Monthly Archives: December 2006

The Convenient Execution of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein was executed today (good riddance). I doubt it’ll mark a big change for the prospects for the future of Iraq, or the remainder of the Bush administration, but it conveniently allows the US as a whole to avoid consideration of the way his full list of crimes are entangled with the history of US foreign policy (particularly with respect to anything related to the long, bloody, and ultimately indecisive Iran-Iraq war).

Lonely Zune

The Zune is Microsoft’s latest attempt to compete with the iPod and get a slice of the paid music/media download pie. It’s priced the same as the iPod, so why would anyone buy a Zune? Why “The Social” of course. Zune users can beam songs to one another over a crippled WiFi connection. These songs can only be played 3 times before DRM kicks in, but it doesn’t sound like too many people are having that problem because Zune users are finding it hard to meet other Zune users.

I’m surprised that Microsoft hasn’t been organizing big “Zune” parties, so I looked at the Zune site to see if my Zune-apathy caused me to ignore overwhelming evidence of their existance. Naturally, I clicked the “Social” tab, and what I found was, well, lame.

The closes thing I could find was an announcment that “We’re coming to six cities across the U.S. in the next year to auction off customized Zune™ players. The players will be designed exclusively by select boutiques, bringing a whole new meaning to personalization. Each digital media player will also offer unique content chosen by the designer.” Great. Six cites. In the coming year. Boutique customized Zune players, not given away, but auctioned (like that is going to make up for the lovely brown color option).

How about this. Hit a hell of a lot more than six cities, do it early in the year so that students who got Zune’s when they were home for christmas can show off. Don’t action off players, you give them away, a lot of them. You give every Zune owner who comes an excellent chance to win door prizes (like credit at the Zune store). Zune owners should be encouraged to invite their non-Zune owning friends and those friends should have an excellent chance at winning a free player and bunch of store credit. There should be some way to start buying tracks with won devices and credit right at the event.

In addition, they should be doing Zune meetups. Or maybe they shouldn’t bother, because a quick search of doesn’t turn up any Zune related meetups, anywhere, ever.