November 29, 2010

Spotify is a streaming music service available only in parts of Europe.  Spotify has three subscription tiers –Open, Unlimited, and Premium.  It is the Open (aka Free) model which really makes this service unique.  Today if you want a streaming music service in the US the choices are the Zune Pass and Napster.  While both these services appear to have a rich catalog, neither have a free option like Spotify.

Spotify Pricing Options

If you live in the US the well known work-around is to access the service via a proxy server which makes it appear that your computer is located in a supported country.  I found the following very simple instructions on TechCrunch circa Jan. 2009 which seemed to work fine.

1) Go to
2) Enter the following URL:
3) Create your account, for a European postcode – I used AB1234


My Favorite Everyday Google Tricks

November 1, 2010

One to many email accounts: == ==

Email archiving: Use Gmail to archive your emails to make them searchable.

Search Archive / Mobile search: Use the gmail search feature to find an email you know you had sent to you at some time in the past.  The iPhone/Blackberry search feature is an absolute life saver for addresses and phone numbers.

Multiple calendars: Google calendar allows you to publish your calendar in iCal format.  I use this to overlay the family calendar over my work calendar.  In this way events are never out of sync and you don’t have to mess with synchronization applications.

Import iCal

Calendar Sync: Obviously the downside to not syncing is that your free/busy time of the two calendars is not merged.  Google does have a solution called GoogleCalendarSync which addresses this issue.

Contact Sync: This is the most problematic piece for me at the moment and I don’t have it entirely figured out.  I have an iPhone sync’d to a business Exchange Server.  This contains work contacts.  At home I have Outlook running locally I am using my Gmail account as the central storage repository using an open-source tool called GOContactSync to merge manage my contacts in the cloud.

How to turn off video auto-play on

October 17, 2010
  1. Register for a free account at and log in
  2. Find myESPN.  As of this writing is on the bottom of the page under tools.
  3. Click on Video Auto-Play “Off”