time with sound samples. September 28, 2004
Recordings have changed a lot over the years, your ears can tell you that. This guide quantifies some of those differences. September 22, 2004
Everyone knows that the secret of becoming a better musician is to play with other musicians, especially ones who are better than you are. But what do you do when you can't play with musicians who are better than you are? September 12, 2004
A piece of metal and a magnet allow you to turn sound waves into electricity, and v. v. But did you know you can use a speaker as a microphone? April 27, 2003
I've always believed that proper ear training consists of listening to a sound & being told what it is. Eventually you should be able to listen to it and say what it is without being told. April 19, 2003
By sharing with you some samples of poor acoustics, you'll be able to recognize and diagnose them in your own environment easier. April 9, 2003
High quality mp3's of my old band along with a somewhat biased history.
January 31, 2003
I learned about this software you can use to measure your sound card and decided to run the Digidesign Digi001 through it's paces. December 14, 2002
I purchased a Behringer ECM8000 test mic because it's cheap and an interesting alternative to cardiod mics. Plus, it's ultra flat response lets me test my room & equipment. December 14, 2002
I didn't know the difference between the TR series and the PS series, so I contacted Event.
December 8, 2002
A few months ago, Electronic Musician had an article "Build a Home Studio on Any Budget" but their bottom budget was my top budget. This is my answer to that column. December 8, 2002
Finally, not only is all the hardware in place, all of the software is in place too. Let's take a look at what I'm using. November 17, 2002
It's been a while coming, but my home studio is finally a reality. Let's take a look at what I purchased, and what I'm doing with it. September 2, 2002
I'm building my DAW computer. Here's a look at my choices. I'm fairly comfortable with computers, so if building your own computer intimidates you, you may want to skip this article. August 17, 2002
It's been a long time coming, and I'm sick of waiting so it's time to plop down some of my heard earned money and build my home studio! July 28, 2002
How do I balance building a home studio in the same space as my living room? Where do gear and aesthetics have to conced to each other? Can I balance having a room to entertain guests in and have a recording studio in the same space? April 29, 2002
I've decided I want to build an inexpensive home studio. April 29, 2002
I've decided to build a home studio with an ear towards one day running a world-class recording studio. Here are my thoughts at this pre-embryonic phase. Check back to follow my progress.
November 20, 2002
A recent inquiry from a fellow bass player inspired me to post this article about my instruments. Picture to come. July 29, 2002
An Open Letter to Musicians Everywhere, or How to take down the Music Industry.
June 17, 2002
A quick tool for helping you calculate the reverb time of your room across six octaves. June 17, 2002
Second in a series of articles designed to help anyone who wants to make their room "sound better." This time we're addressing the materials used to build your room and the objects in it. June 8, 2002
A Room Mode / Standing Wave calculator to help you avoid some number crunching. June 8, 2002
A crash course in acoustics in Modes. This is by no means complete, but it should serve as a good starting point for someone looking to learn about acoustics. Great for someone building a home or professional studio, or looking to correct problems for their home theater system.
May 5, 2002
I posted a question to The Bottom Line, a bass player's mailing list, about how to calculate Ohms with multiple speakers. After receiving 10 very gracious explanations, this is my understanding of it. Correct me if I'm wrong. April 8, 2002
Critique of the production on Coldplay's album Parachutes. March 15, 2002
Why the recording process usually sucks and what to do about it.

© Mark Wieczorek