Is Fake Steve Real?

I swear, the more I read Fake Steve the more I’m thinking he’s not fake at all.

"Here’s the back story. The music companies are in a dying business, and they know it. Sure, they act all cool because they hang around with rock stars. But beneath all the glamour these guys are actually operating two very low-tech businesses. One is a form of loan-sharking: they put up money to make records, then force recording artists to pay the money back with exorbitant interest. The other business is distribution. They’ve got big warehouses and they control the shipment of little plastic boxes that happen to have music in them."

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Big Pharma

My next door neighbor is on the founding team at APT Pharma, a biotech startup forcused on inhalable drugs for lung and heart transplants.

The interesting aspect of this strategy is that they licensed a drug already in trials at Novartis (which acquired Chiron and got the drug as part of that deal) but one Novartis doesn’t want even if successful.

APT is paying particular attention to drugs used to treat so-called orphan diseases, afflicting 200,000 people or less. The fewer than 2,000 lung transplants performed each year in the United States, for example, don’t provide enough pop for larger pharmaceutical companies to pony up $600 million or more during a drug’s 10- to 12-year development cycle.

While I can come up with many defenses for the healthcare industry, one that I am unable to defend is the emphasis on blockbuster drugs over drugs for niche diseases. As a shareholder I can understand this but as a human being I am more inclined to want to give 2,000 people a year who are gravely ill better odds at survival, instead of millions of men who want an erection.

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When Bigger is Better

HugeURL is still one of my favorite bookmarks… there’s nothing like telling someone you’ll send them the link:

http://www.hugeurl.com/?NzEyM2Y2YTM0MGNhOD
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HotSpot@Home

I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for years, generally am happy with their rate plans, devices, and customer service. The instore service is good; I’ve had several issues with billing and device issues and everything was taken care of in the store without hassle.

I can remember one customer service issue a few years back when I was trying to connect an unlocked phone I bought in Hong Kong to their data network and a level 2 tech spent 2 hours on the phone with me trying different configurations until it worked. He didn’t have to do that considering this wasn’t a handset they were offering, but he did and I appreciated the effort.

In short, T-Mobile isn’t perfect but I have had good experience with them and that counts for something. I like their wifi hotspot coverage, which can be a real lifesaver at times, and even though I think $20 a month is a bit steep I am unable to complain given the lack of truly competitive options.

Last week they launched HotSpot@Home amid all the iPhone frenzy, which as David Pogue points out probably wasn’t a great PR strategy.

Like the iPhone, this service allows wifi capable phones to alternate between cellular and wifi networks. If you are at home and get crappy reception in one part of your house (in my case, the part I work from), this service will resolve that by using the wifi network for cell calls. If you are in a Starbucks you will voice call on their wifi network and not consume any of your plan minutes. Pretty cool.

There are a couple of downsides, the first being they are offering only 2 handsets and neither is a Blackberry. The second is an open question, which is the how "special" is the Linksys router they are supplying with the service? I have 2 Apple Airport routers chained together at my house, and share printers over them, so anything that requires me to turn these off is going to be a showstopper for me.

Assuming I could get past the router issues, I would take a look at a bundle with a cheap Hotspot@Home phone and a downgraded Blackberry plan which could result in saving money while at the same time simplifying my billing. I’d like to see a BB option and a dirt cheap rate plan, as well as a couple of better handsets but even absent of that this is a great service option.

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8th Grade Science is Hard

Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz

This is actually pretty challenging. This awesome link via Citrine.

I’ll spoil the test below the fold by sharing what I missed.
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