Monthly Archives: January 2004

BitPass Opens With Content Worth Buying

Some may recall that I talked about BitPass a while back. It’s a micropayment system that allows you to sell things on the web for as little as a penny without transaction costs eating you alive (as they would if you used credit cards, echecks, or PayPal). Well, they are finally out of beta. You can sign up to sell things yourself or buy content they already have lined up. I’ve already installed the software to sell things myself and I’ve got a couple of ideas for items that I think might be worth some money from interested people.
But that’s another day…
Today I’d like to point out three different things now available through BitPass that are worth paying for elsewhere.

  • iStockPhoto – It’s funny but this one was added just a couple of short weeks after I suggested it. You can now buy stock photos from this excellent service one at a time without having to buy a large block of photos. The need to buy $10 worth of photos (20 images) was pretty much dictated by the need to avoid the overhead of the transaction costs associated with selling lots of things for very small amounts. Now you can buy just what you need.
  • Geeks In Love – This story about love is told via recorded audio and some excellent Flash animation. Very poignant. I liked this a lot. But then maybe I’m a softie.
  • Cupid – Lastly is something that I downloaded when it was free for a brief time. It’s the PDF necessary to print out and assemble an awesome moving model of Cupid. I made this a couple of years ago for Valentines day and gave it to my wife Rockelle. It was a lot of work but I thought it was much cooler than any purchased card. After the initial free period the author started charging several dollars for the model (mailed to you in paper form so you didn’t have to print it out) but now you can again just download it for $1.50. In my opinion this is very reasonable.

The one and only thing that will make something like BitPass succeed is if there is content worth paying for out there. I think these three are just the very tip of the iceberg. There will be more to follow this and BitPass will be the first successful micropayment system.

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An Embarrassment Of Riches

I’ve recommended Lumbermill in the past as a good GUI to watch your Log4J output. I preferred it over the Chainsaw GUI included with Log4J itself. Back in the November timeframe Lumbermill woke up from a nine month sleep to issue a new 2.0 beta and a couple of more since. It’s now up to 2.0 beta 3 and it’s a definite improvement over the old Lumbermill.
Not to be outdone, Chainsaw has also released a new version. Version 2 of Chainsaw may have managed to leapfrog even version 2 of Lumbermill! Nice work all around. I can hardly wait to see the final releases of the new versions. Both offer the ability to work with SocketHubAppenders (connect/disconnect to logging at will and allow multiple clients), searching, and more data in better formatting. The Chainsaw project is even promising Java Web Start support for easy installation/upgrading once the final release is ready.

Who Reads What? And What To Read?

This is something which only benefits from as many people using it as possible. Share Your OPML! takes a file that lists all of the RSS feeds to which you subscribe. Then it will tell you things like, “Which are the most popular?” and “Who subscribes to a particular feed?”
Not all RSS aggregators will save off a list of your feeds as an OPML file (sadly HotSheet does not, maybe somebody needs to add OPML import and export). But the main reader I use now since I’ve got Linux both at home and work is Liferea and it does. As a result you can see all my current subscriptions (you have to get an account on the site before that feature works).