Text-to-Speech Podcasts

I saw the “listen now” button on Dennis’ blog, it’s a new feature and a clever service. I signed up, look for it soon.

It’s called Odiogo and converts the text I write to speech. At the top of each post you’ll see a small button called ‘Listen Now.’ When clicked you can listen to what was written instead of reading, send to iTunes or another MP3 player. I have included a subscription button which is at the bottom right hand side of the sidebar. That way you can receive posts as a podcast. [From New feature - audio alternative : AccMan]

Oh My 401k

Global market news today is pretty grim, thankfully the U.S. markets were closed today but that small concession will be short lived.

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From the reaction that the markets have offered it is clear that $150 billion in giveaways to taxpayers isn’t going to help this economy. Seriously we have one of biggest mortgage resets on the horizon and the President and Congress think that $800 per taxpayer is going to make a difference? If you mortgage has been going up by hundreds it is unlikely you will be running down to Best Buy or the local Ford dealer with you $800 check.

The other aspect that this is exposing is that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke is not inspiring confidence in his measured response to this economic downturn. Often referred to as “academic” I think the problem with Bernanke is that he comes off as detached and cautious, but don’t confuse me for a Greenspan Groupie either as I was not entirely comfortable with his Jesus status in Washington and Wall St. But the President and Congress are both in a tough spot now because in order to have “moral authority” a Fed Chief has to be independent and the worst thing that could happen is that Bernanke gets pushed out of his post.

This meltdown also dispels the notion that somehow the U.S. and emerging markets are decoupled.

Lastly, I can’t quite express the sense of irony I felt while watching Bank of China shares plunge by a little over 6%… because of exposure to U.S. sub-prime debt. Who woulda predicted that just a few years ago?

UDPATE: The carnage got worse on Tuesday. All joking aside, this is getting scary… will be watching the U.S. markets opening but I don’t need a pricey analyst to tell me which way things will go.

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Monday’s Noon Links

I’m lazy today so just links and no commentary.

OpenID2 becomes even more important I have been a MyYahoo user since it’s inception. 3 years ago I went into Yahoo – more or less pleading with them to open up MyYahoo, turn it into a Portals 2.0 – DLA – and ultimately put Yahoo into the lead in the open web. Well they’ve bought lots of companies – but with the exception of Flickr – haven’t really executed on any sort of comprehensive Web 2.0 strategy. The embarassing Y!360 aside – their hearts have been in the right place and now we’re FINALLY seeing a direct statement of support for OpenID2. Notice the 2. Though they aren’t really taking advantage of any of the advanced features of OpenID2 – hopefully they will in the future. Specifically – I want to be able to move profile, social graph and other personal data both OUT OF and back INTO MyYahoo – or whichever Yahoo social network I’m participating in. Yahoo’s 150M+ monthly uniques and 500M+ MyYahoo acount members will thank the [From Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » OpenID2 becomes even more important]


As we mentioned in our last article, 5 Free Search Engine Optimization Tools Available Online, analytics can be a great way to evaluate and improve your website. Based on all the feedback and information we received from readers, we decided to round out our top ten with five more sites (and some useful tools) that can help add value to your website. 1. SEOmoz : This is a great site for evaluating some key online analytics including page strength, keyword difficulty, crawl test and term targeting. Another useful resource is the site’s GeoTargeting Direction Tool. This shows how a site appears in local searches on Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search. The screenshots show where on the page a company website appears and what other sites appear near it. If a site is not listed, the results page has a link to add it to each [From 5 More Free Tools To Improve Search Engine Optimization]


I posted last year’s figures from Icon Corporate Finance, showing how exit valuations were 1.5x -2x sales. I use figures like that as 3rd party data when discussing valuations. This year’s data focuses on one of the same two metrics used last year price/EBIT (no price/sales data was provided). What’s clear though is that the multiples for 2007 are trending down from those of 2006… If you’re an entrepreneur out fundraising, you need to keep these multiples in mind. Many companies I’ve met with over the past 12 months have really pumped up their valuations. If the exit valuations aren’t increasing, then the entry price isn’t going to be increasing… Fred summed it up well just before Christmas: funding in 2008 isn’t going to be the party its been over the past [From Jason Ball's TechBytes: Exit Valuation Trends: 2007]