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Christopher Breen
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Christopher Breen

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And with this I plant my "post once every six months whether I need to or not" flag. (I anticipate seeing my web pages cluttered with ads for the Stars and Stripes for the next six months.)
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I was reading your calendar article. I have created an apple calendar on my Mac that I can see on my iphone. I would like to share that calendar to my website but where the event is placed, I would like it to just say busy. I am a freelancer of sorts and would like to share with my clients but I don't want them to know what I am doing. How do I do this? I would like it to update automatically when I add events. I tried this before with google. It's a huge pain and the calendar would not update the public "busy" calendar on my website.
I am not opposed to sharing via a link either but I still don't want one client to see when I'm working for another, specifically who. 
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Christopher Breen

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Let me see if I've got this right. If I add my endorsement to deleting your Google+ account over using my content for their ads, a large "Google+ Sucks!" ad (complete with my mug and a big thumbs down icon) will appear across the Internet?

Sign me up!
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Hi i need your help
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Christopher Breen

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Huh, over 2,000 people have me in their G+ circles. And I've posted, what, maybe six times? It's like cattle grazing on dirt.
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That's okay Chris, same here. We just appreciate having you around. I keep getting people I don't know, and I'm not famous like you.
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Christopher Breen

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Huh, this is still here.
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Sure seems that way.
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Christopher Breen

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Until there's a client for Google+ I'll remain largely quiet here. If you want short snippets of my wit, wisdom, and rants, follow me on Twitter @BodyofBreen
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I agree. This web based experience isn't very fluid on my iPad. It needs a good client.
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I will likely save the long form for one of those "Hey, you're getting paid to write stuff like this articles" but the short form is, Apple's throwing "fiddly" under the bus. With it goes the affection of some long-time users and creative pros.

You want the kind of options you had in QuickTime Pro 7 in QuickTime X? Sorry, too fiddly. Being able to export movies to your iOS devices is plenty for most people.

Scroll bars with those little arrow thingies? Come on, your mom doesn't know what those are for. All you need to know is that pages go up and pages go down. Swipe and you'll be happy (and please, swipe the way you do on your iPad because pushing those pages the way we've been doing it for the past 27 years is completely unintuitive).

What do you mean you want to easily trash (or move) the applications Apple has planted in Lion's Applications folder? Someone could get hurt if we allowed that!

Library folder? What Library folder? Oh, that Library folder. It's over there with your timeline.
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That's interesting because I've heard that server is, in many ways, dumbed down too.
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"Do no (unprofitable) evil."
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Christopher Breen

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Okay, more clutter. 


And... gone.
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Clutter? This has about a zillion times less clutter then Facebook who is it's main competition.
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Wow, new appearance. Can't wait to see what it looks like when I next visit in 2014.
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Yep, I was thinking about connecting with the neighbors to discuss mowing your lawn and watering your plants since you're never around, and it's getting pretty overgrown.

But then, I remembered....there aren't any neighbors.

(Sometimes it feels like the Burning Man site during the rest of the year.)
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When dressed in my Twitter garb (@BodyofBreen) I occasionally gripe about… well, a lot of things really. But in this particular instance I’m referring to my #prdonewrong tweets—those bitter pills of reaction to fumbling PR pitches and strategies. In the interest of formalizing those gripes (and purging my spleen in long-form), I offer this short guide to getting it wrong.

1. No, I do not want to talk to the CEO.

Lowly scribe that I am, I’m supposed to be impressed by C-level titles—CEO, CFO, CTO, CAT, CPAP… and even more impressed with your power to clear the hallways of lesser scribes so that I may be allowed to speak directly with these powerful individuals.

I’m just not.

Rather than speak to another business school graduate I’d prefer to converse with someone who actually understands the technology I may write about. I know that whoever chats with me will provide me with the appropriate company spin, but when I ask a technical question, I’d like an informed answer from a person with some clear idea of what’s actually going on under the hood.

2. I can smell it from here.

When you offer me an “expert” who can debunk the latest Apple Product X rumors, that expert had better be Tim Cook. Only those within Apple’s most private inner circle know of Apple’s upcoming plans. The lowly iOS developer you’ve proposed ain’t in that circle.

3. You understand what I do, right?

I know it takes some effort and the investment of five minutes with Google to glean some idea of what I write about, but it could pay off in a pitch that I’d actually respond to. Fascinating though your pitch about solar-powered trampolines may be, it’s not my beat. At the very least, before sending out a pitch for a Windows-only product, note the "Mac" in Macworld.

Along those same lines, when you offer me a pundit to discuss the latest whatever trend, make sure that your pundit hasn’t been reading my stuff to help inform his or her opinions.

4. Embargo. Good word. Look it up.

Two things about embargoes. The first is that they are supposed to be strictly maintained until such and such a date and time. When you offer me the opportunity to “jump the embargo” by publishing your “scoop” early, it hints to me that not only are you not fully cognizant of the word’s meaning but you’re also desperate. Only a desperate person would dangle such a lame and obvious carrot.

Secondly, embargoes are based on agreements. You tell me you have something worth my time (because you’ve paid attention to Point #3) but you’d like to discuss this embargoed information under NDA. I either agree or not. If, instead, you send me this super-secret information and then ask me to keep it under embargo, what’s to keep me from spilling the beans? Oh right, that’s not the point! The point is that I’m so overwhelmed by being the first person to receive this information that I’ll dash it into print. Ha ha, oh tricksy one!

Unless, of course, I see through this gambit and toss it in the scrap heap along with your contact information.

5. When all releases are important, none of them are.

I'm trying to recall when the last time was that I flagged an outgoing email as High Priority.... Oh yeah, it was when I was on-board the Titanic, holding my iPhone aloft, sending my final farewells to my loved ones. Your weekly press releases for some XBox game or yet another iPad case don't measure up to that standard. By marking each release with a big red exclamation mark, you're telling me that each of your releases are of equal importance. All I need to do is glance at one uninteresting sample to know that you're an unreliable judge of what will interest me. All future messages from you are automatically tossed in the trash.

6. Circling back on your circling back.

My sincere hope is that in the next edition of Roget’s Thesaurus the phrase "Circling back" will appear directly after the entry for "Nag." I’m a big boy and if I were interested in your pitch I would have replied. Your “circling back” to make sure your pitch wasn’t “lost in the shuffle” is grounds for divorce. Do it by phone, and I will have Guido and the Boys circle back to you with baseball bat in hand.

I get and grudgingly admire that you’re working very hard for your clients, but I’ve blocked entire agencies based on their aggressive follow-ups and pitches.

7. Yes, I received the product I requested.

If I’ve requested a product or product code from you, there’s a very good chance something will come of it in the form of an article or review. Note, however, that I’m very, very busy. Nothing may come of that request for a month or more (sometimes far more). Weekly “check in” calls aren’t helpful. My own sense of guilt is plenty of motivation. Let that work for you by not counterbalancing it with my natural tendency to be annoyed by your incessant calls.

8. I stopped loving treasure hunts when I was eight.

If you’re going to pitch me, please include your pitch in the body of your email message. I’d prefer to not open three Word documents and nine image files to figure out what you’re peddling. Likewise, if I’ve agreed to review something that would benefit from a lovely product shot or two, make those images available. You might suggest to the company that you’re representing that they include a Press link on their website that contains high-resolution images and press releases.

9. Present well.

Look, Tiffany/Brittany/Miffity, you can’t be blamed for having parents who named you after My Little Pony figurines, but please, before you next pick up the phone, could you record your voice and make sure that every sentence you utter doesn’t end with a question mark? Cuz you know? It makes you sound like you’re 16? And, like, that comes across as really unprofessional? Okay?

10. Be realistic.

If your product really walked on water, people would be gathering in ornate buildings to worship it rather than watching football. Just about nothing is all that. So, tone it down. Tell me what it does and why you think it’s important. Save “game changer” and “X killer” for those times when you’re willing to bet your professional reputation on it.

Because you are.
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I should check in more often, or I would have seen this earlier. Wonderful post! A fabulous glimpse into a world I would ordinarily know nothing about. Thanks so much!
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Christopher Breen

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Still have a very definite "hrm" feeling about Google+. I suppose if I worked at it I could make something of it, but as this is supposed to be entertaining rather than labor, do I really want to put time into it? Gimme a reason—other than you wanting to slurp up even more advertising fodder—to do this, Google.
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I hear you. Distractions are infinite. Yet a great conversation can inspire.

I like the interface for G+ better, but don't really trust Google to, say, ask permission to re-purpose my words etc. I trust FB even less, and don't often feel like pitching in to help the Zuck create product. Twitter's alright, but the context is about the person (or personality) not the topic of conversation; thus reducing it's quoi ['je ne sais'].  After decades, the WELL still keeps me interested, because the context is about the topics of conversation, because posting noise gets you either ignored or ass-kicked, and then being self-supporting has distinct advantages. It still offers more food for thought than I can possibly digest. One must exercise discipline. I know people who subscribe but limit participation to 3-mos of the year otherwise it just sucks you in.  IMHO, G+ might have the most potential to approach higher-signal-to-noise conversations, but it would take consciousness on both the tools-creators and participants.

It always seems to come back to what the particular participation is 'about.'

Besides feeding the NSA of course. ;^)
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So, over on Twitter, I made some noises of incredulousness regarding Apple acquiring Hulu, but 140 characters makes it difficult to make the point. So, let's give it a go here.

While Apple could conceivably acquire Hulu for its "technology" as it did LaLa, I don't see another reason to move into this space. Because why:

1. This isn't the music business

When Apple got into the music business with the iTunes store, it did so when the music business was on its last legs. These people were desperate and Apple threw 'em a life preserver, little understanding the kind of control Apple would get in the future. Hollywood paid attention and doesn't want to see Apple in their driver's seat.

2. And so Hollywood isn't terribly anxious to see Apple succeed.

3. Lots of cooks.

Consider the people in Hollywood who want a piece: Network executives, content producers, agents, unions, lawyers.... this is a complicated business with a lot of players. Does Apple really need (or have a chance of controlling) this nest of vipers?

4. Streaming ain't the same as rental/purchase.

Hollywood understands the rental and purchase model. It's been going on for years thanks to video stores and outfits like Amazon. Streaming is still unfamiliar enough territory that I don't see the networks giving a lot of control to a single entity that they don't control (Hulu) and, possibly, threatening DVD and rerun sales.

5. A successful TV streaming service worth a damn is poison to the carriers.

If this worked in a way that satisfied consumers, Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T would throw a fit heard round the world. I don't buy the coincidence that the companies most interested in data caps also have significant entertainment divisions. Does Apple really want to get into a business that depends on the aforementioned companies willingness to keep the pipes open?

6. $$$

How does this thing get monetized? Ads ala Hulu? A huge subscription fee? How Apple-like is a clunky ad shoved into a program from a pay service? How much are people willing to pay for a stream of last night's CSI in the age of DVRs?

Apple's content model is largely about selling hardware. Is a good TV streaming service--with the many headaches I've outlined here--going to contribute enough to Apple's bottom line through sales of more Apple TVs and iOS devices?

All in all, seems like a hell of a lot of trouble.
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Again, if it's a technology grab, I can see it. But, up to this point, Apple has vigorously opposed subscription streaming of any kind. iCloud certainly doesn't provide it. For the reasons I stated I can't imagine why they'd want to operate Hulu in anything like its current form. To be truly useful they'd have to kill the commercials, fill out the content so you'd know you were getting complete seasons and recent episodes, attract not only the major networks but the big premium players as well, be satisfied that broadband caps wouldn't put your service out of business, and do all this without charging customers an arm and a leg. Competent and cash-rich though Apple may be, I fear this is even more than they can tackle, particularly when the networks and Comcasts would not want it to succeed.
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